Did Kalb ever consider not competing, or asking if you could defer a season? "No. I thought the opposite, that they would want to replace me," says Kalb, who got COVID last August, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. "The producers felt sorry for me and kept checking in, but there was no question I was still going to be on it as long as I was not contagious. Now thinking about it from a producer’s standpoint, it’s actually a good thing because it made things interesting and, at the end of the day, they’re making a TV show. I can’t say I was smart in my decision-making, I really can’t. There was no heavy analysis of the pros and cons or anything like that. I guess it was such a long interview process that by the time I got on it, I figured, 'Why not? If I embarrass myself and make an a** of myself, at least I can say I went on it.' In some ways, it was kind of freeing. I gave myself permission to do whatever because I had very little to lose." Why did he keep it a secret? "That was strategic on my part, thinking if I were in their shoes and there’s one schmuck without his taste, who are you gonna pick last?" he says. "It’s pretty obvious. And I have no idea if the judges knew or not. I assume they didn’t, and I never asked." ALSO: Now that Kalb's taste is back, he's looking forward to re-creating the dishes he cooked on the show.
TOPICS: Top Chef, Bravo, Jackson Kalb, Coronavirus, Reality TV