As we prepare to see a Top Chef winner crowned tomorrow night, we can’t help but notice that two of the final three cheftestants — Hosea and Stefan — are a little thin on top. But could their advancement indicate a pro-baldness bias on the part of equally shiny-headed judges Tom Colicchio and Toby Young? “Yes, there could be an unconscious bias operating that would prompt someone to choose others who look like him — and bald heads are pretty noticeable,” projects Psychology Today editor-at-large Hara Estroff Marano. “On the other hand, it could be that as a very top chef, Colicchio sets trends and is someone that aspirants want to emulate, in every way possible.”
But before you bring up Carla’s voluminous tresses as proof of an even playing field, the general consensus in the blogosphere is that the third finalist (whom our own Adam Platt calls “clearly a savant of some kind”) is a ringer anyway, tossed into the proverbial gumbo pot to convince viewers it’s not all down to the two rival baldies. When confronted with the accusation of — perhaps unconscious! — favoritism, Colicchio declined to comment and Young issued this denial: “I don’t understand what you’re getting at. Neither Stefan, nor Hosea, nor Tom, nor me are what you’d call bald. Whatever gave you that idea? We have just elected to shave our heads because we think it’s a good look.” If Carla wins tomorrow night, we’ll just have to eat our words.
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