Thursday, June 12, 2008

“You’ve won the fucking bronze medal. Congratulations. There you go.”

















Poor Richard. We really do feel sorry for him, and sorry that the above-quoted statement came back to haunt him thus. Miss XaXa believed from the very beginning that Stephanie would win ("I told you so, I told you so" has been ringing in our ears for a few hours now), but in our opinion, the title of Top Chef was Richard's to lose. And yet, as he so courageously admitted, he choked, and he choked up. Most choke-making of all is this detail from judge Ted Allen's blog:

The day after the finale shoot, waiting with [partner] Barry [Rice] for our flight, I saw Richard wandering alone through the airport in Puerto Rico. He looked dazed. And I felt so sorry for him. He was, of course, ever gracious to everyone after the battle, putting on a brave face with cast and judges alike for post-show drinks in Old San Juan (at 6 a.m., no less), congratulating Stephanie with complete sincerity, thanking the producers. But at the airport, in the clear light of day, it was obvious that the finality was hitting him. Nobody fights that hard for second place.

Or, in this case, third. Hélas!

14 comments:

Katya said...

He might not have won the title but I certainly respected the hell out of him by the end of it all. As much as I loved Stephanie and I'm happy for her, as the competition progressed, it became evident that Richard was the better chef out of the whole bunch. I just wish his restaurant was in L.A. so I could try his food.

Buzz Kill said...

Some might say it was bad Karma coming back to bite him in the ass. I think it needed to be said to someone with bad Manners. Richard was a class act and will get more mileage out of his 3rd place win than Lisa will out of her 2nd place finish.

Steph took the title and deservedly so. All is right with the world.


BTW - Ted didn't mention Lisa in his blog, not once. Very telling.

Anonymous said...

Banana scallops for the third time? Isn't this guy the creative genius?

I think his undoing was not trusting his own instincts and game and trying to prove to the judges that he could do a minimalist dish. I think he forced that one and it showed.

Anonymous said...

Lisa still sucks...I don't care what anyone says, she should have been gone 2 months ago. Richard choked, that's for sure...but he did NOT win bronze...

Anonymous said...

I still adore Richard and sincerly hope he opens his own place. I'll be the first in line!

Charles said...

So unfair. Richard didn't ask anyone to congratulate him on his third place finish - in fact, he stepped up and admitted that he choked. In any of Lisa's many failures did she ever act anything but aggrieved?

Maya said...

Once again, well said by you guys and slapping someone silly with their own quote is genius. Thanks for cheering me up after a lousy week.

Richard, my dear, you should not be sad. You were chosen out of how many people? And were in the top 3. As far as furthering your career, I don't think you have to worry.

I will never visit Howard's, Ilan's or Hung's restaurants (not even sure if they all have one) but yours is on my wish list.

Most people base who they want to visit on the type of food the Top Chefs create, and their personality, not who wins the Tom Collichio pie eating contest.

Congrats, Richard. I adore you, and I'm sure I'll adore your food.

Maya said...

ps If you had NOT been distracted, with a pregnant wife at home, Richard, now that would have seemed strange and self-centered. So cut yourself some slack.

Congrats on your new family member.

Mary said...

Richard is still a million times better than bitter Lisa. I agree, Lisa should have been gone WAY back. I always thought it would be between Antonia and Stephanie, because they were consistently good chefs.

Anonymous said...

How do we know who was second and who was third? I watched at the gym, so I wouldn't swear I was at my most attentive, but I thought the judges only announced top chef and I even wondered if they left things ambiguous on purpose. (Yay, Stephanie, and really yay for all three, all of whom made food I would love to eat.)

Anonymous said...

Richard may have been crushed but this could actually be a good thing. He's opened his new restaurant in Atlanta, Home, and, from the looks of this - http://rowdyfood.typepad.com/rowdyblog/2008/05/home-and-chef-r.html - it should be HUGE. The prices are amazing!

What struck me, especially, as the show wore on, was his tremendous decency. Of course, there was the famous "Wedding Wars" win where he insisted that Stephanie get the prize. But the line that killed me was in part one of the Finale, when he said to Spike: "Remember, you're not my sous-chef, you're my partner." That just blew me away. Someone with his talent and background has arguably earned the right to some arrogance. Blais, though, seems to understand that kindness can go a lot farther than being a jackass.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog and the snark. but I think you are very mistaken about Lisa being 2nd and Richard being 3rd. It was classic Bravo editing. here is ted allen himself talking about the finale.


"Lisa did a great job at the finale, but she did not come in second place.

Unanimous: Steph, first. Richard, close second. Lisa, very much third.

I'l explain more on my TC blog about how judging and editing went ASAP, but I'm a little busy. "


http://www.skilletdoux.com/2008/06/chicago-rules.html#comment-118652414

i consider Lisa a top cook and not a top chef. All her dishes are classic regular thai food. She must have cooked it perfectly but so does the cook in the thai restaurant around the corner from my house !!!

Anonymous said...

So, the only place Ted Allen makes that statement is on that blog in the form of a comment and we don't even know if that was the REAL Ted.

Even with editing, they loved 2 of Stephanie's dishes and loved 2 of Lisa's dishes. They prasied Richard's dessert, that was it, only one dish. Stephanie won, you do the math as to who placed last.

kerrielou said...

Did Lisa ever congratulate another contestant for anything? Sincerely curious, but unwilling to watch the whole season over again.