Tube wrap-up: 'Top Chef Masters,' 'Idol'

NUP_137197_0824Susan Feniger, the gay chef who to date this season has won the most money for her charity, finally fell on “Top Chef Masters” last night. Her sandwiches were deemed not “high cuisine” enough to qualify as the master chef. I think that’s a problem with this show in general: haute cuisine gets more credibility than street food. As Feniger said on her way out, maybe the judges need to talk to the people who actually eat her food and like it. But that’s the way the show goes.

Meanwhile, over on Fox, cutie Lee DeWyze won the title American Idol, defeating soulful frontrunner Crystal Bowersox. Based on performance alone in the finale, Bowersox outshone DeWyze, but he’s a charming, likeable singer with a good voice. And it’s not his fault this just turned out to be a boring season. Who would have guessed Paula kept it all so interesting?

Speaking of Paula, she made a guest appearance, tributing departing judge Simon Cowell. She looked beautiful, and honestly, her presence simply reminded you that Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi are deadweight on the show, offering banal advice in a repetitive fashion. They also have terrible manners. Ellen’s still watchable. But looks like Paula may have actually gotten out in time. Smart lady.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Gay chef rules latest 'Top Chef Masters'

Houston's Monica Pope, shown above, got the boot.
Houston’s Monica Pope, shown above, bowed out in a preliminary round.

Last week, one of only two female chefs in the finals for Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” got the boot, leaving only lesbian Tex-Mex chef Susan Feniger representing for the women … and the gay community.

And boy did she.

Feniger won both the “quickfire” preliminary challenge and won the week’s elimination challenge with her delish tailgate food, besting those snobby French-trained, port-wine-reduction making men. (The two foreign-born male chefs had to be told what a tailgating party was … and didn’t really get it even once they got there. Boy, the straight guys cook and don’t get sports — what a reversal of the stereotype.) She also became, to this point in the series, the contestant who had won the most money for her charity.

Kudos to Feniger, but I am still bummed Houston’s Monica Pope got booted during a preliminary round. I ate at Pope’s T’Afia restaurant recently, and she’s a stunningly inventive cook.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones