Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Marcel Marred So


(Marcel gangsta sign photo via gawker)

So my Jackie-Earle-Haley-Oscar-nomination-derived optimistic high was extremely short-lived, as this report from Page Six has got me down in the existential dumps again:
VYING for the title of TV's "Top Chef" can be hazardous to your health. Just ask Marcel Vigneron, who ended up with a big scar over his left eye. "This girl came up to me at a nightclub and asked me if I was Marcel from 'Top Chef,' " Vigneron, 26, tells Las Vegas Weekly. "The next thing I knew, this bottle struck me, and my friends had to rush me to the hospital. I needed 30 stitches." Not that Vigneron, who's down to the wire against three other culinary whizzes in the Bravo series, isn't used to being skewered. He's routinely trashed by fans on message boards. In one episode, he says he was thrown to the floor and held down by rival chef Cliff Crooks, while another cook, Sam Talbot, tried to shave his head and Ilan Hall tried to videotape the act. "I don't believe violence solves anything," he told the Vegas paper. "But when I broke free from them, I saw this lamp and I just wanted to smash it over one of their heads . . . I mean, pinning me down to shave my head, that's what drunken frat boys do, not a top chef."

Sigh. I am constantly amazed that people look at this ridiculous lil' wee swirly-haired dude and see a "villain." Marcel is many things: A foam-obsessed self-described "avant garde" cuisinist. A free-form poet/white rapper. A boy with an unrequited and possibly sexually confusing crush on fellow contestant Elia. A ridiculous person whose every utterance induces deep, soul-disturbing embarrassment in viewers and makes them physically and emotionally cringe. A person who says "aloha, bra." A giggler. A dweeb. A hobbit. A dorkus majorkus.

But he is not a villain! He has never done anything truly mean or underhanded or backstabbing. He is simply not the complete and total evil beyotch that Tiffani was last season. His main crimes are self-delusion and arrogance (the kind of arrogance that nerds come up with to cover up their insecurities and to deflect the criticism of others)--and those of us who live in glass houses free of self-delusion and nerdy arrogance should throw the first stone. He has done absolutely nothing for which he deserves a) being aggressively held down by a much bigger person trying to shave his hair off or b) having a bottle conked on his head by a complete stranger in a bar. This is totally outrageous! If anyone ever deserved either of the above it was you-know-who, the guy who won that show I don't watch anymore!

It's almost as though the act of watching the other contestants complain about him is enough to make him a bad guy--but from what Bravo has shown us, Marcel hasn't done or said anything to justify the over-the-top behavior against him. To me, it makes the other contestants look bad, like they are too immature to tolerate such a geek in their midst. As Friend of Felt Up Terri R. put it recently, it's all very Lord of the Flies. And now their attitude and actions have bled out into the real world, and poor Marcel has to fear for his life wherever he goes.

HAS THE WHOLE WORLD BECOME A DRUNKEN, THUG-FILLED, INTOLERANT HAZING FRATERNITY?

Don't answer that....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read that interview with Marcel a couple of days ago, and he also said that after he escaped from Cliff's evil cluthces and went to try to sleep in his bedroom, Cliff followed him and threw chocolate bars at him (which I wouldn't mind, but still). Also, all the blogosphere nerds are abuzz with the apparent timeline butchering/editing of "Clippergate." Elia shaved her head AFTER Cliff held down Marcel. Evil...

Aloha, bra,

Terri R.