Padma Lakshmi shocked by ‘Top Chef’ trouncing ‘Amazing Race’ at Emmys [Video]

Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi admitted she was shocked when her show beat seven-time champ “The Amazing Race” for Reality Competition Series at last year’s Emmys. Chatting with Gold Derby senior editor Matt Noble, she revealed, “It took me a while to even realize they said ‘Top Chef.’ They said ‘Top Chef’ right? Yes they did, OK”. She credits the success of “Top Chef” to it being, “a very broadly appealing show because everyone in the planet eats, so it’s universal, and you don’t need to be in the food industry to have really strong opinions about food… it’s something you can watch if you are 9 years old, or 49 years old, or 89 years old.”

Lakshmi contended alongside head judge Tom Colicchio for Best Reality Host in 2009; they lost to Jeff Probst (“Survivor”) who has owned this award since it was introduced in 2008. If nominated this year, she may submit the episode “Lock Down” where she made merry with the Muppets. “It was just fun, it was such a joyous episode and the whole atmosphere on set was just really really happy and childlike and playful.”

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However, she said most moments on “Top Chef” are not as light, particularly the eliminations when she utters her catch phrase “Please pack your knives and go”. For Lakshmi, “as you get into the later episodes it’s really the minor details we use to decide who goes home… and it does become difficult. So that can take anywhere from and hour and a half to sometime four and a half hours… when all the food is really good then it becomes really hard to figure out who’s the best.”

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