Once again, Guy Fieri got a job as the host of a new competition show. This time, hardcore tailgaters compete to win the title of “Tailgate Warrior,” whatever that means. This week, teams from Seattle and Green Bay “face off.” Each team is told to make a heart-attack-inducing amount of food, including an appetizer, a main course, two sides and a dessert, all in one hour.
Wednesdays at 10 p.m.
The amount of food prepared on “Tailgate Warriors” is nauseating. From bratwurst to salmon to crab to elk (which are only the main courses) there’s just way too much to keep track of, let alone attempt to watch people consume or try to make. The cooks are running around so quickly, it feels like you’re going to get whiplash. Nauseating with a risk of whiplash — sounds just like a bad carnival ride.
Despite this, one thing “Tailgate Warriors” has going for it is the food itself. With the fresh salmon and elk burgers, the competitors know their food and their way around the grill. Unfortunately, the focus, which starts on the fresh ingredients, quickly turns into a fixaion on the fascinating competition — or lack thereof. Instead of concentrating on how the food is prepared, the attention veers off in the direction of creating drama by focusing only on how no one is going to finish.
Too much food combined with too much competition leads to way too long of a program. After 20 minutes, everyone is ready to see how the food turns out, but instead you get stuck watching another half hour of so-called fierce competition. By the time the judges taste the food, no one even cares.
The most annoying part about “Tailgate Warriors” is the fact that winning the competition leads to absolutely nothing. The contestants don’t win money, game tickets or a trip — absolutely nothing but glory, which will only last until the next episode airs, if that long.
Still, avid watchers of other Food Network competition shows will enjoy “Tailgate Warriors” because it’s exactly like all their other programming. Two teams try to prepare tasty dishes in a small amount of time, no one thinks they will ever finish, but they do, and then one team wins. It’s the exact same format, with nothing else to offer except for some cheesy football puns like “I fumbled with that burger” and instant replays of footage that really does not need to be seen twice.
And once again, the judges are people who don’t really seem to be expert enough to be on Food Network. A former football player along with a couple self-appointed BBQ and tailgate experts leave feedback that any regular Joe Shmoe could have given. Unimaginative and amateurish comments like “this tastes good” (seriously) are so vague that the whole fun of watching Food Network is gone. The focal point is lost, and you’re stuck watching just a bunch of dudes eating burgers.