Padma Lakshmi’s delivery explained: she’s a robo-host

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi has often been accused of wooden delivery; while it’s not quite of early Big Brother Julie Chen proportions, it can be awkward. But there’s an explanation, beyond the highly rumored one: She’s a robo-host.

Entertainment Weekly reports that “the reason Padma sounds so robotic when she describes the challenges is because she’s wearing an earpiece through which all of the legally approved info is being fed to her.”

That’s a nice excuse, but why can’t she just, you know, memorize her lines? I’ve seen Jeff Probst tell Survivor contestants challenge rules without an earpiece or cue cards, and while he has a CBS standards and practices person and producers standing nearby to make sure what he says remains fair, his on-camera lines aren’t being read and fed to him off-camera.

But at least she has a sense of humor about her job. “I sit on my ass. I eat and I talk. I don’t have a to cook a damn thing. How awesome is that?”

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.