"Top Chef: Vegas" first impressions
One episode in and the new season of "Top Chef" has already offered up so many vivid images, you might feel compelled to -- oh, I don't know -- get one permanently tattooed on your neck.
On the heels of the more relaxed "Top Chef Masters," Season 6's initial foray into Sin City has already featured vice, tats, flying donuts, more tats, delicious racks (er, of lamb), beards, brothers, Wolfgang Puck, more tatty tat tat tat-a-roos, kitchen misogyny and lovely ladies who look like dudes.
First impressions so far:
Holy he-she's, Batman! We won't pretend to know anyone's names here. I mean, remember last year's first Quickfire when "Top Chef" eliminated a hapless contestant the minute she hopped off the plane? We're not about to get emotionally invested yet, so we'll just go with the Dr. Suess-like Heshe 1 and Heshe 2 to describe Preeti and Ashley. Or maybe Dev Patel and Ben Lee. We've got mad love for lesbian contestants, but these are two female chefs who could put the "man" in Manwich.
Too many tats: Chefs are rebels. In case we weren't aware of this fact, "Top Chef" felt the need to cram it down our throats by assembling every ink emblazoned chef on the planet in Vegas. Jennifer "We hardly knew ye" Zavala was so hardcore, she even had a tat on the front of her neck. Worried that your kid won't be proud of mommy because you got voted off first? Um, I'd be more concerned about your kid having nightmares because he has to stare at that monstrosity under your chin. To borrow a phrase from our beloved Fabio, "Theeeeeeese eeeees Thoppp Chef, not Thoppp Tattoooooo." Wear some sweatshirts, people.
Brother, can you spare a spatula? In addition to having cool last names, Michael and Bryan Voltaggio are also brothers. So that totally means Michael used to give Bryan noogies, and Bryan got revenge by banging Michael's high school girlfriend. Now sharp knives are involved. Fun!
Look-alikes: Last year was one of those rare seasons when the stars aligned and we were able to find celebrity lookalikes for the majority of "Top Chef" contestants whose names we couldn't be bothered to remember. DJamie Tanner, Mimbo Jeff Tesh, "Follow That Bird" Carla ... man, those were the golden days. This year, I've decided to put "Big Red" Kevin (remember that "SNL" commercial?) side-by-side with Ragnar, the Minnesota Vikings mascot. Winner of the first Elimination Challenge, Kevin seems to be one of the few really likable chefs in the bunch.
Conversely, Michael the Misogynist seems like a natural fit for '80s-era douchebag Andrew Dice Clay. "Hickory Dickory Dock. I'm superior because of my ..." er ... way to show your true colors in episode one, Mikey! Care to thaw your head out of that ice block and join 2009, or are you too busy staring at Padma's cleavage to respect the fact that female chefs do exist in the modern workforce?
As for Haitian Ron, he'll always be Biggie Smalls to me. Also, Eric Ripert's girl, Jennifer Carroll, does "stupid things" after hitting the bottle? Someone call Hosea! Drunk gal on the loose!
Finally, guest judge Wolfgang Puck threw a donut across the room.
Welcome back, "Top Chef."
"Top Chef" airs at 9 p.m. Wednesdays on Bravo. Power rankings to come next week!
-- Thomas Rozwadowski, firstname.lastname@example.org
Labels: Top Chef