And, West Side Story reference aside, possums, by steaming natives we mean, of course, the hopped-up, cage-match-ready little denizens of Top Chef (Dale, Lisa, Spike, Andrew et al).
But there's a reason for the allusion, and it isn't simply because we're Rita Moreno fans.
See, earlier this week, our pal Lesley at Eater LA let drop a little tidbit no doubt fed to her by a chappie or lassie in an underground parking garage and fearing the all-seeing eye of Big Bravoer:
We have it on very good authority that the Top Chef finale will start taping this weekend. We don't know who is in the finale, and we don't know for sure where, but rumor has it Big Tom, Pads, Gail, Ted and the happy band of guest judges are heading out to the Carribbean (think: sofrito, arroz con pollo, Salsa, J-Lo)....
And then yesterday, Raggaydy Andy, whose blog we scrutinize with quasi-Kabbalistic assiduity for just this sort of thing, let this drop:
My allergies in NYC are so bad that I want to rip my eyes out, which is reason enough for me to be sitting here at a gate at JFK very early this morning. The real reason is that I am heading to a shoot far away.
Coincidence? We think not.
UPDATE: We have confirmation from Ted Allen in The Dallas Morning News. Besides throwing out some coy hints about frontrunners perhaps not making it all the way, Ted reveals that the finale will be shot tomorrow night, and that by the time he arrives in Dallas on Sunday, he will know who won "the title of Top Chef."