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S6 - Mike Isabella: Putting the I in Team


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#1

aceplace57

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Posted Aug 20, 2009 @ 11:04 PM

Mike Isabella, Top Chef's resident misogynist. He reminds me of a younger Andrew Dice Clay. Both in appearance and attitude. He certainly stood out in the opening episode. His chauvinistic comments about women even riled up bloggers Gail Simmons and Jamie Lauren.

Mike did show some cooking skills. I hope his comments in the first episode were a fluke. I much rather watch him cook then talk.

The season is just starting. I think people will be discussing Mike for however long he lasts on TC. I have a hunch he may go pretty far. The dish he cooked got good comments from the judges.

Edited by aceplace57, Aug 20, 2009 @ 11:22 PM.


#2

MrMoneypenny

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Posted Aug 21, 2009 @ 7:12 AM

He'll go far, partly because he seems like a competent chef, but mostly because he's a total douchetard and TPTB always like to keep douchetards around for as long as possible.

As obnoxious as he is, I admit that I can't wait to see him during group challenges, if only for the entertainment value. He'll be this season's cheftestant whom everyone dreads working with.

#3

Squeezer

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Posted Aug 21, 2009 @ 7:36 AM

He'll be this season's cheftestant whom everyone dreads working with.

He certainly is a tool, but IF he can be a team player in a team challenge I'd take a competent chef who's a douche over a great personality with mediocre skills...but that's a big IF!

#4

Lamb18

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Posted Aug 21, 2009 @ 9:13 AM

Just for the entertainment value, I'd like to see him paired with Jen C. in a team challenge.

#5

TudorQueen

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Posted Aug 21, 2009 @ 9:50 PM

He reminds me of that fairy tale about the two sisters, where the good sister commits acts of kindness and shares what she has, and gets a blessing - every time she opens her mouth, precious stones and flowers fall out - while her nasty sister, selfish and demanding, gets a curse - every time she opens her mouth toads and snakes fall out.

Needless to say, Mike Isabella is speaking toad/snake around the Top Chef kitchen. And what's worse, it seems he's a capable cook, so we'll be stuck with him, most likely, for at least awhile. Because, I keep reminding myself, it really is about the food.

#6

DuchessKitty

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Posted Aug 22, 2009 @ 1:52 AM

he's a total douchetard

Word!

I don't find him entertaining at all. And too arrogant for his own good.

#7

P Ivy

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Posted Aug 22, 2009 @ 5:01 PM

Does anybody here watch The Big Bang Theory? He somehow reminds me of Wolowitz, who is also horrible but funny. Come on, Mike! Skintight corduroy pants and a beatles haircut might help.

I'm honestly a little glad he's probably here to stay. Every reality show needs somebody people can hate on and I'd much rather have an actual tool than a normal person who's just edited that way.

#8

Rai

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Posted Aug 22, 2009 @ 5:58 PM

Mike Isabella, Top Chef's resident misogynist. He reminds me of a younger Andrew Dice Clay.


Haha. Last night, when I finally watched the first episode, I kept yelling, "Shut up, Andrew!" Indeed, that's immediately who I thought of. Cannot wait to see Gail properly flambe him.

Unfortunately, he does seem to be able to cook, though. Out of most of the cheftestants last night, he seemed one of the few who actually understood the definition of the word "vice" and made a tight, cohesive dish out of it. So, good job. Asshole.

#9

DanniPintauro

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Posted Aug 22, 2009 @ 6:16 PM

he's a total douchetard


Agreed. Between his repulsively misogynistic comments and his Gosselin-inspired sartorial decisions, I have decided to refer to him as Ed Tard-y.

However, as mentioned upthread, he can cook, so he'll be around for awhile to annoy the shit out of everyone.

Edited by DanniPintauro, Aug 22, 2009 @ 6:17 PM.


#10

carmelized

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Posted Aug 22, 2009 @ 9:12 PM

You know, he does seem to be able to cook, but I find him tiresome beyond belief. I don't know if he was cast because he said outrageous things in the audition, or if now that he's on the show, he's deliberately trying to ramp up the asshole factor for more screen time. Either way, I'm already sick of him. When I heard him say that a woman couldn't possibly be as fast as him, I shook my head. I wonder if he would think it's also acceptable to say that a black person can't be as fast or good as him in the kitchen? If not, why does he seem to feel that it's okay to say that about a woman?

Top Chef Masters made me even less tolerant of this kind of assholery, because for the most part, the Masters were so charming and lacking in blatant arrogance. I hope Mike will be gone soon, but as people have mentioned, I fear he'll be there for a long time.

#11

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Posted Aug 23, 2009 @ 5:08 AM

Does anybody here watch The Big Bang Theory? He somehow reminds me of Wolowitz, who is also horrible but funny. Come on, Mike! Skintight corduroy pants and a beatles haircut might help.

Oh good, someone else sees it! He does resemble Wolowitz (and Eli reminds me of Leonard), except I like Wolowitz.

He seems to be a talented and efficient chef from what we've seen, but he's too much of a douchebag - and an unrepentant one, at that - for me to root for him. His talent is not enough, especially since I've just been treated to a display of extreme talent and graciousness on TCM.

Also, since he holds women in such low esteem, I wish people would start calling him by his last name. I bet there's a way to say "Isabella" as if it were his first name. I'd be trying it.

#12

KedzieMatthews

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Posted Aug 23, 2009 @ 4:23 PM

He doesn't bother me. I don't like the things he says, but I just remind myself that people who say certain things about women do so because they are threatened by them. He wouldn't make competing with women an issue if he didn't think they could beat him.

#13

Madame Du Barry

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Posted Aug 23, 2009 @ 9:33 PM

.

Edited by Madame Du Barry, Mar 3, 2012 @ 2:55 PM.


#14

Lamb18

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Posted Aug 24, 2009 @ 8:48 AM

His restaurant may lose business because of his comments. A lot of people here have said they'd never eat there. Just think of all the people who may be watching because a local guy is on the show and then they hear him talk...

#15

VA Law Girl

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Posted Aug 25, 2009 @ 2:47 PM

I am at a loss with Mike I. His comments are loaded with d-baggery, however, his restaurant is one of my husband and my favorite (tapa style Mediterranean food). Initially, home town pride and love of his restaurant had me rooting for him, but then he opened his mouth. I am afraid the d-baggery may outweigh any positive feels I have about Washington, DC and Zatinya. BTW, I Zatinya's owner/head chef (I can never get the restaurant hierarchy right) is Jose Andre, winner of a 2008 Bravo A list award and former guest judge of TC.

#16

phanie

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Posted Aug 26, 2009 @ 11:23 AM

Check out the Washington Post's Food Critic Chat : WashPo
Seems Mike is not very popular with the DC food crowd.

#17

JTMacc99

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Posted Aug 26, 2009 @ 3:01 PM

In that article, Mike claims to have been friends with Jen before the competition started, and that he was being sarcastic. Yikes. If that is true, he is either not very good at being sarcastic or was done a serious disservice by the editors.

#18

ibkc

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Posted Aug 26, 2009 @ 3:13 PM

I have a hard time attributing that comment to sarcasm. The way he said it, his body language: nothing about it was sarcastic. On the other hand, I can believe that he was trying to be witty in some way, but doesn't have a gift for that and it came out in such a way that most people would take him at his word. Because of this, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for now on the sexism thing. However, there are lots of other things about him that are highly irritating, so I can't see him becoming my favorite contestant or anything like that.

#19

567Kate

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Posted Aug 27, 2009 @ 9:52 AM

I had the same thought as carmelized. I think he's playing up his assholishness intentionally to get more screen time and stay on the show longer. (Reality TV loves to have a villain.) That certainly doesn't excuse it, but I do think he may be a self-aware asshole.

#20

wlk68

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Posted Aug 27, 2009 @ 10:25 AM

I do think he may be a self-aware asshole.

Word. A totally self-aware and completely unapologetic asshole. I watched both episodes back to back last night so I can't remember which one he said it in but he does make a comment during a confessional segment that people are going to get tired of him real quick.

He was right.

#21

fiveone

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Posted Aug 27, 2009 @ 2:20 PM

wlk68

I watched both episodes back to back last night so I can't remember which one he said it in but he does make a comment during a confessional segment that people are going to get tired of him real quick.

He was right.


Very right. I started fast-forwarding through his talking head interviews during the first episode. ALL HAIL TIVO!!!

#22

bluestorm

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Posted Sep 2, 2009 @ 2:13 PM

The Stranger interviews Ashley Merriman
Ashley seems to think Isabella is a self-aware asshole, but apparently not self-aware enough to realize how poorly this shtik would come across on TV.

#23

foster729

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Posted Sep 3, 2009 @ 8:14 AM

Ugh. I live in DC and have been to Zaytinya twice. It wasn't all that. And now that I've seen how he is such a douche, I think I'm staying away.

#24

Redtracer

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Posted Sep 3, 2009 @ 11:21 AM

The douchey comments are bad enough, but it seems like whenever he's not being an asshole, this man has a hard time stringing a coherent sentence together.

"I mean, like, you know, we're going to, you know, and then, like, do the thing, like, I mean, you know."

Maybe it wasn't quite that bad, but it takes him forever to get to a point. Listening to him annoys the hell out of me.

#25

jenrising

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Posted Sep 3, 2009 @ 4:57 PM

I spent a lot of time and money at Zaytinya's bar before I left DC, and am now sorry for it. The food is good, but definitely overrated.

#26

WhatCanISay

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Posted Sep 4, 2009 @ 8:37 PM

I donít see this guy lasting. I think he was brought on primarily to take on the role of the caustic, in your face, loud mouth. Very unoriginal or interesting. It eventually just wears thin, and ultimately will marginalize any credibility he has as a chef.

#27

ags

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Posted Sep 8, 2009 @ 1:24 PM

He has had more bad moments than good ones, his weaseling out of the Greek salad was priceless, but I will give credit where credit is due and I was impressed with how he was the architect (or one of the architects) of the team set up with Jen expediting / coordinating. If I undersand it correctly, the Mike and some other cheftestants came up with the approach for how they would work the Thunderbirds challenge rather than wait for the producers via Padma to dictate the process, and that is a pretty gutsy thing to do.

Edited by ags, Sep 8, 2009 @ 1:26 PM.


#28

Rodney

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Posted Sep 9, 2009 @ 11:08 PM

WhatCanIsay
I donít see this guy lasting. I think he was brought on primarily to take on the role of the caustic, in your face, loud mouth.

If he goes early, I can easily see Eli slipping into role in his place.

I figured out why Mike bugs me something fierce. He looks a lot like Frank Lombardi, who finished fourth in The Apprentice 6: Los Angeles. Frank was also a loudmouth, and I hated him so damn much, just like I do Mike.

#29

Namaste

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Posted Sep 10, 2009 @ 8:39 PM

Anyone know what's up with this video? I'm not surprised, just wondering what the background is.

#30

Sunwise

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Posted Sep 10, 2009 @ 9:15 PM

Zaytinya is probably my number one favorite restaurant in DC and I've been to quite a few. I think that Mike probably does have a few jerky tendencies, but really, who cares? He said some mean things and he has a big ego. It's not like he's kicking orphans or anything. His food is incredible, so that's good enough for me.