TOP CHEF LAS VEGAS PREMIERE: My Vice Is Chicken, So I Made Chicken

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This is a Recap of the Top Chef Las Vegas Premiere, (Season 6, Episode 1), entitled Yeaaaahhhh Babyyyy Vegasss You’re So Money Baby You Don’t Even KNOW It! Spoilers within.

Top Chef Vegas– I am absolutely speechless that they made it the entire episode without saying “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” It’s only a matter of time before someone makes a crappy dish and quotes that line, then winks and a “ding!” sound effect plays as a “Visit Vegas!” logo appears in the bottom corner, but I really can’t believe they made it a full hour-and-fifteen without giving in to the temptation. Episode 2 will open with Padma shouting it nine times into the camera before the intro.

– Those showgirls sure served a purpose, didn’t they? I was all like, “I blinked during that seven minutes of Vegas B-Roll, where is this taking place again? SHOWGIRLS OMG IT’S LAS VEGAS!”

TC Tattoed– Aaaaand Eli becomes the first person this season to rush into Whole Foods and immediately monkey-run to the scallops. A person buying scallops that will ultimately underwhelm the judges is this show’s frickin’ catchphrase; whenever it happens, it should be followed by two minutes of Al Bundy hand-down-pants-caliber audience hooting.

– “You got the GOLDEN CHIP, so you’re immune, cause luck is gonna play a much bigger part on Top Chef Vegas!” Translation: “Seventeen is not an even number, but sixteen is.”

Wolfgang Puck was dishin’ out the zingers at the Judge’s Table, huh? He was all, “Jen, yo chicken’s so dry, your dad wants to f*ck it cause it reminds him of yo momma’s p*ssy!!!!” [HIGH-FIVES REST OF JUDGES TABLE, BREAKS INTO ELABORATE YOU GOT SERVED DANCE ROUTINE]

More Elmination Challenge, Random Thoughts, and a Preliminary Top 5, After the Jump:

TC Hector– When the show mentioned in the intro that Macy’s was now a sponsor, I foolishly wondered if they’d shift some of the appliance-focus off of GE, then three seconds later, the chefs were talking about how awesome the GE equipment was, followed by the requisite five-minute closeup of the GE logo, followed by a cartoon GE logo jumping out of the screen in 3-D and dancing the Electric Slide, which was weird.

– I missed most of the dialogue during the Elmination Challenge ’cause I was coming up with smartass vice-dish combinations…

“My vice is a foul mouth, so I made f*ck-scallops…”

“My vice is alcohol, so I got really hammered then made this, Ionknow, fish…”

“My vice is that I’m a crappy chef, so I made a bad steak…”

“My vice is Chilean sea bass with shallots and a balsamic reduction, so I tried to represent that with this Chilean sea bass with shallots and a balsamic reduction…”

“My vice is, I’m kind of a sex addict, so I had sex with this lamb. Also note that there’s a hint of fresh coriander in the white bean puree.”

TopChef Ron– How did Ron end up in the Top 4 when he clearly ignored the purpose of the challenge? Usually Tom C. takes challenge-violations really seriously, but he just laughed off the fact that a story about eating a fish to survive a boat journey was not a “vice” in any possible way, and the dude just cooked some fish.

– My friend Mike always argues that if you pay attention to the tone of the chefs’ testimonials, you can usually tell when they’re on the bottom, cause the spots are recorded after the fact. At one point, Eve really sadly recalled, “Then I realized I’d forgotten the white wine, and the seafood was overcooking.” Might as well have just added “I was in the frickin’ bottom two, and I am now in a sound studio remembering it into a mic.”

– I happened to watch the (awesome) documentary Helvetica earlier this week, and couldn’t help but notice and be bothered that the Top Chef logo is literally just the words “TOP CHEF” in capital Helvetica letters. That film has already ruined me.

– For the sake of grossness, I’m kind of glad Ears McCutchen was voted off in the first week. I’m glad the Judges and my vomit-reflex were on the same page.

The Top 5 “What Happens In Rankings Stays In Rankings” Top Chef Vegas Rankings, Brought To You As Always By a GE Range Inside a Glad Bag:

TC MattinRanking the Top 5 Chefs after only one episode would be as pointless as ranking the top 25 NCAA Football Teams before they even play a game based entirely on speculation and prestige, even though hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake, which would be really stupid. Nonetheless…

1) Kevin – Likable, talented M.I.T.-avoider who (as Videogum and everyone else immediately noticed), bears no small resemblance to comedian and cable guy extraordinaire, Matt McCarthy.

2) Jennifer – Despite her stock reality-show “I can be a BITCH” intro, she turned out to be an extremely skilled cook, and not nearly as big a bitch as her saying ‘I can be a BITCH’ initially led me to believe.

3) Michael Isabella – Got lots of screen time, and seems decent enough, though he was getting chewed out in one of the “This Season on Top Chef Vegas” clips at the end.

4-5) Those Brothers – Both seemed pretty sharp and determined, plus Bravo’s obviously going to hang on to the brothers drama as long as it can.

Thoughts on the Top Chef Las Vegas Premiere, everyone? Favorite / Least Favorite contestants? Favorite Parts? Vague Vegas phrases you’d like to exclaim? Leave ‘em in the comments!

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