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Friday, November 21

Michael Symon Knew Robert Irvine Was Coming Back

A lot of you seem pretty happy that Robert Irvine is returning to Dinner: Impossible. But did you know it was the plan to have Robert return all along? That's what replacement host Michael Symon indicates in a new interview:


"Right from the get-go, we knew Robert was probably going to come back and do the show - but we couldn't say that. There was a lot going on with [Irvine] that he needed to clear up. They [Food Network] told me, 'You're the only one who can do it, keep up that level," says Symon.

Ughhhh... what? You accepted to host a show, knowing that the disgraced original host would still inevitably return just because they said you "were the only one" to keep the show going? That sounds like a pretty flimsy reason. I have a hard time believing someone would be willing to take over a popular show, knowing he would only be on for a short time before the original host made his triumphant return.

That would be like Rosie O'Donnell agreeing to come on The View, knowing from the get-go that Star Jones would be coming back in a few months after things cleared up.

That would be like Sammy Hagar agreeing to front Van Halen, knowing that David Lee Roth was slated return after 10 concerts.

That would be like Barack Obama taking the oath of office with the condition that George W. Bush was somehow going to be reinstated. unelected, after only one term.

If Food Network (or Marc Summers' production company behind DI) truly intended on bringing Robert back, they could have just ran reruns for a while until things died down. I don't think they'd take the extra effort to get a new host and make a statement to the media about Robert's dismissal if they knew Robert would just be coming right back.

"We didn't 'lose' [the show]. I knew going in that there was a 95 percent chance that he'd be coming back. We really want to keep this brand alive. So we came in, rocked out the 10 shows, and moved on," added Symon.

Again, I don't think it would have been that hard to "keep the brand alive," even without new episodes. It's not like Food Network EVER stopped airing the Robert Irvine eps. In fact, they almost always aired back-to-back with the new Symon episodes, probably as an attempt to gauge which episodes scored higher ratings.

Symon doesn't seem that upset about it, though. He apparently has other things in the works, and speaks highly of Food Network and its treatment of Robert:
"Food Network has been so good with me, I have no doubts about their words. And the way they've dealt with Robert's situation says a ton about the network, and the people who run it. He got into some hot water, they gave him some time clear it up, and didn't hang him out to dry. They've always treated me the same way."

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42 Comments:

At 11/21/2008 8:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe him. It makes sense to me.

 
At 11/21/2008 9:39 PM , Blogger Angie said...

Eeeeeeeenteresting...not sure what to think, to be honest.

Oh, and I'll be pimping you out on my recipe blog, FNA. I hope you don't mind!

 
At 11/21/2008 9:53 PM , Blogger imjacobsmom said...

Actually, I prefer Michael Symon's version. I hung in there and watched and maybe he just grew on me. Not to change the subject - I'm just sick of having Sunny jammed down my throat. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind her, it's just all of a sudden she's on every program - every thanksgiving special - two shows on the network - what is it the Sunny Network or the Food Network?

 
At 11/21/2008 10:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with everything "imjacobsmom" said above. I totally enjoyed DI with Michael Symon. He was the only reason I decided to give the show another try. No way I can watch Robert, he is just so arrogant.

Sunny is on everything and I don't get it either. FN, Rachael Ray, every commercial for FN, and the rest. It is getting a little exhausting and I don't find her that knowledgeable.

Oh well... Do the folks at FN listen to the fans? Probably not...

J

 
At 11/22/2008 12:33 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What he says makes perfect sense. They booted Robert because of his lies, but obviously didn't want to completely lose him and from the beginning they suggested he might be back. So instead of losing a season of the show they asked Symon to step in and he did. Not very complicated.

Re: Sunny. Seems like they're just pushing one of the newer personalities. I wish she elevated her food choices a bit because I like her honest and low-key personality.

 
At 11/22/2008 1:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Irvine did a good job hosting and I really used to enjoy the show when he was at the helm...but I can't stand watching him now. Knowing how much of a liar he is gives his formerly strangely charming smugness a totally off flavor - like adding vinegar to lemonade.

 
At 11/22/2008 9:59 AM , Blogger Lord of Light AZ said...

How can you not love a guy with a pork tattoo. I do hope they find some show just for Michael.

I still think using both for D:I would be a good idea.

Heck I still watch "Molto" reruns all the time so what do I know. I have to get my Batali fix watching PBS

 
At 11/22/2008 10:34 AM , Blogger Prisca said...

I guess I just assumed Symon wanted his face time and took it any way he could-- who wouldn't if you wanted to break into the FN culture.

 
At 11/22/2008 11:45 AM , Anonymous brian said...

Let's keep this in perspective. FN is entertainment just like any other TV network. Robert made a mistake and is being given another chance. Is that unlike any other flawed personality in any other entertainment medium? Some actors are on drugs, go to rehab, go back on drugs, etc., yet are given an infinite number of chances. But a chef exaggerates and/or lies on his resume and, what, he should be permanently banished from television?

 
At 11/22/2008 11:59 AM , Blogger Little Ol' Liz said...

Michael Symons says he likes the way FN handled the whole situation? It sure seems like FN lied to their audience, saying Robert was a gonner and Mikey was it. Well now, with Robert returning (intentionally all along) what does THIS say?

I like Mike, but he wasn't a good fit for D:I. I hope they find something that showcases his cool tattoo and impish giggle.

And please, FN, enough with the "down home fry it all in grease" cooking shows. The nation's waistline can't tolerate it.

 
At 11/22/2008 2:57 PM , Blogger ~~ Christi ~~ said...

I'm hoping you can help me. Guy Fieri featured a Green Bean Casserole recipe on his Thanksgiving Disasters how today, Nov 22nd. Problem is, I can't find the recipe!! It looked AWESOME!! Where can I find his recipe for Green Bean Casserole??

 
At 11/22/2008 3:55 PM , Anonymous sb said...

Suck on it, ya haters! I love Sunny!

 
At 11/22/2008 4:17 PM , Blogger Lord of Light AZ said...

Christi,

Just about every recipe shown on FN is on their web site

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/guy-fieri/the-mean-green-recipe/index.html

 
At 11/22/2008 5:23 PM , Anonymous Dora said...

Christi, and if you do make this recipe, be sure to notice that there's only 1/4 cup flour in the roux, and not the 1 cup listed on the ingredient list.

 
At 11/22/2008 8:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Mike. He is such a sweetheart and seems like such a fun guy

Robert is an arrogant weasel and a Big Fat Liar. No Thanks FN

 
At 11/23/2008 1:25 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding keeping things in perspective...
Robert didn't merely lie. He also apparently conned people out of money as a result of those misrepresentations. That's all in the Florida newspaper article that originally revealed all of this scandal. Now perhaps Robert has made amends with all the folks he left hanging financially - folks he hired to do jobs who reportedly spent a lot of time and money doing those jobs only to get stiffed - but perhaps not. He didn't merely lie, though, and it incorrect for folks to characterize as what he did as merely padding his resume.

 
At 11/23/2008 11:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course Symon was willing to do the show temporarily. Wouldn't you? It isn't like he would get that kind of exposure any other way, and he demonstrated a willingness to help out -- which probably will be rewarded eventually (although maybe not, this is FN after all). FN wanted to have a new temporary host to make it loook like they'd sent Robert to the woodshed, and in case they decided not to have him back. The show isn't like Mario's, and endless reruns wouldn't keep viewers interested.

 
At 11/23/2008 11:25 AM , Anonymous brian said...

I really don't know the details of what he did, but all I can say is don't believe everything you read in the newspaper. If what you're saying is true, then shame on him, but I doubt that we will ever know the true story of what happened.

 
At 11/23/2008 12:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Robert "conned" people in Florida then why have no charges been laid ? FN got caught with their pants down once and certainly wouldn't get caught with egg on the face again.

Sure he told a few whoppers, but the guy knows how to cook and is a certified chef, unlike many FN personalities that would like you to think so.

As if all you saints out there have never told white lies or fibs
or have embellished resumes. Hypocrites.

 
At 11/23/2008 12:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of the anger & hate should really be directed AT Mark Summers AND Food Network ...

They're the ones that didn't do a thorough background check on Robert Irvine ... Geez, any real life employer would've checked his references & resume BEFORE they hired him ...

Summers and FN pimped the hell out of the resume ... It's their fault ...


That said ...


I have a hard time trying to watch DI with Symon ... His voice and that piece of carpet are just tooooo annoying ...

Robert could be arrogant, but he knew his stuff ... And did NOT go to a Jewish Passover Seder supper and show his pig tattoo to a Rabbi and not "comprehend" what it means to cook Kosher ...

 
At 11/23/2008 5:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Symon just tries too hard to be cool. Shaved head, soul patch, motorcycle, tattoos .......

You are a good chef no doubt.

Just stick to cheffing dude. We don't need anymore "celebrity" chefs and were sick and tired of all of your crappy cookbooks you seem to think the public adores.

 
At 11/23/2008 7:55 PM , Blogger Alejandro said...

I like Michael Symon...well...I think he's hot, but that's just me. He seems like a genuine guy.

Hey, Jacob, I'm a big rock/hard rock/heavy metal fan...love the reference to Van Halen! Rock on, dude!! (Yeah, I know...someone in his forties can't say "dude" anymore!...is that true? he he he.)

 
At 11/23/2008 11:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To answer one of the anonymous's question...beecause the people involved chose not to pursue charges and are instead trying to get their money back via other means...and/or because while he misrepresented himself, it may not actually meet the guidelines for legal charges, though it probably does meet the qualifications for a successful civil suit...

Read the very well-researched Florida articles that originally exposed all this and then decide if one is being a hypocrite or not. All of us have told white lies, but I would hope most of us have not taken advantage of people to the degree Robert evidently did. And yes, I do believe the allegations in the article; everything else they said was spot on as evidenced by the "disciplinary" action FN took.

 
At 11/23/2008 11:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've posted the link below. I suspect and hope they'll have a followup once Irvine starts up his new eps...and I hope that he actually ahs straightened everything out, but I wouldn't bet on it. No doubt he is good at his job - I liked MI better with him as a host - but he was also a habitual, not an occasional, liar. Suggesting that what he did is akin to what we all do is akin to comparing a mouse to an elephant because hey, they're both mammals. There are lies and there are LIES.

http://www.sptimes.com/2008/02/17/Southpinellas/TV_chef_spiced_up_his.shtml

 
At 11/24/2008 8:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just can't watch Irvine.

 
At 11/24/2008 9:08 AM , Blogger Greg said...

Symon is probably just trying to save face. He may actually believe what he says. The show wasn't a match for him. Really it doesn't say anything about him directly as much as his personality type. Some people don't click in certain environments and this was one Symon didn't fit. Sure he could probably complete most of the challenges, but the show was more than that, which created its success.

If Food Network really did plan on keeping Irvine, they missed a big opportunity. The whole nature of the show is humility and proving the chef's worth. They could have (or could) run with Irvine's embellishments and dedicate a season to redemption.

They could really put Irvine through hell with some creative challenges. Have him work his way back up from the bottom and prove himself the way no pieces of paper can ever do. Start him in something like fast food challenges that builds on humility, and end the show with some high profile challenge.

Irvine's strength was his voice and character when he narrated each episode. They could tap into this by having Irvine describe his transformation over the season (how he's coming to terms with his embellishments).

Food Network just forgot the oldest rule in show business: there's no such thing as bad publicity; its only difference is that you don't have to pay for it.

 
At 11/24/2008 9:11 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just can't watch Sunny. I could watch RR and even Aunt Sandy before I can watch her. Now that's bad.

 
At 11/24/2008 10:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish we could just stop bring up the article from the newspaper re Chef Irvine. It was someone's opinion of the "facts", and we don't know if these facts were true.
Unless there is some legal action, then all we had was rumor and someone's opinion.
My opinion is just to move on and let this go.

 
At 11/24/2008 12:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:43 who are you Irvine? if so help you have serious issues...Of per haps you are a flunky.

All the 'facts' have been proven Irivine him self said as much. That's the truth as much as you may not want to face it.

 
At 11/24/2008 1:13 PM , Anonymous Andrew T. said...

Symon is awesome. This is a huge disappointment.

 
At 11/25/2008 3:30 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Opinions" of the facts? He is being sued. He does owe people money. He did lie. Multiple people were quoted by name in the story. He hasn't denied a single bit of it. Where's the opinion in that?

 
At 11/25/2008 11:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike is way cooler than Bobby boy! Hands down. C'mon who wouldn't want to sit down and have a cool one with Mikey. Bob alway came off as prickish and snobby. Mikey seems to keep it more real. I like his cooking style way better than stuffy ole Bobby's. Any chef with a tattoo of a hog has gotta walk the walk.

 
At 11/30/2008 8:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wrote to FN and let them know that I will no longer be watching DI. In my opinion, replacing a funny, self-deprecating chef with a spoiled, mean, self-centered brat is a mistake. I mean, if the bride wants all white flowers, who the hell is he to arbitrarily order brightly colored ones because his presentation is more important than her color scheme? How arrogant can you get?

 
At 1/04/2009 11:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really wouldn't mind having 2 different hosts. I like both. I'm glad that Symon took over because I found him fun and very impressive. I've learned alot from this show and wouldn't mind seeing alternating hosts.

 
At 3/02/2009 12:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

michael sucked as the host for the show he has no personality

 
At 3/22/2009 9:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad that Robert Irvine is coming back. He seemed intense, I know, but he seemed to really care if the missions got done. Symon seemed to just laugh a lot and fool around and not have the intensity. I much prefer Robert and I am happy to see him return and appreciate that Food Network gave him another chance.

 
At 3/30/2009 11:57 AM , Blogger NYC2008 said...

I'm really happy that Robert is back! I really loved his personality & found Symon to be boring. I stopped watching the show after seeing one episode with Symon.

The person who has never sinned should be casting stones. We are all guilty of something...stop being a hypocrite.

 
At 3/30/2009 7:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually there was a big potention to bring him back. alot of refuse to watch the show inless they brought robert back ..he made thes how.the other guy was just boring. Everyone swamp the Foodnetwork with emails, Mails and etc. Of course He going to say crap. He does not want people to know he suxed..ROBERT RULESSSSSSSSSSSSS I am glad the potention worked.

 
At 4/02/2009 9:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Robert Irvine, glad he is back. It's entertainment, and he did a good job. His personal life is none of our business.

Symon was damn boring. I stopped watching when he took over. Robert has the right dynamics for the show. It's his show and its styled for his personality. FN don't mix reality with entertainment.

 
At 4/04/2009 12:37 PM , Blogger Lester Hunt said...

What we do know for certain is that FN is dropping the brilliant and successful (two fine restaurants of his own) Symon for a lying mediocrity. Irvine has nothing going for him. I a disgusted.

 
At 4/14/2009 1:15 AM , Blogger highanddry1212 said...

I think Irvine brought an energy to the show that Symon couldn't match.

Oh.. and if I hear the phrase "down home country cookin'" again, I might just have to put my head in the microwave.

I really wish FN would get rid of these tacky "down home cookin'" shows and replace them with shows that focus more on fine dining and presentation.

 
At 11/06/2009 5:22 PM , Blogger lee said...

I stopped watching as soon as Symon came on there, but to tell the truth, I haven't started watching RI again either. FN has a real problem with its need to entertain so it has become desperate for some of its programming.

 

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