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Top Chef, Season 2 - no more Katie Robot!

  • l

Just read a blog on the Boston.com site today that had a link to a Televisionary.com blog, saying Katie's been told to "pack her knives and go." :-)

Link: http://televisionary.blogspot.com/200...

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  1. Hurray!!!!!
    For once, a smart decision by TV execs.....

    4 Replies
    1. re: veggielovah

      I know! I am so excited, although she was fun to make fun of. Can't wait for the new season. Hell's Kitchen is no substitute. FYI, the season of TC replays all day on Bravo on July 10th, starting at 1pm, I think. I'll be home from work in time to watch the finale again!

      1. re: Claire

        I missed the finale - flew to Europe that night. If you don't forget please post a reminder when they replay it. TIA:)

        1. re: EMZ

          I missed the final episode as well.

          I thought it was strange that they replayed every episode around 57 times during the course of its run, then only replayed the final episode once.

        2. re: Claire

          Thank you so much for this! My husband, who's an avid fan of TC and had nearly all the episodes recorded, was so distraught when he found out that he accidentally taped over EPISODE 12 (Season Finale Part 2)! Thank you again for this as BravoTV has nothing on their site about reruns of TC.

      2. I don't know about you all, but I emailed Andy Cohen -- the guy who blogs on the show on the Bravo web site -- to register my displeasure with Miss Plastic smile. He is reputedly the producer of the show. Who knows, maybe enough people complained and they yanked her off. of course not all my suggestions were taken. I wanted Gail Simmons off of there too.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Phaedrus

          Gail Simmons is the special projects person at the magazine, so i'm not sure how that qualifies her to be a judge.

        2. Top Chef is such a great show. On Wednesday I'm going to a dinner at Tribeca Grill cooked by Harold, Lee Ann and Stephen. I cant wait.

          2 Replies
          1. re: belle

            belle- Can't wait ti hear how your dinner goes. Please post your comments. Love to hear how Stephen behaves. Have fun.

            1. re: belle

              Belle, lucky you! Can't wait to hear about it - please post back on how your dinner was! (Where would that be - on the NYC board?)

            2. bummer...she was nice eye candy....they should have taken her off the panel..just smile and look good.

              1. I just posted on the NY board. Stephen was exceptionally gracious and nice and his wine choices were amazing. Only saw Lee Ann for a very short time. Harold was also friendly and nice as well. Miguel and Andrea were both there too. He was a lot of fun. Gail from F&W was there and she is much smaller in person.

                2 Replies
                1. re: belle

                  Thanks for the heads up!! Now off to the NY board.......

                  1. So glad to hear I'm not the only one who thought she was bland. We would compare her to Howie Mandel, who is everything you want in a host. She always seemed like she was along for the ride-- if this was a 3 ring circus, she was the girl on top of the elephant, not the ring master. Hope they get someone with more backbone and personality!

                    1. I just became hooked on TC in season two so I am not familiar with Katie but I've queued up season one for whenever it releases so I can see what all the hubbub is about. Padma probably does exactly what the producers want her to do.

                      I hope the Network eventually replaces Gail because I cannot stand her whining voice and condescending attitude. She talks more than anyone, lending her 2 cents worth and acts like she is a chef. She is a writer/editor - BIG DIFFERENCE. She generally almost never has anything constructive to say to any of the chefs. It's always this wasn't right or that wasn't cooked properly. She isn't even pretty in my opinion. Even Tom gives words of advice but never Gail.

                      Gail is a total wannabe be. Gail pack your knives and go!!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: zee

                        Zee- I didn't see Season 1 either but Bravo is airing the whole season on Wed starting around 9 a.m. EST I think.

                        I'm not a Gail fan either.She constantly repeats herself.

                      2. The BEST guest chef they've ever had on that show was Tony Bourdain. I actually think he should replace TC. We definitely wouldn't have a problem telling it like it is.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: personalcheffie

                          I doubt he wants to spend that much time in L.A., or work for those producers at all.

                          Here's the discussion of that episode:


                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Yes, I was born and raised there and moved 23 years ago. Who actually DOES want to spend time there? I have a hard enough time going to see family!

                            Boy, I am really missing out. I haven't read this board, or the Bravo blogs about this series. I just watch when I get around to it. I'm usually cooking for someone in the evenings and am not available to watch. Thanks Robert.

                              1. re: MobyRichard

                                I have one, and I can't figure out how to program it!

                          2. re: personalcheffie

                            Yes, he was pants-wettingly funny and his comments were right on. But I think he is best on TC as an occasional treat, not as a pantry staple.

                            I think the show is a little too drama- and character-focused this season (for instance, keeping Michael the seeming stoner dude around for so long). I know that makes a good story line, but it doesn't have much to do with food.

                            1. re: Snackish

                              To me, most of the drama of these types of shows is I guess what sells them or makes them interesting to most people. To me, it's over the top phony and completely unnecessary. The only reason I watch this (tried to watch Hell's Kitchen, didn't work) is because I cook for a living. There is some element of the food and preparation which I find entertaining, the other stuff is not interesting to me, nor are these people's personalities. If I was interested in cat fights and arguing, I'd work in a restaurant! I also find the demeaning nature of the judging too dramatic.

                          3. I had to weigh in only because I've been overdosing on Bravo & the Food Network during my holiday visit to my family (I don't have cable at home).

                            I agree with personalcheffie that there's way too much drama/backbiting/sniping/demeaning for this to be entertaining to me. I guess TV watchers just love their conflict and catfights. But I do find the challenges and time trials they come up with to be interesting -- same way that it is in "Iron Chef" and the like. Wouldn't it still be interesting to see some of this stuff without all the nastiness and melodrama? To each his own I guess...

                            1. I caught all of Season one and loved every minute of it, the entire marathon. Gail seems a little chunky to me. Her face is slender but not the rest of her body. Padma repeats herself too but it's to draw out the suspense of the show. I like Padma better only because she seems to have more to say than Mrs. Joel. I just don't like Gail's attitude. From watching season one I could pick out the newness of the show plus the changes that were made on things that worked and didn't.

                              Season 2 has been more professional by having the contestants to remain standing when facing the judges instead of sitting down, which lends itself to a more casual atmosphere.

                              Season 2 continues to focus on professionalism by having the contestants arrive in their whites once they are in the kitchen, and before any challenge begins instead of showing up in casual street clothes.

                              Season 2 was not focused on the apartment, condo, etc where the contestants lived. It was more about the contestants. Season one showed this huge beautiful house while following everyone around once they got there. I know it's a reality show but it was too 'Real Worldish' for me. What does the apartment have to do with cooking? I always enjoy parts whenever camaraderie is shown after a hard day not a viewing of their living quarters.

                              The challenges are so creative in both seasons and the guest judges are just as exciting, although some of them act as if the contestants should be bowing to them. I dislike how some of the judges take behind the scene drama into consideration, when making their selections for Top Chef. This has nothing to do with anything. Some of the most successful people in the world are total snots - so their attitudes have not hindered their success one way or another. My point is that the show is about cooking, PERIOD. They need to let their palates be the judge.

                              I also wanted to weigh in on Snackish’s comment about Michael. I truly believe that Michael would have gone down had Mia not voluntarily decided to throw in the towel for fear that Elia was getting the boot. For the most part, the judges let the taste of the food be the overall deciding factor. If the presentation is off and the food tasted good, they still know it’s a good chef because it’s easier to train on presentation than cooking. Although we’ll never know, I honestly don’t believe they were going to ask Mia or Elia to pack their knives because Michael has been skating through almost all of his challenges. He just isn’t a good chef but he might be a good cook – big difference.

                              The network does not honestly think the shows would attract viewers without some drama. I am a film/video major and reality shows are the cheapest way for the networks to make money. They don’t have to pay real people jack because they aren’t SAG actors. Issues have risen because of the writers though. These are scripted reality shows folks but the writers aren’t members of WGA so they aren’t paid union wages. This was a big problem with Top Model/Tyra Bank’s show.

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: zee

                                Interesting comparisons between the two seasons. Like other posters here, I'm not enjoying season 2 as much as I did season 1 for many reasons discussed in the many general threads on the current season and threads about specific episodes.

                                As for your points about Michael, you probably should read the thread about the holiday party episode at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/351187, in which the fact is discussed that Tom Colicchio says in his blog on bravotv.com (which is linked) that the judges were prepared to send Elia home before Mia threw in the towel.

                                1. re: zee

                                  re: michael, and cook vs chef

                                  funny thing many of the line cooks I have worked with have been better all around in the kitchen than the chefs that were technically over them...maybe more real world experience vs classroom experience..

                                  zee, just noticed I replied to your post not caitlins as intended.., my bad..

                                  1. re: swsidejim

                                    I think something gets lost with all that technical training. Some people seem to lose their ingenuity and feel for things, banking only on the technicalities they've learned. This is why I don't take take any of those initials after one's name too seriously. It doesn't mean you can cook or produce anything tasty.

                                    1. re: personalcheffie

                                      i agree,

                                      I have worked with some excellent folks in the kitchen with the title of chef, and also some excellent folks in the kitchen who were line cooks just like myself. I think a persons passion for cooking is the most important thing.

                                      Now that I am "out of the business" the same holds true for me in the business world. A degree is a great thing to have, but 9 times out of ten I will go with experience.

                                      all of the above just my humble opinion.

                                  2. re: zee

                                    The contestants' dialog and the judges' table discussions are not scripted. The host's obviously is. Some of the judges intro bits probably are.

                                    Gail Simmons looks pretty good for a magazine editor. Maybe a little too much Botox. I like that she's not entirely comfortable in front of the camera.

                                    1. re: zee

                                      "Although we’ll never know, I honestly don’t believe they were going to ask Mia or Elia to pack their knives because Michael has been skating through almost all of his challenges."

                                      Per Tom Collichio's blog on this particular episode (http://www.bravotv.com/blog/tomcolicc...) Elia WOULD have been asked to leave.

                                      "As the team leader, Elia set the course for all of them, and the responsibility for the team’s loss fell on her shoulders. We were ready to send Elia packing, when a funny thing happened: In one of the first acts of genuine selflessness I’ve witnessed on the show to date, Mia asked to go home instead of Elia."

                                    2. No, the entire show can't be scripted because it's suppose to be a realty show but if something doesn't flow correctly or isn't done right, additional takes or retakes are done. Just the mere fact that anything is scripted, sort of take the realness away from being a Realty show.

                                      By definition, Reality television is a genre of television programming which presents unscripted dramatic or humorous situations, documents actual events, and features ordinary people instead of professional actors. Critics (like me) say that the term "reality television" is somewhat of a misnomer. Such shows frequently portray a modified and highly influenced form of reality, with participants put in exotic locations or abnormal situations, sometimes coached to act in certain ways by off-screen handlers, and with events on screen manipulated through editing and other post-production techniques.

                                      I wasn't aware of TC until season two and enjoy this season better than one. I wonder if that has anything to do with it.

                                      Thanks for pointing out Tom's blog Catlin, I don't have cable and don't want to read up too much on the episodes just in case I run into a spoiler. I will have to wait for the release of the DVD with much anticipation.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: zee

                                        zee- I also found TC in season 2...I had resisted other family members' pleas to watch as I love to cook and love TV but don't usually like the two together. But once I watched the Holiday ep I was hooked and caught up with the rest of the season ASAP.

                                        I really liked Lee Anne from S1. I like Elia too but fear she doesn't have the leadership skills she should to be TC.

                                        Overall, S1 seems much too focused on the personal quirks of the contestants and shows too many scenes outside the kitchen for my taste. I did notice right away the judging table standing (s2) vs the casual sitting of s1. I would also prefer a host more like Tom and Gail (as far as qualifications) than the eye candy role Padma fills, but she certainly beats the hell out of Katie Lee...does anyone know *why* she got this job is S1?

                                        As far as the kitchen drama goes...at first I was frustrated that the judges seemed to place so much weight on "who do you like best?" in the finals of S1. I thought Tiffani was tough but an excellent cook, and I admire the way she never freaked out. However, if the winner is really a "top chef" then I can see why they would ahve to work well with others. I have worked in kitchens (waitstaff, not line, but I have a perspective) and have known many chefs who were assholes in real life...in fact most of the ones I knew were jerks and /or highly dysfunctional ;) This didn't mean their product wasn't fantastic.

                                        1. re: semmen

                                          Semmen- I agree S1 was indeed too focused on the personal quirks of the contestants. People are who they want to be, period. Even Harold the 'team player' from S1 acted kind of high and mighty. After winning TC from S1 he was invited back as a guest judge on S2. He walked around like he was the shit.

                                          Lorraine Bracco even made a comment about this to the judges at the finale. As an actress she and I are both aware of all the behind the scenes drama that has nothing to do with the finished product.

                                          I don't watch HBO with the Sopranos but had no idea how huge Bracco has gotten.