While I don't wish to discount her abilities, I must say, she's annoyed me from the first time I saw her.
The female singer I work with, however, has exactly the opposite opinion. She loves Rachael, and hates Alton Brown. Most of the other people I've spoken with in person like her as well. I was therefore quite surprised to recently find there are whole websites dedicated to reviling her. Surprised, but not entirely displeased.
Yes, her incessant laughter annoys me. I don't particularly worry about her "talking with her hands", I do that a lot myself. I also don't worry much about all the other things most people cite. What really bothers me is the same, fundamental thing that bothers me about Emeril. I really have no evidence of this, but my nearly five decades on the earth makes me pretty sure, nonetheless. They both look and act as if they are fully capable of getting really nasty if anyone gets in their way.
Doc Gibbs, the bandleader on Emeril's show, has said on camera Emeril can play drums, and I have seen Emeril say that if he wasn't a chef, he'd follow his "other talent" and play drums. I've also seen Emeril "jamming" with the band. Let me tell you, speaking as a musician, the guy is decidedly not
I think Emeril tells his people to say these things, and can get really mean if they don't. (As in "You want to keep this cushy gig where you don't even have to play my theme music? Then you say what I tell you to say!")
Rachael apparently doesn't claim to play drums, but to me she has the same look.