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'Top Chef 2' finalist Marcel Vigneron assaulted by a show viewer

By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 01/23/2007 

Reality television contestant isn't a very dangerous job -- unless of course your televised antics don't sit too well with viewers.

Just ask Marcel Vigneron, a contestant on the second season of Bravo's Top Chef, who was left with an inch-long scar over his left eye after a recent encounter with a "fan" of the culinary competition.

"This girl came up to me at a nightclub and asked me if I was Marcel from Top Chef,"  the 26-year-old cook told the Las Vegas Weekly in a story published in last Thursday's edition of the alternative newspaper.  "The next thing I knew, this bottle struck me, and my friends had to rush me to the hospital. I needed 30 stitches."

The unknown assailant was apparently upset with Vigneron's Top Chefbehavior, which many of the show's other contestants have described as "selfish" and "arrogant."  Vigneron denies both characterizations.

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"I don't think I am [arrogant]. I believe in my food, and my abilities, and seriously, if you don't have that belief, how far are you going to make it in the competition?  But I never went out of my way to slam anybody else, which I think would be an arrogant thing to do," Vigneron told Las Vegas Weekly.  "[I] offered help to the other chefs whenever I could, so I find that [selfish] accusation puzzling."

Days following Vigneron's real-life assault, the Top Chef 2 contestant was involved in an on-air altercation.  Last Wednesday's episode of the pre-taped Bravo culinary competition featured 28-year-old fellow contestant Cliff Crooks being disqualified for wrestling Vigneron to the ground and attempting to shave his head.  "It kills me that these are the guys that question my maturity," Vigneron told Las Vegas Weekly.  "I mean, pinning me down to shave me head, that's what drunken frat boys do, not a top chef."

Vigneron is one of four finalists still remaining in the running to be crowned Top Chef's second season winner.  Bravo will air the first part of Top Chef 2's two-part finale on Wednesday, January 24 at 10PM ET/PT.  The second part will air the following week on Wednesday, January 31 at 10PM ET/PT.

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