Possums, no doubt we will never, ever understand what the womenfolk of Christendom see in his armpit-steaming, morally challenged persona, but we must grudgingly admit that of late Sam Talbot has become just a tad more likable for us.
Why? Well, because he's taken rather well to blogging, the evils of which he warned this season's cheftestants about, and because he seems to have developed self-awareness. It's a bit of a Stanley Kubrick moment.
Having surrendered to the Dark Side, and now that he is That Guy (Who Blogs), lil' Sam starts off thus in this week's edition of his blog:
"A little gratuitous self-promotion.
I'm in a contest for Glad SimplyCooking Microwave Steaming Bags. If I'm voted the 'steamiest' chef, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation will get $30K."
A worthy cause indeed, and well, Sammy, you've definitely got our vote for Steaming Bag.
See? There's a tip about blogging: try not to make it too easy.
Other than that, Sammy seems to be learning his lesson pretty well:
"What I learned about the reality genre, blogging, and human nature is this: criticism (AKA snarkiness) is easier, funnier, more provocative, and more entertaining than empathy. Just ask New York Magazine. That doesn't mean it's always the right way to go--or the only way to go (more on this later. Bourdain's blog is a perfect example of striking the right balance--can he just be made a judge already?"
Allow us to quibble for just a second. Criticism is most definitely not the same thing as snarkiness, but we agree with you that "OMG Sam! You are so hot! You were, like, totally robbed!" is neither provocative nor entertaining. If that's empathy, include us out.
Oh, and look, a dash of self-deprecation: "Ah ,yes, good ol' Restaurant Wars. I'm glad these chefs were familiar with the challenge. I wasn't. (La La Lame-o.) " Well-done, possum!
And there's this:
"The World Wide Web is 2007's version of the water cooler. And in the blogging world, snarkiness rules. But let's face it--without bloggers the reality genre might not be as popular. (The point that I'm writing this IN a blog is not lost on me.)"
See? What did we say, possums? It gives us chills; it's 2001: A Space Odyssey or AI: Artificial Intelligence all over again.
Finally, watch Sammy make a gay joke:
"And to the criticism of black tablecloths--I'm not quite sure Dale would mind eating off of [sic] Billy Idol."
Oh, Sammy, possum, let's not project now. Still, all in all, a good start.