I can't stand any sort of scripted reality show and so I avoided Chopped up until just recently. One day I sort of came across it during a Summer lull and found it's far from a "reality" show. I really like the format for the most part because it leaves very little time for fake drama and theatrics. The judges are still a little phony with their pros and cons, and they have to throw in the insulting music changes whenever something negative is said, but overall it feels more like a real competition that is civil and focused.
I'd prefer the judges stop making statements and critiques that hang there awkwardly for dramatic effect (or possibly they stop editing it that way if that's what is going on) but overall it's better than all the other crape out there from American Idol and Survivor to Storage Wars and the Duck/Beard show.