Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Dec 26, 2012 02:50 PM

Chopped: irritating aspects of

1. I for one am tired of "contestants with a dead relative" and all the tearing up as if that means they should win. Everybody's got someone who was old enough to die, even if it's grandma or grandpa.

2. If someone trained at the Cordon Bleu makes French food each dish or cooks like their Souther mama used to, they get dinged for not stepping out of their "comfort zone." But if Aarti makes all Indian-type dishes or someone makes all Middle East, the comment is on the unusual bold seasoning. Uh-uh, it's not unusual or bold for them. A creative take on coq au vin would be bold for them but they probably couldn't pull it off. This seems unfair.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I for one do not care about the show that much to worry about what's fair or not fair. It is so greatly edited you don't see a half it.

    I enjoy it for the pure entertainment factor. I don't consider it any more fair or real than any other "reality" television show.

    2 Replies
    1. re: foodieX2

      I read someplace that it takes about 11 hrs to shoot one episode of Chopped - and they try to accomplish that in one working day.

      1. re: foodieX2

        I know it's greatly edited and I watch it for entertainment. Repetition is NOT entertaining.

      2. "1. I for one am tired of "contestants with a dead relative" and all the tearing up as if that means they should win. Everybody's got someone who was old enough to die, even if it's grandma or grandpa."

        hahahaha Someone I work with is going to film an episode of chopped next month and I told him the same thing. I made sure to tell him not to be "that guy"

        1 Reply
        1. re: twyst

          That is pretty funny and I agree it is irritating.

        2. I gave up on it after I getting excessively irritated at the judges acting like it was so easy... Any dummy could put together chewing gum, oysters, soy sauce, and canned fruit cocktail into a gourmet delicacy in twenty minutes!

          I always wanted them to at least somewhat acknowledge how ridiculous some of those combos were.

          23 Replies
          1. re: Violatp

            And what I particularly dislike about the judges is that they seem so annoyed and irritated that the contestant didn't make better use of the tutti frutti bubble gum when making sauteed scallops or some such. For me, it's the cooking show of last resort.

            1. re: roxlet

              Have they ever done an episode where the judges did the cooking?

              Not that I'd trust it, I'd guess, considering it would be all figured out beforehand what they'd do.

              1. re: Violatp

                They have in fact. Most of they comment about how hard it is.

                1. re: Violatp

                  Last night we actually watched a few episodes of the Chopped All-Stars competition and one of the preliminary rounds featured four judges -- Murphy, Santos, Samuelsson, and Guarnischelli. There were some very tough ingredients. Not easy at all.

                2. re: roxlet

                  The judges' jobs are to be hard on the contestants. Where would the "edginess" these so-called "reality" shows depend on be if it wasn't for the forced harshness of the judges? You do realize that a lot of what they say is loosely scripted and they are steered in certain directions to produce dramatic outcomes.

                  Also, isn't the big prize something like $10,000? I'd take a judge being annoyed and irritated with me for a day if I knew I could win all that money.

                  1. re: ttoommyy

                    Having spent 25 years producing television, I have a pretty good idea about how these shows are produced, and what is scripted and what is not.

                    I have no problem with a judge being harsh in his or her criticism; what I have a problem with the TONE of the criticism, which I find to be, as I mentioned above, annoyed and irritated.

                    As far as anyone taking the annoyance and irritation of the judges for a $10,000 prize, that's fine. As I said, this is the cooking show of last resort for me, and I rarely watch it for the reasons I stated above. I know that it is a relatively highly rated show for cable, so there is obviously an audience for it, but I am simply not part of it. Moreover, I was reacting to the OP remarking on the irritating aspects of the show.

                    1. re: roxlet

                      Yes, I linked on to your reply, but I was in turn reacting to you reacting to the OP. It's called a discourse. It's all good.
             on earth would I know that you have 25 years producing television behind you?


                      1. re: ttoommyy

                        You wouldn't know, unless you'd read other threads where I'd mentioned it, so that's why I mentioned it again.

                        But I also thought your tone was a bit condescending, to tell the truth. ("You do realize that a lot of what they say is loosely scripted and they are steered in certain directions to produce dramatic outcomes.")

                        1. re: roxlet

                          Not meant to be condescending at all; just informative. I apologize.

                  2. re: roxlet

                    You hit the nail on the head - the judges are always so irritated. It is their job, after all. I really don't like this show and the judges are one of the reasons!

                  3. re: Violatp

                    But remember, the judges' "reward" is that they get to eat all of those horrendous concoctions.

                      1. re: CindyJ

                        Ah, but do they? I guessing not. Sure there will be a one second shot of a judge cutting into something and maybe putting the fork near his/her mouth.

                        1. re: Puffin3

                          You really think the judges do not taste the food?

                        2. re: CindyJ

                          If something is really bad, they don't finish it. But they certainly have to taste all of them. How else could they judge food?

                        3. re: Violatp

                          You funny!..... And don't forget TVP! That would make a GREAT mystery ingredient! (Textured Vegetable Protein)

                          1. re: Rammfantasy

                            It makes delicious chili and meatloaf. Lighter than beef.

                            1. re: rccola

                              Well..... as it IS a great protein substitute, I don't think it's actually 'delicious'! It's suitable... I was a vegan for a short while and had myself convinced TVP was the next best thing to buttered bread. But nothing can replace MEAT!
                              Glory day 2-U

                              1. re: Rammfantasy

                                I lived in high country CO and was vegetarian. Made chili with TVP and everyone accused me of using meat. Kids loved meatloaf with TVP more than with beef. Admittedly, there was a huge amount of ketchup.

                                1. re: rccola

                                  I am glad you were able to cover-up the TVP in a way that your family and friends could enjoy the healthy benefits! I for one, also use it by soaking it in diluted beef or chicken broth and then feed it to my dogs! They haven't mentioned if they can tell the difference... cats got their tonque!

                                  1. re: Rammfantasy

                                    Sorry, maybe I'm a more inventive cook---for humans. =)

                        4. Two things sprang immediately to mind when I saw this title, and you covered the main one: dead relatives. It always reminds me of how little television has changed over the decades. Giving away my age, maybe, but I remember coming home from school and sitting with my grandma, watching "Queen for a Day" on the old black and white Sylvania. The woman with the biggest sob story won a new washing machine. Little seems to have changed.

                          My other irritation with Chopped will again give my age away, but why can't they get some decent lighting on that show? I can barely see some of the preparation and facial expressions with such low, "dramatic" lighting.

                          Bah humbug, eh?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: juliasqueezer

                            It is a fairly well lit show except when the dish is in the black background.

                          2. As far as the dead, dying, or sick relative... I don't fault the contestants. And I don't think anyone who has posted thus far does either. I blame the formulaic producers for it. They probably "look" for a story that will define each contestant, and then coach the contestant to play it up. Dead loved one, check. Arrogant bastard, check. Struggling business owner, check. Etc, etc, etc. "What? You're just someone who likes to cook and would like $10,000 just because? No, no, no. We gotta find some angle we can play up."

                            To me, though, all of that is a minor part. I enjoy the challenge of putting together the ingredients into something palatable or even outstanding.

                            If I'm annoyed by anything with the judges, it's Amanda's anxiety or Alex's dramatic defeatism that someone is not going to finish. Also annoying, although to a lesser degree, is Mark or Geoffrey (sometimes others, but usually these two) saying, "C'mon; finish your plates guys."

                            Topping all of it, though, is the ungracious loser. The person who blames the judges. The person who can't handle feedback and argues or cuts down someone else's food while at the chopping block. Again, I realize some of that may be coached. But that bugs me more than anything else.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Brad Ballinger

                              I find those contestants the most entertaining (to laugh at). I don't recall anyone's names but there was one contestant who, after being chopped, said to one of the judges (male, white, clean shaven) "I'll see you in the parking lot" and tried to laugh it off.
                              The judge just looked at him in shock and replied "What? Did you just threaten me?"