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A hard luck story appears to be mandatory on Chopped

After watching several episodes of "Chopped", it appears that a hard luck story is a prerequisite.

I'm not sure what a hard luck story has to do with who can outcook 3 other cooks but it certainly comes up. They always ask what are you going to do with the money or somebody volunteers that they beat cancer so they can certainly beat these other cooks.

If you disagree, certainly, state your position. If you agree, please state a few of what you think would be good stories.

I have a few:

I need the money and if I don't win, I will have to sell one of my kidneys next week.

My sister got picked up for prostitution again. This will be her 3rd strike so we really need a good defense lawyer.

I'm going to donate anything I win to "Chefs for Life". These people help overweight pastry chefs with diabetes.

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  1. "I need a kidney and the nice gentleman beside me said I could purchase his"

    1. The show just adds kitchen stuff to the original idea which was the old TV show "Queen for a Day."

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kagemusha

        OMGosh! I remember that show! kh

      2. Hank, appears true of 99% of the "reality" styled shows on air. Stories sell when production content does not. Why should viewers care? Tune in for weeks? Often because the contestants stories are more compelling.

        It's the made up stories that annoy me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: HillJ

          "It's the made up stories that annoy me."

          Like there's a difference?

        2. Agreed. It's gone even more overboard than it already was. In the most recent episode the Indian woman was clearly outmatched and yet won due to her sad story OF TOUGH TIMES LIVING IN NAPA! I was so very saddened that she couldn't get people in Napa to try Indian cuisine. Perhaps she should have surveyed the market before relocating her restaurant there. *sob*.

          1. The sob stories really bug me because it takes the focus off the food. Very few people in this world don't have a rough patch they went through somewhere in their past, I don't see the point of the contestants bringing it up.
            If asked why I'd want to win, I think I'd go with something along these lines: "Well, losing sucks, and who doesn't want $10,000?".

            5 Replies
            1. re: alliegator

              How about.. "i'm looking forward to a $10,000 drinking binge." ?

                1. re: Hank Hanover

                  10K buys a lot of cocaine...it keeps me going in the kitchen during those long nights.

                  (oh wait, that's what Bourdain would have said in his chef days...)