Top Chef’s pea-brained Alex survives cheating accusations again, leading to Kenny’s exit

For the second time on this season of Top Chef, Alex Reznik was cast as a cheating, thieving, bumbling twit, and after because of that, he’s solidified himself as this season’s villain. A few weeks ago, he was accused of other chefs on the show of stealing pea puree from Ed, and this week, the losing restaurant wars challenge team accused him of not actually making his own dish. He’s even being accused of stealing silverware.

This week, the restaurant wars challenge required each team conceive a dish. Because Alex had screwed up the quickfire challenge, though not enough for Nancy Pelosi to notice, never mind his previous incompetence, his team gave him the front of the house job and basically created a dish for him. Of course, he screwed his one job up by, among other things, being an ass to his staff and failing to greet or say goodbye to the judges, instead just standing there like a goofy oaf.

However, despite team Evoo (please) being a disaster, their food was better, and they won, baffling the other team. Kevin got pissed in the stew room, yelling at Alex, and his team tried to argue in front of the judges that Alex should go home for violating the rules, an argument that made sense but seemed to only cause the judges to contort their faces. But Kenny Gilbert, who’s had some great highs but also some lows, created some pretty bad dishes and was sent home. It seemed shocking, for sure, though it ultimately makes sense–even if Alex is a giant, cheating asshat.

Speaking of that, as to the pea puree scandal from a couple weeks ago, Stephen told TV Guide, “I know he didn’t steal Ed’s pea puree. Ed either didn’t bring it, or it got lost. I even told Ed I blame myself for it because me, Ed and Angelo shared a cooler that day, and I was the first one in the cooler and pulled some of my ingredients out and maybe I didn’t put his pea puree back in. I thought I did. I honestly know Alex, and I know he didn’t steal it. And I’m probably the only one who’s going to say that, so make sure you write that in big, bold letters.”

Tom Collichio weighed in on BravoTV.com and said “we judges absolutely never have access to behind-the-scenes conversations or goings-on, as there is no way on earth that we would blithely have judged the dishes as we did this week without delving into the matter of the creator of that puree,” and he added, “I was not happy to learn that there had been any question of impropriety.” Tom adds that he thinks Ed didn’t call Alex out in front of the judges because “I think that Ed himself may not have been wholly convinced that Alex took his puree. … we’ll never know which of the three possibilities actually transpired, and only one of the three possibilities actually involved foul play.”

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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.