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?"
I am glad to read Tony's observations on Marcel's street cred. Luckily, Marcel knows the eleventh commandment of television, Thou shall not busteth a cap in thy teamies' ass.
Amen to everything in your blog Mr. Bourdain! Especially the comment about the gansta side of douchelord Marcel!
Your blog is hysterical. The funniest thing about TC. I can't believe you managed to work in S.Knight. I hope you keep writing.
you rock, couldnt have described little Marcel any better! Talk about making good TV, he's the one I a watching every week - just to see hm thrown out!
Tony, I've loved you since Kitchen Confidential. You make me laugh out loud. And yes, there was fist pumping in my living room when Jamie went down.
You helped design the next challenge? Holy cats, this is going to be some sadistic, twisted mess. Can't wait!
I need not tell you Mr. Bourdain about your writing skills, but I will ask when will you make another appearance as a judge. Gail is cute and all that, but I am Gailed out from her show "just desserts". Maybe both of you can appear and they can ditch that inane drone Padma.
Poor Jamie. She got a bad rap this season. She underperformed this season, but she did not murder anyone, so why so much hate?
Well, let's see if this one gets censored by the Bravo TV facists. I am 0 for 3 so far. Yes, it was good to see Jamie go, but this week, she probably shouldn't have. This season that I thought couldn't get worse, has.
First,m they rip off the Food Network's Next Iron Chef Show with the fishing challenge. Are the writers so bad they can't come up with original ideas? Of course, Food Network is getting ready to rip off Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares show. I guess food TV people are a bit short on creativity.
Next, the actual challenge, teams fishing for their food had two fatal and unforgivable flaws.
1. This is a competition where an individual wins, it is not a team competition, as I have stated a zillion times before. You can not have a fair competition when team members have a vested interest in the demise of their teammates. No, this does not make for good TV.
2. Once again, there is not a level playing field. Competitions that are fair ensure that all contestants have the same level of difficulty. Fishing for 5-hours, always a crap shoot, does not offer a level playing field.
As usual, judging was horrible and Tom was the dictator. Caesar Tom should just dismiss his Senate, he allows them no power.
Top Chef All Stars had great promise, but it has become clear that all the producers care about is generating conflict among the contestants. This show is not about cooking, it is about personalities and this season Bravo TV has completely failed. Hopefully this will be the last season.
I still don't know why Bourdain is here, he had participated in one show and then written inane blog posts defending the ridiculous challenges and idiotic judging.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for commenting on the two scenes in this episode that made me laugh out loud: Richard name-checking the car sponsor and the douche-eriffic Marcel throwing spastic gang signs while Tre stares stonily into the middle distance. Cringe-inducing! Great TV! By the end, I wanted a cigarette and a big bite of Antonia's sandwich.
Tony explains it all.....
You're my first stop on the blog-express after an episode is over - whatever Bravo is paying you, it isn't enough. Thanks for putting everything so succinctly into place week after week. (Your take on Marcel had me rolling in my chair)
Rub a dub dub, one fish in a tub, three men they each did hook it Richard, Marcel, and Fabio, but they didn’t know how to cook it
I'm really proud of Carla thus far. She has won two challenges just by cooking her own food. That really means a lot when you are up against the likes of Blais and Angelo the 'magician'. I hope she continues to do well and really hope to see her in the finale. Hootie Hoo!
Antonia and Amersterdam...PRICELESS.... I look forward to your blog every week...Its the best entertainment out there but when are you coming back?? all these guest judges..too little Bourdain!!!
It's always a joy to read your blog Tony (after buying and reading ALL of your books, and buying many more for gifts to friends, I feel we should be on a first name basis...) and today's is no exception. I'm so happy Jamie's finally gone. I laughed out loud last night when, referring to the Fabio-Richard-Marcel single dish, Jamie called it a "cop out"...hahhahha. She, of all people, calling the kettle black!
I kinda like Marcel. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for him since he had to fight off the would-be head-shavers in his season. What I don't like however, on ANY dish, is foam. To me it looks like spit.
I did cringe just a little bit when I heard Blais pimpin' the Siennas, but I guess there really ain't no rest fo' the wicked, and money don't grow on trees. . . Damn, it feels good to have a hamster.
Watch and read you at every opportunity. I always literally laugh out loud at your blog. And posters, your comments this week are as entertaining as Mr. Bourdain.
LOVE No Reservations..when it's on..I'm watching! Same for Top Chef...then I head here to read your blog. I promise I'm not stalking you though! LOL. Anyway, great eppy. When Carla was in her finals she let Casey have too much imput into her dishes...although I adore Casey and hate to see her gone..they just cook differently. I am LOVING watching Carla's quiet talent show through and am rooting for her all the way. She was so under the radar for me when I saw the line up for this season but she just keeps showing that if she keeps to her style of cooking she is a winner. Love to finally see Marcel acting like Marcel. Been waiting for a moment like this all season. Knew he couldn't keep it together without going gangsta at least once. Just a great show and great season and can't WAIT till next Wednesday. Side note, did anyone see Tiffani leaving this early? Just as shocking as watching Casey go last week. Oh, and Antonia..if your reading this..you are welcome to come toke and cook at my house ANY day! LOVE HER!
Thank you for your great blog Mr. Bourdain! I am VERY glad that Jamie finally went home. I am somewhat disappointed that she was not joined by Marcel. I really enjoyed Tiffani's positive attitude in every challenge and quickfire this season, and I was glad she was back. She left with honor.
Can't wait to have you back as a judge Anthony! Although your blogs are wonderfully brilliant and on point...it's nice to see you in the moment!
On another note...Marcel did look ridiculous going off on Dale. But I seem to remember Dale assuming the same swagger either on his Top Chef season or when he appeared on Top Chef Masters and lost it during a confrontation with Michael Chiarello. Dale looked just as ridiculous as a gangsta poseur as Marcel did last night!!!
Marcel shouldn't try to do street; it's painful to watch. However, Boudain should sit at the Judges' Table more often.
Once again, thank you for finding the right words to express what is felt by me and, I am sure, many others.
HOOTIE HOO Y'all! Really impressed with the unassuming Carla this season. She is just flying under the radar and kicking a little cooking butt. Being from Atlanta I really am hoping that Blais finds his confidence, gets to cook his own food by himself and show why he was the strongest cook his season. Antonia...Loved her on her season..Adore her now. So honest, humble..helpful and a kick a cook. Really rooting for her...and like other posters was really looking forward to her trip to Amsterdam! LOL. Marcel...took a while but I knew he would show his true colors from the foam that didn't belong to the little gangsta attitude with Dale...been waiting all season for something like this.
And Tony....If No Reservations is on..I'm watching. Love your writing, your sarcasam...Just love it. And to have you as a judge...can't wait for next week.
Oh, I have to note that although I was so glad to see Jamie finally go...watching Tiffani leave was painful. Personality wise she has really grown and changed since her first season and actually had me rooting for her. Don't know if I'm more dissappointed in seeing her or Casey or Dale go home. It's a toss up.
The only thing funnier than Marcel's gangsta rant was Tre's Stonehenge reaction to it. I loved this challenge, and Antonia was smart from distancing herself to do her own thing. Was I the only one that thought the reason for those tears at judging table was because she realized that the only thing between her and Amsterdam was the chefs she was sandwiched between?
As much as I enjoy watching Top Chef, I enjoy Mr. Bourdain's blogs even more. Step aside Marcel - Tony is da man.
As usual, a very spot on and wonderfully funny take on the show. Thanks.
At this point, Jamie should just change her last name to 'Finally' ..no matter what review or recap or opinion I read, I see her listed that way.
Looking forwared to seeing you on the panel next week.
"Keeping your head down and avoiding a spectacular failure"......Works in the Military...???....Tony, I like and watch ya ALL the time, BUT WHY the DIG @ the MILITARY?.........You know, the Military that keeps us ALL free......Just wondering why.
I love the no-holds comments on people and outlook. Tony doesn't care who he pissed off (or on for that matter.) For his tell-it-like-it-is in an intelligent manner and this blog is the reason I watch Top Chef. Thanks Tony.
When Jamie blogged for a while she as much as admitted she got burned out during her season. This season she looked kind of burned out from the start. She's probably a good chef but she knew what she was in for, if she was ready for the ramp up the show demanded she shouldn't have accepted the invite to return.
Tiffani gets high fives for her much improved attitude. gracious in defeat I hope she does well. Ditto for Dale who has also matured nicely and is holding more than his own in this competition
As for Marcel, you wonder who the new villain will be.... He seems to be ready to reclaim his role from season two. For a time I thought he had matured some in the last 5-6 years - maybe not.
The other Tiffani has yet to emerge, I expect she will if she doesn't just get tired - she's had a long continuous run on TC.
Angelo on the other hand is like the energizer bunny - But I hope he doesn't start getting mopey
Tre - solid guy, we saw too little of you on your season, I'm not yet sure what exactly we missed.
Mike I - every season needs it's comic relief, can he do it between crack ups? He also looks like he's gaining a bunch of weight, maybe the next Dom DeLouise.
Richard - intense as ever, very capable but every so often loses it in the weeds. Hope he doesn't get caught on an off night.
Fabio - I'm sure he's another good chef whose food I would enjoy but on TC he seems to always be in the land of not quite right.
Antonia comes in as my backup choice to take it all. She has the skills and attitude to stay til the end
Carla - My bet on the one to beat - fully confident now in her ideas and food she creates. She and Antonia are the most balanced personalities in left in this competition.
After RW I hope to see more solo challenges, these team things are getting old.
Ah, product placement - Yes, Richard Blais did perpetuate the constant string of Toyota advertising that has run through pretty much every Top Chef series that I can remember. It seems like for a lot of shows it isn't enough to just have commercials, so ads need to seep into the show and take up dialogue space in the mere 45 minutes of air time which occupy an hour-long time slot these days. I don't think that No Reservations, monsieur Bourdain, is any exception. I vividly recall Tony reciting the slogan "I got this" at meals in exotic locales on the show, where he subsequently paid with his Chase credit card.
...But seriously, when is the next season of No Reservations coming? It and Top Chef are two of the best shows on tv.
This blog entry is an instant classic. I'd pay to see Marcel roll up to your front door with his Bombay in his right, a nerf gun in his left, and lay down some serious gangsta smack on how you need to get out tha f-ckin game for disrespecting. "So. What say you and us jump in the El Camino and head down to Seaside?"
Aside from the fact that I am disappointed in how Jamie represented San Francisco so incredibly bad, I am finally secure in my opinion that Marcel is a self righteous douchebag. Who drinks gin straight from the bottle?! He needs to grow a pair and at least be chugging whiskey next time. Does he even cook outside of Top Chef anymore? Ugh.
This is the first blog post I've read and it really makes me miss the feeling I got the first time I read Kitchen Confidential years ago. It would probably be inappropriate to say, "I'm lovin' it."
I love it, right on the mark Tony. Really, the way you worked Suge into it was beautiful. Currently livin' in the hood in South Central, I wanted to pop Marcel. Not in the Gangsta sense, but in the back hand across the back of his head sense. But Dale punked him by not recognizin'. Bottomline Dale won and all the whining by Wolverine ain't going to change that. I, too, was saying finally on Jamie. Tiffani, whatever, she wasn't going to win.
You know they caught me hook, line and sinker when they said you were going to be on the show. I want more of you, that's all I'm saying.
Could you try to gather up some energy and act like you want to be there ? I have watched you for awhile, you are so jaded.
Marcel is a fool, have him come down to the Lower and we'll show him whats up. Tony don't forget someone all ready cracked a bottle over this dudes head in Vegas. I like watching him cook though he has skills. Also how are you gonna have a fish challenge on LI and not have my man Dave Pasternack of ESCA as host. Obviously Tony you know Dave, he would have been perfect. Follow me on twitter @NYCook
"So. What say you and us jump in the El Camino and head down to Seaside?"
Tony, for shame - if you're going down the shore, you always take a Bitchin' Camero.
I Love Tony...I want to drown Marcel with FOAM what a dork esp when he tries to talk when he is from the HOOD. They really should shave his head this summer.