I love Top Chef, y’all. I truly do. But as the seasons grind on, the show seems less interested in the chef-testants’ cooking skills than in their ability to, like, shoot a duck out of the sky with a slingshot. More and more, the challenges are so divorced from their ability to make a nice meal that I feel like the winner may not necessarily be the best chef at all. He may just be the dude who was able to chip the best ingredients out of a giant block of ice before the 10 minute time limit ran out.
But despite all this, I keep watching like some kind of Top Chef slut. Even when the food is put on the back burner (HA!), the show delivers enough crazypants people and weird distractions to keep me engaged.
Take Season 10, which airs its second episode tonight. I don’t know much about the chefs, but what I do know is that almost all of them have terrible hair. And I mean terrible. A few weeks from now, I’m sure I’ll be judging them on their abilities in the kitchen, but for now, I’m judging these people on their above-the-neck fashions.
For instance, did you notice the mustache on that guy at the top of this post? Unacceptable. The ironic mustache is just unacceptable. What are you proving, sir? That you can rebel against one standard of masculine appearance by conforming to another? I have just never gotten this trend or what need it fulfills in the men who follow it. If you want a beard, then grown one. If you want a mustache, then grow one. But why style your facial hair in such an aggressive, attention-seeking way? Other than an apparent need to be noticed, what does it signify?
And it doesn’t stop there. Take a look at this rogue’s gallery.
You’ve got more ironic facial hair, an ill-advised Bavarian barmaid pile-up, a chaotic chop-and-part, and splotchy stubble that suggests somebody wanted to emulate the unemployed today.
And look: I am aware that judge Hugh Acheson sports a unibrow, but that’s different. He was born that way, and if we wants to rock what nature gave him, then I can deal with it.
At least all is not lost. This contestant, Jeffrey Jew, sports stylish look, and he’s openly gay. So guess who I’m rooting for!
If Mark Blankenship is ever on TV, he will at least get his stubble looking right, but he accepts that some jerk on the internet will probably make fun of him anyway. He tweets as @IAmBlankenship.