I love any kind of competition, and I love food, and who doesn’t love Alton Brown, so when I stumbled across Cutthroat Kitchen one night I was completely sucked in. Sabotage! Ingredients flying! They cut past all the times people injure themselves instead of showing it! (Looking at you, Chopped.) I love it! I really do.
There are a few things that drive me nuts, though. Like how none of these people seem to have any concept of money. Or how the show works. DO THEY THINK THIS IS A GAME?
Basically, Cutthroat Kitchen works like this: it’s your standard cooking show set up where the four contestants have to compete in several rounds where someone gets eliminated each round for failing to cook the specified dish that can vary wildly between simple things like french fries and birthday cake to, like, pad thai. This is all complicated by the fact that contestants are each given $25,000 in REAL, ACTUAL MONEY to buy sabotages for other players, which are purchased in an auction format where each contestant can bid higher than the other.
The sabotages are ridiculous. This one time, a guy had to cook crepes on a banged up pan that didn’t sit flat. Replacing all of someone’s utensils with tinfoil is a popular one, as is giving only one contestant access to a key ingredient for that particular dish.
This is where I start to yell at the television: no one knows how to spend this money.
It happens every episode. People pick up their fat stacks of cash. They fan it in front of themselves, they announce that they’ve never held this much money before. All of the contestants are new and innocent and make comments about paying for their kid to go to college or buying a new house or I don’t know rolling around in it. And then Alton starts the bidding at $500 and ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.
You heard me correctly. $500. A paltry sum for someone who is now a twenty-five-thousandaire. You know this is a paltry sum because someone always immediately bids like $2000 like an idiot. Do these people not understand how the show works? Did no one inform them that there will be multiple sabotages throughout the show? Or do the executives just tell them to up the ante on purpose rather than actually starting at the starting bid?
Whatever it is, it drives me insane, especially when you start looking at what these people are actually bidding on. I’ve been having a marathon, and let me tell you, I watched someone spend nine thousand dollars on salt a few episodes ago. It seriously makes you wonder what people in less well off areas must think of these sorts of things. People who minutes ago were realizing how $25,000 could turn around their lives are now slapping down thousands of dollars to avoid having to cook using food out of a can.
I have an episode on right now, while I write this. It is the first round. Chef Todd just bid $13,200 to make two chefs switch stations and have to work with the other chef’s food.
Do these people not understand the point is to keep money at the end?!
I don’t know how they do it. Does the money just make them crazy? Do they just hate these other people so much? Are you truly winning if you’ve been handed someone’s entire yearly salary and end up with only $2000 by the end? I mean, okay, I get when the bidding just goes up that high, but why would you immediately jump to $6000 when the bidding starts at $500?
The only explanation I currently have is that Cutthroat Kitchen only casts insane people. That has to be it. That or the cash is laced with something that when all of these people smell it they’re sent into a bidding frenzy.
I believe Cutthroat Kitchen is currently airing on the Food Network in the US if you’re so inclined to check it out, otherwise I’ve been watching past seasons on Netflix. If you’ve watched this show, does this bother you too? Do I just not understand how the world works? Would I also go insane if someone handed me $25,000?
Leave your thoughts in the comments, I’m curious to hear if this sends anyone else into a rage.