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Top Ta-Tas

Last night was the season finale of Top Chef. It’s been an extremely lackluster season with no truly remarkable contestants, which is why there’s been little mention of it here. However, last’s night episode was interesting.

It went down like this: Blah, blah, food, past season stars, drama, OH! A twist!, famous chefs, a fallen souffle, tears, a cranky British guy, boobs, boobs, boobs, the Shmoo wins.

Right now, we’re going to focus on just one aspect of this recap: Boobs. Specifically, guest judge Gail Simmons’.

In this episode, the Food & Wine editor decided that it’d be entirely appropriate to wear an ill-fitting, low-cut dress that showed an, um, excessive amount of cleavage. Or perhaps we’re being prudish here. You be the judge. As one colleague joked, “In this shot, her boobs are so licious, they’re busting onto the screen.”

In Gail’s defense, she did have on a very supportive bra. Which we could see. Nice demi-cup.

And she clearly subscribes to the “up high and close together” rule when purchasing undergarments (as opposed to “lift and separate”).

Gail, we love you, but c’mon. Have a little class.

Special thanks to Paul and DMac for hunting down pictures.

erica | Feb 26 2009 1:33pm | body, boobs, gail simmons, top chef | Comments 0

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Paul  says:

Really sort of magnificent. And so important that they’re echoed thematically in the rest of the episode. Two bald contestants, two bald judges. It’s like a motif.

Can’t believe the Schmoo won!

Feb 26 1:28 PM

Josh  says:

No different than Padma last week in her weird corset, except Gail’s got a bigger chest. I wouldn’t call it classless really. I’m thinking she’s a girl who’s using what she’s got to be kinda sexy on the TV. Besides all this food stuff is about texture and sensuality and all that stuff, so it’s not like she’s coming from way out in left field.

But, yes, it was funny.

Feb 26 1:37 PM

Josh  says:

Wait, and Fabio’s not remarkable? I thought this was a fine season for casting.

Feb 26 1:38 PM

Erica  says:

re: Josh

I agree that she was just trying to work it and there’s no shame in that. I would argue that—because it was so gratuitous—she came out looking more trashy than sexy.

Feb 26 1:41 PM

Josh  says:

I think that depends on your standards of what is sexy vs. trashy, and that is a very subjective opinion based on all sorts of variable social, cultural, regional, and economic standards.

Feb 26 1:46 PM

Paul  says:

If Fabio doesn’t win listener favorite, I will eat an entire haberdashery. Carla is his only real competition, but I have to believe Fabio is the most entertaining contestant from all 5 seasons combined.

I think the impact of Gail’s boobs is partly because she’s been missing for so long and Toby’s boobs aren’t nearly so majestic. Neither are his metaphors. And also, Gail’s boobs have never been so high. Even when they had the finale of season 3 in Aspen. Which is far from sea level.

Only really unfortunate in the shots where her bra was clearly visible. Otherwise, a prestige night for a substantial chest. B+

Feb 26 1:48 PM

Paul  says:

We’re going socio-economical? Padma and Gail are at either end of the spectrum. Padma would be a huge hit with the aristocrats and Gail would be the prize of the marketplace.

And Tom would always be a huge hit with burly gay guys. Toby, huge hit with nobody.

Feb 26 1:52 PM

C Kevin  says:

I enjoyed this season a great deal. Fabio was a standout, tv personality wise, and could easily see him hosting a spin off. Perhaps Fabio’s connection with the Shatner could be exploited. That would certainly make compelling television.

I did notice Gail’s boobage(repeatedly) but they didn’t take center stage. The drama of the final showdown was fantastic and wasn’t misplaced by the bountiful breasts, imho.

Feb 26 2:12 PM

Ryan  says:

There’s something to be said about this season where in the finale the things everyone is talking about most are the breasts of one of the judges.

Aside from Fabio it’s lacked a certain spark that we had in the last seasons, they did everything they could to build drama with Hosea/Stefan and Hosea/Leah but it doesn’t help that none of those 3 people were likable.

Feb 26 2:12 PM

C Kevin  says:

Re: Ryan

I think that was really the only downfall of the season. Stefan was clearly the villain and the heroes presented weren’t heroic enough to cheer for.

Feb 26 2:16 PM

Paul  says:

I think they were trying to portray Hosea as a hero, and it just wasn’t happening.

Feb 26 2:27 PM

Erica  says:

What was most interesting to me was that Carla won the stupid text message poll when they asked who should be Top Chef.

Feb 26 2:33 PM

C Kevin  says:

Carla became a caricature the second she started with with the ‘Food with Love’ stuff. While it didn’t make her unlikeable, it made it difficult to cheer for her.

Feb 26 2:39 PM

Paul  says:

I’d really be interested in seeing how that survey would have gone before Fabio was kicked off and then after Carla botched her dessert.

Feb 26 2:40 PM

Grubb  says:

I know nothing of fashion and the acceptable parameters of sluttiness but I do know that I like this Gail person’s boobies.

That’s all I got.

Feb 26 3:44 PM

Meal Ticket :: Blog Archive :: Top Chef Season 5, Episode 14: Didn’t see that one coming :: Philadelphia City Paper :: Philadelphia Arts, Restaurants, Music, Movies, Jobs, Classifieds, Blogs  says:

[...] Season 5 of Bravo’s Top Chef wrapped up last night. Meal Ticket readers and I have been blabbing all week about who we thought would take home the title among last-chefs-standing Stefan, Carla and Hosea.Full commentary after the jump (warning for DVR people — immediate spoilers). bravotv.comBoulder, Colorado’s Hosea — who I’ve consistently labeled as an underachiever thanks to his back-of-the-line shuffle through this year’s competition — is Top Chef.I did not anticipate this happening AT ALL, and I don’t think anyone else did, either. The final challenge is always simple — cook the best three-course meal of your life. It’s a task that I felt Stefan, ever the steely-yet-eloquent tactician, and Carla, whose bubbly, soulful nature has come through in her food in the second half of the season, would destroy. Yet both made odd, uncharacteristic mistakes and decisions that tarnished their final offerings so much that Hosea’s inspired, well-executed meal was the clear champion. It’s just one more thing to argue about for the two schools of Top Chef judging thought: determining a cheftestant’s fate based on his or her collective output, or picking winners based solely on a singular challenge. It doesn’t seem that Top Chef has a hard and fast policy regarding this — if they did, Stefan would’ve been eliminated for his extremely overcooked salmon in Episode 12 instead of Leah for her runny eggs. Last night, however, Hosea was clearly the best — and this stroke of superiority was enough to convince the judges that he deserved the crown.What the hell happened here? Let’s see. After an idyllic breakfast on a paddleboat, we got to hear the contestants rave about what winning would mean to them. “It would suck to go home without the title,” Hosea said at the outset. At this point, I don’t think anyone thought the guy was capable of going home with it. We were so wrong.The Final Three learned that they would be cooking their meals at NOLA restaurant Commander’s Palace for a group of tasters that included all our judges’ table friends in addition to the likes of elimitaliano Fabio, Rocco DiSpirito and Hubert Keller. Then they tossed a sous chef twist into the wind by bringing back close-but-no-$100K-cigar finale participants from previous seasons — Season 2 chem slanger Marcel, twangy Season 3 debutante Casey and Season 4 frontrunner Richard (who was featured on Meal Ticket back in November). After knife-drawing, the ladies were paired up, while Richard and Marcel ended up with Hosea and Stefan, respectively. (”He’s a bit of a twat, but who’s not?” Stefan observed of his sous chef. I’m not a twat man.)A prep period saw the baldies bitching at each over the distribution of foie gras and caviar, which ranks as the most presposterously insensitive first-world debate I’ve witnessed this season.The next morning, Tom C. materialized in the Commander’s Palace kitchen with another twist: Each contestant was required to prepare an additional passed hors d’oeuvres using one of three native NOLA ingredients — crab, red fish or alligator. To determine who would get to pick first (as well as assign the other cheftestants their food), they ate pieces of king cake, which Felicia D. told you about the other day. Whoever found the plastic baby in their wedge would get the advantage. (Please just read this.) Hosea landed the infant/choking hazard — he took red fish, giving Carla too-easy crab and leaving the gator for Stefan (of course). This ended up being irrelevant to the finale’s outcome, however, as all the judges and guests dug the bite-size starters of each chef.It all came down to the coursework.Hosea started with sashimi drizzled with hot fennel oil, following that up with a scallop/foie gras dish on pain perdu with apple compote and foie gras foam and the third course, a Colorado-like venison dish with ’shrooms, chestnut/celery root purée and Richard-fied carbonated blackberries. No dessert — but no one was required to make one. All dishes were approved by the judges (small criticisms included blandess in the first course), though Tom C. and Toby butted heads over the lack of a sweet plate.Carla began with a beautiful seared red snapper bouillabaisse-type thing with saffron aioli, moved on to a NY strip cooked sous vide (Casey’s suggestion, though Carla had never used the technique; judges found the meat tough and Toby called it “rather anemic”) and ended with an incomplete cheese plate that she sent out sans a souffle that got effed in the oven. (She originally wanted to rock one of her signature tarts, but went instead with Casey’s suggestion.) A lot of people are blaming Casey for “sabotaging” Carla’s chances, which I think is horseshit. The chef had 100 percent creative control over her menu, and was not obliged to take any of her (admittedly overly opinionated) sous chef’s suggestions and run with them. Why did she do it? It had to have been nerves. It’s just sad and unfortunate that it cost her $100K — if Carla had cooked her steak traditionally and put together her cheese tart as originally planned, she definitely would’ve won.bravotv.comMuch to Marcel’s befuddlement, Stefan decided to freeze a hyper-fresh portion of halibut so he could slice it thin for a first-course carpaccio with smoked salmon, a decision that led to the judges ripping the dish for being too watery and bland. In the middle, he whipped up a homey, extremely well-received pan-seared squab (Tom’s favorite of the night) before concluding with the universally reviled dessert trio at right. My girl Gail, whose soul-screaming cleavage was my change-of-heart pick for Top Chef after I knew Stef had lost it, said it looked straight out of 1982. Padma called it “pedestrian at best.” I don’t quite understand what happened here, especially considering a) Marcel surely had more than a few tweaks and tricks in his bag for his chef; and b) Stefan has dominated with his desserts in previously (see Restaurant Wars).“Cooking basic food is much sexier than doing a bunch of bullshit,” Stefan said while going over his menu. I agree, but there’s nothing basic or sexy about something that looks like it could be served at one of the restaurants from American Psycho. You were my pick, Stef! What went wrong?On paper, Hosea deserved to win — IF (big if) your criteria is strictly the final challenge. He did a better job than his two competitors, who succumbed to unfortunate lapses in judgment (Carla’s over-reliance on Casey’s ideas) and in imagination (Stefan seemed to resent being asked to cook with no boundaries or stipulations). It’s just difficult for me to accept that Hosea deserved the title. IF (another big if) you look back and absorb what he did in Season 5 as part of your decision-making process, you’ll find that though he did win a handful of challenges, the chef side-stepped his way through most rounds by squeaking through in the middle. In Seasons 1 through 3, I felt that each Top Chef winner — Harold, Ilan and Hung — was the premier talent of his season. In Season 4, I didn’t have a favorite, but was comfortable with either Richard or eventual winner Stephanie taking it.This time around, however, I can’t bring myself to say that the show rewarded the chef who possesses the widest breadth of culinary ability. I’m not taking issue with Hosea’s on-paper talent — he proved in this episode that he can do it and do it well. Rather, I’m flummoxed because his victory proved that this season was nothing more than a game of Sharks and Minnows — keep your neck above water long enough, and catch a couple lucky breaks, and you may just find yourself the last fish in the pool.As much as I have crapped on Hosea this season — for both his creepo relations
hip with pout factory Leah and his irritating Stefan’s-little-brother inferiority complex — you have to give him credit for pulling off something that a majority of Top Chef fans thought was impossible. It just makes me wonder — with the producers aware of the identity of the winner some time before the airing of the finale, why did they make absolutely no effort to build audience empathy for Hosea in the episodes leading up to last night’s? Throughout this season, he was never portrayed as scrappy enough to become default underdog. (That was Carla.) Most of his camera time was dedicated to complaining about Stefan. And they made sure to squeeze every bit of manufactured “he’s a scumbag!” drama out of the Leah/infidelity subplot. In other words, they basically skipped over any and every opportunity they had to connect Hosea with viewers, so much so that no one (no one I know, at least) was rooting for him — or even really thinking about him — come finale time. What does this tell us about Season 5? It tell us the producers probably didn’t want — and certainly didn’t expect — Hosea to win.So what do you think? Let me know in the comments. Meanwhile, I’ll be scouring the Internet for a high-res picture of Gail’s bosoms.UPDATE: Here are some pictures of Gail’s boobs for archival purposes. Many thanks to PW’s Style [...]

Feb 26 11:22 PM

patnb  says:

I too thought Carla would win but am hapy Josea did. What really disgusted me was Gail’s outfit – or lack of one. And Padma isn’t any better. What is it with these woman and their boobs? Who needs to see them, especially one who has too much and another with none? No class – just tacky.

Mar 1 11:05 PM

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Mar 19 2:06 PM


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