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Top Chef – Recap & Review – Reunion Special

photo: bravo
Top Chef
Reunion Special

Original Air Date: Apr 6, 2011

Ryan O – Senior Reviewer

Here we are at the always unfulfilling reunion special. Questions you want answered will go unasked. Awkward things will happen. There will be clips from the past season. Oh yes. There will be clips. Andy Cohen is here to lead us through the hour.

We review the finale and Richard says he was in shock when he won. He was ready to be gracious and congratulate Mike.

Tom says it came down to which meal he’d rather eat again. Gail, again, mentions the pepperoni sauce that Mike made. She said she took the most convincing.

We see clips of Richard from the season. He announces that wife gave birth a month ago to a girl, Emory Lotus. Well, I’m glad he didn’t go the crazy celebrity baby naming route.

We see a clip of Richard promising to give Mike some money to help open a restaurant because Richard is sure it’s an empty promise since he was positive he wouldn’t win. Richard says that, yes, he’d be happy to invest in Mike’s restaurant. Mike isn’t going to hold him to it.

Antonia says it was easier to lose on the last bite than for it to be a landslide.

Then there’s a bunch of clips of Mike being annoying. Woo.

Oh, did you know that Mike and Antonia are fourth or fifth or ninth cousins? Because they are.

Then there are the clips of Jen and her elimination. These clips contain a lot of bleeps. Jen, now, says she’s a little embarrassed by how she acted. Gail says she’s surprised that no one had gotten that mad at the judges up until then given how passionate everyone is.

Andy asks a viewer-question: Do the guys have stylists or is hair gel and tight t-shirts their own idea? Hey, great question viewer. So insightful. Thanks. So, we see many clips of Angelo.

Gail is asked if she’s like to go on a date with Spike, Fabio, or Mike. Gail points out, um, married. Padma says she’d like to date Elia or Casey or she could just motorboat Antonia. Yes, the room reacts as you think it would to that. Padma offers the nonexplanation that she just learned what the tern means and she’s eager to use it. Hmm. Please keep her away from then.

Now it’s time to make fun of Jaime. Jaime says she didn’t watch the show since it was painful for her. She says she went and got stitches and maybe it was a cop-out but she points out she has a tiny thumb and two stitches is a lot in comparison. Jaime says she came in wanting to do the best she could but it didn’t work out for her.

Tiffani explains she came back so that she could be a better person than she was the first time she did it.

Most of the chefs would be happy to compete in a third season.

Now there’s clips of the pairs of Richard and Fabio and Mike and Angelo. Let’s agree the word bromance is both dead and annoying and never use it again.

Antonia and her curse get a series of clips. It’s an impressive run over the course of two season of people teaming with Antonia and then getting eliminated.

Fabio gets a series of clips. By the way, he can do a much better job of pronouncing “burger.” It doesn’t sound at all like “boooooger.”

Ah, a bunch of clips from when Cookie Monster, Elmo, and Telly judged a Quickfire. Elmo calls Padma a primadonna, which was awesome.

Next is an autotuned pseudo music video of Marcel being a dillhole.

Now, recipe-gate. Pretty much, now, it’s a non-issue. Richard doesn’t think Mike did anything wrong and that he wouldn’t have made the dish Mike made in the same way.

One dish that surprised judges? Yes, more questions like this and fewer clips. For Padma, it was Dale T.’s dish he made at Wylie DuFrense’s restaurant with the egg in the dumpling. For Tom, it was Carla’s chicken pot pie, Richard’s hamachi sweet bread, and Mike’s fish that he cooked in the banana leaf on the beach.

There’s a bit of awkward as Andy asks Elia about the comments she made about Tom and his restaurants, where she said he uses corn-fed beef and doesn’t buy produce locally and so forth. As Andy put it, she called him a sell-out. She doesn’t think he should’ve done the Diet Coke commercial he did since the product has a lot of bad stuff in it. Tom asks the chefs who sells Diet Coke in their restaurants. Most of them raise their hands. Dale L explains that Tom is now an icon and so it can appear that some integrity is sacrificed when he does an endorsement. Tom says there’s no problem since he endorses only products he uses and sells at his restaurants. He drinks Diet Coke. He felt fine with endorsing it.

Tom insists that he serves grass-fed beef and had always served grass-fed beef regardless of what someone told Elia. She says that she stands by what she said in the press. The whole exchange was awkward and not very interesting.

Now there’s a series of clips of the judges saying awful things about awful food.

Carla was voted fan-favorite. Yay! And we get a series of joyous Carla clips.

And that’s it. Naturally something I wanted to know about wasn’t looked into at all: Mike really did seem to improve a lot between Ellis Island and the Bahamas. What did he do? Who did he do it with? Whatever, I guess. It was more important to show Marcel with an autotuned soundtrack.

What did you find to be tasty in this episode? What did you want to know but wasn’t asked? Give us your Two Cents below!

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