First, the good. I love that Jennifer Carroll kicked ass in the Quickfire and the Elimination Challenge. I also love that she drinks too much and likes to make the boys cry. I mean, she looked so sorority girl in her picture. Who knew? Well clearly not the boys. One of them asks her when they first meet if she is the “pastry chef”at her restaurant and she replies simply, “No, chef.”
I also loved Ashley and liked Preeti, our two chefbians. OK, Preeti seems a tad clueless. I mean, a lesbian who can’t get into a tight clam? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) But Ashley, well if the welfare backstory didn’t move you, her Rachel Maddow glasses/flannel shirt combo certainly should.
But now, the bad. The oh-so bad. What was Bravo thinking casting a misogynistic, ageist, all-around unappealing asshole like Michael Isabella? First, when Jennifer is neck-and-neck with him shucking clams he says: “There’s no way, no offense, a girl shouldn’t be at the same level that I am.”
Oh, glad you threw in that “no offense” because now your male chauvinist pig attitude totally doesn’t bother me one bit.
And then when another female chef decides to keep her immunity instead of go for the loot, he says: “To me it’s just one less old lady I have to worry about.”
You know, this show has had asshats before and sexists before, but the level of idiotic vitriol coming from this guy is unacceptable. I cannot accept that he is on my television competing to win $100,000. I cannot accept that Bravo allows him to be on my television competing to win $100,000. I mean, did the producers need a season villain so badly that they had to offend and denigrate more than half of the world’s population? The misogyny, IT BURNS!
And I’m not even going to discuss the other Mike who basically made a dish about women’s boobs involving rack of lamb and a sauce made from “two juicy coconuts.” Also, Tom, how could you call that “clever.” Gail was clearly not amused. Nor was I.
Look, being a fierce competitor is one thing. Being a sexist asshole is entirely another. I welcome the first. The other has no place in the kitchen or on television, period. This little piggy certainly does not belong on Top Chef.
[Check out my full recaps of the episode at AfterEllen later today. I am also live tweeting (West Coast time) each episode at @dorothysnarker. And chefbian cutie Jamie Lauren is blogging over at Bravo. No scallop jokes, I promise.]