Top Chef
Season 2 Finale, Part II

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So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

Elsewhere. Marcel and Ted Ilan sit, not talking.

In front of the judges, Marcel and Ted Ilan stand. We get VO monologues from both of them about how they are feeling. Padmadala tokingly reminds them of the litany of product placement that is at stake for them. Colicchio compliments both cheftestants. Padmadala bogarts the decision a bit before finally saying, "Ilan." Dramatic pause. Dramatic pause. Dramatic pause. "Congratulations, you are Top Chef." Marcel goes to shake his hand, but Ted Ilan forces him into a one-arm man-hug. Ted Ilan breathes relief and hugs Gail and Padmadala really tight. He chides Padmadala for making them wait so long for their decision. Then he paces around excitedly. Hubert Keller is doing that smiling-with-his-hair thing. Marcel stands silently. At least they did away with telling the loser to pack his knives and go.

Marcel tells us he was totally surprised when she named Ted Ilan the winner: "I thought it would take more than fucking saffron and paprika to beat me but apparently not. It's just extremely disappointing." Colicchio slings one arm around Marcel's shoulder, pats him on the back, tells him he did a great job, and lets go. Hubert Keller hugs Ted Ilan. He's French, so there's none of this namby-pamby one-arm man-hugging for him. He hugs in full. So does his hair. I gotta tell you, I'm a little obsessed. Marcel goes on to tell us that the food he's trying to create is "obviously" a little more complex and requires a little more skill. He tells us it was too bad he wasn't able to execute it on a level that would put him over the top. Gail hugs Marcel. God, how long are they going to make him stand there? Marcel tells us this isn't the end of his career, and he obviously doesn't care what the other cheftestants think of him because he likes himself and he likes his food and he likes his personality. Speaking of those other cheftestants, they now come out to party and rally around Ted Ilan. Ted Ilan tells us he's excited for the future: "I can only become more mature [well, you've got nowhere else to go but up] and use everything that I've learned to my advantage to just become a great chef." Elia and Betty stick to Ted Ilan like eels. Oh, sorry, like pinworms.

Yes, I saw Ted Ilan profanely trashing Harold during the premiere of Top Design. Well, that Ted Ilan, he's a class act from beginning to end. All he did was perform according to my exact expectations.

Next week: There is no friggin' next week! We are done! I've never been so happy to see the back end of a food show. Wow. They better give us a good long break before they feed us Season Three.

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Top Chef

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