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This should be a great week for the folks at Bravo’s Top Chef. The second season finale is tomorrow night, two nasty antagonists are vying for the title, and the series has been full of nice twists and surprises. But for the second season in a row, someone’s gone and spoiled the suspense by revealing the winner in advance.
And this spoiler comes days after charges that the reason the show’s host and judge Padma Lakshmi has been so laid back and lovely all season–is that she’s been stoned out of her gourd.
The name of the Season 2 winner was spilled all over the Internet yesterday afternoon, when the Food & Wine magazine website briefly posted “an interview with the Top Chef winner.” That interview, and a feature in the mag, is one of the prizes– but meant to run after the finale airs. Yeah, whoops. The posting remained online for about fifteen minutes– long enough for it to be picked up and spread around. So surf carefully if you don’t want to know the winner. (We’re not telling.)
Meanwhile, one of the more pleasant surprises of this second season was the dreamy presence of host and judge Padma. Now we may know why.
The India-born model, actress, cookbook author and trophy wife played a distinct second banana to chef Tom Colicchio on the series, but if she’s no Heidi Klum, she’d at least wander into the kitchen in belly-baring shirts or other outrageous outfits– a far cry from the snooty, too-good-for-reality-TV persona she’d promised in pre-season publicity.
But in recent interviews, Top Chef contestants dismissed her as irrelevant eye candy, and on Friday, MTV’s Best Week Ever quoted sources on the set claiming Padma was lighting up marijuana on the set “fairly regularly.”
While her alleged pot-burning practice means that we’ll all be watching the finale with a different eye on Wednesday night– and could explain how she’s remained married to Salman Rushdie– we hope this infraction of the fire codes and other laws won’t mean an embarrassing exit and a third trophy wife taking over for season three (Billy Joel’s latest young bride hosted the first go-round).
So what’s your bet? Marcel or Ilan? No cheating.