'Top Chef All-Stars' Recap: Restaurant Wars & Unfair Editing?

Kim Conte
10

marcel vigneronMarcel Vigneron told E! Online last week that he's "astonished" that he was once again portrayed as an a-hole on Top Chef All-Stars. Because really? He's such a nice guy.

If he blamed bad editing for his portrayal last week, I can only imagine how he's reacting after last night's episode ...

From start to finish, the show's contestants -- and, admittedly, the editors and producers -- worked overtime to paint Marcel as a good chef albeit despicable human being.

It was the opposite of shocking when Dale Talde -- the winner of the Quickfire Challenge -- got to pick teams for the Restaurant Wars Elimination Challenge and made it his first priority to put Marcel on the other team: It's well-known that Dale hates working with Marcel so natch he made him Team Captain of the opposite team.

Marcel chose to work with Angelo, Mike, Tiffany, and Antonio, and from the beginning he struggled to get any sort of order or control over his team. Here's Marcel complaining about his team:

It's becoming rapidly apparent that nobody is going to listen to me. They are just going to do what they want to do.

And here's the view from Mike's seat:

It's hard to work with Marcel because he's controlling and people aren't coming together.

And the barrage of insults directed against Marcel cascaded from there. So is it bad editing? Or is Marcel really a jerk?

Anyone who can look past all the bickering has to agree that this season's Restaurant Wars challenge was pretty cool: The chefs had to open their own "pop-up restaurant" -- styled after the quirky trend of chefs in cities across the country opening experimental restaurants in spaces not usually used for dining for a limited time.

The team with Dale at its helm opened the playful "Bodega," which offered an upscale twist on classic New York City bodega food: bag of chips, tuna in a can, etc.

Marcel's team opened "Etch," a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that, according to both the diners and the judges, was decidedly less successful in concept, food quality, service, and teamwork. In fact, only 17 out of 76 diners preferred Etch to Bodega (that's an awful score, for those new to Restaurant Wars).

Marcel's teammates blamed his lack of leadership, calmness, and togetherness for their self-proclaimed "sh*t show." And judge Anthony Bourdain delivered a scathing critique with respect to his dessert, calling it a "thumb in the eye at the end of the meal."

But Marcel, as usual, externalized all of the disaster that was Etch, refusing to take any piece of the blame:

I didn't really make any mistakes per se, the only mistake I made was picking the wrong team ... I didn't do anything that I probably wouldn't do again.

Ugh, with an attitude like that, it's hard to be sad when he gets sent packing. Though, this last comment made me pause:

I'm probably known as the most notorious, diabolical contestant in Top Chef history but also I'm the most misunderstood. I'm a nice guy and I'm a personal, likable person.

I'm sure that's the case, Marcel. But it's your relentlessly arrogant and uncompromising attitude that gives the editors so much to play with ... a little self-awareness goes a long way. This is reality TV, after all.

Do you think Marcel is unfairly portrayed as an a-hole?

 

Image via Bravo

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