Friday, January 19, 2007

The View of Elia Aboumrad's Still-Grassy Knoll; Was Ilan Hall the Only "Shooter"?

Well, possums, we were afraid it would eventually come to this. It's time to bring in Oliver Stone.

Several readers have brought these to our attention, and so we are posting them. These were originally created by DjLexxy of Television Without Pity.
















These stills from Wednesday night's broadcast purportedly show that after Marcel stormed off, having survived the attempt on his maidenhead (of hair), Elia Aboumrad (apparently seen in the right-hand corner of the photographs) still had all of her hair.

If true (and we have no basis for a finding of fact, but these pictures are nonetheless pretty compelling), it would mean that the jolly Elia and Ilan Hall shaved their heads only after the assault and battery of Marcel took place. What this means in terms of chronology and responsibility we leave entirely to you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury.

However, it does raise some interesting issues.

A friend of ours said that the incident, and Elia giggling, and then her shaved head, reminded him of Pfc. Lynndie England, the grinning female soldier photographed holding Iraqi prisoners on leashes at the Abu Ghraib prison.

We certainly wouldn't go that far--it's ludicrous and trivializing to speak of the two events in the same breath. But we thought that our friend was nonetheless on to something, the way both incidents revealed and reveled in the impulse not only to humiliate and dehumanize an opponent, but to record it. (If we remember rightly, Susan Sontag had some provocative things to say about this in her books On Photography and Regarding the Pain of Others.)

To our way of thinking, if any of the participants had felt remorseful about what they did, or even guilty, or afraid of the consequences, they would simply have deleted or erased the footage from the video recorder, instead of continuing to record their antics. (After all, the Abu Ghraib perpetrators were caught only because they were stupid and shameless enough not only to photograph the entire thing but to disseminate the photographs.)

On her Bravo blog, the show's executive producer wrote, "We allowed the chefs to have a camera because one of them had asked for one because it was their last night and they wanted to mess around and have some fun. I think we all expected them to film themselves doing impressions of Tom and Padma and some of the producers (that's what usually happens and it makes for fun extra content for the Bravo website)."

Well, if "fun extra content for the Bravo website" is what they're looking for, why not post the video in its entirety on the Bravo website? Let everyone watch just what happened.

28 comments:

hughman said...

well regardless of how the rest of the show plays out, HairGate has certainly shattered any believability that the "winner" is actually a "Top Chef". more like the "Lesser of All The Evils Chef".

goldenroxy said...

i agree, that's a great suggestion. bravo should post the video in its entirety on their website. i would love to see the full video and see how the events unfolded.

has anyone bought top chef on dvd? is it any good? bonus footage? behind the scenes? i wonder if they would include this video.

snaillady2 said...

This is sickening. I caught the first post at TWoP but couldn't follow up when it was locked. Thanks for posting. If Elia and Ilan shaved their heads after the failed attempt on Marcel's, they both should have been kicked off.

Figures that Bravo would dicker around even further with the timelines, making it look like they shaved their heads first and then went after Marcel--it helps them justify not kicking all of the chefs off.

zanna said...

I actually think that the username that posted those stills on TWoP is DjLexxy.
Goldenroxy: Unfortunately the first season of TC isn't out on DVD, which really irritates me. After this awful, awful excuse for a season I long to see some bonus footage from last year, when all of the contestants were apparently decent people.

Charlus said...

Thanks, Zanna. I have corrected the attribution.

Anonymous said...

Here's a blown-up version of that screen cap of Elia:

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c326/Sigvold/TC22.jpg

That's clearly her. And she has a full head of hair.

I forced myself to watch the attack again just to confirm her presence. You can see her on the screen, and her laughter is audible as Marcel passes her.

Elia is a liar.

I think she's the winner and BRAVO is manipulating the timeline to try to make her look better.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that link should be:

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c326/Sigvold/TC22.jpg

Anonymous said...

".jpg" after the link

Anonymous said...

I love it when people make such a big fuss over someone they don't know enough to make a judgment on...

As for Elia, she laughed because the act was clearly a joke among friends, and Marcel sort of did had it coming to him after his condescending behavior that was shown to us.
Sickening -- that's pushing it too far. You're overexaggerating, and blowing up a simple joke! YOU WEREN'T EVEN PART OF IT.

And what if Elia shaved her head afterwards? It wasn't contempt for Marcel...to her, it may have been an "I'm sorry I didn't do anything", as she punished herself by shaving her head. I seriously doubt any woman would suddenly want to shave her head like that, and some of it had to be staged. Why now? Why on national television? Truth is, we don't know enough.

As for Ilan, it may have been contempt, as we all know from his Italian dressing foam incident.

goldenroxy said...

thank you zanna! i did not know that top chef was not available on dvd. you would think that bravo would release top chef on dvd to make some extra cash. plus, i'm sure that most of us want to see all the bonus footage of the quickfires, elimination challenges, and judging room. that's too bad.

Anonymous said...

Oh, please. Elia didn't shave her head to punish herself. She did for laughs and to cover her ass. Same reason that asshat Ilan did it.

Here's another screencap of Elia. This is after Marcel's assault. She's imitating Marcel and making fun of him. Cliff is seen in the background holding the camera and filming her:

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b98/DrMinor/TC2.jpg

(that's ".jpg" at the end)

These bullies continued to party and laugh at Marcel's expense while he hid in the bathroom with the door locked.

judycrayton said...

Actually, that photo of Elia made it look like she feels terrible about what happened regarding Marcel. She has done great toward him. I agree with anonymous, it matters not when they shaved their heads. It doesn't matter that they chose to shave their heads. There was no lack of morality in what they did to themselves.

Anonymous said...

Cliff, Sam, Ilan and Elia all should have been disqualified. Marcel should have won.

Those four are evil little toads and someday they will be repaid.

I have no respect for Bravo TV.

Anonymous said...

Shaving before or after isn't the issue here. They LIED about the order in which it really happened in their confessionals and during the show. It was reverse edited to make us believe they wanted to include Marcel in their antics and "it's was no big deal to shave a head, see we deeed it". I'd bet production, who aired the tape in reverse order, got the chefs to lie about how the events occured to save their own asses. Why lie? Let's see, they "pranked" a non-friend, whom they feared would narc them all OUT, even the show. I wonder if there really is a "Good SAMaritan" law. Just like in the Seinfeld finale, except these idiots go to Hawaii instead of prison. All this was turned into a cover-up to make Sam and Elia not look so bad, cuz they're probably in the final two. Ratings, ratings, ratings. Or Marcel is in the F2, and most of us, it seems, have started to root for the resident "social outcast". Ilan was a huge fan fave in the polls until the "Seven" episode, and the editors didn't even try to give him a good edit after that. Makes you wonder if the food is even real anymore. Oh yeah, the food, where did you go this year. I don't know about you guys, but I don't liked being manipulated and lied to on a show about FOOD.

Anonymous said...

The giddy jovial atmosphere of the shaving party is extremely creepy when you realize that it occurred after Marcel was assaulted.

He's upset and locked himself in a room to get away from them. But Elia, Ilan, Sam and Cliff are laughing it up and even making jokes at Marcel's expense (Elia mimicking his face) after this has happened.

It indicates a callousness and emotional disconnect. It shows they had no remorse after the attack. In fact, they all continued their party.

Not exactly "Top Chef" material. Too bad Tom couldn't send them all home. They could have easily brought back the other eliminated contestants to take their places.

Anonymous said...

I truly believe that Cliff knocked Marcel's salmon tray so that it fell out of the oven.
Cliff was standing there and gave the lame excuse that the tray just started to fall.
Cliff is likely to have tried to sabotage Marcel.

Spooky said...

God I hate these shitheads. This show has no integrity, I should have learned that last season, but this season is totally indecent. To hell with this show!

Anonymous said...

damn marcel looks sexy!

eric3000 said...

Wow, that's very interesting! I completely missed that. I think that makes a big difference. I'm still not sure what to make of it but the fact that everyone, including the producers, falsified the events makes it even more disturbing.

GAPeach said...

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m187/rusewcrazy/marcel.jpg

Elia is clearly still with hair and has her head in her hands here. Got this from my iTunes download.

Catherine Cantieri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Catherine Cantieri said...

I re-edited the footage to show the incident as I think it occurred. The post is on my blog: http://screampunch.typepad.com/

beats said...

lol, bravo is airing this episode with elia's full head of hair cut out now. NICE

Anonymous said...

Bravo, meet the Internet.

Anonymous said...

if the rule is "contestants may not touch another contestant in an agressive manner", why didn't Marcel get the boot, too? He may have been provoked (battered wife syndrome defense), but he very violently shoved the camera in Ilan's face when Ilan was pestering him by continuing to tape him.

Catherine Cantieri said...

Update: My videos (the original footage and the re-edited footage) have been removed from YouTube due to "copyright violations." Bravo can't stop digging itself deeper, can it? That's right, guys, if you remove all evidence of something, it never actually happened. Sorry about this, y'all.

Anonymous said...

How insulting you are to say that your friend's comments are "ludicrous and trivializing". Your friend did NOT say that what Ilan did to Marcel was equal to the Abu Ghraib stuff, he said it REMINDED HIM OF IT.

It REMINDED ME of the movie The Accused w/Jodie Foster. They prosecuted the guys who were cheering and yelling, the ones who stood by and egged on the rapist. IN NO WAY AM I COMPARING IT TO RAPE. However, it's the same situation with the bystanders -- Sam, Elia and Ilan didn't do the physical assaulting, but they were there cheering Cliff on, egging him on to continue the assault.

You owe your friend an apology.

Anonymous said...

oh hohoho What a booboo for Bravo
Now I understand why Elia badmouthed Marcel about his 'cheating' and change of heart in her interviews after the season. Bravo didn't want to kick out the others and cut the season short so they had to edit the scenes to play down the incident.

And to anon who posted the comment about exaggerating the incident, you're an idiot.