Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Tom Colicchio Threatens to Quit “Top Chef” If Producers Ever Tell Him Whom to Pick as Winner, Challenges Naysayers to “Google” Him
This, possums, is what we learnt from a typically feisty interview with the Ursus Major himself:
There are a lot of great chefs that want to be guest judges on the show, and they are great chefs, but for one reason or another they're not right for TV. I don't really know why. I don't know why I'm on the show, I just know they picked me because they thought I was telegenic for some reason. I don't know why. So that's why I'm always kind of cynical about it. But that being said, I love what we do on the show, I think we choose the best contestant every year, and there is no pressure from the producers or anyone else to pick a certain someone despite what everybody believes. The day they tell us we have to pick someone for any reason other than our judgement is the day I do my last show.
Well, that's that.
What's particularly interesting to us about his comment is the revelation that there are chefs who want a guest spot on Top Chef but are not picked because "they're not right for TV." For one thing, we'd love to know who was rejected for not being telegenic enough (and by telegenic we don't mean just appearance, but also demeanor and personality; after all, it's not as if Bravo would ever pick people who were attractive but robotic or wooden).
But we'd also love to know just how Koren Grieveson squeaked through. By all acounts, she is a fantastic chef, and we don't dispute that, but her affectless demeanor is more suited to Gus Van Sant movies about inscrutable teenage boys than it is to a show promoting itself with the tagline, "Let the flames begin."
Finally, we loved the Colicchy One's response to the vexed and eternal Hollywood question, "But don't they know who I am?":
When we opened in L.A. I had a woman come up to me and say "You're really a chef?" Yeah! Or when you send a person off the show, eliminate someone people really like, they say, "Who is this guy? Who is this guy we've never heard of before?" What can you say, you know? Go home and google me.