Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain speculates that Top Chef fans are probably quite satisfied with this week's outcome.

on Jan 12, 2011

I'm sure that this was a pretty deeply satisfying episode for the Jamie haters, all those viewers for whom every week that went by without their nemesis getting unhooked and thrown back over the side was agony -- evidence of everything they suspected wrong with the world and with the show. Conspiracy!! Evil producers! Master Plan! No. Jamie simply managed to not suck more than anyone else for a few weeks more than appeared... seemly… or just. Keeping your head down and avoiding a spectacular failure may not be a winning strategy. But it can work for a while. It works in the military. It works in politics. It works in kitchens. In the end, of course, as in any true meritocracy, you are usually found out. Unlike many institutions, there is, on Top Chef, actually a price to be paid. Eventually. Just like the restaurant business. This was the week when Jamie was finally returned to the briny deep from whence she came, to rejoin, perhaps, her beloved scallops. Given her under-performance (some might say non-performance) this season, many, I suspect, had they been in charge of the good ship Top Chef, would have found being tossed overboard like bloody chum insufficient punishment for all the vacant stares, hiding under tables and eye rolling utterances of "whatever." But keel-hauling is prohibited on basic cable. Believe me, I've inquired. Best one can say about Jamie is that she lived up to her role as this year's "designated villain" magnificently -- and without raising much of a sweat. But… now that the Sea Sloth is gone, who… who shall take her place? Who will rise to grab the Crown of Douchedom from the vacant throne?

Marcel seems to be doing his best to live up to her standards. Apparently, all you have to do is feed Marcel a little alcohol and he starts thinking he's an OG, flashing a dizzying array of half-assed hand gestures and gettin' all gangsta and shit. And  right up in your face, too! It's really an amazement that Marcel has made it this far through life without getting a proverbial pencil in his neck. On the prison tier of existence, he seems designed to be a victim. May you live long and prosper, Marcel. You make good television. Especially your menacing exhortation to your cellies that should they not live up to your high standards, they should just "Get the f--k out tha game!" I tell you, that gave me chills. Reminded me the time Suge Knight held me upside down off the hotel balcony and asked for half my publishing.

What else did we learn this week?

Well… we saw Richard Blais take one for the team as he loyally described the cheftestants getting in the cars to Montauk  as jumping into their "Toyota Siennas." Sounded natural, too. Personally, anytime I invite friends down the shore, I always mention the name of the car. Like… "So. What say you and us jump in the El Camino and head down to Seaside?"