Stay Tuned
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

"Top Chef: Miami" The Bad Guy Wins Again

Don’t you just hate it when the winner of the reality show you’ve been hooked on for months turns out to be the one person you didn’t want to win?

It happened last season on “Project Runway” when the favorite, Michael, choked and Jeffrey took the title. And it happened last week on the finale of “Top Chef”…

If I had to predict what was going to happen, I would’ve said that Dale would choke and make one of his famous errors in judgment, leaving Casey and Hung to fight it out with Casey coming out on top.

But just like “Project Runway,” the favorite—in this case, Casey—choked (due in some part to her hang-up over the high altitudes) and my least favorite, Hung, came out on top. In fact, Casey choked so bad, her only dish that scored with the judges was mostly made by Howie, the chef with the worst reputation on the show.

I was psyched for a little while because it looked like Dale had a shot and I’ve always liked him (He reminds me of Robert, my favorite “Runway” designer of all time.). But then Tom uttered the word no cook—professional or not—wants to hear: inedible. Tom was talking about Dale’s third dish, which he changed at the last minute since Hung and Casey were doing the same dish (There’s that error in judgment I was talking about.). So that was that—although Rocco DiSpirito’s blog says the judges—Ted, Padma, Tom and Gail—deliberated nine hours.

And I can’t help but think that Hung’s personality entered the equation at some point. It’s clear that Hung was meant to be the villain of the show; but it’s unclear how much of that was editing and how much was him (but since season two villain Marcel was one of his supporters, I’m guessing it’s more the second one).

But just like Jeffrey on “Project Runway,” Hung honestly deserved to win, whether I wanted him to or not.

And apparently, I’m not too upset since I’ve already watched the finale a second time, and I am watching it again now as I type this. I told you I was hooked.

Thankfully, “Project Runway” will be back November 14th to get me over this. But since these two shows have become so similar, I’m concerned that “Runway” will attempt a live finale as well. Personally, I thought it took away some of the drama and the post-announcement excitement. But that was probably mostly due to host Padma Lakshmi’s inability to read a cue card. However, because they only left about five minutes for the announcement, we were robbed of a proper winner’s interview and a nice edited piece showing his family’s reaction. It was a nice idea, but a totally unnecessary way to cap off a great season. Watching Casey choke was drama enough.

I will say that doing it this way should make the reunion WAY more interesting…

The reunion episode of “Top Chef: Miami” airs Wednesday, October 10th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…