The third season of Bravo's Top Chef started off with a supersize episode (translation: more commercials) introducing fifteen new cheftestants and ultimately eliminating one. It almost seems that this season's gang may have more culinary chops than their counterparts from the first two seasons. But first impressions can be wrong.
Hung is a friend of Marcel from Season 2. That makes him the talented asshole. Not that he's the only asshole in the cast: Joey Paulino is a fat-ass, loud-mouth Noo Yawk Eye-Talian, who probably uses "f*ckin'" as an adjective in most sentences; one of those people who is the reason stereotypes exist. In the previews for next week's ep, he's doing some macho posturing with Howie (who got Bourdain's respect by quoting from one of his own books). Save the Sopranos act for the famiglia, Joey, and try to concentrate on cooking.
I didn't get a feel for any of the female contestants, although I think Sandee looks like a chicken. Are fauxhawks in style or something? They look like something a redneck 8-year-old would wear.
Once again we get Tom Colicchio's "I am not a mentor" speech. Yeah, we know. You're not Tim Gunn. But you're only half as annoying as Rene Fris. And yay for guest judge Tony Bourdain! How lucky is winner Tre that Tony wants to take him out and get him drunk in the future? And how unlucky is loser Clay? Poor dude - I knew he was doomed from the get-go. But someone had to pack their knives and go.
Both challenges this week were interesting, but I thought two hours was pitifully short for working with not one exotic protein but two. I hope the rest of the season will continue to strive to be interesting rather than merely concentrating on the histrionics of the contestants.
My big question is: where's this season's laconic hunk? No Harold, and no Sam. Poop.