The Judge Who Keeps It Real: Tom Colicchio, Top Chef
When it comes to reality show judges, most usually fall into one of two groups: those who are overly nice and afraid to offend/critique, and those who are excessively mean. Colicchio, however, strikes the perfect balance. Yes, he has his shortcomings (we're pretty sure he's still obsessing over Paul's use of arugula), but he's direct and honest without being pandering or nasty. Colicchio will be the first to compliment a cheftestant on a great dish and will also not hesitate to tell it like it is when their stuff's not up to snuff. With "saves" and second chances all the rage in the reality universe, it's refreshing to watch Colicchio cut someone like delusional, butcher-illiterate hopeful Tyler Stone down to size — and out of the competition.
Photo Credits: Steve Granitz, WireImage; photo: Prashant Gupta / FX Networks; CBS Photo Archive, CBS via Getty Images; J. Vespa/Getty Images; ABC; NBC, NBC via Getty Images; Getty Images/NBC; Randy Shropshire/Getty Images; Sonja Flemming, CBS