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'Check, Please!' Finalists and Fans To Wait a Little While Longer

By Janet Rausa Fuller | April 26, 2013 11:17am
 The search to replace "Check, Please!" host Alpana Singh (center) will come down to five finalists next week.
The search to replace "Check, Please!" host Alpana Singh (center) will come down to five finalists next week.
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Facebook/Check, Please!

CHICAGO — In the great waiting game that has been the "Check, Please!" audition process, there were hundreds of candidates. Then there were 17. And now there are five.

David Manilow, the show's executive producer, had said the big reveal of who would replace host Alpana Singh would happen on May 1.

Instead, Manilow said he will announce the final five candidates online on May 1.

Then, on May 17, WTTW-Ch. 11 will air a special edition of the show, featuring behind-the-scenes footage of those five finalists' studio auditions.

Finally, on May 29, the food world will know which of the five is the chosen one.

Then again, this all could change.

"Even today, in my car, I thought I had the final five and I switched one," Manilow said Friday morning. "It's still fluid."

Anticipation has been building ever since Singh announced early this year she would be stepping down as host of the popular restaurant review show after 10 years. Manilow opened the auditions, whittled down a field of nearly 1,000 applicants to 17, and then invited the public to vote online for their favorite.

Manilow would not reveal the results of the online voting, but said the top vote-getter is one of the five finalists.

Also Friday, Manilow launched PLANit Check, Please!, a compilation of food-related events around town that he said will be the most comprehensive of any around.

"I am amazed at all the experiential dining going on in Chicago, from collaborations, tastings, festivals, whatever," Manilow said. "And not just dining — cookbook events, demos. There's just so much stuff."

PLANit Check, Please! will take the form of a weekly e-newsletter sent out on Fridays at 10 a.m. as well as monthly calendars posted at planitcheckplease.com.

Unlike the decision on who the show's new host will be, the calendars are available now.