I have gotten several emails over the last few days that I thought deserved attention.
JEN said: "After watching your after-episode "live" video with Cliff and Gail, I got the distinct feeling that while you may not have loved Cliff's attempt at "hazing" Marcel, he was still OK in the producer's book. The convivial environment and exchange between you Gail and Cliff suggested some acceptance of Cliff's behavior and a fondness for this person. Why give Cliff more attention and air time than necessary? Your video doesn't change the ratings .... Getting to where you are professionally may preclude developing a conscience ... hope I'm wrong.
Well Jen, I found the show very difficult to watch too. I wish we didn't have to show any of the BS and focus more on the food, but it happened. I was trying to make Cliff, who was my guest -- who had just been completely shamed in front of a national television audience, and in the very uncomfortable situation of having to then take questions about acting like a fool -- feel a little comfortable. I don't condone what he did and tried to at least be fair to all parties. We kicked him off as soon as we possibly could but I felt I owed him the respect to let him explain himself. He and Marcel have made up and Marcel has accepted his apology.
ANOTHER JEN said: "I totally couldn't believe what trash last night's show was. My boyfriend and I were so excited about the new episode last night and what a terrible disappointment it was. Granted, chefs are typically boneheads at some point in time, and the cast was probably quite excited from the anticipation of going to Hawaii, there was no need for Padma to call them idiots on national television. Idiot is way more offensive then if she were to call them asses or something. From the American Heritage Dictionary, an idiot is defined as, "A person of profound mental retardation having a mental age below three years and generally being unable to learn connected speech or guard against common dangers. The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive." Honestly, do we have to lecture people by referring them as mentally retarded on national television? In a modern age of trashy tv, i would never have thought a great show like "Top Chef" would fall into the mix. I am truly disappointed."
Jen, I'm sorry, but whatever the literal definition of the word -- I gotta agree with Padma. Cliff, Sam, Elia and Ilan acted like idiots.
JA FROM SAN DIEGO wrote: Andy, Seems like Ilan and Elia have gotten pretty close. Is there any romance happening?
JA, I'm told that since Elia was the only woman left standing, Ilan may have crashed in a spare bed in her apartment, but that nothing went on between them.
LYNDA wrote: During last night's "debacle" (as it was not really a decent show), you actually had an insipid contest for viewers to vote on "Who hates Marcel the Most?" with the inclusion of the choice D = "Me." That alone fuels the fire, you fool! I hope someday, somehow, this negative karma you have been pushing comes back to bite in you in the ass!
I completely agree with you, Lynda. When I saw that question onscreen my mouth dropped open. It was completely insensitive and stupid.
ANN wrote: Are you insane?!!! "Right after the show, I can pretty much guarantee that you'll be hyped up, freaked out, and wanting MORE." I want LESS. I do not want to watch a prank gone bad, I do not want to watch these people go at each other week after week and I do not want to watch the endless parade of products for our eventual cooking enjoyment. I want to watch them cook. That is the name of the show, isn't it? "Top Chef," not "Top Cops." Pul-lease. Get your producing priorities straight.
Ann, I was mentioning the fact that after the live show, there's a live after-show where you can go to discuss what just happened, or to yell at me or Cliff or Gail or whomever you want. If you are pissed about the direction the show has taken this season, I want to discuss it with you.
The other day I wrote about the World Champion Cardinals visiting the President at the White House, but noted, "And Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds weren't able to attend. Um, what did they have to do that was more important than going to the White House? I really want to know."
FAITH emailed, wondering:: "Are they democrats that refused to sell their soul, maybe. If so, rock on!"
I was thinking the same thing, Faith.
But then I got this email from ERIN: "In your blog, you asked what Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols were doing that they were unable to attend the White House function.... My husband, Matthew, is a beat reporter covering the Cardinals. So, I thought I'd send the answer to your (probably rhetorical) question. Albert Pujols is in the Dominican Republic doing humanitarian work with his foundation (from a story my husband wrote); Jim Edmonds is recovering from surgery (from an official press release)."
Thanks Erin! I can't believe that the wife of a Cardinal's beat reporter is reading my blog! I am honored!