Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Great Food Truck Race Conspiracy Theory?

Like millions of other people, my boyfriend and I watched the conclusion of Food Network's "The Great American Food Truck Race" tonight. The ending, however, left one glaring question unanswered:

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE NOM NOM TRUCK?

I can't be the only person wondering about this.

When the Food Network routed the episodes through cities that really seemed designed to give some trucks an edge over others, I thought well, ok. When the "truck stop" challenges clearly posed challenges that favored one cuisine or skill set over another, I thought well, ok.

But as the series wore on, there were some things that started getting fishier than that 700 pounds of catfish...

For example, it seemed odd that the trucks kept coincidentally "finding" locations practically on top of each other. Maybe in a small Tennessee town, but even a relatively small city like New Orleans... to end up at the same tucked away bar? Hmm. Well... maybe. But when both trucks in tonight's final episode "happened" to pull into Union Square because there are "lots" of tourists there? Puh-leeeeeeease. More tourists than the Empire State Building, or the Statue of Liberty, or Chinatown, or the countless streets where the locals know to congregate for their favorite trucks anyway? On any given day, there are some ten million residents and tens of thousands of tourists in Manhattan. There are lots of people EVERYWHERE.

My heart sank. Undoubtedly, the fix was in.

The final straw (or bun, as the case may be...) : when the Grill 'Em All truck pulled away from its parking space first to find the Nom Nom truck was already gone... and both trucks only had to travel (maybe?) a dozen blocks to get to the Flatiron building... how is it the burger guys got to the top of the building first? (And even if they did, how is it the Noms were surprised to see them, since the guys parked their truck in front of the building?)

Did the Noms get lost on what is basically a straight-shot drive? Were they circling the building looking for legal parking? Maybe they turned on their cloaking device but just couldn't fire up the photon torpedoes in time to take out Grill 'Em All? Or perhaps it was actually something much more sinister...

My boyfriend tried googling a bunch of different blogs to see if anyone knew what happened here, but didn't find anything. If we missed it, our apologies. Please let us know. Otherwise, here's a brand-new blog asking the question: The Great American Food Truck Race: competition or fiction? If anyone out there knows what happened to the Nom Nom truck, or would like to post another comment or question about this program, please join the conversation and invite/tweet/etc other interested viewers to do the same!

And yes, FOOD NETWORK, THIS INCLUDES YOU!

30 comments:

  1. The ending was all screwy and something doesn't add up. What happened to Nom Nom after they left Union Square? It's literally a six block drive from there to the Flat Iron. If Nom Nom was already gone when Grill Em All were leaving Union Square, how did they get there after Grill Em All? We didn't see any footage from Nom Nom's perspective so we have no idea.

    The series has been fun, but the last few minutes were a let down. Very poor editing and a complete let down.

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  2. I re-watched the ending and paused the TV when the teams were climbing up the ladder. You can see a clock on a building in the background. Grill em All arrived around 3:22pm and Nom Nom arrived around 5:05 pm. Thats quite a big gap considering Nom Nom left first. Just thought I would add that tidbit

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  3. GOOD FOR YOU!!!

    I thought the Noms did not look nearly as surprised at losing as the Grill 'Em All guys looked at winning... but the clock evidence... wow!

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  4. It was interesting how Nom Nom won the truck stop, too - exactly $500, which they needed, right when they needed it. Instead of Grill 'em All being only $300 from winning, they were neck-and-neck, and Nom Nom was right back in it.

    But then again, the editing on the whole series has been deceptive. Who thought that Nom Nom would do so well in Tennessee, when it appeared they were fumbling along?

    And in every city, the team that's needed a kick has gotten one, via a truck stop, or sudden customers (except Rajun' Cajun' in Santa Fe).

    It's tough to believe the Food Network didn't try to juice things up to keep it interesting. OTOH, if we knew that Nom Nom was pounding everyone week after week, who would've stuck around for the 'surprise' ending?

    And it appears this was filmed in May, meaning that FN knew the outcome for months, and had to jerry-rig the show to make it interesting and keep people coming back.

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  5. I'm not shocked that a "reality show" was staged or set-up or whatever. I guess that's how you boost ratings or make for more interesting TV.

    I'm just confused what happened to Nom Nom between the time when they left Union Square and when they climbed the top of the Flat Iron Building. It took them over an hour and half to go six blocks?

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  6. "For example, it seemed odd that the trucks kept coincidentally 'finding' locations practically on top of each other. Maybe in a small Tennessee town, but even a relatively small city like New Orleans... to end up at the same tucked away bar?"

    First off, the bar in the episode was not a "tucked away bar."

    Second off, you must realize that in order to sell on a food truck you have to obtain food permits. Therefore, the permits only allow vendors to sell within a proper zone. Whereas you think they are in close proximity by means of Food Network or scheming, in reality the food trucks are slaves to the permit's boundary laws. Ergo, they are only allowed to travel within the area. If you have 3-4 food trucks in a small radius, then of course you are going to have food trucks a few hundred feet from each other.

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  7. I'm used to and expect the producers to edit a show for dramatic purposes, but would be extremely pissed if they manipulated the contest to make it closer or determine a winner.

    BTW - The Grill 'em All's BUYING of an unassembled Banh Mi sandwich and putting it together... while proclaiming its ease being the reason Nom Nom has been winning.... is BS! They didn't season the meat, pickle the veggies, or make a spread. They just put it together. Luckily, they didn't win that contest.

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  8. If you noticed the NOM'S NOM'S were parked by a fire hydrant...they probably had to move so that why Grill Em didn't see them.

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  9. Will not watch the stupid Food Network contest like this again....so manipulative and POOR editing. I wanna know how the winner wins, instead I am subjected to watching the losers b!tch & m0an & brag their way to fame. Tasty heart attack is what they are selling! Nom Nom has the best attitudes and savvy and wholesome foods. The rest of them can just disappear! This thing is soooooooooooo FIXED!!!

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  10. Granted food permits are an issue, but then why make it appear that the trucks have a choice where they park? In the first couple of episodes, it appeared NomNom was pairing up restaurants or vendors (pinkberry in one episode) because they arranged that. Instead, your comment gives credence to the argument that FN set it up, and sent NomNom there. Which means that FN directly or indirectly affected the outcome by giving good locations to one team over another.

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  11. You make really great points. About 6 o'clock last night I started on a blog post about the show had to be fixed if Nom Nom didn't win because I have watched enough of Food Network's cooking "contest" to figure something fishy would happen. I was right.

    Yuri made a great observation about the clocks. That certainly looks like a smoking gun.

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  12. Lifelong Foodie,
    Trip over to my site. Hit the contact button and get in touch with me. I love the idea of this site.

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  13. I am going to go ahead and second the comment about Nom Nom being parked in front of a fire hydrant in Union Square. If you noticed, the guys from Grill 'Em All could barely see the Nom Nom truck as it was, and Nom Nom being told to move by a cop could easily make them not visible at all to Grill 'Em All, even if it they only had to move a short distance.

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  14. I only saw the last two episodes and I was really annoyed by the way they called a halt as Grill'em All was really hitting their stride. I liked the Nom Nom crew and would love to try some of their food, but they were having a bad day for some reason and that is what happens in any business and I thought is was certainly exciting as it was developing at the time. Then the truck-stop, gee it is really hard to make a hamburger (extreme sarcasm). So yeah, I think there was someone promoting an agenda.
    J L

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  15. I could assure you all that the show was legit. The trucks were often times (as in the case of New Orleans) limited to serving in certain areas. There is a great back to story to New Orleans and why they have such limitations (a flood of cheap taco trucks after Katrina forced strict Food Truck laws...). While editing is always a bit clever it matters not as long as the outcome is not effected.

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  16. There's no way to assure anyone "that the show was legit" unless you first establish yourself as a credible source with accurate information.

    If you want anyone to believe you, you can't hide behind an anonymous posting.

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  17. I am waiting for Metallica to sue over copy right infringements over Grill'em All, after watching the whole season i knew they would win and for that reason didnt watch the finale. Food Network needs to own up on making them the winners.

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  18. I think the ending was staged to the max. Neither truck was able to sell anything at a stop until the guy from the bar when over to buy stuff. Funny that the same guy went over to the Nom Nom truck later. Perhaps, the show producers figured out that it was going to several days at that location and probably gave the money to bar patrons.

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  19. Didn't Nom Nom also just buy ingredients from a real Banh Mi shop? I mean, c'mon, it's not exactly complicated food (for either truck). It's bread and meat and goodies.

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  20. I know a staged show when I see one and this show was not staged. The editing influences what the viewer learns and what they do not learn - sometimes it exaggerates an event or keeps it cryptic. Some actions can be left out because they are confusing or just boring. In reality competition shows, the games take time to plan, so they were probably decided before the race began (including the "truck stops"). The results were unlikely to be rigged. There are legal obligations on competition shows.

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  21. re: above. Sorry to be the voice of reason. I know conspiracy theories are fun.

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  22. Lot of butthurt commenters here. With or without FN editing, it's clear that people in the bronx just didn't care for vietnamese sandwiches. What I find more suspicious is that some guy from the bar that the grill-em-all truck had been serving to just luckily picked up Nom nom and saved their ass. Not to mention that I had to roll my eyes at the food switch challenge. Making a fusion burger is so much easier than a new take on a bahn mi. If anything it looked like FN was trying to give Nom nom an unfair advantage. I had no problem with the outcome... this is a race to the FINISH. Doesn't matter how much ass you were kicking beforehand, just that you win at the end.

    Your bitter bahn mi flavored tears are delicious.

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  23. I didn't watch this show with great regularity -- so I'm curious... Have they EVER EVER EVER before stopped a day's competition with a surprise curfew and ordered everyone to stop selling and go to bed? I mean, I think this kind of B.S. move speaks for itself in the credibility department.

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  24. Anon: About the curfew. Yes they did it at least one other time in the 6 episodes so that wasn't anything out of the ordinary.

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  25. lol
    butthurt nomnom fans

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  26. This was a GREAT show. It is UNFORTUNATE that they had to fix it and decided that a group of dirty unshaven stoners would win. I mean come on, who would buy something consumable from an unshaven bum that hasn't showered since the series began (possibly longer). Nom Nom looked like a credible business, were presentable, educated and had a solid business. The grunge truck was full of greasy unshowered potheads with no education nor any business sense. It is awful. When the 2nd series comes out I refuse to watch it (even though i know it will be great). Shame on you Food Network. The 'Grill all of them' truck looks like it was painted by a 3 year old on acid. If you are going to fix the show, make it more probable. There is NO way 'Grill all of them' could win - NO WAY.

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  27. How many people think that 'Grill 'em all' actually won and that the series was not fixed? I find it strange that anyone would buy food from someone that had more grease on them than the food they are selling. Those guys are disgusting. PLEASE, someone buy them a razor. Oh, a new pair of glasses would be nice for the guy with a small head and glasses that are eighteen sizes too big for him. SHAME SHAME SHAME FOOD NETWORK. Do you think we are fools? I dont know the demographic of your viewers however unless its uneducated rocker potheads then come on, do you really think you can pull a fast one on us and us actually believing it?

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  28. I watched the last episode and I too have no idea how the Nom Nom truck lost. I suppose that FN simply figured that they couldn't win everything and sent them on some wild goose chase after they had made the 1000 bucks.

    I'm of the opinion that some idiot producer somewhere thought it would look like a fix if Nom Nom won the 50k so fixed it for grill em all to win instead. Not realising that the shows fans were more than intelligent enough to be quite happy that the clearly better and professional truck won everything.

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  29. I like the truck foods eating. These are very good information sharing about the foods truck race. All people is like eating healthy and fresh testy foods. Truck are really very useful for every business.

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