Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Lords of Smoke, Fire & Meat

Barbecue, TV and Las Vegas – three great tastes that taste great together. I've been hooked on the Barbecue Championship Series for some time. It's currently in the second round of competition on Versus. 18 BBQ cooks vie for $75,000 in a 3-round tournament.

Each show consists of 3 dishes – the grand BBQ, the backyard BBQ, and the dish that bites back. For the grand BBQ, the cooks can use their own cooker and they each have access to a fully stocked pantry for 5 minutes at the start of each dish. The meat, the cooker and the time limit are all chosen by the producers.

The show's creators learned a lot from the original Iron Chef including tight time limits, mystery ingredients, contestant profiles, colorful "celebrity" judges and subdued trash talk.

The lone Memphian was eliminated in the first show of the first round. One of the judges is from Oklahoma, and I suspect sabotage. Nevertheless, here are few reasons to watch:

  • Wildly inconsistent and unpredictable judging
  • The "BBQ Ambassadors" – impossibly thin and buxom Las Vegas showgirls
  • A whole bunch of butt jokes
  • An unruly audience
  • Chubby rednecks in shorts and ball caps
  • The "dish that bites back" – a surprise, live ingredient that the competitors must catch, kill and BBQ in a ridiculously short time


dwayne said...

wasnt the guy from memphis a cook at the bar b que shop? is that the reason for his early demise?

Brandon said...

The judging on the second season was pretty infuriating. I don't have a problem with allowing "common folk" to judge, in fact I sort of welcomed it after the competition judges from season one. But Chocolate Thunder was so wildly irrational that I couldn't help but feel for the cooks.

Also, the kill and grill portion, while entertaining, had nothing to do with BBQ. I understand that they need to level the playing field for the Challengers, but a freakin' pirahna?! Eel?! By the second episode it was apparent that it would always be some sort of fish or other aquatic creature, but how about rabbit? Or some sort of fowl?

Of course you can't kill a cornish hen on live TV, but somehow a frog is okay? I'm hoping this will be gone by next season.