Mahalo, 'Top Chef'!

Marcel_lWhat would Marcel Vigneron (pictured), he of the Wolverine hair and sideburns, he of the "super exclusive gastronomic society" and the xanthan gums, do with $100,000? What sort of restaurant would the "villain-slash-outcast" open, now that he has 30 stitches upside the head? WWMVD? And, if he cooked it, would you eat?

I know. I feel your pain. I’ll say it just to assure you that it wasn’t a dream: Elia and Sam were eliminated from the first part of the Top Chef finale, so the battle for the title will be between Marcel and Ilan. "Mano ee mano."

What a show, huh? You hate Marcel all season for everything annoyingabout the world. You even text message and go online to say that Marcelneeds to go. And what happens? The judges decide his food is delicious,original, beautiful, and (couldn’t believe my ears) thoughtful.

Molecular gastronomy aside, my heart went out to Elia and Sam lastnight, and not just because they were sweating so much. Elia’ssincerity and dedication to her passions (as evidenced by the manycertificates from her swimming days) had me pulling for her. Sam’sdedication was also very clear — the diabetic went to work under apastry chef so that he could learn more about desserts. Clearly, Padmawas rooting for them as well, because she kept disagreeing with judgesTom Colicchio (also very sweaty) and Gail Simmons about everything.Mrs. Rushdie practically went on an assault against Marcel’s pineapplepoi and Ilan’s scratchy, itchy taro leaves. 

Speaking of Ilan, he made my moral compass twitch last night. Did hethink that anything was going to come of manipulating Elia into sayingcritical things about Marcel? It was slimy, truly slimy, but we canthank Colicchio for informing us that nobody cares what the chefs arelike as people. Fitting that Ilan should be matched with his equallyslimy arch-nemesis, because it’s about the food… right?

Whatdid you all think? Are you ready for thethrowdown that’s coming next week? Are you just breathless for thechance to hear Marcel say "loomi loomi with foom" one more time (isHawaiian not the cutest language, or what)? Most importantly, who isgoing to be the next Top Chef?


Comments (82 total) Add your comment
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  • JC

    This seriously sucked. Let’s be honest, Sam was the only one that had the authority to be an executive chef. Ilan is a five year old child, and no one on earth would listen to Marcel. I feel they should have taken the whole season into account at this point, not just one meal.

  • Gretchen Weiners

    Marcel is clearly a d-bag, but I guess you can’t argue with the quality of his food. It would be a tough decision for me as well and I’m really sad to see Sam and Elia go. Even dear, sweet Padma teared up when she had to tell them to pack their knives and go. Ilan for the win!

  • cs

    don’t care what the bravo people say, it ALWAYS comes down to having the much-hated jerk in the final competition. watching the judges discuss everyone’s food, it was CLEAR marcel was not stronger than sam, or even elia. but they kept going back and forth with their opinions, and inexplicably chose marcel over the other, more deserving two. what could they have possibly been thinking, other than “his presence will add drama”?? no matter how many times tom freaking colicchio says “this is a cooking show,” obviously it is not. and you know what, you SHOULD care about how they act in the kitchen because no wants to work with someone who simply sucks at being a team member and makes foam all day long.

  • MS

    Everyone hates Marcel. Not just the other chefs but all the viewers. There were hundreds of posts to Chef Tom’s blog that expressed outrage in Marcel being in the finals. Plus I like Ilan but I don’t think he deserves to be there over Sam. Since the producers knew Marcel was going to be in the finals, they should have spun the editing different all season long so that everyone wouldn’t despise him. There are a lot of disappointed viewers.

  • amy

    sam is the only one who demonstrated some maturity and also had the skills to match. i don’t understand how they didn’t consider everyone’s body of work. marcel, ilan, and elia have always been hit or miss. sam was in the bottom once for the surfing challenge. what gives? i don’t know if i’ll watch the finale now.

  • toonces

    I COMPLETELY agree with you CS and JC (jesus?). This must be a situation like ProRunway and allowing the ‘producers input into final decisions.’ I hate the fine print!
    Elia was so classy and cooked so well and got along so well with everyone all season long. Sam was fantastic as well. This is truly ridiculous.
    I cannot believe this. I hope Marcel loses. I hate his personality.
    I miss you Sam and Elia- and you BOTH WERE ROBBED.

  • Anonymous

    JC, I totally agree – only Sam has the maturity to command a kitchen. Marcel and his sniveling ways will not do well as a boss – which is as important as cooking to be a “Top Chef.” Ugh. Sam was robbed!

  • t

    can anyone tell me how to navigate the ingratiating Bravo website and comment relatively-easily to Tom Colicchio? This is so ridiculous, this finale turnout. I honestly don’t want to tune in next week. I am so glad that woman gave Marcel stitches… ha ha.
    How does one post on Bravo- I hate working on ‘boards’ Why can’t it be easy like the EW posting!?

  • t

    I think we should all stop singing Sam’s praises exclusively. Sam has a great personality, but remember, he pu$$ied out on shaving his head (hello, um you’re a GUY you should have done it bc you said it first!) and I did not like his passive aggressive tactics at first with everyone against Marcel. Yes I despise Marcel but at least Ilan is out and open about it.
    Elia deserves songs and poems to her as well. She is fabulous, cooked wonderfully, and got along famously with everyone, including the terror Marcel. Elia was totally robbed as well. Elia mi’ja lo siento! Suerte!

  • Laura

    I have no desire to watch the finale now. Sam (!) and Elia were my favorites left. Don’t like Elan (he went too far dissing Marcel in the 7 deadly sins episode) or Marcel.

  • Adam B.

    Viewers hate Marcel because that’s the story that the editors wanted to build. We have no idea what the truth is.

  • Amber

    I have gone back and forth with my feelings on Marcel all season. Yes, he is arrogant and annoying. But his food is interesting. I was originally a huge fan of Ilan, particulary because I love Spanish cooking, but his trash talking of Marcel’s dish at the Seven Deadly Sins challange really brought him down in my book–totally unprofessional. He is petty and immature, as showcased by his goading of Elia into calling out Marcel. I had hoped to see Sam stick around because he seemed the most professional. For a really good look at some of the details of the show, go to and read the blogs, especically Chef Tom, Lee Ann, Harold, and Padma. Padma is really good at describing the dishes, Lee Ann gives lots of insider information, and Tom talks about why they make certain choices. Between the two final choices, I would have to go with Marcel for his originality and the realization that while he may be a jerk, at least he isn’t cowardly about it like Ilan.

  • sia

    Adam there is no way that every single cast member can so despise one human on the show for ‘editing.’ They were all there. Undboubtedly he was horrible to everyone.
    Editing can only do too much and all tv producers cringe when they say all the stars blame everything on editing

  • Trina

    I have been routing for Sam and Elia all along, and truly believe they are the better chefs all around of the four. Anyone would want to work for and with either of them, and their body of work spoke for itself. I would never eat at a restaurant where Marcel was the chef, afraid that he put some chemical in my food that would damage me physically because he just wanted it to look good. I doubt anyone would want to work for or with him anyway, and he’d be scrambling back in the kitchen to get things done on time and I’d be stuck waiting for an hour for the salad. No thanks. I will not be watching the finale. Although I like Ilan, I couldn’t care less about the show. I won’t be watching this series again either. It left a bad taste in my mouth after watching the fiasco last night, especially Tom Collichio trying so hard to downgrade everyone else in favor of Marcel.

  • ms

    How come there is not going to be a reunion show? That was one of my favorite episodes from last season.

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