Well, maybe that's true for the second two, but I'll leave judgement on the first to you, dear reader.
A couple of days ago, I shared my thoughts on the whole "judging" thing when it comes to food television reality shows. Then we had a comment from Dan, a.k.a. The Hungover Gourmet, in yesterday's post saying:
Have you seen the second ep yet? The dismissal seemed like one of those decisions based more on who was more likely to be a better character than anything.
Of course, this illustrates the underlying question that we all have when it comes to these shows. Are these individuals being retained for their culinary skills or for their ability to draw viewers?
Time for the usual disclaimer. The Next Food Network Star is really about both, so let's leave them out of this. And Hell's Kitchen judging is based upon the side of the bed Gordo picks each morning. We're really talking about Top Chef, and now one of that show's judges has weighed in on the matter. Tom Colicchio leads off his latest blog entry with a discussion of the criteria given to the judges on the show. His post is in response to comments on his previous post asking exactly what goes into the decisions. It's clear that he takes his job as judge seriously.
And why not? In the case of each of these shows, the judges are people who are hired because of the legitimacy that they bring along with them. They have a responsibility to their own reputation to make sure they are part of an operation that is on the up and up. It can be a goofy process. It can be a process with which we don't agree. But it has to be a legitimate process.
It's good to see that they, too recognize this fact and care enough about the audience to say so. And it's great that they have a venue to talk about things like this. But, hey...the really important thing is that Tom Colicchio is listening to what all of you are saying in the comments. He cares what you think...even if Mario doesn't!