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Blind Tasting

John William G

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I only caught the second hour but kind of liked it. I like the concept, and found the show itself no worse than Master Chef. Mostly I like the idea that moving forward it's possible for the judges to be voting off people from their own team. I think it will be interesting to see how it plays out. Not committed to watching the entire show, but I'm going to at least give it another episode or two.

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The only positive aspect of the show, for me, was that home cooks and professionals were treated the same way. It was interesting to hear the judges trying to guess whether the taste was prepared by a professional.

Otherwise, it was a slapdash production that often left the viewer confused.

There were some fairly nasty (bleeped out) comments about the cooks. Bourdain censored just looks like a real jerk - the context of his own shows with their back alley grit and sometimes trying conditions makes his profanity and his directness just part of the experience. But in a posh studio with all amenities, he seems more coarse than necessary. I don't care that he's selling out to network TV and the big dollars, but I hope he spends less time trashing others who do, or who have done, the same.

When network prime time succeeds with a "reality" cooking show, we are are all going to be shoved down the very slippery slope of spin-offs and one-ups (American Idol, The Voice, etc.) which means that anyone who has successfully executed a lasagna or a lemon pie is going to believe he or she can be the Next! Big! Thing! Watch for short-lived restaurant openings near you.

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I like the idea of blind tasting but it was unnecessarily long and drawn out, repeatedly showing a disembodied hand deciding between the two buttons, Nigella waffling about whether to hit yes or no, etc. At least The Voice has a song that the audience can listen to and enjoy or not during the judge's deliberations. Here there didn't seem to be much to say about one bite of food.

Plus the repeated cycle of sob/inspiring story - swallow bite - meet the cheftestant - rejection started to feel tedious after a while. I made it through about 45 minutes before getting bored. I haven't deleted it from the DVR yet, but maybe I'll just wait until they start the actual cooking competition.

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I will watch another episode or two, but it was pretty much a train wreck. I don't know if it was bad editing or the producers had too heavy of a hand in the decisions, but there were several tastes that they really liked, but then no one picked that chef to move on!? I almost felt as though they were so hell bent on taking as many home cooks to the next round as pros that they didn't pick the best.

I have never really like Bourdain, but this took the cake for me, he is not good on the show.

Nigella is looking better than ever (at 53!).

Malarkey is a fucking tool.

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