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In competitive cooking shows like Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay and many others, at the end of each round they show all of the competitors doing their final preparation and plating during the last minute, each of them finishing up just as the timer reaches 0:00. Even celebrity chef Bobby Flay finishes at the last second every time.

I assume this is all just editing trickery to provide suspense for the viewer, and many cooks may actually finish even a minute or two before the end. for some rounds. Is that the case?

Is their time management really that bad, or do they usually finish somewhat before the final bell?

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    As a note, I have occasionally seen them showing someone using the last few moments to clean up their station because they finished early :D... and then they usually get yelled at by the judges for making dishes that are too simple. – Catija Nov 1 '15 at 13:19
  • If they can finish everything they wanted to do right as time goes to 0:00, that tells me they have great time management. But the nature of the show dictates that almost everyone is going to end at 0:00, because that's where they have to end, and each contestant wants to do as much to their dish as they can, so they're going to take all the time they're given. And as @Catija says, some contestants do finish early, and that's usually taken as a negative because they could have used the last minute or two to improve their dish. (On the other hand, the last second addition often ruins a dish.) – blm Nov 1 '15 at 17:37
  • @blm My issue with the time management is every single time they show all the competitors in a mad dash to get done at exactly the last second. None of them are allowing any time to assess if everything is as it should be. It just seems staged to me (i.e. edited to look that way). – tcrosley Nov 1 '15 at 19:24
  • @tcrosley I wonder the same..I too think its just to maintain the excitement for viewers. Sometimes its shown that the contestant has just 30 seconds left.. and hasn't even started to plate up, and somehow manages to plate really beautifully. It all seems edited. – Freya Nov 4 '15 at 1:17
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    In this year's "Great British Bake Off", one of the contestants finished one round 20 minutes early and was then shown sitting on a stool looking embarassed. So they don't always finish in the last second. – Chenmunka Nov 18 '15 at 19:32

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