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The Next Food Network Star

I already don't like this show. What does this have to do with getting a show on the Food Network. Totally different show than last year. Top Chef ripoff anyone? All the sterotypical personalities you find on every reality show with the artificially created drama. Been there, done that.

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  1. Total Top Chef rip. Right down to the FN exec purusing the kitchen ala Tom Collichio.....
    and the disaster continues to unfold

    16 Replies
    1. re: monavano

      And why didn't *one* chef -- judges or contestants -- realize a fondant covered cake is *not* vegetarian? Hello? And some of them are supposed to be caterers?

      Yes, I realize the cakes were done before the wedding catering, but still... *know* your ingredients! Have respect for the clients! In fact, know *more* than they do about the ingredients!

        1. re: Sharuf

          It's not vegan, but it is vegetarian. The wedding couple did not ask for vegan.

          Yes, the show is utterly foolish. Does FN really need more talent? They already hired Guy Fieri, Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh. And none of those 3 have managed to reach the level of "star" IMO. The show exists for its own (rather small) entertainment value. The end result--the winner's tv career--is hardly as important. The things they put the contestants through aren't all that useful in determining how well they'd do as hosts of food shows.

          1. re: prac

            Fondant is made with gelatin. It's not just not vegan, it's not at all vegetarian. As for the cake being made before the knowledge of the vegetarianism, I noted that in my post. It would have been an important question to ask the clients. Most people don't realize fondant is not vegetarian -- even most vegetarians. How many chowhounds didn't know this?

            To my mind it is incumbent to educate your clients with this sort of information. So many chefs put down vegetarians, but it is a choice they make. If a client didn't realize a dish contained an ingredient to which he or she is mildly allergic -- hence not a life or death issue -- wouldn't they still want to know? You become knowledgeble, you ask, and you inform. It's called respect. It's also called "wearing a diaper", i.e.,. "covering your ###", because they can sue you. It's your *job* to know.

            It is also good business, because you look more knowledgeable & caring.

            1. re: Richard 16

              I don't care what fondant is made of, it tastes awful. Sure, you can peel it back and not eat it, but why put it on a cake anyway? Might as well cover the cake with plastic.

                1. re: Richard 16

                  It wasn't a full vegetarian dinner they served meat. As for the cake, the vegetarians bothered by the gelatin in the fondant could always peel it away (it's not the best tasting thing anyway) and "let them eat cake".

                  1. re: Richard 16

                    It isn't made with gelatin, or at least shouldn't be. Fondant is sugar, sometimes corn syrup, with water.

                    So, the folks on the show got it right. Its vegetarian. In fact, it may at times even be vegan. Mojo is right though, its terrible stuff.

                    1. re: ccbweb

                      It depends on the particular fondant. Many recipes for homemade fondant call for gelatin. My husband is vegetarian but likes fondant so the two brands of pre-made fondant I've bought (Wilton and Satin Ice) do not contain gelatin and are vegetarian.

                      1. re: cheesepowder

                        A vegetarian friend of mine has some sort of artificial gelatin that she uses. I don't know what it is, as I'm an omnivore, I just recall her refief/excitement.

                        1. re: hungry_pangolin

                          It's probably agar-agar, a derivative of seaweed.

                  2. re: prac

                    Just to affirm, I've made fondant for cakes. The classic fondant method consists of confectioner's sugar, glucose, glycerin, vegetable shortening, and indeed gelatin. Gelatin comes in different forms...the most common form found and used is derived from animal connective tissues. However, gelatin can be derived from other sources as well. Easily obtainable from Asian markets (I'm Vietnamese and we use a lot of this in our desserts) or scientific laboratories (Go figure, my background is in science), is Agar. Agar is the gelatinous substance obtained from the cell walls of red algae or seaweed. Thus, this is the type used when one needs to keep with the vegetarian status.

                2. re: Richard 16

                  When they made the cake they had no idea that it was going to be USED, or who it was meant for. They were just told to decorate a wedding cake to reflect their personality... it was sprung on them at the end that it was for an actual wedding. So not being precognitive mind-readers I wouldn't have expected them to know that the couple wanted a vegetarian cake!
                  The cake the gay guy decorated was by far the prettiest IMO, but since he put two grooms on it, it never would have won the challenge (I'm sure if he'd known who it was for he would have been more conventional...)

                3. re: monavano

                  Very much a Top Chef rip off. And notice how much personality figured into the judging, a la the FN's current marketing strategy. That young woman from Texas whose potluck dish was blech and whose wedding cake looked like a cupcake my five-year-old niece would decorate (no offense to my niece) got a pass over the two who got eliminated who apparently had superior food.

                  1. re: diva360

                    Same for that disater Columbe. They know she won't win but good TV.

                    And the as for the Fat Guy either light the damn cigar or stop sucking on in and take it out of your mouth. Paging Dr. Freud...


                4. The appropriate review/acronym for this show is 'WFC'.

                  1. ISTM these contestants have been picked for drama value and because they don't have day jobs. I think real chefs and cooks are too busy running kitchens to spend the time on this show.

                    However, this show has a wonderful educational facet: Bad examples. "Kids, here's how *not* to deal with stress / delegate / plan an event / coordinate multiple people through a complex project." Tonight's episode with the wedding catering showed me ineffective leadership from Colombe, whining and alibing from Rory, and wholesale poor planning from the Orange team. (I can't point a finger at Mr. NY Cigar Guy who used chicken stock in his polenta for vegetarians, tho. I once used oyster sauce in a stir-fried broccoli dish I made for a date who was a veggie. She never knew and I was too embarassed to tell her. Good thing there was no second date.)

                    Watching this show I get the feeling I'm seeing young people who know nothing about leadership, delegation, accountability, responsibility and maturity--or is it just me? Am I merely an old fart shaking his cane and shouting, "Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!"?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: KenWritez

                      I'd say yeah, because these are not even close to 'kids'.

                      1. re: KenWritez

                        Cigar Guy is from Boston. Don't blame him on us!

                      2. All I saw was bland, boring food over and over again. Soooo many catererers in the competition with a bad catering mentality (lowest common denominator of food, so as not to offend anyone).

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Bostonbob3

                          And they went for the lowest common denominator: low cost. What happened to quality products at a reasonable price? Yuk to the food!

                          1. re: msplace

                            Not even going to watch this show, season two was the only one I watched, and that was enough garbage for me. Does anyone ever watch Guy Fieri's show today, or those two bozos from the season before.

                            There is nothing I can learn from watching FOODTV created personalties. Yes I will still watch Alton or Bobby or Mario because I can learn something from them, but after a while, even their re-runs loose their luster.

                            1. re: ChinoWayne

                              When I am up to stomaching Guy Fieri's schtick, I do get some good tips from him, like adding layers of crispy fried pepperoni to lasagna.

                              But the character he plays (I hope he's not actually like that) is very grating.

                        2. Not sure about the ripoff thing...the Next Food Network Star pre-dates Top Chef by almost a year. However, I would agree that this season's Food Network star seems (at first glance) to be a little more similar to Top Chef season 2 than previous incarnations.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Franklun

                            It's a ripoff because up until now the Food Network show had a specific format. Then Top Chef began and garnered critical and ratings success.

                            So Food Network has now reformatted their show to be a clone of Top Chef.

                          2. Totally a TC ripoff.
                            I loved the one last night who said something to the effect of having to think on your feet when your a FN star, especially when your ingredients change last-minute.
                            I shook my head. What BS! I'm sorry but the FN stars write their own recipes, or have someone write them for them, and I'm sure they always have their ingredients there in front of them, all prepared.
                            This show needs to realize it ISN'T Top Chef. It's a whole different competition, and the contestants need to have totally different qualifications (unfortunately) than just cooking.

                            1. I will start by saying I was glued to it yet irked-- they've completely altered the format of the show! Last year, I enjoyed watching the process of crafting a food show. Last night reminded me of Top Chef or even The Apprentice, with everyone dashing madly about in teams!

                              But I will tune in next week anyway. I'd like to know, aside from the aggravating Top-Chef-copying, any favorite contestants?

                              I wonder if FN is concerned that their cooking-show chefs are all white. Hmm. I wonder if that will be a factor for the selection committee.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: foxy fairy

                                I wonder if the FN is concerned that their cooking-show chefs are jerks! What little I liked Giada before went out the window after I saw the last episode. She's rude.

                              2. This is exactly why FN sucks so bad. I don't want to see some "home cook" or supposed caterer( I say "supposed" because apparently the ones who are on this show don't know what the hell they are doing) hosting a show. I want to actually learn something or be left in awe by what I just saw & then actually WANT to make it. Why can't these FN suits put someone on the air I would go out of my way to watch..like Suzanne Goin. I want to see talent not some clueless pretty face or some bloated braggart who keeps insisting he's in awe of walking behind Bobby Flay..gimme a break!
                                I haven't seen the past 2 seasons but I was completely thinking TC ripoff after the first 5 minutes. Shouldn't this show be about how they will make & keep a FN show on the air? Shouldn't they have these people trying to come up with a show based on how they cook, who they are..etc? Maybe have the viewers decide the winner based on the show they came up with? These "contestants" are really awful & bland..just like their food.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: sugarbuzz

                                  I agree, and it seems that the FN execs want to keep the food uninspired. I recall the female exec saying to on of the contestants, that her dish would be considered unapproachable or haughty by the viewers (wish I remembered what the dish was). In other words, dumb it down.
                                  As if the public needs to have the bar set low in order keep the focus on the lowest common denominator.

                                2. I can't say I was impressed... it's not really top chef - it's not really about cooking at all, as they were eager to tell people in their evaluations. It's about personality and looking good on camera. I don't think these people even had to have any idea whatsoever about what style of cooking show they want to make if they should manage to be the winner - it's just about getting your face on tv. Big wahoo... (I watched the first season and found it quite interesting, because each contestant went in there with their 'idea' fixed in their head and they had to convince the judges that they had the ability to execute it. I didn't catch it last year at all...)

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Kajikit

                                    I think you've nailed it Kajikit.

                                    Last season's TC judges made it clear food was the most important criteria, not "hostiness." Sadly, FN made it clear the other night they value "approachability" over food. This is why they pocked Guy Fieri, who, as I am noticing, is doing everything *but* cooking. ISTM the newer shows on FN are drifting away from food and instead turning into 30 minute celebrity admiration societies.

                                  2. Total Top Chef Rip-Off!!! They even stole some of the 'Characters' from top chef, right down to the chubby hispanic fun-loving goof ball with the stupid hat! Add Bobby Flay playing the part of Tom Colichio, and there you have it, another TVFN show with bad food.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: Herm

                                      Yes, all I could think of was Miguel when that hispanic guy was on! Almost exactly the same contestant.

                                      1. re: QueenB

                                        Once they got rid of the hot Brazilian I gave up on the show.

                                        1. re: lax2mia

                                          I thought that woman was kinda creepy and was glad to see her go. However, I'm gonna refrain from judging the show based on the first episode. Some of the cooks (notice I did not say 'chefs') might stand out.

                                          1. re: mojoeater

                                            She's a friend of mine, so be nice. On top of the obvious cooking problems, she says that they were trying to steer her toward being overly flirtatious. After Vivian left, I stopped caring.

                                            1. re: SauceSupreme

                                              Although I didn't love the colors of her wedding cake, she was one of my favorite contestants and I was very sad to see her go.

                                        2. re: QueenB

                                          Miguel was not the show off this guy is. Nor did he do the street tude and 'Jag' crap.

                                      2. It's funny how Food Network now resembles Game Show Network more than any other channel. Still...

                                        Pluses: It was great to see Robert Irvine look so thoroughly unimpressed for such a great length of time.
                                        Watching whatsername trying to suck up and then dropping food so close to the judges.
                                        Ok, the bunk beds did tickle my mean little heart,

                                        Minuses: Just about everything else.

                                        1. I agree with everyone that says this season is like a Top Chef rip-off. I think the challenges are being designed more like Top Chef, which isn't a good thing because I liked past seasons of NFNS and felt the challenges were appropriate for someone with his/her own show. I'm hoping next week with their first taped segments we'll get back to some of that. NFNS and Top Chef is so different because the first emphasizes TV personality and the second emphasize culinary genius. So trying to be a clone of the other doesn't make sense. Hopefully it'll get back on track in the next few episodes.

                                          It does seem this season they're emphasizing personality more than others. I don't have a problem with that because until they invent smell TV or taste TV, it doesn't really matter what the food taste like as long as the TV host offers up some interesting ideas or twist to cooking.

                                          So far my favorite is Paul and Colombe. Everyone's picking on Colombe as some dumb yoga person, but I think she seems sweet and Bobby Flay liked her food. Paul is just funny and attractive for TV viewing.

                                          Adrien seems a bit stressed and too serious. I kind of am impressed by Amy because she really seemed organized in the wedding challenge. I definitely don't like Tommy or JAG. And Rory from Texas seems like a mess. I think she's one of those contestants that are being kept on mostly for entertainment value because the producers think she'll be fun to watch mess up.


                                          1. I was sort of dissapointed that it is becoming more like TC, because even within this episode my favorite parts were hearing what everyone wanted their show to be, then seeing them incorporate that into their dishes. I thought Amy did this very well, as all of her dishes reflected the fact that she yearned for a little parisian bistro. Colombe definetly seemed to stray from teaching people to eat healthy (bacon, fig and cheese anyone?). I can't remember all the others, but I did think that the guy who got kicked off did not show any style that his show might be. Not to mention I am not a fan of the restaurant he worked for.

                                            But my point is. If they develop people as future stars for the show they want to do--like Amy's bistro, I might actually want to watch it! and this is like a free trailer--or 15 of them-- for this future show. But switching to a TC rip off will kill that.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: dagoose

                                              I think this was just the first show and now they'll start to focus on their 'signature' styles. Too hard to judge where things will go woth only one show down.

                                              1. My first thought on seeing people arriving, voiceovers, walking into the house, introducing them selves, and bunk beds, was ‘Real World’.

                                                My favorite line was when the woman exec said something along the lines of that they were looking for someone with a personality to keep up with the most dynamic and exciting personalities working in TV today. By that she meant the current FN ‘stars’.

                                                Biggest lie…when Booby flay said that the disastrous Columbe made some good dishes and the wedding. Come on!!! She made friggin fruit skewers and chocolate sauce.


                                                1. Has anyone read the "where are they now" bits on some of the contestants from season 1 and season 2? At least a few of them are doing (local market) food TV. Anyone seen them?

                                                  1. Tonight's episode: They told the JAG guy that his food was excellent, but that it was too complicated for the home cook. I can see all the Chowhounds who constantly bash FN hosts for dumbing-down their food just gritting their teeth!

                                                    I'd have to agree, however, The average home cook doesn't want a list of ingredients as long as his/her arm. I know I don't.

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: mojoeater

                                                      As long as the ingredients on the list don't require wilderness foraging or air shipping, I don't really mind if there's a lot of them. His recipe was a bit complex, but the ingredients didn't seem too outlandish.

                                                      What was up with the "screen test" bit? They just went through it and then moved on. It had no impact on anything!

                                                      1. re: jzerocsk

                                                        At the judging, they talked about how comfortable/engaging certain people were in front of the camera. I think that's why they eliminated that Nikki chick. Her food wasn't the worst. Her stage presence was.

                                                        1. re: jzerocsk

                                                          I haven't seen the second half of this episode, so I don't know if Jag's recipe was complicated by my standards or just by Sandra Lee's standards, but I agree -- I don't mind a long list if they include staples or things I can find easily. For example, I'm more likely to make "taco seasoning" out of the spices in my pantry (= 6-7 ingredients, more than all the other ingredients put together) than to buy a packet of taco seasoning, like Rachael and Sandra might include.

                                                          1. re: momjamin

                                                            Jag's dish probably wasn't all that complicated so much as it was little intimidating. Definitely NOT of the Rachael Ray/Sandra Lee pop-to/zip-lock variety. The dish had something like 14 ingredients. I'll do a dish with that many ingredients, but if I am I'll also ready the recipe about 5 or 6 times to make sure I understand how the dish comes together.

                                                            I think the reality for Jag was that had he not gone for the mushroom reduction sauce he probably would have scored pretty well on that challenge. The panel liked his recipe and his original garnish. What they didn't like was the last minute add-on. Giada was right, Jag did take one for the team in the tag-team presentation. Had he not had dead-bang production skills everyone after him would have been screwed...yeah, he's pretty rough around the edges, but at least he and Salmon (like the fish) can actually cook. The others? They wouldn't survive in my kitchens, and we're not fancy.

                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                              I think JAG got confused and thought he was on "Top Chef."

                                                          2. re: jzerocsk

                                                            They do that. Set up these tests that have no relevance for the final elimination. What’s the point of breaking up into teams and having a competition when the two people eliminated are from the winning team?

                                                          3. re: mojoeater

                                                            Sometimes with FN it would be nice if they didn’t always dumb things down. There must be a decent number of home cooks who would like to have something a little more challenging for them selves. Have to say Jag is growing on me. He did do an excellent job on camera. But instead they chose to put him in the bottom because his food was a little 'complicated'.

                                                            And by far the worst person again was the consistently disastrous earth child Columbe. I can only think that they are keeping her around for her mishaps. Her Bon Appetit dish looked discussing. Nikki wasn’t the worst. She seemed aware of her short comings and wanted to work through them. But apparently at FN rehearsing isn't good.


                                                          4. I agree with the judges that Nikki should go. She was like a walking zombie on air. She talked so slowly.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: singleguychef

                                                              She was so rehearsed! I wanted to shake her to loosen her up. And as to the 'dumbed down' stuff, I guess that Mario and Emeril are there for the home cooks who have more cooking finesse. And no, I don't use taco seasoning. I make my own. I do, however, have a premade grill seasoning for simple stuff I want to grill on weekends and use for a variety of dishes throughout the week. If I'm cooking for a particular recipe, I use fresh herbs etc.

                                                            2. My brother was on season one. After hearing his stories and seeing a pilot we shot get axed in favor of some hideous shows, I have lost all respect for that channel, Fake nails, lollipop heads, arm pits in the kitchen, please stop.

                                                              Do Paula Dean's kids really need a show? Ham on the street? THe list goes on and on.

                                                              FLay, Mario, Oliver(wish he was still there), heck even Emeril, at least they have chops.

                                                              1. As soon as I saw the guy (soon to be jag) walk in with combat fatigues (ex marine), I said, I'm rooting for him.. I usually found myself in past years rooting for the fat guys but I can't stomach this Sporanos/goodfellas wannabe. Laughing at his black pin stripe suits, and unlit cigar, and doing vodka shots at the cake decorating. Plus, his dumb expression is wearing on me. And presented a huge slab of meat with a burnt onion and wilted greens for his grill recipe. Subtle.
                                                                Can do without Columbe, no interest in a hippy/ love child show/person. Laughed at the the visuals when someone said she looked like Snow White cooking with a flowery "Sound of Music" style frock and birds chirping around her. Hard to believe she has zero leadership skills.
                                                                Anyway, I will continue to watch. Definately noticed the top chef similarities.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: rochfood

                                                                  It's unfortunate they have gone with this new look for the show... I've never watched Top Chef, but if this is what it's like, I wouldn't like it.

                                                                  Jag just hits me the wrong way... Flay said, he wouldn't have any problems with him working in any of his kitchens, so there, he got a job out of the deal --being an arrogant know it all arse is ok for a commercial kitchen, even necessary...but I personally don't care to invite that into my living room. Plus, I think the guy will flake out if really pressed...

                                                                  None of them are really appealing to me, but if I had to choose I would go with Adrien, too bad his food seems to stink things up, so another week of bad food from him... will definitely see him on the chopping block. Paul, who seems to be a really good cook, but his personality is being dwarfed by some other personalities... needs to step it up.

                                                                  I hope they spare us, the snarky gay guy and the Italian guy that looks like he should own a trucking company *wink wink* in East Chicago--

                                                                  1. re: s.woo

                                                                    I don't think Adrien's good enough to win, and he probably doesn't deserve to. But I do hope that he stays long enough that he can hook up with a good restaurant or other food-related job in a big city. Because he comes from a place in Michigan that's just a million kinds of yuck and bad chain food (one of those Olive Garden is considered to be high end kinds of towns) and I'd like to see him have a chance to escape it.

                                                                    1. re: beachmouse

                                                                      He also quit his job to do NFNS.

                                                                      I think he has potential.

                                                                  2. re: rochfood

                                                                    I think it's funny that he plucks his eyebrows. Look at them - definitely plucked!

                                                                  3. I thought I remembered a fellow named Salmon having a food radio program on Air America, and I was right, it is the same Michael Salmon. You can find more information here: http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archiv... . I figure him for the dark horse candidate.

                                                                    1. This season of TNFNS is already less interesting to me than TC. At least in TC, it's about the food.

                                                                      One of the few things that will attract me to watch TNFNS is Ted as a judge. He does snarky well. >:)>

                                                                      As for the contestants, IMO only Amy and Salmon have the maturity to go all the way. Of those two, I think Amy has the more attractive personality, at last so far. The others are too immature and too inexperienced in professional food.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: KenWritez

                                                                        I like Amy too. Like you said, she's really mature but has a pleasant talking demeanor. I agree that all the contestants don't seem to have the culinary chops for me to give them much credibility when I listen to them. I think that's the biggest weakness about this season's crop of contestants.

                                                                        BTW, I'm recapping the series on my blog. Here's my recap of the second episode: http://singleguychef.blogspot.com/200...

                                                                      2. Didn't you guys find Giada's nasty streak a bit surprising? In my house, we were laughing hysterically at the difference between Ms. Sweetness and Cleavage on her show and the perma-grimace she wore during FNS. She reserved the especially scornful expressions for the women, right? Really, Giada. Catty, much?

                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                        1. re: foxy fairy

                                                                          I thought it was just me.

                                                                          As we all know on reality it’s all about the editing and reaction shots. What is surprising is that FN(being in charge of the editing) would manage to project such a negative image around one of their ‘sweethearts’. Perhaps there some FN politics going on behind the scenes?

                                                                          1. re: Withnail42

                                                                            I got a glimpse of the other side of Giada during last season's Next Food Network Star. I noticed how she comes off really business-like, almost school teacher-like when the camera is off. She can really put on the smile in front of the camera, but when she's off, she can be catty like foxy fairy said. And how about that comment to Adrien? She told him his bellpepper looked like someone spit out the ingredients. I think he was shocked at that comment because he made a nervous laugh.

                                                                            1. re: singleguychef

                                                                              Yeah, the comment surprised me, but when I thought about it, the "stuffing" really didn't look too appealing and it did kinda look like someone had tossed their cookies.

                                                                              But...if ya'll noticed Adrien was the most at ease in front of the cameras when they had to do the first tag-team challenge.

                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                I know, I thought that too. But I wouldn't have SAID it! LOL. I probably would have said something like it didn't look appetizing or that it looked messy. It was funny, Adrien was so nervous in the first episode but this episode he was very smooth. Paul was funny in the first episode but was a total mess in this second episode.


                                                                                1. re: singleguychef

                                                                                  At this point I'd just like them to be themselves instead of trying to be what they think FTV wants them to be. Nikki was wound W-A-Y to tight and was so controlled and scripted trying to be what she thought they wanted her to be that she scripted herself right out of the show!

                                                                                  I'm probably one of the few people that isn't annoyed or irritated by last season's winner Guy. I saw him on an HGTV special recently and he was pretty normal...but then again, I actually LIVE in CA and don't think he's all that outrageous. I could watch him for 30 minutes, I can't say the same for any of this season's contestants.

                                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                    I just have to add here . . .did anyone else pick up on how scarily similar Bob Tuschman, the Sr. VP of Programming for Food Network and Paul McCullough, the snarky caterer are? Their looks, mannerism, method of speaking ...they must have been separated at birth. It was like watching an older brother pick on his baby brother.

                                                                                    I did also find it fascinating that they are showing Giada's seriously distgusted looks and obvious blunt side this season. (You know she has one, we all do. Do you think she just wakes up everyday that perky. Hell, no.) I think she drinks espresso and eats gelato until she has enough caffeine and sugar in her to start a small jet engine.

                                                                                    I saw her in person at a cookbook signing, and the host of the evening was asking her questions from the audience and she made a couple of snotty comments while answering our questions. It gave me cause for pause in the moment.

                                                                                    1. re: jvergara

                                                                                      I noticed the same thins about Paul and Tuschman. But they also seem like a couple haveing a spat.

                                                                          2. re: foxy fairy

                                                                            foxy fairy: Perma-Grimace really sums it up. The comment Giada made about high heels went from being a casual comment to a catty remark. I sort of expect that sort of thing from another contestant but not from a host/judge.

                                                                            1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                                              I thought the remark was a little catty too, pretty much the tone of voice use was what sealed that deal. BUT...having worked in commercial kitchens I know why she asked the question. I had already noticed the heels (not to mention the pink, spike heel boots in the previous episode) and marveled at her fortitude. As someone who has spent 10 hour+ days in the kitchen, the majority of that time on my feet, AIN'T NO WAY you work in heels like that for any length of time. Not to mention the safety hazards......

                                                                            2. re: foxy fairy

                                                                              Giada, I hate her show... and the reason I hate it, is because I've never liked the chef -- The FNS judges always bang on about being yourself and if that doesn't happen on camera, people will see right through you, well they apparently didn't take their own advice when they gave her a show. It's hard to believe people hadn't recognized that very unsavory part of her character until the editor(who probably had to work with her at some point or another) decided to do her in -- I guess if she had said, your food looks like vomit(among other 'catty as you say' comments) to a more unlikeable contestant she would have gotten away with it... but Adrien is without a doubt the most personable person on the show this season, now his cooking... according to the judges, probably isn't there, but if it was... he would/should win, hands down, that guy has the magic touch in terms of striking a chord and I really was hoping to see a woman win this year. ANYWAY... I'm happy that people are finally seeing through all that fake smiling and acting cheery Giada does -- I can say the same for Rachael Ray, but she's smart enough to never break character when she's on.

                                                                            3. Okay, just tuned in for the first time to this God awful show. Was glued to the other two previous shows, and this one is just such a disappointment. The contestants are so low caliber (sorry to say); where did they find these people??? Giada, please, remember, she was a nervous wreck trying to get the knack for in-front-of-the camera-cooking; she needs to be a little more compassionate with her critisism; almost painful to watch this side of her. I don't buy it.....the judges, the premise,,,NO THANKS.

                                                                              1. My idea of a great "throw down:" The contestants of TNFNS vs. those of season 3 of TC, the food to be judged by Tom Colichio (sp?), Ted Allen, as well as Jeffrey Steingarten from Iron Chef America, Anthony Bourdain for the attack dog factor, and Chef Morimoto to comment on the contestant's technical skills. Surprise judge to be magician Penn Jillete.

                                                                                I'd bet on the TC crew.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                  For a meal in a restaurant or an advanced home cook? Of course. But as has been said many times on this thread, this show is as much about personality and the home cook as much as it is about the food. Not more important, but not less. Would people have watched Julia Childs if she had been dry, boring, dominating, elitist, or in any other way unappealing?

                                                                                  None of the people you've mentioned are -- IMO -- good judges of what a home cook wants to see. Did you watch the recipes Ted Allen gave on QEFTSG? They were often beyond the capabiites of the straight guy, often succeeding only because of the motivation of the guy and step-by-step instructions given in a one-on-one situation. Bourdain is enertaining to watch but is incredibly elitist -- i can't begin to imagine him trying to teach the general FN public how to cook. Even Iron Chef makes no pretense about teaching, although most of us foodies get good ideas there.

                                                                                  We can't taste the food on either show. The best FN hosts (Alton, Mario, even Bobby, etc.) combine technical skills and personality (and looks help too) but if people don't *want* to watch they, well, won't. The judges want both.

                                                                                2. SPOILER:

                                                                                  Okay, so now we know who went home on the third episode: I'll bury the names in here so it's not so obvious to skimmers. Colombe and Tommy. After seeing them in action this episode, I'm very disappointed in the show's producers. WTH were they thinking, allowing these people on the show? These people are nice, but nice isn't "star" material.

                                                                                  Tommy talks a good game, he seems like a good guy, but he folded like wet paper after being away from his family for a few weeks. If family life is that important to him, why did he enter the contest? Did he watch the first two seasons and see what the contestants had to go through? Did he consider what life as an FN star would be like if he won? Travel seems to make up a major part of it.

                                                                                  Colombe comes across as friendly for the first five seconds you see her, but then her personality feels paper-thin. She seemed... well, "hollow" to me, lacking charisma. Again, "nice" but not much else. Maybe she's one of those people who do better interacting with one or a few people than dealing with groups fo them?

                                                                                  Guy did a remarkably smooth performance as the guest host. He came across as completely in control, confident and knowledgable. I question why he "pulled temp" on Paul's burgers but not Tommy's meatballs or anyone else's dishes.

                                                                                  Darrel Dawkins (sp?) was a bit of interest but pointless. He did nothing to advance the show or the contestants and he didn't interact with them to the extent you learned more about food, cooking, tv, him, or the contestants. Why was he there?

                                                                                  The show seems canned--controlled, scripted, edited, guided by the producers with every contestant's reaction and all show situations pre-determined. TNFNS has all the spontaneity of a facelift.

                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                    That is a good point - I didn't even think about the fact that Tommy was also serving something that should have been checked for temp - or maybe it was and since it created no drama was edited out.

                                                                                    As for Colombe, well I posted my own rant about her so I won't repeat it here. Tommy wanted to go home, IMO - I think he just didn't know how being away from his family would affect him since he had NEVER done that, not even his parents (which is another issue entirely, if you ask me!)

                                                                                    1. re: heathermb

                                                                                      I kind of assumed that they checked temps on all the food that required it, but Paul's was the only one we saw because the others were meeting the requirements. It was kind of dumb of Paul to choose burgers for that challenge, anyway, it's not like one person can serve burgers to a big crowd like that with no help, especially since his grill was 20 feet from his serving cart.

                                                                                      1. re: Buckethead

                                                                                        I made the same assumption, buckethead.

                                                                                        But back to Tommy's very strange family issues... is it me or should they only have been there for a few days now? They keep referring to having "been there for weeks," but since this show is clearly recorded in advance, I don't really understand what they're talking about. The total days we've seen so far don't amount to a week. Could they be hanging out for a week in between recordings?

                                                                                        1. re: Adrienne

                                                                                          I noticed that too. I think they say that for the cameras. They probably 'work' for a day or two for episodes.

                                                                                        2. re: Buckethead

                                                                                          My "evil thought" about Paul's burgers as this "drama" unfolded was that someone got served one that was not well cooked and complainted, hence Guy came over to read the riot act.

                                                                                    2. After reading this thread, I decided to try Top Chef. I must have mixed it up with a different cooking show contest. I thought Top Chef was the one with the real mean guy.

                                                                                      Anyway, Top Chef is BY FAR a superior show! Everything about it is superior! The chefs are so much better! The judges have more personality.

                                                                                      One thing I can't handle about TNFNS is the "suspense" they attempt to build. It only ticks me off and it seems fake. I also don't at all like the attitues of the judges. It seems like they really make a lot of faces on purpose when they tastee the food and I think it's incredibly obnoxious. Also, when they make their negative comments, they are just so much more personal. They go right for the throat. It's a shame. I'm considering not watching it now and just switching to Top Chef.

                                                                                      I watched the tastings on Top Chef, and the judges and hosts are just so much more likeable. They are able to say the food wasn't top notch without being total unllikeable jerks themselves.


                                                                                      1. Did Colombe actually ever cook anything on the show? She always seemed to be opening jars, melting things or perhaps putting fruit on skewers. Her endearingly cluless shtick was cute for the first two minutes of episode one.

                                                                                        It was beyond time for the disastrous Colubme to go. She got on due to a public vote for her video on the FN web site. I have to believe that despite their continuingly bad programming decisions that the execs had no intention of giving this titanic of a contestant a show. I can only think that she was kept on purely for the dramatic (car crash value) interest she brought to the show.

                                                                                        That being said I did think it was funny when she left Paul’s bag at the grocery store. He went into a tizzy. But HE was the guy who made the decision, because it was a competition, to let Tommy make unusable polenta. Unlike Paul I don’t think she was being malicious but merely her clueless self. Have to give him credit for being so self righteous both when ‘playing’ and being ‘played’.

                                                                                        26 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                          The dish that got her kicked off was particularly funny. She claims that her whole reason for wanting a show is to bring people organic cooking, and there she is dumping a jar of pre-packaged cheese dip, probably laden with HFCS and hydrogenated fats, into a warming dish and calling it nachos. Yum! I'm surprised anyone bothered with her food cart when there was J.A.G. 20 feet away serving chili-dog pitas *AND* nachos with his own homemade cheese sauce..

                                                                                          1. re: Buckethead

                                                                                            Bingo! So Colombe, a back-to-the-earth type, uses jarred cheese sauce and store bought chips? "I saved all the freshness for the salsa," says she. Honey, have you really thought this through?

                                                                                            Nachos are not about salsa. Nachos are about chips, cheese, toppings and then salsa. All the elements ought to work together. Putting fresh salsa on hyper-processed crap food is like tying a bright red ribbon around a cat turd. The end result is still crap.

                                                                                            1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                              Clueless Colombe is more clueless than we thought! Check this out from her Food Network Profile

                                                                                              Food you won't go near: Anything hydrogenated/chemically processed/fake food

                                                                                              Umm....so jarred cheese isn't "Anything hydrogenated/chemically processed/fake food" (??!!)

                                                                                              That moment in the "review" with the panel when they called her on it was priceless!

                                                                                              Here is the complete profile:

                                                                                              1. re: Cat Chow

                                                                                                But she wasn't EATING it :P
                                                                                                I have to say her nachos looked like something you'd have to pay me to eat - but they'd have been right at home on a certain show... maybe she forgot what show she was auditioning for!

                                                                                                1. re: Kajikit

                                                                                                  Are you referring to Sandra Lee--I thought Colombe was a hippie dippy version of Sandra Lee from the first thing she cooked! Kudos to the judges for not going that route!

                                                                                          2. re: Withnail42

                                                                                            I know! I can't believe he had the nerve to complain that someone else was playing by his own rules! At least in both cases another competitor (Adrien, Amy) said something. It makes me feel better when someone calls out these people on their crap.

                                                                                            I think Paul could be next kicked off the island. If anyone hasn't taken the directions they were given by the selection committee, it's him and his spastic style.

                                                                                            1. re: Adrienne

                                                                                              To me Paul is simply the missing member of season one winners 'The Hearty Boys'. (where ever they are) They are also...caterers. I find his little hyper fragile 'sensitive' victim routine old and tiresome.

                                                                                              1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                The Hearty Boys have a show on FNTV! it's rather early in the day, to be sure, but it's there. They also have a very successful restaurant in Chicago.

                                                                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                  I heard that FNTV is NOT going to order another season of "Party Line with the Hearty Boys". If that's true, it's too bad. Every recipe of theirs I have tried has worked out wonderfully! I believe they have sold their restaurant in Chicago, but they will be opening a cooking show themed private party venue this summer.

                                                                                                  1. re: LabRat

                                                                                                    Could you elaborate on a couple of your favorite recipes from the Hearty Boys? They're on way before I stir on Sundays :) but I would like to try some of their dishes. I know people speak highly of their onion pie.

                                                                                                    1. re: foxy fairy

                                                                                                      I haven't made the onion pie, but I have made the onion-sage tart, salmon wellington and chardonnay poached salmon. All were well received by my guests. I believe all of their recipes I have made are from earlier seasons when they weren't stuck in such a god-awful time slot.

                                                                                                      1. re: LabRat

                                                                                                        Using their recipe as a guideline for spicing, technique and cooking time, I made my own version of salmon wellington with a layer of sauteed onions, mushrooms and finely chopped asparagus -- it was really delicious. It was gone within 10 minutes when I brought it to a potluck.

                                                                                                    2. re: LabRat

                                                                                                      There is a God evidently, The Hearty Boys are terrible, hopefully FNTV cancels their show,

                                                                                                      as well as a few of the other bad shows they currently air(semi-homemade, emeril, barefoot contessa, ace of cakes, etc..)

                                                                                                      1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                        Ummm...unfortunately, it looks like the whole Deen family (bubba bros. included) will show up on something new called "Dean Family Vacation" (or some such thing). Everyone run...

                                                                                                        1. re: aurora50

                                                                                                          agreed regarding the whole Deen clan poppin gup on FNTV, I do get a good chuckle out of Paula, but I could do without her sons.

                                                                                                2. re: Adrienne

                                                                                                  Adrien is a stand up guy.

                                                                                                  Paul is likeable but too much of a spazz-matic...even when the panel politely told him he better get a hold of himself, what's the first think the does? Spazzes out the door!!

                                                                                                  1. re: Cat Chow

                                                                                                    I agree about Adrien, the more I watch him the more I like him. He's the most natural in front of the camera, and what do you want to bet that the "awesome Food Network kitchen" would be more than able (and probably willing) to spruce up any of his recipes that need a little work.

                                                                                                    Of the contestants left, the only 2 I'd even remotely think about tuning in to watch on a real show would be Adrien or JAG. Rory has too many teeth, is too needy and acts like a ditz. Paul, too hyper-kinetic, Amy too self-absorbed and aloof. I've been drawn to a lot of Michaels recipes - he should have won the Bon Apetite challenge - but he needs to loose the facade and soften up some. Just my $.02, everyone else's milage may differ ;-D

                                                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                      Agreed. Adrien is very personable, and JAG makes great-looking food... everyone else is either hiding their light under a very large bushel, or just plain hopeless. Amy just HAS to be Miss Perfect Mom... Michael can cook but he's overacting... Rory is okay but her teeth are a major distraction when she smiles... and Paul is a major ditz - the hyperactive jack russell terrier fits him perfectly!

                                                                                                      1. re: Kajikit

                                                                                                        I agree too with Adrien and JAG as the most likely to win -- I think another reason is that whether or not this season has stressed the "what's your show going to be about" angle, they're still looking for someone who won't be a carbon copy of what they've already got. Amy and Rory both feel to me to be too similar to many other hosts. JAG is definitely original; Adrien I think is unique to food network in that he's a straight man who isn't over the top -- I think people would tune in to either of them.

                                                                                                        1. re: Adrienne

                                                                                                          I'm warming up to Adrien too. At first he was really nervous and stressed, but once he's on camera he's really smooth. I'm hoping his food continues to improve. Even though he won the stadium challenge, I don't think bacon-wrapped mushrooms is that hard to do. So it'll be interesting to see what happens when he has to cook more full meals.

                                                                                                          I'm sad to see Colombe go because I liked her personality. And I felt all the other people were picking on her. But I have to say, so far I've been in agreement with all the eliminations to date. Everyone who's left deserved to go at that time, unlike other reality shows where some annoying awful person continues to survive each week (Sanjaya!).

                                                                                                          So far I'm rooting for Adrien and maybe Amy, who's so far flying under the radar. I still haven't warmed up to JAG. I think he's too over the top for Food TV. I still think he's better for Top Chef.


                                                                                                          1. re: Adrienne

                                                                                                            I agree- Amy and Rory are different versions of Ina (who also loves to pontificate about Frrrr-ance) and Ray-Ray (giggle-giggle, silly antics galore), right? YAWN. Of the two, Amy is definitely more competent in the kitchen, IMO.

                                                                                                            I asked this before but I must wonder again -- is the Food Network concerned about the lack of ethnic diversity of their food, and/or the whiteness of their stars? I mean -- come on! How many twists on pasta can they really show us???? I love Italian as much as the next girl, but frankly, I'm itching for something new too. Let those who must tune into Sandy Lee while the rest of us stretch our wings and explore various regions of the world! So many kinds of so-called "ethnic" food would would be accessible to the home chef. Home chefs in other areas of the world are quite adept at whipping out these meals, unaided by FN, after all! I would love to see an expert on Asian or Latin or middle Eastern cuisine. I know Sarah Moulton used occasionally cohost with chefs of different cuisines from around the world, and I enjoyed that. I'm bored with the same-old same-old.

                                                                                                            It's too bad Vivienne left - I was really excited to discover more about Brazilian cuisine. JAG is annoying, arrogant for sure - but at least he's creating inspiring Latin-influenced dishes outside the current FN loop.

                                                                                                            1. re: foxy fairy

                                                                                                              I don't know a can't see (and hopefully won't) Ina in something as low cut and 'selling' like Rory.


                                                                                                              1. re: foxy fairy

                                                                                                                Exactly my thoughts. Ina already does "I've lived in Paris," and she does it well, and although I find Ray-Ray annoying, replacing her with a Rory won't help... (and wait, wasn't she already supplemented by the far less annoying Robin Miller?)

                                                                                                                1. re: Adrienne

                                                                                                                  I find Robin Miller much more annoying. She doesn't seem to have any personality.

                                                                                                                2. re: foxy fairy

                                                                                                                  They used to have a fairly diverse rotating home kitchens kind of daily show. One pair of chefs covered Asian on Mondays, another pair of chefs did Latino Tuesdays, another pair did soul food Wednesdays, or something along those lines.

                                                                                                                  They probably wouldn't rerun it these days because Padma from Top Chef was one of the cooks, and they wouldn't want to give traction to the competition.

                                                                                                                  1. re: beachmouse

                                                                                                                    Wow! That sounds wonderful - I wonder if the tapes/DVDs of those could be rented. Was that a few years ago?

                                                                                                    2. yeah, it's reality tv. sure, they've borrowed from TopChef because they're trying to get the best ratings. But I think they're two different concepts. TopChef continues to focus on food/cooking, and attempts to leave out personality when judging. TNFNS definitely focuses on marketing, camera presence, etc because that's what the contestants are "interviewing" for. To me, the food network show is more buisness and less foodie, but I'm glad it's not a carbon copy of TopChef. Either way the drama is gonna be spotlighted...because that's realityTV.
                                                                                                      Off the topic, I've never watched Hells Kitchen. I can't take any "reality" show from Fox network seriously.

                                                                                                      1. You know, I've seen the show a couple times and I think its fixed cuz no matter who competes a guy always ends up winning. It's boring enyway. I totally agree with your opinion. The last thing we need is one more show where chefs face off. If I want cooking competition, I'll watch Iron Chef.

                                                                                                        1. I haven't read all the posts, but I agree... already hate the show. Puhleeze with your obvious Top Chef rip off. We all know the show isn't about who is the best/most creative/most adventurous chef. It's about who is semi-attractive and can command an audience. And... from working in restautants... most of my chefs would have died being in front of a camera!

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: wino22

                                                                                                            "It's about who is semi-attractive and can command an audience."

                                                                                                            Um, didn't Vivien get eliminated first? Sure you have to be telegenic but look at it from Food Network's point of view: they're giving the winner a television show, so the winner has to be all of those things plus still have the culinary acumen to retain viewers so that FN can charge more in advertising time.

                                                                                                            They copied the format, but the end result is wildly different.

                                                                                                            1. re: SauceSupreme

                                                                                                              Could we edit to say that you AND your food need to be attractive?

                                                                                                              Vivien's wedding cake was SO ugly that it overpowered her own prettiness... and that's what we see of food on tv, we don't know how it tastes, but we sure know if a cake is ugly. Not that hers was uglier than Rory's, at all. Both ugly.

                                                                                                              1. re: SauceSupreme

                                                                                                                "Culinary acumen" and The Food Network are on two opposite ends of the spectrum nowadays. TFN hasn't been about learning about good food for a long time.

                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                  But if you want to see people decorate cakes FN is THE place.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                    Or build towers out of rice crispy treats and popcorn.

                                                                                                            2. I do not think there would be any way I could get past Rory's shark teeth if she were to have her own show.
                                                                                                              Giada was catty, but I had noticed that about her on the grilling special when she told Alton Brown she wouldn't be cooking with him, in a very snide way.
                                                                                                              Also, Guy comes across as a little uppity seeing as it was only a year ago that he was in the same position.

                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: bookwormchef

                                                                                                                Yes, I thought Guy was *very* uppity, seeing as he was in the same scramble as these contestants were last year. But, he does have a year's experience under his belt and probably has been getting a lot of coaching.

                                                                                                                Susie (of the FN) drives me absolutely bonkers. 1) What does she know about food? and 2) when are she and Bob going to figure out we're sick and tired of seeing the same episodes over and over and over again (I've seen this afternoon's barefoot contessa 4 times already). While I didn't care for Colombe's antics and self-centered behavior at all, I was goggle-eyed when Susie told her that raising her voice does not make for good TV. Hello? Rachel Ray anyone? I'm hearing impaired and I lower the volume on the TV when she comes on.

                                                                                                                And Giada.... Giada. Used to be one of my favorites, and I used to think she was a nice person (met her in person 2x at book signings). Um, let's not forget where she started several years ago. Remember the chefography and how she told the world how hard it was the first year? Granted, some of her criticisms were warranted but I thought she went *too* far in some cases.

                                                                                                                I'm not really sure there are really any obvious winners in this season at all. Very disappointing.

                                                                                                                1. re: jedibitch

                                                                                                                  I have been thinking the exact same thing about Giada's chefography. She was totally coached and seemingly prodded through her first season. She looked like she didn't want to be there at all! And she's all about telling the contestants, the TOTALLY GREEN contestants who actually WANT to be a FN star, that thier performances are below par?
                                                                                                                  And did anyone notice all the contestants trying to turn on the waterworks harder than thier competition? Boohoopalooza.
                                                                                                                  And JAG, seriously. This dude is hanging on by a very, very thin thread. With his short fuse and explosive temper, I think it's entirely possible that he has PTSD. And Susie telling him to "deal with it" was so incredibly insensitive and misguided.
                                                                                                                  Lastly, can anyone say "quick-fire challenge". FN- get some original ideas and stop ripping of Bravo.

                                                                                                                  1. re: jedibitch

                                                                                                                    The episode before, they had told Colombe she was too quiet. Then they say raising her voice is wrong. It seems they are not very consistent about what it is they are looking for. Show us your "real self", but make sure it doesn't look like this, that or that.
                                                                                                                    I think Jag and Paul made a great team and should have their own show together! As Jag said, "Different faces from different places".

                                                                                                                    1. re: KTBearW

                                                                                                                      Totally agree- they were a hysterical duo! :) I think they'd come up with creative food together too. Of course, they're both Drama Queens too!

                                                                                                                2. So...I'm assuming, then, that no one was sorry to see Michael (like the fish) Salmon depart last night?

                                                                                                                  JAG can cook, and, in this competition is his own worst enemy. We eat deep fired Snickers and Twinkies, so why not deep fried meat loaf. I died laughing when Bob said the "crust" on the meatloaf was soooo goooood. I knew the girls were in trouble when I saw Rory's garlic bread preparations.

                                                                                                                  I don't know about the rest of you, but I find the "evaluation" portion of TNFNS petty, mean spirited and unnecessary. I know what my own faults are, but I don't think I could stand there and have people pick at me about things that they perceive to be my problems. In fact, I'm finding this years evaluations grating and a huge turn off. I don't particularly enjoy seeing people torn down and belittled, especially in the name of entertainment.

                                                                                                                  I also find it very interesting that for a show everyone proclaims to dislike, and is often referred to a tripe, trival and crap, this thread has generated 125 responses. So while it would seem we don't really like this show, we really do watch it...which is exactly what FNTV is hoping.

                                                                                                                  Adrian is the only normal person on this show and they think he's too low key.

                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                    I think we watch it because it's a car wreck, and we're all rubbernecking despite ourselves. What I will predict, as has been borne out in seasons 1 and 2, is that whatever "star" they generate will have little success, and I won't watch. I don't catch the Hardy Boys, or Guy. I expect they are pretty low on many FN favorite lists.
                                                                                                                    As to your comment about tearing down the contestants, I agree. I don't think some can "regain face" if you will, after breaking down, being critiqued to shreds and in a certain case, hadsevere temper issues coupled with poor coping skills. I mean, who will believe that JAG is self possessed after watching his meltdowns?
                                                                                                                    Can any of these future "stars" be a true guru in your eyes?? Can we respect them having seen behind the big green curtain?

                                                                                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                      I like your use of the term "shred" because that's what's happening to these people whether they deserve it or not. So how can destroying these people establish any basis for respect. We're taught from the beginning to have no respect for them because they don't have much value. If FTV has no respect for them and how they treat them, why should we?

                                                                                                                      I wonder if these people all had self-esteem issues before they started this show. If they didn't then, they will now! And are they really that desparate for attention or validation that they would allow themselves to be treated like this.

                                                                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                        I hate to jump on the Giada rant again....but, I still remember last year when she told one of the girl contestants not to wear too much jewelry, that it was distracting and she likes to keep things "clean"; All I know is that Giada does keep her jewelry clean, but also keeps her cleavage visible at all times.
                                                                                                                        That it why even though I am not fond of Rory, I did not like the remarks they were making last week about how she wore the "right" shirt to get noticed at the ballpark. It was not any worse than what Giada would wear on her best day.

                                                                                                                    2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                      I was sorry to see Michael go! As the only representative of my age group, I was rooting for him. I think he got a bit of short shrift and that he lost to Adrien, just because Adrien is younger and better looking. His food skills and competence far exceeded Adrien's. On the other hand, Michael did not show us his personality at all. Apparently, he has led a pretty interesting life, having spent a couple of years in -- I don't remember where, but it was mentioned -- and I heard and enjoyed his radio program. Yet, he didn't come across as very animated or interesting.

                                                                                                                      I saw this on another board, but I agree that I would enjoy a JAG and Paul show (they called it Chico and the Gay Man, hee). Honestly, I don't see any of the contestants carrying a show on their own. This is the first time I've watched it and I am really surprised by the low caliber of the contestants, but I confess I am hooked on this show and I never watch reality programs!

                                                                                                                      Giada definitely blew off Rory in the MRE tastings. Oh and it looked like Michael did a good job with them too (the apple and cherry sauce looked good), but since he was going they cut his MRE segment short.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Val55

                                                                                                                        Hey that's a cool idea of a JAG and Paul show. It would be fun, and they seem to work off nicely off each other. Remember that show Melting Pot or something where they had different hosts cooking different ethnic foods. It could be something like that. (I wonder why they dropped that show, it was good.)

                                                                                                                        I wasn't sad to see Salmon leave. He was like a used car salesman, just comes off badly on camera. Which is the opposite of Adrien.

                                                                                                                        I also agree with the earlier comments about Susie Folgelson. I find her really boring and kind of mean spirited. She says she wants to see more personality from the contestants but her personality is just like a dead salmon.


                                                                                                                        1. re: Val55

                                                                                                                          Back to the Guy Fieri testing Paul's burger - I happen to live in the town where Guy lives and has 2 restaurants. First, the "look" is real, and he's had it for a long time (too long, methinks). Second - Guy is qualified to do the testing, as he's a certified teacher and evaluator of food safety/sanitation for the state of California (as are many food service people) - he's got the cred, in other words. And if the burgers were as underdone as they must have been at 110, they probably had had complaints from tasters.

                                                                                                                          As for JAG, anyone seen the controversy that's come to light about the reality of his background? Not a culinary school graduate, wasn't a corporal in the Marines, but just a private, never did a stint in Afghanistan... It's making Food Network really look like they did a crap job doing background checks on everybody. And I'll bet JAG got real nervous when the Fort Dix announcement was made and he had to go there and hope for the best.

                                                                                                                          1. re: cmvan

                                                                                                                            That's intersting, but where does it state that he was a Corporal, graduate etc?

                                                                                                                            1. re: cmvan

                                                                                                                              Yes, I've seen the post about JAGs background. I've also seen the forum posts from guys that worked with him in the Marines that say there is some validity to his side of the story. I suspect reality is somewhere between the two. He's clearly got issues, too bad he's the only one that can really cook.

                                                                                                                              The article I read said FNTV has met with him to clarify his background and credentials. It's probably only a matter of time before he gets the boot.

                                                                                                                        2. I think Colombe should have gone off after the very first show - her disastrous lead of the cooking team for the wedding proved that. What a total flake.

                                                                                                                          I think Jag is the most talented cook by far.

                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: Jeanne

                                                                                                                            Alton Brown, in tonight's episode where everyone tanked in the 5 minute demo, summed up my opinion of the FNS contestants: He put his head in his hands and moaned, "Can we send them all home and start over?"

                                                                                                                            Right now, I wouldn't trust these people to boil water. They're that far from grabbing a meat fork and going after Susie Fogelson's eyeballs. Amy's freaking out about being separated from her family, Jag's ready to re-enact the massacre at My Lai, Paul is still being the Frantic Gay Guy stereotype, Adrien's demonstrating emotional rigor mortis, and Rory is merely terrified. I'd like to sit all of them down with a plate of cookies and glasses of milk and tell them to relax. Then send them home, thanks for your time, and re-start the series with more serious contenders for the title. They all seem like nice people who are in over their heads.

                                                                                                                            1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                                                              I agree. I had my fingers crossed that one of these would shine through, but as the series progresses, I can't help thinking why would I want to watch ANY of these people on a regular show?

                                                                                                                              Jag is way too hyper and as they said last night---30+ ingredients for a 5 minute show???

                                                                                                                              Amy seems to be very emotional (when she is not down, she can come across as condescending).

                                                                                                                              Rory seems to have a personality, but cannot imagine what she would have to offer for an entire season of shows.

                                                                                                                              Seems that Paul has the best concept of an overall show, but its still not something I would specifically tune in to watch.

                                                                                                                              I think we all have probably imagined ourselves as a contestant and while I feel that I would perform fairly decently (I work well under pressure and can cook!) in the competition, I cannot imagine putting together a fresh show week after week and having people want to tune in to on a regular basis. Each of these seem that they will become yet another Sandra or Rachael---a host that offers no substance.

                                                                                                                              Hope that they prove me wrong.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Moonpie

                                                                                                                                They all seem to be WAY out of their depth! Probably the best of them is Paul (surprisingly)... JAG can cook up a storm but he's got huge anger issues and I'd say that would make him horribly unreliable (would YOU want to have to work with him?!)... Amy is insecure as all getout and she just lost the plot under pressure (she's got huge emotional issues too and a need to be perfect at all times!)... Adrien got the boot, because although he talks the talk he doesn't walk the walk very well (not one, but TWO cooking demonstrations where he didn't actually cook?!)... and Rory... (yes I admit we watch it every week - it's carcrash television!)

                                                                                                                              2. re: KenWritez

                                                                                                                                LOL and I completely agree! Even Alton Brown couldn't help these nut cases. No way would I watch a show any of them would host. Last season Alton really was great in focusing some of the contestants - this time,,,,forget it !!!

                                                                                                                            2. I think before Amy gets her own show she should learn to chew with her mouth closed.

                                                                                                                              1. Every time I tune in, I see some frantic gay guy trying to breathe through his nervousness. And the others freaking out over whatever task they have before them. I don't enjoy the show, and always end up changing the channel. UGH.

                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: PastaFace123

                                                                                                                                  Do you really think that Paul's being gay has anything to do with his being nervous, frantic, or in need of extra oxygen at moments? I don't...

                                                                                                                                  1. re: heathermb

                                                                                                                                    "Do you really think that Paul's being gay has anything to do with his being nervous, frantic, or in need of extra oxygen at moments?"

                                                                                                                                    Only in the stereotype he's presenting: Frantic Gay Guy Unable to Cope with Pressure. If I were gay, I'd be mightily peeved at the show's producers for this. He's a clone of Dave in season 1 and, IIRC, a contestant whose name escapes me in season 2.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                                                                      The stereotype that the producer's present through their selective editing...I'm sure he's not like that all the time.

                                                                                                                                      But I still question what sexual orientation has to do with being frantic and/or lacking the ability to cope with pressure. Again, have to think about the editing...

                                                                                                                                      I'll drop it now...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: heathermb

                                                                                                                                        Sexual orientation has nothing to do with Paul's frantic behavior, and I don't think PastaFace was implying such. Paul has made comments about his sexuality, so no assumptions have to be made at all. So he is, in fact, gay and frantic.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: mojoeater

                                                                                                                                          Yes, I didn't mean frantic behavior is a gay trait. He made his sexuality known, that's all. The entire show is simply a disaster.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: jaries60

                                                                                                                                          Good point...Sad, but true!!!

                                                                                                                                          I can't watch any of the Deens either. But Paula's red velvet cake is a hit with my family...her recipe seemed pretty authentic when I did the researching...by that I meant that I understood red velvet to have the vinegar, baking soda and cocoa in it. I only did half of the food coloring, tho, I didn't want nuclear red cake.

                                                                                                                                  2. I think it is interesting that in the midst of this contest for thier next 'big star' FN is looking for applicants for TNFNS 4. Makes you wonder how happy thy were with this group. Or if this is simply going to be another regular show.


                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                      What I think is even more interesting than them looking for next season's contestants (which I'm not surprised given the lead time for applications and reviews) is that they're promoting this new Simply Delicioso show with the Latin version of Giada DeLaurentiis. How can they say this show picks the next Food Network star when they're choosing the next star already and have her signed, sealed and delivered?

                                                                                                                                      Anyway, I'm thinking like an earlier suggestion that a Paul and Amy show might be interesting to watch. They do seem to get along together, and moms and gay people like to throw parties, so they could do a Party on A Budget by The Gourmet Next Door?

                                                                                                                                      I think it's also really odd that the judges are so down on the applicants, but then they expect us to love these people when one of them gets their own show. Just weird.


                                                                                                                                      1. re: singleguychef

                                                                                                                                        Exactly the point I made up-thread. FNTV has totally thrashed these contestants and portrayed them as thoroughly inept and incompetent. But once they select the lucky winner FNTV expects us to warmly embrace them and accept them as food "authorities", whatever that means. What's wrong with this picture? Seems like a serious reality disconnect somewhere along the line here.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                          I agree. TFN will give the winner of this contest their own show, as they promised, but IMO the show will roll over and die from lack of promotion and lack of viewer interest. There's no oxygen that far down the well.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: singleguychef

                                                                                                                                          I brought up the same point on a different thread.

                                                                                                                                          I guess it’s safe to say that JAG won’t be getting his own show. This explains why they are portraying is ‘anger ‘ issues, although he was being a wienie about the peppers. TV and cooking are stressful. I’ve heard RR can be a real, rhymes with which, back stage. IMO JAG has by far the best culinary skills and technique. He also had the most definitive view of the show he wants to do, form episode one it was Latin. It now seems clear that they were never going to use him as they already have a Latin show ready for broadcast. So why get his hopes up and bring him on the show? Why make the viewrs feel that FN is open to the contestants their ideas when clearly they're not.


                                                                                                                                      2. I really can't imagine two less telegenic or knowledgeable hosts than Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman. It seems like this year's version is nothing more than a (horrible) vanity project for this twosome. For Bob to complain about misleading POV's is just laughable. Has he even seen the dreck he's involved with? It started this year as a Top Chef wannabe and only now seems concerned with the camera aspect of television cooking shows. I'm no fan of Giada, but really, can they make her seem more hateful? Is her contract up or something?

                                                                                                                                        Judging by how bad FN has become, I bet Susie and Bob will have their own (stupid) shows involving travel and no cooking but plenty of trademarked cooking crap nobody wants...

                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: delk

                                                                                                                                          I absolutely agree, delk, that the hosts are one of the biggest problems. Here is my rant on this show (and yes, I still watch, to satisfy my sick curiosity)
                                                                                                                                          1) Why not choose interesting hosts? FN has a whole group of hosts that people actually enjoy watching. Why not make 1 of them a host/judge a la all of the bravo shows? Yes its copying, but at least then there is some continuity.
                                                                                                                                          2) Why not have the judges give more positive feedback so as to build excitement for the upcoming show. Basically FN has the opportunity for a 13 hour commercial for their new star, should they choose to edit their characters into likeable people. They try to copy the regular reality formula and have bitchy characters cuz that's what people want to watch, but they want to see them for one season, FN needs us to want to watch for years.
                                                                                                                                          3) And as a true foodie, I don't want to have to actually write this, but why does the food need to taste good? As has been mentioned, people rarely make the full meal, but rather take tips from the show and incorporate them. So if the host can give good tips and make tasty LOOKING food, is that not what TFNS should be looking for?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: dagoose

                                                                                                                                            I wouldn't call Susie Folgelson and Bob Tuschman the hosts of the show. As you pointed out, there is actually no hosts to this show, so it may benefit from having a regular host. In fact, I think season 1 had the guy who used to do "Best Deals" or something like that. For some reason, they dropped him and just used guest judges. I still like the guest judges, but I agree a regular host who's not a chef is nice to have to just ask the contestants what they were thinking?!

                                                                                                                                            BTW, I believe the food should taste good even if they haven't invented taste TV yet. Because the thing that turns me off is trying a recipe I saw on TV and then it not tasting good. That's why I love Barefoot Contessa because her recipes generally turn out well.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: singleguychef

                                                                                                                                              You are right, (I was out of town for a few days) and yet, they are the judges... I'd gladly give up five minutes each episode to have these "judges" talk about what it really means to have a successful FN show. That I would dig!

                                                                                                                                              Yak for a minute about what you are looking for, play us a "Giada, Alton, Emeril, Paula, Ray-Ray" clip that SHOWS us your somewhat (stupid/watered down) POV and maybe, us idiots, that like to cook, might get something out of this show....

                                                                                                                                        2. I didn't catch the most recent episode, I just watched the videos on FTV. Is it just me or did anyone else want to give Adrien a big old hug after his exit interview :(. I think there was a missed opportunity there.

                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                            You're not the only one, I would have given him a hug too. (I say as much in my recaps: http://singleguychef.blogspot.com/200... ) I think the others were so shocked that they didn't know how to react. I think Adrien also felt pretty confident having been in front of the camera before, but I guess they wanted more culinary expertise from him to give his show credibility.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: singleguychef

                                                                                                                                              I see your point. The past 2 winners have been "in the industry". So, OK.......why take "home cooks" then?
                                                                                                                                              My sense is that if you have a warm friendly personality (and I mean he reeeeeaaally seemed nice ) you can teach him, mentor him and help him grow. RR had only her personality, still does. Giada, while trained , was stiff as a board and seemingly did not like her gig initialy, at least that's thee impression I get from her "chefography".
                                                                                                                                              I guess I'm wondering what "hole" or "need" FN wants to fill. A real chef who has cooking chops?
                                                                                                                                              Bring back Malto Mario!!!
                                                                                                                                              In fact, to take this a tad farther (further?). Guy's show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" showcases his talent far, far, far better than his cooking show (see, can't even think of it's name.......big bite??). Here is a case of a strong contestant, who after taping cooking shows, seems to shine far brighter as a personality. He's very likeable on that show.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                What TFN is looking for is a talk show host that can cook. On Bravo, TC is looking for a chef (tho' you wouldn't guess it from the weak level of contestants they brought in.) The two shows are looking for different people.

                                                                                                                                                TFN wants "relatable," which is why they're pimping RR so hard, because no matter what you think of her cooking, she comes across as warm, friendly, and caring to her viewers; emminently relatable, as is Paula Deen, Alton Brown, Michael Chiarello, Giada less so IMHO, et al.

                                                                                                                                                Does anyone know why they axed Mario? Was he too professional for them? I noticed he was hard for inexperienced cooks to follow--too much info too fast.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                                                                                  I think I read somewhere that his show was too complicated for the home cook because he used ingredients most home cooks don't have access to and the technique was too complicated. That's why he's just with Iron Chef America now.

                                                                                                                                                  I disagree with that theory by the Food Network managers, if that's true. I personally loved his show because it opened my eyes to different things. And while I don't copy his technique step by step and use all ingredients, it does inspire me to try one or two things or incorporate something I see him do into the way I cook a dish.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                              Hm, Adrien got eliminated this past week?

                                                                                                                                              Ya know, either I'm going crazy or someone leaked who was to be eliminated before the show aired. I swear, last week I went on wiki to see(since I haven't been watching) who was eliminated and Adrien was already listed as eliminated for week 5 -- I didn't really count weeks, I just went merrily on my way since he was the last watchable character on the show... then I came here to discover who got the ax this past Sunday and Adrien had been eliminated...again? What the...?

                                                                                                                                              Could someone have changed wiki before the show? Or was no one eliminated this past week?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: s.woo

                                                                                                                                                Hmm,don't know. But not too surprised since last season FN accidently put the winner on their website before the show actually aired. Hello ???????????

                                                                                                                                            3. I like it less and less each time I watch it. They never have anything nice to say to the contestants, they just put them in there to give them an emotional whipping. They completely hung them out to dry.

                                                                                                                                              Here's what went wrong:
                                                                                                                                              They keep talking about FTV's desire to help teach the viewers, yet they have provided no education to these contestants. Top Chef is strictly cooking. They bring in experienced chefs and pit them against each other. This show is about cooking, TV presence AND developing the program. I'm sure it's easy enough to get seasoned chefs, but how many people are seasoned chefs, seasoned performers AND seasoned program developers?

                                                                                                                                              They are basically putting a knife in these people's hands, plopping them in front of a camera and then saying "OK, go win an Emmy" and then rip them to shreds when (SURPRISE!) they don't know how to do it. They constantly goad the players to "Show us YOU" or "Tell us your culinary perspective" but then give them very little actual advice about how to actually achieve this absurd corporate buzzword goal.

                                                                                                                                              Anyone watching this season would have no idea how to "play" any better if they went on next season.

                                                                                                                                              Here's what they should have done:
                                                                                                                                              A) Get experienced local cooking show hosts (highly unlikely).
                                                                                                                                              B) Get the people such as they got for this year, and then actually COACH THEM! Each player should walk into that door with an already-developed concept for a program. Preferably one of their own invention, but they could conceivably be assigned by the network. Now that they have a pre-defined "Culinary Perspective," someone from FoodTV (perhaps a different person each week) should be playing the mentor role (after all, if you're going to crib another show, you might as well go all the way and crib the original Project Runway) and helping coach the contestants on how to engage the camera/viewers and how to address the challenges in support of the pre-defined "Culinary Perspective." Then they can say "Hey Rory, baba ghanoush and peking duck does not fit in well with the 'Down-home Texas' theme for your proposed program" BEFORE plopping her in front of the camera with 3 minutes and no retakes and then berating her for not being absolutely stellar on all counts.

                                                                                                                                              You want to teach, FoodTV, then teach. The contestants are learning nothing. When they leave this show, they will not be better cooks, TV personalities, or writers, they'll just have bruised egos. The viewers are not learning anything either.

                                                                                                                                              As it is, it just seems like a cruel sideshow attraction.

                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: jzerocsk

                                                                                                                                                Amen, to that. These poor folks have been given impossibly short time frames within which to create full blown concepts with precious little guidance. I'm with you, I'm liking this show less each week. Instead of being set up for success, it sure seems like the competitors have been set up for failure.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                  I am so with you all on this, as I posted up thread. I'm wondering how in the world the "winner" is supposed to build thier "brand" after being scrutinized more than a guy who finds out he's got a prostate problem.....at airport screening.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                    I know...Is anybody planning to actually watch the poor SOB who finally "wins" this thing???

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                      Funny! And NO I will not be watching a show these clowns would host. I'll bet, you won't see a show put on . . . that is why FN is promoting #4 NOW.

                                                                                                                                                2. And speaking of poor sob's...I saw that in th next episode they're bringing back former contestants to act as sous-chefs(Top Chef anyone?) Columbe is one of them. I pity the poor SOB who's going to have to rely on her for help.


                                                                                                                                                  1. I'm sad to see Paul leave the show before JAG, who really bombed this week. But boy, Amy really stepped up to the plate. I loved her commentary, she was really smart and entertaining. You'd think Paul would do well but he really got flustered. And the big surprise is it does seem that Rory can cook?


                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: singleguychef

                                                                                                                                                      JAG makes me ill. First of all, stop referring to yourself as 'The JAG'. We get that you like to use the nickname, whatever... but enough already! Second of all, he truly doesn't get the whole 'cook for the home cook' idea. He hears this every episode and yet, he continues to conjure up dishes like his chicken with 'Saffron Lime Cream Sauce'. Try pitching that one to the same audience who tunes in to see Sandra Lee. Finally, he just acts so damn arrogant! He can obviously cook, but his persona is a complete turn off. I'm afraid to say that I agree with the judges- none of them really seems like a food network star at ALL. I can barely tolerate any of them long enough to watch a complete challenge; I can't even begin to imagine watching them host their own program!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: singleguychef

                                                                                                                                                        I agree Amy was right on it. I enjoy her very much, but I think Jag is going to win simply because he'll make good TV....ex Marine...hispanic ( I think) which puts him out there without close competition.

                                                                                                                                                        I find it funny how so many people put down FN and I've found it funny, interesting, informative and I enjoy it almost every night of the week. Even my kids enjoy watching and learning new things which make them unafraid to try new things. It is what it is and I don't ask for anything else. If a particular show isn't interesting it's just a button away.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: othervoice

                                                                                                                                                          I think so many being disgruntled with FN stems from the fact that it is almost a total 180 degree turn from it's early days. Back then (seems soooo long ago), the focus was very strong on actual cooking, and featured many professional chefs including some true luminaries. Some were stiff and awkward on camera, and some completely at ease, natural born teachers. I learned SO much in the early years! I would leave the channel on as soothing background if I wasn't actually watching, and believe a lot of knowledge seeped in subconsciously. I would LOVE it if the network, in honor of the next big anniversary would run a week (a month? a year?) of early programming just as it was presented then. Okay, they would have to put in current commercials....but I, for one, think it would be great!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KTBearW

                                                                                                                                                            The problem is, America wasn't watching it back then. Yes, Chowhounds were avid fans. But the average home cook didn't tune in until folks like Rachael Ray and Paula Deen showed up.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: singleguychef

                                                                                                                                                          I too was sad to see Paul leave. And Josh (I refuse to call him JAG) drives me up a wall.

                                                                                                                                                          They obviously didn't let us in on their decision making process to picking Josh over Paul, since it was edited to look like they were picking Paul. So their reasons weren't revealed. I think it's because Paul seemed to lack the culinary expertise and Josh (as annoying as he is) has it. I mean, Paul didn't even know what San Marzano tomatoes were. He didn't seem to grasp seasoning. It's the same reason they let pretty boy go last week.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pgokey

                                                                                                                                                            True, on the tomatoes, but Josh threw some cilantro in a soup and called it Caribbean...that's not much in the way of culinary expertise either.

                                                                                                                                                            I definitely think the judges made the wrong decision this week. Amy, Rory and Paul should have been the final three with Amy and Paul as the final two.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: heathermb

                                                                                                                                                              Josh would have been better off calling it "caldo" and serving it with a slice of lime, and some cubes of avocado. He then should have told the panel (when the time came to eat it) to put the avocado in the "caldo" and squeeze the lime into it.

                                                                                                                                                              NOW THAT's a latino way of eating it...well at least that is what we do in Central America! It's simple, everybody does it and it tastes wonderful. And I would have bet the judges would have not grilled him about "so what's latino about this other than the cilantro".

                                                                                                                                                        3. I can't buy the disconnect between Amy crashing and breaking down emotionally in the previous episode and her sudden about-face in this last episode. First she's distracted, weepy and fearful, suddenly she's calm, assertive, confident. The change is so extreme, something significant had to fuel it--why did the producers not pick up that "something"? IMHO we're watching a tightly scripted show, or at least a show with scripted scenes, and Amy's was one of them.

                                                                                                                                                          I find it ironically funny TFN is *already* pimping Season 4! (That didn't happen in the first three seasons, IIRC.) In my mind, the execs are saying, "We can't build show-runners out of these current contestants, so heave 'em and start over," which was exactly what Alton Brown moaned in the 5 minute demo episode, remember?

                                                                                                                                                          I feel sorry for the current crop of contestants, even Colombe. They were under-qualified for the role of food show star, selected by people who either didn't know their jobs or were selected by execs knowing they'd fail and thus provide drama, hence viewers. Look at us--we despise the show and we're still talking about it.

                                                                                                                                                          Secondly, how could Paul have been such a doofus as the Iron Chef commentator? He acted like a junior high kid goofing around!

                                                                                                                                                          Alton: "Where are the tomatoes from, Paul?"
                                                                                                                                                          Paul: "Plummy."

                                                                                                                                                          Paul was definitely the right guy to leave.

                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                                                                                            I agree about Paul. Cutesy comebacks are for teens. Witty and pithy is more suited for an adult.
                                                                                                                                                            I attribute the about face with Amy to brilliant editing. They had her on the precipice and brought her back to center stage. Yup, we totally fell for it.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                                                                                              I agree about the disconnect with Amy and her sudden, new-found confidence. I suspected that in between shows, she probably had a heart-to-heart with producers or she had a bit booster call from someone like her husband who told her to not give up after the sacrifice he had to make watching their kids while she's off in New York. In the beginning when she talks about a lot of people making sacrifices, I could sense that she had a conversation with someone and was reminded of all the people back home counting on her. And that probably gave her the will to win. Too bad the editors didn't edit in that conversation because it would have helped with the leap from last week to this past week.


                                                                                                                                                              1. re: singleguychef

                                                                                                                                                                I think they may have done that to should her 'struggle' and 'sacrifice' she has gone through. A lame attempemt to make this old before her time open mouth chewing woman more likeable.


                                                                                                                                                              2. re: KenWritez

                                                                                                                                                                Amy is an emtional train wreck. Who needs it!

                                                                                                                                                                Jag is a liar about his military & culinary experience. Who needs it!

                                                                                                                                                                Rory, I think, will win. I'll be voting for her although I wonder why FN can't get better qualified contestants.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                                                                                                  Wouldn't bother voting it only encourages them...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                                                    hehehe... I'm with ya...

                                                                                                                                                                    Ya know, the first season of this show I actually wrote a letter(which I NEVER do) to probably some intern or email abyss... which I was fully aware of, but I did it anyway -- saying what a great show they had crafted. IMHO, it was a show that was designed to make you like the contestants and a show that was setup so that the winner at least had a shot at success.

                                                                                                                                                                    This season, is soooo unappealing, I keep asking myself who was the genius behind this train wreck of a show... Not one redeemable personality among them, either they can't cook or they're jerks or worse -- Maybe after going through a few seasons of FNS, they really haven't made a return in terms of finding a great personality that will make them money(although, I really liked Reggie last season and hoped that someone would pick him up for his own show, that man had personality) --

                                                                                                                                                                    So they're doing what Project Greenlight did with the search for new directing talent -- they cannibalized the contestants, making them appear not only incompetent, but unlikable -- all in the name of ratings for the contest show. Just like with Project Greenlight, after showing us what a train wreck the behind the scenes production was, is it any wonder the movie flopped... why would it be expected that we would tune in and watch people we loathe? It works the same in reality tv as it does in screenwriting, never make your cast of characters unredeemable, then turn around and give them a cooking show and expect people to watch... I can't believe FN thinks their viewers are this dumb, I just stopped watching and come here once a week to see what's going on...

                                                                                                                                                                    I'm very disappointed in what I felt was one of the best reality shows on TV at one time... because it appeared to want to see people succeed and the goofs were human and forgivable, it was entertaining without being mean spirited-- not this junk they're serving up --

                                                                                                                                                                    But I'll put two cents in on who will win -- obvious setup for a woman to win this season, JAG(urgh) *should* be out this week, that would say to me that at least the show isn't rigged, due to the fact that Amy and Rory are probably even in, I really could 'care less vibes' in my book, if they are the last two standing, it's a horse race, anyone could win-- but if JAG moves on, it's really a setup... they're leveraging him against the woman they want to win, betting on people disliking him so much that they go with the best of the two evils - a pretty good bet if you ask me -

                                                                                                                                                                    I'll say Rory. Doesn't FN already have an Amy? Gigi(from Everyday Italian)... er, no thanks, but in the end I guess it doesn't matter, no one is watching anyway...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: s.woo

                                                                                                                                                                      If Rory wants to do "Backyard Bistro," how is that different from Michael Chiarello's show, or Ina Garten's? (Just to name the first two that come to mind.)

                                                                                                                                                                      Rory has (or had) a chance to put a Texas spin on her food--"Backyard Bubba Bistro," perhaps. Take the same ingredients but re-interpret them to show her Texas influence.

                                                                                                                                                                      JAG's cooking is a long list of ingredients. This last episode, he had "Saffron-Lime Cream Sauce." Saffron is damn expensive--how many home cooks will pay the exorbitant price for one dish? Especially as it's not a high-end dish?

                                                                                                                                                                      Amy's thing is "Gourmet Next Door." Again, Ina Garten has already nailed this niche. Also, how is "Gourmet Next Door" significantly different from "Backyard Bistro"? Even the names of the cooking philosophies are too similar to one another.."

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                                                                                                        I really think gourmet next door is copying Ina Garten, but Backyard Bistro -- or at least, what Rory means, whether the name says it or not, would be for cooks on a much, much tighter budget than either Garten or Chiarello, who both use expensive ingredients and equipment that I can't afford, at least some of the time. Backyard bistro could be a similar show for people who are on budgets but still want to make great food -- and it certainly seems to me that she intends to make things at a lower-cost, somewhat lower-energy level, without going into the 30-minute or 6-meals all in an hour kind of range.

                                                                                                                                                              3. One of the ironic things about the episode was that I'm pretty sure the "San Marzano" tomatoes were NOT the real thing - it may say "San Marzano" on the label, but when you examine that type of tomato a bit closer it clearly indicates they were grown domestically. Even Alton missed this. I believe they were these babies: http://www.amazon.com/San-Marzano-Tom.... You can find them lurking at Whole Foods and Williams Sonoma.