The most uniting factor of the five people in this list is that when it came time to claim the win they so rightfully deserved, they were robbed. Whether it be a bitter jury, a deaf America or choking in the final, for one reason or another the five people on this list lost their respective titles. But still this isn’t a list of the best competitors who didn’t win, this is just a list of the best that just also happens to be a list of the robbed, still I can’t help but revel in the competitive glory of these five contenders.
5. Crystal Bowersox, Runner Up on American Idol (Season 9)
I don’t get the appeal of Lee DeWyze, to me he’s nothing more than a wannabe Cat Stevens. Bowersox on the other hand, was the real deal. Her voice was effortless, she took criticism like a champ (not that there ever really was any) and she was totally above the whole Hollywood thing which may have eventually lead to her downfall.
4. Angelo Sosa, Runner Up on Top Chef: DC (Season 7)
The biggest ego in the kitchen was the closest thing 2010 saw to a sure thing and then in the finale he got sick, made some curious choices (black cherry palate cleanser? Gag)… and then he lost … to Kevin Sbraga, It’s not that Kevin was a bad chef, I was constantly impressed by his originality in the kitchen (his veal tuna dish in the Best Served Cold challenge looked amazing) its just that from the way the season was going it seemed like Angelo could do no wrong; he was either in the top or won almost every challenge and he was a wicked competitor; supposedly sabotaging contestants. He might still be reality TV’s most egotistical and narcissistic personality (he’s currently kicking ass on Top Chef All Stars) but he was also one of the most talented.
3. Miles Mendenhall, 2nd Runner Up on Work of Art: The Next Great Artist (Season 1)
It’s sad really; after scoping out competitors Abdi and Peregrine’s final exhibits I have to agree with the judges on this one – he sorta choked. He had the opportunity to create something wild and huge and he literally went as small as he could. 1 part tortured artist – falling asleep on his piece as part of his installation, 1 part performance artist – he was constantly criticized by his fellow contestants for putting on the brilliant tortured artist routine as a ploy, and 1 part alpha male competitor – convincing challenge teammate Jaclyn to go naked because he wanted her to. An example of perfect casting.
2. Parvati Shallow, Runner Up on Survivor Heroes vs. Villains
Her third time playing the game, the season 16 winner was up against the best of the best, and while Russell made most of the moves that lead him, Parvati and winner Sandra to the final three, he never fully had Parvati in his pocked, if he did he might not have been surprised when she presented both Jerri and Sandra with immunity idols at tribal council and saved her alliance from being decimated it was thrilling to watch… so watch it again below! Probably the best player in the history of the game.
1. Mondo Guerra, Runner Up on Project Runway (8th Cycle)
I am still in shock at his loss to stink-face Gretchen Jones. His designs were streets ahead of the competition, he was an expert pattern maker and was actually likable. Gretchen’s final collection may have been a smidge more polished but Mondo’s had character and colour and after both this season’s editing and the judges’ critiquing patterns it looked like it was Mondo’s, but the producers and the judges pulled a fast one on us. Gretchen was a fierce player and had she lost she’d have made this list for sure but not the top spot; this was the upset of the year.
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