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Jun 29, 2008 08:51 PM


As much as I hate to do it I have to stick up for Jen and Lisa (AKA Squinty McBangs) they had forty five minute to do a turduckin and the judges are expecting a stuffed roasted turkey?

Again credit where credit is due to Squinty for somehow keeping her cool when Jen was being an idiot and smashed the glass over the food. (I also seem to recall a clip from the preview where Jen was trowing a fit in the store.)

And Squinty if you are going to insist on using French words to impress us learn to pronounce them properly.

Jen was surprised that she was going home. Out of all the FN viewers that makes one.

Good to finally hear Bob to admit that Adam is around only for his personality not his cooking. Good criteria for a cooking show. He also seemed to be giving Kelsey, and only Kelsey not Shane, a hard time about mentioning culinary school. I don't seem to recall her talking about it that much.

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  1. I started yelling at my TV set (oh yes I did!) at Cat Cora. Twice.

    Later I calmed down (hehe) and thought about what she must have meant. You see they gave 45 minutes to two contestants to make coq au vin, and she was complaining how it tasted nothing like the original. (insert scream here!)

    It was when I realized they could have done a short braise as opposed to totally forgoing any braise whatsover that I understood what she meant. That said .... still, yes... coq au vin or turducken in 45 minutes?!

    I offer the following challenger to Bobby Flay and Cat Cora both ... you each have 20 minutes to make oxtail stew. And when you say it can't be done. I dunno. You're fired or something and get big hypocrite awards you have to wear for a year.

    I hate it when Food Network pulls this BS. It's tiring, it's stupid, it's more fake drama. Everytime they put the drama ahead of the food, they look moronic. For the past two or three episodes they stopped doing it. In this episose, back to the same old same old again. Grrrrr.

    2 Replies
    1. re: HarryK

      Past two or three episodes they haven't done it? Dude, what rock have you been under. ALL the challenges are food mission not possible. They set these folks up to fail. The elimination is not on who preforms the best or shows what they're capable of doing. It's based on who is the best of the worst. Come on... gimme a break. Let these people do what they do well and then decide, not show them at their worst. Oh wait...maybe that's why the show whoever wins will be at 9:30 am on a Sunday and not prime time.

      1. re: DiningDiva

        LOL! DD, what rock have I been under? Ok, let me say I am talking about degrees. This is a reality show remember. Reality food show, definitely but a reality show, and again, comparing it to other shows -- for instance what part of making tacos from a lunch stand in the middle of the night in Miami (season three) makes a person a Top Chef? None!

        Or what Iron Chef has ever had to make food inside of airplanes? (The Next Iron Chef show) None! Never! So why should this particular food show be any less moronic that even some of our other ones?

        That said, sorry, yes*for a reality food show competition* I do believe the past two or three episodes have more focused on the food than the drama. You *can* actually make food for people on a train. Yes, you *can* actually make food for coast guards on a big boat. You get the idea ....

        But this episodes "reinterpretation of massively long cooked meals into mini versions" was to me more created for the purpose of failur than to show good food. Than what they've had to do the past three shows.

        The thing most baffling ... since seemed like another made to fail the food thing, why was Bon Appetit involved and printing the recipes???

        LOL I agree with ya though, DD. That does explain the 9:30am instead prime time slots!

    2. Squnity McBangs. LMAO! Love that, withnail42!

      Must have lost her contacts I'm guessing. From a distance she looks like a cartoon evil person .... Like Boris's Natasha or something with that squint.

      5 Replies
      1. re: HarryK

        And please, get some lips.......
        ETA: she looked so much better in her casual interview than her posed presentation. Lighten up. (But still get some lips...)

        actually, they could have done boneless chick/duck/turkey layered/wrapped.......not to say it would have been good but at least given a nod to the original (and you KNOW that is what they want to see...)

        thank heaven pigtails is gone. She annoyed the crap out of me.

        1. re: HarryK

          Someone on a thread somewhere nicknamed her The Romulan, and that's stuck in my brain.

          1. re: Chimayo Joe

            not a Romulan as much as Lailari from Galaxy Quest. See?

            1. re: happydog

              That was me. :-) I didn't watch last night, but she is definately Lalairi from Galaxy Quest.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                happydog and lindawhit, THAT is who she reminded me of... but i couldn't place it. lailari! yes!! (cuter as a blonde, that missy pyle:


                and squinty mcbangs, very good withnail. i love all you (very funny) chowhounds.

                couldn't anyone on chowhound outcook these people? and as for mission impossible, it would be fun to see the judges performing the requested tasks! turn about fair play.

        2. I agree with everyone on the 45 minute challenge but I'd like to stick up for the show based solely on the first challenge (not called a quickfire - do they have a name for it?). I thought that was a really good challenge from three different angles:

          Make a meal out of a mystery basket.

          Identify the food you are eating. As we've seen in Top Chef it's not always easy - even if you can see the food you are eating. I thought this was a nice, sneaky touch.

          Describe taste to the camera. Frankly I'd probably fail miserably describing tastes and textures in 90 seconds - while eating.

          1. After the first episode I thought I was going to hate Lisa, but now I'm hoping she wins. She can cook and is just goofy enough that she might be able to pull off a show that's fun to watch.

            8 Replies
            1. re: Chimayo Joe

              She lost me when she talked about cooking in her Pucci shoes and $300 blouse. Who does that and then feels the need to mention it?

              1. re: chowser

                Well, if they were my clothes, I'd be pretty bummed out about splashing that stuff all over them.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  and to be fair - if you were packing to be on a tv show wouldn't you bring your nicest clothes. she did only mention it AFTER she ruined it. it wasn't like "look at me in a $300 dollar shirt"

                  1. re: AMFM

                    sure, i'd pack *some* nice things...but many people manage to look presentable without stilettos & $300 blouses...both of which are not only inappropriate in the kitchen, they can also hamper one's performance [insert visual of lisa landing on her butt with sauce all over herself].

                    i think lisa's wardrobe is appropriate for a talk show host or other TV personality who spends her time on a couch chatting with guests...not for someone working with food while standing on a potentially slippery kitchen floor.

                    1. re: AMFM

                      She simply should not be running around in a busy kitchen in high heels. It is not safe for anyone.

                      Kelsey dresses nice but wares flats.

                      On TC when they did the nightclub challenge the women were given proper shoes to ware. (Tops too i think.)

                      1. re: Withnail42

                        i totally agree her heels are inappropriate. i just think that she wasn't bragging about it but mentioning it more like "damn i ruined a $300 blouse".
                        and i don't think you need to have them to look presentable but do know plenty of people who would!
                        i certainly don't want to become her big defender just seemed she was getting a lot of flack for the comment. i'd happily complain to her about the shoes. it will be interesting to see if she learns anything - you know i didn't notice heels or flats this week. hmmmm...

                    2. re: MMRuth

                      I'd definitely be bummed about it which is why I wouldn't be cooking in them to begin with, or wearing anything but more practical shoes. OTOH, that's why I'm half waiting for Stacy and Clinton to be lurking behind me at any moment.

                2. On the whole, I thought the judging was fair and to the point. I think they are going to always favor people who work well on camera and that idiot who kept tasting it and saying AWESOME or whatever, no matter how pretty, ain't gonna get it done.

                  Adam has to go. Being a cute babe/guy magnet is not enough. He knows nothing.

                  30 Replies
                  1. re: Pete Oldtown

                    In his bio it says he was co-owner of a restaurant (that could mean chops or could mean nothing) and that he's starting up a catering company (which scares me).

                    Being a fellow Philly boy I was initially pulling for him based solely on geo-location (though Aaron is basically a Philly boy too.) Thing is the only thing Adam made they liked was bacon cheese fries. That is not enough to hang onto out of five or six episodes.

                    Aaron has got the chops, the best credentials, but he's too shy or something.... 70 seconds of eating before speaking out of 90 is shear stupidity. He is not going to make it.

                    Looks right now like Lisa or the two blonde youngsters are going to get it. They all know what they're doing and they all have some kind of personality in front of people and the camera.

                    1. re: HarryK

                      That was one of the times I wanted to start screaming. "Stop eating, STOP EATING!!!!! SAY SOMETHING!!!!!" but no he kept o chewing.

                        1. re: libgirl2

                          i think we all were :)

                          i have to say, i was relieved to see jennifer finally get the ax because it was painful to watch her flail every week, but i really thought they BOTH [jen & adam] should have gone home. the judges have been waaay too tolerant of adam's failure to produce edible food.

                          as it stands now, unless aaron has a major breakthrough & busts out of his shell, the final three will obviously be lisa, kelsey & shane.

                          lisa grows on me a little more every week. i just wish she would tone down the makeup - she looks so much better during her solo interviews than when she applies all that war paint for the challenges.

                          shane surprised me - in addition to his obvious culinary knowledge, his personailty is beginning to shine, and he's getting more comfortable in front of cameras & judges. i'm just not so sure he'll have a wide enough audience among FN viewers. he's not old enough, nor does he have the commanding presence required to instill the confidence in seasoned viewers that he'll need to make them believe he can educate them...and he's not wacky or edgy in any way, so there's nothing about him that makes him stand out, or appeal to viewers who are bored with the same, tired FN formula.

                          kelsey...she can obviously cook, but i don't think FN would be wise to hire a sandra lee mini-me. i just can't take her seriously...and judging from the promos for next week's episode, it doesn't appear that rachael ray can either!

                          so it looks like we're down to lisa, the dallas diva. i didn't want to imagine it the first couple of weeks, but she may very well be TNFNS.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            My instincts tell me Shane is going to win. Why? FN doesn't have a host that young who is that skilled. They've had youngish hosts in the past (Tyler Florence and Bobby Flay were both on the young side when they started) but he's from the American Idol generation. It's a demographic that FN wants to attract, although I know lots of college girls who love both Paula and Ina.

                            Bob hit it on the head last night with Kelsey: she isn't experienced enough to be a FN host, although she is adorable, and I can see her making guest appearances on Shane's show (they made a cute pair.)

                            Lisa might be the dark horse, but I'm still turned off by her excessive marketing, both the wardrobe (she's obviously watched Project Runway and copied Laura Bennett's couture look) and her "beautiful basics" tag line. Wait until you have a show, Lisa, before you come up with your slogan.

                            But to be super-honest, as I said on another thread, I just can't imagine watching a show by any of these people. Not yet, any way. Let them guest star on something else first.

                            1. re: brendastarlet

                              "Wait until you have a show, Lisa, before you come up with your slogan."
                              i personally don't like "beautiful basics" - it makes me think of housewares or fashion, not food. but in lisa's defense [i can't believe i just said that], it does give her the most focused or clearly communicated "culinary POV" of all the contestants...and that's one of the primary things the judges want from them.

                              you made an interesting point about shane - i guess it's a question of FN's priority and what they hope to accomplish with TNFNS. do they want someone who will attract a new audience, or a host who is likely to appeal to existing viewers..?

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                I think Shane is starting to slide into that Tyler Florence kinda groove. As I was watching him last night I couldn't help but think "damn, he reminds me of TF", especially when they were showing he and Kelsey in the kitchen prepping for their faux beef wellington. And, yes, I think he will appeal to a slightly different demographic.

                                Whoever said Shane and Lisa will be the final 2 cheftestants is probably right. Aaron probably has the best overall skill level, but he and the camera just can't find the love. Shane and Lisa have both shown good skills and are at least actively trying to get better on camera.

                                Even though I find Lisa's continued use of "Beautiful Basics" annoying and irritating (much like nails on a chalk board) she's probably the smartest and most business savvy of the contestants. I think she's trying to show the selection committee that she listens to them (which makes her trainable), has a culinary point of view (i.e. viable concept w/legs) and that her concept is adaptable (which makes it, and her, more marketable overall). Gotta give her credit for trying to pull together all the loose ends and showing FTV how to tie them up. Like the rest of you, she *is* growing on me, but I seriously doubt I'd give up Meet the Press for Beautiful Basics with Lisa Garza.

                              2. re: brendastarlet

                                Two things year after year Food Network seems to want in their "next star". First is some sort of niche, preferrably ethnic. They sooo wanted JAG last year for Latino. This year they sooo wanted Nipa for Indian.

                                The second thing they want is male hosts because they can find female ones apparently very easily. They got Fieri in season two. They again, soooo wanted JAG last year. This year with Nipa gone, they go to their second choice when the niched food angle falls: get a guy.

                                Nope, they don't always get what/who they want. Look at Amy last year. But with Nipa gone, if it goes down to Lisa, Kelsey and Shane, they are going to want Shane the most.

                                Guess we'll see.

                                1. re: brendastarlet

                                  Physically, Shane reminds me of a younger Jim O'Connor, the guy who used to host "The Secret Life of", and I could see Shane doing a show like that. Shane's being able to cook means the Food Network would probably have options for finding a show or two for him to host even if he doesn't have an "in your face" personality like Guy Fieri who seems to be the only winner of NFNS to have made much of an impact on the FN.

                                  1. re: Chimayo Joe

                                    Don't forget that after the initial few eps of his NFNS based show that GUy was doing some "basically just a narrator" gig (like on The Secret Life of) for FN ... forget what show that was.

                                    1. re: jgg13

                                      Guy's cooking show is still on the air - they redesigned the set and are still filming, if I am not mistaken.

                                      1. re: kprange

                                        Nono, that's not what I meant.

                                        When they win NFNS they're given a contract for a set # of eps of their show, IIRC it is like 5 or something around there. Those air a couple of months after NFNS ... after that was done I didn't see his show anywhere (and I'm not sure if they were 'Guy's Big Bite' back then or if it was his NFNS 'Off the hook' title) but realized he was doing voiceover for another show. A while later his Guy's Big Bite show was back on and in the format you see now.

                                        1. re: jgg13

                                          You're correct, they give them six episodes (and they even call that a "season" believe it or not.) And yes, in the past the winner, the Next Star, their show tends to appear six months after all the fuss has died down.

                                          This year they're using their heads and started filming the winner's new show immediately so, this time, the winner's show will appear roughly one month later instead of half-a-year.

                                          1. re: HarryK

                                            That's pretty cool ... usually by the time the new show starts I've already forgotten to bother looking for it ;) The one ep of Amy's show that I caught made me not really upset that I'd missed the whole thing though. I always kind of liked Guy though so *shrug*.

                                            Was there a season before Guy's? I don't remember.

                                            1. re: jgg13

                                              Yes, it was two gay guys doing party food.

                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                Ah. I dont' think I saw that season then.

                                                1. re: jgg13

                                                  They were on for two years and were offered a third, which they turned down.

                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                    Now that you mention it, I'm pretty sure I've seen their show - just never realized it was NFNS

                                  2. re: brendastarlet

                                    Shane actually reminds me a bit of early Tyler Florence, interesting that you mentioned him.

                                    As for the beautiful basics slogan, I thought they were all supposed to constantly harp on their "culinary point of view" from moment 1?

                                  3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    Don't underestimate Shane. I don't know if he has Jamie Oliver's chops, but that man has made a career of being a young chef who had fun in the kitchen.

                                    I agree that it is likely to come down to Shane and Lisa and as long as Lisa give up the "image" thing she has going, she could be fun to watch.

                                    1. re: chicgail

                                      that's it! I couldn't put my finger on who he looked like. Thanks!

                              3. re: HarryK

                                Adam and his brother were co-owners of The Smoked Joint, the (now closed) BBQ place that used to be next door to the Academy of Music in Philly.

                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                    We ate there once and thought it was ok. But that particular location is just a bad spot for restaurants. It seems like no matter what opens there just does not last, no matter what kind of food. A Japanese place just opened and closed there recently.

                                    But trying to find good BBQ in Philly is a challenge all its own...

                                    1. re: Philly Ray

                                      Yep and odd part of town that needs good restaurants but even some of the best end up moving away elsewhere.

                                1. re: HarryK

                                  Of the contestants, my favorite is Aaron. He has the experience and, off-camera, seems quite funny, but when the director calls, "Action!" he becomes too "serious" and starts overthinking(?).

                                  Also, what's appealing about Aaron is that he's not an embellisher or a self-promoter... unlike many of the other contestants. He's keeping it real.

                                  However, since FN is looking for a TV personality his chances are low.

                                  Shane has a good shot at winning. He's a new face (FN can build a brand around him) and inexperienced (FN can pay him cheaply).

                                  1. re: dave_c

                                    I like Aaron, but he's seriously AWFUL on camera. He's so painfully bad that I wince when they're filming him, I'm not sure why he has such problems, but he's seemed to get worse, not better, as the show has gone on.

                                    1. re: JasmineG

                                      Agreed that he's getting worse. I've wondered if that was real or just a matter of editing, ya never know w/ these shows.

                                      He's my favorite person so far, but his on-camera skills won't bring him very far.

                                2. re: Pete Oldtown

                                  I've dated guys like Adam. They get tiresome real fast. It's all about the Adam.

                                  1. re: brendastarlet

                                    For sure Adam is going home next week! The thin veneer of his 'charm' is not enough.