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TNFNS - Okay, this Jag situation was a total hoax, right?

While I agree with what seems to be the opinion of most of the Chowhounds out there (that none of the candidates on this show would make an ideal star), I feel fairly confident that Amy is the best choice among those remaining. So her "elimination" was, I think, highly suspect. And then all this stuff about Jag not being honest about his background? Who would lie about graduating from culinary school, or where he was deployed by the marines? Both lies would be fairly easy to uncover, so it just seems like a really stupid idea to me. AND in that little "meeting" that he had w/ Tush and Sue, Jag didn't seem upset at all. It all seemed very odd, contrived, and in poor taste. Any clue on the real story here?

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  1. The meetings at the end were completely staged. They needed usable footage to put in the show to tell the narrative.

    I agree with you about Amy - both in that she's the best one left, and that her elimination is suspect. I wonder if the whole stunt was for drama purposes.

    1. Agreed. I've been dreading the idea of either Rory or Amy winning. Jag would have been palatable, at least. But something was off about this, for sure.

      I've already canceled recording for next week's show. I couldn't care less about it. Back to Top Chef...

      1. Well, the JAG story has been known for a long time so I'll bet it was an anti-climax when it got to the screen.

        I detest Amy and her icky hair! Yuck!

        3 Replies
        1. re: SilverlakeGirl

          You'd really judge a TV host because of their hair? The lookism that pops up in these threads really rubs me the wrong way.

          1. re: SilverlakeGirl

            I don't want to create another long thread of people arguing about the way someone looks... but I really don't understand what you mean; do you think curly hair is gross?

            1. re: Adrienne

              I bet her hair looks great when she does it herself. The fault lies with the FN makeup people putting way too much goop in her hair making it appear unwashed and stringy.

          2. I also think it was a hoax. Either way, once they started airing simply delicioso or sabroso (I dont remember the name) show, it became obvious Jag wasnt going to win, even though he was the best cook left and was the least irritating. When I saw that rory and jag were left, I started to panic because I knew that meant Rory won. Im not fond of Amy, but at least she knows how to cook. Rory is like a Texan Rachel Ray with more cleavage. A Dope. I actually went on the website and voted as to try to prevent Rory from getting her own show because one rachel ray on food network is enough to disgust me when I turn to the channel.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sambossanova

              Rory and Rachael Ray in the same kitchen was just terrifying, wasn't it... like OMG, who cloned her?! (there's nothing wrong with RR, but the world definitely does not need two of her!)

            2. I really don't see how Amy wasn't picked as a finalist the first time around. Jag is a spaz and very annoying to watch, and the way he was patronizing Rachel by repeatedly calling her "honey" was disrespectful. Over and over again he brings up these deep dark secrets about his mysterious past that he says is hard to talk about, but apparantely some of it was conjured out of thin air. Fault falls on both Jag for having no integrity, and the Food Network for failing a simple background check on someone they're putting on a short list of candidates to have their own show on the network. This whole season of TNFNS just comes across as amateurish and insulting to the viewer.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bunson

                Oh my god, I was getting so mad when he was calling her honey. It was so demeaning. I was shocked and disappointed when he didn't get called out for that.

                His presentation style is like Emeril on crack. Emeril without the crack is bad enough.

                Looking back, him moving on over Paul in the Iron Chef challenge is also suspect. Paul had problems, to be sure, but Josh completely failed that challenge. He fell apart. And they said, basically "You completely failed the challenge but we're picking you anyway." Odd indeed.

              2. If that meeting between Jag/Tusch/whatshername wasn't staged, then neither is any FN show *rolls eyes* Cripes, Jag looked as though he'd memorized a script!

                Secretly, though, I'm glad he's out of there. He may be technically the best cook, but his over-the-top performance on RR kept reminding me of Emeril without the patronizing. Amy came across as confident, friendly, and knowledgable. As The Powers That Be said, Rory made the segment her own. I don't know, though...there's something about her that puts me off.

                3 Replies
                1. re: xo_kizzy_xo

                  Ditto, plus I find Rory's flirty/cutesy mannerisms HIGHLY annoying. And the teeth, my God the teeth!

                  1. re: coney with everything

                    Agreed Coney!! I kind of like Rory except whenever she exposes that ginormous grill and gums. Eeek.

                    1. re: coney with everything

                      I literally laughed out loud after reading your VERY TRUE post(s) Coney and ggdinero!
                      My only additional comment: Anyone who says “freakin” should automatically be eliminated. Good luck Amy.

                  2. While I didn't like ANY of the finalists when I first started watching TNFNS a few weeks ago, I did really start to genuinely like JAG and Amy. Why in the hell did JAG have to lie about his credentials? Did he want to stand out in the applicant pool that he had served in Afghanistan? I really don't understand that one. Do we know whether he even attended a culinary school and didn't finish or never attended one at all? It doesn't make sense at all.

                    I'm rooting for Amy. She has a definite likeability about her that Rory doesn't have. I'd rather go to her house for dinner than Rory's. I'd have a headache w/how loud and over the top Rory is. It seems really contrived to me, for some reason while Amy I feel is more genuine.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: gyp7318

                      I agree with the whole meeting with Jag doesn't make any sense--Food Network just finding out about background--DUH.. I just don't get why Rory keeps making the cut..just don't like her at all. Would have liked to see footage of ALton Brown putting her in her place after how rude she was. If I were to vote it would be for Amy-more a vote of protest against Rory...(much like voting in general)

                      1. re: dklipscomb

                        Don't know if anyone gets the Food Network stuff in their On Demand channels, but they've been showing extended footage from each episode. In the Iron Chef Challenge week, they showed Alton saying to Rory, "Fill the silence with your dazzling knowledge......go!" as part of Bob's criticism that she seemed to be flirting with Alton.

                        In a previous week, they flatly told Amy to lose the flour sack outfits and dress better.

                    2. For a while I was anti-Amy. But I have to say of the three left last night, I was incredibly surprised that she was the one asked to go home!!! So yes, very weird and questionnable.

                      As far as JAG, I don't know how that happened, did they not call references, like any employeer would? I can't believe that. And can someone be really that naive to think The Food Network (or the Internet sites ;)) wouldn't find out? In what planet does he live in?! All these chefs get so much publicity everywhere! How embarrassing for JAG... so embarrassing.

                      In the last two episodes Amy has shown she is the only one that can do the job. I will be voting for her today and never watching this show again ;-) Have a good one guys!

                      1. Here's an interesting story published back in June by the Marine Corp Times that gives pretty good info regarding JAG and the "factual inconsistencies".

                        I really feel for JAG b/c he's obviously got a lot of issues he needs to work through. Have you noticed there's a common refrain of "it wasn't my fault" when it comes to him?

                        1. I agree with an earlier post about the unnecessary position JAG placed himself in. I mean, really, how would saying he was in Afghanistan or that he graduated culinary school necessarily would give him an edge in this reality show where they are looking for home cooks? I can see if he was applying for Top Chef how he might feel the need to pump up his resume, but for The Next Food Network Star that featured contestants like Colombe and Adrien who all made it to the finals but had no culinary background? JAG clearly has insecurities of his past that made him feel the need to build up his image. You can see it in the last episode how he was crushed because he didn't get the "approval" of his chef idols like Bobby Flay.

                          Initially, I was shocked that the judges put JAG over Amy but in my "Monday-morning quarterbacking" I can see why they did it. Both Rory and Amy's proposed shows are actually very similar so it would be a boring final with two very similar contestants. But a JAG and Rory showdown would have offered contrasting options to the viewers. So I think that's why they went that route, although my choice would have been JAG and Amy.

                          Anyway, I'm glad Amy's been given a second chance because I thought she was the front-runner and deserves a show. Despite her show sounding similar to Barefoot Contessa, I would still watch her because she has an approachable personality. I mean, even the two radio guys loved her and they looked scary. ;-)

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: singleguychef

                            "Initially, I was shocked that the judges put JAG over Amy but in my "Monday-morning quarterbacking" I can see why they did it. Both Rory and Amy's proposed shows are actually very similar so it would be a boring final with two very similar contestants. But a JAG and Rory showdown would have offered contrasting options to the viewers. So I think that's why they went that route, although my choice would have been JAG and Amy."

                            Personally, I thought they went with JAG because they could totally play on his "American Hero, fought in Afghanistan, Military Man" shtick. Considering that TFN is way more about image than actually food, I wouldn't have been surprised to see him win the whole thing, if it was the truth, based on this alone. What better advertising for TFN than to have a guy who fought for this country against the evil of terrorism hosting a show.

                            1. re: QueenB

                              I, for one, wouldn't turn into a show just because it was being promoted as a food show by someone who fought in the military. I'm all for supporting our troops and I think they've made incredible sacrifices, but watching a food show purely for that reason? Nope. Not a deciding factor for me.

                              1. re: singleguychef

                                You wouldn't, and neither would I.
                                But, think about it from a network exec. mind. I'm guessing it crossed their mind at least once.

                                1. re: QueenB

                                  I agree. I can just see the promo commercials. JAG in a camouflage apron, waving a spatula and raving about "Latin Fuzion." Ugh.

                          2. Not a hoax at all. Pretty much all these reality shows do background checks, but how deep do they really go for a cooking competition? I've had friends go to work - one for the NSA and another for the State Dept. - and in both cases the FBI and others interviewd me as part of their background checks. None really dug much, which suprised me given the places they were going to work. I'm guessing the Food Network was more focused on criminal background checks, etc. rather than if and where Jag's unit shipped. It was the military-focused press who broke the story and FTV had to respond.

                            It was an odd ending/meeting but it was an odd situation. He got caught by the media with his hand in the cookie jar and there was nothing else he could do at that point except try to save face without putting them in the position where they had to fire him... which you could tell they were going to do. They gave him enough rope at the last minute to hang himself.

                            I don't know if I feel as compassionate towards him as others here have posted. It's one thing to fib on a resume. But don't use the Marines in the lie. That's just wrong.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: tastyjon

                              The part that I find shocking is that they didnt turn up that he didnt complete school. That is a simple phone call. Indeed, in the NY corporate area the education issue alone has become re-emphasized given several executives who lied about their university persuits.

                              I would agree though that whether a particular unit was deployed might be harder to determine given the Dept of Defense would prefer not to even acknowledge that there are Marines deployed anywhere much less the status of a particular soilder in a specific unit.

                              On a going forward basis I would be interested to know whether Josh A Garcia finds that he needs to get a new job since his current one is so close to his former base (accorting to the news report linked above).

                              1. re: Marcharlan

                                I agree, it's not that hard to call the culinary school, first to confirm that he was there and all it takes is "can you confirm the year he graduated?" and that would have tipped them off. But like I said earlier, it still doesn't make sense for him to even lie about it because it's not a major embarrassment to not finish culinary school. And I think Bob Tuschman was being generous when he said JAG will have thousands of other doors of opportunity opening. I think he slammed shut his door with this act and being so mysterious about his past.


                              2. re: tastyjon

                                I feel no compassion towards him whatsoever. That may paint me as a cruel person, but in my mind, you blatantly lie on your resume/application/whatever, you pay the price when you get caught.

                                He knew exactly what he was doing when he wrote on there that he was deployed to Afghanistan and finished cooking school. Now, he has to live with the fact that he got caught...in front of millions of people on television. And it's no one's fault but his own.

                                1. re: QueenB

                                  The ridiculous thing is that nobody CARES whether he finished culinary school, or whether he was a marine in Dixie or Schwaziland(sp?) - it's totally irrelevant to his ability to cook up a storm. But from the moment the story was dug up it was obvious that they were never going to let him win (actually, I already didn't think they were going to let him get far because of his temper and emotional lability...) When it came to the end I'm pretty sure that the execs gave him a choice - here, read this speech and try to save a little face, or just disappear into a blank screen... shame - I really liked the guy...

                                  1. re: Kajikit

                                    So, you're saying that TFN cares about actual cooking ability when they hire hosts for a show?

                                    Have you seen Sandra Lee?

                              3. I did want JAG to win sure the guy has his issues but so do we all. I think he would have won if he would have just stated the truth in the beginning and thats the sad part. There is allot to this story , alot of issues that the marines say one thing he says another kinda thing. Bottom line he lied and thats not acceptable but man the guy i think had great cooking chops. Someone said earlier something about his Latino fusion cooking, I think the idea is great. To an extent i think the food network is missing something like that b.c the common person in todays society think that all Latino food is tacos and burritos and I'm not talking about people that care to educate themselves about food but I'm talking about the general public. This whole season on the tnfns has been in my eyes extremely disappointing i was hoping to see a person with a new vision and i kinda saw that in JAG but man did he go about it the wrong way and even with that he still needed allot of TV work . I see Amy winning she relates best i think with home family cooks well just see.

                                1. The Marines basically called JAG out (see gyp7318’s post). It’s a shame other “truthful” contestants were eliminated. It seems JAG has issues he needs to address. Good luck with all that.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: NoHun

                                    A reporter wrote about his Afghanistan lie - the Marines are covering up a hazing scandal at Cherry Point (Marine base in Havelock NC) that Jag was a victim of. There's a lot more to the story than what they (the Marines & the reporter) are making public -


                                    Read the forum above if you have the time and patience for it.

                                    And I also wanted Jag to win - he sure can cook and would have been interesting to watch.

                                  2. I think they knew about his lies and kept him in to create drama. That explains how he got so far. I just started watching the show, have only seen three episodes. The whole time I was wondering how he got so far. Now I understand.

                                    1. I just saw the ad for Amy's new show, Food network Star was so staged it's pathetic!
                                      I find it so hard to believe background checks weren't done before hand. The judges LOVED Amy. Happy wife and mom...so family. They were determined to get her back after she was voted off. I think Rory should have won.
                                      Am I the only person who thinks the foodnetwork is not anywhere near as good as it was about 5 years ago?? Paula Dean used to be great to watch, now her accent is suddenly more southern, and she's (and her two sons) as obnoxious as Rachael Ray!
                                      They used to have a wide variety of shows on, and now Sat and Sun are ridiculous with the "Challenges" and they are constant repeats. Did anybody watch Nigella Lawsons show when it was on Styleetwork? It was GREAT. Now they crammed 2 of her shows into 1. The best part if her show is how she lingers and talks of the food, but that's all been cut out so she can be cookie cutter lik PD and RR.
                                      So sad, becasue Foodnetwork used to be great. Now it's for the Oprah womens club.