Possums, we are all too aware that we have a reputation for being suspicious and conspiratorially minded. Eh bien, what can we do?
But remember les affaires Clippergate and Fauxmicah from seasons past, and so cut us a little slack—even if only so our tinfoil hats will fit better—and listen to the question we are about to ask about two of this season’s cheftestants.
Zoi Antonitsas and Jennifer Biesty:
A couple of lesbians?
Or a lesbian couple?
Let us examine the evidence, shall we?
We knew from AfterElton.com that, although there are no openly gay male cheftestants this season, “there are lesbian contestants.”
Then we came upon this story, which contains the following statement: “In the case of this season’s Top Chef, there’s a the [sic] lesbian couple - who don’t really shock anyone since there are plenty of lesbians in the restaurant industry.”
Curious, n’est-ce pas?
We happened onto Jen's MySpace page, which, as you can see from the screencap below, states that Jen is a lesbian and is in a relationship. Among her MySpace friends, none other than Zoi holds the prime spot.
Curiouser and curiouser, non?
Zoi's profile status is set to private, so we were unable to find anything there. However, both Bravotv.com and Eater SF confirm that Jen and Zoi reside and work in San Francisco.
And then, rooting around Jen's MySpace page, we found what would seem literally to be the clincher, the photo of them posted above, in which they appear to be an adorable couple. Is it conclusive evidence? Perhaps not. But we're not honorary lesbians for nothing; our 'dar is a-tingle.
If these two are indeed a couple, Zoi--who in the photo reminds us of our favorite, and now-deceased, character on The L Word, Dana--is a lucky gal. Though her spelling isn't the best, Jen has excellent taste in literature; Jeanette Winterson and Sarah Waters are two of our favorites, and Corby Kummer of The Atlantic Monthly is a superb food writer.
Our worry is that, if true, this smacks of stunt casting on Bravo's part. It would certainly be a novelty to have a couple competing on a Bravo reality show, but it does bring all sorts of complications. Bravo senior vice president Raggaydy Andy Cohen, a well-known fan of The Amazing Race, which does just this sort of thing, has previously gone on the record to reiterate Bravo's prohibition against contestants "doin' it" with each other, for fear of STDs and liability. But does this prohibition extend to preexisting couples? Or are the producers counting on LBD? (Ask a friendly neighborhood Sapphist to explain that to you, possums.) Either way, is it fair? And what about the strain of such a brutal competition on the couple? And what about the rigors of competing against each other, rather than, as on The Amazing Race, against other teams? Oy, what a tangled web.
Still, as Jen's favorite, Jeanette Winterson, might have put it, it's a good thing that Jen and Zoi are around, because on this season of Top Chef, oranges are the only fruit.