Monday, February 16, 2009
Chopped...Bring Me Your Torch.
I'm a sucker for reality t.v. I've railed against the concept, how they aren't so much "reality" as they are real people acting in an artificial manner in unreal situations. That said, I will still tuck in for a big ol feast of "Amazing Race" or "Project Runway" on a regular basis.
On Saturday, however, I was happy to witness something that will make me never go back to at least one of the "reality" shows. Let me explain.
As we were watching "Chopped", on Food Network, I was somewhat intrigued by the concept. Four contestants, chefs, are given some ingredients--usually incongruous--to make a course for a meal. With each successive round, one chef's dish is "Chopped". (Ha! That's clever!) "Queer Eye"'s own Ted Allen is the host, and while he's no Alton Brown, he's not too annoying, and doesn't really interfere with the proceedings.
So the first round, the appetizer, goes through, one of the chefs gets "Chopped", and they move on to an entree, which was centered around a beef blade cut (along with yucca, raisins, anchos, and pickles). The little personal "confessional" sections have already indicated that one of the chefs is kind of a weasel, who would sell his own mother for the right price. So as they're preparing their blade cuts, this guy drops one on the floor. I've done it a million times. Then, he picks it up, and throws it in with his other pieces, without even rinsing it! My immediate reaction was "no way. This guy is a chef, and he just did that on t.v. Never mind losing this competition, NO ONE will ever go to his restaurant again!" (Bloomingdale Road and Wine Directory, NYC, in case you were wondering).
But this is television, and the very reason I've used quotations around the word "reality" over the course of this post. Let me, at this point, tell you that the judges saw this little slip. They witnessed it, and when served, one of the judges asked "did I get the piece that fell on the floor?"
The chef replied, with what could be described as an "oh, crap" look on his face, "I don't think so..."
Then the judge asked another judge "did you get the piece that fell on the floor?" At that point, I believe the chef actually said "oh, crap."
I'm thinking his goose--or blade steak, as it were--is cooked. But only on "reality" television is there redemption for the irredeemable. I give you "The Flavor of Love" as Exhibit . This guy moves on to the next round. That is utterly unconscionable, that something that would likely get his health department permit yanked is brushed off with a shrug. The other contestants should have been able to make shredded wheat with a side of tap water and beat him in that round. But that's not how "reality" t.v. works, and that's why it's not "reality". We switched the channel at that point, so I don't know who won. But if you watch this link, I strongly encourage two boycotts: one, on the restaurant where the tattoed man works and two, on this dreadful show.