Yes, I dropped the ball on my recapping. I was confident that I would be able to get my proverbial act together and plow through the five or six episodes I had missed, but as the season progressed, I gradually lost my TC enthusiasm. Chefs I admired fell by the wayside, one after the other, and I began to worry that the finale would be bereft of any of my favorites. As it turned out, Antonia was the only one left standing that I really admired, and the eventual showdown was between Mike Isabella and Richard Blais. Though I made an early prediction that Richard would go far, I had no idea at the time how much I would grow to dislike him, and the the judge's decision at the finale was a real disappointment to me. Granted, I appreciate their consistency when it comes to grading the best dishes on a challenge-by-challenge basis, and Richard clearly had the best tasting food (despite the horrid and repulsive-looking foie gras ice cream). I simply could not tolerate Richard's self-pitying, inexplicably insecure behavior, which was only made worse by the occasional burst of arrogance. He repeatedly stated that the only reason anyone remembers his season is because he didn't win. Ironically, the winner of his season (and the only female winner of Top Chef), Stephanie Izard, has been one of the most successful in the show's history. She scrupulously planned and developed a concept for her own restaurant (The Girl and the Goat) during the time since her win, and it has opened to rave reviews and great success. Richard, on the other hand, has struggled in the restaurant business. It's a highly competitive, risky industry, with huge failure rates, I'm sure, but a bit of humility would be much appreciated. Richard's strange tendency to doubt his food and propensity to say he "hates everything" he has done after the fact is hugely annoying, and disrespectful to his fellow chefs and competitors. Needless to say, his final victory, however deserved, left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I couldn't even include a picture of him on this post in good conscience! Let's just say I'm looking forward to a new season with fresh faces.