Top Chef: All-Stars Recap
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
December 2, 2010
Elia shows up next and talks about how angry she was about not winning Top Chef last time. She then states firmly that she will win this time, which in reality television speak means she’ll be eliminated any moment now. We wonder if she at least gets to unpack first. Marcel then shows up and talks about how great he is. If self-delusion were an art form, Marcel would be Picasso, The Beatles and Shakespeare all rolled into one. To our amusement, Tre shows up next and Marcel immediately tries to foster a relationship with him by using all of the dialogue that he learned from listening to that one Kanye West CD to relate to Tre on his terms. Friendly to a point of fault, Tre resists the temptation to pull a Cliff Crooks and shave off the entirety of Marcel’s body hair. We commend him for his discretion.
Dale Levitski and Casey Thompson from season three are next to arrive. The shadow of Hung looms over each. Finishing behind him is akin to being the silver medalist to Jesse Owens. Prior to the invention of Google, no one without an encyclopedia knew who that was and even though Dale gave it the ol’ college try, the reality is that Hung won in a walk. Recognizing this, the producers quickly move on to the cooking star of this season, Richard Blais. A quick edit shows just how many times he won during season four only to blow it in the end. Harsh. Then again, it could be worse. Spike shows up and starts talking about himself. We realize after he has gone on for a while that we may owe Marcel an apology. Spike is the Terrell Owens of Top Chef in terms of self-aggrandizement. Antonia is shown next and we are quickly reminded of how she politely attempts to hide her dislike of him but always just barely fails. We’re the same way, Antonia, except we don’t’ try to hide it. Next up is Dale and rather than let him talk, they show all of Dale’s combustible moments on the show. That’s going to be a popular YouTube clip in coming years. Dude punches a lot of walls.
Jamie is next to arrive and is given maybe seven seconds of camera time. Jamie is too low key to be a reality show contestant. Top Chef’s producers know what to do with her. Meanwhile, the next contestant is just the opposite. Few contestants from the show have been as popular and leveraged their appearance into celebrity as much as Fabio has. He has become one of Bravo’s favorite performers since his appearance in Season 5. Fabio’s elevator ride up to the top floor is filled with a discussion about how he wound up in an oddly heated conversation with Marcel when he hosted a Bravo Top Chef reunion special. Moments after Fabio mentions how much he dislikes Marcel, guess who is waiting to greet him when he steps off the elevator. Awkward.