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Sunday, March 01, 2009

"Top Chef" Cheftestant Carla: "I just gave too much power away"

So, it’s no big surprise that the first question Carla would be asked on her media conference call the day after the finale would be about Casey and whether or not Carla listened to her too much.

“I really enjoyed working with Casey…I did not consider it was Casey’s fault. [“Top Chef”] is emotionally exhausting and then all of a sudden you have help. I don’t have to do it on my own. I just gave too much power away.”

Carla said that because she hadn’t completely sold herself on the soufflé, she “wasn’t even present.” She went on to clarify herself even more by adding, “Do not blame Casey at all or give her a hard time.” Carla’s response to anyone thinking that Casey messed her over was an emphatic, “No she did not.”

Carla was, as she described herself, the tortoise in the competition. She started out slow, but turned it on toward the end winning two challenges before the finale. Carla said, “I was starting to be comfortable in my own skin, but then I saw if fall apart…I used Casey as a crutch.”

Carla admitted that the whole thing has taught her to “really listen to that feeling. I’m not going to second guess myself.”

I still think Carla has a great chance to win Fan Favorite—if she can beat Fabio—because of her kooky nature. But Carla said she thinks she’s actually weirder than they made her seem. “I’m going to be me. I wasn’t one-dimensional.”

When it was my turn, I had to ask her about that emotional moment when Stefan comforted her at the final Judges’s Table. “We were standing in front of the judges for hours. So after three hours or so, I was trying to hold it in…I was really touched [by Stefan]. They didn’t realize I was falling apart. I really like Stefan. He is playing the game. He’s not a bad person. He wants to win. I applaud his technique and his ability.”

Later, Carla told us that Stefan is the “paternal grandfather” of the group who keeps all of them together—even though he said on the show he wasn’t there to make friends.

As for the winner, Hosea, Carla said, “Hosea was very smart. Me, not so much, right?”

Carla said she will continue to cater, but hopes to start a “sweet and savory petite cookie place,” as well as a place in her hometown of Washington, D.C…

Photo Credit: Virginia Sherwood/Bravo