In her recap of this season’s inaugural episode, our pal Lesley of Eater LA touched on the “this season on Top Chef” montage, in which Stefan Richter and Jamie Lauren are having a teensy bit of a discussion.
During the rapid montage, the word “douchebag” is uttered, and Ms. Lauren appears to take umbrage, presumably thinking, as does the audience, that it was directed at her. And so Lesley wrote, “…Stefan calls Jamie a douchebag.” (As an aside, we ought to note that Jamie falls far short on the Angry (Lesbian) scale as compared to last season—no chairs thrown, no trashcans kicked, no crotches grabbed.)
But Herr Richter has stepped forward to say, “ ‘Tain’t so.” Quoth Stefan: “by the way i did not call her a douchebag, i said i don't want to look like one.”
Fair enough. He wants to clear his name, and of course it’s a good thing that he didn’t resort to calling Jamie that. And yet we can’t help being the slightest bit disappointed. After all, what kind of reality television villain would disclaim these kind of legend-burnishing attributions, and so early in the game?
For of course he is being groomed by Bravo’s editors, and by Daniel Gagnon’s xenophobic insecurities, as this season’s villain (though in our book, idiocy can be much more villainous than competence). No matter; we like Stefan as a villain, even if the editors have to resort to the Eurovillain trope that runs from Henry James to the James Bond pictures to Alan Rickman in Die Hard and Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs. Stefan is a savvy villain, and this tickles us. For one thing, he clearly plays to the camera and gives good “villain face.”
We’re certainly convinced. If we saw him in the supermarket produce section going through the fava beans and with a bottle of Chianti in his shopping cart, we’d definitely run the other way.
So alright, Stefan, possum. It’s fine to play nice, but not too nice, you hear?