Top Chef New Orleans: And the Winner Is...

Top Chef New Orleans: And the Winner Is...

For the sake of those of you who have this little television nugget on TiVo and plan to save it for the weekend, we'll keep the answer below the jump. For those of you who have some things to discuss (and we know you do), come along...

We didn't see this coming, nor did many of you, and while we kept telling ourselves, "It's only a reality TV show... It's only a reality TV show...," we still felt sick when we realized Hosea might actually win. We're at a loss for words, which is why we're going to let the pictures do most of the talking. Here we go...

We're imagining that this was taken right after the first course went out. Carla destroyed the competition in that one. Everyone raved about her dish and dismissed the other two. We thought she had it in the bag.

Somewhere at this table is John Besh, a highly respected chef in New Orleans, and Susan Spicer (actually, she's right there on the end), chef of Bayona, our favorite restaurant there. Amazing judges, and no Emeril.

We're not going to join the hate parade for Casey this morning. We're sure she's suffered enough, we loved her in Season 3, and Carla is a grown woman who could have said no to Casey's suggestions. We're just saying that if she HAD said no, she would have won. That's all. Ok, moving on.

Here's everyone walking around dazed and confused. Hosea is talking about how proud he is to have beaten Stefan, er, won Top Chef.

And... here's an awkward photo op. Hosea, you should be giddy. You pulled off a completely out-of-the-blue upset. Padma is in shock. Tom's just exhausted. (Toby Young wrote in his blog that he and Tom fought over the winner, with Tom pushing for Hosea over Stefan, until the wee hours of the morning.)

We're exhausted, too. We're glad this season is over. It was Carla's to lose, since Stefan checked out about three episodes ago and truly did channel the Marriott buffet circa 1989 with that dessert. And while we're sure Hosea cooks good food, he didn't shine throughout the competition and seemed to win by default. It was just heartbreaking to watch Carla.

We can't talk about it anymore. You talk now. What did you think?

Episode 1: Ethnic Foods Galore
Episode 2: Hot Dogs and Angry Chefs
Episode 4: Lights, Camera, Kathie Lee Gifford
Episode 5: Make Your Own Sushi at a Bridal Shower?
Episode 6: And a Martha in a Pear Tree
Episode 7: Pop, Pop, Fizz, Fizzle
Episode 8: E-I-E-I-O (and Really Good Chicken)
Episode 9: Restaurant Wars!
Episode 10: Super Bowl Showdown
Episode 11: Of Eel and Eric Ripert
Episode 12: What Would Your Last Meal Be?
Episode 13: Finale, Part 1

(Images: Bravo)

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