As foretold by Bravo text polls, posters filled with gleaming knives, and the hidden heiroglyphics in Padma's giant arm scar, the fourth season Top Chef begins tonight. In order to get the pre-judging underway, Bravo has already posted the new chefs' bios to their website, which was nice of them—except they're calling the chefs "Cheftestants" which makes me so chefmad I chefwant to chefstab Bravo with their cheflogo chefknife. Going to BravoTV.com already feels like being punched in the face repeatedly with fists of annoyingness, so poking me in the eye with a word like "Cheftestant" is just really unnecessary.
Judging by the chefs' willingness to express themselves with mohawks (2), jaunty hats (1), scowls (3), and headscarves (2) in their bio photos, it appears this crop of contestants is more than happy to slather themselves with "personality." That's important because, as we saw with Project Runway winner Christian Fierceface, having a personality, even one that obviously clicks on whenever the cameras do, is at least as important as talent in Bravo reality competitions. The easiest way to fake a personality? Come up with a catchphrase, and never stop ramming it in the audience's ears.
Here are a few for the new cheftestants to cheftry so they can become chefwinners:
Catchphrase: "Here comes the boom!"
The boom can refer to many things. Erik can say this whenever he enters a room, "The boom's in the room, y'all!", whenever a new challenge is unveiled, "…and here comes the boom," as well as whenever he's preparing food, "Boom. Celery. Boom. Peanut butter. Boom. Raisins. Boom. It's ants on a log, son!"
Spike (and his hat) are apparently French-Canadian, so his delivery of this catchphrase would be superb. Also, a little scatting here and there wouldn't hurt, As in: "Skippity bop no no. This challenge was not so jazzy," and "I beepity bop blanched the cauliflower. Let me tell you, it was jazzy."
Catchphrase: "What what"
This one works best as a kind of spoken disco whistle: "I grabbed the nutmeg—what what—and just threw it on top." Or "Spike never takes off that hat. I bet he showers with it on—what what." Instant personality.
Catchphrase: "Ahoy" "Thar she blows!" and general nautical-speak.
Dale should suffer from a highly-specific form of Tourette's—interjecting pirate-talk into conversations seemingly against his will. What screams "I have a personality!" more than occasionally screaming "Anchor's away!" while shopping for produce, or "Argh. Me peg leg!" while Padma explains their make-a-5-course-meal-using-only-Le-Seur-Peas challenge.
Catchphrase: "Fuck you, Ted Allen!"
Granted, it's not so much a catchphrase as the inner thoughts of any Top Chef viewer, but that's why it would work. Also, it's versatile. "Whatever. Fuck you, Ted Allen. You try to sear a tuna steak on a bunsen burner," works just as well as, "I was like, 'Oh my God! Fuck you, Ted Allen!' I was just so happy to see fresh asparagus."