May 4, 2006

Did they Wendy-ize Tiffani?

Unless you know the first season of "Project Runway" and have been following "Top Chef," my question can mean little. But there are certain reality show types. We all know what a Puck is, don't we? We all know what an Omarosa is, right? Pop culture literacy has some basic requirements. How can you not know the Wendy role? Then there's the whole issue of editing a person into the role, because it makes a good narrative. Was Wendy really, fully the Wendy character created by the "Project Runway" editors? But Tiffani? Suddenly, on this week's show, she's become the conniver who didn't come here to make friends. And Leann was the one everyone loved -- the Austin. (Or do you think Dave was supposed to be the Austin? No, Dave was the Andrae. Or was Andrae the Austin of "Project Runway's" second season?) Anyway, the two women -- Tiffani and Leann -- were seated side-by-side, and it was supposed to play as good versus evil, and -- oh, no! -- Tiffani makes it through to the finale. We're all supposed to cry for Leann and be stoked to see Tiffani fail in the finale. But what the hell? I'll be watching. Personally, I'm rooting for Dave. He's the underdog. He made it to the finale by making macaroni and cheese (with a truffle at the bottom) when all the others were being hoity-toity for the fancy-schmancy chefs. And he's so emotional. The other two -- Tiffani and Harold -- are steely/serene. Frankly, I'd rather work with either of them, because they radiate competence and control. Who wants a high-pressured work place to feel crazed and chaotic? But still, I'm a Dave fan. I've never seen a reality show where a verge-of-a-nervous breakdown character got this far.


chrisburp said...

Was it me, or earlier on Top Chef, did they make it out that Dave's mac & cheese was not going over well with the chef-judges? I was surprised that his (Dave) was the favorite of the judges.
It would be a hoot if Dave won it all, but I think he'd have a stroke or heart attack if that happened. :)

Marghlar said...

Yeah, they do go a bit over the top trying to spook us out and create suspsense -- but hey, it's a reality show, so what do we expect, right?

I think all they did was display an aspect of Tiffani that did seem to be there in earlier episodes...I wouldn't really want to work with her, either. On the other hand, her food does consistently look and sound great.

Elizabeth said...

I'd work for Tiffani or Harold, but I'd want Dave to work for me. I love his little emotional ticks and jerks, and he's truly a good, focused worker in the kitchen. But I don't think he has the big picture needed to be a chef. Leeann is a fine cook, and a good chef, but not as experienced as either Tiffani or Harold, and her inexperience came through several times in making hasty decisions and overworking her food.

Steven is my vote for the Omarosa of this group. I kept thinking someone had to be scripting him, he was so true to form. He had to go, but I miss his little Steve-o-centric musings on the general unworthiness of everyone around him, and the misunderstood grandeur of his creations.

Tiffani's main failure is a refusal to recognize the service aspect of the kitchen. She's not appreciative of the fact that her clients are her audience, not parishioners. Harold and Dave are the most professional of the bunch, but Harold's the better cook, and better manager.

I've watched other cooking competitions (Food Network Star), but this one is the first to really feel like my days in the kitchen.

I like me some Top Chef!

Moanique said...

I've liked Harold in this from the beginning. Some combination of competence and actually seeming like a real person. He also seems like a practical guy who understands the business.

I'm not sure I'd want to eat at Dave's restaurant since I don't aspire to eat anything that was possibly in his vicinity during an emotional moment. I loved the idea of him doing mac and cheese though.

I tuned Tiffani out pretty much after the show where she had immunity...I think it was the episode where they cooked for schoolkids. I was hoping that would be brought up before they sent her home since someone made the remark that if she hadn't had immunity she would be packing up that night, but alas. Tiffani as 'bad girl' started there for me.

Sorry to see LeAnn leaving. I liked her.

Elizabeth said...

Moanique, I agree! Dave tends to get way too many bodily fluids involved in the cooking process! He runs his hands through his hair, and over his eyes and nose and mouth whenever he gets flustered or emotional. I'd want him to wear a holster, with a bottle of anti-bacterial goop attached at all times.

Nonetheless, I like him, and would want him as a sous chef.

Oscar Madison said...

I don't think Dave is on the verge of a nervous breakdown -- he's just a cryer and a rush-arounder, but I don't see him cracking or freaking.

To me Tiffani is more like Santino but without the charm and humor -- kind of the way the entire show is missing something (several things) that Project Runway has. Yeah, she wants to win, but her duplicity -- if that's what it is -- has been pretty low level. Wendy didn't seem very talented and just somehow slid by -- perhaps simply by being obnoxious. Tiffani is good and deserves to be there. Though I think as between her and Leann she may well have made the cut because her personality brings slightly bigger reality TV into the mix.