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The Judges

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I have a crush on Amanda. . .  I enjoy it when she squees as someone makes something she loves.

As a judge, Marcus is probably my favorite, and I laugh at how Chris is consistently the judge to get a hair/under cooked protein or missing ingredient on his plate.

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Was Scott ever an contestant on Chopped? I had hoped that he would have gotten a basket with fish, cheese and red onions, then.

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I like Marcus the best as well. I really do not like Marc Murphy, he is SO critical. I know they are supposed to be - uh, since they are judges, but he just gets ridiculous sometimes.

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I have a thing for Scott. I'm not sure how it happened, but there it is. The hair, the scarf, the glasses, somehow it works for me. And I hate red red onions too. Go cuddly polar bear Scott!

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Was Scott ever an contestant on Chopped? I had hoped that he would have gotten a basket with fish, cheese and red onions, then.

He won one of the All-Star shows, but I don't remember what baskets he got.

 

My favorite judge is Maneet, but I don't actively dislike any of them.

Edited by ElleryAnne

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My favorite judges are Marc (he's adorable), Amanda (same), Maneet (love her voice, and her critiques are always good), and Chris. I like his direct approach, even though he always gets the hair, or something left off of his plate.

Alex is always good for a convoluted metaphor, and she can give the stinkeye like nobody's business. I didn't used to like Marcus, because he always seemed so serious. But his critiques are always good and helpful. And he was featured on NPR's Fresh Air one time, and I happened to catch it in the car a few minutes into the interview. I knew right away from his voice who it was. It was a great interview. 

Least favorites are Geoffrey and whatever substitute judges they have, usually.

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It's interesting how the same judges have widely varying effects on viewers.  I like most of the judges and I'm partial to Geoffrey, Marc and Amanda.  I think Maneet is gorgeous and I do like her but it seems like she says the same thing much of the time...."delicious bite but I wish...."   The only one who consistently irritates me is Aaron.  I thought he was really juvenile when he was ramming around on Heat Seekers saying "Bro'!" in every sentence so his studied pomposity on Chopped strikes me as an act.  He's not like that at all on Chopped After Hours where he apparently doesn't feel the need to be pretentious and comes across much better.  IMO of course.  And I adore Ted Allen.

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I don't much care for Chris or Geoffrey, and I cannot stand Scott.  The rest of the judges I tend to enjoy, especially Amanda and Alex.  It took me a long time to warm up to Maneet for some reason, though.

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Marcus is always so interested in what the contestants are doing. And I love his voice. Can do without Alex, love Amanda.

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Forgot about Aaaaaaaarrrrrooon. He is so pompous. And it's funny when he and Geoffrey are judging together. Aaron wants heat in his dish, Geoffrey complains about it.

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I think Maneet is gorgeous and I do like her but it seems like she says the same thing much of the time...."delicious bite but I wish...."   

Maneet was a great, refreshing presence when they first brought her on.  But somewhere along the line something happened.  It's like she stopped trying and is now happy to collect her paycheck and spit back the same nonsense every time. 

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The closest I come to disliking any of them is Chris Santos; he strikes me as being the most unjustifiably nitpicky.  Alex is my favorite, and I have a weird affection for Geoffrey after seeing him compete on Next Iron Chef.  I didn't start watching Chopped until after seeing Marcus compete on Top Chef Masters.  I loved him there; he had a great personality and was clearly at the top of his game.  In comparison, I find him to be a little humorless on Chopped, but he gives great critiques.

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I really enjoy Alex, but boy can she really give the stink eye to the chefs while she's chewing their creations.  Mark strikes me as one of the judges that takes himself just a bit too seriously.  Love Ted.  Wish he was given more airtime other than the occasional quip.

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My favorite guest judge was the lunch lady.  I have a special place in my heart for her- she looks exactly like one from my childhood right down to the moles on her neck- but I thought she gave very helpful intelligent advice and held her own well with the more seasoned judges.

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Forgot about Aaaaaaaarrrrrooon. He is so pompous. 

He is.  And then they go to a break and he's doing some super-low-rent looking commercial for cheese.

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Yes, Scott won the All-Stars Tournament a couple of years ago.  His daughter is so cute.

I actually don't mind him, but I do find Marcus Samuelsson quite picky.  None of them are unwatchable to me, though.  

I also love Alex's stink eye.  I look for it eagerly every time I watch the show and she's a judge.

 

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I find Scott amusing and good TV but he is weirdly morphy to me. Marcus looks the same all of the time...but Scott has different hair, hair color, hair length, face shape, glasses...he can look Hawt and Nawt like the 2face episode of Seinfeld!

Alex has grown on me but she overuses the word "brilliant."

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Am I the only one who thinks that but for hair color, Amanda and Alex could be twins separated at birth?  Like it took me a few shows to understand that they weren't the same person.   Saw the grilling all stars mini marathon this weekend.  I don't know what audition standards are like but I actually watched a woman wrap a peanut cookie in bacon and attempt to grill it.  Wait, it gets better, it had a proper name.  I was like stop it, that shit is not a real thing.  But then the guy who said its name was her husband and I was like okay that's what ya'll call it at home in your kitchen.   

 

My least favorite is Marc because the guy looks and sounds like there's not an ounce of joy is his life, ever.  Aaron is a really close second, pompous thing aside, if I have to hear him say these cactus flower seeds weren't *transformed* one. more. damn. time.......

 

If I may name drop for a second ;)  I met Marcus outside his restaurant in Harlem called the Red Rooster.   I was leaving and he was posing for a professional photographer.  He turned quickly over his shoulder and saw me kind of loitering (stalking) and holding my phone.  He looks over at me and imperceptibly nods and I said oooh, picture chef?   He said sure.  I took it, but I'm a terrible photographer so it's basically a true selfie.   He took the phone outta my hand and goes, ok, now how bout one we're both in and smiles.   He'd been my favorite before that, but the reason I heart him for it was because it was clear before I happened upon the scene that he was in a hurry, he had friends standing and waiting nearby, so he could've just as easily brushed me off or been impatient with my fumbling, but was instead, super sweethearty. 

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If I may name drop for a second ;)  I met Marcus outside his restaurant in Harlem called the Red Rooster.   I was leaving and he was posing for a professional photographer.  He turned quickly over his shoulder and saw me kind of loitering (stalking) and holding my phone.  He looks over at me and imperceptibly nods and I said oooh, picture chef?   He said sure.  I took it, but I'm a terrible photographer so it's basically a true selfie.   He took the phone outta my hand and goes, ok, now how bout one we're both in and smiles.   He'd been my favorite before that, but the reason I heart him for it was because it was clear before I happened upon the scene that he was in a hurry, he had friends standing and waiting nearby, so he could've just as easily brushed me off or been impatient with my fumbling, but was instead, super sweethearty.

 

 

Very cool.  :)  I liked him anyway, but I think things like that tell you a lot about a person.

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Am I the only one who thinks that but for hair color, Amanda and Alex could be twins separated at birth?  Like it took me a few shows to understand that they weren't the same person.

 

I'm starting to think of Alex as sort of Amanda's snarky evil twin.

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My least favorite is Marc because the guy looks and sounds like there's not an ounce of joy is his life, ever.

 

Marc is such a joyless nonentity that I am always surprised to see him, because I forget he exists as soon as the show ends.

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Arrrrron grrrates on my nerves, he's pompous as a previous post stated, even the way he chose to mispronounce his own name, in Spanish only a double R is rolled heavily in the middle of a word.

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I see that they CGIed Aaron's tattoos out of his ad for queso fresco.

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Marc is such a joyless nonentity

 

Wow.  I don't get that at all.  He grew up in Europe, speaks several languages and has a fascinating resumé.  I love to watch him on Chopped After Hours.  He's hilarious.  He's also one of my favorite judges.

 

I don't see any similarities between Alex and Amanda either.  Love Amanda.  Tolerate Alex.

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Marcus is my favorite, too, because he really does seem to take care and to be caring. It doesn't hurt that he has such a beautiful smile.

 

At first, I couldn't stand Geoffrey, because he seemed to be a stuffed shirt, but he's growing on me. It's nice he could get rid of the heavy glasses.

 

I know what some of you are saying about Aaron, but I like him, in spite of.

 

The one I wouldn't miss is Chris Santos. Sorry, Chris. Too picky.

 

It's funny to see people talk about Alex's stinkeye. It's Amanda's that makes me laugh.

 

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Marcus is my favorite, too, because he really does seem to take care and to be caring. It doesn't hurt that he has such a beautiful smile...

 

It's funny to see people talk about Alex's stinkeye. It's Amanda's that makes me laugh.

I think Marcus is a beautiful male human, but I kind of love him for entirely different reasons after reading his book, and for the way he's trying to leverage his fame into getting inner city kids into restaurant careers. He seems to me to take being successful after not being born on third base really seriously, which I like him for.

I think Amanda can be a stern judge, but there's something about the way Alex stinkfaces people with a long pause before she says something nice about their food that strikes me as a little sadistic, although I'm reasonably certain that's the role she's been given to play.

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I think Amanda can be a stern judge, but there's something about the way Alex stinkfaces people with a long pause before she says something nice about their food that strikes me as a little sadistic, although I'm reasonably certain that's the role she's been given to play.

That's interesting, because stinkeye or not, I don't think Alex usually winds up saying the most negative things.  If she's on a panel with Murphy, he's always the one who does.  If she's on with Zakarian, it's often him who does.  If she's on with Maneet, I think increasingly she's the one lobbing stuff at the chefs (she wasn't that way in her earliest seasons but definitely is now).  And with Arrrrrrrrrrron, I think it's about a tie between the two of them (unless there's some tossed in Mexican or Spanish ingredient, which Arrrrrrrrron can leverage to talk about himself instead of the actual food in front of him).  Santos and Conant, I'm not sure about.  It's only really Amanda Freitag and Marcus who I think for sure play nicer (and even Marcus has his moments of being a bit bitchy about certain things).

Edited by Kromm

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I've seen Amanda on so many of those FN shows that I really have a sense of her being a genuinely nice person.

 

Alex and her stinkeye - lol, perfect term for that look.  I like her because she'll empathize with the contestant but always remembers the bottom line is that the food has to be good.

 

I think of Scott every time I turn on the cold water to rinse the pasta.  Hey Scott!  I do that to stop the cooking process because the pasta is usually being cooked in advance, and guess what?  The sauce still sticks to it!

 

Chris is the most nit-picky of them all, IMO.  Though he is usually justified in what he complains about.

 

I like Geoffrey probably because he can laugh at himself.

 

Marc does give the impression of being humorless.

 

Maneet seems to be very visual in her enjoyment of the food.  A smart contestant would make sure that their dish is well-composed if she is judging their episode.

 

With Marcus it seems as if he expects so much from the contestants and is disappointed in them when they fall below the standard he has set for them.

 

Arrrrron, I actually like in one way because he's definitely representing a particular cooking style so it's always interesting when one of the contestants tries to curry favor with him by putting incorporating a Spanish style and blows it.

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Chris, bless his heart, always seems to get the fish bones, chunk of garlic or ginger, hair, fingernail, pinkie toe, etc., in his food.

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Chris, bless his heart, always seems to get the fish bones, chunk of garlic or ginger, hair, fingernail, pinkie toe, etc., in his food.

Really! I think he brings his own bottle of the stuff and sneaks it into the food!

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I really believe that the stage managers scope out all of the dishes before handing them to the judges and intentionally give him the worst plate. There's now way it can be a coincidence. 

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Can't stand Scott's embarrassing single white male-ing of Geoffrey, right down to the "it would have behooved you to..." in this Father's Day episode. He said he was too scared of cooking in the Chopped tournament but with Geoffrey judging he won and has been emulating him and puffing out his chest since.

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I love Spike. And Marcel. They both have grown up, and are not the immature punks we first came to know. Marcel does a LOT of charity fund-raising cooking stuff. And he looks badass cool in his surfing gear, riding down the coast highway in a convertible. 

 

OK, I'm shallow....

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After seeing the comments about Chris here I started pay attention -  and sure enough, the show I saw yesterday (old one on my DVR) had him pointing out a hair on his plate.  Made me laugh - poor guy!  If I were him I would be REALLY looking over my plate carefully! 

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The other day, I made crescent rolls and Mr. Wordsworth found a bit of the can wrapper stuck to one of the rolls.  He made a point of doing a Chris Santos and holding the bit of wrapper out to me.

 

We laughed.

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I love Spike. And Marcel. They both have grown up, and are not the immature punks we first came to know.

 

Me too and agreed.  I mentioned elsewhere that I met Marcel over the winter.  He was a cutie.  Anyhow, he told me that he and Spike were going to start filming in the spring for a new show in which they travel around the country cooking in people's homes.  Unfortunately, I can't recall which channel and the TWoP forum where I wrote it down is gone.

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Really? I can't wait to see Spike and Marcel's show! Hope it's more structured than the one they did for YouTube's Tasted. Am another who is really glad to see their maturation and success as chefs and public figures. 

 

Also agree that Spike was a good guest judge, and he's always good TV.

Edited by anonymiss

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I used to not really like Geoffrey because I saw him that Iron chief season and he came across as very aurgent. Though I was watching because of Robert and Anne who were more fun.

 

I also enjoy watching Alex's face expresions. She really tells you she either likes it or hates it, and it's usually the hate one.

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Scott gave me serious secondhand embarrassment on Beat Bobby Flay when he walked out with that pompous hair and Single White Male-ing Geoffrey in full effect. It looked like he asked Geoffrey to dress him.

Edited by anonymiss

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Single White Female (I'm kind of horrified that whoever edited this entry on Wikipedia thought it was an erotic movie) was a movie about a young woman taking in a roommate who first became inappropriately attached to her and later tried to take over her life by looking as much like her as possible and having sex with her boyfriend. Then a bunch of people died and there was countertransference.

 

I'm afraid my mind shuts off with a little shower of sparks when I try to apply that to, well, anybody and Geoffrey Zakarian (who's pretty much channeling Ralph Lauren trying to be an east coast patrician himself), but I'm pretty sure that's the reference :)

Edited by Julia
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I saw Scott Conant say something interesting on Facebook today. He put a hashtag "botox" in his post, it was a pic of mostly his forehead. I had to smack my hands from telling him that if he did that, he could never again raise his eyebrows or give the evil eye. :)

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Alex, Marcus and Amanda are my favorites.

I can't stand Aaron. Mark is okay, but not my favorite. Something about Maneey bugs, but she is beautiful and I love her voice.

I like Chris and have grown to like Geoffrey after Iron Chef, he ranked with Aaron before that.

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It's funny to see people talk about Alex's stinkeye. It's Amanda's that makes me laugh.

Seriously, on most of the episodes I watch she looks like the food she's eating is not only not to her liking in the present, but also ruining her memory of meals she's enjoyed in the past.

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I've always wondered how much of the stinkeye is the result of creative editing for something totally unrelated to the performance of the chefs. " Dammit, get that camera fixed! We've been here all day and I want to go home!"

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