Honesty… attitude… and seasoning… could be the keys to eliminations as the second season of Top Chef heads into its finale this week– after one of the most bizarre reality show incidents in history– the physical attack on a contestant that almost led to the end of the game and cheated us out of its Hawaiian location.
The two-part finale was shot the first week of December at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island. Despite a few blabbermouth finalists who’ve given indications they’ve lost by showing up in the papers the past couple of weeks, everyone involved with the Bravo series has been closely guarded about the finale. But now guest judge Alan Wong has given some inadvertent but solid hints that could give fans of the show clear signs of which chefs will be eliminated.
With four finalists left–these could count as spoilers… after the jump…Guest judge Wong–the master of Hawaiian regional cuisine– is quoted this morning in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. He didn’t name names, but said:
“Somebody got let go because of dishonesty, somebody got let go because of bad attitude, somebody got let go because of not using salt and pepper and not tasting the food before serving it …”
Dishonesty… bad attitude… salt & pepper…
The finalists are Ilan Hall, Sam Talbot, (lone female) Elia Aboumrad and cast villain Marcel Vigneron.
Marcel almost won by default last week after a shocking incident in which his fellow contestants had a few drinks and in the middle of the night tried to shave his head. The incident had (surprisingly good) host Padma Lakshmi’s mouth hanging open and Judge Tom Colicchio so angry that he wanted to kick off all four of the contestants and give Marcel the prize. But producers overruled him– and only kicked off Cliff Crooks, the cook who physically held down the little wiseacre.
Marcel is decribed by the newspaper as “a down-to-earth, cheerful sort off-screen,” and says his villainous image came as a surprise to those who work with him in the kitchen of the Joel Robuchon at the Mansion restaurant at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“The majority of my co-workers couldn’t believe it and they respect me and didn’t understand where the castmates were coming from,” he said. “I think it bothered the other people in the house that I didn’t let it get under my skin. Most didn’t have the courage to say anything directly to me.”
Does that sound like a winner? The winner gets $100,000 and a feature in Food & Wine magazine. The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau kicked in $60,000 to snatch the finale from Las Vegas, where Season One ended, so producers had reason to spare Marcel’s other three tormentors.