Top Chef

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Hootie Hoo!
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You know, I always rag on Andy Cohen hosting the reunions, because he bugs me, but I've been thinking about it and who else would host them? None of the judges would be able to be fair enough. Maybe someone like Anthony Bourdain, but I feel like he would be more interested in tossing off bons mots and make it all about himself. You need someone who will ask the tough questions and not let people off the hook. I don't think Cohen is quite there, but he's the best alternative they've got right now.

Andy starts by welcoming Tom, Gail, and Padma, as well as the cheftestants. He congratulates Blais for winning, and everyone claps. Andy asks what Blais was thinking in the moment that Padma announced that he won. Blais doesn't answer what normal people would say, "Holy FUCK!" Instead, he claims that he was in shock because he was mentally preparing to be gracious to Mike when Mike won. Andy asks an actually interesting question: does Blais wish he won in season four, or was it sweeter to come back and win and get redemption in a way? Mike jokes that he wishes Blais had won season four, because then he wouldn't have been on this season. Blais just says he's happy with the way things turned out.

Andy turns to Tom to talk about the final judging. Tom says that they were all on the fence, but they talked through it. Their final criteria were which meal they'd want to eat again or which one moved them the most. Gail says that she needed the most convincing, because she really, really loved Mike's food. And then she brings up the stupid pepperoni sauce again. Ugh. I mean, I get that she liked it, but it's not like he created a new species of kitten or something.

Next, we see a clip package of Blais's journey: he feels he choked in his first finale, he's learned not to be creative just for the sake of being creative, but to make sure his food actually tastes good, and his wife was pregnant while he was competing. So he felt he had to win in order to justify leaving his pregnant wife and young child. I'm sorry but that one clip of him, post-win, saying, "Where there's a will, there's a way, and...I willed this" still gets me every time. Just such raw emotion.

Andy asks Blais how it feels to watch that package, and Blais says it's very emotional. Gail asks if he's any easier on himself these days, and Blais says he's trying to smile more. Fabio laughs that Blais will never take it easy on himself. Blais says his baby has been born since the finale and she's a month old at the time of taping. Andy asks about the promise Blais made to Mike as they waited in the final Stew Room, where Blais said he would invest in Mike's restaurant if he won. They covered this on the Watch What Happens episode after the finale; Mike had enough investors and didn't need Blais's money, but Blais said if there were a round two of investing, he'd be in.

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Top Chef

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