Top Chef judging criteria: food or ratings?
Watching a rerun of the Top Chef finale the other night, I noticed this disclaimer among the end credits:
"Winning and elimination decisions were made by the judges in consultation with producers. Some elimination decisions were discussed with Bravo."
I can't see how to interpret this except to mean that some of the decisions were based partly on who the producers or Bravo people thought would get the best ratings. "Keep the bitch and the egomaniac, the show will be too boring if everybody's nice."
A lot of the challenges were so stupid that it's almost beside the point, but still.
Actually, that disclaimer appears at the end of almost any reality show (The Apprentice, Survivor, Project Runway, Last Comic Standing, etc). I think that most producers are too afraid to leave the acutal judging to the judges and want the right to steer the competition in one way or another.
I think this is a function of reality shows in general, not Top Chef in particular.
Read Andy's Blog on the Bravo web too. It is pretty interesting. Andy Cohen is the show's producer and he actually says a lot on his blog. He swears up and down they have a lot of input but they rarely pull the trigger. Of course, he could be being disengenuous too.
A previously mentioned most if not all reality shows have the same disclaimer. This way they can give people some one to root for. Because in the end they want the ‘good guy’ to win. So people won’t feel that they’ve been cheated and will. Want to tune in again next season.
Look at Hells Kitchen from this year. There was a seasoned cook going up against someone who had potential of becoming a good cook was in no way qualified to be a serious contender let alone in the finals. The same goes for the whole ‘Next Food Network Star’ thing.