There's a big splashy article on the cover of New York Magazine this week about the post-show afterlife of Bravo reality stars. The point, I think, of the piece is that "success" after competing on Bravo shows is not a given.
The writer, Jennifer Senior, spends a great deal of time talking to a very bitter Jay McCarroll and many many other designers and cheftestants. I can't let the article sit on stands without jumping into the fray and saying how proud we are of our shows and of everybody who competes on them. I always say that it doesn't matter if you're first eliminated or in the final episode, the mass exposure of your craft can't help but help in one form or another. I really believe that. I am not saying everybody who competes or wins is going to turn into a superstar.
But there are notable success stories out there from a galaxy of former contestants. Emmett McCarthy has a boutique on Elizabeth Street and a home shopping deal; Sam Talbot is cooking at Gwyneth Paltrow's kid's (Apple!) birthday party; Matt Lorenz is giving Nate Berkus a run for his money as Chicago's hottest interior designer; Tabatha Coffey's got people flying in from Kentucky and places she's never heard of - all for a TabsCut; Harold Dieterle's packed restaurant has gotten more coverage in the New York Times than 99 percent of the restaurants in Manhattan; Chloe Dao's Houston store has expanded and she's selling on QVC; Michael Knight has a jewelry line (!); even Clay Bowen - first one off of "Top Chef 3" told me people he never expected now want to taste his food. Not to mention Kara Janx, Kara Saun, Malan Breton, Goil, and on and on and on and on.