Top Chef Las Vegas reunites chefs who think Padma hates them, doesn’t do much more

Was there a lamer hour of TV on this week than the Top Chef Las Vegas reunion last night? And I say that knowing that The Sing-Off has already aired six full hours.

Sweaty Andy Cohen spent most of the hour introducing clips. How did the producers know that what I really wanted to see more than anything else in the whole world was more bickering between the Voltaggio brothers, who already wrecked the season? I don’t need an hour-long recap; I just watched the season. How about some insight? But there wasn’t much of that: The questions that were asked were either softballs or got quick, lame answers that seemed to be heavily edited.

It got a little interesting in the last five minutes with some outtakes, including Padma holding a product-placement cookbook upside down, and a couple minutes of discussion on Robin-bashing; clips of that were followed by Eli eventually apologizing for his “terse interactions” with her, and presumably for her comments about her cancer, although since he hadn’t apologized previously and was pushed into it by Toby Young, it didn’t seem like much of an apology.

Besides Eli and Kevin arguing in the stew room while Padma stood at the doorway, trying to get their attention, the single most interesting moment came when Andy asked Ash about his comments that Padma hated him, and then our host asked, “How many people here think Padma doesn’t like them?” Nearly all the chefs raised their hands. Awesome. Padma said something like, “It’s not true,” and said she knows them only through their food, and not as people. But as always, we got no follow-up from Andy Cohen, like the obvious question: “So, why did you hate their food so much?”

The worst part is that a commercial said Bravo was saving some never-before-seen footage for its latest attempt to duplicate Project Runway Launch My Line, and reserving the fan favorite announcement for a special hour-long edition of Andy Cohen’s midnight chat show tonight. But at least the reunion managed to include some product placement in for Top Chef wine.

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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.