Tom defends Hosea; ratings up for Top Chef 5

The conclusion of Top Chef 5 helped make this season of the Bravo competition the highest-rated one yet, even if the winner was lackluster.

On Wednesday, 3.74 million viewers watched, a slight increase from the 3.508 million who watched last June’s season four finale, and making the finale “the most watched cable telecast of the day in adults 18-49 and No. 1 in prime among total viewers,” according to a Bravo press release. Overall, episodes this season this season “averaged 2.14 million adults 18-49 and 3.02 million total viewers” which, compared to last season, is “up 18 percent in adults 18-49 (vs. 1.81 million) and 19 percent in total viewers (vs. 2.54 million),” Bravo said.

Meanwhile, Tom Colicchio defended selecting Hosea Rosenberg as the winner. “If I had to do it all over again, reading what Im reading, I’d still say Hosea wins. He made a better meal,” Tom told People. “It’s fortunate for Hosea that he put together a better meal than Stefan. Simple as that. We don’t care about personalities. We don’t care about who was making out. We simply care about who put together a better meal from start to finish.”

However, one of his fellow judges disagreed. Toby Young actually wanted Stefan to win, and in a blog post, he reveals something rather interesting: “I asked Tom at the outset whether the same rule applied to judging the finale as it did to all the other challenges, namely, that we had to disregard everything the chefs had done before and judge them entirely on their performance that day. He said it did, but with one caveat: if we whittled the finalists down to two, and there was nothing to choose between them, we could bring in their past performances as a tie-breaker.”

Toby writes that “for that reason, we ought to give it to Stefan, who clearly performed better over the course of the season than Hosea,” but says “Tom countered that Hosea’s margin of victory in the third course was so much greater than Stefan’s margin of victory in the second that there was no need to bring in past performances — Hosea was the clear winner.” Toby Young was, obviously, outvoted.

Bravo’s “Top Chef: New York” Stirs Up Highest Rated Season Ever [Bravo press release]
In Defense of Stefan [Bravo]
Tom Colicchio: I Would Pick Hosea as the Top Chef Again [People]

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.