Reasons 1 through 4 are these:
Last night was episode two of Top Chef Las Vegas. And it's become blindingly obvious that this crop of cheftestants are vastly superior to last season's.
And it makes for much more enjoyable viewing.
Part of the reason that you watch a show like TC is to watch all the catfighting reality TV elements.... and the other part is to watch food porn. Nothing last season was all that exciting. This season, however, the food looks awesome. Thank you, cheftestants.
As for the cheftestants...
1) Jennifer Carroll.
I think she's probably the odds on favorite to win this. So far, she hasn't had any missteps. But more than that, she runs Eric Ripert's Philadelphia restaurant. You don't get to that place unless you're exceedingly talented. She looks like she is. Moreover, she's hot. While this, in and of itself, is not a qualifier, I think the judges are going to go a little easier on her at judge's table. (And she would be the first hot chef to win TC!)
2) Kevin Gillespie.
Because I'm a snob, I was immediately intrigued to learn that Kevin turned down a scholarship at MIT to become a chef. The fact that he's tattooed and bearded makes him all the more badass in my eyes. He's one won elimination challenge and was one of the runner-ups in the quickfire. I put him at number two to win this.
3) The Voltaggio brothers.
It was a nice touch, putting two brothers together. The producers tried this two years ago by putting a lesbian couple on the show. It didn't quite work (perhaps because they were rooting for eachother a bit much). But these brothers seem to have a nice (but friendly) rivalry going. And the odd thing is that they seem to be eachother's equal (at least at this point) in terms of cooking. And, yes, they look exceptionally talented! Michael won the quickfire, Bryan won the elimination challenge. (Which Michael was runner up on.) Either of them seem to be Jennifer or Kevin's equal.
4) Ashley Merriman.
I don't think she's in the running for this... there are at least two others that I think look like they have a better shot than she does. But she's got edge. She has some talent. And (even though she ain't interested in my type) she's sexy as hell. I think she's going to make this season interesting -- even if it's in an eye-rolling-what-a-schmuck-sort-of-way. (I mean, because gay marriage doesn't exist, that means marriage isn't a happy occasion? What was that about?)
Is it me, or is she getting hotter?