In reading some comments from another post, I started thinking.... nobody really likes Padma on Top Chef, do they? To me she has never seemed like she is enjoying herself. She comes across as a little impatient with Tom and the other judges, and seems to serve no function other than being pretty.
I've also read many articles on line (who knows how much of this is true) that describe her as difficult on the set, unable to speak without being prompted by the producers, demanding and nasty. Since she seems to be merely slogging through it for the paycheck, why can't they find someone with an actual passion for food?