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SilverStormm

Discuss Your Hosts Here: Anthony, Nigella, Marcus and Ludo

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It's odd.  It's the worst show he's ever been involved with, yet if we're being honest, likely the most accessible to the general viewing public.  

 

I do like that at the very least we see him fuck around a bit on-set, wander around and pester the other mentors and spy on their cooks, etc.  He's not really going to have any real edge on this show no matter what, but at least he's capable of being a bit puckish, if not as totally irreverent as we'd wish he COULD be (since he's the boss there, he really can't be).

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I can't remember which season it was, but one of my favorite lines on the show was during the auditions, when Ludo told a contestant, "if you want to learn to cook, come with me. If you want to learn to drink wine, go with Anthony." His nonsense does add a lot to the show.

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I think the word that best fits Nigella's body type (especially in that painfully tight dress) is "zoftig".

 

After seeing her on this show for a few seasons I am having a hard time seeing her as an attractive woman in any sense of the word.  I used to like her years ago but her personality as she has revealed herself on this show has been a total turn off for me.  So much so that I've lost all respect for her.  Just Yuck.

 

I think this show should be called "This Bites" instead of "The Taste", because frankly, IMHO, it does.

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This show is Tony's creation and he brought  Nigella in as his his co- producer.  In the best interest of the show she could step down if she chose.  I think the subject must have been discussed.  

 

Her clothes are clearly made for her, they fit like Saran Wrap.  Neither here nor there, just an observation. 

 

Nigella does not pick her team, she gets whoever the others don't want.  This has to be hurting her image and book sales.   Both she and Tony are weak when choosing what the team will cook in the first challenge.  I want Tony to shape up in that department because he is an all time favorite of mine.  Chefs choose him because they like him, not because they think they could win with him thus Marcus and Ludo being the first choice of many.  

 

I still love this show, flaws and all.   

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This show is Tony's creation . . .

 

Nigella. . . and Tony are weak when choosing what the team will cook in the first challenge.  I want Tony to shape up in that department because he is an all time favorite of mine.  Chefs choose him because they like him, not because they think they could win with him thus Marcus and Ludo being the first choice of many.  

 

I still love this show, flaws and all.   

Agree with everything you said.  I like Bourdain a lot, too.  And I like exactly the same kinds of food that he does, too--either some unidentifiably spiced stew from a crusty pot three mountain passes over or else greasy 3 a.m. diner food that hits the spot when you have a snootful.

 

But choosing the personal iconoclast route does sometimes put his team at a disadvantage.  At least he was wily enough to play to the guest judge's style in this episode, which Nigella ignored in favor of her own.

 

(P.S.  When someone adds a "light hint of lavender," the tiny sound of faroff shrieking will be me.)

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Agree with everything you said.  I like Bourdain a lot, too.  And I like exactly the same kinds of food that he does, too--either some unidentifiably spiced stew from a crusty pot three mountain passes over or else greasy 3 a.m. diner food that hits the spot when you have a snootful.

 

But choosing the personal iconoclast route does sometimes put his team at a disadvantage.  At least he was wily enough to play to the guest judge's style in this episode, which Nigella ignored in favor of her own.

 

(P.S.  When someone adds a "light hint of lavender," the tiny sound of faroff shrieking will be me.)

Didn't he do that with (his good friend) Ripert as well? It certainly makes sense to, especially as the guest judges are no surprise to the mentor. Nigella's choice to have them make dessert for Naomi is still...so mind-boggling. I don't think she has any strategy at all except "This is something I (think that I) make well so this week, you'll make it."

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Agree with everything you said.  I like Bourdain a lot, too.  And I like exactly the same kinds of food that he does, too--either some unidentifiably spiced stew from a crusty pot three mountain passes over or else greasy 3 a.m. diner food that hits the spot when you have a snootful.

 

But choosing the personal iconoclast route does sometimes put his team at a disadvantage.  At least he was wily enough to play to the guest judge's style in this episode, which Nigella ignored in favor of her own.

 

(P.S.  When someone adds a "light hint of lavender," the tiny sound of far off shrieking will be me.)

 

 

I will be shrieking with you.  

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I dug out an old VHS tape (yes...) that I had of the "Chefography" featuring Nigella that Food Network aired back in 2006 or 2007. One comment that she made was that a lot of people thought they needed to cook like chefs at home and that was something that she was "strongly" against. (I am paraphrasing...)

 

It appears that she has carried that philosophy forward and it is now serving as a self-fulfilling prophecy -- in a very unfortunate manner.

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Nigella has a philosophy that food is to be enjoyed with family and friends.  The problem is that she is sitting as a mentor to a team that has to compete with judges who hold different ideas about food (not saying good or bad, but different).  

 

Yes, plus she has to please the palates of guest mentors whose ideas about food are closer to those of her colleagues.  To make things worse, Nigella doesn't often try to please the tastes of those guest mentors/judges when she's dictating what her team cooks for the team challenge.  Instead, she says thinks like [paraphrasing here] 'I know that Naomi is a savory chef, but holidays are about baking and desserts so that's what I'm going to do.' Then she pretty much dictates what her cheflettes should make, so instead of four different spoons to choose from (like the other mentors have), she has two or three versions of the one dish she let them make. She's coming from a different perspective, doesn't consider her target audience, and then limits her available options...of course she's going to lose more than she wins.  I'm surprised that she's surprised when she loses. 

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I feel like Nigella is one of those people who is great at what she does (cook) but she is a terrible teacher.  She would be better off realising that and to stop torturing herself.  Not everyone is a good teacher and that's okay.  She doesn't need to be one; there are many other things that she is good at. 

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I just watched the UK version and Nigella fared much better there - she had a very different style of mentoring, giving her chefs much more latitude and more just general advice and low key helpful hints with no particular distress if they opted to go a different way. They were playing for immunity in the first challenge, though, rather than an advantage for the whole team.  She also had a much easier time getting contestants to choose her as their mentor, and the members of her team lasted a lot longer

(her team did not deplete early and she had two of the last five including the chef who finished second)

. I wonder whether they've scripted this heavy-handed role for her in the US version, or whether she was dealing with more competent chefs or at least a more even playing field in the UK version. 

Edited by akr
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I just watched the UK version and Nigella fared much better there - she had a very different style of mentoring, giving her chefs much more latitude and more just general advice and low key helpful hints with no particular distress if they opted to go a different way. They were playing for immunity in the first challenge, though, rather than an advantage for the whole team.  She also had a much easier time getting contestants to choose her as their mentor, and the members of her team lasted a lot longer

(her team did not deplete early and she had two of the last five including the chef who finished second)

. I wonder whether they've scripted this heavy-handed role for her in the US version, or whether she was dealing with more competent chefs or at least a more even playing field in the UK version. 

Interesting. Do Tony & Ludo act differently too? 

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That is interesting about Nigella. I would guess that Nigella does better on the UK version because she feels more at home (well, she IS at home) and has a much stronger following over there than she does here. I'd say that she's all but forgotten on this side of the pond except for her most loyal fans. FN hasn't shown any of her shows in ages and TCC has slotted "Nigelissma" (dud series...) into 7 am slots on Mondays and the showing of the same old tired "Bites" and "Summer" repeats have been cut back to noon just three days a week from every day. If people who have never seen or heard of her before are getting the first exposure from "The Taste," no wonder she's attracted so many haters.

 

Nigella's discomfort at mentoring is barely contained. When watching her, I imagine a stereotypical scene of how the headmistress in a posh British boarding school would admonish the pupils in home economics class. Nigella's gift is in her use of language. She is a gorgeous writer and her cookbooks read like prose. So teaching isn't one of her strong suits. Where's the shame in that?

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Tony seemed like Tony, pretty relaxed, maybe a bit less unnecessary posturing, and while Ludo was still pretty animated at times there wasn't so much made of it (just some bemused reactions from others at times). Lots more swearing by all (contestants in particular, nothing bleeped out, but all very relaxed, just bloody hell or for fuck's sake or the like when something went wrong). Ludo reverted to French sometimes in the heat of the moment but nothing that the contestants didn't seem able to respond to without need of a translator (allez, allez! or attention!!! or whatnot). 

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Thinking about it, I think the British version focused more on the contestants than on the mentors - they pretty much just did whatever they wanted for the second (elimination) challenge, and the mentors were content to just let them do what they wanted and succeed or not of their own accord. Nigella was terrific with her crew, trying to build egos when at times her contestants' nerves caused them to second-guess themselves for example. She pretty much trusted their instincts and tried to help them get where they wanted to go. In the first challenge you'd see utterly disparate dishes from the four cooks on each team. It may be that she had a better feel for what would please the judges, who were unfamiliar to me but apparently well known in Britain, and so did the contestants, and so it was easier to just trust that they'd hit the right notes. 

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Tony seemed like Tony, pretty relaxed, maybe a bit less unnecessary posturing, and while Ludo was still pretty animated at times there wasn't so much made of it (just some bemused reactions from others at times). Lots more swearing by all (contestants in particular, nothing bleeped out, but all very relaxed, just bloody hell or for fuck's sake or the like when something went wrong). Ludo reverted to French sometimes in the heat of the moment but nothing that the contestants didn't seem able to respond to without need of a translator (allez, allez! or attention!!! or whatnot). 

Interesting, but it makes me wonder if the biggest difference is in the editing (for Ludo, at least, Nigella sounds like a completely different person from the U.S. version). Since I don't think any of them is putting on an act (I really think that's all "the real Ludo" that we see) maybe British editors cut out the offensive, most temperamental parts while American editors leave them all in "for more drama", thinking that's what we like and will watch.

 

The British version sounds so much more enjoyable, but also like something that would not last on primetime television (like that CBS baking show that was off after 2 seasons--amazing it made it that long although I enjoyed it once I found it, S2).

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I'm so glad they acquired Marcus. I tried the series premiere but couldn't take Malarkey seriously. I've binged the 2nd and 3rd seasons for Marcus, almost left due to Nigella's harpyness, but stayed for Ludo. I remember first seeing Ludo on something at least a decade ago and he left a favourable impression. Then he popped up as my fave's hubby on the Apprentice and I fondly recognized him then and am so pleased he has a regular platform now. He's so much fun to watch. 

 

I will give the British version a go and see if I change my mind about Nigella.

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I will give the British version a go and see if I change my mind about Nigella.

Is the British version still on?

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I can still stream past seasons but this show was cancelled? :( What a shame. I enjoyed it a lot better than Top Chef post-All Stars.

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