Without a judge, it's basically impossible to have a reality TV cooking competition. But sometimes it feels like a bad judge worse than no judge at all. Instead of enjoying a fun dynamic between the judges as they nervously watch contestants cook, or how they give feedback when they taste the food, you only tune in to see if one the other judges finally snaps and tells them off.
Reality TV judges on cooking competition shows like Chopped, Iron Chef, and other Food Network shows are judging people when they have basically done the impossible with limited ingredients and time, but that doesn't stop some of them from being incredibly mean. It's like they see the fun banter on Beat Bobby Flay and think that's how they should talk to everyone. There's a line between cruelty and constructive criticism and the meanest TV judges on cooking competitions cross it constantly.
The worst TV judges also aren't always the ones who seem to revel in making contestants cry. The apathetic and ineffectual judges can be just as bad. Nodding along mindlessly to other judge's critiques, unable to give any definitive reason why a dish isn't working or being unable to effectively convey why they're qualified to judge anything more complex than a frozen microwave meal can ruin a show.
Here's your chance to turn the tables and to vote for the worst cooking competition show judges. Who is the absolute worst? And, if we've forgotten a particularly terrible cooking competition TV judge, be sure to add them to the list.