“Top Chef”: Cooking Up Controversy

Well, things have certainly gotten ugly fast, haven’t they? In the lead-up to this week’s Top Chef, Bravo was gleefully calling the episode the reality cooking show’s most controversial yet. I don’t know how controversial it was, but I certainly found it dark and disturbing.

It would now appear that the conspiracy theorists have been going full-throttle both in the Television Without Pity forums and at the blog Amuse-Biatch.

As Charlus of Amuse-Biatch says in his post today, “It’s time to bring in Oliver Stone.” Charlus then goes on to present screen-caps from the episode in question which seem to indicate Elia had a full head of hair during the whole course of Cliff’s attack on Marcel. What does this mean? Well, to put it bluntly, it means that after Cliff’s attack and Marcel’s subsequent escape, the rest of the cheftestants went off and had a high old happy time shaving their heads.

Bravo, on the other hand, tried to cut the episode to show the reverse chronology—that what started off as lighthearted head-shaving turned into something disturbing. Why would they do that? Well, if I’m correct in predicting that Elia is the winner, I think Bravo undertook to make Elia’s involvement (or passivity) in Clippergate seem less offensive. And they failed.

Reality-show manipulation is nothing new, but it is always rather disgusting.

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