We know that reality show hosts have to up the meanness factor from time to time all in the name of drama and good television -- aka Simon Cowell -- but some hosts have been pushing limits lately. One host of a food reality show may have even played a part in the demise of one contestant.
When you think mean food guy, you think chef Gordon Ramsay.
During a 2007 episode of Ramsay's reality show, Kitchen Nightmares, where the British chef pays surprise visits to floundering restaurants and suggests dramatic revamps to boost business, Ramsay stopped by Campania, Joseph Cerniglia's restaurant in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, about a half hour outside New York City.
He was not kind, of course, but that's Ramsay's shtick. Cerniglia was in debt and finding it difficult to manage the restaurant and his life. Ramsay shared his tough love know-how with Cerniglia. It seemed to work. A friend of mine who lives in the area actually tried to eat there once, but couldn't get a table, it was so packed!
Apparently, it wasn't enough.
Cerniglia's body was found in the Hudson River Friday, apparently the result of a suicide after jumping off the George Washington Bridge.
Of course, everyone is watching a replay of the episode -- the one where Ramsay made what is now being perceived as a very bad omen.
In telling Cerniglia that his food was boring and bland and that he was wasteful in his business practices, Ramsay told the restaurateur his business was going to "swim down the Hudson."
I'm sure Ramsay must feel terrible, and honestly, can't be made to take the full blame. Reality show. That means real. Real feelings, real people, real life. Everyone needs to remember that.
Image via Ian Walton/Getty