Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Amuse-Biatch Digs the Digs















Possums, our pal Doug at The Miami Herald has certainly come up with the goods this week.

On the paper's Top Chef blog, Doug has posted some photos of the cheftestants in their digs at the Fontainebleau (including the one above; what could Dale Levitski and Brian MFMalarkey be talking about?). And in the paper, Doug has a fascinating story about the effects of reality tv shows on tourism that includes the following tidbits:

* [For Top Chef,] Fontainebleau executives traded six weeks of free stays at both the $8,000-a-night suite and roughly 100 rooms for producers and support staff.

* When Top Chef was scouting locations for its third season, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau decided to aggressively pursue the show for its ability to boost Miami's standing as a culinary destination. Along with help scouting locations, the bureau paid Top Chef about $20,000 cash to offset production costs, executives said.

* Along with waiving rent at its condo-hotel building, the Fontainebleau had to reimburse unit owners for the lost rental revenue, said Feder, the general manager. In exchange, Top Chef regularly flashes images of the hotel's entrance sign, as well as long segments shot in the suite where the cast sleeps, plots and socializes. Producers even edited footage so that contestants seem to cook downstairs in the hotel and not at the Ice Palace production facilities in downtown Miami that Top Chef rented for its main kitchen facilities.

Math isn't our forte, but that's around $336,000 in savings for the cheftestants' accomodations alone. No wonder Bravo seems to be milking this season for all it's worth.

6 comments:

The Big Shamu said...

You know that the Season Two cast is just verklempt over the luscious digs Season Three gets to roam around in.

Ms. Place said...

Indeed, Shamu, and I am proud that Bravo decided to change their parsimonious behavior for hot tubs and views of our cheftestants in bathing suits.

Bravo's cheapskate brass are finally finagling things in such a way as to fool us into thinking they opened their pocket books. But they haven't entirely pulled the wool over our eyes. Witness Andy's cheesy set. That should make the contestants from Seasons 1 & 2 feel right at home!

Anonymous said...

$8,000 a night - ouch.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the lot of them ripped out of these swank surroundings and have to rough it somewhere.

cb said...

well, they made up for it with cheap-ass budgets for their challenges!

and Brian MFMalarkey! i love it! i feel such a sense of....scoopish ownership over the MFM thing. this may be the first time in my life, EVER, that i have started a "rumor" (except this isn't a rumor, it's just true).

meanwhile, back at the fontainbleau, there was a terrific shot of Brian's ass on Top Chef tonight. it reminded me of why I've always thought MFM was a good, good idea......

kenito799 said...

cb: did you catch the wet naked upper body shot of MFMalarkey on an outtake segment they snuck in during the Tim Gunn's Guide to Style preview? He did a back flip over Joey into the pool...he certainly seems athletic enough to hold up his end of his wife's bargains...