Fabio Viviani wins fan favorite on boring Top Chef 5 reunion

Fabio Viviani won $10,000 thanks to voting viewers, who selected him as their favorite Top Chef 5 contestant. That was announced at the end of an extremely long reunion that made The Bachelor 13‘s second reunion seem like a Michael Bay movie.

All of the content must have gotten lost in host Andy Cohen’s chest hair, because it was little more than clips and jokey moments, including a moronic segment that showed the bald chefs with fake hairdos. One clip was amusing and worthwhile: previously unseen footage of Jaime and Leah drunk in the stew room and in front of the judges, complete with Padma scolding them for being trashed on national TV. And we did learn that Daniel, Eugene, Radhika, and Leah were all eliminated on their birthdays, which is pretty strange–both that they all had birthdays that fell on elimination days during the competition, and that they got send home on those days.

Leah and lackluster winner Hosea both said that post-make out, they’re friends, although Hosea seemed more enthusiastic about the possibility of a future relationship, saying, “if we both lived in the same city we’d considering dating.” Leah seemed more embarrassed, as when one clip aired–she was talking about wanting to have a boyfriend when she left the show–she said, “Really? Can you not fucking show that?”

There was also a lot of awkwardness, from Fabio insisting that his European habits don’t make him gay (“I’m straight, I like women”) to Toby Young commenting about Fabio working despite a broken finger by saying, “It’s Top Chef, not Top Pussy.” Stefan also commented on Jaime’s rack and Richard said that he campaigned for fan favorite and “the gay bear community came out in full force.” Tom Colicchio then said, sheepishly, “Go bears,” and Padma said Tom was “shaking his head, ‘it made me what I am today.'”

Andy Cohen also unveiled an “I’m a cougar in the kitchen” shirt for Ariane and an “I heart Fabio” t-shirt, because it wouldn’t be a Bravo reunion without some overeager effort to make a marketable catchphrase out of something everyone had already forgotten.

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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.