Editing of Marcel’s head-shaving attempt may have understated Elia’s role

Careful viewers of Top Chef 2‘s Wednesday episode, in which Cliff was sent home for restraining Marcel, have noticed that the events may have been edited out of sequence. The effect of that editing seems to have minimized Elia’s role in the attempt to shave Marcel’s head.

Television Without Pity poster DjLexxy noticed something in the footage, writing that it “definitely exposes Elia as a liar” and “throws off the timeline that the editors presented us.” Specifically, Elia is visible–with her hair intact–as Marcel storms off; here’s one clear example. That, DjLexxy writes, “means that they shaved their heads after they tried to shave Marcel’s. So when Elia was making fun of Marcel, imitating his hair, its after she witnessed what had happened.”

That, a poster named Rai points out, likely means that “they realized they’d probably get in trouble for attempting to shave Marcel’s head, so they shave their own to prove it’s no big deal.” In other words, the whole thing may have started as an attempt to just shave Marcel’s head.

Tom Colicchio, who wanted to send all of them home for their part in the incident, wrote on his blog, “I’m not willing to hold Elia blameless just because she wasn’t in the room — I know she heard the others entreating her to join them, so she must have heard Marcel calling out for help.” But this shows she was in the room, for at least part of it.

Here’s some wild, unfounded speculation: Bravo’s editing of the incident to suggest that Elia was not involved might be a way to endear her to us because she’s going to win. Audiences like winners who they like, and Elia has pretty much defended Marcel throughout the season against the harassment from the other chefs, so this could have changed our perception of her.

On another note, the other chefs’ obvious hatred of Marcel continues today. Ilan recently bragged to New York Magazine about his homophobic taunting of Marcel during the competition: “This didn’t air, but he had to make this dish about lust and I told him that he’s never lusted after a woman, all he does is go home and jerk off thinking about Joël Robuchon. And the only thing he could think of as a comeback was, ‘I don’t jerk off to Joël Robuchon.’ That was it!”

And Ilan also said Marcel was “always talking down to other people’s techniques and always questioning, and not in a creative way or constructive way. Everything is always insultory … if that’s a word.” Sam says Marcel was Marcel was “Much, much worse. The past couple of episodes they’ve made him seem like some sort of a sweetheart. … I mean, I hope he watches the show and picks up some social skills along the way.”

That they’re still so upset now, even though the show was taped earlier, might suggest that Marcel made it to the final two, ahead of chefs Ilan and Sam think are more talented, like themselves.

‘Top Chef”s Marcel Doesn’t Love Joël Robuchon That Much [New York Magazine]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.