Top Chef
Top Chef 3: Watch What Happens

Episode Report Card
Keckler: D- | Grade It Now!
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Shit Happens

You know, we aren't even HALFWAY through season three, yet they feel it's time for a reunion? To be fair, this isn't so much of a season three reunion as it is the season two reunion we never got because most parties involved would have killed each other and/or forced the viewers to kill themselves for having to sit through even more season two detritus. However, whatever you want to call it, I have to give this ep an "F" for how they grubbed up the hastily buried Marcel Mess hatchet and for the way Ilan kept twisting around to look at others behind him in his eternal search for validation.

The infamous and blog-happy Andy Cohen, nattily attired for summer heat in a beige suit and no tie on his several-button-opened blue shirt, welcomes us to the shit-stirring fest. Sitting safely on Andy's side of the room -- and well out of spitting distance -- are Colicchio, Gail, Ted Allen, and Padma. Already I know this isn't going to go well because when Andy talks and gives us his profile, I hone in on the fact he juts out his lower lip like a grouper. Settled on red couches and stools are past cheftestants and winners, and tonight we get to deal with Harold (always a delight), Ilan (dressed up like a pubescent Orville Redenbacher), Sam, Lia, Dave, Lee Anne (looking unbelievably gorgeous), Micah, Cliff, Mikey (known in these pages as "Flounder"), Camille, and Clay. Pausing a moment in his intros, Andy notes that both Mikey and Ilan are in tuxes. Well, Ilan's in one, Mikey -- surprise, surprise -- already looks like he's gotten through the wedding, had a few beers to many, danced to way too many songs, including the ill-conceived "I Will Survive" and is about to start pawing over the food left on people's abandoned plates. That is to say, his bow tie is already hanging off, making him appear decidedly rumpled. But the bow tie also still tied -- is he wearing a ready-made bow tie? Andy cracks that Mikey and Ilan should consider working as doormen, and since the rest of the crowd caws over this and Ilan just looks abashed that his attire isn't being praised to the high heavens, I might have to love Andy a little for that one. At least as doormen they'd be gainfully employed. Mikey jokes, "I was kinda going for the driver thing -- I just got my license back from the DMV." Everyone laughs. Because suspended licenses are funny. Just ask Paris Hilton and, very possibly, Lindsay Lohan. Andy calls the judges the "Mount Rushmore of food criticism." I wonder if he's implying that they all have big giants heads or simply that parents drag their carsick children across blistering hot states in an unairconditioned station wagon just to gaze on their stony visages and eat ice cream with tongue depressors.

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