New Top Chef host turned down the job for season one

Padma Lakshmi, the new host for the second season of Top Chef, may be rescuing us from Katie Lee Joel’s incompetence, but she’s also partly responsible for it. That’s because “Bravo approached her about hosting ‘Top Chef’ last year” but “[s]cheduling conflicts ultimately forced her to turn down the role in the first season, which then went to Katie Lee Joel,” according to the LA Times.

Lakshmi, the paper notes, is an “Indian-born model and actress” but is “perhaps best known for being married to Salman Rushdie,” so that’s one thing she has in common with Katie Lee Joel, who prior to being best known for being one of the worst reality show hosts ever, was best known for being married to a different older man, Billy Joel. Lakshmi insists, however, “I had my own identity before I met him and a successful career.”

That career didn’t involve reality TV until now, perhaps because, she says, “I hate reality TV, I have to tell you. I think a lot of it brings out the worst common denominator of the human spirit.”

Since that’s kind of a bad thing for a reality show host to be saying days before her show debuts, she qualifies that, saying that Top Chef is “a very high-caliber, high-brow food show. I was very pleased about that, because I didn’t want it to turn into some kind of schlocky reality piece of fluff that I would feel embarrassed about.”

Bringing taste and sizzle to ‘Top Chef’ [LA Times]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.