Top Chef finale beats ABC; Top Design debut sets Bravo record

The controversy leading up to the finale of Top Chef 2, never mind the spoiled outcome, helped bring it an audience 3.896 million viewers. That’s a 157 percent increase from its first finale, according to Bravo.

While nearly two million viewers changed the channel after Ilan’s victory, Top Design premiered with 1.786 million viewers, enough to “[make] it Bravo’s highest rated series premiere in network history,” Bravo said.

Top Chef‘s numbers make it Wednesday’s highest-rated cable show, and more impressively, among viewers ages 18 to 49, it “[bested] ABC’s ‘Primetime’ in head-to-head competition,” Bravo said in a statement.

Somewhat depressingly, Top Chef 2‘s finale performed better than Project Runway 2‘s finale “by 16 percent among Adults 18-49 (2.879 vs. 2.472), and 14 percent among total viewers (3.896 vs. 3.409),” Bravo said.

Meanwhile, 29,639 people tuned in Wednesday night to watch Bravo’s Andy Cohen moderate an awkward Q&A with Ilan and Marcel online, an increase of 82 percent over last week. It was awkward because Ilan barely spoke and looked uncomfortable, while Marcel came across as even weirder and more annoying than he did on the show. But since the webcast only took softball viewer questions and a call from season one’s winner, Harold, it should be re-titled Watch What Happens When We Avoid What Viewers Really Want to Talk About.

Nearly 3.9 Million Total Viewers Feasted on Second Season Finale of ‘Top Chef’… [Bravo press release]