The 30 cringiest seconds in Top Chef history happened last night. Hell, I can still hear Katsuji Tanabe’s 10-second-long slow clap echoing through the otherwise deafeningly silent stew room.
Here’s the play-by-play:
Tesar rants to a very clearly checked out, DGAF-ed Casey Thompson for what feels like 20 minutes, starting with introducing the word “ratfuck” into my life.
*Promptly Googles “what is ratfucking?”*
Tesar continues: “If you want to win that bad,” he says, “then I give you my spot.”
Tanabe’s over it.
He fuels up.
And then, it starts… the clapping.
Tesar is absolutely livid at this point. “See what a condescending motherfucker you are?”
Eight more seconds pass as Tanabe’s clapping slows down to a cringy 55 beats per minute.
— The People's Champ (@JCThePplsChamp) January 20, 2017
Meanwhile, Shirley Chung is all of us.
Shirley's faces throughout Katsuji and John's fight in front of the judges is priceless #TopChef
— Sherry (@sherryrose80) January 20, 2017
I could not be happier with the Top Chef editors. You let that clap linger, and I am here for it.
Here it is again, for your viewing pleasure:
In the end, Tanabe #TookARisk and was eliminated from the competition. But just because he’s off the show doesn’t mean he’s done talking smack about Tesar. Now, I’m not typically one to tell people what to do, but you have to read our Q&A with him.
SheKnows: Were you surprised by your elimination?
Katsuji Tanabe: Yes; you’re always surprised when you give your best and go home. But it’s part of the competition. #ITookARisk
SK: What was it like working with all the judges on the show?
KT: The judges are mentors to all of us. They want you to be the best.
SK: Who’s the most intimidating?
KT: John Tesar, because at his age, he could have a heart attack and you don’t want be the one that provokes that…
Cooking-wise, Sheldon [Simeon] is a great chef and his flavors are amazing.
SK: Which contestant do you think deserves to win? Or who are you rooting for?
KT: Well me, me and me.
SK: Who did you consider your biggest competition?
KT: Sheldon [Simeon] and Shirley [Chung], Sheldon because of his knowledge of Asian cuisine and Shirley because she knows Asian plus Mexican.
SK: Was there anyone on the show you really clashed with? Who was it and why?
KT: Emily. I love her, but I think she took me too seriously, too personally, but in reality it was just my accent.
SK: What’s one thing that happened behind the scenes viewers didn’t get to see on the show?
KT: I dressed up as Santa Claus and gave presents to everyone.
SK: Who do you think deserved to go home on last night’s episode?
KT: I took the biggest risk of all my team members, and I knew there might be a chance of going home; but it’s Top Chef, and I wanted to take all the risks and be the best.
SK: What was the best experience you had on the show?
KT: I think everyone would answer the same… tasting food from other chefs, seeing how they use different techniques, the learning experience and most importantly, the new friends that I have acquired.
SK: What was the biggest challenge for you on the show?
KT: Definitely missing my family. My daughters and wife are the most important part of my life and the main reason I competed on Top Chef.
SK: Who’s your favorite Top Chef contestant of all time and why?
KT: Can I say myself? I thought I was hilarious — on both previous seasons in Boston and Mexico. If not me, I would say, Fabio [Viviani] he was funny and had an accent.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.