Last night, to much fanfare and few viewers, NBC premiered its latest reality series, The Chopping Block. Most easily described as a mix of the British show Last Restaurant Standing and Hell's Kitchen, the show introduced U.S. audiences to chef Marco Pierre White, whom NBC put front and center on the show's advertising campaign.
The promos for the show attempted to depict White as a harsh, abrasive man, someone loud and bombastic, an individual even more over the top than Gordon Ramsay. In fact, during the opening of the show, The Chopping Block touted the fact that not only has Ramsay trained with White, but that White hosted the British version of Hell's Kitchen, which Ramsay has done to great success here in the U.S. I thought White was great last night, but he was certainly not the guy whom we saw in the promos.
Oh, don't get me wrong, White looks big and scary and forceful. He certainly seemed like the kind of guy whom people listen to. In short, he had a fantastic presence. What he didn't do was yell, he didn't shout at anyone, he didn't make anyone cry. I'm not saying he won't do that later, and I'm not saying he doesn't have the ability to be over the top, he just wasn't last night. White was able to convey his desires and wishes forcefully, but quietly. It was great and a huge change from what we're used to seeing in reality television in the States.
We're going to discuss the actual elimination for a minute, so if you don't care to have anything spoiled for you, don't read the next two paragraphs…
It was a virtual certainty that Than and Zan (those are nicknames for two brothers, but why they were given those nicknames were never explained) were going to be going home after the Black team's restaurant performed abysmally. And then Khoa piped up and said that he and his cousin would quit, that they didn't like the fighting amongst the team.