Welcome back, ‘Gasmii! Sorry I bailed on you for the first hour of Sunday’s two-hour premiere of Next Food Network Star, but I really like this Game of Thrones business. I didn’t think I would—it’s soooo not my genre, but, well, it’s compelling television.
But so is the Food Network! In fact, I’m late in writing this recap today because I got sucked into yet another episode of Barefoot Contessa making pastry dough. I don’t know what it is about it—her absolute insistence on COLD ingredients, the pleasant whir of the KitchenAid, or that ubiquitous blue button-down, but I just love it. But I pulled myself away in order to bring you the following recap. Let’s go!
As many of you know, this is the seventh season of Next Food Network Star. Supposedly, Food TV is looking for the next big personality, but really, I think they’re just trying to capitalize on this reality show thing. And it works—when not obligated to watch because I’m recapping it, I’m watching because I want to see who goes home this week. Will it be the doofus or the schmuck or the bitch? (Remember the early days of this show, when it was just nice wholesome people cooking food and flubbing their lines on camera, and that’s it?)
What I wonder is, does the Food Network realize how crappy this show makes their current crop of chefs look? It never fails—whenever a current star shows up to judge a challenge, he or she comes across pretty badly. I get that they’re trying to be as “realistic” as possible, scaring the contestants a little to get them to respect the process, (and they know what makes good TV), but it sours me on watching Good Eats to see Alton’s mean streak.
Enough rambling, let’s get on with it.
America’s favorite culinary ginger, Bobby Flay, is back as celebrity host, and he’s joined by our usual stink-eyed Food TV execs Bob and Susie. You know we’ll also rub elbows along the way with the other Food TV stars—Screechael Ray, Guy FeeYeti, and my BFF Ina. The challenges will always include the following recipe: one celebrity judge, an unusual venue/challenge, a dollop of eh food, braised with drama/tears/temper tantrums…and the finished dish? Someone going home.
The contestants all arrive in sunny LA to get this party started. (The opening theme is underwhelming, by the way. “Here I come….here I come…here I come…” Thanks.) We come upon a meathead strolling down the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This is Chris, a spray-tanned frat boy who insists that he can cook anything. He trained at some French school that trained Bobby Flay. He comes upon a star that reads “Food Network Star.” Really? And he heads into Grandma’s Chinese Theater. (Meanwhile, where is everyone else on that stupid sidewalk? I nearly lost my 6’4” boyfriend there several times the week before the Oscars, it was so damn crowded.)
Next, we meet a corn-fed blonde, Jyll, who considers herself “a performer first.” She owns a catering company named “Jyllicious Bites” or something. Wow. She claps at Chris.
Some old slutbag gets out of a limo in leopard print platform heels that are too big on her feet, slapping down the sidewalk in a furry vest. She kinda looks like Gene Simmons. This is Penny. She wants to market herself as “Stilettos in the Kitchen.” OMG, Sex and the City just won’t die, will it?
Yuck. Nowhere in the world is that good fashion sense.
A very thin blonde girl with a plate-face arrives, blathering about having been a model, going to culinary school, and so on. She pronounces things a little funny already—hope I get a better ear for it later to make some meanly apt comment about it. I think she’s the one my boyfriend referred to as Linda Hamilton? Anyway, this is Alicia.
It almost goes without saying that as each contestant arrives, we get a little talking head from the others about the newcomer. Penny thinks Alicia’s a waif, while she’s a voluptuous Middle Eastern woman. Well, those are facts you just stated, I think, so good job!
Whitney walks up wearing a cut-off tent. She quit her job as an engineer to become a chef. She’s very focused, she says. Good for her! She reminds me of someone we all know. Anyone come up with it yet? Help! Then comes Justin, a food blogger who really enjoys food! That is a good skill to have when writing about food!
Juba walks up next, informing us that he’s been told many times that he’d be good on TV. By whom? Mom? People who hate your guts and are trying to passive-aggressively slam you in a way that you think is a compliment? He’s very tall.
Then we meet Katie. She immediately tells us that she has multiple points of view. Oh no, please don’t come in spouting the show lexicon already. I don’t want to hear about “point of view” until Bob, Susie, or Bobby say it! She’s an attractive brunette who doesn’t necessarily stand out. Maybe she needs a bowling shirt, backwards sunglasses, bleach blonde hair, and a booming aggro-voice to stand out a little more.
Orchid is the cutest thing, a shorter, rounder Asian woman with a great smile. She’s obviously read How to Win Friends and Influence People, as she immediately asks Whitney and Penny about themselves. Whitney and Penny are all too happy to brag about their awesomesauce, and Orchid’s graciously nodding with impressed faces. She says she’s nervous, she feels intimidated, but I hope she goes farther than Whitney and Penny. (She “only” owns a BBQ restaurant, hasn’t been classically trained. Kick those asses, Orchid!)
Another Justin shows up. This one is taller, thinner, has a measured faux-hawk and soul patch, both things that suck. He’s also wearing a motorcycle jacket (which looks suspiciously like the one I got at Target for $29.99 last fall) and spacer gauges in his earlobes. So, this will be Justin Trying Too Hard. (As opposed to Justin Food Blogger, who may also be trying too hard, but please don’t get confused.) ooh, but wait! Justin Trying Too Hard is a fishmonger! People are actually fishmongers? That’s kinda awesome!
Susie stumbles on the sidewalk as she joins the group. She’s apparently Mexican, sharing with us that her family came to the US to pick fruits and vegetables, and now she owns a catering company. She’s also a private chef in Aspen, which means she’s doing pretty well for herself. I think I want to like her.
Some guy struts up, and I’m like, “Is that John C. Reilly? Is that Jason Segel? I can’t tell who that is!!!” It’s neither John C. Reilly nor Jason Segel. It’s Howie. He’s in radio, and let’s just say…you can tell. Howie, not so hottie.
Whitney’s upset because Howie’s here to be a personality—he’s not so great in the kitchen. WELL. Whitney thinks this is terrible. But Whitney? It’s a television show…about becoming a television star. Personality and entertainment sensibilities HAVE to be a part of it. Take away my flop sweat and MicroMachine speaking speed and I could be the Next Food Network Star! I can cook, and I gots personality!
(And this leads me to think—what other “talent” competition shows judge you on multiple axes like this? Idol? You just gotta sing pretty well—personality is a part of it, but really, it’s just one thing you get judged on. Design shows? It’s about the design, not the personality. Top Chef? It’s the food, stupid. So, this is pretty complicated, this NFNS!)
Oh wait, we’re still meeting people. Some thick doofus shows up, a former comedian trying to switch careers a bit. Bah, he’s just here for some TV exposure for his comedy career, right? This is Jeff, by the way. Katie thinks he’s a “good package.” Whoa, keep it PG, Katie.
A staid-looking middle aged woman arrives, and we learn that she’s a former lawyer turned food critic. Oh goodness, so she’ll be a hard-ass, then? She considers herself to be the love child of Ina and Alton. Ick. Oh crap, what’s her name? I’ll tell you later.
Speaking of ick, here comes Vic! Vic Vegas. Blech. He fancies himself to be the next Vin Diesel, clearly, strutting up the street with his bald head, tattoos, and piercings. We see some Facebook photos of him, arm-wrestling and making duck-face. He thinks people see him as a tough guy, but he makes sure we know he’s a softie. Yes, Vic, the waxed eyebrows kinda gave that away.
And that’s that, we’ve met ‘em all. They chat a while outside the theater, but then the doors open, and OMG, it’s Bobby Flay and Giada DiLaurentiis! Frat Boy Chris chimes in with an extra loud, “Looking good, chefs!” to set himself apart from the crowd. He succeeds, in that he looks like an asshole when the others do not.
Wow, that really is an ENORMOUS head. She should give all her earnings to her poor mother.
Bobby and Giada give everyone the rundown—that this is a competition to get your own TV show, so personality counts, but “you can’t win if you can’t cook.” Everyone look at Howie, right? (They do.) Then Giada reminds us that you can’t be a carbon copy of everyone else, you have to have your own pizzazz to stand out and get your own show. Ya know what? There are only so many points of view out there, so I hope no one gets too creative with this and makes themselves look stupid (Penny).
First challenge! Breakfast challenge! Bobby explains that this meal should show “who you are, on a plate.” They’ll have 45 minutes to complete the challenge. Well, if this were me, it’d be easy. I’d make the same ol’ six egg whites and old fashioned oatmeal I always make for myself. It’s healthy and proteiny, and it’s quick. Maybe with the other 41 minutes I’d have left, I’d make my own granola to sprinkle on top and jazz up some ketchup for the eggs with a little cumin? Yeah, I’m the Next Food Network Star! (Seriously, cumin ketchup? WIN. Going to try that tomorrow!)
And then we get into the meat of the cooking, with people searching for ingredients, running with knives, and burning their food. Only some people are wearing aprons, which kinda downgrades the culinary expertise of this show a little bit. Like, they just pulled 15 jackasses off the street to cook breakfast.
Alicia, the model chick with the weird voice, is trying to make crepes, which is fine, but she keeps leaving her station (while chanting, “never leave a crepe, never leave a crepe”). Also, her hair is totally down, no ponytail or nothin’, so I think the judges will be eating hair crepe with eggs.
Vincent Vega, I mean, Vic Vegas, is making lobster sliders or something. He says his food is all about glitz and glamour. Frat Boy Chris thinks Vic bit off more than he can chew. Penny’s all confidence about her French toast with poached fruits, steak, and Greek yogurt drizzle. Sounds delicious, actually.
The comedian guy is making a sandwich, because he insists that he’s the best with sandwiches. (How much you want to bet that his sandwiches fall flat every time?) Also, I spy a wedding ring, so Katie’s S.O.L.
Everyone’s spazzing in general. Vic’s running out of time. Whitney doesn’t know where to put everything she’s using. Chris cuts his chicken to plate it, and it’s pink inside. Alicia’s about to cry because she can’t plate her stuff fast enough. Sissies.
Lawyer-cum-food critic whose name I didn’t get yet is the official time caller for the challenge, by the way. You always need to have one of those. “Ten seconds…!” And that’s it, time! Vic can’t find his lobster tails. That’s a shame.
Bobby and Giada come out to call time, and they’re soon joined by Bob and Susie of Food TV. It’s time for the first camera challenge. They’ll each have one minute to present themselves and their dish, and this is Bob and Susie’s first time to get a sense of their next star. Back to the stew room, you all go, please!
Vic Vegas rips the bandaid off by going first. (I have no idea if this is by choice, actually, but it makes sense to put him out of his misery already.) His waxed brows arch sadly as he haltingly explains his dish. Susie Food TV picks at it, looking for the lobster that he mentioned. His confidence is nil, and it shows. Dude, plow ahead like the lobster’s there, THEN explain your folly! Bobby gives Vic a penalty for the missing food, but otherwise, the panel seems to like him.
“Explain it to me again? I put food on the plate, and then I’ll get judged on it?”
Alicia, the model chick, is next. She flounces in with all her hair flung about. By the way, she pronounces it “A-LISH-ah”, not “Ah-LEE-sha.” I hate A-LISH-ah. She goes into full Valley Girl speak and looks down a lot while she talks to the camera. Her “angle,” by the way, is something about guilty pleasures. So, eggs and a crepe are a guilty pleasure?
We steamroll past a few people to get to Orchid, whose food sounds delicious and whose presentation apparently went very well. The judges love her. Susie Food TV likes how Jyll talks about food, and Giada laughs at Comedian’s “between two buns” joke. He actually has a pretty good tagline already, about making any meal into a sandwich and any sandwich into a meal. (Just don’t steal my Reuben meatloaf idea, please!) (Don’t none of you, neither!)
I finally learn the lawyer/food critic’s name. Is it any surprise to you that it’s MaryBeth? No? No. (She chokes on her presentation, by the way. Any Ah Suppressor would have a lot to count.)
Howie, who’s neither John C. Reilly nor Jason Segel, is great on camera but he says the word “basic” or “basically” about a zillion times. Is that his angle? His angle sucks. Oh, and then he thinks it’s a good idea to tell the judges that he’s a novice. Bob Food TV really doesn’t like it at all.
Frat Boy Chris falls flat, too, thanks to his chickenless chicken dish. Just a fritatta does not a Food Network star make, bro.
Katie’s next. She’s okay, I guess. Nothing terrible, but she gets nervous at the end and says something silly. Hey, I understand. I tend to manufacture words when I get flustered. At least she spoke English! But wait, that fractured point of view is becoming a problem already. Bobby Flay’s like, “okay, so your thing is that you like French food?” “Nope!” Ah, but Bobby clings to that, since this was a “getting to know you” challenge. If French influence isn’t your thing, why mention it? She starts rattling off a zillion things she likes/is influenced by. What a mess.
Juba’s next. I keep wanting to call him Jabu. Forgive me if I do sometimes, please. For someone who’s been told he’d be great on TV, he sucks. He stammers and stalls worse than anyone there, which is a shame. The judges are all ready to move on, but Giada saves Juba when she says his dish is her favorite so far.
The judges convene to announce the winner, and it’s Orchid! She’s genuinely shocked, and I like her just a little more. (I also like Susie Mexican, whom the judges criticized for running away from her Mexican roots when that’s the very thing setting her apart. Don’t they already have a few failed Mexican-themed chefs on their roster? Don’t pigeonhole her!)
Juba and MaryBeth get called out for being sucky on camera. MaryBeth gets a double-whammy when Bobby F. says her food was only so-so, too. Ouch. She hates being called mediocre and will pout about it all night. Just wait.
A very small part of the drama on this show is the contestants’ home life. They all arrive at the mansion where they’ll be staying, with a nice pool and vaulted ceilings. They can see the Hollywood sign from the kitchen, I think. That’s pretty cool. Oh, and then there are bunk beds. Popped that ego a little, boys and girls, didn’t we?
Some of the guys get right on the pool table, of course. Ugh. I don’t know what I have against billiards now. I used to play all the time! Whatever. The guy who’s a “good package,” the comedian, talks about successfully starting a family, how close he is to his son, etc. The rest of ‘em sit around and talk about the competition. Susie Mexican seems to understand now that she’ll need to bring the Latin influence back into her food/style for the rest of the show.
The next AM, bright and early, the contestants are driven to the Farmer’s Market. Thomas Dolby is there to greet them. Oh wait, that’s Alton Brown. Anyway, Alton’s acting like a drill sergeant, which is kinda annoying. Jyll, in particular, is pretty scared. Orchid fears the challenge when she hears that it’s a group challenge, knowing she’ll be matched with dumbasses who were bad on camera.
So the challenge is this: make a promo for your proposed new show, as a part of a team. Three contestants will team up to make one promo of three parts. Each part needs to flow into the other part, though, for “a block of cohesive programming.” Each team gets four takes. The takes are continuous, though, so they ALL have to do well or they ALL have to start over. They can also use props, which makes me a little afraid.
Whitney, MaryBeth Not Mediocre, and Justin Trying Too Hard/Fishmonger
Vic Vegas, Howie-Not-C. Reilly-Segal, and Jyllicious
Susie Mexican, Katie Multiple Points of View, and Frat Boy Chris
Orchid, Jeff (who is Jeff?), and Jabu/Juba (oh, Jeff is Good Package Comedian)
Slutty Penny, Justin Food Blogger, and A-ISH-ah.
First team goes, and I’m totally focused on this “four takes” idea. How much time did they have to write their scripts, pick props, decide their settings, and rehearse? Anyway, MaryBeth does fine, pretty much, but Justin Trying Too Hard biffs it. They do it again, and MaryBeth is, again, fine, but Alton cuts on Justin, wanting him to really ham it up with his fish prop. Whitney is trying to get Justin to smile, but he’s obstinant and won’t.
By the third take, I realize MaryBeth isn’t saying “wholest food trends,” but is saying “COOLEST food trends.” Also, her third take is totally flat. She’s so over it. Justin fails again! Fourth take! MaryBeth’s “food critic” prop of a notepad and pen is so fake by now, and she’s STILL over it. Justin almost gets it, but fails again. He recovers enough to throw it to Whitney, who nails her take in one try. I think I don’t like her because she’s accustomed to being successful.
Next up is Frat Boy Chris, Crazy Katie, and Susie Mexican. Crazy Katie gets props for each of her points of view. Uh oh. They get set up, which takes Katie a long time because she’s got so much stuff. And she’s trying to lie down on the counter or something, to be sexy? I don’t know. She knocks over half her props, though. Frat Boy Chris rolls his eyes.
The first take is no good. Susie’s first, and her guitar prop is distracting, and she’s kinda all over the place. Alton has her lose the guitar and focus a little on her speech. Her second take is a little better, but her transition to Katie is totally awkward. Katie’s also awkward, with her sneakers and kettlebell and Fancy Feast room service tray and wooden spoon and pan and wine and pearls and high heels and fruit, as well as her awkward Costanza on a velvet couch pose.
Now it’s take three, and Susie does well. Better transition, too. Katie was advised to lose some of the props, and she does better this time. Chris opens with “What is up, what is up, what is up.” It sounds DUMB, dumb, dumb. They do one more take, and Chris ends this time with “Stay awesome.” First, Chris, you have to START being awesome.
It’s time for the third team to go: Howie Not-Segel, Vic Vegas, and Jyll. Howie’s steamrolling the group and will go first, leaving Jyll to go last. She is a team player, though, so she doesn’t complain even though she wants to. Howie eats up the first two takes the group’s got, which is so thoughtful and awesome. By the time the third take happens, Vic forgets Jyll’s name and can’t “throw” it to her. Jyll’s pissed.
“I suck so bad, and no, I was not in Stepbrothers OR Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Also, I can’t really cook at all. Over to you, Vic!”
Speaking of Jyll, the poor girl hasn’t even gotten a chance to do ONE take, but Alton’s up her ass about not using the teleprompter. (Isn’t that spelled a proprietary way? Like Dumpster is supposed to be capitalized? Whatever.) He insists that she not use it because her eyes won’t be looking at the camera. But she’s only got one take! My stomach hurts on her behalf. In the end, Alton lets her use the prompter, but he’s surly about it. Fourth take is fine, but Jyll is definitely reading that prompter, and it’s no good. Sigh.
“It’s true, you sucked so bad.”
Fourth team’s time! It’s Orchid, Comedian Jeff, and Jabu. Jeff’s first, and he effs up the first take by mispronouncing Orchid like the first part rhymes with “porch”. No bueno. Take two: Jeff is fine, Orchid’s fine (if not a little too Rachael Ray-ey), and Jabu messes it all up. It’s like his tongue is as gangly as his body. Alton hates his concept, too (“Simple Complex”—huh?). Take three: just like the second, Juba misses it. Fourth take? Oh good, Juba finally spits it out. I don’t get the “art and science” thing he’s going for, but it’s better than “Simple Complex.”
“You guys are shorter and spoke better than I did. High five!”
Last group is A-LISH-ah, Penny, and Justin Food Blogger. They sit down to hash out their plan, and it’s already a clash of the bitches. ALISHah is trying to boss everyone around, but Penny’s doing that annoying buzzer sound when ALISHah says things she doesn’t like. She keeps doing it, driving ALISHah (and me) bonkers. Then she high-fives Justin, saying, “I just brought sexy back!” What? I really don’t get it. What did I miss?
First take: ALISHah is first. She speaks so quietly, you can barely hear her. Also, I’m getting closer to figuring out her speech problem. It’s not an accent so much as it is that she sounds like she’s got a perma-frog in her throat AND she tends to swallow some of her words before they make it out. Bubbles in throats AND swallowing words AND Valley Girl accent (which the judges already said they hate) AND not speaking up? NO GOOD. Alton tells her to speak up, she says she can’t because her accent will come out. And then she cries. STOP CRYING.
“This is hard, OMG, gag me with a spoon. Like, totally.”
Take two: ALISHah is a little louder but no better. She throws it to Justin Food Blogger, who flubs his last lines. Take three: it’s fine, I guess, but Penny tries way too hard at the end to sexily turn her back and stare down the persimmon she’s holding. Alton all but laughs out loud. So, it’s take four, then. Oh wait, it’s a dragonfruit she’s holding sexily? Whatever, take four is done.
“You’re both right! You both suck so bad!”
Alton announces the next part of their day, which is another challenge. They’ll stay in the same teams, only now they’ll cook as a team for some members of the “media elite,” I think they called them. Mario Lopez is part of the media elite? Not really. Some other magazine editors are there, too, I think. Well, okay. Oh, and they each have to create a personal dish, then collaborate on a team dish. Two hours to cook. GO.
The only thing that’s elite here is his hair gel.
They go shopping. Justin Food Blogger is fed up with dealing with Penny and ALISHah, and they’re just deciding on whether or not to buy another bottle of vinegar. ALISHahs weird voice is even worse when she stumbles over her words to fight back against Penny. And Penny? You’re being unnecessarily harsh. Your eyebrows aren’t helping.
Orchid’s team wants to make key lime pie for their collaborative dish, but there are no key limes in store. Uh oh. Comedian Jeff wants brioche for his sammich, but there is no brioche. So he gets ciabatta bread. Hmm. Bread lovers know that this is no good for a sandwich. Meanwhile, Frat Boy Chris wants to use some of their food budget to get beer. Katie wants the money to go towards better chocolate for their collaborative dish. We’ll see how this works out.
Cooking, cooking, cooking. The usual drama. Since this is a two-hour show and I’ve got a garden to go weed (damn stinging nettles), I’ll summarize it all in one paragraph or two. ALISHah and Penny are bickering. Jyll keeps checking on the team, which is great, but it makes her own dishes suffer a little. Team Orchid/Juba/Jeff Comedian make their key lime pie into a “Que? Lime pie,” adding some Mexican flavors in there to support the pun. (I like.) More bickering from ALISHah about boiling pears. (They were not supposed to boil. Blame Penny.)
“I hope ALISHah dies. What? You can taste emotions in someone’s food? Good, I HOPE THEY CHOKE ON IT. ALISHah sucks so bad.”
Prep time is done, they head off to the venue to finish cooking for this team of the media elite. Snort. Team Penny/ALISHah/Justin Food Blogger goes first. They’ll finish cooking, then they’ll head out to watch their promo spots with the judges, then the judges will eat. Penny talks too much about being sexy. It’s not sexy. Their promo is…fine. Alton’s at the table with the judges, filling them in on how the promo shoots went. Yikes, there is no hiding from these judges! By the way, for all Penny’s bitching about the poached pears? The judges loved ‘em.
Oh yeah, MaryBeth Food Critic! I forgot about her already! It’s her team’s turn in the kitchen. No drama there, so let’s go to the table with their food. No drama there (MaryBeth, stop being mediocre!), so we go to the promo. Oh, Justin Trying Too Hard, you effed up that take and ruined it for your team! The judges seem impressed with Whitney. They don’t like MaryBeth’s “food critic” schtick, because it doesn’t seem like she’s cooking anything!
Time for Jyll, Vic, and Howie Not-Segel C. Reilly. Jyll’s helping Howie way too much. Remember, he’s a novice. And at the end of their prep time, she collides with Vic and his dishes (greasy looking calamari with breading falling off) go flying. So, he again has no food to present. Nice. They head out, explain their food, and watch their promo. Unfortunately, Jyll appears to be the loser here, though all her failures are thanks to Howie.
Bobby gives Vic shit for his stuff going flying at the last second, saying that “this is the chance of a lifetime, you have to adapt.” How do you adapt to losing your dish to gravity when there is no more time? Spend years working on the time-space continuum so you can rewind time and either make the calamari NOT splatter against the floor or give yourself enough time to make a new dish? Wow, that’s quite an adaptation to make, BOBBY. The judges generally don’t like this team at all. Oh, and they hate Howie’s gnocchi.
“I’m still having trouble with this, guys. We put food? on the plates? And then they decide if we’re good, or if we suck so bad?”
Team Orchid’s turn. No drama in the kitchen, so it’s right out to the judges. They’re fine up until the explanation for the collaboration dish. We know by now that Jabu doesn’t have a way with words AT ALL, so Jeff Comedian was going to explain the “Que? Lime” name. Jabu takes it instead and botches it. The judges are all confused. Their promo underwhelms the judges, and they can’t understand why Juba sucks so bad.
“I’m going to pretend to not get it just so Jaba can feel stupid about his tongue tied suckiness, because I really like tearing people down. I don’t like building them up so much, just want to make some money. KTHXBAI.”
Finally, it’s Susie Mexican, Crazy Katie, and Frat Boy Chris. Frat Boy doesn’t like Susie’s sauce for the collaborative dish, thinks it’s too spicy. He gets whiny and says he won’t serve something that will burn people’s mouths. What a wimp! Turns out? The judges LOVED the sauce. Asshole. Their promo wasn’t so good—they went with that first or second take, where Susie’s stilted and throws the awkward transition, Katie is spazzy, and Chris is all “yo yo yo.” Ugh.
While the judges evaluate, and I’ll spare you the specifics because it doesn’t matter until we get to the final segment when someone wins and someone goes home, Jyll and Howie try to talk out their experience in the kitchen. Jyll wants Howie to acknowledge that he ate up a lot of her time with his “novice” situation, but he won’t admit it. She is astonished that he won’t admit it, and the whole conversation is really awkward. She’s like “WOW, this isn’t going how I thought it would go!” Which is a weird thing to say out loud. Think it, but say something more constructive.
And it’s time to pick a winner! It’s probably not a surprise that Team Orchid won! The judges pick at the “Que? Lime Pie” thing a second, until Jeff Comedian explains it HIS way, which is effective enough for Bob Food TV. Bob says that Juba’s explanation sucked, basically. Nice. They ding Jeff for his dry bread, and Susie Food TV dings the “Between Two Buns” name, too. But Orchid is the savior for the team—they loved her.
Now time to pick on everyone else! Team Crazy Katie/Susie Mexican crap on Frat Boy Chris about the beer thing. The judges criticize him for the frat clown schtick. They like his food, though. They like Katie’s S’mores, too. They were just distracted by her craziness (and overuse of props). They love Susie Mexican, in general.
Time to pick on MaryBeth Mediocre, Justin Trying Too Hard, and Whitney. They’re pretty boring, and Bob Food TV calls them out for it. MaryBeth cries about being mediocre and calm, “not a star,” as Bob said. Wah! They think Justin Trying Too Hard is too serious, he needs to be more zippy. Whitney is fine, and they like her food. She’ll be middle of the pack for a while, then I hope she leaves.
Now time to pick on those who might go home! Two teams remain. First is Team ALISHah, Penny, and Justin Food Blogger. The team admits that they didn’t click. The judges admit that they thought the promo sucked. The judges also admit they loved the poached pears, which makes ALISHah smile and Penny frown. They call out Penny for trying too hard to be sexy, which ends up being trashy. Penny cries about being sexy and wearing stilettos. Oh my god. The judges remind ALISHah that she needs to have thick skin to be on TV. Stop crying.
Finally, onto Team Howie, Jyll, and Vic. They really are a mess. Nothing was delicious, their promo wasn’t good…one of them is definitely going home. The judges call out Jyll for not taking care of her own stuff, and they really pick at Vic for not having food to share—AGAIN. Giada tells Howie his gnocchi stink. Bobby Flay tells Jyll the beet salad was delicious. Howie tries to take credit. Howie sucks. Vic is told to stop looking so mean.
The judges waffle for a bit, but in the end, they decide they want to see more from Vic and Jyll, so Howie, he who is not John C. Reilly nor Jason Segel, is going home. GOODBYE. Novices are not stars, and his attitude sucked. Glad he’s gone.
I said, KTHXBAI.
Next week on Next Food Network Star, in a cloud of key phrases with exclamation points!: Someone goes home after the camera challenge in the beginning! Firing line of celebrity judges! More drama betwixt Penny and ALISHah! ALISHah cries!
Come back next week! I’ll be on a business trip, so someone will be filling in for me, but I’ll be back for the rest of the season! Hope you can handle that. Stay awesome.