No matter how frustrated I get with the forced theatrics and contrived confrontations of Bravo’s Top Chef, I always find myself curled up on the couch, watching the damn reality show. Some nights I hate myself for it. This season, though, we have a local contender gunning for Top Chef—-Carla Hall, a Nashville native who now lives and works in D.C.

Starting on Wednesday, when Season 5 premieres, Hall will be competing against 16 other “cheftestants” (I did say that I sometimes hate myself for liking the show, right?) I’ll be watching closely to see how far Hall goes. Will she make it all the way to the top? Or just far enough to create the kind of buzz that propelled Spike Mendelsohn into quasi-celebrity status and burger joint fame? I guess I’ll be watching like everyone else to find out. ‘Cause Hall can’t say nothing about the show. Period. Can’t even drop broad hints, like she wanted to claw Padma‘s eyes out after one episode.