"No offense, but a girl just shouldn't be on the level where I'm at," says Michael, chef at DC restaurant Zaytinia. "No offense," he says, which is what everyone says when they can already taste the sole of their shoe on the tip of their tounge, when they know that what they are about to say is incredibly offensive.
I know that the producers were being savvy when they edited in that nasty nugget of a soundbite. I know all too well that they are trying to rile me up, make me angry, give me someone to hate. I know it, and yet I can't help it. It worked. It infuriated me. And what a delight that the "girl" he insulted, Jennifer, wound up winning the Quickfire round, netting a neat $15,000 jackpot. I would have suspected a touch of producer manipulation in Jennifer's win, but I don't think Michael's sexist interview was filmed until after the Quickfire was over.
[Sigh.] It had to be the guy from DC who takes the asshole role. This makes me extra-annoyed. I've eaten at Zaytinia, been to parties there. This is not how I want my hometown to be represented! Last season's DC girl, Carla Hall, was charming, sweet and goofy. Michael from Zaytinia... well, his bio says he's from Jersey. JERSEY.
I'm sorry, Jersey. Go slap your boy upside the head for me, ok?
The first episode of a competition show like this always seems to be rather chaotic. Too many characters all introduced at once, making it hard to tell one from another. There were multiple heavily-inked girls, multiple girls who looked like boys, multiple Michaels, even a set of similar looking brothers. (Helpful hint: the sunburned one is the one who lives in LA.) Despite the chaos, I though the show did a good job of letting us see each of the final dishes, even if we only got to hear the judges questioning the four top and four bottom chefs.
I think you can make some good guesses on who is going to go home early based on how much screen time they got. Looking at the list of chefs on Bravo's website, some of them were almost invisible in last night's episode. I don't think we'll be seeing Laurine, Eve or Ash around for very long. ("Who?" you're saying. Exactly.) I predict that there will be a little bit of drama milked out of Robin's cancer, and then she'll go home in the first half of the series. I don't forsee much of a future for Preeti, either. If she hadn't bungled the job of opening clams so badly, I don't think she would have been a notable character in this episode. (That aforementioned bungling was not her fault. She TOLD her teammates she'd never opened a clam, and no one volunteered to trade off with her.) The chefs I think have a chance of making it until the second half of the series, at least: Michael the jackhole, the Volt brothers, big red Kevin, Jennifer "the girl," and "I spent 27 days on a boat, I'm Haitian don't MESS with me" Ron.
Also: I am completely delighted that Rick Bayless won Top Chef Masters.