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Wednesday, April 7

Claire Robinson New Host of 'Challenge'; Show Remains Boring


Sorry to all you "Food Network Challenge" lovers out there, but I've never been a fan. I think the challenges in general sound interesting, but I always find myself wanting to tune out after about 5 minutes. And after watching this past weekend's episode with new host Claire Robinson, I'm not planning on setting my TiVo to season pass anytime soon.

Based on the comments and emails I've gotten from fans of the show, many were just fine with Keegan Gerhard-- right?

Most of Claire's "hosting" consisted of standing in front of a greenscreen or backdrop, spouting out a few comments about things that had just happened, and then talking to the contestants while they tried to actually complete the challenge. Amazing!

It's not really her fault, though. Who's going to turn down a paid gig? Still, with her long dark locks and smoky voice, Claire sometimes makes me take a double-take to make sure it's not Rachael Ray who I'm watching. My inner-pessimist assumes this increased airtime for Claire is intentional on the part of executives, who hope millions of semi-regular viewers make the same mistake and watch this Rachael 2.0, unaware. (Like I've said a bunch of times before, Rachael ain't getting any less rich, and Food Net is chump change compared to the bucks bearing Oprah Winfrey's face that she's been getting the last few years.)

Soooooooo... I'm not impressed with the Challenge change. Are you?

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41 Comments:

At 4/08/2010 12:03 AM , Blogger Phil D. said...

I love Claire...she's an amazing cook and she is obviously passionate about food.

The whole 5 Ingredient Fix thing is great but the structure is limiting and kind of worn out after the second recipe.

I think this show will allow her personality to shine...can't wait.

Plus, let's be honest, anything is a step up from Guy.

 
At 4/08/2010 12:31 AM , Blogger Jennifer said...

I liked Keegan Gerhard - this is the first I've heard that he's been booted from the show. Oh well. "Food Network Challenge" just moves too slowly, and there are too many of those "fake suspense" moments. Maybe if it was just a 1/2 hour show, it would be better? Not a show I go out of my way to tune in to, but if I notice they are doing a challenge I'm interested in I'll DVR it and watch the intros then fast forward to the judging round!

 
At 4/08/2010 3:09 AM , Anonymous Ash said...

Is Claire incapable of shutting her mouth? She was talking to the guy from Hawaii on the SpongeBob challenege and after she stopped talking her mouth just hung open. It made her look 'special'.

 
At 4/08/2010 11:29 AM , Blogger Alec Smart said...

Something isn't right in Challengeville. Maybe Gerhard didn't pay enough lip service to Tuschwipe ? Perhaps he had an epiphany and thought " WTF am I doing here ? why am I being a FN lackey stooge with that despicable FatPrick Coston and the Sugar Plum Hairband Witch ? Time to go back to being a line cook" .

Whoever hosts the show won't change a thing. It will alway suck. Unless Claire decides to make it X rated.

 
At 4/08/2010 12:10 PM , Blogger Clay said...

There are a couple comments here about Keegan being gone from the show. Quite contrary! They've made him a judge.

 
At 4/08/2010 4:12 PM , Blogger Harry said...

Yeah, Keegan was a judge and actually had more air time commenting than Kerry or Patrick in past challenges. It was all a little strange. And yes, sometimes Challenge drags, but it's all worth it if my boyfriend Jason Ellis is on there.

 
At 4/08/2010 5:12 PM , Blogger Lana said...

Once in a while, Challenge does something interesting - the ep's out around the country are pretty cool, like steak or chili cook-offs, the international competitions, stuff like that.

But the in-studio ones are pretty boring. Claire isn't going to be able to help much. Sorry CR.

 
At 4/08/2010 10:01 PM , Anonymous Curmudgeonfish said...

Can Claire take a bite of something without her eyes rolling back into her head?

 
At 4/08/2010 11:34 PM , Blogger Joe Luzzi said...

I couldnt agree more i think challenge is unentertaining... probably because with a name like "challenge" you think it would be wicked intense

 
At 4/09/2010 4:26 PM , Anonymous Lauren said...

I don't get it, Keegan is still talking to the camera and spastically waving his arms, but he's also a judge now. So why do we need Claire? I guess she's like Guy on URS, someone to get in the way and bug the competitors.

I think FNC is trying to compete with Ultimate Cake Off on TLC, since when do they have a taste test? Come on, we've all seen the cake that is really used, it looks dry and dense, and there's no frosting in between layers. I guess it's like Ace of Cakes, where the cake is just a sculpture and then pieces of sheet cake are handed out.

 
At 4/10/2010 1:46 PM , Blogger SpunkyLubbock said...

I can't stand ANYTHING with Claire. Don't understand how she ever got a show in the first place. Most of her recipes lack flavor & she's next to the last person(Sandra Lee is ALWAYS the last) I would ever watch on FN. I say get rid of her completely. Just another show I will NOT watch on FN. No way will I subject myself to listening to her obnoxious voice! That's what TV remotes are for!

 
At 4/12/2010 6:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't like Claire. She is nice to look at, but that is about it.

 
At 4/12/2010 8:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't stand her. I saw her on "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" and she was going on about some food and her eyes started bugging out of her head. It was scary.

 
At 4/13/2010 12:04 AM , Blogger Brian Flaherty said...

Like most of the shows now on FN, this one is a BORE

 
At 4/19/2010 3:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

New host = fail. Sorry, the other dude was better, and he wore that chef-coat, so you always had the feeling that he understood what was going on. New host seems clueless and scripted. And she talks with her hands too much.

 
At 4/19/2010 4:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Caught Challenge for the first time last night since Robinson had taken over as MC so surfed today to find out why. I don't find any valid reason other than a comment by Gerhard that Robinson is "their girl" so the FN execs "want her to make it on prime time." I didn't care for Robinson and wish they'd move Gerhard back to MC. According to her bio, she's a chef, not a baker or sugar artist, and it's hard to take seriously comments from someone who doesn't have background in the subject matter of the show. Perhaps they should have had her MC URS instead since at least that deals with cooking.

 
At 4/19/2010 6:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just don't like Claire. She brings nothing to the show.

 
At 4/21/2010 12:40 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah I agree. I can't take Claire seriously. Even though she claims to be a trained chef, I just can't get that vibe of professionalism from her.

 
At 4/22/2010 3:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

She sounds like a man.

 
At 4/23/2010 5:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't stand Claire. Bring back Keegan to the host position. She makes me want to give up watching the show.

 
At 4/24/2010 4:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No offense to her, but Claire's voice is annoying to me, like fingernails on a chalkboard. She yells at the screen, like Rachel Ray, and I don't care for that. Let Keegan host AND judge.

 
At 4/25/2010 8:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a fan of Claire and was really disappointed when she replaced Keegan as "host". The show isn't the same with her, sans chef coat and the necessary background in a baking challenge program. She looks and behaves unprofessional in my opinion and doesn't add anything exciting to the show.
I'd much prefer Keegan host and judge and for added entertainment, I'd rather watch Bronwen Weber whine and make faces during her cake challenge. Now that's entertainment.

 
At 4/25/2010 9:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am NOT a fan of Claire on this show. Maybe on a different show, but on Challenge she makes me NUTS! Please take her off Food Network.

 
At 4/29/2010 12:44 PM , Blogger Mmm said...

I thought Keegan was insufferable. Everything he says looks so forced. Now I may actually watch Challenge.

 
At 5/02/2010 12:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't really NEED this show. We don't really LIKE this show. We can't stand reruns...they are bad enough the first time around. Clare looks AND ACTS LIKE A HOOTCHIE MAMA.

 
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At 5/26/2010 1:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but who is Claire? I had to google her and now I know why I can't stand the FN change. At least KG had appropriate personal experience/comments to add. Everything from the scripts, to sultry comments seem overly rehearsed. Sorry FN - we want KG back!

 
At 6/11/2010 5:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss Keegan Gerhard. Claire has a very annoying voice that makes me want to mute the TV when she is talking.

 
At 6/13/2010 9:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's annoying at best, like fingernails on a chalkboard at worst! She brings nothing to the table, no expertise, just dull *no kidding we just saw that* comments..please do we REALLY need commentary on a challenge?? It sucks what little life is left in these challenges right out.

 
At 7/22/2010 10:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i miss Keegan Gerhard on challenge.
I can't stand this woman's voise or behavior I find her horribly annoying, I was watching Challenge with my husband the other day and both of us were like Who the heck is this I hope she is not the new host, and sadly we were sad to find out that was indeed the case, i was channel surfing this morning and caught her actual show, 5 minute fix, geese I don't get the draw it's nothing special but even if the recipe's are not terrible, she is just annoying and fake acting, and the voice is grating. I don't like watching people with forced fake smiles when they talk and have annoying made up words, she ranks up there with rachael ray and another woman on the channel. i love food network but it seems anyone can get a show, if tey act like a flake and smile alot.

 
At 8/07/2010 11:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Claire is a ridiculous choice for a host. Her outfits are ill-fitting and out of fashion. Her mouth is always open. She nods with a wide-eyed mouth-open vacant look as contestants speak. Ugh. She's insufferable. Please make her go away. I have to record Challenge now and fast forward through any part with Claire. Thanks FN for ruining one of my favorite programs.

 
At 8/23/2010 3:22 PM , Blogger Joanie said...

How did Claire get a show????She didn't win any of the usual challenges required of other hosts, she is not an experienced chef, restaurant owner, or critic. I can cook with 5 ingredients, and her voice and eyes are annoying! Who did she sleep with?

 
At 11/02/2010 8:17 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't stand Claire's voice. I have to watch the show on mute and may stop watching all together. I enjoy the format but Please! bring Keegan back. Or anyone with a tolerable voice.

 
At 11/15/2010 1:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't stand her !! There's never enough air time of the contestants cooking as it is now Challange has to add her as an MC?!?! Good thing I have a DVR so I can fast forward through her useless talking !!

 
At 11/20/2010 8:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh, Food Network needs to get rid of Claire Robinson because she is costing them viewers like myself. I can't listen to that voice for 2 minutes even with commercial breaks and she is actually hosting a show!My!. So whenever she is on, I go channel surfing. Rachel Ray- I got used to her sounding nasal all the time and she does seem to have a passion for what she does, so I watch that show. But I cant get pass Claire's voice. It's really grating on each nerve I have each time I hear her. I also do not watch Ann Burrel, period. she is a bit too "kookie" for my taste and this kookiness comes across loud and clear. Sunny Anderson, I do watch at times, but she needs to get a better weave.

 
At 11/28/2010 8:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never really thought I'd miss Keegan. But after her, man, I can't decide weather to flip the channel or jerk off. Ugh...

 
At 4/18/2011 11:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't watch the show live anymore, I record it so that I can FF when she talks, I just hate her stupid whisper, like if the contestants couldn't her her.

 
At 4/21/2011 11:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

claires great beautiful and a great cook and i find nothing wrong with her voice.

 
At 7/02/2011 7:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Claire is not interesting to watch nor listen to. I like the challenge usually, but sometimes the subject matter is not interesting enough for my taste.

 
At 7/19/2011 6:58 PM , Anonymous TMartinez said...

I agree with most of the negative comments about Claire, I for one just refuses to even watch a recorded version with her as the host. Bring anyone back but find the woman a job she can actually do ....PLEASE!

 
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