Chefs not “allowed to say disparaging things about Padma”; new Bravo aftershow debuts after Top Chef

New Top Chef 2 host Padma Lakshmi may have saved us from the horror that was Katie Lee Joel, but three of the cast members weren’t very happy with her.

Cliff told New York Magazine’s Intelligencer, “Nothing she said really made a difference in my cooking.” And when Sam was asked about her, he said, “Next question.” However, he did say, “She never wanted to talk about him [her husband, Salman Rushdie]. I remember a time she got a phone call and she yelled, ‘You can ask me any question you want, but don’t bring up my husband!'”

Most interesting, though, is Ilan’s response. According to New York, he “asked a Bravo flack” a question before responding: “Um, are we allowed to say disparaging things about Padma?” The answer from the PR person was apparently “No,” so Ilan said only, “She’s beautiful. Mostly, she just explained things, and she did a good job at that.”

Meanwhile, Bravo will give cast members and viewers a chance to interact following each episode. We’ve seen this before on MTV, where the “aftershow” follows episodes of The Real World and other programs.

Bravo is calling their aftershow “Watch What Happens,” the network’s tagline, and giving their blogging VP Andy Cohen the job of hosting it, which is probably just a way to save money. The aftershow “will be a 20-minute, weekly, live-streaming, online program on Wednesdays at 11PM ET on Bravotv.com, immediately following Bravo’s Wednesday night competition reality series,” the network said in a press release.

On each show, “Cohen will sit down with one or two guests — the winner, the loser, a judge, a favorite personality — chatting about what transpired in that night’s episode and the drama that ensued,” and “[v]iewers have the ability to phone-in, e-mail and text message questions, comments or just plain rants,” Bravo says.

So Hot She’s Flammable [New York Magazine Intelligencer]
Bravo Announces ‘Watch What Happens’ – The Network’s First Live-Streaming Interactive Online Show [Bravo press release]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.