24 of the best junior home cooks in the country between the ages of eight and 13 will compete in the first audition round and present their dishes to the judges.24 of the best junior home cooks in the country between the ages of eight and 13 will compete in the first audition round and present their dishes to the judges.24 of the best junior home cooks in the country between the ages of eight and 13 will compete in the first audition round and present their dishes to the judges.
The kids are precocious, to be sure. And one wonders how they can cook so well. But wonders about that in reference to the adult "home cooks" in their version.
I recall reading about the adult version that there are many cooking lessons and coaching going on behind the scenes, so to speak. This might explain why so many contestants (kids and adults) say things like, "I've learned so much while being here," or "Mary/Joe is one of my friends." I wouldn't learn a think just cooking something and having it judged, but I would if, along the way, I were being tutored in some way. I wouldn't have a friend there if I only encountered them while on the set and in competition.
There is a lot going on we never see. Duh.,
Anyway, one does wonder how they all -- kids and adults -- know basically how to make all this stuff. Like a macaroon. They all basically know how to proceed while admitting, "I've never made a macaroon before!" Oh? Then how did you produce one (good or bad)? None seem to do what I'd do . . . stand there and have no idea what the mixtures should be. They did not arrive there knowing how to basically make all this stuff.
Today watching Season 5, I started wondering if there were recipes taped to the counter or something, you know, how much flour to mix with how much powdered sugar, or whatever. What a Gnocchi is/are and how to make one.
OK. So none of that detracts from the show or its appeal to me. It's a produced show, I know, edited (heavily if not nearly dishonestly) and all that. I believe it's reasonable to assume the kids have some skills and, with proper tutoring, "get better" along the way (as they claim) and rise or fall on what we see broadcast: the details of the execution. I think of it as rehearsal. What we see is based on on the cooking itself, not on the vast knowledge they've supposedly (but couldn't possibly have) brought to the event from home.
I don't know if they get acting lessons or not, but they do all seem to have camera appeal, don't look in the cameras (not in the shots we see), and probably go through "make up" or something before entering the set. None are simply mumbling or drooling, but again, all we see is what the Directors and Editors want us to see.
It's like this. When the kid present the dish to the judge, there is often a slow pan over the dish obviously not filmed in real time. And the things the judges say just before a commercial break are only part of what they've supposedly said after the break, or after the break they aren't saying everything they said before the break. Etc. Basic editing. Sometimes, it's so obviously edited, I get annoyed.
Before the Break: "Holly, did you know the lamb was raw? Why did you cook it like that?"
After the Break, recapping what had happened before the break: "Holly, why did you cook it that way?"
It's the kind of editing CNN does to slant the news!
So, I take it as a SHOW, a production, a "product." The kids are usually enchanting, funny, quirky, emotional, enthusiastic -- the kinds of personalities that sell. I find myself rooting for this and liking that kid. As I do watching a movie, as intended. I just give myself to it, pretend it's real, and have a good time.
BTW, same with Kitchen Nightmares or Hell's Kitchen. I have no idea what "really" happens. Most of it is implausible in "real time."
I don't confuse "reality show" with "unedited footage of what took place" just as I don't confuse CNN "news" with "unedited reporting of what took place."
It's all theater.
- Mar 10, 2019