Wednesday Watch List: Top Chef Finale!

Welcome to Watch List, where we identify five things on TV to watch while you stay at home and find out that the Barefoot Contessa has rejected granting your last wish. LET’S GO!

TOP CHEF ALL STARS – 10:00PM (Bravo – an NBC/Universal network) At long last, we’ve reached the finale of a season that feels like it’s lasted four years. Your finalists tonight are Richard Blais (the favorite) and puffy guido Mike Isabella, who won lots of challenges recently to give you the idea that he might win even though he probably won’t. But hey, “Top Chef” has a very long and storied history of crowning the wrong champion. In fact, they’ve done it three seasons in a row now, so maybe Mike will win tonight just to keep the streak of injustices alive. The final challenge tonight includes both chefs having to open their own restaurant, which makes this a redux of Restaurant Wars. And, as usual, all the other losers will be popping in to help sabotage every dish. I strongly dislike this tradition. When you go home on this show, you should go home. You shouldn’t get to sprint back into the kitchen and be like HI Y’ALL! That’s dumb. ANTICIPATION: HIGH!

COAL – 10:00PM (Spike) You’ve watched people fish for crab. You’ve seen truckers drive on ice. You even watched that moving company show. Now comes the deadliest reality show job of all: COAL MININ’. Oh, yes. This new Spike series follows a West Virginia coal mining operation as they brave subterranean caverns and breathe in what has to be an unhealthy amount of coal dust. Get ready for some serious coughing. ANTICIPATION: COALLLLL!

REAL SPORT WITH BRYANT GUMBEL – 10:00PM (HBO) Tonight’s special episode takes a look at the current state of college athletics. You’ll be surprised to learn that college sports are actually somewhat corrupted. ANTICIPATION: BEEN THERE!

SECRET ACCESS: THE VATICAN – 9:00PM (History Channel) Take a look at special inside footage of the pope’s life inside Vatican City, along with his daily activities. You’ll be shocked at how much of his day is occupied by playing Boggle. There’s surprising little to do when you’re God’s sidekick. The Big Guy does most of the heavy lifting. ANTICIPATION: POPEY!

LAW & ORDER: SVU – 10:00PM (NBC) Jeremy Irons pops by for this episode, as does “V” star Elizabeth Mitchell, who probably suspects she’s about to lose her day job. ANTICIPATION: JEREMY’S IRON!

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