Sigh. Somewhat predictably, Hung (pictured, with his mother) won the title of Top Chef two night ago. And though he certainly deserved it — his consistency throughout the show made some of his less successful dishes more forgivable — part of me can’t get past his smug, self-satisfied demeanor to actually be proud of the executive sous chef, especially when charming underdog Dale was thisclose to landing the prize.
While spending the night tossing and turning over the upsetting outcome (and the tragedy that was Padma’s Chiquita banana girl-inspired dress), I began to think about other unlikeable reality show winners. Usually, reality shows seem to follow a concrete blueprint: keep the “villains” around long enough to create drama — but kick them off before they defeat the likable crowd favorites (see: America’s Next Top Model’s ousting of Cycle 6’s Jade Cole and, of course, The Apprentice Season 1’s Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth). But every so often, a sly, conniving, and generally reprehensible contestant will break through this mold, leaving the show with the top prize and last laugh. Such winners that first came to my mind are Project Runway season 3’s acerbic Jeffrey Sebelia, Survivor season 1’s “snake” Richard Hatch and Big Brother: All Stars‘ two-faced Mike Boogie.
Your turn, PopWatchers. Who is the least likable reality show winner of all time?
addCredit(“Hung: Jonathan Cohon”)