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All Episodes, Since They're One Big Continued Climb To $25,000

The synopsis was misleading because Tory McPhail wasn't on. Viet, of Food Network Star, was the competitor. There also wasn't a contest featuring stuffed burgers. With some other familiar faces. Penny wasn't there long, but she did beat out the first challenger Duane Nutter. Fortunately, she doesn't move forward and Viet comes on as the new challenger. My beloved Madison from Chopped was on, as was the 16-yr-old boy who won Chopped. A LOT of people coming and going on this show. And too many commercials. The final battle for $25,000 won't be shown until next week, and I wonder if that is going to be the norm.

Overall, I liked it. And watching Curtis nearly have a coronary every time Viet tore up a check was fun.

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I made it all the way through, but I think I'm done.  Too many FN famewhores, PD mishearing "that asswipe" as "the villain" and wholeheartedly embracing it, some friggin' kid I didn't watch Kiddy Chopped to avoid seeing, altogether too much trash talk from those in no position to be bringing it, and with my most slappable TV chef Chiarello the douche coming up my constitution can't take much more.  I'll watch this board for a couple of weeks to see if I'm missing anything, but I think this is going on the unwatchable shelf with the sabotage show for me.

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I think the teenager won in regular Chopped, not the teen version. They said he was the youngest Chopped winner ever, so I think he may have competed with the big dogs.

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I  could be remembering wrong but I think Mikey won the first teen version.  He's really grown up a lot since he was on Chopped.

 

I'm not sure I quite understand this show.  The challenger cooks against people lined up by FN and goes on to the next level if he wins?  If he doesn't, they bring out a new challenger?  What are the non-competitors getting out of it?  Madison Cowan and Michael Chiarello certainly don't need the recognition and MC lives on the west coast.  If this show is shot at FN in NYC, what's his motivation to fly across country to be on it?  Now that I'm thinking about it, Curtis just opened a restaurant in California.  Maybe the show was shot out there.

 

Also, how did it happen that Mikey, a kid still in high school and not an established chef, was lined up by FN to cook against a pro like Viet?  I don't get it.

 

At this point, I'll keep watching but I'm confused.

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LOL, I'm confused too but I think it works this way.... they have a series of chefs lined up to compete against the challenger. They are on different levels to equate their skill level, I guess. If the challenger loses, he goes off and another challenger comes on. If the challenger wins and decides to keep the check and leave, they bring in another challenger.

Their green room must be huge.

You may be right about Mikey, I honestly thought he was in with a regular group but my memory gets pureed just like all the Chopped shows.

If they are delaying the finale round until next week, maybe the following startup isn't as long? That's the part that really has me scratching my head.... why a show doesn't end at the end of the hour.

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The ratings for the premiere of KItchen Inferno were a total disaster: 565,000 viewers and 0.18 demo at 10PM, way lower than the premieres of other Food Network flops like Save My Bakery, Buy This Restaurant, Kitchen Casino, Eating America w/Anthony Anderson, Rewrapped and Hungry Games, which all of them air/aired earlier in the evening.

 

Also, Kitchen Casino had the finale of Cutthroat Kitchen Superstar Sabotage (which rated at less than 1 million viewers) as lead-in, and lost half of the audience. KI looks like an expensive show so, if this coming week it doesn't go up, probably it will be moved to burn episodes on Saturday or Sunday afternoon or late night and will become one of FN's most expensive failures.

Edited by ny1221.
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Yeah, I'm getting the title "Mod of Doom" since several of my shows have taken a nose dive. :)

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I'm not sure I quite understand this show.  The challenger cooks against people lined up by FN and goes on to the next level if he wins?  If he doesn't, they bring out a new challenger?  What are the non-competitors getting out of it?  

 

I'm confused also.  The first challenger came out and because Penny won, that's it?

ratings were way lower than the premieres of other Food Network flops like Kitchen Casino, which all of them air/aired earlier in the evening.

 

 

Ouch.

Edited by nottopbravo.
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Sad that Viet lost. The way they have structured this, the people who cook in the first rounds, if they lose, they get nothing. If they win, they get nothing except they are put into the rotation every week. I think.

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I don't like the continued format of this show, but that's just me. I see they opted not to use the teen Chopped winner this time, and bumped everyone down a notch, with Curtis competing in level 4.

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I like Viet and I hated to see him lose.  I was hoping he'd take the 15K and go.  Michael Chiarello's dish looked a lot better to me so I wasn't surprised by the judges' decision.

 

I can't put my finger on what I don't like about this show.  I like cooking competitions and I like Curtis Stone but there's something sterile and unappealing about the format and the set.  It has that same not quite legit feeling I got watching Food Fighters.

Edited by mlp.
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I think it's because of the way they trot out the FN chefs to go against the challenger....who gets the check, or not. Yet they get nothing, except an appearence check, I guess. I'd find it more entertaining if it were like Iron Chef, where they can pick who they battle. For instance, if instead of just having Penny Davidi, they give him a choice between Penny and a couple of others. At least that way I might not have to see her each week. Then a choice of three for the next level. And so on.

If Curtis loses to this guy who seems a little lost, but needs money for his wedding, I'll wonder just how shielded those judges really are.

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Against my better instincts I watched this once again.  Like the wise man once said, "Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, you won't get fooled again".  If any of Kermit and Medusa's spies are flitting around here rather than doing important work like running a simple Google search on next year's Food Network Star contestants - Guys, we weren't fooling.  Once maybe as stunt casting, but there's no way in Hell I will continue to tune into a program where I might at any turn stumble across an appearance by Penny Davidi.

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I think it's because of the way they trot out the FN chefs to go against the challenger....who gets the check, or not. Yet they get nothing, except an appearence check, I guess. I'd find it more entertaining if it were like Iron Chef, where they can pick who they battle. For instance, if instead of just having Penny Davidi, they give him a choice between Penny and a couple of others. At least that way I might not have to see her each week. Then a choice of three for the next level. And so on.

 

If Curtis loses to this guy who seems a little lost, but needs money for his wedding, I'll wonder just how shielded those judges really are.

 

I like your idea... For some reason the current set-up is not working for me. For one thing... it doesn't feel quite real to me. Like you said it makes me wonder of the judges really don't know the chef's identity.

 

While I'm not surprised that the likes of the Chopped teen chef and Penny lost the first rounds... I'm having a hard time believing Madison lost TWICE!! I'm not as shocked at Viet beating Madison because I didn't see the first show and don't know what either of them made.

 

But, I was front and center for the second episode ...and Madison's Beef and waffle dish looked divine. The judges couldn't really find anything wrong with it. The clueless chef didn't cook... didn't seem to possess impressive knife skills and really just sprinkled white chocolate on raw scallops. Madison's plate was a meal. His opponent's plate was more like an appetizer. I'm giving the whole show a big ole side-eye!

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Yet they get nothing, except an appearance check, I guess.

 

At least on Food Fighters the challenger got to keep the money they won. 

 

I also don't like the "all or nothing" aspect of the show.

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I did not think it was possible to make Food Fighters look like a decent show but FN has done it. I keep trying to watch this but it's just deadly dull. Plus I have to be ready to fast forward at any moment because I WILL not watch Penny Davidi. I agree the all or nothing prizes seem unnecessarily harsh. Something about Curtis here is not coming across for me. Like he's phoning it in or something. I don't think the character he plays here is working for him.

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This week's episode was Penny-free, so that's a bonus right there. The girl in her place cooked the biggest appetizer I think I've seen on this show. It covered the entire plate.

"Setting the integrity of the protein" was a new foodie phrase I'd not heard, but now that I have I'm sure everyone will start using it. And interesting hearing Elizabeth Faulkner talking about how she always kills it in culinary competitions. Has she won one? She turned in an undercooked burger, how is that killing it?

I wonder if Geoffrey spray tans. He reminds me of those old guard Hollywood actors from the 50s and 60s.

I am so glad Tory won. Is this the first time anyone's taken the whole pot?

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That girl in the first round is the one who won America's Best Home Cook or whatever it was called.  I didn't like her then and didn't like her on this show either.  Her hair always looked greasy on that show and she didn't look like she's washed it since.  Her "coach" on that show was Michael Symon.  i thought it was a very big stretch when the intro on this show described her as having worked with him.  Her giant appetizer looked like dog food.

 

I cannot stand Elizabeth Falkner and wish she'd just go away.  Her restaurants have failed and she never wins a competition so I also don't get the huge ego.

 

I'd like to know what the challenging chefs get out of appearing.  I can understand low level cooks trying for fame and fortune but why would highly successful chefs like Michael Chiarello and Geoffrey Zakarian do it?  Geoffrey is part of FN so that may be the answer for him but not Michael.  I wouldn't think that whatever fee they get would cover their time away from their main concerns.  Maybe it's just ego.

Edited by mlp.
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I cannot stand Elizabeth Falkner and wish she'd just go away.  Her restaurants have failed and she never wins a competition so I also don't get the huge ego.

I am right there with you. I'm not sure why FN keeps trotting her out. In addition to her inexplicable ego, she always comes across dour and I don't enjoy watching her at all.

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This week's episode was Penny-free, so that's a bonus right there. <snip>

I am so glad Tory won. Is this the first time anyone's taken the whole pot?

 

Any Penny-Free show is good in my book.

 

Didn't the guy also win who was playing for his "dream wedding" (which, as sexist as it sounds, totally cracked me up because I've never heard of a guy having a "dream wedding" in mind). I can't remember for sure and unfortunately I deleted the episode after watching it.

 

I was really happy for Tory too!

 

I can't help but wonder if the judges are at least somewhat swayed in the voting by producers, editors, etc... I mean if the winner-to-be has a really good cause and it comes down to "we're not really sure, let's flip a coin" it seems like the competitor wins even when the "professional" chef's dish looks and sounds better. I also find it odd that we haven't seen a competitor lose the first round yet, unless I missed it.

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I also find it odd that we haven't seen a competitor lose the first round yet, unless I missed it.

 

I think that's true but it doesn't surprise me or make think there's some hanky-panky in the judging, at least not for that round.  I totally expect that, for example, the executive chef of Commander's Palace, barring some disaster, can create a better dish than some home cook who won a reality show. 

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I think that's true but it doesn't surprise me or make think there's some hanky-panky in the judging, at least not for that round.  I totally expect that, for example, the executive chef of Commander's Palace, barring some disaster, can create a better dish than some home cook who won a reality show. 

 

This is true... so far most of the competitors I've seen were quite a bit more experienced than most of the first round chefs. I've had to remind myself a few times that this isn't an "amateur" cooking show.

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Encouraged by what I read in this thread I went back and watched the last one, and it wasn't bad.  They could fix most of the problems with this show by doing it like that one and completing a contestant's run in one night.  Of course then they'd have to give up on the "if you lose you walk" aspect, and that would leave them with Food Fighters, only with restaurant cook contestants instead of home cooks.

 

The very first contestant on the show lost in the first round, to SWMNBN.

 

Afterthought: I'll bet Elizabeth was torqued that she was relegated to third-tier status.  I won't be surprised if we don't see her again.

Edited by Totale.
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The very first contestant on the show lost in the first round, to SWMNBN.

 

I give up.  :)  What or who is SWMNBN?

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The article on Shannon Bard answered a question I've had since I saw the show.  She was on Beat Bobby Flay.  I knew I'd seen her before but couldn't figure out where.  Thanks for posting the link.

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I just stumbled across Tory beating Geoffrey Zakarian, so that was a day-brightener. Funny thing was, right before Curtis handed over the check, the look on GZ's face said, "I lose!" and he turned and scrammed at warp speed. Good times!

 

Curtis is super annoying and I see there are videos from loving families rooting for the challenger to continue. Bet that happens a lot. Hello, scripted FN show. And bye. (Ack, risk of seeing Penny again.)

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Someone posted somewhere a photo of Bert, from Sesame Street....and his resemblance to Curtis. I couldn't agree more.

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I havent really been watching this after strongly disliking the first episode but I caught the rerun today with Falkner after she declares "I wont be beat" I'm gonna kill it" I actually yelled out at the TV "are you nuts woman? You are ALWAYS beat". I had a feeling I would come here and see others felt the same.  She never fails to be an obnoxious egomaniac. Did she think this time around would be any different from all the other times she has lost FN competitions? I have no problem with anyone who likes competing, but after so many losses in a row its time to back out graciously. 

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And the fact that she thinks her game face makes her look fierce is what makes me laugh. She only looks afraid and a little sad.

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I was sad to see your friend lose. I think when they bring out the family video, it's almost a foreshadowing that the next round is going to be really tough. If there had been a way for him to make a gravy that was red, to look like a berry juice or something, he might have pulled it out. They really liked the flavor of his meatballs and sauce.

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 This show is dreadful.  I actually watched a full episode last night (apparently, it was the "season" finale, aired on Christmas Eve) and can understand why the ratings are so awful.  the set, Curtis' over reacting every time someone tears up a check (has anyone ever walked away?), the obviously scripted trash talk.  And do the editors hate Ruhlman or is he really just that big of a dick.  They would show both of the judges comment first and they'd point out what they liked or was unique, etc.  Cut to Ruhlman making some nasty remark out of the gate.  Hopefully this remains in the trash heap with Kitchen Casino and Sugar Dome.

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I can't quite figure out what bores me about this show.  It's formulaic but so are the others.  I like Curtis.  I like cooking competitions.  I enjoy seeing most of the defending chefs, especially Jet Tila and Chris Oh.  I get a kick out of seeing Mikey from Chopped a foot taller and almost grown up.  I don't even mind the judging although I was annoyed last night when they gave the win to that woman who made a fritter which was in no way a pizza, the required dish. 

 

If there's a second season (which I doubt), maybe it will be new and improved.

 

There are some similarities to Sugar Dome.  That show would have become one of my favorites along with the old Challenge if they hadn't ruined it with a WAY WAY OTT moderator and unnecessary twists.  Like Kitchen Inferno, the concept was good but the execution was lacking. 

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You can blame it on me, LOL. I started calling myself the Mod of Doom after several shows I moderated were cancelled or tanked in the ratings.

If Sweet Genius couldn't make it, neither can this show without some changes. What kind of changes, I don't know. I actually liked Sweet Genius because I thought chef Ron Ben Israel was a hoot.

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I think it's just slow. The thing about like... Millionaire is there's X questions leading up to each safe zone. This is too much time spent for each "competition."

 

I didn't even make it through the last bit of Ed's show after he lost. It's so boring.

 

I can't quite figure out what bores me about this show.  It's formulaic but so are the others.  I like Curtis.  I like cooking competitions.  I enjoy seeing most of the defending chefs, especially Jet Tila and Chris Oh.  I get a kick out of seeing Mikey from Chopped a foot taller and almost grown up.  I don't even mind the judging although I was annoyed last night when they gave the win to that woman who made a fritter which was in no way a pizza, the required dish. 

 

If there's a second season (which I doubt), maybe it will be new and improved.

 

There are some similarities to Sugar Dome.  That show would have become one of my favorites along with the old Challenge if they hadn't ruined it with a WAY WAY OTT moderator and unnecessary twists.  Like Kitchen Inferno, the concept was good but the execution was lacking. 

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If Sweet Genius couldn't make it, neither can this show without some changes. What kind of changes, I don't know. I actually liked Sweet Genius because I thought chef Ron Ben Israel was a hoot.

 

If I were the emperor at FN, I'd let contestants do what they ostensibly came to do without throwing in unnecessary twists.  When Curtis tells them they have 20 minutes to make a noodle dish, that's enough of a challenge.  I just get annoyed when they're then told, "Oh, BTW, you can't use pasta."  That's maybe not the best example but it's the one I can think of right now.  I adore Ron Ben Israel and I liked Sweet Genius because of him.  I would have liked it a lot better if the talented pastry chefs had been allowed to do their best work without silly twists.  I don't really want to watch someone, under duress, trying to make award winning cupcakes out of rutabaga.

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Okay, having Penny Davidi as a champion was laughable enough.  But I just saw the episode where they pitted that confused owl of a woman who won that shitty Home Cooks show against the Exec Chef of Commander's Palace.  And the home cook was the show champion, and the Commander's Palace guy the challenger, not that other way around as every person in the universe would expect.

 

I get that Round 1 is supposed to be the easiest, but when the challenger is a world class chef himself, this whole formula gets turned on it's head.

Edited by Kromm.
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episode where they pitted that confused owl of a woman who won that shitty Home Cooks show against the Exec Chef of Commander's Palace.  And the home cook was the show champion, and the Commander's Palace guy the challenger, not that other way around as every person in the universe would expect.

 

I was really annoyed by that whole episode too.  I didn't like that home cook woman to begin with and it irritated me that Curtis implied that she was somehow a protege of Michael Symon when the fact is he was her team's mentor on a game show she should never have won (IMO).  Also her hair looked ungroomed and greasy during the first show and she looked like she hadn't washed it since.  I wouldn't want to eat anything made by someone who looks dirty.

 

Back to your point..................Tory McPhail is a James Beard Award winning chef at one of the best restaurants in the country.  As you said, having him challenge little miss nobody was discordant to say the least.  I was surprised that he put himself in that position then figured he got some publicity and had a chance to earn some money for a cause he cared about.  He really had nothing to lose except maybe some dignity.

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Tory McPhail is a James Beard Award winning chef at one of the best restaurants in the country.  As you said, having him challenge little miss nobody was discordant to say the least.

 

 

Add me in on this. When I first set up this forum, the opening show description listed him as a contestant. It was weeks later before he showed up. I am wondering if they originally wanted him to be one of their chefs, competing against the people who wanted to win money? 

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Well I also got a laugh out of Stone being classified as a "World Class Chef" rather than as a "Celebrity Chef".  Made me think maybe someone dropped out (a top tier person since if it was the celeb chef level it would have seemed less laughable) and they made him fill in.  I mean I understand he has a distant past as a credible chef and finally this year actually has his own restaurant, but "world class" seems to be a hair over even the best interpretation of his career.

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I'm sure it was completely Stone's desire to be billed as a "world class" chef, they didn't have to press him into it.  I dunno, I saw some of these and just watched the "season" (probably forever) finale and this show has some real structural problems to fix if it's going to come back.  For example, just reading the episode description on the On Demand menu told me everything that was going to happen in the show before I saw it (it's the finale so they had to wrap it up with no "come back next week", and they listed two contestants so they both had to lose). 

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