The first ten minutes of Iron Chef USA were epic. Shatner doing an over-the-top Chairman Kaga impression, wacky catch phrases (turn up the heat!), and an assortment of goofy iron chefs. But it was downhill from there, very downhill. I'm glad to hear others agree.
When a movie or a show is a cult hit and has a certain weird draw, let it be. Don't by any means try to copy it, removing all the weird little bits of context that make it great. All the great parts of the original Iron Chef that were changed, changed for the worse. Putting microphones on the chefs? bad idea. Putting someone down on the kitchen floor that doesn't seem to know what is going on? bad idea. Putting nothing but celebrities on the judgement panel? bad idea. Having commentators that know nothing about food and were probably a couple of football announcer dropouts? bad idea. Putting fake applause claptracks in the background and peppering the audience with fake signage as if they were really into something that was just debuted? really bad idea.
The original Iron Chef is about food first and competition takes a back seat, but the american version is one big stupid showoff affair that came off as nothing but horribly fake and contrived.