Before I get into this penultimate episode of the second season of Top Chef: Just Desserts, a moment about the first season.
Last season, I reluctantly found myself rooting for Morgan. I couldn’t stand the Go Diva team, and that left Morgan and Danielle as the only options. Danielle was not really worthy of a win – talent-wise – so that left Morgan. However, it was very difficult doing so because he acted like such a dick so often. And now…well…this is disturbing. Innocent until proven guilty, of course, but boy, I think I need a shower.
It makes me think about something inherent about these shows. These are real people that we are watching on these competition reality shows. Real flesh and blood people. Oftentimes, I have to remind myself of this while I throw out little jokes, quips, and insults, whatever. I have to remember that this is someone’s mommy or daddy. Or someone’s son or daughter. Feelings are at play sometimes. All they have done is put themselves on TV for our entertainment while they compete for cash, or for a career. And sign away all rights to everything we see, and whatever character is crafted from their words and behavior. Sometimes that does not mesh with who this person really is.
Usually, I have to think about this when someone comes across as obnoxious, or stupid. While I may joke about it, you have to remember that it may not be really who they are. I remember reading an interview with Amazing Race’s Colin (AR5) who said he used to help teams out a lot and was stunned to see a villain cut coming. Recently, Christine from the current season of Survivor tweeted about how she didn’t flip her tribe the bird, even though that’s what it sure looked like. A reality show villain is often times just a regular person.
The same goes for those you root for – even if reluctantly. I rooted for Morgan and boy, do I wish I could get a do-over for that. Although, honestly, I have no clue who I would have been rooting for instead. But to be on the record rooting for someone allegedly capable of this kind of act, it is really sickening.
This year, however, even those chefs who I may not care for at times are still head and shoulders above last year’s lot. Despite what Orlando’s family may think of him, there are no disturbing deviants here as far as we can tell. Macho’s Marcel connection and inherent arrogance can be off-putting, but she seems to be a fairly decent person. Her commitment to her trade is not in question one bit, as she revealed to us this week. Watch out future mates of Macho, you may get a Dear John letter as she heads to her next big gig.
Orlando started the season shaping up to be the big bad villain. It was something he embraced and even sought. However, something happens to you when you think your you-know-what doesn’t stink…you start to get a whiff. Orlando just kept losing, and barely surviving each week. And as a result, he started to develop humility. He was the Grinch at the end of the story – his heart grew three times.
Hammer and Matt may not be the most interesting duo, but they seem, like Hillary Clinton, likable enough. Both have very cute kids at home and both seem very dedicated to their craft. Matt seems to have emerged from a childhood full of mischief – possibly originating from some giant bushy eyebrows – as a man on a mission to cook. Of course, I keep many of my photos from that era to myself and not posted on television, so there’s that. Hammer learned how to cook early on and has appeared to be a kitchen geek ever since.
And if you told me today which one of Hammer, Matt and Macho won the title, I would actually be happy. All three earned it, and none of them would really piss me off. Which bodes well for the finale – it should be satisfying no matter what happens.