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Monday, August 18

Kelsey Nixon's So-Called Innate Passion

Right before she was kicked off The Next Food Network Star, Kelsey Nixon unleashed a tearful final plea to the judges asserting she possessed not just a passion for cooking, but a "passion for television"... and, yes - combine the two, a passion for cooking on television. Apparently able to cook on television since birth, Kelsey has gone on to call this an "innate passion."

I didn't know innate passions were so specific.

In her exit interview, she attempts to hold it together, maintaining that she "knows more than ever" that she "has to be cooking on television as [her] profession." While in interviews, Kelsey continues to promote her resume and desire to cook on TV, noting that she is "as comfortable being in front on the camera as [she is] being on [her] couch at home."

That's just wrong.

I think that says a lot about today's reality TV / 24-hour webcam / YouTube generation in which so many people seem to think they are nothing if no one is watching.

No one should be "as comfortable" in front of a camera -- knowing she will be seen by thousands (perhaps millions) of viewers -- as she is while sitting on the couch. It's fine to say you are very comfortable in front of the camera, but to compare that experience to what we all do while sitting at home on the couch -- let food fall out of our mouths, scratch ourselves, fart, etc. -- sounds more naive than it does confident.

I guess I just wonder why someone would say that she HAD to cook to television as her profession. Why? So many of the people I admire on the network had great careers -- sometimes in the culinary world, sometimes not -- before they found their way to TV. I'm not saying this is the correct path, but it just seems more logical. I'm also not saying that people who do reality TV competitions don't deserve long, promising careers in the public eye... but I think there's a reason why sooooo many people who do reality TV are never heard from again -- even the "winners" of everything from America's Next Top Model to American Idol.

If you're truly passionate about cooking and helping people learn how to cook, there are so many other easier ways to go about doing that other than having a cooking show on a cable network. Teach classes, volunteer at a school, whatever. Maybe something you do will get noticed and maybe you'll get a show... or maybe not. But you should be happy either way because you're still doing something you're passionate about.

Just like how Lisa Garza's remarks to this site about "only doing the show to use the attention and possible celeb status to promote [her] purpose for living, to feed the homeless, care for impoverished children..." instantly made her look like a hypocrite, I'd kind of like it if Kelsey just came out and acknowledged one of the real reasons for wanting a TV show -- namely, the desire for fame and fortune. It may not be as acceptable of a reason (that's why they say they're in it to "feed the homeless"), but I'd give her a whole lot more respect.

I still feel for her, though. She has a goal that isn't as widely embraced as, say, becoming a nun. To deny that there's some level of vanity in publicly desiring your own TV show is dishonest. Actors go through this too (they're in it for "the craft" and the "love of entertaining people"), yet it's somehow more acceptable to know they have more than just altruistic reasons when accepting roles that'll bank them upwards of $20 million.

But I've gotten off topic. It's just a Monday afternoon question to ponder. Enjoy the rest of your day!

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At 8/18/2008 5:27 PM , Blogger Cristina Mathers said...

i totally agree. i feel like her passion to cook excellent food should be bigger than her passion to be a tv brand. but that's just me.

At 8/18/2008 7:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so agree...when she said that during her exit interview ("I have to be on TV") my husband and I both laughed out loud. It's like she's completely missed the point. Why not just try to get a job on QVC or hosting a game show or some other random TV gig? Ugh.

At 8/18/2008 8:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you, too. Is this what makes our work, our "passion," worth pursuing? National recognition, becoming a "brand?" And yes, a "passion for television" is just plain sad. Really, let's call a spade a spade and say "I'm doing the show for the attention. Period."

At 8/18/2008 8:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

who are you guys to say what kelsey's ''real motives'' are, or which path she should take, or what's right and what's wrong.

At 8/18/2008 9:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with the last poster 5000%
BUTT you have to make some kind of judgment to utilize the comments section!!
i am afraid all of this stuff has turned too many people into the kind that care wayyyyyyyy too much what other people think of and about them.... never healthy!!

At 8/18/2008 9:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jacob my love... I say consider the source. Kelsey seems very genuine and handled herself with maturity and class in her exit interview.
So she's saying ,I love this and I feel comfortable with people , on or off camera.
Lisa's remarks and personality screams
" Look at me", I will TELL you how fab I am and ALL IIIII do!
Kelsey is nothing like that. I hope she finds the right connections.
It is her Passion.

At 8/18/2008 9:29 PM , Blogger Karen said...

Teaching cooking on TV is a talent, that's distinct from a talent for cooking. There are plenty of chefs who can't teach cooking to save their lives, even if their food is fabulous. Then you have someone like Alton Brown, who probably isn't a great chef, but who clearly has a great talent and passion for teaching about cooking and food on TV.

Not that I'd put Kelsey in the same category as Alton. I wasn't convinced she was all that great as a teacher. But teaching cooking on TV is a talent, and if that's what she thinks she's best at, why not pursue it?

At 8/19/2008 1:37 AM , Blogger Alejandro said...

Well, Jacob, that was funny as hell. I don't know what exactly to think about Kelsey. I do think she needs to get some more culinary experience. She has a lively personality, but, as the judges on TNFNS told her, she does come off looking a bit phoney.

At 8/19/2008 11:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"who are you guys to say what kelsey's ''real motives'' are, or which path she should take, or what's right and what's wrong."

It's just a blog and opinions. Wow. Scary. Calm down now.

At 8/19/2008 5:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lord let this woman up for air already! What do you have, Kelsey Nixon Derangement Syndrome?

At 8/19/2008 9:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why Kelsey always puts me in mind of "All About Eve".

At 8/19/2008 10:17 PM , Anonymous Brian said...

Her wanting to cook on TV to "help people learn how to cook" is about as sincere as a politician who says he's there "to serve the public."

At 8/20/2008 12:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"who are you guys to say what kelsey's ''real motives'' are, or which path she should take, or what's right and what's wrong."

It's just a blog and opinions. Wow. Scary. Calm down now.''

yeah, exactly. and i have one. so either deal with it or say nothing at all. just because you don't agree with it doesn't illegitimatize it :)


At 8/20/2008 12:30 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 8/20/2008 12:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point taken.
A. Kelsey filmed a cooking show for 2 years (100 episodes) with zero pay. Not in it for the money.
B. I buy that Kelsey has a sincere passion for teaching. I know that she teaches classes at at least 4 different venues in the Salt Lake City area. I take from her on a regular basis. She's actually quite sincere and good at what she does.
C. Show or no show on television, Kelsey is one of the happiest people I've ever encountered. I didn't buy it on television, but I buy it in person. She's actually quite lovely.

At 8/21/2008 8:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"but, as the judges on TNFNS told her, she does come off looking a bit phoney"

Hey and we all know if the judges said it, it MUST be true...


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