With that over, Cohen asks the room if the "right chef" won. There doesn't seem to be an immediate response, so Cohen asks for a show of hands, like they're all kindergarteners who are begging to be picked for nap mat monitor. Anyway, the show of hands reveals that most people thought the right chef won, and Sandee even adds that from the beginning, everyone knew Hung was the one to beat. However, Dale then gives this shiny, happy commentary about how everyone there deserved to win that year and how it was a toss-up between who won and who lost. Like, I know you're a nice guy, Dale, but no. Not everyone deserved to win. I know that's harsh, but Top Chef is a Highlander-esque competition and there are no Focker ribbons for 14th, 15th, and 16th coddles.
Cohen asks what Hung thinks about earning the asshole moniker, and Hung says it's definitely not him. Even though he proudly proclaimed himself the Certified Professional Asshole? Whatever, they aren't going to ask him to explain that temporal anomaly, so I'm moving on. Quickly. Hung says it was all about winning, and he didn't want to make friends because if he had to throw someone under the bus, he didn't want feelings involved. Dale then gets in his oar about how the competition is about being a chef and when you're a chef, you help the person next to you. Dale wants to be evaluated for being a chef, which includes that helping thing. Didn't "help" you win, did it, Dale?
Gail explains that the final decision was so hard for the judges, they were up on that Aspen mountaintop until sunrise. Colicchio goes on about how the competition was head-to-head and how Dale screwed up that one lobster dish and seriously? SERIOUSLY?! We're doing this all again? No. This is so ridiculous. FINALLY moving on to a new-ish topic, Padma swears that the personalities of the cheftestants do not at all come into play when the judges are trying to decide. "People ask me all the time, 'Who's your favorite?' and I really don't have a favorite," Padma goes on. CJ begs to differ and says, "Aw, come on!" "Other than you, my love, my tall friend," Padma laughs back.
Pouring the kosher salt in the wound, Cohen wants to know why Casey "fizzled out" in the finale. Casey explains that during their break before the Aspen finale, she went home and threw herself back into her restaurant work and when it came time to do Top Chef again, she just wasn't focused. Okay, I've come a long way to liking Casey -- so much that I was rooting for her to win -- but this really does sound like sour grapes. The whole "Really, I was just way more committed my real-life job than I was to some vanity-serving competition" thing is a little too passive-aggressive. Casey elaborates that she is also not the type of person who can come up with the Best Meal of Your Life menu in thirty minutes. She's a planner, a list-maker, and she's one who would think about her dishes, make them, and then retool them. Over and over again and repetitive and redundant and the same and NOTHING NEW! Uh. Right. So, then Colicchio backs Casey up, saying he knows a whole mess of chefs that are just like that. He admits that that neither method is better than the other. Gail wants us all to remember how Casey "killed" that first Aspen QF. Yes, we remember. And if we didn't, because we're STUPID with the attention span of AN AMOEBA, here's the CLIP to REMIND US! We come back to the studio and someone's clapping and yelling, "Yeah, you did!" to Casey, to which Gail inexplicably responds, "Don't be a hater!" Um, he wasn't? He was cheering her on? So, Gail, with the lingo you acquired by passing through a few websites? You look kinda stupid. ["And when did she pass through them -- 2003?" -- Sars]