I get a kick out of the notion that our producers manipulate the action on Top Chef in order to create drama. The truth is they don't need to. For one thing, by now our remaining chefs may look fine, but appearances are deceiving. The weeks of very long hours and too little sleep are taking their toll. I know what you're thinking: Big deal, I work long hours, too, and I'm no drama king/queen. But a number of other factors are starting to push the group towards the edge. For one, they have been removed from their usual support networks of spouses and loved ones and are thrust into very close living quarters with virtual strangers. In addition to the stress of having their work judged, they are also subject to the unending scrutiny of cameras and crew (except for bathroom jaunts) which creates its own form of performance anxiety.