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Watch What Happens When Bravo Schedules a Pointless "Top Chef" Reunion

Was I the only one bored and a little annoyed by last night's reunion episode of Top Chef ("Watch What Happens")? I'm not sure why Bravo decided (A) to interrupt the flow of episodes halfway or so through the current season and (B) why you would schedule a look back at the first 2 1/2 seasons rather than after the third season concluded.

In any case, Bravo rounded up Top Chef's judges and several contestants from all three seasons for what they intended to be a wink, wink, nudge, nudge trip down memory lane and an update on what previous winners Harold and Ilan are up to. So what did I learn whilst watching this strictly promotional episode of the culinary challenge? Sit back and let's review.

Bravo's Andy Cohen has got to be one of the most irritating people around right now. I can't put my finger on what it is about him but I simply cannot stand him. Perhaps it's his fawning over the show's contestants or the fact that this executive has gone out of his way to make himself as famous as the series he's meant to be promoting. In any event, he makes me cringe ever time he opens his mouth and I don't know why Bravo keep trotting him out at every opportunity they get. Let Lee Anne host these things.

Men's tailoring really helps. So does wearing socks with a tuxedo. So why did Ilan not follow either of these obvious rules by wearing a tuxedo that was far too short for him and neglecting to, you know, wear socks with the ensemble? I'm not entirely sure. I thought he looked ridiculous and I can't help lately but be rubbed the wrong way by him ever since the head-shaving incident in Season Two. Am I the only person sort of weirded out by him now?

Gail Simmons and Ted Allen are NOT the same person. I was really quite stunned to see these two in the same room for the reunion special. Given that Ted was introduced as Season Three's judge, it was surprising to learn that his participation was only forthcoming whenever Gail was unavailable. Still, it was good to see them both here as they are fantastically astute judges in their own right. I just wish their joint participation had been for an actual challenge-based episode rather than this muck.

Lee Anne and Harold are not dating. Do you feel better now that this rumor has been dispelled? That said, I thought Lee Anne looked gorgeous last night; she was svelte and stunning and had a radiance about her. It's clear that even if these two aren't a romantic item, there's a strong friendship between them.

Is it wrong to laugh at Padma not only for her dubious wardrobe choices (highlighted last night) but for her insistence that she gained a tremendous amount of weight half way through Season Two?

Tom Colicchio laughs when nervous. And continues to laugh when he's really, really, really nervous. You know exactly what moment I'm talking about, as Tom visibly wished to extricate himself from the conversation. My question is who taught the master chef how to hold a fork and knife? That clip package was seriously odd...

Ken has night terrors. To anyone who watched his brief appearance on Top Chef Season One shouldn't be surprised by this in the least.

Despite what Ilan says, Sam is not insecure. Just wanted to make that clear. His insistence that it was insecurity that made Sam tick made me like Ilan even less (if that was possible). And for the record: Sam definitely should have made it into the final two.

Harold's restaurant, Perilla, looks really good. If I make it home to New York this fall, I'd love to try it out. I love restaurants run by what Tom calls "chef's chefs" that offer great, unfussy food in sleek surroundings without pretense. As for what Ilan's up to, it seems to be a whole lot of demos around the country with no plans to open a restaurant of his own any time soon. And I was glad to see master chef Jacques Pepin take down the young upstart at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic cook-off. Take that, you cur.

Next week on Top Chef ("Freezer Burn"), the show's producers trot out a now terrifying-looking guest judge Rocco DiSpirito (complete with bleached hair and overly tan skin!) from under whatever rock he's been hiding since the demise of The Restaurant.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Big Brother 8 (CBS); My Name is Earl/30 Rock (NBC); Smallville (CW); Ugly Betty (ABC); Don't Forget the Lyrics (FOX)

9 pm: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS); The Office/Scrubs; Supernatural (CW); Grey's Anatomy (ABC); So You Think You Can Dance (FOX)

10 pm: Shark (CBS); ER (NBC); Men in Trees (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America.

Missing a softer side of Chef Ramsay? Catch the third season of the original UK Kitchen Nightmares before FOX launches an American-scented one this fall. On tonight's installment ("Rococo"), Gordon heads to King's Lynn, where he visits a restaurant that, while charming, is on the verge of closure. Not helping matters is a stubborn chef and an overpriced and outdated menu. Can Gordon shake some sense into these restaurateurs? Find out tonight.

8:30 pm: 30 Rock.

It's Televisionary's favorite new comedy from last season. On tonight's repeat installment ("The Rural Juror"), Jenna awaits the release of her tongue-twister titled independent film The Rural Juror, while Tracy attempts to create his own celebrity product to endorse.

9 pm: The Office.

On tonight's repeat episode ("Phyllis' Wedding"), Phyllis regrets giving Michael an important job at her wedding (um, namely, pushing her wheelchair-bound father down the aisle) while Dwight looks to nab errant wedding crashers.


Anonymous said…
Worst. Episode. Ever.

Pointless is the best word to describe it. I didn't learn anything from watching this and just wanted to watch the damn show last night. Glad I knew, thanks to you, that it was this inane reunion thing.
Anonymous said…
I haven't finished watching yet, but yeah - what a waste of time. I don't get the interruption.
The only thing I learned from the reunion show was that Ilan gets more annoying by the minute. What was with that tux? If anyone is insecure it's Ilan who obviously felt that he had to put Sam down to make himself look better. Deep down he's got to know that he didn't deserve to win "Top Chef" and his inability to commit to starting a restaurant (too busy doing promotional crap) just proves it.
Anonymous said…
Rocco DiSpirito looks terrifying in the promos! What the hell happened to him?
Bianca Reagan said…
I thought Ilan looked so cute! The tuxedo and the no socks was questionable, but I just wanted to rip those clothes off of him, and explore some of those duck fat options Sam mentioned.
Anonymous said…
I was glad to have watched it to see Harold (who is my ultimate favorite from all of the seasons) and Leann and Dave. I'm glad all three look really good and seem to be doing really well. What I'm curious/sad about is the absence of Tiffany, Elia, and Stephen to name a few pivotal people from the past (frankly I'm glad Marcel was fishing).

What I really want to know is who this Andy Cohen dude is and how he got tapped to host all of these things. I've watched Project Runway, Workout, and Top Chef reunions and he's consistently the biggest tool I've ever seen on tv (besides most of the folks at Fox News). He also gets his own Bravo blog. Seriously, is he some Bravo big-wig's wayward son who needed some form of employment? What's his deal?

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