Too Much “Top Chef”

May I gently suggest that there’s a bit too much “Top Chef” coverage out there? It’s a fine show, pretty entertaining, but there’s only so much I’m willing to read about the first eliminated contestants or “Team Rainbow” which, it should be said, is now being promoted by Bravo’s P.R. team in e-mails to bloggers. I literally just got this e-mail: “Last night on Top Chef, the one lesbian and two gay cheftestants crowned themselves ‘Team Rainbow’ in an impromptu genius (and adorable) move over a glass of wine. Now Bravo has created a ‘Team Rainbow’ t-shirt, so anyone can join the club.”

Genius? Adorable? I can hear the producers now standing on set: “Can we get all the gay contestants outside? Great. You guys are Team Rainbow; now say it on camera.”

I also thought last night’s episode was a bit needlessly sadistic. Eliminating a contestant in the first Quickfire challenge? It wouldn’t seem so sinister, if I hadn’t read that New York Times Magazine profile of Bravo’s president, Lauren Zalaznick. She defends the idea by saying, “It’s like, you’ve really arrived in New York — it’s where you fight for your terrible pot-washing job after you’ve been executive chef back in wherever, and then you get fired for washing your pot wrong.”

Just because terrible things happen to ambitious young chefs in New York doesn’t mean you have to make terrible things happen to ambitious young chefs in New York. Especially one who, we learned at the beginning, has a husband stationed in Iraq and who’s trying to restart her life.

But wait a second; now I’m guilty of the very thing I complained about at the beginning: too much “Top Chef” coverage. Ok, I confess, once you get into it, it’s kind of hard NOT to write about. But I’m curious what you think, readers: what did you think about last night’s episode? I feel bad for whichever cooking school the two eliminated contestants went to together–how embarrassing to lose not one but two of your alumni right off the bat.

18 comments

  1. Never seen it! So I would agree, there’s too much coverage out there in the food blogosphere. It’s interfering with the recipes I’d rather see!

  2. I agree, the immediate elimination was awfully harsh. And they’re both from the Culinary Institute of America, eep! So far my favs are Eugene, the Hawaiian with no culinary education, and Fabio, the Italian guy who wears obnoxious Italian phrases on his t shirts. It’s sort of hard to keep track of them this early on, though.

  3. “…needlessly sadistic”….enough said. That is why I don’t watch reality shows!!! I’d rather watch Ina and company and actually learn something!! You make a cute pilgram Adam!!

  4. “…needlessly sadistic”…enough said! That is why I don’t watch reality shows. I would rather watch Ina and company and actually learn something!! You make a cute pilgram Adam!

  5. Until I read your last paragraph, I was going to accuse you of the very same thing you’re complaining about! I write about it too because I watch it and that’s what’s on my mind. I agree, the “Team Rainbow” thing is a little over the top, especially because they have shirts…ugh. Focus on the food people! But yes, I will be writing about my complete thoughts on Episode 1 later today…deal with it :)

  6. “…needlessly sadistic”…enough said! That is why I don’t watch reality shows. I would rather watch Ina and company and actually learn something!! You make a cute pilgram Adam!

  7. Until I read your last paragraph, I was going to accuse you of the very same thing you’re complaining about! I write about it too because I watch it and that’s what’s on my mind. I agree, the “Team Rainbow” thing is a little over the top, especially because they have shirts…ugh. Focus on the food people! But yes, I will be writing about my complete thoughts on Episode 1 later today…deal with it :)

  8. I can’t help it; I’m hopelessly addicted to Top Chef and everything related. I did think the “Team Rainbow” thing was a little bit hokey last night, but thought the poll halfway through asking who people were voting for, Team Rainbow or the Euro Duo (or whatever they called it) was over the top. My roommate and I looked at each other in bemused shock. Doesn’t mean I won’t stop watching *hangs head in shame*.

  9. When I read this post in Google Reader, there was a big honkin’ ad for Top Chef at the bottom. GoogleAds at their best?

  10. This Season’s looking so far so good because:

    1. Padma has stopped the bad acting and is now “feeling it”.
    2. They tossed the two most annoying people in the first show:
      • Student plucks eyebrows, wants to “share vision with the world” – out!
      • Apple Salad agrees with self, “everyone loves bacon” – out!
    3. Tom is happy to be in New York.
    4. Mrs NJ did not lose (yet)

    Prediction: Last night’s three finalists will be the last standing, plus Hosea.

  11. I totally agree about the first quickfire elimination – it certainly seemed sadistic and unnecessary – i really didn’t think it was fair. Other than that, I thought it was a decent premiere and I have high hopes for the season! I’m pulling for Eugene…

  12. It’s easy to get hooked on this show. I’d like to see home boy Richard win, but my money is on Hosea. I have eaten at Jax and despite the fact that it is 1000 miles from an ocean it was the best seafood I have ever had in my life.

  13. What the hell? Too much Top Chef coverage? Get out of town! Sure, if you step back and think about it, it’s a lot of hype over not much, but part of the fun is just surrendering to the insanity. Besides, I’ll take Top Chef blather any day over the umpteenth recipe for butternut squash soup.

  14. Was the immediate elimination harsh? Yeah, probably. But how I like to see it (though I’m not sure this is true) is they actually liked all 17 contestants, but didn’t have room for them all, so they decided to have them all on anyway, then quickly eliminate one.

    It gave one extra person a chance, so I’m okay with it.

  15. Yeah there is too much coverage of it, but I think it suggests that there are too many people in this country with nothing else to obsess over than television! its sad, really…

    But my troupe of watchers on Wednesday thought the one girl who got eliminated was reallly annoying and the next kid was just too inexperienced! It is what it is. ya know?

  16. Wait, Top Chef is on again?!?!?!?!?!?!!?! zomgwtfbbq!!!!!! I’m all a-flutter! It repeats at noon round these parts. Holy moley, I’m excited. You just made my Friday perfect!

  17. Ooooh, now I feel kind of ashamed of myself, because I’m writing about it now on my blog! I’m quite the sad sack, Adam, because I’m live-blogging it as it’s on. You are right to point out, though, how silly the distance between seasons is. I wondered why it only took this long for it to go back on the air.

    What’s worse, most of the Baltimore food bloggers are going gaa-gaa because one of the contestants is a local chef and we’re all just drooling that there’s a local on the show. I was poking fun at our obsession by noting every little thing she did on the show (Look! There’s Jill brushing her teeth!!! Wow! There’s Jill reading!!!). This really was done tongue-in-cheek.

    The quickfire elimination WAS a bit much, though I liked their idea for their (main) elimination challenge.

  18. It is a “reality show” 16 people are going to lose. Is it better to lose right away or to go 10 weeks away from your job and friends in a dorm room (ok a NICE dorm room but still with a dozen roommates) and THEN lose. It is not supposed to be fair IT’S A TV SHOW!!! It is not supposed to be entertaining and that it is. If you have watched for a few seasons they have said on several occasions if you put some mesclum and fruit on a plate it is a cliche and they will bounce you for it. They want unique dishes properly executed just what you expect at a 5 star restaurant. It ;s not “best cook” or most telegenic personality (“The Next Food Network Star” it is “Top Chef” and if you want $100,000 from Glad and all the other stuff you have to be on top of your game. Yes I like the show and it is often unfair and I have made the kinds of mistakes in the kitchen that gets people bounced (overcooked meat or too much or too little salt.)

    but I find it the most entertaining coking competition on TV now.

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