OK, so we're all really stoked about the start of Top Chef, D.C. tonight. Even Bravo producer and Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen is venturing into fanboy-level excitement, as proven by his repeated tweets on the subject today. (So cute. Love that guy.)
Glad to have some Dallas representation in Go Fish gal Tiffany Derry, so I'll be recapping tomorrow...and each Thursday for as long as she's on the show. But for now, how 'bout a pre-premiere list? These are our picks (after the jump) for what we're pretty certain will go down during the the season premiere in the nation's capital:
Gross time mismanagement: This is really a guarantee. No one really knows how quickly 15, 45 or however many minutes passes until the cameras are rolling and you have to feed Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Eric Effing Ripert. The only question is whether the person who doesn't finish will be sent home for not meeting the task requirements or if he'll stay because his vision was so much better than someone else's shitty finished product.
Lots of product placement: Be it GladWare and "the Glad family of products" (I can hear Padma's voiceover now) as in past seasons, or GE's Monogram series or even Alexia snacks (which I remember, one season, being included in a challenge as well as being shoveled into contestants' mouths during down time in the condo), there will always be camera shots that are recognized for their attempt to sell sponsors' products. And said shots will make me desire such products...at which point I will resent said shots.
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Salt will be an issue: This could happen in a few different ways. 1) Someone will over-salt his dish. 2) Someone will under-salt his dish. 3) Judges will disagree over whether someone over- or under-salted his dish. 4) We will find out who the super-sweaty cheftestant is. Hopefully, if it's the latter of the scenarios, we won't see him or her actually sweating into their food. Saw that before. Wasn't pretty.
The market will be out of a crucial item: Someone will require a particular ingredient -- not necessarily a rare or exotic one -- and the store (in past seasons Whole Foods or a similar earth-friendly grocer, depending on the location) will be out of it, throwing the chef into a spiral of self-doubt and recipe reconfiguration. Will chicken suffice? Can he make green beans instead of sea beans? What will become of the pie, people?! (These are speculations, mind you, but if any of these happen, I rule.)
The new judge (Ripert) and the local contestant (Tiffany Derry) will be what we really care about because there are always too many contestants on the first few shows to get into the actual contest of it all: I think that pretty well explains it, but I will add this: Hopefully, we will get a glimpse of the one chef who will somehow cling on for too many episodes despite being horribly under-qualified.
"WTF?! We just got here and there's a challenge?! This is crazy!": It always happens. The chefs arrive at their destination. They will meet Padma, for sure, and perhaps Tom or a guest. Then, they'll have some apps or some shit and they'll all look really surprised that even though they're on a food contest show, the first real activity they're expected to participate in is a cooking challenge.