topchefmasters1And so, a tedious season comes to an end, after Jonathan threw in the emotional towel last week.

Somehow, I’ve ended up rooting for Rick Moonen. I AM ROOTING FOR RICK MOONEN HERE. I’ll take a Susur win too, but will be SEVERELY DISAPPOINTED at a Marcus win. Which is probably what will happen.

Next week, real Top Chef comes back, huzzah! Kelly Choi can mercifully return to curating her collection of oversized hair accessories.

Why does So You Think You Can Dance make me so emotional? Damn show.


It’s the finale. There’s a lot at stake. Marcus is still an ass.

10:02: Rick won’t do it if he’s not having fun, where “having fun” = “looking dour.”

10:03: Susur started the season not understanding the rules, making this the earliest in an episode he’s ever complained about not understanding what’s going on. A new record!

10:05: THE FINAL CHALLENGE: take the diners on a journey of your cheffly career through food. Tell your story in three plate. Judges: Colicchio, Bayless (yay!), Hubert Keller (double yay!) and Michael Chiarello, which, the less said, the better.

10:06: Did you know that Marcus was in an orphanage? In Africa? And then grew up in Sweden? And it was sad, but happy? And he’s INTERNATIONAL and RISKY? Perhaps you’ve heard.

10:09: How much do the people at Whole Foods hate the top chefs? “I need your finest tuna…just get out of my way, I’ll do it.” Or maybe they love it, because they’re lazy sons of bitches.

10:11: Marcus’s story about why he decided to become a chef is something else sad and his grandma died and his cousin was in an iron lung but they couldn’t make the payments and the lung got repo’ed and then everyone came down with smallpox. And I TOTALLY CARE.

10:12: I want to see a reality show about Susur and his wives and…holy crap, this just took the saddest turn ever. Shot down over fucking Russian airspace? My god. Marcus, THAT is how you tell a sob story.

10:14: Coming up: A TWEEST!

Commercials: Shutter Island coming out on DVD. I was at the premier, you know. I sat by Michelle Williams. She was purty.

10:16: I think I should change careers and become an online survey taker, apparently there’s millions to be had! And I have opinions out the ass. For money, I’ll have an opinion on anything.

10:19: We’re a third of the way into the show, and hey, there’s actual cooking!

HOLY SHIT, has Kelly Choi actually gotten skinnier? It must be a constant workout announcing all these TWEESTS. This week: the masters get the sous chefs to assist. Anticlimactic.

Rick: “I’m known as the seafood guy, so for the dish that best represents me as a chef, I’ll be making venison.” Of course.

10:20: Marcus: From Ethiopia. Got it?

Susur: “I have a thing for white chicks.” I mean, in so many words.

10:21: OH MY GOD, he’s showing PICTURES of the goddamn mud house he grew up in. My heartstrings? NUMB TO THIS SHIT. They have disintegrated from hate. I hope you’re happy. Marcus.

10:22: Has Gail covered up the girls with gold sequins? Oh, Gail.

10:25: Let the dining begin! unBalaban, your vaudeville eyebrows just freaked me out.

10:27: Rick tells a long story about clamming with his dad, and then serves an oyster. The judges like it, but I’m worried for him. Also, “clamming” sounds like it should mean something else.

There’s not much “critiquing” going on at this critics’ table.

10:29: Marcus: he also treats his sous kind of like ass. Nice!

I don’t do sushi, but holy crap Susur’s dish is gorgeous.

10:32: Rick finds it odd to have Chiarello controlling his fate. I would be scared, too.

10:34: Susur’s dish was apparently so good, I think unBalaban just came a little bit.

Love how humble Bayless is: he doesn’t love it, he assumes he doesn’t get it. Rick, maybe it’s just…not good.

10:36: Commercials. I’m excited for regular Top Chef to start up again, but the commercials make me want to kick a puppy.

10:37: The amount of mayo they show people eating in the commercials terrifies me. There’s no way they swallow, right? Right?

Who’s watching the premier of Work of Art next? Yeah, me neither.

10:38: Pointless interlude. Facsinating how they treat their sous…Rick and Susur’s are hanging out with them post-competition, Marcus’s is alone, cleaning his knifes. Huh. So maybe not so pointless, since I kinda learned something.


10:42: CRITICS’ TABLE. This is going to be a giant circle jerk + Kelly, isn’t it?

10:44: Rick respects the fish.

10:46: I think Jay Rayner wants to kiss Marcus.

Rick gets dinged for cooking venison, which was flown in on a plane, when he’s the sustainable seafood guy. HE RUNS A RESTAURANT IN VEGAS. EVERYTHING COMES IN ON A DAMN PLANE.

10:49: unBalaban: “I have to be frank…[barely even a critique].”

Sigh. Where is Gael?

10:50: Resigning myself to a Rick loss, hoping Susur can take Marcus out.

10:51: unBalaban – are you nearly weeping from having to be critical? “Refusing to compromise my integrity” is going to be my new excuse for producing less-than-perfect food.

I fear they’re falling prey to Marcus because he’s so INTERNATIONAL and RISKY and also RISKY and INTERNATIONAL.

10:53: Commercials. Putting Top Chef sneak previews in Work of Art still isn’t going to get me to watch, sorry.

10:55: Kelly Choi’s mouth is a parallelogram.

10:57: Susur, 17 stars.

Dammit. Marcus. 17.5.

10:58: unBalaban praising Rick. Brian: “That got really creepy, really fast.”

17 stars.

GODDAMIT IT. I AM UNSATISFIED. Then again, I’ve been largely unsatisfied all season, so I guess I can’t really complain at this point.

See you next week for plain ol’ Top Chef!