Is 'Beat Bobby Flay' Rigged? The Food Network Star Set the Record Straight About This Theory

·4 min read
Is 'Beat Bobby Flay' Rigged? The Food Network Star Set the Record Straight About This Theory


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Fans of Food Network, there's a good chance you're familiar with Bobby Flay. You've seen him on multiple shows over the years — Iron Chef America, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Worst Cooks in America — just to name a few. But since 2013, he has been the host of his own food competition show, Beat Bobby Flay, which continues to build a massive fan base.

The "shakedown" of the show is actually pretty simple: Two chefs go head-to-head for a chance to compete against the restauranteur. In the final round, the competitor chooses the signature dish for him and Bobby to make, and it's up to the judges to see if anyone could really beat Bobby Flay. Sounds cool, right? Well, it would be cooler ... if Bobby didn't win pretty much 90% of the time!

We get it — it's Bobby's show, and it would look really bad if he lost the majority of the time. But it just seems like he's always winning, which leads us to ask the $64,000 question: Is Beat Bobby Flay possibly rigged?

Let's take a look at both sides of this mysterious kitchen. Back in December 2018, one Reddit user asked the exact same question, because like us, they couldn't fully wrap their head around the idea that the show doesn't lean in Bobby's favor. User @onamonapizza wrote, in part:

I know that Bobby Flay is a world-renowned cook, an Iron Chef, and one of the faces of Food Network. Still I feel like the judging or scoring on Beat Bobby Flay is skewed. Bobby wins like 90% of the time, and while I believe that Bobby has the experience and resume to cook just about anything well, I find it hard to believe that he can universally cook dishes that at least two out of three judges will prefer in a "blind tasting."

They also wrote some thoughts they had on why the show could lean towards the Food Network star, and honestly? They're pretty legit:

  • Despite certain episodes where the competitor's dishes look significantly better to Bobby's and with better critique from the judges, somehow the host is still victorious.

  • Although Bobby supposedly has no idea what dish he will be cooking in round two, somehow he always has every ingredient needed to make the dish and put his own spin on it.

  • Nine times out of ten, it's Bobby's dish that goes first in the blind tasting ...

  • It's hard to tell whether the judges' critiques about the food are true because the show gets edited for TV.

Photo credit: Discovery/Stephen Davis Phillips
Photo credit: Discovery/Stephen Davis Phillips

But there's always another side and it's comprised of folks who are on the inside of creating the cooking competition show. In a surprise turn of events, Food Network star Justin Warner, who often judges for a variety of the network's shows, including Beat Bobby Flay, chimed in with his two cents on the matter. That said, this commentary isn't confirmed.

He reportedly answered the referenced 2018 Reddit thread under the username @eatfellowhumans, saying at the time, "100% not rigged. I've both competed and co-hosted." He further explained writing that not only does the show's culinary team make sure that Bobby has all his favorite ingredients accessible, but that "at no point does [he] know what the round two dish is or the contenders' round 1 ingredient."

But perhaps the most truthful answer comes from the grill king himself, who gave Drew Barrymore his thoughts on competing during an October 2021 appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show.

"I lose plenty," Bobby said to the host. "A lot of times, people will come up to me on the street and be like, 'You know I watch Beat Bobby Flay — you never lose.' And I'm like, 'You don't watch enough, because I lose a lot ... It's like 60%, 70%.'"

What's more, he revealed that he doesn't mind when the vote doesn't go in his favor. "I mean this wholeheartedly, I actually love [when I lose] because I created this show for two reasons: to hangout with friends and to cook," Bobby continued. "Those are the two things I love to do most. Everything else happens around me. I created it because I wanted to create a stage for other chefs around the country who might not get that opportunity all the time."

So there you have it.

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