‘Rachael vs. Guy': Precocious Kids Take Over

Rachael Ray and Brandon Scawthorn

After two seasons of teaching celebrities to cook, Rachael and Guy have decided to turn their sights on improving the talents of child prodigies. Unlike past seasons of Rachel vs. Guy, no one will be eliminated. Instead, each week the kids will received grades and two MVPs will be chosen, one from each team. The winner will be whoever has the highest score at the end of the competition. The grand prize is a cooking show on Food Network’s website.

In the first episode of Rachel vs. Guy: Kids Cook-off, we are introduced to the eight contestants. For Team Rachael, Hunter Zampa, Brandon Scawthorn, Hailie Thomas, and Jack Witherspoon will be competing. Team Guy’s contestants are Sydney McCoy, Cole Malouin, Alessandra Ciuffo, and Daniel Hamilton.

Even though it has only been one episode, there are already some obvious leaders. Boisterous Alessandra is a larger than life, friendly Italian-American from Queens, who would invite you over for dinner and then send you home with a ton of leftovers that you’ll love, but will be eating for a month. Hunter knows the most about food and can talk intelligently about it. He also likes to cook venison and fish because his dad is a hunter and fisherman. However, he is also probably the most likely to accidentally kill someone with his fondness for spicy foods.  Cole still needs to work on his camera presences, but with a little practice he will be a mini Alton Brown. In 10 years, Cole could totally have a show where he makes food in unusual ways.

None of the other contestants really stand out, which is fine because they’re still kids. All of these kids have enormous potential, just not all of them are masters of their craft at the age of 10 or 12. Although, it is surprising that Hailie, who has experience talking about healthy food and has even spoken to First Lady Michele Obama on more than one occasion, is one of the weakest competitors. Her problem is that she is so polished, it’s boring. Since she is the only contestant with previous experience outside of YouTube, Hailie might have started the competition a little cocky. In the first episode, she cooked two dishes she was very familiar with and ignored Rachael’s advice, which caused her black bean and corn quinoa salad to be bland.

Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-off is not a bad show, but I found it uncomfortable to watch and it is by far not the worse reality show featuring kids. Putting children on reality television competitions is always a bad idea. It doesn’t help that the parents are in the green room watching their kids. If anything, that makes it worse because the parents are often more competitive than the kids. It also becomes obvious that no one has told these kids that they are less than perfect. Only one parent was the voice of reason. He said that as he watched his child participate in this competition, it hit him that, even though all of these kids are used to being the best, only one kid can win. All the other parents were in the mindset of “my kids the best, so of course (s)he’s going to win.”

The show’s not for most kids either. While it is a family friendly show, there is a reason it’s not on Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel: kids don’t like watching other kids who are better at stuff than them. After watching Rachael vs. Guy, very few kids are going to be inspired to go into the kitchen. They’re probably going to say “why bother, I’m never going to be as good as them.”

What did you think of Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-off?

About Allison Lips

I am the editor and founder of "Wait! What's a Dial?". I graduated from Rowan University with degrees in both Radio/TV/Film and Journalism.

Posted on September 9, 2013, in Cable, Food Network, Primetime, Reality TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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