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Top Chef Reunion Show - Any surprises?

  • c

In some ways, hardly worth watching, especially since the lesser players were barely spoken to.

What was your own reaction?

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  1. I don't know about surprises, but this is what struck me:
    Eli's grudging apology to Robin.
    How many people thought Padma didn't like them.
    How much money Kevin won.
    Michael still looked like a push, aggressive putz in the kitchen. Jenn was also a powerful manager, but the difference between how they manage people -- at least based on the clips -- comes down to respect.
    The excessive drinking plus the quasi-sexual throwing Jenn in the pool.
    I guess the sexual undercurrent that surfaced among the "lesser players" (not as an attraction, but as a theme)
    Sounds like they are recruiting more than holding cattle call auditions that has impacted the apparent quality of the food this season as opposed to others. Unfortunately, they neglected to inform the editing elves who were still going for "DRAMA."

    16 Replies
    1. re: chicgail

      How was throwing someone in a pool sexual? I missed that.

      1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

        I guess what was there for me was that kind of (pre-)adolescent sexuality when boys don't know quite what to do around a girl they're attracted to and they roughhouse with her to express something they can't identify. It was those guys picking her up and tossing her in the pool. It didn't look like a "one of the guys" thing.

        1. re: chicgail

          I think you may be reading too much into it. It seemed pretty clear from the reunion that there were part of a group that really got along (Mike I and Jen specifically). It may have been sexual, but more than likely it was just a bunch of drunk friends goofing around.

          1. re: gastrotect

            Absolutely possible. Mine was just one of many possible interpretations. Not right; not wrong; just what was there for me.

          2. re: chicgail

            I think they were just letting off some steam. The show is a high pressure situation.

        2. re: chicgail

          To your first point...

          Eli's begrudging apology only AFTER Michael Voltaggio said some rather nice apologetic things to Robin. It was almost like an "oh, OK - if Michael apologized, I guess I should as well" situation. But when asked, he originally said "No, I haven't apologized". Probably wouldn't have done so if Michael hadn't manned up.

          Had to laugh at Tom Colicchio raising his hand when asked how many people thought Padma didn't like them.

          At least we now know Padma's "due in the spring" - which means TC7 won't start filming until summer, which means TC7 won't be shown until next fall. (I do hope a TCMasters2 shows up before then!)

          Teed off that Fan Favorite waits until midnight tonight - yeah, I'm really not going to wait up until then just to see Andy again! LIke gastrotect, will check Bravo's site tomorrow morning.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            I thought all of the clearly not heartfelt apologizing was lame. They didn't like each other. So what? Some people don't like other people. That's life. Lying about it just makes them look self serving... Like oh I went home and everyone said I was a jerk to Robin, so now I'm going to apologize just to make myself look better...

            1. re: LindaWhit

              Leanne has said they're working on a Masters show now.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                no need to check the Bravo site if you get here first - it's Kevin. Bryan V took second place. yes, i took one for the team and suffered through the waste of airtime that is "Watch What Happens: Live" just to see it. Andy explained that the reunion show was taped 6 weeks ago, so they obviously couldn't announce it there since voting only ended a few days ago.

                and on an unrelated note, he mentioned that Kevin and his wife split up in the weeks before the finale :( methinks that may have had *something* to do with his performance in the final challenge.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Kevin and his wife splitting up during the finale is terrible - no wonder he seemed off of his game. Poor Kevin!!!

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Ahhh, thanks for taking it for the team, ghg! I figured Kevin or Brian would win.

                    And I had read about Kevin and his wife splitting up before the finale was filmed (mentioned in one of the finale threads). I agree - definitely has something to do with his performance. Remember he said to his mother "I don't want to talk about it"? I think that has to do with the split, not how he did in his cooking for the finale.

                    Were any of the cheftestants there? Or was this just Andy as a talking head?

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Linda, it was just Andy and his guest - Sarah Jessica Parker. i happen to like her, but the entire thing was really odd. the two chefs "called" in via video chat/skype, Andy talked to each of them for a minute (hence the discussion with Kevin about his marriage), and then they had to sit by and wait while he continued with the other nonsense on the show. then about 10 minutes later they had *SJP* announce the winner. it was totally anticlimactic and just plain strange.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Obviously, Andy has some really good juicy dirt on one of the Bravo execs to have done the announcement this way. Oy.

                        Next season, I really hope the end the Fan Favorite voting a few weeks early so they can just take care of it during the reunion show.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          Andy is Senior Vice President of Production and Programming for Bravo so I think he has the juice to do as he wishes. He's had a producer credit on Top Chef since Season 1, I think.

                  2. re: LindaWhit

                    I actually think Eli's apology highlights his childish smartass tendencies. Basically saying "I'm sorry you were so annoying that you got on my nerves so, no hard feelings." He probably thought he was being clever. So, I vote not insincere but rather true to "As Seen On TV" form.

                  3. re: chicgail

                    I didn't see anything quasi-sexual about it, either. I think they would have done the same for a guy they felt as close to, had he left first. I must have missed all the sexual undercurrents among the lesser players. I just saw a lot of camaraderie and respect among the top contestants, nothing sexual.

                  4. ...and what was with NOT naming Fan Favorite? so they want us to have to watch another (unrelated) show to find out?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ChefJune

                      That ticked me off. But I guess they have to push more programming. I'll just check the interwebs tomorrow morning to find out. No desire to watch his talk show.

                      1. re: ChefJune

                        as i said to Linda above, i watched it. they explained that the reunion show was taped six weeks ago. since voting just ended a few days ago it wouldn't have been possible to announce it at the reunion show. Kevin was fan fave, Bryan V took second place in the voting.

                      2. I thought it was entertaining. The show is not expected to be anything more than that.

                        1. I thought it was entertaining. The clips were funny, and made them seem more human. When they were discussing Padma not liking them, I thought she was lovely, and charming. I like her better after last night's show. I like Jenn better, Mike and Eli less (they did nothing to redeem themselves, even Eli's apology seemed more like his mom told him to do it). Robin managed to annoy me by the end of her run, so I see how she got under their skin, but the whole bunch of them ganging up on her seems really childish, especially since they dissected it all over again last night.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: jeanmarieok

                            I find it odd that Mike I complains about Robin talking so much. Does anyone talk more than he does? Apparently excessive babbling is okay if you're from Jersey.

                            1. re: tofuburrito

                              He did say that he just ignored Robin specifically because he talked a lot though...

                            2. re: jeanmarieok

                              The thing that I noticed was that Tom was the first one to raise his hand when Andy asked who thought Padma didn't like them. It's been written up in several places that Padma and Tom do not get along at all.

                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                The editing showed just the opposite. First the cast raised their hands and then they showed Tom raising his, to which Padma 'jokingly' said, "Well, yes that's right. I don't like Tom."

                            3. Who was fan favorite? I could not find it on the Bravo website.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: AmblerGirl

                                Hasn't been announced yet. Will be on "Watch What Happens" tonight at midnight. For some really, REALLY stupid reason that only makes sense in some Bravo producer's mind, since there are probably not all that many people watching at that hour.

                              2. Did anybody watch the show that came after the reunion show? Apparently they were supposed to have more footage of the Top Chef reunion, probably during the commercials. I had no patience to sit through a show I had no intention of watching, even if it means seeing more Top Chef. What did I miss?

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                  Not a whole lot. Some of it is shown on Bravo's website with the bonus clips, I think. But I don't recall any additional reunion footage.

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    Thanks. I'll check it out on the bravo website.

                                2. I liked seeing some of the behind the scenes stuff, like "nerdy" Eli and Kevin and some of Michael and Brian's interactions. I was disappointed they didn't have a discussion about the relative styles and differing techniques of Kevin and Michael, considering how much they played it up in the latter part of the season.

                                  1. I like Jen and Ashley more after. I think Jen came off as too stiff, probably nerves as she's said during the show, while in front of the judges but she wasn't like that in the footage. Ashley has always impressed me with her integrity and that came off during the show but also her humor was more apparent. I like the camaraderie between all the chefs, except the scenes with Robin were awkward and uncomfortable. I felt bad for her, although as Michael V said, she gave as good as she got. But, regardless, it's not easy being the odd one out so I felt bad for her. I liked seeing the geeky side of Kevin but have an even worst impression of Eli. His "I haven't had a chance to apologize" was a bad excuse--like you don't have a telephone or e-mail? Grow up and stop making excuses.

                                    12 Replies
                                    1. re: chowser

                                      I agree with you completely about Eli. He did absolutely nothing to redeem himself. In fact, when you add his horribly immature behavior during the season to his half-assed and insincere apology, he comes off as a dishonest child.

                                      1. re: Ima Wurdibitsch

                                        A poll on Bravo's site re: Eli's apology (1263 votes as of my looking at it):

                                        Do you think Eli's apology to Robin was sincere?

                                        29% - Yes -- albeit a bit late
                                        50% - Not at all
                                        22% - He had nothing to apologize for!

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          Ummmm.... that adds up to 101%.

                                          As far as Eli goes, the fact that he's in his early twenties and living with mom and dad made me go "Ahhhh, there we have it." He's just a brat. A brat who has apparently been made much of and has believed everything he's read in the Mommy Loves Me Gazette. I chuckled watching him sweat when he worked under Richard Blais from Season 5 (or was it 4?) on Iron Chef (a battle that they handily lost).

                                          My favorite line of the night was the "Rednecks with slightly higher than average IQ's." How coy. Yes, Eli, you're a real luminary. Nasa's on the phone-- they can't design the successor to the Shuttle without your homage to Circus food.

                                          1. re: Treeling

                                            Hey - blame Bravo - I just did a copy and paste. :-) And it looks like someone told Bravo - it's been fixed - 49% believe Eli's apology was not sincere.

                                            1. re: Treeling

                                              i'll take eli's so-called "immaturity" and "brattishness" over robin's monumental passive aggression, self-involvement and desperate need to inappropriately self-disclose any day of the week.
                                              and, by all accounts i've read, so would the other chefs on the show and the majority of the viewing audience.

                                              1. re: linus

                                                That's a pretty big assumption, linus, that "the other chefs on the show and the majority of the viewing audience" prefer what you call "Eli's so-called immaturity" over what you call Robin's (not so-called apparently) "monumental passive aggression, self-involvement and desperate need to inappropriately self-disclose."

                                                Unless you have a more accurate scientific poll that the one that Bravo conducted, I'm afraid all you have is your own opinion. And I have mine.

                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                  bravo ran a poll during one of the episodes asking viewers to call in and vote which was worse, eli's immaturity or robin's passive aggression.
                                                  eli won handily.
                                                  also, many of the chefs during interviews during the episodes expressed affection for eli and appreciation for his skills as a chef.
                                                  forgive my inability to recall anyone saying anything similar about robin.

                                                  1. re: linus

                                                    So by Eli winning this Bravo poll, his immaturity was worse? Agree on that.

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      please pardon my confusing post. i mean, the audience poll fell in favour of robin being "worse."

                                                    2. re: linus

                                                      It's just not an either/or. Eli is 100% responsible and accountable for being an irresponsible, unpleasant sulky child regarding Robin and she is 100% responsible and accountable for her own behavior that put people off.

                                                      Not all of us bother to "vote" on a Bravo on-line phone polls so the results are hardly representative of the "the viewing audience."

                                                      And FWIW, I recall Kevin saying nice things about Robin.

                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                        I have to say I didn't particularly care for Eli, but Robin actively annoyed me. I felt bad that she was sort of the "odd man out", but nothing aggravates me more than passive-aggression, and she would have driven me right up a tree.

                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                          "irresponsible, unpleasant and sulky child" sums up robin in a nutshell. well put.