Tiffani was a contestant on the very first season of Top Chef and made it all the way to the finale where she came in second place. She also self-nominated herself as the season's villain with her repeated acts of ego-maniacal yet petty cruelty. It was impossible to not loathe her very being and still call yourself a person. In fact, Tiffani was the first of what became a sort of tradition on Top Chef. In each season of the show there seemed to be at least one evil lesbian. This became so common that it's hard to believe that the genes for a love of fish tacos in females isn't also linked with those that produce a nasty and revolting bitch. While this trend mitigated itself slightly with time, later lesbian chefs managed to show some pretty revolting personality characteristics (see Zoi/Ashley). Still, for all the legions of dykes you love to hate that came after her, Tiffani was the originator of the trend. She was so 'beloved' by the watchers of the show that even after all this time, while searching for a picture of her to use as a blog post, the following photoshop was on the first page of results.
Suffice to say I wasn't looking forward to seeing her on the current season of the show. There are some people that you find so odious that it isn't even worth having them around so you can root against them. That being said, imagine my surprise when Tiffani provided me with my moment of revelation.
Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person.-Tennessee Williams
I think the above quote comes closest to summing up how Tiffani has changed. What was the earmark of her personality before, her overwhelming ego and selfishness, now seems tempered by an actual desire to take the feelings of others into consideration. She mentions how seeing herself on tv from the first season allowed her to see a facet of herself that she had never really perceived before. Not to mention that considering the strong fan reaction it was very likely she was getting dirty looks and more from passerby's on the street. She seemed to have taken that response to heart and returned to the show as a much more human, human being. I can only assume that her redemption is genuine since no doubt the producers would have loved to find any instance of hypocrisy from her during filming and while she can censor what she chooses to say and do, it'd be harder to always control your facial reactions and the like. By the time she got eliminated from the show, I actually was sorry to see her go. Who says reality tv is good for nothing?
Another really interesting part about the current Top Chef season is when the challenge was for all the chefs to serve dim sum in Chinatown. As part of the challenge, they shopped for supplies at a Chinese grocery store and I found the following reaction by one of the chefs funny because it mirrors my own.
Fabio: I notice that there is a tank full of turtle. When I moved to the United States, I bought a little turtle. She is a PRINCESS. Once or twice a week, I take her for a walk. I have a little Chihuahua leash that I tie around her shell and tie up to the chairs so she just go back and forth. Now these guys is cutting turtle to make turtle soup. And that’s MEAN.
They even showed a clip of him walking his pet turtle on the leash which led to this image online.
As I pointed out in a previous blog entry, Only Assholes Eat Turtles.