An unassuming episode of "Top Chef Masters" that featured three very pleasant contestants - Rick Bayless, Wilo Benet, and Cindy Pawlcyn - was hijacked by one bad apple, Ludo Lefebvre.

At First, Lefebvre seemed like he would be an interesting character, but after a lot of complaining and pouting during the Quickfire Challenge it was obvious what we had on our hands: someone filling the all-important role of annoying reality TV persona.
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Even a classy show like "Top Chef," which doesn't resort to lowbrow entertainment tactics, is usually infiltrated by one or more of these annoying personalities every season. Let's be clear, the truly annoying characters have a way of getting under your skin in a way that doesn't just bother you. I'm talking about feelings that become deeply rooted in your subconscious and typically only come to the surface during a trip to the psychiatrist.

Lefebvre doesn't reach that level because he was bounced after one show by Bayless, an effeminate Mexican chef who I used to watch on PBS back in the day. But Monsignor Lefebvre got me thinking about some of the most annoying contestants in "Top Chef" history, the ones who were around long enough to leave an indelible mark. Not coincidentally, there was one chef represented from each season when I finished up this Top 5 list of shame.

For your enjoyment (or to really get on your nerves), I present "Top Chef's" five most annoying people...

5) Hung - Season 3

Anyone who remembers Hung knows that he was the point that it became grating. His diary sessions were almost unwatchable, and the sheer amount of snide comments he made was enough to push the casual viewer over the edge. But Hung won season 3, so he gets leniency on this list. If you can back up all of your junk talk, I'll give you some credit.

4) Leah - Season 5

Leah didn't start out all that annoying, but it sure started to build up over time. As she kept skating by with mediocre performance after mediocre performance, the animosity started to grow. The tipping point came when she simply gave up in a Quickfire Challenge in front of none other than Eric Ripert! She also made out with Hosea, who ultimately won season 5, when both people were currently in a relationship. After Leah felt humiliated by cheated on national television, she basically stopped trying and became incredibly passive-aggressive. Very annoying.

3) Tiffany - Season 1

Tiffany was so annoying that she caused Dave, a "Top Chef" fan favorite, to famously say, "I'm not your bitch, bitch" after enough relentless nagging. She constantly had a bad attitude and thought she was way better than everyone else. Tiffany also looked really annoying, which counts for a lot.

2) Lisa - Season 4

Part of the reason season 4 wasn't as fun to watch as the other seasons is because Lisa overstayed her welcome by about eight episodes. I'm pretty sure she didn't smile the entire season, and her dreary attitude always seemed to bring down the other contestants. In short, Lisa was that one piece of mold on a perfectly good loaf of bread - instead of picking off that one bad part, you end up throwing the whole thing away. Oh, and she had some of the greasiest hair ever; I'm convinced that Lisa didn't wash her hair the entire season.

1) Marcel - Season 2

Who did you think was gonna be the most annoying contestant? This shouldn't surprise anyone who keeps up with the "Top Chef" franchise. Where do I even start with Marcel? His horrible hair? His high-pitched voice? His affinity and overuse of foams? His ill-advised rapping? His refusal to help others in the kitchen? Let's go with all of the above. Everyone on season 2 hated Marcel, and he didn't do anything to help his cause. At one point, one of the other contestants attacked him and was kicked off the show - the only time that's ever happened on the "Top Chef." But more than anything else, it was Marcel's hair that earns him the top spot on this infamous list.

Image © Bravo

Story by Phil McRae

Starpulse contributing writer

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