Why I Think Adding Lisa Vanderpump Made Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars A Better Reality TV Show

 Lisa Vanderpump in Gordon Ramsay's Food Star.
Credit: Fox

I am a devoted Gordon Ramsay reality TV shows fan. His cooking competition shows are some of my favorite reality TV programs. They’re the best cooking shows to watch when you want to relax and watch people stress about cooking. Ramsay’s no-nonsense approach and charisma make these shows appealing. However, adding Lisa Vanderpump to Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars demonstrates that sometimes a TV series needs a little more than just the Ramsay appeal.

Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars is one of Fox and Ramsay’s latest collaborations. The series involves several contestants in the food and drink industry competing to have Ramsay invest in their business. Each week, they have challenges to prove they have enough business savvy to deserve an investment. Every week, Ramsay eliminates a contestant.

A version of the series originally debuted in the UK in 2022. It was called Gordon Ramsay's Future Food Stars. It aired for two seasons. There is also an Australian version called Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars Australia. The first season only involved Ramsay as mentor and judge, but Season 2 got a bit of a makeover with Lisa Vanderpump joining the series. It is the show’s best decision yet.

Lisa Vanderpump and Gordon Ramsay on Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars
Lisa Vanderpump and Gordon Ramsay on Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars

Lisa Vanderpump And Gordon Ramsay Have Great Co-hosting Chemistry

Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars is probably one of my least favorite Ramsay shows. And I think that’s because the first season was a bit boring. I don’t need Ramsay to scream at contestants to enjoy them. In fact, MasterChef and Next Level Chef are my favorite Ramsay shows. He yells occasionally in them, but it’s not the screaming Ramsay that people most associate with the celebrity chef.

Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars wasn’t boring because it didn’t have intense Ramsay. It was just missing something. Vanderpump became that missing piece. Ramsay has a personality that shines best when he can bounce off of someone else. We’ve seen that with his various Masterchef co-hosts. This part of his film persona really stands out in Next Level Chef with Nyesha Arrington and Richard Blais.

Vanderpump and Ramsay bring a new type of co-hosting chemistry that we haven’t seen in his previous series. It’s playful but also has an undertone of extreme competitiveness. Ramsay and Vanderpump probably don’t care much about who wins because it’s a reality TV show that likely doesn’t improve or hinder their lives. They are there to entertain most of all. However, the series convinces you that both hosts really want to win for the glory of it.

Blais and Arrington would enjoy winning but neither have that “I must beat Gordon” attitude (fake or real) that Vanderpump brings to the competition. It's entertaining that she may want the win just to say she beat Gordon Ramsay.

Lisa Vanderpump in Gordon Ramsay's Food Star
Lisa Vanderpump in Gordon Ramsay's Food Star

It Adds A Fun Element To Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars

In Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars Season 1, it was all about the competitors going against each other for the grand prize. Season 2 makes it not just about them but about Ramsay and Vanderpump going against each other. It adds an extra layer of competition that makes the show more fun.

It also makes Ramsay and Vanderpump more invested in their teams winning. The contestants on Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars Season 2 are somewhat interesting. However, I must admit, I am more invested in the Ramsay vs. Vanderpump competition. It has no real stakes but the winner can pretend it proves they are better at running businesses.

Gordon Ramsay and Lisa Vanderpump have built empires with various businesses and within the show business space. Their success ties directly into the appeal of their on-screen personalities. That’s why this battle between them is so interesting. It’s a battle of TV titans.

Gordon Ramsay and Lisa Vanderpump in Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars
Gordon Ramsay and Lisa Vanderpump in Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars

Vanderpump Brings Some Chaos To The Show

I love reality TV competition shows but I don’t often watch lifestyle-based reality TV. Despite them being considered some of the best reality TV shows ever created, I don’t watch The Real Housewives franchise, Vanerpump Rules, and other Lisa Vanderpump spin-off shows. Therefore, I had no prior knowledge of her personality.

However, she immediately brought chaos to the Season 2 premiere of Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars. Vanderpump was funny, charming, and unpredictable. Even when Ramsay is being chaotic, it feels more rehearsed and planned. Even if Vanderpump is just acting, her brand of chaos feels more spontaneous and unpredictable. It adds a tiny bit of unhinged energy to this Fox reality TV show.

My unfamiliarity with Vanderpump makes me more intrigued to see the dynamic she brings to Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars, and how that blends with Ramsay long term.

Lisa Vanderpump, Erica Bethe Levin, and Jess Druey in Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars
Lisa Vanderpump, Erica Bethe Levin, and Jess Druey in Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars

It Helps Food Stars Stand Out From Other Ramsay Series

Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars isn’t quite like the many other Fox Ramsay shows because it blends competition TV shows with docuseries. It’s less like Hell’s Kitchen and more like The Profit and other business-type reality TV.

Some of the changes in Season 2 make the show feel like it has found its identity. Season 1 and Season 2 have the same premise but minor changes, including adding Lisa Vanderpump, help shape the show into a competitive TV show that also offers some insight into running a business, and the things that come with that, like marketing, branding, and product development.

You understand this idea more by seeing the contrasting business approaches of Ramsay and Vanderpump.

Lisa Vanderpump and Gordon Ramsay on Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars
Lisa Vanderpump and Gordon Ramsay on Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars

It Opens The Door For Different Co-hosts In Future Seasons

I would gladly watch Lisa Vanderpump become Gordon Ramsay’s permanent co-host on Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars. However, I also wouldn’t mind the idea of a different co-host each season, or getting even more chaotic by adding a third co-host.

Vanderpump is great and I love her dynamic with Ramsay, but I am also curious to see his dynamic with other new co-hosts. Additionally, I would love to see other reality TV show titans compete against him in Food Stars.  Adding Vanderpump showed me how refreshing it is to see someone new, but a reality TV all-star, enter the world of Ramsay competition shows.

I wouldn’t go as far as to call Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars an underrated cooking show, but it may get there if Vanderpump continues to add a refreshing twist to the series.