It so happens, possums, that from time to time, a stray comment will jog our addled, prosecutorial memory, and then we like to play compare and contrast. To wit--
Compare & Contrast No. 1
From the January 17, 2007, blog of Top Chef executive producer Shauna Minoprino, discussing Clippergate:
1. 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).
From adjudged Top Chef winner Ilan Hall's interview with Epicurious.com:
Epi: Were there any scandalous or funny moments that didn't air?
IH: There was a scene in the house where we all imitated Padma and Tom and created a cook-off at a fake judge's table. And I think Mike was edited too much; he's hilarious on the show but he's a lot funnier in person. I'm sure they had to because his humor is a bit dirty.
Now this is going to be a bit of an "iffy" chain, so bear with us.
If producer Minoprino is to be believed, the cheftestants were given a video camera on the last night of filming before the finals with the expectation that the contestants would do impressions of Tom and Padma. It seems reasonable to assume that the producers were hoping for that kind of footage because it did not exist at that time, i.e., prior to that last night, the night Ilan and Elia shaved their heads. However, there is no indication from Minoprino as to whether such footage was ever obtained.
But, if Ilan is to be believed, that footage does, in fact, exist. So we wonder, was that footage filmed that same night of the long clippers, and if so, why hasn't it turned up as "fun extra content for the Bravo website"?
Because if it's true that the footage exists, and it wasn't filmed the night of Clippergate, then the producer's stated rationale for giving the cheftestants a video camera would seem not to make sense.
Is one of them not telling the truth? That conclusion we leave to you, ladies and gentlemen of the dark-basement jury.
Compare & Contrast No. 2
From the same Epicurious.com interview of Ilan Hall:
Epi: Anything you regret saying on camera?
IH: After the show was aired, Bravo showed me doing an imitation of Harold, who won the year before. They kind of cut it up differently; they made me say something nasty, it was a fragment of a sentence.
Epi: That one-liner generated some nasty blog posts, huh?
IH: It's all positive. Even when people say negative things toward me. It's all good for me. Especially in New York, I'm getting so much positive support. Most of the heat is coming from the same 300 people that blog on every blog site. I can't let it bother me. My girlfriend said, 'Doesn't it bother you? People are saying nasty things about you.' But it doesn't, you can't get upset by that.
From Ilan Hall's suspiciously well-written February 11, 2007, "interview" that he "phoned in" to Newsday's Sunday Opinion editor:
They kept me saying some nasty things and cut away some nice things, because they wanted to make it more compelling to watch. But they never put words in my mouth. What you saw on TV was me, just an edited me.
Compare & Contrast No. 3
From Ilan Hall's February 11, 2007, "interview" with Newsday:
I didn't feel self-conscious during the filming, but you always know the camera is there. Sometimes you can find ways to sneak around it. The other finalist, Marcel, was a master at avoiding saying nasty things on camera. When we saw the show on TV, we thought, "What about all the stuff he said the second the camera turned away?"
From the February 12, 2007, live chat hosted by The Gals, Ms. Place, and Amuse-Biatch:
Carlos Fernandez confirmed that contestants are required by producers to wear their body microphones at all times, even when they go to the bathroom.
And so, if Ilan is to be believed, and Marcel did make comments the second the camera turned away, the body mike would presumably have captured those comments. As we remember from Lycheegate, Bravo has no compunction about using voice-overs, so why wouldn't Bravo similarly use these "nasty things" Marcel said? Again, ladies and gentlemen of the dark basement, it's all up to you.