Douchebag Decree: Mike Isabella
Fans of Bravo's Top Chef this season know there's been one "cheftestant" that everyone with a remote control and an appetite for snarkiness loooves to hate: Douche de la Semaine Mike Isabella. And what's not to hate? Mike I. (not to be confused with Mike V., who is slightly less hate-able) is arrogant, sexist, annoying, loud-mouthed, and just not that funny. So, not to be left off of the "Mike Isabella is a Giant Ass" train, I am awarding him this week's Douchebag Decree.
Read on for more, but beware: Spoiler (and Douche) Alert!
You saw that spoiler alert, right? Then it's okay for me to make joke about how Mike Isabella had better enjoy this Douchebag Decree, because it's the last award he's going to win for a while! Zing! That's right; Isabella was eliminated after last night's vegetarian showdown. Now, I did have second thoughts about kicking this guy when he's down, but then I remembered that, given his track record (remember when he made fun of Eli for having been a dishwasher?) he'd expect no less. So let's begin at the beginning, when Isabella revealed his douche-y tendencies in a flaming ball of sexism:
Whoa! No girl should ever cook better than him! Ever! Because he's the best and besides, boys are better at cooking than girls. Obviously clam-shucking talent is biologically determined. It's science. Mike's resentment of Jennifer C. continued to serve as a thread of douche throughout several episodes (he thought she was a pastry chef, he didn't respect her in the kitchen, etc.) including the hidden insult he hurled her way when he suggested she serve as the "tournant" of the military challenge. I had no idea that was a burn, but according to former cheftestant and current Bravo blogger Richard Blais it was a major dis. Said Blais:
I found it strange, that in tonight’s episode, Mike Isabella suggests that Jennifer Carroll take on the role of “tournant.”
It’s an interesting approach and reveals a lot about Mike’s character. We now are getting to know the cast a little better, and this play is vintage Isabella. Let’s ask the “girl cook” to take on an archaic title that can best be described as a substitute teacher. Classically, it refers to a cook who works all the stations in other cooks’ absence. A position of skill, sure, but not really of certified rank. A position that may be the proverbial glass ceiling for a woman in Mr. Isabella’s mind.
That quote gets at the heart of what is so irritating about our award winner. Mike I. suffers from an almost complete lack of awareness when it comes to his own arrogance. It's one thing to be confident, cocky even (a' la the Voltaggio bros) but it's quite another to be shocked when someone else does well because you honestly believe you are better than everyone else. Oh, and then there is that faux hawk and that smarmy grin. No thanks.
Of course, in later episodes this season, Isabella's (and pretty much everyone else's) vitriol has turned toward the optimistic, cancer-surviving, older-than-everyone-else-so-obviously-terrible Robin. Sure, Mike boasted and bragged through just about every challenge, but he whined like a baby when he had to partner up with Robin a few weeks back:
So hats off to you, Isabella. You were a cheftestant (hey, it's Bravo's term, not mine) that we loved to loathe this season. You didn't win the title of Top Chef, but you'll always have this week's Douchebag Decree.
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