Top Chef

Episode Report Card
Chuck: D | Grade It Now!
Watch What Happens: Nothing.
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

The beloved Andy Cohen and his wonky eyes welcome us to the brilliantly-titled "Watch What Happen Reunion" episode, with a montage that hints at all the scandalous, scintillating, edge-of-your seat moments that will never come, capped off with the revelation of this season's fan favorite. Oh, goody. It's the usual reunion show set up, with two tiers of seating for the cheftestants (bright orange sofas offer a burst of color) four chairs opposite for the judges (big chairs that make the judges look like four Edith Anns) and everyone's favorite interlocutor, also perched on a large chair, between the groups.

In case amnesia's struck in the past few days, Andy introduces the judges -- Gail Simmons (in a pleated cobalt blouse), Colicchio ("in a vest!" chirps Andy), Padma (in white, ruffle-y dress), and Ted (t-shirt and blazer). Everyone else is wearing subdued shades of blue, purple, and black -- the better to make those couches pop -- except for Nikki, who either didn't get the memo or received a special dispensation for her yellow shift. Spike stuck to the wardrobe cues, but finished his outfit with a maroon fedora. Dale looks a bit ridiculous with his purple shirt, purple shoelaces, and purple-accented baseball cap, which he wears on his knee instead of his head. It's like Donny Osmond mated with Pharrell Williams, and no, it doesn't work.

So many pressing questions, says Andy, and first among them -- where in the world is Richard Blais? Andy calls him "Mister Willie Wonka," as Roald Dahl spins in his grave. Mrs. Wonka is about to drop that new baby, so Richard's staying home so he won't miss the birth of his child. He'll be joining by satellite later. That is so not Top Chef material -- a Top Chef prioritizes cheffing and all its corollary self-promotional activities above all else, and a mere baby shouldn't get in the way. Oh, right, he came in third. And probably realized that an impending birth offered a great excuse to stay home, since he's already milked the Top Chef machine for all it's worth.

In the meantime, let's watch Stephanie ("our first female Top Chef") win. Again. The most interesting moment for me is noticing that Mark has cut his hair and his pale shirt makes him seem even more washed out. Stephanie offers insight into the mind of a winner when she reveals that the moment Padma called her name was "unbelievable," and the she "was, like, fuck," although to her credit, she is answering Andy's moronic "What was it like?" question. Ted tells Stephanie that she was always fun to watch, since she generally looked fearful that she might get killed, that "Padma's going to shoot you with a laser beam or something." (Please, Padma is not energetic enough for that.) And then she'd break out in that high-wattage grin. Pure magic.

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Top Chef




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