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Was it just me...(TNFNS 7/13)

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Or did anyone else enjoy tonights episode of The Next Food Network Star? I did, I really did.

I liked the throwdown concept and Paula Deen was mercifully toned down and subdued. I thought the challenge was fair and for once they had a reasonable amount of time in which to demonstrate what they knew...or not. It was actually kind of fun to watch, rather than cringing through it.

I'd eat Aaron's food any day. He's still not so great on camera, but he can cook. Adam was oddly restrained, and while I probably wouldn't eat his food, he is (usually) entertaining and the camera likes him. And Lisa. Lisa, Lisa, Lisa. Would somebody please take the EverReady batteries out of her back and tell her to relax and lighten up. No doubt she can really cook, but, jeez, she's exhausting to watch. I see they got her out of stilettos.

The evaluation was as inane and harsh as usual but I think the panel got it right this week. It was time for Kelsey to leave and to her credit she was very gracious when she was eliminated.

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  1. Out of all of the people on the show tonight, two of them clearly do not belong on TV. They are both irritating, repetitive, and inane. No, not the cheftestants. The insufferable judges, Tuschman (talk about a boring monotone) and the curly-haired woman. Please, if I hear "We have to see the real you" one more time... To say nothing of the ridiculous challenges (up until tonight) that they have thought up. Give the judging to Bobby Flay and fill the panel with some of those from Iron Chef (especially the heavy-set guy with the acerbic sense of humor). For all of their criticism and supposed expertise in selecting talent and formats for the network, haven't Tuschman and that woman gotten any feedback about how horribly they come across onscreen? What blindness and egos.

    4 Replies
    1. re: nosh

      I completely agree with you about the hosts, and if the chefs are bad, the hosts are completely inane. I almost lost my lunch during one episode when they started talking about how they wanted the contestants to show who they are to the audience! Is this supposed to be a joke? I guess that I am not a typical Food Network viewer since I seem more to be looking for chefs and cooks who can help me get a bead on something new or how to do something in a new way. I wouldn't watch one of these "cooks'" TV show unless I were lashed to the set. Couldn't turn the show on again after this -- it was so icky.

      1. re: nosh

        Yes, for the love of God get Jeffrey Steingarten on that show. Just give this man a show about anything and I will watch it- he is pure genius. His books, his cocky attitude, he's funny as hell.

        Someone give this man a show, fine living?

        1. re: yankeefan

          Amen.

          What are they wasting their time for with this crap? Good point. I'd watch Jeffrey in a heartbeat.

          Heck, I'm 27 and I'd DATE Jeffrey in a heartbeat. I always did go for chubby and gray. My DH Happens to be gray and a little bald. :)

        2. re: nosh

          Jeffrey would eat all of the hosts and the contestants for lunch and spit them out. I don't think he'd dignify this level of inane entertainment with his presence. Just like last season, there's not a winner in this bunch.

        3. I don't remember who posted this suggestion, but I'll repost the idea that a show with Kelsey and Shane might be good food TV. She buoys him up and he seems to ground her. Don't get me wrong, as I was happy to see Kelsey go and for weeks I've thought of her as a cartoon character. I've been barely been able to listen to her. truth be told though I only watch may 15 minutes of any episode (fast forward is my friend). Still, this week, suddenly Kelsey became human when her voice dropped an octave.

          Nobody this season will have a show that gets anywhere past the obligatory 8:30 am Sunday slot.

          5 Replies
          1. re: MplsM ary

            I agree. By the way, what happened to last year's "Star"? The tiny chick with the curly hair?

            1. re: aurora50

              She bailed. Did her shows then decided that being a "star" was not for her.

            2. re: MplsM ary

              Last years winner was supposedly under her own decision in leaving, find that hard to believe.

              When Guy won last year, would have thought he would have been flash in the pan but happy that he wasnt and hes now all over the place. I hope Aaron wins and has the same fate- entertains me.

              1. re: yankeefan

                I couldn't watch her show (the little curly-headed girl from last year). It was just so.. BORING. Not necessarily all her fault, as I think the Food Network tried to carry the whole "girl next door" thing a little too far with her. Remember the set they gave her? Well maybe you don't, which is kind of my point.

                Guy has a great personality--I love him on the Diners & Dives thing--but I found his cooking show unwatchable. When he made a "chocolatini" and rimmed the glass with crushed Oreo cookies, that was as much as I could take.

                I think Aaron is by far the best candidate on this year's program, a little awkward in front of the camera at times, but once they got him on his own show I think he'd take right to it. He makes great-looking, unpretentious food that I'd both like to prepare and to eat.

                Lisa is undoubtedly a fabulous cook, but I don't think I would watch her show.

                1. re: kimberlyfla

                  Yesterday during my lunch break I went to the FTV web site and watched the preview of next week's episode. I'm not sure why I did this since I've never done it before and probably won't do it again. In the first challenge, the remaining 3 contestants have to do 30 second promos that have been written for them about their new show. Based on the edited version shown in the preview clip it "appeared" that Adam did "okay" neither good nor bad, Lisa not so much, but Aaron did great. Or at least he appeared to do great in the clip. He loosened up and actually looked like he might be having a good time doing it.

                  Aaron has been my choice since about the 2nd week because he seems so genuinely likable where some of the others aren't. But, to be honest, I've had my doubts some weeks where he's been ill-at-ease in front of the camera or too introverted.

            3. Yes it was really enjoyable! And wow, 75 minutes to cook. Long overdue.

              Only bizarre thing was the show's editing during the judges table. I seriously think the editor had to be on something. It went like this:

              Judge gives big praise to contestant A.
              Contestant A scowls.
              Judge then says something neutral to contestant A.
              Contestant A gushes with pride and says thank you repeatedly.
              Judges say you can return to your room while we talk.
              Shot of contestants standing there waiting for something to start.

              Huh???! Don't they even look at the show before airing it?

              Really the rest of the show was edited fine and was overall fun to watch. But that one part was three minutes of disconnected strangeness.

              1. Liked the episode.

                I think Kelsey was set up. I don't recall hearing the question to which she responded. But it sounded like it was specifiably posed about culinary school. So did what she was supposed to do and engaged the reporter and answered her quested. Bob throws a fit. I can't help but wonder what Bobs aversion to culinary school is. They also wanted the contestants the 'Vegas' up their dishes. So she does just that. They even seemed to like her dish. Then she get hits with a 'well it wasn't your style.'

                I wonder why Adam is still there. I thought he did alright last night. But each week the judges seem dislike everything he does. They question his cooking or his passion. Then they question his personality.

                Aaron seemed to do okay. But he got chastised for stopping to talk to the reporter. (Adam got in trouble for talking but not stopping.) Bob said 'you have to cook and talk.' Interesting. Was at IL's this weekend they had FN on. There was some cooking festival going on, and there was Giada sitting back in a chair answering questions from the audience while other people prepared her food.

                Lisa while not having any idea what a real cassoulet is cooked something that her husband taught her. The judges really liked it. Clearly she knows the basics but she does not seem to be any passion behind that rudimentary knowledge. I see ambition(which isn't bad) but just not the passion and culinary drive that comes across from other chefs/cooks.

                At least Paula Deen behaved. Last night was the old version I used to watch. Not the raunchy trouser chaser they have on now.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Withnail42

                  I totally cringed when Paula Dean appeared. I can't stand the woman. And she may have been subdued, but could she have been more of a jerk?

                  It was a good show, though. It's nice to see some real cooking going on. But I don't think any of them are really right for the job. Lisa is my favorite, and I like what she said in response to the question about her intensity. She's in a challenge and would be different if this was a show. You have to agree, she is up several notches in the type of food she prepares. Her signature dish isn't Mac and Cheese.

                  I wouldn't watch a show hosted by Adam or Aaron. I like Aaron, and I think he can cook, but he has problems with the camera. Adam is great with the camera, but I don't think he's much of a cook.

                  I think it would be interesting, though, to pair up some of these contestants: Kelsey and Shane, or Lisa and Adam, and give them a show together.

                  Meryl
                  http://inspiredbites.blogspot.com

                  1. re: Withnail42

                    withnail, i think you're giving kelsey too much credit. for one thing, she dug her own grave when she mentioned culinary school, it wasn't a *leading* question...

                    flay: "kelsey, talk us through the cream sauce a little bit."
                    kelsey: "bobby, personally for me, i think one of the most valuable things i learned in culinary school..."

                    also, i didn't get the sense that the judges liked her food very much. both the chicken & pork were overcooked, and she got negative feedback about some of the flavors in both dishes.

                    i do have to agree with you, however, that i was very happy to see the *old* paula deen. she's so much more pleasant that way. but i was surprised to hear her say that she "hated" lisa's mac & cheese, because it's such a strong word...i even thought we might see some waterworks from ms. garza over that comment.

                  2. so i'm not the only one who noticed that lisa finally wised up and wore flats :)

                    i really enjoyed this episode. i thought it was a great challenge, and a lot of fun to watch. but i have to say it again...there's not a single one among this bunch i could imagine watching on a show. aaron's too uncomfortable on camera. lisa's exhausting to watch. adam is entertaining but his shtick would wear thin pretty quickly, particularly if he doesn't have solid cooking chops to fall back on. and kelsey...let's just say i let out an audible whoop of joy when they *finally* cut her last night.

                    i don't think they're bad people, i just don't find them appealing as TV cooking personalities. it's too bad, really, because i think aaron & lisa have both clearly demonstrated talent in the kitchen...they're just not *star* material.

                    btw, props to lisa for finding a way to alert aaron to his massive oversight...a lesser person would have just stood back & watched him go down in flames. she may have screwed herself in the end by saving her toughest competitor from the chopping block, so it was a stupid move strategically, but i thought the gesture spoke volumes about her character. she continues to surprise me.

                    anyone else think the "first in the history of TNFNS" next week is going to be an announcement that all three will advance to battle it out in the final week?

                    54 Replies
                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      I am curious as to why Lisa (rightly or wrongly) decided to help Aaron. Yet when Kelsey poses a direct question to her the previous week. She refuses to answer and seems to turn her back she says on the tape afterwards something along the line of 'this is a competitions and it is not in her best interest to be helping her opponents.'

                      Why the change? Is this her trying show that she can be a team player for the benefit of the judges?

                      1. re: Withnail42

                        Sorry i missed this part of the show, but what was the question that kelsey posed last week? I've heard a lot of people comment about it, but i guess i missed it.

                        1. re: Withnail42

                          Kelsey being the other energetic woman left on the show, I figured Lisa saw her as the more direct threat to Lisa remaining, so she wanted to help Aaron take Kelsey down.

                          1. re: Withnail42

                            Keep in mind that, when Kelsey asked Lisa the question, they were in the midst of a short timeframe competition, and Lisa was simply avoiding the distraction. Did you catch her expression of disbelief? If anything, it was rude and unprofessional of Kelsey to do what she did.

                            This week, it was very different, with Lisa not in the middle of her own cooking. And how many of us would stand by and let Aaron forget the chicken dish? Don't you think Lisa would have gotten absolutely slammed if she done that instead - especially by the judges?

                            1. re: cmvan

                              What question had Kelsey asked? I missed it!

                              1. re: iluvtennis

                                "Aaron, you only have seventeen minutes left. Have you forgotten the chicken dish?"

                                1. re: jlawrence01

                                  No, i'm asking what question Kelsey had asked Lisa the week prior, which Lisa refused to answer.

                              2. re: cmvan

                                Sorry can't have it both ways.

                                True she was in the middle of cooking but it is what she said afterward about not helping the competition. Then in the episode she really made it a point of helping Aaron.

                                All I recall of Kelsey was that she was left waiting for an answer.

                                1. re: Withnail42

                                  I can totally understand why Lisa reacted differently to the two situations.

                                  Kelsey asked her for advice on how to prepare or cook something (I wish I could remember exactly what Kelsey said) while Lisa was trying to concentrate on preparing her own dish under a very short time frame. As soon as I heard Kelsey ask the question I had the same reaction as cmvan that it was rude and unprofessional of Kelsey to put Lisa on the spot like that during an individual competition.

                                  Lisa just gave Aaron a look to remind him about the second dish after she was done with her part of the competition. She didn’t have to explain anything to him.

                                  I other words she wasn’t about to sacrifice her performance to answer Kelsey’s, in my opinion, ridiculous question. However, she’s not completely ruthless so she was willing to give Aaron a little reminder when it would not impact her performance of a challenge. Maybe others would draw the line differently, but I’d probably behave the same way in those situations.

                                  1. re: jemadi

                                    I think Lisa struggles with her diva self image and her down to earth image, the one she claims to be with her friends.
                                    She looked genuine when Paula was talking about food being the common denomnator with religion and cultures and she teared up, and then when asked said something about not wanting to get emotional.
                                    Watching her cook, the pressure of getting it all done, and then doing another's dish, I just noticed she got into a rythym and was going at it. The questions were annoying, the situation unreal. I was reminded of Giada and RR on the Iron Chef segment where they were assisting BF and MB as their sous chefs, neither looked like they knew which side was up. Paula's performance on IR was just plain silly, so Lisa's answer to me anyway was okay. She looked her in the eye and answered her pretty much the way I would of. Maybe Paula got a litte p.o'd because Lisa sort of called her on it, I immediately thought of those competitions, retaliating with her "I hate it"comment.

                                    Cassoulet, I might of missed this, were they using canned beans? I am not so sure about that Bobby Flay could honestly say what he did about it being the best possible ever. Sorry but beans are not that easy to cook really really well, imho. Or was he just ensuring that Adam didn't get the win?

                                    Aaron apepars to be a great guy, what I get is that Lisa truly cares for Aaron and if she has to lose to anyone, he's it. He does have the heart, he has got stuff at home going on and we all know that he genuinely wants to better his family. To boot he makes amazing food, good for him for being daring and cooking with the chipotle, Ithought he trying to impress BF. BF should of patted him on the back instead of saying what he did about if you don't know an ingredient. Isn't it about taking chances? He could taste along the way, That's what I do when I use something I've never cooked with. Sorry BF, I totally competley dissagree with the comment, that if you don't know an ingredient not to use it. I know you didn't mean that!!!

                                    I agree the two judges that were mentioned are not the most enjoyable to watch nor do they seem like they are that hard to impress.
                                    However they did pick the right person to go with choosing Kelsey.She bombed. I've never thught he much of her cooking, seemed really that Sandra Lee, and RR have covered most American recipes. But then the young crowd might think differently so maybe she has a niche.

                                    IMHO, her talking to Lisa during a competition asking for her advice was immature. To complain about not recieving help and trying to villianize Lisa, come on.

                                    And I hope I hope, Adam goes. I just have never found him funny. He can not cook, he is all over the place so inconsistent with his food, and then with his camera appearance and interviews. He's either doing it right exactly or he's blowing it big time. I would not trust his performance, but who am I to say?

                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                      "Sorry BF, I totally competley dissagree with the comment, that if you don't know an ingredient not to use it."
                                      ~~~~~~~~~~~
                                      I didn't see the episode, but this comment of yours, cc, stuck out. A response to Flay might have been "If I shouldn't use it if I don't know anything about a particular ingredient - how will I *ever* learn what the ingredient's about?"

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        The thrust of Flay's comment as I understood it was focused on the issue that Aaron (I think I've got this about right) used chipotle peppers in a dish without knowing what they were and without tasting them or knowing much, if anything, about their flavor profile. Flay's line was something like "if you don't know the characteristics of an ingredient, then you shouldn't be using it." When one is cooking something on the fly to serve the food, I really have to agree with Flay on that.

                                        1. re: ccbweb

                                          That was not the case. Aaron knew what they tasted like, but could not describe what they were.

                                          I heard Bobby say "If you don't know an ingredient, you shouldn't be using it. Phooey! Virtually everyone experiments with new ingredients without "knowing" the ingredient. I was a little surprised Aaron didn't know they are smoked jalapenos, but he knew what they tasted like. and they enhanced his dish... so what's wrong with that?

                                          Imho, one of my problems with that series altogether is that those who are doing the judging really have no concept of what adjudicating is all about. and their comments are consistently inconsistent.

                                          1. re: ChefJune

                                            Ah, then I misunderstood the point of Flay's comment....and I agree with you. Off base criticism by Flay; so long as one knows the flavors one is working with, whether one knows the specifics is far less important.

                                            1. re: ccbweb

                                              If I am cooking with an unknown this is exactly how I do it.
                                              I smell it, taste some on my finger, then start adding the UK ingredient. Then I taste my dish. Period. That can happen with wine, an alchoholic ingredient, fruit, or herbs or anything.
                                              I don't buy that at all. Lame attempt and digginf for constructive critisism to Aaron. Go Aaron, and BF looked bad. Please don't get me wrong. I adore BF, he is my favorite chef, he had a brain fart. Tired,wife maybe not around, too much travel and

                                          2. re: ccbweb

                                            OK, in that context, I also agree.

                                            ETA: After reading ChefJune's and chefchicklet's comments, I now disagree. :-) Sounds like Aaron knew what it was, just couldn't describe it to BF's satisfaction. Phooey is right.

                                            I guess this is what frustrates me about judging on this, HK and TC shows - the sometimes inconsistency in what the judges say.

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              yes thank you chef j, if I didn't explain myself. I just thought at the time what a crock! I think that using unfamiliar ingredients during IC and Throwdown is the premise of the shows or am I wrong? Aaron was in a Throwdown competition, so what the heck is BF talking about...

                                              BF does throw down challenges, The other night I watched him majorly screw up arroz con pollo, for crimeny sake. Obviously the ingredient that he is unfamiliar with was rice. I kept shouting at the screen-"Leave the rice alone!". He added chilis, what?
                                              More than once, someone has listed a recipe on this board using an ingredient that I've not tried before, so I'm not going to try the recipe? BF.....oooo I hope you are getting major backlash from that silly comment.

                                        2. re: chef chicklet

                                          I'd like to know what this odd fixation with chipotles BF has. Seems he can't cook with out using them. Did he really need to discuss one of the three ingredients he uses. We get it your the 'chipotle' expert...move on find another obsession.

                                          Thank you for pointing out the canned beans. That's what was bugging me about the cooking time. True she really did not do a traditional cassoulet I do find it hard to belive that canned beans could even come close to the slow baked kind.

                                          Perhaps your thoughts on Lisa are right as well. She has cultivated this image of 'style and sophistication' (high maintenance, dive) but insists that she is this simple down to earth girl who like and lives the simple life.

                                          And how anyone can become emotional at meeting Paula Deen is beyond me.

                                          As for Iron Chef Giada (the trained chef) and RR(FN star) were the chefs they were the ones getting the help. Hard to believe after seeing the show.
                                          believe

                                          1. re: Withnail42

                                            i understand what everyone is saying about bobby's comment, but i think he meant it more as a lesson that you can't really educate your audience if you don't know anything about the ingredient yourself. think about it this way...you cook a meal for guests - for argument's sake, let's say roasted cod with sauteed ramps and morels - and when it's time to serve it, you tell them what's in the dish. one of them looks at you and asks, "what are ramps?" and you say "gee, i'm not really sure...but i thought i'd try cooking with them."

                                            i really like aaron, and he's obviously a talented cook. and i think it was very bold of him to use an ingredient with which he wasn't very familiar in an attempt to impress the judges...but i see booby's point as well.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              "...but i see booby's point as well."

                                              Typo? Or accidentally on purpose? ;-)

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                Hee, hee... ;-)~

                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                  oops. definite typo - i actually love bobby flay.

                                                  my sleep deprivation is really beginning to show....

                                              2. re: Withnail42

                                                also found it interesting that Lisa's Cassoulet was "the best cassoulet" Bobby has ever eaten. And he said it twice!

                                                with CANNED beans? cannellini beans, at that!!!! Has he never been to France? I will buy that she made a tasty, "short" version of Cassoulet, but can't believe it was better than one that's cooked low and slow, with dried traditional beans.

                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                  It's possible that Bobby Flay HASN'T ever tasted Cassoulet before. It doesn't have chipotles in it, after all... ;-)

                                                  And I have to chime in Aaron's defense on the whole "don't use an ingredient if you don't know everything there is to know about it." He knew what they tasted like, what flavors they were going to impart to his dish, and that's what's important. If a TV chef uses an ingredient I'm not familiar with and doesn't explain it to me to my satisfaction, that's what Google is for. Jeez. Bobby Flay wouldn't even have asked the question if he weren't a pretentious twerp.

                                                  Not that there's anything WRONG with that... ;-)

                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                    I saw the cassoulet recipe, I'm now really wondering about the cassoulets BF has had. Who knows maybe he has only had it a few times. This recipe is soooo different than mine, and the fastest it could be prepared would be perhaps 3 1/2 hours and then I don't know. Least the way I like it. Duck, lamb, garlic sausages and starting with small white dried beans.. I think her making the pesto for the topping was pretty smart, that helps so much with another layer of flavor...Sheesh wish it were not so doggone hot!

                                                  2. re: Withnail42

                                                    And how anyone can become emotional at meeting Paula Deen is beyond me?
                                                    But even if the words came from Paula Dean... Gosh every single time I hear a person's thoughts that food brings us all together, I can't help but choke up. I don't know for sure if in her heart she was sincere or if it seemed like a good thing to say for TV sake, but I sure want to believe that she meant it. Yeah, I probably would, I would cry. Especially under the circumstances, being tired, alone, and me being me, I really believed that statement.

                                                    Lisa was so complimentary to Paula at the restaurant. It was an edited piece showing that she met her, and then all of their excitement showing in their faces just to be there with Paula and BF! How cool!

                                                    Then Lisa in her excitement to meet her, Lisa says that Paula reminds her of her Grandma (Oh no! I said). Oh crap Lisa, no no no, just like Kelsey, open mouth - insert foot.

                                                    I wonder how Paula was able to hear that bit of info. I wonder what she was thinking since her grandchild is what, under the age of 3? She might of felt the comment aged her a wee bit, she certainly could of been insulted. I am a little younger, I might be miffed...

                                                    When I saw Lisa at the judging table, I had to think about the many layers of Lisa that are being slowly and methodically peeled away each week, her vulnerability is starting to peek through. I truly feel for her. To me she seems feisty, and yet very very vulnerable..she more than anyone else (besides Kelsey) has really made such a memorable image for herself, one so much that I can see other young women possibly emulate.

                                                    Now that doesn't mean I have an opinion one way or the other, just saying what I think it could happen, that I can see younger gals (younger than I), around 30 following her. And, I can see even younger gals (than 30), following Kelsey (well I even think she would get the guys too). For what it's worth, I'm saying this is my opinion only.
                                                    I have to ask myself this. How at this point in the game is Lisa going to humanize herself now without feeling or being called a hypocrite? OK Now what? Do we just pick her apart? She created her style and image what does she do with it now?
                                                    And then I hear, she wore flats ( someone mentioned that) and we think what? Why on earth should keep her heels on?

                                                    If I were the producer/director/stylist, I would take the cute and different image she came in with, because she is a very beautiful lady and then expand on it. She has her own style.

                                                    I would dress her exactly like she is, sort of ecclectically classy or sassy/classy, and let her just run with her show. She will eventually relax and the really good person and personality that is the real Lisa will surface.
                                                    Along with that, you're going to get some stunningly good recipes and plating ideas. I do like her take charge attitude, i appreciate her good use of the English language, and she's a bit edgier and comes across as more modern/metropolitan yet classically trained.

                                                    She can be warm (when she allows it) and a bit goofy yet still pretty. She handled her tumble in the kitchen like a real lady so much that if in fact that even the edited version was brilliant. She popped up all goopy and said "I'm Okay I'm okay." A trooper, hardly the whining, self indulgent, spoiled rich blankety blank I've heard her called.

                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                      "I have to ask myself this. How at this point in the game is Lisa going to humanize herself now without feeling or being called a hypocrite? OK Now what?"
                                                      ___________________________________________
                                                      Well, if you're FTV,by dressing her up as a wine angel at Auerole in LV and having her ascend heaven-ward whilst attempting to deliver a sassy promo for her new show....it happens this Sunday.

                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                        <Well, if you're FTV,by dressing her up as a wine angel at Auerole in LV and having her ascend heaven-ward whilst attempting to deliver a sassy promo for her new show....it happens this Sunday.>

                                                        You've GOT to be kidding?!?!?!? Right???

                                                        Say it isn't so.

                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                          oh, crap DD. did you just post the biggest spoiler of the season...?

                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                            No, not at all. The preview video has been on the FTV web page since Monday. If there were spoilers in it do you really think FTV would have put it on their web site?

                                                            I will say, when I watched the preview clip I really wanted to see the rest of the show right then. Not that it was so scintillating, but it was kinda interesting. And I gotta give Lisa a lot of credit for doing the wine angel thing, it's probably scarier than it looks.

                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                              aahhh, now i get it. sorry. when i first read your post i thought you meant that lisa had gotten her own show & was going to be filming the promo for it.

                                                        2. re: chef chicklet

                                                          Perhaps you could elaborate as to your true thoughts about Lisa.

                                                          Also am quite glad that Paula (party) Deen in no way reminds me of my grandmother.

                                                          1. re: Withnail42

                                                            I'm going to take your comments in good stride. Pardon me for my opinion which I think I stated, was mine. Withnaail perhaps you can add something more useful.

                                                          2. re: chef chicklet

                                                            She really is very pretty, but I think she comes off a little too much like a Stepford Wife.

                                                            1. re: kimberlyfla

                                                              My input to this thread is coming from an observation of someone that i watche on a program. I think I reported true,and did not add any of my thoughts into the script as I've seen happen.

                                                              Really I don't think pretty has a whole lot to do with it. In my opinion, she is memorable, that is all.

                                                              Stepford wives didn't work did they? If I remember right. I think I know what you mean, she does a robotic way and that was my point, I think she is struggling to lose that undesirable element of her image.

                                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                I think it is really hard for her to do that in these timed challenges. I think in a normal taped show her real self would show more. She is just really trying to get the best product out in the time available.

                                                                1. re: kprange

                                                                  I agree. I know it would be for me.
                                                                  These challenges are tough.

                                                2. re: Withnail42

                                                  I can't figure that one out either. Maybe she's just letting her guard down a little and is really a nice person? Or...maybe she just couldn't help herself, standing there with nothing else to do, than to tell him he's doing it wrong? Or...maybe she wasn't thinking straight after the sudden change in altitude from taking off the stiletto heels?

                                                  1. re: kimberlyfla

                                                    >>> maybe she wasn't thinking straight after the sudden change in altitude from taking off the stiletto heels?

                                                    LOL! Good one!

                                                  2. re: Withnail42

                                                    My impression was that when Kelsey asked Lisa a question, Lisa was cooking and said she needed to focus on that. In the Vegas episode, Lisa and Adam had already completed their "throwdown," and were just standing there watching Aaron and Kelsey do theirs.

                                                    I was surprised to see Kelsey go, even though she made a few bloopers in the episode. Adam's cooking has been so inconsistent and a few of his dishes looked inedible. Would I want to watch a show with a guy who serves such unappetizing food? I mean yeah he's clever and funny, but the winner's show is supposed to be a cooking show, isn't it? I just know that when Bobby Flay said "absolutely" in response to Susie's vlog question about whether there is a contestant who definitely shouldn't be there, he was referring to Adam.

                                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                                      I haven't seen this episode yet. I was trying not to find out who got eliminated but ended up on another website where I accidentally found out. Actually, it's OK. It's not like I'm watching Top Chef.

                                                      I think one possible reason they showed Lisa helping Aaron could have been a last-minute editing change due to Lisa complaining how she was negatively portrayed on this show last week.

                                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                      Actually, I my original post above I did mention the stilettos were gone ;-).

                                                      And, there is a company in Boston that trains chefs and culinary personnel to be on TV and to have their own TV programs. Aaron and Lisa can be trained to be on camera. Remember, these episodes were filmed last February and FTV is making the decision this time about who to hire, not the viewers. They can already have their minds made up as to who they think is the most marketable and have sent them for training and polishing at the TV chef school.

                                                      Let's not forget, these people have been living together in close quarters for how ever long it took them to film the episodes. since they're all going through the same experience some bonding has to have taken place. Aaron is inherently likable, Lisa probably respects his cooking ability even though it's a different genre than hers, and seeing him fail probably wasn't an option. If you noticed Adam was watching Kelsey, and I noticed Kelsey in a couple frames when Adam was cooking. Perhaps they were given instructions we didn't hear and were directed to give the person they were monitoring time marks.

                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                        Lisa seems to geniuinely like Aaron and there have been shots of them hugging after evaluations, and she really isn't all that horrible of a person. And they probably played up that split second interaction anyway.

                                                        Um..judges? You need some new buzz words. Really..what do you want from Aaron? On camera breakdown? The criticism is the same week after week. This isn't American Idol! 'Dawg, you weren't my dawg this week. I wasn't really feeling your cassoulet".

                                                        Kelsey gave me the shivers (not in a good way) with her steely vow that she WILL cook on TV. That is her role in life. Not to be a good cook, but to be a TV cook. Ok Kelsey. You little evil wind-up doll.

                                                        1. re: ptrap

                                                          >>> Um..judges? You need some new buzz words.

                                                          No no. Please do not say that. Sue has finally dropped using "your headline is" to my eternal relief!! Let's not give them ideas.

                                                          1. re: ptrap

                                                            Hee, hee... That's scary.

                                                            1. re: ptrap

                                                              ok I can't help myself... The Bride of Chucky.

                                                            2. re: DiningDiva

                                                              "Actually, I my original post above I did mention the stilettos were gone ;-)."
                                                              ~~~~~~~
                                                              i know, that's why i said i wasn't the only one who noticed :)

                                                              i used to work in PR, so i'm no stranger to the benefits of media training. but the notion that the judges would choose someone whom FN then has to send off to be trained as a TV personality runs counter to what they claim is the purpose of this show. they're constantly talking about how they want to see the contestants' personalities shine through, and it seems as though the show/competition itself really serves as their training ground. sure, the winner will get some coaching & training during the development of his or her actual show, but i have a hard time believing they'd want to give it to someone whose TV persona required a lot of work. plus, some people just never get it. all the training in the world can't help someone who's just bad in front of the camera. and that's not to say there's anything inherently wrong with these people - some just really don't have capacity to multi-task like that and remain completely conscious of the details when they have two things going on at once [i.e. cooking & engaging the audience].

                                                              re: the timing marks...i think you're right - it seemed like they were each instructed to keep one of the competing cooks apprised of the time as it ticked away...but lisa went out of her way to express her concern to aaron and make him realize that he was in trouble. she could just as easily have called out the time without standing in front of him shaking her head and staring into his eyes until he got the message.

                                                              DD, i'm not trying to be difficult or argumentative with you, i just don't see *it* in any of them. and i wish i did, because lisa clearly wants this BADLY, and aaron seems like such a good & talented guy.

                                                              oh, and i'm with the other posters re: bob & susie. those two are obnoxiously annoying. heaven forbid we should ever hear anything new or unique from either one of them.

                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                Ooops, I guess the coffee hadn't quite kicked in, I thought you asked if you were the only one who noticed the heels were gone. Sorry 'bout that, just misread the sentence.

                                                                GHG, I don't think any of them has *it* either and I won't be going out of my way to watch the show of whoever wins, not even out of morbid curiosity. No, I take that back. If Lisa does win, I think I might tune in out of curiosity to see if she's the same or not.

                                                                FTV does, however, have a stake in the success (or failure) of the eventual winner. Do I think they're going to invest time and $5,000 (or more) in media training? Not really, I just mentioned it because it's an option, especially if they really want one of the ill-at-ease-in-front-of-a-camera contestants. It's a cheap investment for them in order to ensure a modicum of success as well as keeping their advertisers happy. Do I think that's going to happen? No, not really, which is why I think Adam will end up the eventual winner. It's easier to polish his food than to polish the on-camera presence of the other two. Unless, of course the show is being edited to make it look like they're just not so hot in front of the camera.

                                                                It costs FTV money to produce this show as well as the shows the winner ends up doing. That money has to come from somewhere (sponsors/advertisers) and FTV has to be reasonably assured of getting it back. Guy worked out well, Amy? not so much. They're in business to make money, and I think they'll do what they need in order to preserve and recoup their investment, or at least break even.

                                                                And yeah, I agree with some of the other posters, the Bob and Susie show is getting old. They could/should take some of their own advice to heart

                                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                  I don’t know maybe they would spring for coaching. I saw Aaron do a live cooking demo at my farmers market 2 or 3 weeks back and he was terrific. He was actively encouraging the crowd to ask him random questions while he was cooking. He was so at ease cooking and talking that I didn’t recognize him from the show - I was shocked when I saw how awkward he was on the next episode. I don’t know if the lack of pressure at the farmers market allowed him to relax and he’d still be stiff in front of a camera, or if he’s been coached since the show. I do know that if he could be the way he was at the farmers market on his own show, I’d watch it. His food always looks good. Perhaps they’ve been playing up his awkwardness so that at the end he can have a “break though” to endear him to the viewers?

                                                                  1. re: jemadi

                                                                    "Perhaps they’ve been playing up his awkwardness so that at the end he can have a “break though” to endear him to the viewers?"

                                                                    Yeah, it seems like the really enjoy playing up the awkwardness of all the contestants to create more drama, but sometimes i think if they are not careful, by the time we get to the end of the season, we are like, "NONE of these contestants are competent enough to have their own show!" It's like, are they more interested in the ratings of TNFNS or in the show that the next star is supposed to get after the show?...because it seems like with all this drama (making them all seem pretty unlikely candidates to have their own show), they are going to ultimately make us not want to tune in to see the winner's show.

                                                                    1. re: jemadi

                                                                      I wonder if Aaron is one of the final 2?

                                                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                    Bob is bad but Susie is obnoxious. She sames the same thing over and over, season after season, week after week. What actually insights or qualifications does she have or offer? She comes off as overly pretentious.

                                                                    I thought that Paula Deen was not mean but honest- I liked the feedback. Flay needs a smaller tie, trying to hard my man.

                                                                    Didnt hear anyone comment but how about Susie's remark along the lines of "we dont him here learning on our dime". What the hell is that? The FN is making money on this show with free labor- the lore of having a reality show, you dont pay them you dope. Question is- how much is that station paying her?

                                                                    1. re: yankeefan

                                                                      i totally thought that comment was completely bizarre also. isn't that part of the challenges in the show - to learn tips etc. from the current stars? the only thing i can think of (besides her not knowing what else to say) is that it was edited badly and we missed the main part of that comment...

                                                                      1. re: yankeefan

                                                                        >>> Didnt hear anyone comment but how about Susie's remark along the lines of "we dont him here learning on our dime". What the hell is that?

                                                                        I forgot about that line! Precisely Yankeefan, that's *exactly* what they are there for!! ... Duh, Sue!

                                                                2. I'm seeing a lot of people here giving Lisa a lot of credit. Mine you, in the past, so have I. But after last night's show I have my doubts about something.

                                                                  Yes she can cook. Yes she can sure cook her own stuff. But when someone *supposedly* that good can't a) make mac and cheese b) can't figure out a normal way to "up" mac and cheese .... well that makes me wonder if -- and I'm just saying it's possible and not something I thought about until last night's show -- maybe she can't do simple and normal. Maybe she can't even do medium. Maybe she's one of "those" who can only cook what she practiced on and hasn't the skills to diversify off a page. Sorta like broken robots disease. hehe

                                                                  I mean first... adding goat cheese? You could tell what was going to happen right then. No wonder Paula wanted to puke that up. And then what was her other brilliant addition? I forget exactly, but I think it was sticking a slice of roasted tomato and a slice of poblano on top or something? So, one majorly bad internal ingregient and two weird garnishes. Hello? Mac and cheese? WTF?

                                                                  Apparently such "normal" thoughts as adding bacon or pancetta never even entered her pretty dome-haired head for a moment. Sorry, that's majorly weird. I don't care if she did one of the best cassoulet Flay ever tasted because apparently that is one of over and over practiced signature dishes in her repetoire -- yet one small step out of her comfort zone and into "normal people's food" and ta-da a mac and cheese no one could eat? Something is just sooooo wrong there.

                                                                  Sure, Adam needs badly to brush up on some haute cuisine stuff. Maybe take a lesson at the CIA, but geez, that's a lot more normaler than someone who can't "come down" to something normal, or who can't make something normal, or who turn something an eight year old can do and make it terrible.

                                                                  20 Replies
                                                                  1. re: HarryK

                                                                    Goat cheese in mac 'n' cheese? Not a good move. Roasted peppers actually do go pretty well with mac 'n' cheese though, so does the tomato and easy rule of thumb...EVERYTHING'S BETTER WITH BACON. When they asked Lisa how she was kicking up Adam's dish and she said with tomatoes and roasted poblanos, I swear, the first thing that went through my mind was "where's the bacon". Omit the goat cheese and use a good melting Mexican cheese like Chihuahua or Oaxaca, add a little bacon along with the toms and chiles and she would have done a lot better. Lisa got stuck looking at only 1 tree in the forest instead of the whole forest.

                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                      I am glad I am not the only one who thought of bacon or pancetta. I thought the tomato was a nice touch; no I didn't understand the goat cheese.

                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                        Goat cheese in mac is wonderful, if done correctly.

                                                                        I've eaten it locally, used it, and seen it done (check out the mac thread on this page)

                                                                        Some people even brulee the goat cheese.

                                                                        1. re: sommrluv

                                                                          Mac 'n cheese with chorizo and basil is obscenely delicious. Try it!

                                                                          1. re: ptrap

                                                                            Oooo, that *does* sound good. Which chorizo, Mexican or Spanish?

                                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                              Mexican chorizo. And basil and breadcrumbs on top. I looked and can't find the recipe on line...it was from Men's Health magazine a few years...it was in their "when you want splurge" column. I think it was your basic baked mac n cheese recipe, stirring in some crumbled, cooked chorizo, top with basil and breadcrumbs. It might have had canned green chilies. So good.

                                                                              1. re: ptrap

                                                                                Sounds really good. I think I might try tonight. Thanks

                                                                                1. re: ptrap

                                                                                  Wow, that sounds good and easy. I've got handmade (by me <gg>) chorizo in my freezer, this sounds like a great way to use some of it!! Thanks for the suggestion

                                                                              2. re: ptrap

                                                                                I have all ingredients - I should try!!!

                                                                                1. re: ptrap

                                                                                  That DOES sound good.

                                                                                  I'm of the mindset you could throw a lot of things in mac & cheese, and it would taste good, as long as you don't make it too oily though. (lobster comes to mind!)

                                                                                  I missed nearly all of last nights episdode. I come here for the recaps. (which no one did this time!)

                                                                                2. re: sommrluv

                                                                                  I think it was the combination of cheeses Lisa used. I didn't think goat cheese would enhance, or be enhanced by the other cheese she used in it. Rather, I thought her combination sounded like the 3 (or was it 4) cheeses she used might all be competing with each other too much. Goat cheese is a strong and distinctive flavor, if it doesn't play nice with the other ingredients the results might not be so hot, which is what I think happened last night.

                                                                                  I think you hit the nail on the head - "if done correctly". It would certainly appear that Lisa didn't.

                                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                    Cheese can be hard to work with heat, it can seperate, especially goat cheese.

                                                                                    There are mild ones...in a challenge like this, you aren't selecting your ingredients from the dairy farmer that you work with all the time, and you know your product, so I imagine it's frustrating, but I can't imagine she's 'that' type of chef...maybe she is.

                                                                                    is anyone else craving some good old kraft? Or grandmom's secret recipe?

                                                                                3. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                  Wonder what the full list of ingredients provided to the contestants was. Was bacon even available?

                                                                                  1. re: Chimayo Joe

                                                                                    Can't say specifically that I saw bacon there. But their pantry was so super .... well, let me put it this way, someone added duck confit to their dish and Adam picked up fresh lobster. If they were there, I'm betting bacon was too. :)

                                                                                    Mmmm, chorizo! Very nice idea!

                                                                                    1. re: Chimayo Joe

                                                                                      There must have had bacon since it was the base of Lisa's cassoulet.

                                                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                                                        I can't remember the details of how she made the cassoulet during the episode, but there's no bacon in her recipe posted on the FN website.
                                                                                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                        1. re: Chimayo Joe

                                                                                          I swear I saw her cutting up bacon as she answered the first question from the judges. Now, I need to watch this show a second time to determine my mental stability!

                                                                                        2. re: smtucker

                                                                                          According to jennifer's exit interview, Lisa doesn't eat pork.

                                                                                      2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                        Well not that big wad anyway! She put in that huge log. At the time, I did think, oh that was a mistake. The cheese was going to really flavor the dish, and not in a good way. Tomatoes, and poblanos, yes I could see using those two, but Lisa had gone to far with her dish, which for timing sake was not exactly right for the recipe.

                                                                                        The dish seemed so so, I have to agree with the judges on this one.

                                                                                      3. re: HarryK

                                                                                        Have to agree regarding Lisa. She knows what she has been told. She comes across like a trained seal not as someone who has a real background and understanding of food and cooking, no passion or heart. She knows her dishes and that's all folks. Take her out of her comfort zone and she is lost. She has said her work experience has been 'apprenticing' (another one of her questionable word usage.) with her husband for the last ten years perhaps he never told her how to make mac and cheese.

                                                                                      4. Couldnt agree with you more about most of the points in your post. Paula Deen was palatable and honest (not groping dudes like usual), Flay was solid as always, and it was in Vegas which didnt hurt. Also a positive if an episode doesnt include Rachel Ray, Sandra Lee and Giada. Lisa was really annoying to no end and I hope she doesnt have a show come out of this and Kelsey has a much better personality but if her food sucked she should have been the one with the boot I guess. Not sure what a cassoulet is but apparently Lisa's was legit.

                                                                                        Aaron seems great and I think he'll be fine on camera and hope he is the winner of this. Adam doesnt seem bad either and would probably be good on FN if he did one of those "Follow that Food" or "Unwrapped" type show.

                                                                                        Next week has Guy Fieri judging them- I dont see that as too appropriate given he was there last year but I hope he comes off well. Im a fan of him but just doesnt seem right. This show is a guilty pleasure indeed- cant get enough of it. Next thing I know, Ill admit to liking and watching Big Brother.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                          I like the absurdity of BB and I like Guy.

                                                                                          1. re: yankeefan

                                                                                            I think Guy is the perfect guy to be there. He won a couple of years ago and is the only true success that has come from the program. I have enjoyed Bobby as a judge but those other two yahoos need to go.

                                                                                            Right now I want to see anyone other than Adam win. Lisa is good but Aaron has my heart. What a guy. And he can really cook also.

                                                                                            1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                              I just don't belive any of last three can pull off a real show on their own. It will just be another unwrapped/how'd that get on my plate/ or another informative based show like Ted's. Do we really want to know if bubble gum stays in your intestine for seven years? This seems to be the overall direction of food network. Thank god for Jeffrey Steingarten, he needs his own show about anything he wants.

                                                                                          2. I think they are just wacking off this season. None of the three is likely to have a successful show. Aaron and lisa can cook but can't handle present themselves on TV (entertainingly or informatively). Adam is a questionable cook who is somewhat funny, but Alton Brown had cornered the FN market on the funny guy, who by the way, cooks.

                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: kirkj

                                                                                              I think I agree with you--I'm a little underwhelmed, and we're down to the final 3. (Of course, I wasn't exactly overwhelmed last season, either.) I'm not sure Aaron has the confidence to handle it...there is something about Adam that rings false with me, I don't know... and just about everyone I know who watches this program can't stand Lisa. But then again, the Food Network is just chock full of "personalities" that people love to hate: Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, Paula Deen... dare I mention SANDRA LEE? Oh, God...
                                                                                              I honestly can't believe I'm following a (so-called) "reality" show (and posting on this board about it, no less!). It's kind of fun, though, isn't it?

                                                                                              1. re: kimberlyfla

                                                                                                Of courese it's fun, that's why we do it. Just consider it a guilty pleasure

                                                                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                  Absolutely it is.

                                                                                                  1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                    Lisa is a good cook. And if her eyes didn't close up when she smiles, I might not dislike her so much....But they do.....

                                                                                                    1. re: cackalackie

                                                                                                      Well, you know the old Pete Townsend song/album - "All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes". Ie., think Roy Rogers...

                                                                                                      After all, Lisa's a Southern and now Texas girl.

                                                                                                      1. re: cackalackie

                                                                                                        ahhhh. that is just wrong. but I know you didn't meant that in a bad way. She would make a great subject for a drawing, her eyes are happy eyes, you can't fake that.

                                                                                              2. I checked out a few episodes online, I didnt want to waste important tivo space on this what looked to me a lame-brain group of "foodies who wanna be the next Rachel or Guy" and as several of others who posted remarked, none of these clowns deserve to be on TV. Is there no real culinary talent that FN could find, its funny they do this NFNWS thing yet, they have a bunch of new talent that came in, most pretty mediocre actually but thats just me, So why do this sad pathetic show, They give some some of the most inane and ridiculous challenges. I would love to see one of them just turn to those clown judges and say "Okay thats it, Im here to cook, not to make some meal out of bubble gum and a can of pork and beans, Goodbye!!"