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Top Chef Gives Cheftestapants A Second Chance To Lose

Because it wouldn't be Top Chef without nonsensical plot twists, Bravo has announced that the upcoming season of the show will feature various gimmicks called "transmedia play." What does this mean? Well, most importantly, Tom Colicchio will now be hosting a weekly online competition that will pit two previous eliminated contestants against one another. The winner moves to the next round of the online show and so on until "the ultimate winner will get to return for the on-air finale." Plot twist! Alhough it's unclear whether this means they will get to return to compete or whether they will return to be a lowly kitchen assistant.

Also, viewers can now "earn points" for their favorite chefs by voting during the episodes and just generally driving up the Bravo website's traffic numbers as much as possible by watching videos and playing games. These points will not determine the actual winner of Top Chef — viewers are not yet that powerful. Instead, these points will determine the Fan Favorite at the end of the season. Please note, too, that all of this is coming to you courtesy of Toyota, so expect to see a whole lot of Toyota references this season on Top Chef Texas.

· Toyota to Sponsor Transmedia Play for 'Top Chef's Ninth Season [B&C]