Andy Cohen hosts! All the chefs and the judges (including English Toby) are present. The final four sit on a couch: Fabio, Hosea, Stefan, and “Hooty Hoo!” (or Carla, if you’re not familiar with her catchphrase). Andy explains up the fan favorite sweepstakes in which viewers voted online for their favorite chef and the cheftestant with the most votes would win $10,000. Votes among the cheftestants are split between Carla and Fabio, until Leah (groan) jokes that even Stefan could win it, leaving Stefan to talk bigger than big. Tom shakes his head, adamantly saying that Stefan will not win.
Andy asks if anyone doubted Hosea would win. Leah is the only one who raises her hand. She pretends to be kidding, but she’s totally not. We get a video reel of “Hosea Highlights” where Hosea waxes poetic about his goals and his food. We also get a rehash of the Hosea/Stefan rivalry.
Hosea says that he will be putting his money in some to-be-determined business ventures. Tom states that the two parts of the finale had the best food of the season. He also reiterates that Stefan’s biggest mistake was dessert. Stefan tries to convince everyone that he’s happy that he didn’t win.
Questions from the fans begin! When asked about Team Europe’s bromance (Fabio and Stefan), we get another montage. We get to see some ridiculous joking sequences with the two of them, including lots of kisses (head, cheek) and whisperings into each others’ ears. Fabio and Stefan are still best buds in California, but Fabio states firmly that he’s straight. Straight. He has sex with women, people! Stefan gets an “I Heart Fabio” shirt, much to his glee.
Next, we get a “Carla gets in tune with the Spirit Guides” video in which she meditates, sings and dances. We also finally have an explanation of “Hooty Hoo!”: It’s a call and response for when she or her husband is lost. Carla believes that her good attitude helped her do well.
Andy next shows a video of the “birthday curse”: Daniel, Gene, Radhika and Leah were eliminated on or within a few days of their birthdays.
Next, we get a Jeff montage of his crazy, creative, complex foods and his gorgeous bangs. Oh, Jeff! You’re MY fan favorite!
Tom gets a question about how he saved a woman who was choking. Everyone claps. The chefs say that they’re not all familiar with the Heimlich, which Tom recommends everyone learns.
Gail admits that a lot of what is said at the judges’ table is either boring or useless. Of course, what we see in the next montage are the most slamming remarks of the past season: “cat food,” “inedible,” “weapons of mass destruction,” etc. Melissa, an often-slammed contestant, says that the montage was hard to watch. Stefan tries to explain that the feeling crosses over into those in the top.
Lauren and Patrick (does anyone remember them?) are criticized by a fan for not being able to make food out of apples and having to pack their knives in the first episode. It’s a low blow, but at least we actually get to see the earlier contestants in this reunion show, unlike the Project Runway ones where you forget that there were contestants other than the top six or so.
We finally get the question about Leah and Hosea, including the expected montage where they repeat in interviews that nothing’s going on because they’re in relationships — until they make out drunk on a couch. Leah, back at the reunion, is pissed that they’re showing this montage, especially the kiss. Hosea tries to explain the kiss: They were completely hammered. Stefan doesn’t care that they hooked up because everyone cheats at one time or another (Thanks, Stefan. I see that your relationship with Fabio will last!). Hosea insists that other people must have had relations on the show, but they weren’t filmed. Andy and Tom joke that they’re the ones that have been hooking up. (Ew.)
Next, we find out what happened to Leah and Hosea’s relationships back home: They both broke up. Hosea insists that right now he and Leah are good friends and that they considered dating but won’t because they live so far apart. Leah insists that she would never move from New York for Hosea, but Hosea makes it pretty clear that if he were offered a job in New York, he’d take it.
We then get the expected montage of the stupid stuff that’s done in the Glad Room of Glad Products. Unlike drunker, less-creative seasons, these chefs made beds and volleyball nets out of Glad Products. But, of course, the drunkenness still applies: Leah and Jamie got completely sloshed one night and can’t completely remember what happened in front of the judges’ table.
Ariane is voted the biggest crier of the show, but we also get a long montage of everyone crying. Leah says that her mother told her not to cry on Top Chef because she’d “look like a little bitch.” Uh, no, Leah. Cheating on your boyfriend will make you look like a total bitch. But thanks for playing!
To answer a question about his hubris, Stefan says that he just looks in the mirror every day and reminds himself that he is the best. We then get our Stefan montage of him hitting on Jamie, Andrea, Gail and Padma. Andy asks the question we’ve all been wondering: Why did Stefan pursue Jamie so fiercely when he knew that she was batting for the home team? Stefan says that he simply respects her cooking and that “she’s got a great rack.” Jamie says she’d rather die of tequila poisoning than have sex with Stefan. No one thinks Stefan will win fan favorite.
The chefs reveal their nicknames for each other: Patrick is “Pocket Chef,” Richard is “Big Gay Rich,” Jeff is “Don Sorbet Johnson,” Hosea is “Old T(estement)”, Leah is a “Ho Fo’ Sho’,” and Ariane is “Cougar.” Thus, Ariane gets an “I’m a cougar in the kitchen” shirt. Both shirts this season are nice, but neither matches the caliber of Andrew’s “Culinary Boner” shirt from last year.
Radhika gets called out for constantly Indian-inspired meals, which she denies. As someone who watched the show, I have to say that most of the things she made were, in fact, Indian or Indian-inspired.
Jamie gets her montage. It’s mostly her complaining, but Jamie says that it’s mostly due to the pressure and her perfectionism. I agree. Jamie always seemed upset with herself, not others.
Andy brings up Jeff’s interview in Peoplewhere Jeff said Tom’s food was boring. Jeff claims that he was completely misquoted, which Tom accepts, saying that he’s been misquoted in the past as well. Jeff also talks about his treatment as a “sex symbol” and how his wife was wondering why he was shirtless every episode. (It was for the greater good, Jeff!)
We next get our bald men montage. Gail was feeling outnumbered by the bald men. We next get some photoshopped pictures of the bald contestants with hair from other Bravo stars, including Christian Siriano and Richard Blais.
Richard calls Tom “Pecs.”
Finally, we find out who the fan favorite is! The fan favorite is … Fabio! (Of course!) We get our montage of our lovable Fabio, his accent and his charm. Fabio is very thankful and Stefan takes solace in the fact that he has a faction of female fans who love him. Fabio will be using the money to work on the restaurant and for his mother. Hosea asks for support for cancer research on behalf of his dad.
And that, my friends, was Top Chef Season 5! Not quite as good as last season, but we did get to have Team Europe and Jeff the BangsMaster, so it was a season well-spent.