“The Taste” Gets Downright Gory

By Karen

I’ve sunk too many Tuesday nights (and blog posts) into Anthony Bourdain’s cooking competition, The Taste, to abandon it now. But it certainly didn’t bode well when ABC made Wife Swap, featuring 2 has-been reality bimbos, the lead-in to Taste’s new 9 p.m. slot. Even worse, one bimbo was talent-free Kate Gosselin, doing her best to destroy the other bimbo’s marriage. But that’s another post (which I’ll never write).

I think The Taste started the night with 10 contestants, and 3 would be doomed.

The show has only 8 weeks, and they wasted 2 weeks picking 16 freaking contestants so, inevitably, they now must dish out the bum’s rush in bunches.

So much for giving viewers a chance to build allegiance to anyone.

Another pair of “renowned” chefs I’ve never heard of, Frederick Morin and Dave McMillan, judged the immunity challenge. The bar for celebrity guest status has never seemed so low.

This week’s bold twist was to give the winner of immunity a pass on landing at the bottom, no matter how execrable the dish (which was how it played out last week for Gregg).

The night’s theme was guts, and Gregg literally “hogged” this segment by blowing up a pressure cooker trying to boil a pig’s head.

But for the 3rd week in a row, Ludo picked Gregg’s dish to compete. (It’s all about taste, remember? Destroying the kitchen has nothing to do with it.) And for the third time, GREGG WON FREAKING IMMUNITY.

Ludo continued to scream and swear at his team like he hates them — all except his lone female, who returned his goo-goo eyes, like it would get her anywhere.

But Gregg was just getting started with the drama. Cooking for the final challenge, he severed part of a finger (or cut it deeply, we never got a reliable diagnosis). But he soldiered on, and his dish turned out badly.

That’s when Ludo felt compelled to appear impartial, so he roundly bitched out 9-fingered Gregg for his very existence in front of the judges, displaying not only his towering lack of class, but also schizophrenia.

Tony’s team merrily drank its way through prep time, so perhaps it was no coincidence when he got porked in the judging. He lost Uno, who played it “too safe” with BOORRIINNG! shrimp heads, and Ninamarie, who doesn’t like cooking guts and couldn’t make liver delightful enough.

So Bourdain’s down to bitchy Diane, and Nigella’s still got her Mississippi trailer girl Lauren (the night’s sole survivor on the bottom).

Ludo and Malarkey have several apiece. For the record, Adam on Malarkey’s team was the 3rd one sent home.

Next week (which Tony called the “semi-finals”) has something to do with love, and 3 more will get cut.

17 Responses to “The Taste” Gets Downright Gory

  1. Zappa's Mom says:

    My God,but that show sounds like a POS.I think Id rather watch the washed up reality…..stars……ruin each others marriages. Tony,Tony,Tony.

  2. catsworking says:

    ZM, I guess you know you’ve hit the big time when you’re sharing a network with Kate Gosselin.

    I never would have watched Wife Swap if I hadn’t forgotten they’d moved The Taste back an hour. I never watched Gosselin’s TLC show, so I didn’t realize what a total control freak she is. They swapped her with this woman named Kendra who has one little kid and a husband who dotes on her, and Kate couldn’t wait to sink her claws into everybody for being lazy, disorganized enablers of each other’s slothful ways, and schedule every freaking minute of their lives.

    Meanwhile, Kendra finds herself lost among Kate’s 8 kids, who make the Von Trapps look like a bunch of free-spirited hippies. I’m betting more than one will end up in many years of therapy. Kate runs her home like she’s training troops for combat.

    And all the baloney about Kate never having a minute for herself, while Kendra does nothing but indulge herself. Puleez!! There’s nobody more into herself than Kate Gosselin. It’s her full-time job to preen and pimp herself out to any network stupid enough to give her air time. She’s got a live-in nanny.

    With only one kid, There’s no reason in hell Kendra should be up his butt 24/7, unless she wants to see him lying on a shrink’s couch next to the Gosselin kids.

  3. Chinagirl says:

    Karen love “the celebrity guest status has never seemed so low” AB introduced each guest as “his friends”, that says a lot about him!! lol Diane showed her true “B” side when she made fun of Gregg cutting his fingure, what a sportsman she is. Yup another bad episode. What is with that girl on Ludo’s team who looks awkward in the kitchen and he has to help her every step, don’t get it Can next week get any worese??.

  4. Chinagirl says:

    Ps. Oh it can get worse, Eric can be next weeks guest and then he and Ludo can both have subtitles when they speak!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. adele says:

    Before commenting on The Taste, let me say — and I’m not proud of knowing this — that Kendra was one of Hugh Hefner’s The Girls Next Door. She moved into the Playboy Mansion at age 18, and though she seems like a decent enough person, I doubt that she’s the brightest button in the box. I watched NCIS last night and then turned to The Taste.

    Those soup dumplings that Uno made are very difficult, but I guess she didn’t “embrace” the offal challenge. Last night’s mentors own a Montreal restaurant called Joe Beef, a temple of meaty, fatty excess. Tony loves them, and I suspect their food, while not good for you tastes very good.

    The only thing I can say for last night’s show is that I think we saw a little more mentoring from Tony and Nigella, and I’m glad that Lauren survived. I think she has some real cooking talent, although I don’t think she has a chance in hell of winning.

    Karen, like you, I’ve invested enough time in The Taste that I’ll see it through. You know, I planned to go to the open call for The Taste in Chicago last August, but I had such a bad rash of unknown origin,that I truly couldn’t stand wearing a bra for more than a couple of hours. I might have made it past at least the open call, because I’d worked out one tasty bite, but I’m sure I’d never have made it further — and I’m too old, too heavy, too unphotogenic, and I can’t imagine what I would have worn.

  6. catsworking says:

    Chinagirl, that woman on Ludo’s team seems to be skating through in the middle of the pack. Is she the food blogger? Seems she’s got some kind of invisible immunity, although we got a glimpse of it this week when she and Ludo were practically rubbing against each other like 2 sticks trying to make fire.

    And it seems a certainty that Tony took one for Nigella’s team by letting 2 of his own go so Nigella could still have one dog in the fight. Adele, you’re right. Lauren has talent, but there’s no way she’s going to best all the pros who are left.

    Thanks for filling me in on who the guest judges were. I must admit that, if I’m in the room at all, I’m usually doing something else while watching this stuff, like reading a magazine or doing a Sudoku, so I don’t always catch all the details.

    Tony seems to be the one roping in all the guest judges, and I have no doubt they’re all friends of his because his network in the business is undoubtedly vast. But to tout them as world-renowned celebrity chefs when 99.99999% of the audience has no clue is at once pompous and condescending. “What, you’ve never dined at Joe Beef in Montreal? Or even heard of it? C’est incroyable!”

    I think Bourdain sometimes forgets he’s on ABC primetime, with a much wider and diverse audience than the die-hard foodies some little niche cable show would attract. Making the viewers feel stupid or out of it ain’t the way to build loyalty to the brand.

  7. Chinagirl says:

    Ah Karen, again you hit the nail on the head AB is” pompous and condescending!! Does ABC think that these characteristics draw viewers?????

  8. catsworking says:

    After spending an hour with Wife Swap, Chinagirl, I realize that ABC’s standards are abyssmal. On the other hand, ABC is the home to one of my favorite shows, The Neighbors. Since childhood, I’ve been something of a connoisseur of bizarre sitcoms.

  9. Trishia says:

    AB’s ‘brand’ is to be pompous and condescending, so yes China Girl I think ABC is banking on that bringing in viewers. I doubt anyone who wasn’t a fan of Bourdain’s already would be tuning in.

    For AB’s latest ponpous, condescending comments, see his ‘ask me anything’ on reddit here


    He actually compares doing The Taste to flying a fighter jet and says he wanted to do it bc it’s the last thing people would have expected him to do. Hell if that’s the criteria why not do drag or slap your face all over a line of crappy cookware? Or how about team up with Paula Deen?

  10. catsworking says:

    I don’t know why he thinks The Taste is such a stretch. It’s just another Top Chef, but he’s required to be there every episode.

    Last night I caught his episode of Archer, the cartoon on FX. Although I’ve never watched the show before, have no idea what it’s supposed to be about, and didn’t know the characters, I enjoyed it significantly more than The Taste.

    Not seeing the actual Bourdain as he voiced his character, a chef doing a TV reality show called “Bastard Chef,” I believe, I realized that he has beautiful diction. Never noticed that before. Every word, clear as a bell. He also did an excellent job of conveying the character’s emotions, which must be hard to do when you’re just reading the part.

    In case you want to see it, I won’t spoil the ending for you, except to say that it appears to be a one-time gig.

  11. Chinagirl says:

    Trihia wonder what AB would say about “The Taste” if Paula Deen was one of the judges??? lol

  12. Trishia says:

    lol Chinagirl – well that’s the way with Tony, something’s only wrong if he’s not doing it. That blogger/critic who slammed the Taste was right, Tony circa 2000 would be eviscerating 2013’s Tony/cheesy game show host. I’m no Deen fan, largely because of her alliance with the evil Smithfield, but his slamming her for encouraging people to eat unhealthy food is laughable given all the crap he has moaned over on No Rez and encouraged people to eat – burgers, including In and Out fast food burgers, dirty water hot dogs, and all manner of street vendor mystery meat, not to mention the pot and booze.

    A friend had raved about Archer so I had planned to catch an epi before I heard Tony was involved in a show; may as well kill 2 birds so to speak and watch his epi.

  13. catsworking says:

    Trishia, gotta agree with you. Bourdain’s no paragon of healthy eating, for sure. But Deen really did go out of her way to make Southern cooking look ridiculous. Now she’s running around as a weight-loss poster child. She, her 2 boys, and her husband have all lost. I’m thinking Paula could stand to drop a bit more if she really wants to go down that path.

    Archer looked like a show I could like if I knew more about the characters. I actually have a few favorites on FX: Anger Management, Louie, Brand X. But Verizon On Demand has suddenly thrown a new wrinkle into things. On FX, it won’t let me watch episodes more than a few weeks old without, I think, buying some add-on to my subscription — although FX is one of my regular package channels. WTF? I was PISSED! The 2 companies on this planet I hate MOST are Anthem (which just hiked my health insurance another 14.6% this year — going up a whopping 35% in just 2 years — thank you Obama for giving them plenty of lead time to F**K everybody) and Verizon.

  14. Trishia says:

    Well if it makes you feel better, if you lived in Manhattan you’d be paying upwards of $500/month for a self employed health insurance plan that lets you go out of network (in my case, Blue Cross). And on top of that I STILL have a $500 out of network deductible.

    Totally OT, but I came upon a funny video that illustrates how Mario Battali LOATHES Dr. Oz’s daughter and constantly makes passive aggressive insulting remarks to or at her on the Chew lol. Today I watched the show and sure enough, she said something dumb, like a 1-pot dish would cause boredom so people will eat less, and he totally disagreed, clearly insulted that she’d insinuate the 1-pot dish he just made was ‘boring’. It’s classic. And her retort was something about ‘his poor ego’.

    Why she or Clinton from ‘What not to wear’ are on that show is baffling since neither has chef creds. I never hear her say anything remotely useful or smart, and I say that as a fan of her dad. She is a prime example of nepotism at work (similar to Kelly Osbourne on Fashion Police). I just think it’s funny how Batali doesn’t try to hide his contempt.

  15. Chinagirl says:

    Last nights episode of the taste was the worst!! Ludo’s girl in the final show??? Ludo had to show her a few shows back how to peel a potato!!! What was with Nigella streched out on the couch like a tart waiting for some action!!! I think the judges have lost the plot.

  16. catsworking says:

    Trishia, I KNEW there was something I liked about Mario Batali! She’s no more belongs on TV than Dr. Phil’s wife does. Talk about another case of nepotism.

    The annual deductible on my insurance is $2,500. If I got it down to $500, I’d be paying more than $500 a month. It was close to that some years back when I downgraded the policy and took the higher deductible. The insurance companies have individuals by the short hairs and Obama’s plan is only going to make it a lot worse before personal bankruptcies are totally off the charts because of medical expenses and the country is screaming to take profit motive out of the equation.

    TIME magazine just did a wonderful feature exposing the total rip-offs taking place every day in hospitals everywhere. The markup on EVERYTHING is totally arbitrary and unconscionable.

  17. catsworking says:

    Chinagirl, it’s like the Today Show, where the hosts think people tune in just to watch their inane banter. The judges get to thinking the show is about them, not the food or the people trying to win.

    I just did a post on last night’s episode. I’m with her. There’s no reason for Sarah to be in the finals except that Ludo’s got the hots for her.

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