Netflix’s Barbecue Showdown is even more succulent in season 2

After a year and a half The American Barbecue Showdown is back on Netflix, renamed simply Barbecue showdown.

Season one was greatand the second season comes at the beginning of the summer and barbecue season and not at the end.

And the new name and schedule aren’t the only changes.

In the show’s rural Georgia, each chef still has their own tented grilling and prep area, though these seem more organized. The cooking areas have been expanded to include ‘The Trench’ where there are all manner of open fire options.

Once again, contestants will use a variety of grilling and grilling techniques to prepare not only raw cuts of beef and other proteins, but side dishes and side dishes as well.

The best change, however, is the addition of new presenter Michelle Buteau, replacing her The floor is lava Hosted by Rutledge Wood and actor Lyric Lewis.

A person cooking outside is talking to another person
Barbecue Showdown contestant Delilah Winder chats with new host Michelle Buteau in the first episode (Image via Netflix)

Michelle Buteau’s Narration as Host of The circle Is fun and full of personalitybut that happens in post-production.

At Barbecue showdownShe’s just as funny and actually interacts with the contestants – and the judges, chatting with them about what they’re looking for and prompting them to explain things to the audience.

She chats spontaneously, walks around the participants and has fun even when time is running out. “It’s nice to yell at people who aren’t my kids,” she says. At another point, she calls and says, “Was that loud? It felt like it was loud.”

not how The Great British Baking ShowThe host’s increasingly painful moments don’t seem fake, it just feels like their real reactions. “Ta-ta! That means you’re going,” she said during the jury.

Michelle isn’t just here to help us BBQ dumbass learn more, nor just to crack jokes. “I’m a hug,” she says, kneeling in the sand next to a struggling contestant. “You’re doing a great job.”

Two people sit at a table and try food on spoons
Netflix judges Kevin Bludso and Melissa Cookston at the Barbecue Showdown sample a contestant’s food (Image via Netflix)

Judges Kevin Bludso and Melissa Cookston are also back and also show genuine concern for contestants when they make questionable decisions or struggle with the clock.

They ask questions as they wander, then talk quietly to one another, sometimes just lamenting what’s happening: “Prayer isn’t a plan, honey,” Melissa says in one episode, and in another, “He’s got it taken upon himself by this smoker.” ”

Melissa and Kevin are now among the top cooking show judges on television for their direct, specific criticism and advice. And they’re just funny in their own way.

For the surf and turf challenge, according to Kevin, they need “the right texture inside and out” and make sure the moisture is “locked in” with their seafood because “I don’t want gummy crabs.”

At the start of the season, Melissa says, “At the end of the day, I want to taste the fire.” She makes a splash as a judge, both with her direct criticism and with her refusal to accept any stupid excuses.

When a contestant’s side dish causes Melissa to cringe in horror, the contestant blames her for eating the side dish: a Carolina Reaper chili pepper. “I didn’t catch a Carolina Reaper, I can assure you,” says Melissa. She tells another participant: “20 Carolina Repers was about 19 too many. It was a massive inferno.”

The rating is great, but the editing needs to be done

Three people walk through a smoky barn with serious expressions on their faces
Kevin Bludso and Melissa Cookston, the judges on Netflix’s ‘Barbecue Showdown’ and new host Michelle Buteau (Image via Netflix)

The food is filmed in a way that often makes me salivate, whether I’m watching eggs being fried, melted butter being spread, or animal juices dripping – and I say that as a vegetarian. (I have nothing against the general idea of ​​eating animals, but against the industry and the way it treats animals And what effect it has on all of us.)

My only complaint with Barbecue showdown is how scattered the editing can be. For most of the episode it’s jumping around showing us food, cooking and interviews, sometimes just for a few seconds – and I’m not even talking about the montages.

It also jumps from place to place: in the barn, to the dig, a close-up of the cutting, someone else’s face, the judges sitting nearby. It can be dizzying and doesn’t help to understand what these chefs are actually doing.

In any competition, a lot happens off-camera other than spectating The Great British Bake OffI get a clearer sense of where someone is in the process, what’s troubling them, and why things went the way they did.

The contestants – Cindy Hayter, Delilah Winder, Eduardo Gonzalez, Joey Victorian, John Boy Caddell, Michelle Lundstrom, Logan Sandoval and Thyron Mathews – are again a diverse mix of grillers and pitmasters with different strengths, approaches and levels of experience.

As in the first season, they are encouraging and helpful. “Bro Crush is starting again,” says Thyro, while Logan offers him advice on how to keep his tortillas from sticking to the grill.

While they all seem to have impressive resumes, the judges are served a surprising amount of raw meat in the first two episodes and there are some clumsy mistakes.

There are only eight contestants and also eight episodes. Even if you’re as bad at math as I am, you can figure out what will inevitably happen with one or more eliminations.

Since eight is such a low number, I wouldn’t mind a format where everyone barbecues each week so we can see how they approach these challenges in different ways.

As in the first season of Barbecue showdownIt’s just lovely to spend time with these talented chefs, to watch them at work and to see their food being appreciated by two discerning experts.

Barbecue showdown

A strong, personable competition made even more fun thanks to its new host. B+

What works for me:

  • Michelle Buteau will moderate
  • Kevin Bludso and Melissa Cookston judge
  • The challenges are simple but give participants room to show off their skills

What would be better:

  • The cut that needs to better highlight the work of the participants

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