iVillage: So who's been your favorite cast member this season?
Ted Allen: I've liked a lot of different cast members for different reasons. For example, I thought Howie was the most entertaining character of the whole season, whether intentionally or not. I thought Howie was great because he looked like a cartoon character in real life. Like a villain in Popeye... and you know, he talked a great game about responsibility and leadership but then of course never followed his own advice. He screwed up a couple times. I do kind of think that by the time he got booted, if you don't even serve a dish at all [in episode 10]... I think Howie had lost the fight.