The simple fact that Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs is cocreating a celebrity reality cooking competition is enough to suggest that we live in a bizzaro world of a madman's making. Now, that world is turning upside down: NBC announced today that the host of Celebrity Cooking Showdown, which premieres April 17, will be Alan Thicke.
Thicke played the nearly perfect TV dad of the Seaver family on the long-running sitcom Growing Pains. Through seven seasons on the family sitcom, Thicke's psychiatrist dad gave advice and prescribed love to his kids struggling through adolescence. After that show ended, he went on to star in his own cleverly titled talk show, Thicke of the Night.
Thicke's cohost on Showdown will be Sandra Lee, host of Semi-Homemade Cooking on The Food Network.
Before you say, "This can't get any better," check out the other sweet celebrities Diddy has lined up to face off in his "kitchen stadium."
Signed up to "pan" the competition are pugilistic supermodel Naomi Campbell, soap star Allison Sweeney, country music star Big Kenny, Kansas City Chief Tony Gonzales, rapper/actor Ja Rule, volleyball hottie Gabrielle Reese, former O-Town member Ashley Parker Angel, and Miss USA 2005, Chelsea Cooley. The icing on this cake: Tom Arnold.
Celebrity Cooking Showdown teams nine celebrities with three famous chefs (Wolfgang Puck, Cat Cora, and Govind Armstrong). The chefs train the stars in a kitchen "boot camp," after which they enter the arena and do battle in real time in front of a studio audience.
Professional event planner Colin Cowie and New York magazine restaurant critic Gael Greene will join Cora, Puck, and Govind as in-studio judges. Viewers can vote for their favorite presentations during the early rounds, but in the end it is entirely up to the judges.
Puffy served up a piping-hot statement, spicing up the juice bathing this filet, saying, "We're going to have a wide spectrum of cooking challenges to match the skills of our stars. People love seeing celebrities under pressure--and with this show, if you can't stand the heat, you better get out of our kitchen."