Top Chef promises “back to the basics” for Seattle season, which Wolfgang Puck will judge

Top Chef has added Wolfgang Puck as a judge along with Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Hugh Acheson, and Emeril Lagasse, and will be going “back to the basics” for its 10th season, according to Bravo.

The network just formally announced that the season, which debuts Nov. 7, is set in Seattle (although that wasn’t exactly a secret).

The press release promises that “this season the competition goes back to the basics, with culinary challenges that require a mastery of the primary skills of a chef.” It doesn’t specify anything beyond that, but it sounds like a response to criticism that show had become formulaic and increasingly refused to allow the chefs to just cook. The only good episode from the Texas season was one in which the chefs just cooked; there was no bullshit piled on top of it.

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.