Not Every Chopped Contestant Gets To Compete. Here's Why

Need a heavy dose of entertainment in your life? Well, "Chopped" is a great option. Any fan will be able to tell you that the show offers a high dose of entertainment, nail-biting contests, drama, and scrumptious meals from accomplished chefs. Viewers also get to look forward to a revolving panel of judges that includes distinguished names such as Alex Guarnaschelli, Chris Santos, Amanda Freitag, Geoffrey Zakarian, and more.

According to its host, Ted Allen, what ultimately makes the show work is it's easy to identify with. "'Chopped' is relatable," he said. "We all have the experience of opening the fridge and needing to throw a meal together with what we have on hand." However, while the show is a favorite among its viewers, it can be difficult for its contestants. As pointed out by a Thrillist article, not everyone who is selected for the competition gets to showcase their skills in front of a camera. 

It's not a straightforward process

As per a private chef that decided to give "Chopped" a shot, the application process is rigorous and aspirants need to get through a lot of questions while applying to the show (via Thrillist). Julianne Feder explained that the questions basically dove into her life and background. She heard back fairly quickly and was asked to audition, much to her excitement. However, it was a tiring process, with the actual audition taking around an hour. "I told the interviewers about my best dishes, my love for cooking, and why if chosen to compete, I would win," Feder explained. 

The chef was selected about a month after she auditioned for the show, but there was a caveat. There weren't many spots available for participants from New York, so she was asked to be a standby chef. Each "Chopped" episode includes four participants who are from different parts of the U.S. "Flights often get delayed or canceled," Feder said. "People get sick. Things come up. Heck, even if everyone makes it to tape, someone could get a bad case of stage fright or chop off a finger." This is why standby chefs are important. She was expected to prep like the other contestants and she hoped against hope that she would end up competing. Sadly, that didn't happen, but it opened more opportunities for her as she got to be a part of a different show on the Food Network.