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Jul 20, 2008 08:06 PM

TNFNS 7/20 (spoilers inside)

What a let-down!

This is my opinion: Somewhere along the line, they decided they just like Aaron. And almost every week, he screws up (except for the week with the RR Yummo thing). But they like him, so they make excuses for him over and over.

So this week, he got the easy promo. His 3 minute performance totally tanked, and his food was week. But they just couldn't let him go. They are in such a dillema, because they just want to give a show to this guy, but he consistently doesn't live up to their expectations.

They should have let him go.

Their original problem was the casting, and now they are in a bind.

* Adam can only cook one kind of food and knows nothing about anything else. He does his own food well. But his own food isn't so original on the Food Network.

* They just don't like Lisa, and they think no one else will either. She is the most talented chef they have of the three remaining. She knows food, and her food is classy and the kind of food that makes a person feel special.

* Aaron: first he had no presense on camera. That lasted through most of the episodes, but someone else always did worse, so he remained. In Vegas, he did a good promo, but for the rest of the time he had no presense. He did a bunch of pasta dishes. No one was impressed except for the crabcake. They clearly should have said goodbye.


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  1. i actually missed all but the end. i see your point completely though - but the thing is, i like him too. he's just likable. and can cook.
    i was glad to hear that adam can apparently cook too.

    12 Replies
    1. re: AMFM

      He may be able to cook, but didn't tonight. Three pastas, all store bought.

      1. re: Janet

        i agree 100% with meryl's assessment.

        as soon as it ended last night i said, "man, they're *really* trying to find a way to make aaron TNFNS." i was so uncomfortable watching him bomb during his buffet intro that i nearly changed the channel. and his food really looked amateurish and uninspired. he also needs to enunciate better. the mumbling & missed syllables don't exactly make for informative, understandable dialogue.

        no surprise that all three are still alive to compete in the final - i made that call last week. way too obvious.

        i don't think they'll give it to lisa - once again the judges questioned whether viewers would *like* her enough to want to tune in every week. here's a news flash for the FN execs: many of us wouldn't watch ANY of them.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          agreed on the last point ghg. and as i mentioned i didn't watch. all store bought is painful. i'm sure that without saying it they think aaron is the most diverse. although with her "upscale" thing (stlll a schtick though) i think lisa might be the most different from their current programming.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I agree with your assessment. They really want Aaron. He kind of has the Guy Fieri thing going for him. I too felt kind of sick to my stomach listening to his presentation. And his food didn't look too hot as well. And I also thought that all three were going to go to the finale from last week -- I think I've about forecasting from watching too much Top Chef!

            Even though I'm pretty sure Lisa won't win, I think just purely from the food concept, I'd like to watch her. I think watching her hyperactivity and exaggerated motions won't put me at ease though. I don't think I'd be making Aaron's food very often -- too heavy for my taste. Adam -- even though he did well last night, not sure if he can exactly cook. One good night can't make up for all the mediocre ones. And he did have Shane's help last night.

            1. re: Miss Needle

              I think Lisa is probably the best cook of the 3, but she irritates the heck out of me. Makes it difficult.

              1. re: LulusMom

                I think I'd probably prefer Lisa's food with Aaron's personality. I can understand that Adam may be more "comfortable" around the camera than the others, but I find his schtick annoying.

                    1. re: Ericandblueboy

                      I watch a cooking show for both - cooking chops and personality. Personality will only get one so far.

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  I've felt for a while that Aaron was "their guy" - Guy F had a similar path and something about the easy going likability factor. I've liked Aaron from the start and he's the one I'd most like to watch (including older contestants) ... I'm sure that even when he doesn't bomb that his stuff isn't the best, but remember that FN isn't always about "the best" but about connecting to the average home cook.

                  And speaking of Shane, Aaron was paired with whatsherface from Providence. He didn't seem to be particularly happy about that, they didn't seem to get along at the end, and they never really showed the two of them working together. Granted his menu was a bit uninspired but you gotta wonder if she "brought him down" at all (IMO she was the weakest cook out of the 3 that they brought in)

                  1. re: jgg13

                    The 3 pastas seemed like an obvious mistake right away. I wish Aaron hadn't done that.

                    1. re: jgg13

                      ooh, i meant to comment on the sous-chef issue earlier. aaron really got the short end of the stick on that one, and i was so worried she'd royally screw something up for him...sadly, he didn't need her help with that. but i was wondering if shane or kelsey might have encouraged hm to get a little more creative or elegant had either of them been assigned to him & seen his lame menu.

            2. I too have to agree with your assessment - but in my opinion, none of the candidates really had the personality that will make me want to tune in and watch. Yes Lisa is a good good, maybe the best of the bunch but I can not see myself wanting to catch her show they way I currently do for other established FNTVSs.

              I do feel that the judges find someone they think will appeal and fit in to where they have a gap and then look to promote them - this happens in all the reality shows.

              I just take it for the entertainment it provides.

              1. After almost four seasons, I've come to the conclusion that this is just a bad way to find
                TV talent and cooking skill. This format seems doomed to failure more times than not.

                4 Replies
                  1. re: Antilope

                    But the weird thing is it works for decorating on their sister network, HGTV and Top Chef usually fines the contestants to leave the best chef standing. So I completely understand why they keep it going. Oh, ,and I'm guessing they get pretty good ratings on the show, too.

                    1. re: MplsM ary

                      I love HGTV's Design Star yet I'm underwhelmed by FTVs Next Food Network Star. At least on Design Star they give the contestants enough time and money to do the challenges, and the challenges actually show what the contestants can do. On TNFNS all we see them do is flail around doing poorly conceived challenges in time frames that don't necessarily fit the task.

                      And, have you noticed that with Design Star they give the winner a prime time slot (9:30 om) on a week night, not buried at 9:30 am on a Sunday morning? I'd have not problem with either of the last to Design Star winners redoing a room in my house. Not so sure I'd want to cook with any of TNFNS winners.

                      The DD

                      1. re: DiningDiva

                        I love Design Star and can't wait for the finale!!

                  2. I'm afraid I don't have an opinion too far off the beaten path, here. 3 contestants in the finale was very easy to see coming. And the reason is clear, the person that they want to win does not have what it takes to move himself to the front of the line!

                    I agree with the poster who said that "diversity" is probably playing too strong of a role in the judges' decision-making process. Hey, if they wanted diversity, they should have kept Nipa. Granted, she wasn't great in front of the camera, had a bad attitude, and couldn't cook good food, but let's not let details such as these get in the way of diversity!

                    I keep asking myself 2 questions: Do we know what the contestant's show would be about, and what demographic would the marketing department focus on? With Aaron, I have no idea what the answer is to either question. With Adam, it's not absolutely clear, but I can see a show featuring comfort foods (i.e. cheese fries, smoked meats, pizzas, etc.) that is kinda wacky that is geared towards young couples, soccer moms, and late 20-somethings. Problem is, isn't that what Guy's Big Bite is? Finally, we have Lisa...who I can't stand. However, her vision of her food has been clear since the 1st episode: Beautiful Basics (she even has a catchy/dorky name for it) She routinely puts out food that is better than most, if not all of the other competitors (last night's comments aside, I thought her menu was the best). And her show would probably appeal to the widest demographic range out there. Yes, she definitely needs some work. But they aren't left with a contestant who doesn't need some serious work. And right up through her singing buffet introduction last night, Lisa has shown us how bad she wants this and she is willing to put forth a maximum effort to win. I hate to say it, because beginning in the 1st episode, I just couldn't stand her, I think they need to give this thing to Lisa unless she just does something off the charts miserable next week to blow it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: BaseballNut

                      Ok - what person is ready to host his or her own tv show after a competition without some work. For some of these contestants, it is the first time they are in front of the camera. How can anyone assume that they will just run away with a show? The contest will be over in a week or two and the show won't be on for a while - they will work with them, I assume,

                    2. That sounds about right. I like Aaron, especially off camera. I wonder if they're hoping he'll eventually get that comfort on camera but it's already been weeks. Lisa is more about the appearance than anything else--the appearance of looking good/wearing the right clothes, acting like she knows about cooking but is somehow off. Her cassoulet with canned beans being her specialty is a prime example. Last night, her burning the pork is another. She has way too much nervous energy and it feels like she tries too hard. And, Adam had to wait until now to show that he can cook? You can't be a one trick pony, especially if your specialty is smoking and grilling and Bobby Flay is a judge (um, that's Bobby's show) and hope one episode will pull it out. The judges said they've never had a tougher decision--I wonder if it's because they don't love any of the choices, not because they like them all too much. As they said, not one of the finalists completely embody the TNFNS.