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The Shows of 2016: New Year, New Chefs, Same Sob Stories

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Last night's show reminded me of how much I miss the original Iron Chef. That's where I learned how to clean an eel with pliers. 

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I hate that the Chinese girl won, she turned every sentence plus random words into a question & seriously got on my nerves “so I add blueberries? because my hair is dyed blue? it’s my favorite color?” And she wants to be a food TV host, yeah, that’s a perfect career for someone who ends every sentence as a question.

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The college student episode - where have I seen the blonde girl before? It must have been on another cooking show, right? Or is it just that she looks like 8 different blonde women who have competed on The Bachelor?

Oh, and the other female contestant? The one who ends everything with a question? That's normal , right?

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I hate that the Chinese girl won, she turned every sentence plus random words into a question & seriously got on my nerves “so I add blueberries? because my hair is dyed blue? it’s my favorite color?” And she wants to be a food TV host, yeah, that’s a perfect career for someone who ends every sentence as a question.

 

Let's not forget the additional "like" in like every one of her sentences. It was like so, so, so like annoying. I like can't even like stand even like writing about it. Like yuck! :-( UGH!!!

 

The college student episode - where have I seen the blonde girl before? It must have been on another cooking show, right?

 

I didn't recognize her... but I really wanted her to stick around longer. At least she spoke in complete, coherent sentences and didn't di that sideways glance at the camera while "up-speaking" and converting her sentences into questions. The eventual winner was so enamored and impressed with her self. It really got on my nerves. 

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The college student episode - did anyone else catch the guy from Columbia saying that the school was so competitive that no one would share homework answers? Depending on how you interpret that statement, dude could be facing some extra scrutiny from his professors!

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^^^^^^^  I heard that but I didn't think anything of it.  Kids of all ages have been helping each other with homework for generations.  Studying together actually helps them learn and retain information.  If he'd been talking about tests, it would be a different matter.

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I have no shame (hey, I still love ABBA and Cheez Doodles) so I admit it -- I still love this show and don't get a lot of the lamentations about its downfall. It's still exactly the same as it always was -- four chefs, three courses, some ridiculously incongruous basket ingredients. I'm good.

 

I admit it, I don't even really mind the omission of the judging between rounds, because I always found it superfluous -- we hear what they think at fair length during judging and that's fine with me. I also like the added glimpses of the contestants as they await judgment, as most of the time the revelations are sweet, mutually supportive, and revealing. 

I just don't think the show has changed to some irrevocable degree. I still thoroughly enjoy it for what it is (it will never change the American pop culture landscape, ahem), without finding it too corrupt or uncreative to sit down and critique.

 

Meanwhile, happily at my lonely table, I admit that I've enjoyed the episodes of 2016 overall thus far, and actually thought the contestants had tamped down most sob stories to an enjoyable degree, as well.

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I really enjoyed the Chopped Champions first episode. My enjoyment was mostly because the contestants were all so respectful and supportive of each other. Give me that any day over trash talk.

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I think this is the first time I've watched a Chopped Champions episode where I couldn't remember any of the original cheftestants from their original wins.

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I think this is the first time I've watched a Chopped Champions episode where I couldn't remember any of the original cheftestants from their original wins.

 

Me neither.  But I haven't been watching much since most of last year seemed to be a Very Special Episode every week.

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I remembered the fellow from South Africa quite well because I liked him a lot when he was on the first time.  He hadn't been in the US as long and he was wearing a scarf sort of thing on his head covered by a floppy hat.  He seemed a lot more self-confident this time around but still very nice.  I had no recollection of the other three and I think I've seen every show at least once. 

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That episode really needed Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" as a soundtrack. I really didn't care which chef won. (But I thought they were very genteel towards one another.) I remember the guy who won and I guess he had the best sob story. A pregnant wife with cancer trumps a down payment for some type of organic farm by a landslide.

 

Maneet was in rare uber bitch form. I knew that when she chewed out (ha! ha!) the female contestant about her braised cabbage, that the woman was a goner.

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Maneet is always in such a terrible mood. I can't stand her and Aaron.

I thought Meny shouldn't have won. Having a good sob story is a sure way too win.

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Finally got a chance to watch this episode. I think it's one of the few in a long time where I liked all of the contestants. I enjoyed how supportive they were of each other. If I want to see chefs snarking at each other I'll watch Cutthroat Kitchen. This seemed like 4 very good contestants with good hearts. A little heavy on the sob stories as usual, but I liked the chefs themselves. Loved how they plan to visit each others restaurants later.

I was up on the air on who should win but thought the right two made it to the dessert round. It'll be interesting to see the next few episodes.

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This season's "Chopped Champions" contestants are so boring. This week's showdown was no exception with the final round between the know-it-all entitled millennial female immigrant with something to prove and smug arrogant experienced male chef with the "I can't lose to somebody 20 years younger" mantra. I laughed when the woman's strategy of preparing Latino food for Aaron backfired. Alex's face when she was tasting the appetizer round was priceless. I have no interest in who wins these challenges and there's nobody to root for.

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At least the show spun off the tykes into Chopped Junior, so it's easy to avoid them.  Listening to a 9-year-old claim he/she has "a very sophisticated palate" makes me stabby.

 

Biggest issue with the core show is - I'm just not interested in desserts.  I know a lot of people are, but that's when I go checkout my email.

 

(I know I've seen every single episode at some point, but I'm not recognizing these Champions either.)

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The only dramatic moment for me was that they'd finally managed to land a product placement fee and drop a visible logo into the baskets. I forget who it was, though, so that was money wasted.  They probably bought a commercial too, but I skip through those so wouldn't know.

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That was good old Hillshire Sausage and guess what was in the first round appetizer basket?? Hillshire Sausage


I have been totally blown away about how the judges are going on and on about how great these champions are and how hard they are fighting for the $50,000. Like most of you, I really don't recognize any of the "champions". When did they compete? I have followed Chopped from the beginning and sure can't place a face. Well, almost can't.  I did recognize one guy in the first round. He was wearing a head scarf. In his show that he won, he had worn a head scarf with a hat on top of that. The second round competitors were all total loser. I didn't give a hoot by the time they got to dessert.

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Just catching up after a week out of town. WOW was I happy the egomaniac 24 year-old who already knows everything there is to know did not win. Criminy what a PITA.

 

edited because she made me so stabby my sentence got tangled up in itself

Edited by jcbrown
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WOW was I happy the egomaniac 24 year-old who already knows everything there is to know did not win. Criminy what a PITA.

 

This week's showdown was no exception with the final round between the know-it-all entitled millennial female immigrant with something to prove and smug arrogant experienced male chef with the "I can't lose to somebody 20 years younger" mantra.

 

For me, he was the lesser of two evils. Sure, he was a little arrogant... but, if you can walk the talk I'm okay with it. IMHO, he earned that arrogance. He is a very talented and skilled chef.

 

Girlfriend is a talented chef too... but, she  just rubbed me the wrong way. I thought she was way off in her walk-of-shame, saying the judges had made a mistake and that she should have won. Really?? Sure, she may have won the dessert round (despite her raw dough). But, he smoked her and everybody else in the first 2 rounds. The judges were grasping for things to criticize him on. I'm glad he won!

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I had no recollection of Roro (Roro?!)  last night but I did remember the other three.  I liked them all to various degrees but sort of assumed they'd figure out some way to give the win to the cute young girl.  When they chopped the guy for under-cooked vegetables (which weren't basket ingredients) but forgave her for duck blood running all over her plates, I was sure she'd win.  Maybe I'm too cynical but I think they'd have nailed one of the men if he'd mishandled the protein like that.

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Is anyone else put off on the way the judges keep gushing on and on about how great this competition is? I should start a drinking game where you take a drink every time a judge or chef says that this is an important win because all the chefs are previous winners and the win would label the winner as the best of the best. Gag me with a spoon. If all these chefs are so great why do they keep making errors in execution in every round? This has been true in all three rounds so far. You see a chef make bonehead mistakes. If they are all so great, they shouldn't be making these mistakes.

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Last night's episode: say it with me, chefs, "SherBET." Not SherBERT. SherBET. </pet peeve>

OK - now let's go have some MAR-scapone!  (ducks)

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OK - now let's go have some MAR-scapone!  (ducks)

 

This one scares me because I've heard it pronounced wrong so many times, I'm starting to doubt myself on how it's even supposed to be pronounced.

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These champion shows are really boring this time around. I'm forcing myself to watch these. The only one I liked was the the first part because chef Daniel was super hot. 

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Did Mr. Pork-Loving Chef Husband just say he was adding "chip-pole-tays" to his wild boar chops?

 

I ran it back.  Twice.  Yes he did.

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Did Mr. Pork-Loving Chef Husband just say he was adding "chip-pole-tays" to his wild boar chops?

 

I ran it back.  Twice.  Yes he did.

Yeah, my husband was like what?  Did he just say that?  Who won?  I had to go to bed before the last round of judging.

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Yeah, my husband was like what?  Did he just say that?  Who won?  I had to go to bed before the last round of judging.

It wasn't Mrs. Pastry Chef wife.

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Aarrrroooon tossed out that old crap about how they should be able to distinguish each item from the mystery basket.  Which isn't in the rules.  And of course, make sure they blend completely together, are cohesive, and are completely transformed.  I still want to hear someone complain because they can't taste the flour and eggs in a cake.

 

I always cringe when they have a former cheftestant as a judge, even though it's a former winner.  Just me but I hate it.

 

And I don't believe I recognized a single cheftestant in the entire tournament.  Unlike years past where I could vividly remember almost everyone.  But then, this show is on in the background these days, like Muzak.

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I always cringe when they have a former cheftestant as a judge, even though it's a former winner.  Just me but I hate it.

 

It's not just you.

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I remembered the Jamaican guy, he was the only one I remembered. I remembered the guest judge as well.  She was the best of the worse.

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I don't understand the constant Chopped children competitions, are there really that many people interested in watching kids cook?

 

At least they seem to be mostly on their own separate show now. I don't necessarily mind watching kids cook but it was driving me nuts when it was feeling like every 3rd episode of 'regular' Chopped.

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To Jamaica guy in Battle Four:

 

Hey!!!  If you needed the prize money the first time around because you hadn't seen your poor mother in 15 years. . . and you STILL haven't seen your mother, because you never had two weeks of vacation days. . . you don't get to play the mother card again.

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To Jamaica guy in Battle Four:

 

Hey!!!  If you needed the prize money the first time around because you hadn't seen your poor mother in 15 years. . . and you STILL haven't seen your mother, because you never had two weeks of vacation days. . . you don't get to play the mother card again.

 

Seriously!  That annoyed me so much.

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To Jamaica guy in Battle Four:

 

Hey!!!  If you needed the prize money the first time around because you hadn't seen your poor mother in 15 years. . . and you STILL haven't seen your mother, because you never had two weeks of vacation days. . . you don't get to play the mother card again.

 

 

Yes. That irritated me, too.  They all come up with something designed to catch the judges and viewers.  

 

I am giving money to charity_____(fill in the blank) because my mother died from_______.  I call bullshit on all charity giving.  After taxes they don't win that much and you know they are going to spend or save it for themselves!   

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(Yay - we're back!)

I liked this Chopped Champion.  And I'd never heard of 3 of the appetizer basket ingredients.

Maybe this has been asked before, but when they bring out a loved one at the end of the show, do they have somebody standing by for each competitor just in case?  Or do they edit it in if the winner happens to have a loved one already there?

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I know I ask this every week, but who won?  I have an early wake up time and no DVR, so I can't stay up to wait to see who wins!  

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47 minutes ago, roseslg said:

I know I ask this every week, but who won?  I have an early wake up time and no DVR, so I can't stay up to wait to see who wins!  

Chef I-used-my-$10000-to-get-married beat out I-haven't-seen-my-mom.

Spoiler

Chef I-used-my-$10000-to-get-married beat out Chef I-haven't-seen-my-mom-in-15-years.

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Maybe this has been asked before, but when they bring out a loved one at the end of the show, do they have somebody standing by for each competitor just in case? 

I've wondered that myself.  My guess is that they do it only when the person is readily available such as a wife who came along and is staying in a local hotel so production can fetch them after the judges make a decision.  I've read that deliberations often take a long time so the waiting contestants wouldn't be suspicious of a long wait.  I can't imagine they'd fly someone in from another part of the country.  Maybe they even allow the significant others of finalists in major competitions to wait in a "green room" somewhere at FN for this very reason. 

I was very happy with the winner.  The Jamaican guy was clearly talented but his not very subtle streak of arrogance turned me off and I really liked the fellow who won. 

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@spiderpig, thanks!   I was hoping the Jamaican guy would win (representing the islands and all), but there is usually (IMO) a level of arrogance in Jamaican contestants in any activity that gives me a love/hate relationship with them.  

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Ah man, I really wanted Andre to win - thought he was the most talented of the bunch!! The other guy was good too, but I thought he made more flaws than Andre. The sob stories I usually FFWD through cause I just don't care, but felt bad that Andre hadn't seen his mom for 15 years!! Wow.

I didn't think the dishes were the level of Chopped Champions though.

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I wasn't rooting for Andre.  I was tired of his sob story. I was confused why he didn't use his previous winnings to go to England to see his mother.  Would it cost more than that to travel?  Anyway, I about retched at the idea of caramelized onion ice cream. Before the episode, I was pulling for Meny because his style of food looked the best to me.

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2 hours ago, cattykit said:

Ah, Food Network.  Because nothing says Cinco de Mayo like a German guest judge.

Was that a weird ep or what? I know they're gung-ho with the theme baskets, but this was just odd. All the dishes looked the same to me. Maybe because I was comatose before the final judging.

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