'Top Chef All-Stars': Key learnings from the reunion special

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Product placement aside ( Andy Cohen, how dumb do you think we are?), it's probably safe to call this the greatest reunion in the history of the "Top Chef" franchise.

And not just because it was our beloved "All-Stars." There were revelations, fights, auto tune, unlikely bromances and lots of cursing.

But looking at the reunion in the context of the entire season, a few things really stuck out for us. And in no particular order, here they are:

1. Chef law remains unviolated
The whole matter of the stolen "chicken oyster served in an oyster oyster shell" was dropped immediately after Paula Deen's cameo, despite the fact that the riled testimony from Carla, Antonia and Richard had us thinking it would cast a pall over the rest of Mike's season. But the scandal left with our silver-haired southerner. Why? Turns out nobody actually cared that much. Chef laws were merely bent, not broken. Antonia was the only one sort of holding a grudge, and as soon as she found out she and Mike were cousins, it was all water under the bridge. (Their mothers email now, by the way.)

2. The 'Top Chef' editors are anti-bromance
For a network as man-love-friendly as Bravo, we're surprised that none of the Richard/Fabio and Mike/Angelo antics got any play. The respective duos apparently spent the entire season expressing their culinary admiration for one another with stubbly kisses and ass-slaps. Cute!

3. Antonia is the black widow of group challenges
During the Chicago season, Antonia developed a reputation for always being partnered with chefs just before their elimination. During the All-Stars season, she more than lived up to that reputation. A hilarious montage revealed all of the cheftestants who paid the price for teaming up with Antonia, including our personal favorite...

top-chef-all-stars-antonia-curse.jpg4. Elia hates Diet Coke, Tom Colicchio and America
We agree that Tom can be kind of a pill on "Top Chef," but at the end of the day, he's a good guy and an even better asset to the food world. Andy brought up an interview Elia did after her swift elimination -- in which she slammed the judge for his Diet Coke commercials and corn-fed beef serving -- and it was not pretty. She stuck to her guns, but Tom totally pwn'd her by saying that he endorses Diet Coke because he drinks it and serves it. Almost all of the other chefs raised their hands when he asked if they served it in their own restaurants. At the end of the day, Elia turned her frustrations into a personal attack -- and that's just not how we roll on "Top Chef."

5. We love Carla Hall more than anyone else ever
If there is a more exuberant, endearing human being on this earth? We dare you to find one. And if you do, can you please put them on reality TV?

Photo/Video credit: Bravo
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