The second episode of The Taste aired tonight and we had basically a repeat of week 1. I said last week that I was pleasantly surprised by the show and that I am recommending it to our loyal reader (if he/she likes cooking shows) but man, the 2nd episode of The Taste nearly put me to sleep. I really lost interest in this episode after a few minutes because I didn’t want to watch another episode of watching people try out for the show. We have nothing invested in any of these people, you don’t really get enough time to meet any of them to care what happens to them, and there are so many they just run together one after the other. Dear producers of The Taste, this is not American Idol. I don’t think you can get away with a 5 month long 8 city tour of try outs.
Each of the 4 judge/coaches has to fill 4 spots on their team. That means there are just 16 spots that roughly 231,000 people are trying out for and, apparently, we are going to see each and every one of the 231,000 dishes. What is confusing about this show is what happens with the judges voting. They make comments about how awesome the food was that they just ate and what a fantastic cook the person seems to be and then vote them off the show. There is no rhyme or reason to any of the decisions they make about any of their choices. It really seems like they had already picked their teams and we had to be put through this charade of a “tryout” as some sort of a punishment.
Mercifully, the teams are set by the end of this episode. Starting next week, the teams will start competing. Hopefully it gets better from here. I will be interested to see what this competition is and how exactly the celebrity chefs are going to be mentoring their teams. The twist to this show is that the judges will always be tasting blind so they could possibly even vote off a member of their own team but I have a question about that premise. If the chefs are mentoring the contestants during the week, won’t they have a pretty good idea what the contestant will be making for the judges that week?
So let’s say that Anthony Bourdain mentors one of his team members on the proper way to cook lamb. Wouldn’t he be a bit suspicious then if one of the dishes he gets to taste during the voting is a taste of lamb cooked in a manner strangely similar to the way he just taught someone how to do it? Or he teaches someone how to use some fancy celebrity chef type spice and then that spice weirdly shows up in a dish that very week. Wouldn’t he have a clue? I’m only spitballing here because I don’t have any clue yet how the judging will work but based on what I have seen so far in the “tryouts”, the worse a dish you make, the better. Or not because bad dishes got eliminated too. Scratch that. Ok you need to make good food to win. No wait. They also eliminated people that made good stuff. Ok I don’t have any idea what it is going to take to win this show. For all we know, the producers have already chosen the winner and we are just going to be subjected to the contest as a punishment.
I’m not ready to declare this show dead but I’d say right now the show is in the ambulance heading to the hospital (and not the good one on the nice part of town). Let’s see what happens next week when the actual contest starts before we let the doctor make any rash decisions and be prepared for whatever news the doctor has for you. Expect the worst, but hope for the best.
You can watch The Taste on ABC Tuesdays at 7:00.