Top Chef: All Stars
Jamie Lauren packed her knives on this week's episode of Top Chef: All-Stars, but fellow contestant Marcel Vigneron thought the elimination was long overdue.
"My friends and I were watching the episode last night, and one of the persons in the room was like, 'Who is she sleeping with?'" he told TVGuide.com Thursday while promoting his upcoming Syfy show, Marcel's Quantum Kitchen, at the Television Critics Association's winter previews.
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"It seemed like she was dodging bullets constantly: She cut her finger, she never cooked, she went to the hospital to get stitches, she undercooked her garbanzo beans, had two bad dishes for dim sum and she didn't get eliminated," Vigneron said. "And it seems all she cooks is scallops. I was like, 'How is she still there?'"
Ultimately, he blames the judges' panel.
"I don't think that they always make the right decision," Vigneron said. "I think [she's] a perfect example of that. Why did they send all these other people home before her? I really don't understand their decision-making processes. Every time I'm in the stew room, I never know. To be honest with you, the food from all the chefs is amazing and it's very close. We don't make the judges' job easy. They're splitting hairs to figure out who's going and who's staying."
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Vigneron is no stranger to controversy or criticism for his own performance on the show. On Wednesday's episode, he's seen haranguing Dale Talde on the rooftop of their New York apartment.
"What prompted that was he told me, 'Oh Marcel, I only made eight good dishes during that challenge and I served them to the judges and that was it,'" he revealed. "I was like, 'Really? And you're bragging to me about that?' I was like, man, I was running up the stairs, carrying all of my food, did 200 portions. I thought maybe that would count for something. If I only made eight portions, I could make my food amazing too, but that wasn't really the challenge."
Throughout the episode, Talde was seen in interviews mocking Vigneron, and at one point, he even compared him to the catch of the day because of his big head and little body. "It's funny. I didn't even know that Dale had all this beef with me," Vigneron said. "He didn't say anything to my face; he only says them in those interviews."
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Despite the obvious enmity on screen, Vigneron explained that the show leaves out the more positive relationships he's made on Top Chef.
"Carla [Hall] and I are good friends. She loves me," he said. "We were cooking together at WD-50, and I was helping her with nitrogen or something, and she just broke down and started crying. 'Oh my God, Marcel, you're not anything like I thought you were going to be. I was so wrong about you. You're the nicest, sweetest person.' So Carla and I are pretty tight. Spike [Mendelsohn] and I, we're pretty much homies. Tre [Wilcox] and I get along great."
In fact, he and Wilcox share a hobby: rapping.
"Me and Tre were freestyling for a while up on that rooftop. I wasn't sure if they were going to show it in last night's episode, but apparently they didn't."