After yesterday’s hot mess, Food & Wine is backpedaling as quickly as possible. Today their homepage announces: “Hungry for the Truth: Who’s the Real Top Chef? See profiles of both finalists that we prepared in advance [emphasis mine] of the last episode.” When you click through, you are informed:

Yesterday, an intrepid reality tv fan found a Top Chef story on Food & Wine’s server. Food & Wine prepared profiles of both Top Chef finalists in advance of the last episode so that we had a story on the winner ready to publish immediately after the season finale. Now for everyone to see, here are profiles of both finalists, Marcel and Ilan. Watch Top Chef on Wednesday, January 31 at 10PM EST to find out the real winner.

Nice try, Food & Wine. You can argue until you’re Cabernet in the face that the profile “found” yesterday is not necessarily that of the winner, but not many will believe you. Especially not the rapacious posters in the spoiler thread at Television Without Pity. A few posters in the aforementioned thread suggest differences in the writing quality between the two pieces, opining that one feels more forced or faked than the other.

Honzo Steel cracked me up with this comment in the Television Without Pity forums: “Wow! This is just like the movies. Roxie Hart Guilty. Roxie Hart Not Guilty. Superman Dead. Superman Lives.” Superant adds, “Maybe it’s like the movie “Clue,” with multiple endings. One, where Ilan wins. One, Marcel wins. Another, Tom C executes everyone by firing squad.”

Personally, I’d be partial to a Scooby-Doo ending where Hubert Keller gets his mask pulled off, revealing himself to be Old Man Bourdain, and says, “And I would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for you f*cking kids!”

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