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Jul 6, 2009 06:31 AM

TNFNS - was it a toss-up as to who went home? (Spoiler)

This group seems hard-pressed to come up with anyone who's star material or even consistent. I can see why Flay in particular really seems frustrated with these guys.

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  1. I'm in total agreement. I do have a question, however. I don't understand why Jeffrey was not in the bottom three. I think he deserved to be there even more than Michael. At least Michael had a personality in his spot, not just the Full Charge Fannie bit that Jeffrey pulled on Jamika.

    All in all, pleased with who went home. Katie was correct in her comments about them looking for "a specific type" and that she is not that person.

    I'm starting to wonder WHAT they are looking for? And could Debbie can the stupid Korean comment already? I could see if she was making Korean-inspired dishes, but... her garlic comment? Um, hello, I'm Italian and we use Garlic, too. I don't get her POV.

    I'm still rooting for Melissa and Jamika. The rest of them? No thanks!

    9 Replies
    1. re: rocks67

      Yes, they were all pretty bad. Mind you, it was a hard challenge. I could never cook and talk at the same time on TV. But if you're a contestant on TNFNS you're supposed to be able to.

      1. re: NYCkaren

        I think they have their hearts set on Debbie winning the thing, and it seems they really favor Michael even though he admitted he is terrified of the camera. Bobby Flay looks like he wants to can them all and start all over.

        1. re: jacobp

          "Bobby Flay looks like he wants to can them all and start all over."
          i wish he could. of course, i'll continue watching the show to see how it plays out, but i just can't get excited about any of them anymore. i had high hopes for Jamika in the beginning, but she's imploding before our eyes. and Debbie is pleasant enough to watch, but she doesn't intrigue me enough to want to tune in & hear what she has to say. she's made all these references about her Korean & Southern backgrounds, but her culinary POV is a mystery to me, i have yet to see too much of either element in her food. Michael may be a great cook, but he's too scattered, and he's *scared* of the camera - not exactly an ideal quality for a TV personality. Jeffrey's a yawn, and Melissa just doesn't inspire me. i'm just grateful they finally got rid of Katie. she definitely overstayed her welcome, and i found her to be completely unwatchable.

      2. re: rocks67

        I thought it was a little unfair of them to criticize Debbie for saying she was Korean. I mean, that's her "point of view" and she's introducing herself to a new audience, a real one, for the first time, how are they supposed to know who she is and what she's about if she doesn't say so? I agree, it would be crazy of her to open each episode of her new cooking series (if she wins) with, "I'm Korean," but I didn't find it that out of line in this scenario.

        And, aside from the garlic, it would be hard to find much that would fit with her "culinary point of view" with the dish she was assigned. I thought she did the best should could with what they gave her to work with.

        They can't tell people to flog their culinary points of view, then complain when they do their best to bring it out in a situation where they've set up the parameters up so that it's nearly impossible to do so.

        I'm glad Katie went home, too. I don't know hows she's different from Ellie Krieger, who is already the "healthy eating" person on FN.

        I don't really have a favorite among who is left, but they've gotten rid of the people I've disliked the most, so, that's good.

        I don't really see anybody in the bunch that has real "star" quality. If I had to root for people that seem very different from the current food network line-up, then I'd vote for Debbie or Michael.


        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          TDQ, they weren't criticizing her for saying she's Korean. their issue is that she keeps saying it without ever expanding on it in any way or using it to teach anyone anything new or useful that relates directly to her Korean heritage. the garlic comment was just silly, it felt like she was reaching. and in the challenge where they cooked for the kids, she used soy sauce on the yams - she certainly could have discussed the popularity of that and other fermented condiments in Korean cuisine.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            GHG--I recall it differently than you do (but, I'll also admit to having a less-than-perfect memory!). What I recall was her saying something along the lines of "I'm Korean and we like to use a lot of garlic" and then camera cut to Bobby Flay saying something, "God, does she have to say that every time?" ... You know, they only had 5 minutes to do the WHOLE presentation, which gives each gal about 2.5 minutes each to introduce herself, her dish, and show how to cook it. I'm sure there was more she could have done, but I think she did okay.


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              GHG got it right Debbie seems to throws out the Korean reference and then never really expands on it. You find yourself thinking ' okay and now what?'

              The other half of the issue is that the judges have come down very hard on people for repeating themselves of telling similar stories. So far Debbie has been given a pass. She has been telling the same story every week. In fact the judges fall over each other to praise her story.

          2. re: The Dairy Queen

            FWIW, I think the food network could benefit from another healthy cooking show. One show from a woman whose food is pretty boring is...boring!

            I'd like a show from a chef's point of view with an emphasis on healthy, not a nutritionists point of view. I think someone who could pull that off would very much add to the Network.

            1. re: Jeserf

              I agree with you! Alas, I don't think Katie was the person you (we) seek to fill that gap.


        2. I finally got a chance (and remembered) to watch this show. Definitely think Katie was the person to go - although Jeffrey most certainly could have, as could have Jamika (although if I understand it correctly, she's stood out as better than most in past episodes?).

          Debbie's "I'm Korean" when she's using garlic or ginger seems a bit much. (and I think they showed her saying it a few other times). If she's Korean - make something as it relates to Korean food - and if the challenges are such that she can't do that, then she should stop saying it until it's appropriate to do so.

          No one really stands out (at least from watching the two shows I've seen this season), other than Melissa. Not sure if she'd be able to carry a show, however.

          BTW - I did see the previous week's episode that aired earlier in the evening - and I recall someone bringing this up in the thread about that episode...Bobby Flay said "You are the LAST SEVEN who will have the chance to do this!" - does that mean they're not going to do another "season" of TNFNS?

          17 Replies
          1. re: LindaWhit

            Melissa keeps her head on straight more consistently than her fellows. I can see her hosting a show about cooking for and with kids. There is no show such as that and I think it would fly.
            Re:Debbie's overdone remarks..they are odd since she stated at first that she was indeed Korean but didn't cook so much Korean food as she did Southern food.
            Poor Michael is a killer chef but I was almost hoping he'd lose in order to get him out of his misery.

            1. re: lucyis

              Agreed - I think if Melissa wins, her show could be something VERY interesting if she had kids on her show with her, helping to prepare what they're going to eat. Going shopping with them, asking them to pick something out that's different, and then making it back in the studio kitchen? Could potentially get kids watching and interested in the same thing.

              Couldn't be a live show, obviously - but none of the winners have live shows a la Emeril, right?

              And re: Debbie - if that's what she said at the beginning of the show, then she shouldn't be referencing her Korean background at ALL, IMO.

            2. re: LindaWhit

              I heard Bobby's comment too last week and wondered if he meant it literally or figuratively.

              If literally, then it's about time. I think NFNS has jumped the shark, if not the entire Food Network.

              1. re: DiningDiva

                Have to agree. I would have stopped after Guy. It's not like they've really given anyone else a shot. Even if they have, it really hasn't worked (Dan and Steve, Amy, Aaron). The only other "star" has been Adam. i think he's succeeded because he hasn't ever taken himself too seriously. That and he's been willing to do the grunt work to get on tv (will work for food, anyone???). That said, I STILL like him WAAAAAAAY more than Aaron or ANYONE this season.

                1. re: rocks67

                  I agree: most of the seasons have been like a car wreck - you have to watch, but you hate yourself for doing it.

                  1. re: Claudette

                    There's nothing else to watch (unless you count Top Chef Masters, which just kind of lays there). I don't think Debbie needed to be admonished because she mentioned she was Korean. People don't automatically know that she is -- she could be Chinese or Japanese to viewers who can't tell their ethnic groups apart. It's fine with me if she tells a new audience what her background is.

                    It's pretty clear that Jamika is on the chopping block and possibly Jeffrey, although he seemed to do much better last night. But what would his show be, if he won? Laid Back with Jeffrey? I Occasionally Make Food For My Kids with Jeffrey? At least with Melissa, you know she'll be Mom on the Air. With Debbie, it will be Spunky Korean Girl. The others, I'm not so sure about.

                2. re: DiningDiva

                  I took Bobby's comment to mean that they're the seven left after the other have been eliminated. I don't see the network getting rid of this program; even if they don't get a long-term show host out of this season it fills up some time. I have a feeling that even if they found the "perfect" person there would still be more seasons of TNFNS looking for an even more perfect host!

                  I just have to say how glad I am to have the Chowhound chat about this show; I looked at just a handful of the thousands of comments on Bob's blog and was left rolling my eyes.

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    No, on the website, they're looking for contestants for next season. So it's not over yet.

                    About this episode, I thought that Jamika did worse than Katie. But it seems like they took how they did over the entire season into account.

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      they definitely considered past performance - i recall Susie pointing out that Katie was in the bottom for three consecutive weeks. considering the fact that she overcooked the chicken and has zero presence on camera, she really deserved to go. finally!

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        About Susie, did anyone else notice her looking down and fidgeting with her bracelets while Jamika was talking during judgment? So rude. I've noticed that she often looks like she's "glazing over" when the contestants are talking. Maybe she thinks they've jumped the shark too.

                        1. re: Axalady

                          Maybe she (Susie) was just wondering how those bracelets got there. They have certainly glammed her up after so many seasons of her looking like it slipped her mind she was going on T.V. that day.

                          1. re: Axalady

                            It's hard to tell what's really happening. The editing can often tell a story that may not have actually been there.

                            1. re: chicgail

                              Don't know how it can be misconstrued as anything other than what it was. I have TIVO and rewound it several times. Susie obviously thought the camera was on Jamika or on Bob (who was speaking at the time) but the camera captured them both at the judges table. This is obviously a case where they couldn't edit the scene as it would have cut off Bob's comments at the judges table.

                              lucyis, I thought it was FN president Brooke Johnson who forgot to dress for the occasion...

                              1. re: Axalady

                                Yep. I went back and looked again also instead of just commenting based on your post.

                                I had thought it was just a shot of Suzy and didn't realize it was a two-shot with both Bob and Suzy. There was no way that was edited in.

                                1. re: Axalady

                                  You're right about the prez, she looked like a librarian dragged out of the stacks, but Suzy also was not ready for prime time.

                                  1. re: Axalady

                                    Axalady-Brooke Johnson looks like a slob who has just spent the night in a bus station. A the big finale last season (it's their biggest show) she was a complete and utter shambles a wrinkled mess. So much for taking pride in ones work. If the head of the network won't how will any one else?

                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                Yeah, I thought she should have been let go weeks ago. I was surprised they kept her on for so long.

                        2. I wanted to add a few comments:

                          They will continue this show so long as there are viewers - that is TV. Even if you watch it only becuase you consider it a train wreck you cant look away from, youre still watching and viewership is what helps sustain future seasons.

                          Second they need to fill the airtime. As is so much is reruns. They are probably always searching for something to fill up the slots.

                          Is it me - the Jeffery issue of talking to much and shutting out Jamika. I saw it as his nerviousness and seeing her not talk (not his fault) and having a need to fill time on air. I think he stepped up. He may have let her talk if she was willing to contribute. I dont put that much blame on him.

                          The Debbie thing, I agree, so what if she pointed out her being Korean, some may not know. I think the judges had something to point out to her, they just didnt communicate it well or come across directly enought, but you cant judge the judges.

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: drbelfer

                            Debbie says she's Korean every week, every time she uses garlic or ginger. I'm Jewish and I cook with garlic and ginger! I'm surprised at how well Melissa is doing -- the housewife with all those chefs. I like Jamika a lot but she really hasn't done well the last few weeks. Katie should have gone long since, and Michael is just too miserable about the cameras to be a TV chef.

                            1. re: Beulah

                              I'm actually quite a fan of Melissa. I think she could fill a niche on the channel easily. I think it's a given at this point that TFN doesn't cater to chefs or to those in the industry. What it does cater to are people and families who are going to a barbecue and want to bring something special. Or who are making a birthday dinner for their spouse and want it to be really spectacular. You get the idea.

                              I think Melissa would fit this role better than most of the other contestants. She has also been consistent, actually improving week-to-week, if anything.

                              As far as a housewife not being able to hold her own with the rest of the contestants, I don't think that's really fair. We don't know how many dinner parties she's thrown, we don't know what her innate ability is (and I do think there is a certain innate quality to knowing what flavors meld well), and we don't know what her pre-child background is.

                            2. re: drbelfer

                              I am still not sure about the Jeffery issue; he really didn't give her the chance to talk.

                              I think he should have paused and looked at her - and then it would have been obvious - Either she could snap back to life - OR freeze, and then he would have been in the clear.

                              1. re: NellyNel

                                True but we also dont know how much was left to editting. We only see what they show us. Perhaps he didnt give her the chance to speak, or perhaps he did but it was not shown. We all pass judgement based upon what is shown and how we see it - that doesnt mean that it is exactly what went down nor does it mean what the contestants really felt or meant. People are people - we can see the good or bad in anything and people can display the good or bad side in any situation.

                                Guess we can just make our judgements (human nature), like who we like and hope those that interest us will remain.

                                  1. re: dagwood

                                    No actually I don't think it is true.

                                    I may be wrong - but I am pretty sure we did see the entire presentation.

                                    Feel free to correct me here

                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                      I definitely agree with those who've commented on how FN's editing can dramatically change how we perceive the contestants. Think back on how Jeff and Jamika were portrayed - him hogging the camera, her freezing up and saying almost nothing.

                                      I just got done watching their full 5 minute segment. Jamika actually did very well, and Rachel even complimented them at the end as to how they worked well with each other and choreographed their moves nicely. A very different feeling than we were given on TNFNS.

                                      Check it out here:

                                      1. re: cmvan

                                        Thanks for that!
                                        I was sure we were shown everyone's full slot.

                                        I can't open the link from this computer but I will watch it when I get home.

                                        It makes sense because from what we were shown - she would have been the obvious choice to go home

                                        1. re: cmvan

                                          Wow! I still think Jamika didn't shine like she usually does, but it's clear how the show is crafted (via editing) to push our opinions in a certain direction.
                                          Thanks for the link!

                                          1. re: dagwood

                                            FN is not only highly edited - it's scripted. One of my favorite FN editing bloopers was during an Iron Chef battle featuring Bobby Flay.

                                            Flay vs Tourondel battle goat cheese. The camera focuses in on Bobby Flay putting the finishing touches on one of his dishes. He's obviously sweating it to the very last second, his competitor is finished with time to spare.

                                            You hear the female announcer say "30 seconds to go". The camera pulls away from Flay and you see and hear one of his sous chef's say "this is when he tells me he needs something else". Within two seconds Bobby says "one of the dishes is missing here". Our blond sous chef comes to the rescue presenting the gnocchi dish.


                                            1. re: Axalady

                                              I have to confess that there was a brief time that I thought the competition on Iron Chef was all "real", that there was no advance communication about which Iron Chef would be chosen or what the secret ingredient might be... Learning the truth about ICA was akin to finding out my parents are Santa Claus...


                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                YOUR parents are Santa Claus? I thought MINE were!

                              2. In regard to Flay's comment that made people wonder about any further TNFNS shows, there is a box on the Food Network website soliciting entries for Season 6.

                                Guess that answers that question

                                1. It's amazing how different what really happened on the Rachel Ray as opposed to what the judges said happened. (Debbie even said Korean more the what was originally thought) Just as apparently Teddy had a good speech but was edited to make it seem like he had a bad one.


                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: Withnail42

                                    Why do they edit things on TNFNS so differently than on the RRS? Do they think we can't watch both? So weird!


                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      Because Rachael Ray's show is produced by Oprah Winfrey and TNFNS the Food Network and they've got different production values and objectives.

                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                        Interesting! Thanks for that. So many versions of reality!


                                    2. re: Withnail42

                                      I must be missing something. Who's Teddy? I thought the finalists were Debbie, Katie, Jeff. Jamika, Mike and Melissa.

                                      1. re: chicgail

                                        Teddy went home the previous week. In one of the on-camera challenges he flubbed up and that's what viewers saw. In reality, he actually laid down a pretty good presentation, but that's not what got shown.

                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                          Then why did he talk about messing up in his interview on the show? Jameka talked about how she froze and didn't do a good job too.

                                          1. re: kprange

                                            They are responding to questions posed to them by the producer. Their responses are edited to match the 'story' FN wants to tell.

                                          2. re: DiningDiva

                                            Right. How quickly they (I) forget. Sorry, Teddy.

                                            How did you see his actual presentation as opposed to what aired or are you referring to the first challenge with kids that the judges saw on tape?

                                            1. re: chicgail

                                              I think there was a link up-thread to an interview Teddy did with his local paper the week after he was eliminated. He talked about the specifically about the supermarket segment, IIRC, adn the fact he did both good and bad renditions of whatever the on-camera assignment was that week.

                                        2. re: Withnail42

                                          Wow--I just watched the 3 segments as aired on RR. I thought Katie and Debbie were the best of the bunch. Too bad this was the week they sent Katie home.

                                          But, Michael and Melissa were a train-wreck. And Jeffrey came across as even more of a camera hog that he did in the edited TNFNS version.

                                          What always strikes me is how kind Rachel is to these folks as they are flailing about. She tries to help them along a little. In the case of Jeffrey and Jamika, she even did her best to involve Jamika so that Jeffrey wouldn't continue to dominate.