Ted Allen's Show Chopped: Is it Fixed?

ted allen.jpg
Hey, Ted: Who's picking the winners on your show?
The Food Network is dominated these days by reality-TV-style cooking shows, and one of the best of them is Chopped. Hosted by Ted Allen, it pits four chefs against one another in timed matches with mystery ingredients. It's often more drama than cooking, with chefs splattering one another with hot liquids and stealing ingredients.

It also seems entirely fixed.

The show that exemplified this first aired January 29. The first round set the stage for a match that seemed picked by the producers.

The four chefs were asked to cook appetizers using sake, grapes, and chicken
wings. All in 20 minutes. Only one chef managed to fully cook the wings, but the worst offender was John Sierp, executive chef at White Cloud Catering in New York City. His dish had to be the most disgusting plate ever served on Chopped.

Sierp first tried to deep fry his wings, but when the oil didn't get hot enough, he switched to boiling them. With time running out, he took them out of the water and dropped them into butter and hot sauce that didn't stick to the wet, uncooked chicken skin. The finished product looked rubbery, white, and entirely inedible.

To finish, he plated them with a lettuce leaf, some grapes thrown on the plate, and what looked like a bowl of store-bought ranch dressing. The sake appeared to be missing entirely.

It seemed that there was no question Sierp would be "chopped." But no, the judges axed Linda Laestadius, the pastry chef at the Bear Cafe in Woodstock, New York.

Laestadius had produced what appeared to be three well-cooked chicken wings and one that had some pink in the middle. She also produced a grape and sake salad that the judges raved about.

Reached by phone in Woodstock, Laestadius says she's not sure why she got chopped.

"I felt it was really weird," she says. "I'm not sure exactly what happened. As far as I know, nothing's fixed, but we are not there when we are being judged, so I don't know if there is somebody influencing things."

So what could have been the motivation behind the decision? Laestadius, a native of Sweden, has a sweet, quiet demeanor. But a sweet, quiet demeanor doesn't equal stage presence. Meanwhile, Sierp works as a New York City firefighter on the side and has a personality as big as a ladder truck. He has appeared on TV several times, including with Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay, and Rachael Ray. The producers must have known they had a crowd pleaser with Sierp. Losing him in the first round could lose viewers.

So Laestadius went home, and Sierp moved on to the entree round, where he produced a dish of catfish that was simply thrown on a plate cafeteria-style. Judges are supposed to consider presentation as a main criterion, but Sierp moved on to the dessert.

In the final round, Sierp finally got chopped. He lost to Justin Gaines, executive sous chef at Zanaro's Italian Restaurant in White Plains, New York. Gaines produced plates all day that looked better than Sierp's -- but then, so did the other contestants.

For his part, Sierp says he doesn't think the show is fixed. He answered that question by email:

No, I definitely don't think it's fixed. They edit a lot of the comments out, and the other apps were worse than mine. If it were fixed, I would have won. My entree was actually better than both of the competitors (it was only sloppy on the plate. they LOVED every component), and my dessert was better than his was. They all said that also. I spoke with the judges the night the show aired. They all thought I should have won, but that I lost because his wings were cooked, and mine weren't.  They really do argue about who they think should win, and that's the winner in the end. They don't show A LOT of the happenings that go on. 
 
For his part, Ted Allen couldn't be reached. Food Network spokeswoman Lisa Krueger said he "is not the appropriate person to give answers to these questions..." Instead, Krueger forwarded an emailed response from Allison Page, vice president of programming for the Food Network:

Chopped is not fixed. We rely solely on the opinions of the three judges in each episode to eliminate contestants in each round and select a winner in the end. Each judge will have their own opinions on the executions of the contestants' dishes, but they come to a consensus every time and agree on who will be eliminated.

If the show is fixed, it wouldn't be the first time the Food Network has lied to its viewers to build the drama on one of its reality-TV-type shows. Earlier this month, Krueger admitted that the vegetables used on an episode of Iron Chef were not from the White House garden, as had been claimed on the show.

So is the show fixed? Aren't all reality TV shows?



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79 comments
stevenjake23
stevenjake23

@asymonette1 well not all shows

the biggest loser for example? you can't fake weight loss.

although many shows that seem real are fake.

asymonette1
asymonette1

All the shows are rigged. If you think they aren't then you're nieve. Its really simple and take little to no research at all to see that the show's rigged just experience the show with r eyes and put two n two together you'll see in plain sight its fixed to the T. I predicted who wins in almost every show in chopped, iron chef & I know this isn't from food network but masterchef and hells kitchen is rigged as well. Its common sense since weve been lied to even the news lies for ratings, from 9/11, Boston bombing marathon, Sandy Hook, Colorado movie theater shooting, LAX shooting and the recent Mall shooting 2013 they're all false flag drills that were 3 weeks of practice on how to fool the viewers. The one thing they all have in common is to disarm Americans for Martial Law which by the way has been in affect since Abraham Lincoln ERA. This is true this isn't a joke either wake up for feed into th BS lies. You're whole life has been a big lie. Sorry but either you're stupid sheep or youre content and afraid to lose your materials you slaved to achieve. Don't forget the paid actors on the shows and paid comment ERS to back up the lies. You wonder why everything seems like some big coincidence is because the person who owns MSM tells them to cover it up to save their asses. It makes sense think about it. Its all because of one agenda to dominate the world and money.

asymonette1
asymonette1

All the shows are rigged. If you think they aren't then you're nieve. Its really simple and take little to no research at all to see that the show's rigged just experience the show with your eyes and put two n two together you'll see in plain sight its fixed to the T. I predicted who wins in almost every show in chopped, iron chef & I know this isn't from food network but masterchef and hells kitchen is rigged as well. Its common sense since weve been lied to even the news lies for ratings & the elites sinister agendas, from 9/11, Boston bombing marathon, Sandy Hook, Colorado movie theater shooting, LAX shooting and the recent Mall shooting 2013 they're all false flag drills that were 3 weeks of practice on how to fool the viewers. The one thing they all have in common is to disarm Americans for Martial Law which by the way has been in affect since Abraham Lincoln ERA. This is true this isn't a joke either wake up for feed into th BS lies. You're whole life has been a big lie. Sorry but either you're stupid sheep or youre content and afraid to lose your materials you slaved to achieve.

ianbush1
ianbush1

I think something that we all have to consider is that we aren't actually tasting the food. The judges are tasting it, and we can't say that they made the wrong decision because we didn't actually eat the dish. About why Linda was chopped. Contrary to what this article says, Linda did not serve three well-cooked chicken wings and then one that was slightly pink in the center. In contrast, one of the chicken wings was raw. The judges find enjoy her salad, although they weren't raving about it. Was John's chicken undercooked? Yes. Was the skin flabby and rubbery? Yes. However, so was Linda's. Believe me, I have seen far worse looking plates on Chopped than John's appetizer that aired before this episode. Linda did have at least one wing that was just barely cooked completely, but John did not serve raw chicken. The "Ranch Dressing" was the Sake Grape sauce. I don't believe the vote was rigged. I actually believe the author of this article is biased towards Linda. I do acknowledge that Linda has talent as a chef, as she definitely displayed some, but I do feel that the judges made the right choice.

tameraschwartz
tameraschwartz

It has to be rigged, how would they know to fly out or bring family in to give the winner a "hug" if they don't know who the winner will be ??????????????

tameraschwartz
tameraschwartz

It has to be rigged, how would they know to fly out or bring family in to give the winner a "hug" if they don't know who the winner will be ??????????????

tameraschwartz
tameraschwartz

It has to be rigged, how would they know to fly out or bring family in to give the winner a "hug" if they don't know who the winner will be ??????????????

casinotables
casinotables

One episode there was a contestant who dropped cooked meat on the ground, and wasn't eliminated. Another round he didn't include a mandatory ingredient. He wasn't eliminated. He went on to win. How on Earth can you not eliminate someone who dropped cooked food on the floor and then served it? I would never eat at a restaurant he worked at. If he is willing to serve food he dropped on the floor, on television, imagine what he is willing to do when cameras are not watching him! Ever since that episode, whenever anyone drops something on the floor, they go home, so how did this guy win??? I found this article by searching for other people who think women are sent packing more often then men, for much more minor offenses. I rarely see women win on this show. Same thing with anyone that isn't a middle-aged white male. Don't get me wrong, I have seen a woman win that I didn't think should have won, but, overall, when I see a show where there are two women, and two men, I know the two women are going home, and the final round will be the two men, unless one of the two men isn't white. Then it is a toss-up. About 70% of the time a woman is "Chopped" I agree, but it seems there is a bias against women. That being said, I really stopped watching after dropped food/missing mandatory ingredient man won! 

bgirl
bgirl

Watching the episode called "bird in the pan". For dessert round the guy goes to the fridge and gets heavy cream. .You can clearly see that there are cartons of milk and cream. He clearly leaves a carton of heavy cream behind. The woman goes to get cream, you can now see there are plastic jugs of milk products.....and no cream!! Yah, it is staged...for drama and effect.

Mikey2013
Mikey2013

I used to love watching Chopped but lately, I so not like it, IT WAS RIGGED!!! One episode that I can remember is the Chopped Champions part 1... In that show, it has SYVAIN( french chef), one of my all time favorite Chefs on the Show! Not only he created HOT dishes but he can also decorated them w/ cut-out flowers made of Veggies, just simply AWESOME! Anyhow,  the 3 judges voted him out in the second round over one guy, who left an ingredient out and the other one's dish was just ordinary! Both are Americans... so it suddenly hit me, the judges just wanted an American to WIN! Bottom line... Syvain should have won the whole thing! And I'm sure he can creates dishes better than those 3 judges!!!!  

wisemom9
wisemom9

Everyone knows this show is fixed almost everyone nailed it on the head with what they were saying. I do not think after watching almost every episode of Chopped that this show is biased towards women plenty of women have won chopped after all it is the person regardless of color, creed or race who has the better "sob" story who usually wins. Just finished watching the episode Thyme Flies this is how I truly know the show is fixed the first chef who is a man, the judges loved his fish, in fact they clearly stated out of all the chefs his was the best dish they could not taste the other contestants fish at all.. this was a basket ingredient they claimed they chopped him because his flavors did not tie in together the next round the Senegalese chef did not get her lamb on the plate or her white anchovies that is TWO basket ingredients and the judges claimed her dish did not tie together YET she was named chopped champion all she kept talking about was her father can you guess it he had died.. she had the best sob story of the day the winner is predetermined before the show and I think it is unfair and biased we will stop watching after tonight in fact just turned the channel

Cdsketo60
Cdsketo60

I have seen numerous shows where a woman was chopped when it definitely should have been one of the men---I think it is very one sided in this manner. A man can do a terrible job and they still eliminate a woman. I would like to know just how many shows have been won by men and how many won by women. I can assure you it leans heavily toward the men. I will not watch it anymore because of this!

Supe93
Supe93

Chopped is definitely fixed!  Why else would the Chefs try to play the "I'm doing this for  my ____ who passed away" or race card.  Last night I watched an episode where the Chef said she hated mole.  She got chopped even though her dish was just as good as any of the others, accordng to the comments we were allowed to hear.  I don't even tape the show anymore, I only watch if it happens to be on and I can tolerate commercials....

John Capozucca
John Capozucca

I loved Chopped but can't stand to see that the winner ultimately has to out sob story and out minority the other contestants. Did anyone see Fatima, the sobbing Pakistani/muslim 22-year old win last night after serving raw duck? The judges superinflated, politically correct gushing to crown her the winner made me sick. The runner-up was gracious but clearly in shock. RIP Chopped and the Food Channel! I can't waste my time watching fixed "competitions."

RockStar
RockStar

So you surmise that it's fixed based on one episode, yet both contestants say no. 

The fact is that viewers have no clue as to what is said, edited and left in, although a keen eye and ear can tell when they stop statements in mid sentence, pan to faces that may or may not match what was said at the time, etc. 

Aberg3027
Aberg3027

when will they make a Chopped cookbook?

Daisybeach
Daisybeach

Amanda Freitag is really mean to the chefs on that show...My fav episodes are the ones she's not in.  I mean one female chef actually thought to make a fried uni salad and Freitag complains greens are wilted!!  Are you serious?  Then same female chef makes what I think looks like a great fish and chips dinner and Freitag says, 'where are the greens that tie this plate together?"  Again, are you serious?  Then picks on her because she's made a similar dish before.  What the heck is wrong with that?  Another ep with a female chef, she berates behind her back, "get those scallops the hell out of the pan."  After that episode, Freitag lost all credibility with me.  Food Network, please let her off this show.  I do like this show overall.  i can 100% tell who will be chopped.  The editing is done in such a way that the person who is "portrayed" to have the worst dessert, will actually win. 

Gsouchon
Gsouchon

Chopped judges each think they are God.  Ever see a look from a judge if the contestants say something they don't like?? They'll have the devil to pay!! Worse judge is Chris Santos.  He will say something nice about a dish, then the next word is "BUT"...He is soooo negative.  Alex really thinks she is Queen Elizabeth and Conant is soooo arrogant. Sob stories should definitely be taboo!!! Not allowed. The judges' arrogance ruins the whole show.  Get some compassionate judges and you will get back a lot of fans you lost because we don't like the "Holier than thou" judges!!

chgotchr
chgotchr

It seems to me that if there is a woman, an African American and two white guys - first the woman is eliminated and the the black guy. It's rare that either the African American (of any gender) goes through. In order for a non-white guy to win, he or she really has to bead the reaf. 

Bte
Bte

FUCK THIS SHOW THE RULES OF THE SHOW ARE SO CLEAR IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO THINK THAT THEY COULD GO ON AND CONTINUE TO LET PEOPLE WIN AFTER THEY FAILED TO INCLUDE ALL THE INGREDIENTS IN THE BASKET THIS SHOW IS A FUCKING JOKE.

Bte
Bte

Previous i was a very big fan of the show chopped until I saw an episode where the judges had given the winning title to an up-and-coming restaurant owner who had failed to incorporate all the items into his last desert dish but was given the win and the $10,000 anyway even though he failed to complete his last dish

Laura
Laura

This show plays to the emotions of the viewers...the person with the "story" usually wins. Not ALWAYS, but usually.

Carolyn Dur3201
Carolyn Dur3201

I think that judges or bias and don't appreciate real talent. I just washed them select someone with toast as desert over a beautiful dish with sweet potatoes and cheese. Clearly unfair comment to excuse one chef lack of presentation on all over Kevin.

Winged Fury
Winged Fury

I *have* been thinking some of that judging has been arbitrary...and now I think, where else would it come from but by the show being fixed? I wonder what it would take for Food Network to come clean about this...

Whosjohnny
Whosjohnny

Chef Wei should have beaten Heather. Her presentation for dessert sucked. I can't say for sure but there may be racism involved.

Awils30 Mw
Awils30 Mw

I love looking at the Food Network Channel & really like chopped but me & my family think the Judges are so RUDE & the contestants are rude to each other sometimes & very cocky. Becoming a show tht I don't care for anymore. This show is probably fixed I believe.

Todd Hooper
Todd Hooper

this show is terrible they just chopped a guy who made a gorgeous original dish because somehow 4 vegetables doesnt make a salad? and they kept a guy who made peach eel soup

Jackburton13
Jackburton13

Yeah, they fixed it alright... The black chefs use to win once in a while now that they've been sued and slandered the black chef wins most of the time and, when Alex & A'ron are the judges everytime.

john
john

i think they should just say here is a basket of ingredients for you to use if you want to.if the ingredient is not used then it is not mandatory if you don't get eliminatede for leaving it out.

Oleg Zelenski
Oleg Zelenski

Chopped is definitely "fixed" show, they have people who write scenarios for "chefs"  to follow them and entertain people like you in the evening, but most of you BUY it (just like my wife) and dont want to admit that it's FAKE, cause its somehow entertaining. Besides this one there are plenty others "time-killing-brain-destroying" shows like... "REPO-MEN", "HGTV Design", "Ghost Adventures" /which i love to watch once in a while just to laugh at my wife how she believes that the voice intelligently responding to their questions with such creepy sound/ . Just look at those people who are chosen to be in those "brilliant" shows, they look like cartoon heroes with strings attached .

Blrivera1
Blrivera1

I was watching a marathon today and after all the female chefs were for no reason eliminated before and instead of raw fish cooking, unseasoned food and missing ingredients by male opponents, I've decided to boycott. The one time I saw a female win, the judges spent the moments after announcing her win telling her male opponent how he just beat her by an inch and how proud of himself he should be. This after his dessert was burnt and he spent the show calling her a grandma and how she's not a challenge. Sick of these shows putting talented women down. They want us down. God forbid we succeed!

ULIAMAN
ULIAMAN

I FREQUNETLY WATCH CHOPPED BUT HAVE DECIDED NOT TO WATCH BECAUSE I BELIEVE IT IS DEFINTELY FIXED. MORE THAN THAT AARON SANCHEZ IS NOT ONLY ARROGANT, INSULTING AND STUPID BUT THE ONE OF THE BIGGEST RACISTS ON THE FACE OF THIS EARTH.

ianbush1
ianbush1

@tameraschwartz They could call that family member in to come sometime in between when the judges make their final decision and when they bring the chefs back in.

imwithadd
imwithadd

@tameraschwartz they obviously call in all the families, sometimes at the end for the special episodes all the familes end up comingout

emobowen
emobowen

@casinotables lol you're out of your mind... when there are 2 or more female judges, females win. They've actually voiced their bias out loud saying things like "This field is dominated by men so I feel for you, it's hard for women like yourself to succeed blah blah blah"... I've seen so many instances where male judges will negatively criticize a females dish, and the female judges will say "No, I disagree, blah blah blah"

ianbush1
ianbush1

@Mikey2013 If the judges wanted an American to win, then why did a British man of Japanese descent win the tournament?

ianbush1
ianbush1

@wisemom9 About the Thyme Flies episode. The guy who was chopped in the entree round got blood into his food. Which is worse, forgetting two ingredients or BLEEDING into your dish?

cyoung2008
cyoung2008

I agree this show is biased towards women ,women hardly ever win ,no matter how good their dishes are they find some small reason to chop them..

ianbush1
ianbush1

@John Capozucca I saw that exact same episode. Fatima did not serve raw duck at all, she simply failed to render out a large amount of the duck fat. The rest of her entree was great. I think what happened with the runner-up was that they were disappointed with the way he finished. I think Fatima did deserve that win.

Chuck Rosseel
Chuck Rosseel

I completely agree with you. Fatima should have been chopped in round 2 for serving raw, fatty duck. Then in round 3 she presented the 'judges' with a raw bread pudding and a failed ice cream. Steve, the runner up, was clearly robbed. The fix was in. The 'judges' screwed Steve, the better chef, screwed the viewers and screwed the truth. As I watched the three dishonest 'judges' react to Fatima's crocodile tears, I knew they would chop Steve, the better chef. I will never watch that rigged show again.

amoe
amoe

Jeffrey Z said the duck was INEDIBLE...she should have been chopped.

Llembree
Llembree

I couldn't have said it better! This was a great snow and they've ruined it with the back stories and failure to keep to the "mandatory ingredient" rule.

Ryschuster
Ryschuster

I too, have to say that this show is stupid.. And I enjoy most cooking shows.. Even the best chefs will look stupid when you make them cook a bunch of thrown together shit.. But hearing your post is even more fucking stupid.. So I just had to reply..

Al Hicks41
Al Hicks41

Yet again a contestant did not include one of the ingredients from the basket and was not chopped. I find that dastudbing when depending on whos cooking that's the one unforgivable mistake. When ever a contestant of race other then white forgets an ingredient he or she is always chopped. When it's a white contestant they seem to on more then one ocassion get a pass WTF?

Rick B
Rick B

Why all these negative comments on the show Chopped? My family is hooked on the show and I think it is the best cooking show ever!  I can almost alway figure out who is chopped by the cooks performance.  And what they do with those ingredients is unbelievable. Just watched the Chopped Champions 2 nights straight and the judges are great cooks too. I love the competitions; it is very educational in regards to teaching cooking; it is a great place for the food network to recruit talent; it is great for the up and coming chef's to showcase their talent and finally earn some money that many of them need in a down economy.    They have taken the format of the Iron chef and perfected it into a food sporting event that I can't get enough of.  Just made a NY Strip Steak with sauteed brussels spouts panchetta & onions, strawberry red bell pepper relish over rice with a Marsalla wine reduction demi-glaze sauce, and my wife put me through to the next round.

Winged Fury
Winged Fury

Yeah, let's see an Asian male win for once. 

Winged Fury
Winged Fury

I'm sorry, but *that* is total and complete *bullshit*. "Arrogant, insulting and stupid?" You must be talking about Scott Conant. He's a real hard-ass.

chriss
chriss

It's become a joke in our house. When the female chef is introduced to immediately yell, "....and the chef eliminated in the first round is..."

ianbush1
ianbush1

@amoe First off, it's Geoffrey. Second, it was the duck fat that was inedible.

skye
skye

@Al Hicks41 that's a new word  me.  What is "dastudbing" supposed  mean?

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