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Malibu Man Proves the Rich Can Compete on Realty TV Shows, Too

But is it fair?

Leslie Gilliams. Photo courtesy "Master Chef."
Leslie Gilliams. Photo courtesy "Master Chef."

Does one really need to be in dire straits to be a reality TV contestant? It’s a standard trope for sure, but what if you’re a man of means? What if you’re from … Malibu?

That’s the burden one “cheftestant” on Fox TV’s Master Chef is facing, enduring ridicule from fellow contestants and even a judge.

“Do you really need this competition?” Master Chef Judge and Michelin star recipient Graham Elliot asks Leslie Gilliams.

In fact, Malibu appears to have become a character on the show. In his at-home footage, Gilliams is seen showing off a colorful living room with a grand piano, a gourmet kitchen and his yacht.

Yes. His yacht.

“I can’t complain. I would be a fool if I did,” he tells the camera.

But when another contestant says, “You live in Malibu” like it’s an accusation, Gilliams comes back fighting.

“You want to know why I live in Malibu, sweetheart? It’s because I worked my ass off. You know what work is? I got where I got because I worked.”

The fact that Gilliams is listed in his talking heads as a stay-at-home dad may confuse, but he is listed as an actor and producer at IMDb. He’s more famously known as Melissa Joan Hart’s stepfather after he married Paula Hart, producer and writer for, among other things, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.

Malibu may have the last laugh, though. In winning the elimination round on Monday night’s show, Gilliams declared his doughnuts a taste of “Malibu sunshine.”

The judges agreed.


DO YOU THINK A CONTESTANT HAS TO BE IN FINANCIAL NEED TO FAIRLY COMPETE ON A REALITY TV SOW? TELL US IN THE COMMENTS: 


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