Is Crime Scene Kitchen Scripted or Real?

With its engaging format, Fox’s ‘Crime Scene Kitchen’ adds that extra spice to the pre-existing reality cooking shows out there. Hosted by Joel McHale and featuring judges Yolanda Gampp and Curtis Stone, it features talented bakers in a unique competition. Divided into teams, they must investigate a kitchen scattered with clues and remnants of ingredients to decipher the dessert they are a part of.

Next, the contenders must recreate the said dessert from scratch and present it to the judges, who then decide how close it is to the original dessert. Moreover, each episode has two rounds, and the winners of the first challenge get an extra clue, while the final winning team takes home $100,000. Given such intense competition, loads of drama and heated moments are bound to follow. All this makes one wonder just how authentic and unscripted ‘Crime Scene Kitchen’ is. In case you’re curious about the same, here’s what we found!

Is Crime Scene Kitchen Scripted?

Like most other baking shows, the makers of ‘Crime Scene Kitchen’ have presented it as an unscripted show, and we find no reason to believe otherwise. However, one must note that since it is a reality show with a competition at its center, the production team plays a crucial role in ensuring that the setups for the challenges are done correctly, and they are executed smoothly. Still, though the crew strategically places all the ingredients and clues on set, each episode takes its course based on the contestants’ performances.

On top of it, the participant bakers are no laymen in finding their way around the kitchen — all of them are professionals competing for a handsome cash prize. This ensures not just their performances in the show’s tasks but even their failures and goof-ups are as natural as can be and do not follow any script. Besides, every episode features a new, special dessert, so the production unit does not follow a repetitive pattern while preparing for them and undoubtedly faces different challenges with each segment.

Not just that, but many times, the contestant teams guess and create the wrong dessert, indicating that they are completely clueless when they arrive on set for filming. On the contrary, they rely primarily on their knowledge, skills, and instinct to decode the dish before them. Also, one can never fully predict the outcome of culinary challenges, as often, the final dish does not turn out as the chef expects. Yet, since it is, after all, reality television, entertainment is a significant part of its appeal.

Image Credit: Michael Becker/Fox

Hence, even though the competition may not be scripted, the judges’ and contestants’ reactions and interactions may be slightly altered to make each episode more interesting. Furthermore, as mentioned above, the clues for each challenge do follow a specific strategy decided by the makers. Therefore, if not entirely scripted, the challenges are pre-planned and presented according to a given set of instructions. Lastly, each episode surely goes through a bit of tweaking here and there on the edit table to package it according to the requirements of reality TV.

That said, it is evident that the behind-the-scenes bit of the culinary show and the criteria for judging the desserts are probably the only parts that follow a written plan or rules, while most of what we see on screen is unfiltered and spontaneous. Considering all the above points, we can reiterate confidently that ‘Crime Scene Kitchen’ is largely unscripted, and all that feels exaggerated must not be taken seriously.

Read More: Where is Crime Scene Kitchen Filmed?