topchef2Yukon Cornelius Jr. vs. the Voltaggio Brothers Electrical and Heating Repair Company.

There can be only one. And you know who that better be.

I’d take Bryan, though. Anyone, anyone but Michael.

THIS SEASON ON TOP CHEF: There was a lot of chaff. Nobody liked Robin. A guy who is not Jonah Hill lives with his mom. Shiv, Kevin and the Brothers Grim were consistently great. Tonight, one of them, who had better be Kevin, wins.

10:01: I gotta say, I don’t like Michael, but cook-wise, this might be the most solid top three ever.

Kevin: “My knives? I’m just gonna karate chop everything to pieces.” HE COULD DO IT.

10:03: Why are they standing in front of a teeny tiny table?

The challenge: a 3 course meal. First, you get a box and you have to use everything in it. Like we’re on”Chopped,” but not. Second, make anything you want. Third, make a dessert. If we have another season where no one came in knowing how to make at least one dessert, I will personally hunt them all down and smack them.

10:04: And you get help! Two sous, chosen by knife draw. Brian gets Shiv: lucky motherfucker. But then he also gets Hairbrush, so that’s a problem.

My poor Kevin: Preethi and Ash. Le sigh.

10:06: The mystery box: fish, crab, squash, shrooms, meyer lemons.

10:08: Kevin’s got Preethi on veg chopping duty, which she can barely manage. Rally, Kevin! Rally! You can rise above your crappy sous! Hairbrush seems to be doing a decent job, as is some other woman who I don’t remember as ever having been on the show. Was she always blond?

10:09: Coming up: A TWEEST!

10:12: Commercials: If ComCast is really giving me free service and cash back for being late, I am going to be ROLLING in it.

Kevin is angry at himself for being angry. Such a nice Catholic boy.

10:13: Michael Voltaggio, experiencing anxiety? My heart skips a beat!

And then everyone’s mom shows up! No tweest at all, just hugs. Where is my tweest? Are their moms the new sous? Do they have to cook each others’ mothers signature casseroles?

10:16: They show up at the restaurant and there’s Colicchio. NOW do we get the tweest? YES! Cook a fourth course inspired by your favorite childhood dish. Which, in all honesty, I hate the tweests, but that’s a cute challenge.

10:17: Childhood picture of Michael the drama queen losing his shit over some broccoli? PRICELESS.

10:18: Kevin: looks way better with a beard.

Shockingly, Kevin’s mom is a good ole Southern cook, and he’s making fried chicken skin. Because he knows I love him.

AND he got into MIT?

10:19: AND he’s cooking his mystery box fish in duck fat. THAT’S MY BOY. Thankfully, Ash actually seems to be good for something.

10:21: Michael is making sophisticated food that only looks rustic, and then “out I come!” That’s not terrifying at all. At least he managed to be not an asshole for 30 seconds while talking about/to his mom and didn’t get all “she was an okay mom, but she cooked food I would never feed my own children.”

Wait, AND Kevin’s putting bacon in the dessert? It’s like he can read my soul. We’re both already married, Kevin. This wooing is wrong, and you know it.

Don’t stop.

10:22: Are they pitting the mothers against each other as judges? Ratings gold! I bet it was Andy Cohen’s idea. It smacks of his kind of douchebaggery.

10:25: Brian’s attempt as singing along to the GladWare commercial: 90% accuracy! Well played.

10:26: The brothers’ mom just threatened Tom Colicchio. Which, I’m all for that, but calm down, lady. No one’s said anything yet.

Toby Young is back. Super! Along with ten thousand other way more impressive people, like Donatella Arpaia and Drew Nierporent. And of course, Kathy and Sharon.

10:29: The Brothers’ mom does not take criticism of her sons well. If we could just keep the camera trained on her face…also, consider replacing Toby Young with her next year.

And there is criticism, because some of them aren’t loving Michael. Don’t toy with me, editors.

10:30: And the course is over, so hit the road, moms! Nice.

Kevin’s mom and her frosted eyeshadow are beyond fantastic. I want her over for dinner. And she can bring Kevin, and he can cook.

10:32: Damn it, they’re loving Michael’s fish course. I hate wishing ill on others, but damn.

I just heard the words “caramelized ham jus.” I want a great big glass of that, and I don’t care how disgusting that sounds.

10:34: I think Kevin’s going down. I’m going to start adjusting to that now. If I’m wrong, it will be a happy surprise.

10:35: Yeah, Kevin’s going down.

Pardon me while I ignore what’s going on for a few minutes to really process this. I was still in denial about it last minute.

10:36: Calling it for Bryan. And I will be okay with that. Not thrilled, but okay.

I admit it, I’m a little angry with Kevin for not coming in with a more kick-ass dessert up his sleeve. I know it’s irrational. Let me have my moment.

10:39: Commercials: Toshiba laptop commercials hearken back to Tron. Because when I think technological advancement, I think Tron.

10:40: Pointless Interlude: Kevin feels great. Bryan is confident. Not so much? Michael. I warned you once about toying with me, editors. I won’t warn you a second time.

10:43: JUDGE’S TABLE: Lavendar suits Tom Colicchio. Less so for Gail, or Toby Young. Did they all call each other the night before? “What are you wearing?” “The lavendar tie? No, I wanted to wear the lavendar tie!”

10:45: Padma: “What about your pork dish?” I hate it when the voice overs are so painfully obvious.

Kevin dared to disagree with Tom over his pork belly. Nail in the coffin.

10:47: Why do you deserve to be Top Chef?

Bryan: “I expressed my cuisine. I hope this bland answer will suffice.”

Michael: “I don’t want Bryan to be Top Chef.” Everyone laughs because they think he is kidding. They don’t know.

Kevin: “I bring people together through food, and also I am by far the person you would most want to have a beer with.”

10:48: The British judge doesn’t mind Bryan’s bland-ish food. Heh.

I want to see him and Tom come to blows over Kevin’s treatment of the maitake mushroom. But Toby backs down in the end. Milquetoast.

10:50: Tom: “What bothers me about Michael’s dessert is that he didn’t make it right.” Comments like this are why we need Tom on the show.

10:51: I’m sticking with Bryan.

10:52: LEAVE ME A COMMENT: Reunion show: worth liveblogging? Think about it hard, because it means you’ll be consigning me to an hour of Andy Cohen.

10:54: Commercials: Beggin’ Strips. The dog in the commercial reacts much as I do when bacon is immanent.

10:56: Padma: “One of you is Top Chef.” Thank god, because I was starting to worry that I didn’t understand how this show worked.

Kevin’s eyes get all twinkly when he smiles…and he goes first.

Excuse me while I lock myself in a metaphorical room for a minute: MOTHERFUCKERRRRR.

10:57: The brothers are left. Fight for the win! Fight!

10:58: Michael wins.

I almost wish this whole season hadn’t happened.

The household is in shock. THE HORROR.

10:59: I feel like Nathan Lane in The Birdcage: “How do you feel (about that game)?” “Betrayed, bewildered.”

Michael is amazed he can feel all the emotions at once, namely because this is the first time he’s felt some of the most positive emotions.


It’s been fun, kids. Until just now, when it stopped being fun. Dammit.