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TNFNS week 7 (spoiler)

cmvan Jul 19, 2009 08:12 PM

Well, well. What's next?...

Was it just me, or did Flay get just a little too much joy out of messing with them?

  1. kprange Jul 19, 2009 09:03 PM

    I personally think that they made the challenge really easy for Debbie. That totally pissed me off. Like they really wanted her to stay and just made it so easy. I also thought that Melissa had the hardest time of it; maybe that is because I am a home cook.

    12 Replies
    1. re: kprange
      Indy 67 Jul 19, 2009 09:38 PM

      Totally agree that the quick fire was not a level playing field for each contestant. Hiding some utensils and, even, swapping chicken for catfish isn't a personal insult/assault. Admittedly Debbie handled her surprises well and kudos to her. However, nothing she faced matched the personal and offensive intensity of Melissa's experience. The TNFNS judges are delusional if they think the host's behavior would ever occur in a real guest appearance or is any measure of Melissa's on-air skills.

      1. re: Indy 67
        shoelace Jul 19, 2009 10:10 PM

        I agree, the experiences were totally not equal, but debbie did handle herself well and melissa does just seem to be freaked out by live camera.

        at the same time I want Debbie off so badly, that girl has no integrity "i had no capers"? oh yea, its kinda hard to have no capers but still put them in the dressing, theres nothing consistent or honest abt her

        i agree for kprange that they seemt o really want to keep debbie, and i cant for the life of me understand why

        its obviously going to come down to melissa and and whats his name (sorry ive blocked it out)

        1. re: shoelace
          ipsedixit Jul 19, 2009 10:16 PM

          They want to keep Debbie because they think she's Margaret Cho.

          1. re: ipsedixit
            chicgail Jul 20, 2009 05:32 AM

            I think it's horrifying that they kept Debbie given her total and ongoing lack of integrity. No food is good enough to compensate for that.

            1. re: chicgail
              scubadoo97 Jul 20, 2009 04:36 PM

              agreed. Last week when all she did was her own dishes and then lied about it and last night the quick retort that she used capers when she in fact did not then claims she didn't get any. What ever will get you by Debbie. If they don't boot her off I will assume they knew from the start that they wanted a Korean host for an Asian show which they are sorely lacking in their line up.

              1. re: scubadoo97
                dagwood Jul 20, 2009 04:58 PM

                I think if they were planning on keeping her from the get-go they would have edited the show differently. If she stays, it's basically admitting that the show is rigged from the beginning. I'm not saying it's not, mind you. I'm just saying they'd put more of an effort into avoiding the appearance of it.

                1. re: scubadoo97
                  irishnyc Jul 20, 2009 08:17 PM

                  I agree, chicgail. She has absolutely no integrity, and has proven so time and time again.

              2. re: ipsedixit
                chef chicklet Jul 25, 2009 09:36 AM

                LOL!!! So THAT'S it!!! I was wondering. : ) LOL!!!

          2. re: kprange
            Buckethead Jul 20, 2009 07:37 AM

            They did the exact same thing last season with Aaron, who in retrospect was their intended winner. There was one challenge in Vegas where his 'challenge' was to walk 30 feet in a straight line and talk simultaneously, while another finalist had to deliver their spiel while dancing arm in arm with showgirls, and the last one had to do it while being hoisted 80 feet in the air in a wire harness like a stuntwoman. Miraculously, the judges thought Aaron did the best.

            1. re: Buckethead
              Withnail42 Jul 20, 2009 07:46 AM

              Good call. I had forgotten about that. I think that was the same show where he failed miserably in the final challenge. He made a very awkward and uncomfortable speech and serve bad food. It wasn't even close. They then simply changed the rules, no elimination that week and brought three people to the finals.

            2. re: kprange
              Miss Needle Jul 21, 2009 11:02 AM

              Yes, totally agree with you. I think Melissa had the most difficult time with the personal insults. While Debbie handled herself very gracefully, she may have reacted differently if the host called her "Shamu" (a nickname I've been seeing people calling her on other blogs -- kind of cruel, if you ask me).

              1. re: Miss Needle
                The Dairy Queen Jul 22, 2009 05:24 AM

                I'm sorry, but did the host actually call Melissa a name? I only remember that he kept calling her Debbie.

                I agree that Melissa had the hardest challenge on the "mini-challenge", but it's hardly like he called her Shamu.

                I don't think she responded particularly well to this challenge, but, then again, who would? I think it's riduculous that someone would add a half a bottle of hot sauce to your recipe while you were demo-ing it. While I agree that unexpected things must come up all the time during production, I think the scenarios they were trying on Melissa (and Jeffrey) were absurd.


            3. a
              araknd Jul 19, 2009 09:49 PM

              It certainly seems like Bobby was taking a lot of joy in screwing with them.

              1. PattiCakes Jul 20, 2009 04:50 AM

                Jamika, Jamika. Talk about self-destructing. The judges have told you over and over again that you need to be Ms. Smiley face in front of the cameras, and yet you still bring it with the sour puss and deer-in-the-headlights look. And then you admit, in front of the rolling cameras, that you are pissed off? Yikes girl!

                And Debbie appears to function in an alternate universe, where getting at the truth is like trying to stab jello with a fork. She is, however, Asian, and that segment is severly under-represented on TFN. You wonder how much the demographic needs of TFN play into the ultimate decision. TFN already has a number of laid-back men, and at least one perky I'm-a-cook-not-a-chef chatty Cathy, so where does that leave you? Remember that TFN is a business. If you have an Asian-inspired show, you can also push Asian cooking implements on your web site. It opens up a whole new market segment.

                9 Replies
                1. re: PattiCakes
                  lscanlon Jul 20, 2009 05:38 AM

                  I agree with you completely, Patti. I'll be very surprised if Debbie doesn't win this whole thing. And that might not be all that bad. I can imagine myself watching her show a lot easier than I can watching Mrs. Home Cook and Dull Jeffrey. When you get right down to it, none of the contestants in this season's TNFNS have/had star quality.

                  1. re: lscanlon
                    kprange Jul 20, 2009 05:48 AM

                    While I think the food would be good, I for one won't watch a show knowing that she threw her competition under the bus. I also know that some of you will say that it is a competition and she was just trying to win; however, I think that winning fairly means a lot. I for one would try to not treat people that way, and I won't condone behavior like that when I know about it.

                  2. re: PattiCakes
                    chowser Jul 20, 2009 08:40 AM

                    What, Debbie is Asian??? She keeps her nationality so well hidden.;-P I don't see her winning because TFN has to present a likeable image of the person and they're showing her as deceitful liar who won't accept responsibilty. Maybe they're need a co-host for Robert Irvine on Dinner Impossible. I think if TFN needs a certain demographic, they can just go out and hire someone, not rig a contest so someone who's shown so little integrity, can win. When you come down to it, the only successful winner in the past is Guy so it's not the best good way to come up w/ a winning host.

                    1. re: PattiCakes
                      Claudette Jul 20, 2009 12:01 PM

                      PattiCakes, I think you're right, but I resent Debbie representing Asians. I'm Asian, and I think she's despicable, no matter how good a cook she is. She is so NOT Ming Tsai.

                      1. re: Claudette
                        araknd Jul 20, 2009 01:57 PM

                        My thoughts also. I'm Asian, born here in Calif. Debbie is playing up the Korean part of her heritage, but says that her culinary point of view is "southern". She really fails to impress and any show that she had would not have the appeal for a FN demographic group.

                        1. re: araknd
                          vinhotinto75 Jul 21, 2009 07:57 AM

                          Debbie is a US citizen who is from the south and lives in California. It amazes me that she fashions herself the guru of Korean cuisine yet doesn't speak a word of the languauge. Some expert she will make! Yet, I'm not shocked since the food network is interesting in marketing rather delivering food-centric programs where people can actually learn something. Do you really think more viewers will turn in because they have an "Asian" program?

                          Nonetheless, while the remaining contestants leave a bit to be desired (how many times do we have to hear how much of a hero someone is because they are a working mother or stay at home dad) the judges and brass of the food network are clearly dumbing down and ruining what used to be a solid network with capable and innovative chefs like Batali, Emeril, Puck, and the likes.

                          Now, all they are concerned about is how they can market somebody's insipid cookbook and a goofy line of cookery at Kohls.

                          1. re: vinhotinto75
                            araknd Jul 21, 2009 08:33 AM

                            I agree with you on your basic points, but I don't think that Debbie has much of a chance of making it past the next round. Jeffery and Melissa are two representatives of a target demographic that the Network is aiming for; people who "stay at home" whether because they work from home or are caring for smaller children. They are the ones at home during the daytime with the TV on for hours as company or ambient noise. Debbie never really fit, but she gave the producers a foil for the story line of this season. IMHO, this week will be her last on screen because of all the reasons stated by others, she has no image of integrity or credibility with the audience.

                            The network abandoned the shows with Batali, Emeril and the really entertaining chefs long ago. Probably because their budgets weren't able to be stretched to meet the chef's requirements. Thus, we are seeing more of the "reality" based programming which is broadcast strictly for entertainment and less for instruction.

                            The big difference, as I see it, is that the "old" stars were very experienced in their craft and passionate, where the new crop of TV personalities are in it for the fame and $$$.

                            1. re: vinhotinto75
                              Miss Needle Jul 21, 2009 11:07 AM

                              I read that Debbie is actually from Arizona. To me, that's Jeffrey's culinary point of view (though he keeps saying he's without borders). Her parents lived in Mississippi and Texas. So it seems her Seoul to soul background is kind of limited to what she grew up with in her family.

                          2. re: Claudette
                            Miss Needle Jul 21, 2009 11:05 AM

                            No, she is definitely not Ming Tsai. I think an awesome host would be Lee Anne Wong from Top Chef Season 1. But I don't think she really does a lot of Asian food (though she created an Asian-inspired wedding menu for the wedding challenge). Well, whatever Lee Anne cooks, I would be happy to watch her on TV.

                        2. Withnail42 Jul 20, 2009 05:34 AM

                          Debbie had the easiest challenge by far. In fact was it even a challenge compared to what the others had to endure. Again she went with the 'I'm Korean' line despite finally being called on it and again the judges say how great she is.

                          Regarding the capers I think she legitimately forgot them, but given her past honesty issues one can help but assume the worse. Anyone else would have been read the riot act about forgetting an ingredient.

                          It was funny that Flay was going after Jeffery for always coking with peppers. Hypocrite much? Again Suze really goes after Jeffery for only cooking with in his zone. And again she heaps praise on to Debbie for being so comfortable cooking (in her zone).

                          Debbie is also praised for being cool under pressure(in the fixed challenge). But Jeffery is criticized for being too cool under pressure. Apparently Bob likes a bit f an edge. But of course Melissa scolded for not being cool under pressure(when the guy is purposely ruining her dish). And Jamika is sent home essentially for being too edgy (not smiling when she is hit by the camera.).

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Withnail42
                            Reignking Jul 21, 2009 11:19 AM

                            Well, she had two answers for the capers caper: 1) Oh, they're in the dressing and then 2) Wait? I had capers? Are you sure?

                            1. re: Reignking
                              The Dairy Queen Jul 22, 2009 05:26 AM

                              She had three answers for the capers.

                              1. In the dressing
                              2. I didn't have any
                              3. I forgot.


                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                tex.s.toast Jul 22, 2009 08:43 AM

                                And then when it came down to it her response/apology was for NOT USING THE CAPERS and not for lying about it. as though people were disappointed that she had not used them instead of bumbling around and being outright dishonest about it.

                                with all the hubub i dont think debbie is the 'chosen one' and think that jeffery and melissa stood out as obvious frontrunners after this episode. that said, would i be excited about watching either one? probably not.

                                I compared melissa to sarah moulton before, but i noticed this week, with the extensive close ups of her knifework that there is a slight difference between the two, about 14 inches of kitchen knife. I always thought it was hilarious that moutlon used a massive blade (im gonna say it was a 12 incher and shes tiny - gotta show everyone else in the kitchen that you're compensating) but melissa needs to put down the paring knife and get with the program, was she chopping herbs with that thing? really?

                          2. Axalady Jul 20, 2009 08:18 AM

                            I couldn't believe Bobby Flay had the nerve to comment at least three times that Jeffrey is stuck in one cuisine. "You've always gone to the Mexican or the Southwestern American ingredients and flavors" and "you always gravitate to the exact same ingredients" and "I think of you cooking in a very narrow range". Then Bob says he lacks "unpredictability". Are they kidding me?! There is no chef more stuck in a cuisine than Flay. I don't even watch him on Iron Chef anymore because I find his choice of ingredients and flavor profile so predictable! I'd love to see someone take his beloved chilies away!

                            It doesn't surprise me that Jamika was the one to go. Like Michael she couldn't befriend the camera. Debbie obviously has some talent on camera but she has NO integrity. I think it will come down to Jeffrey and Melissa. Susie seems smitten with Melissa.

                            18 Replies
                            1. re: Axalady
                              Shane Greenwood Jul 20, 2009 08:58 AM

                              The point was that Jeffery bills himself as "without borders" , which implies an international angle, yet he sticks to one cuisine. Flay is Southwestern and never says otherwise.

                              1. re: Shane Greenwood
                                Axalady Jul 20, 2009 11:31 AM

                                I obviously missed that point. I just saw a one trick pony calling another the same.

                                1. re: Shane Greenwood
                                  Avalondaughter Jul 20, 2009 12:19 PM

                                  I've seen Flay occasionally go out of his zone when he's doing more of a "school" show. I saw him do all French in one of his shows. He's certainly capable of cooking other cuisines whether he chooses to cook them or not. Jeffrey who claims to be international with his dishes, hasn't shown much capability.

                                  1. re: Shane Greenwood
                                    Withnail42 Jul 20, 2009 02:18 PM

                                    Have to disagree. First there is a heck of a lot more to south west cooking than using the same two or three ingredient in absolutely everything. Flay talks the talk of a well rounded chef. I've never heard him call his self a South West Chef. And if he is so specialized he should not be the chef judge in a contest such as this. Grilling does not automatically mean South West He has steak houses and a (bad) burger place.

                                    He is a one trick pony who thinks of himself as much more.

                                    1. re: Withnail42
                                      Shane Greenwood Jul 21, 2009 12:16 PM

                                      Bobby Flay always describes himself as a chef of Southwestern cuisine. I think youhave probably not seen enough of him. Take a look at his cookbooks or try Mesa Grill.

                                      1. re: Shane Greenwood
                                        Withnail42 Jul 21, 2009 06:56 PM

                                        I've seen more than enough of Bobby Flay...I guess at some point I just stopped listening.

                                        1. re: Withnail42
                                          Shane Greenwood Jul 22, 2009 06:38 AM

                                          That would explain it. He really has fantastic food and I recommend trying it sometime. What that guy can do with a tamale will blow your mind. His flavors are spicy/sweet and he achieves the balance often by using various peppers and fruits in his dishes. Good stuff. Also, some of the best grilled shrimp I've ever tasted was at Mesa Grill. His website has some good info and recipes and a little background on his style: www.bobbyflay.com.

                                          1. re: Shane Greenwood
                                            Withnail42 Jul 22, 2009 11:59 AM

                                            Thanks for the hype but I have eaten his food and found it very good. But still have issues with him being the all encompassing food authority no matter what he calls himself.

                                            1. re: Shane Greenwood
                                              twiggles Jul 24, 2009 01:43 PM

                                              really? i've eaten at a few of Flay's NY restaurants (and visited them more than once), and couldn't believe how bland and boring the food was each time. everything from his southwestern dishes, to steaks, to french style offerings on the menu. I've also stopped watching him on Iron Chef, because everything is either made into a 'hash' with an egg on top, or has a green and orange sauce along with it.

                                              1. re: twiggles
                                                The Dairy Queen Jul 24, 2009 01:53 PM

                                                As I was reading your post, I was thinking, gee, his food can't be that bad... I've eaten at Mesa once and thought it was surprisingly good... but, then I got to your last sentence and had to laugh.

                                                What I ordered at mesa was the chicken sweet potato hash, which came topped with a fried egg...and green and orange sauce. :).

                                                Actually the roasted pork sandwich we had there was very exceptional. But, that one visit has been my only visit.


                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                  scubadoo97 Jul 24, 2009 02:33 PM

                                                  The sweet potato hash was what I ordered at MESA. I really like it. I don't remember an orange sauce only a green one. Poblano cream sauce so something. My one and only Flay meal. I didn't think the dishes that I saw on our table or around the restaurant looked that amazing but that dish was pretty tasty.

                                                  1. re: scubadoo97
                                                    The Dairy Queen Jul 24, 2009 02:41 PM

                                                    Since I take photos of everything I eat and post most of them on Chowhound...


                                                    Oh, look! Mine was hollandaise and orange sauce. No green sauce! HA! I have a recipe for it that I got off of the food network or from Flay's book or whatever that calls for green sauce. I guess that's where I got mixed up...


                                                2. re: twiggles
                                                  chicgail Jul 24, 2009 04:37 PM

                                                  Interesting. I was thinking that I had missed something. I'm not a NYer and have only eaten at Mesa once and my experience was also that it was ok, but not spectacular or memorable.

                                                  1. re: twiggles
                                                    Ericandblueboy Jul 24, 2009 07:43 PM

                                                    Flay is a one trick pony but his food is neither bland nor boring, unless you keep going back - if you go there enough, it gets boring, but that's your problem, not his.

                                            2. re: Withnail42
                                              Claudette Jul 21, 2009 02:18 PM

                                              Our teenager insisted that we eat Mesa Grill, and we were all surprised at how really delicious and innovative all of the food was!

                                            3. re: Shane Greenwood
                                              chicgail Jul 20, 2009 02:46 PM

                                              Flay never said he is "without borders." He is southwestern; calls his food southwestern and makes no bones about that that's his culinary identity.

                                              If Jeffrey hadn't described his food as "without borders," it wouldn't be an issue that he sticks to one style of cuisine.

                                              1. re: chicgail
                                                Shane Greenwood Jul 21, 2009 12:19 PM

                                                Exactly my point, thanks.

                                                1. re: chicgail
                                                  tex.s.toast Jul 22, 2009 08:45 AM

                                                  Since hypocrisy and lineage are major parts of this thread, while Flay may not claim to be outside borders he certainly has some "signature" moves that are more than a bit tired - we like to play the "at what point in this battle will he start making herb oils" game while watching ICA.

                                                  As for him calling himself southwestern, certainly, but am i the only one who finds it strange that he is a native new yorker, born and raised? Does he think southwest means SoHo?

                                            4. chowser Jul 20, 2009 08:44 AM

                                              Melissa has grown on me over the weeks. She stumbled seriously out of the starting block and I thought she was like that woman teacher cook on Hells Kitchen who was just a mom out of her league. But, she's shown that she can cook w/out being a chef and it's a good demographic for TFN. There are people/moms who want to cook, not just assemble food like Sandra Lee, and aren't chefs and she can fill that niche to encourages them.

                                              1. d
                                                dagwood Jul 20, 2009 11:34 AM

                                                I think unless Melissa really screws something up it's hers for sure. She has been consistently improving and they obviously love her. Jeffrey's way too vanilla and Debbie has her ethics issue. And I agree completely with her assertment that she would have instant credibility with a huge segment of TFN's audience. (which tend NOT to be professional chefs, but moms like her.)

                                                1. l
                                                  laliz Jul 20, 2009 11:45 AM

                                                  Disappointed to see Debbie still there, and sad to see Jamika go, although they telegraphed it when they showed her telling Bob she was "pissed off"

                                                  1. a
                                                    Avalondaughter Jul 20, 2009 12:22 PM

                                                    This close to the finish line and it's still anyone's game.

                                                    What I find is funny is that you have Tushy's blog acting as if it's all some big mystery. If I'm not mistaken, weren't these shows taped quite some time ago and the winner is already working on his/her show?

                                                    This show really disgusted me because it helped me realize why this show exists. This show isn't about giving some unknown shmoe a cooking show. It's about finding the person who will sell the FN brand. Melissa said as much. She's a brand that can grow. Every cook on FN now has to sell FN-branded crap and promote the bottom line. It's not about teaching anyone how to cook.

                                                    Melissa is a pretty good cook. I don't think she has much to teach me. Maybe I'd learn a new recipe from her. However, Tushy salivates when she does well because she's willing to toe the line and sell sell sell the product.

                                                    1. c
                                                      cmvan Jul 20, 2009 12:25 PM

                                                      If you haven't already viewed it, check out the "Debbie and Jamika BFF's" video on the FN website. It details the split between the 4 finalists, with Jeffrey and Melissa naturally gravitating to each other (both married with kids), and Jamika and Debbie locked onto each other as "soul sisters" who are single and like to talk about guys.

                                                      Especially listen to Jamika telling Debbie to "kill" the others if she herself isn't in the final 3. She basically says it twice. And not very nicely.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: cmvan
                                                        Val55 Jul 22, 2009 08:20 AM

                                                        I took a look at the video. I don't think Jamika was being mean, but I would be careful about giving Debbie any ideas!

                                                        1. re: Val55
                                                          kprange Jul 22, 2009 08:59 AM

                                                          See, now I took that as being a mean spirited conversation between the two. She was very deliberate about showcasing the differences between the four finalists. I hadn't seen that before in the show. She made it sound like it was an issue that people with like interests gravitated towards each other. I think she sees it as an issue because she is not in the front runner group. just my opinion

                                                          1. re: kprange
                                                            Withnail42 Jul 22, 2009 12:02 PM

                                                            Have to agree that there was a nasty streak in the video. Debbie also came across as being somewhat immature almost like a high schooler.

                                                            1. re: Withnail42
                                                              Val55 Jul 22, 2009 03:09 PM

                                                              The video made Melissa and Jeffrey look like the grownups and Debbie and Jamika like the children, even though everyone is 39-40 ish except Jamika at 30. I don't know if it was how it was videotaped or if it was them. Certainly they could not show Melissa and Jeffrey lying in bed together! I like Jamika but she certainly showed a tough streak in last week's episode, but if I was a judge I would rather have Jamika's honest reactions than Debbie's lies. I liked that Jeffrey acknowledged that a rift occurred after the party. If I was Jeffrey, I would not have trusted or cared for Debbie after I did not get three of my ingredients the first week!

                                                      2. j
                                                        jujuthomas Jul 20, 2009 07:25 PM

                                                        I'm really disappointed. I thought Debbie should go home.
                                                        Yeah, Bobby Flay and Mike Simon were enjoying that torture WAY too much! Have to admit, some of the "morning show' moments were pretty funny! :)

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: jujuthomas
                                                          cmvan Jul 20, 2009 07:34 PM

                                                          Funny, but, as lots have said on the "Bob's Blog" comments on FN's website (over 1000 already), this challenge was either badly conceived for fairness, or was purposefully weighted to favor Debbie winning. As many have said, how fair is it to do what was done to Melissa in particular, and give Debbie an easy breeze-through? How would Debbie have faired if she'd had Melissa's challenge?

                                                          As some have commented, it would have been better perhaps to have given all 4 the same problem to deal with and seen how each responded, especially if it was the nastiness Melissa got handed. But then, it wouldn't have had as much variety, so...

                                                          1. re: cmvan
                                                            jujuthomas Jul 20, 2009 07:38 PM

                                                            I agree - she had other tools to work with. Melissa had a much bigger challenge. I thought the host was obnoxious to her.

                                                            1. re: jujuthomas
                                                              dagwood Jul 20, 2009 08:09 PM

                                                              agreed. true "techinical difficulties" are much easier to deal with than host rudeness.

                                                          2. re: jujuthomas
                                                            PattiCakes Jul 21, 2009 04:44 AM

                                                            I'm sure Flay took extra glee in the torture because he has probably been on that end of the screw ups, snafu's and disasters himself more than he would care to admit. I'd love to see a show of TFN out-takes some time.

                                                          3. e
                                                            Ericandblueboy Jul 20, 2009 09:33 PM

                                                            I'm no fan of fat Deb but her "lack of integrity" in this episode is way overblown. She didn't use capers, she said she did but then corrected herself (at least that's how it's shown on TV - was she called out before the admission?). What's the big deal? I think not incorporating capers is a big deal and they should've docked her points for that.

                                                            And she's been cooking Korean pretty much the whole time, so much so that the judges had to take away her typical condiments.

                                                            As for Jamika....I didn't realize how big she was. Is she supposed to represent southern, cajun, or caribbean? She doesn't seem to do any well.

                                                            19 Replies
                                                            1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                              PattiCakes Jul 21, 2009 04:49 AM

                                                              The caper caper, in and of itself, is no biggie. There have been contestants in the past who have forgotten a mandatory ingredient or dish. It's the cummulative effect of her dissembling to cover up mistakes that is the point, and her seeming unwillingness to take resposibility when she screws up[. Of course, it's all in the editing. We are seeing what we are seeing because the producers want us to see it that way.

                                                              1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                chicgail Jul 21, 2009 05:29 AM

                                                                If you look back at all the NFNS series -- in fact in any reality series I can think of, there has been a "villain" in each of them. Audiences love to have someone to hate. It gives them a reason to tune in again next week to root for someone else. Imagine how boring it would be if they were all great chefs, supportive of each other and paragons of virtue.

                                                                And it often does happen in the editing. But the "villain" does have to give the editors something to work with and while Debbie may not be a terrible person, she does appear to have made it easy.

                                                                1. re: chicgail
                                                                  chowser Jul 21, 2009 05:56 AM

                                                                  I really like seeing the camraderie on Top Chef Masters and how they highly respect and pitch in to help each other. It doesn't make for funny reality TV but it's nice to see.

                                                                  1. re: chicgail
                                                                    Sandwich_Sister Jul 21, 2009 06:46 AM

                                                                    I agree it reminded me that on the Top Chef Season where Stephanie won Lisa was the villan but in all actuallity I have heard a lot of people say after the show that she was portrayed as the villian and that she is actually a great cook who desevered the spot she got.

                                                                  2. re: PattiCakes
                                                                    chowser Jul 21, 2009 05:54 AM

                                                                    Yes, each incident (from the first episode when she claimed her bad angel food cake idea was the whole team's to lying about being underbudget to claiming to be the selfless one when she stayed in the kitchen but worked only on her dishesto this capers one) is no biggie but in combination shows her character. I wonder how she'll feel when she sees herself caught on video? I think, because of how the producers edited it to show this side of her, that she can't win. Why would they show such an unlikeable characteristic in someone who is going to have a show?

                                                                    1. re: chowser
                                                                      chicgail Jul 21, 2009 06:02 AM

                                                                      It's true, I wouldn't want to watch a show starring Debbie. I'd be constantly looking for where she wasn't being straight and not trusting her -- or her recipes.

                                                                  3. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                    LindaWhit Jul 21, 2009 10:38 AM

                                                                    "And she's been cooking Korean pretty much the whole time"

                                                                    Since when? She SAYS she's Korean (that's ALL she says!) but just because she uses garlic or ginger doesn't make her food Korean. And as AmblerGirl said below, she started off saying she didn't want to be pegged as the Korean cook.

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                      Ericandblueboy Jul 21, 2009 11:43 AM

                                                                      Since I starteed watching, which is episode 2.

                                                                      Episode 2 - I believe Debbit made Korean dumplings that looked more like wontons.

                                                                      Episode 3 - Debbie and Teddy team, with Debbie making an Asian “marinara” sauce over linguine, the collaboration being a Pan Asian meatloaf, and the dessert being a thrown-together creation by Teddy of strawberry shortcake with boxed pudding.

                                                                      Episdoe 4 - Cal-Asian "bulgogi burger"

                                                                      Episode 5- Debbi and Katie does squid, Debbit did something with soy dipping sauce

                                                                      Episode 6 - passion fruit chicken kabobs and Korean beef torta with daikon radishes

                                                                      Episode 7 - was making something Asian until Bobby took away her condiments

                                                                      I don't really know what Debbi actually use in her food but I know she references her dish as either Asian or Korean almost every episode.

                                                                      1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                        LindaWhit Jul 21, 2009 12:07 PM

                                                                        Yeah, I know she references her food as Korean - but making an "Asian marinara sauce" does not make it a Korean dish. And since when does a soy dipping sauce for squid make it Korean? They are not the only culture that uses soy sauce! And I won't even go near the passionfruit chicken kabobs.

                                                                        So while she might say she's Korean, and she is using ingredients that have been used in Korean dishes (i.e., soy sauce, ginger, garlic) that does not mean that she's making Korean dishes.

                                                                        Garlic is used in Spanish and Italian cooking and ginger is used in Thai, Chinese, Indian, Jamaican and African dishes, to name just a few. Just by using a single ingredient does not make it a Korean dish.

                                                                        So your statement that she's been "cooking Korean" doesn't fly.

                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                          Ericandblueboy Jul 21, 2009 12:19 PM

                                                                          You singled out two dishes that she had to collaborate with other people. As for the other dishes, she says she's cooking Korean - those are her words, not mine - and it has nothing to do with what goes into those dishes. I never once said it's her ingredients that makes her food Korean (that makes the rest of your post completely irrelevant).

                                                                          1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                            LindaWhit Jul 21, 2009 12:26 PM

                                                                            Eric - quite simply, she's not cooking "Korean food" - whether she's working with someone else or making something on her own. She can say she's Korean any time and all the time (and she does).

                                                                            But she's not "cooking Korean pretty much the whole time" (your words in the post to which I initially responded to you), which makes your statement and argument completely irrelevant.

                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                              Ericandblueboy Jul 21, 2009 12:51 PM

                                                                              Of the 6 episodes that I watched, 2 she had to collaborate on and yet she made something Asian out of them, 3 she described as Korean (bulgogi, dumplings, and torta), and she probably would've made something Korean on the last episode until Bobby Flay made her do something else. When she had a choice, she made self-described Korean food - that's my point.

                                                                              1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                                LindaWhit Jul 21, 2009 01:30 PM

                                                                                And if you had said that Debbie made "self-described Korean food" in your OP, this discussion would have been a lot shorter. But your statement that she's been cooking Korean pretty much said you think she was cooking Korean food - when she wasn't.

                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                  Ericandblueboy Jul 21, 2009 04:04 PM

                                                                                  None of us could possibly know what she actually made since we weren't there to taste it! I suppose it's possible she didn't make Korean food yet she called it Korean food. So you harassed me on two threads over whether something is "self-described Korean" vs. "Korean" when you can't possibly know the truth of the matter?

                                                                                  1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                                                                    LindaWhit Jul 21, 2009 06:02 PM

                                                                                    It's called making my opinion known on something you stated. You said one thing but you obviously meant another. Say what you mean; then there won't be any confusion.

                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                        chicgail Jul 21, 2009 11:48 AM

                                                                        Wow, I use garlic and ginger in my cooking. And I know how to talk about kim chi. Maybe I could pass myself off as a Korean cook.

                                                                        1. re: chicgail
                                                                          LindaWhit Jul 21, 2009 12:09 PM

                                                                          On the Food Network, you probably could! LOL

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                            chicgail Jul 21, 2009 12:21 PM

                                                                            It's more likely that I would be described as a "J.A.P." And it would be arguably accurate.

                                                                            1. re: chicgail
                                                                              LindaWhit Jul 21, 2009 12:27 PM

                                                                              :-D So would that then make Debbie a "K.A.P."?

                                                                    2. Sandwich_Sister Jul 21, 2009 07:09 AM

                                                                      To be fair to Debbie this is a high stress competition, she wants it so badly and I think that is what is causing her to lose her integrity. I don't think she intentionally tries to screw people up as much as she just wants to stay in the game. She's not a team player and it shows, but this show isn't about how well you work on a team it's about how well you can cook and carry a food show.

                                                                      She's forgetting that she must appeal to her audience and that her little lies are turning people off to her.

                                                                      This time I don't think she meant to lie, I think she was frazzled and was like "Oh wait what?" I don't think she intentionally left them out either. Its just hard because she has a history of lying.

                                                                      I do think the food network is pushing for her and it makes sense because of her asian and southern influences which would fill a gap in the food network programming.

                                                                      I'm wondering if they will allow one of the other 2 to win but give debbie her own show anyway. That would appease the fans and also get them that much needed asian influence on the network.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Sandwich_Sister
                                                                        chicgail Jul 21, 2009 11:46 AM

                                                                        The high stress of the competition isn't "causing" Debbie to lose her integrity. Only Debbie can cause Debbie to lose her integrity. She is simply lying because she's afraid that if she tells the truth she'll look bad and might lose. Unfortunately for her, she keeps forgetting that all her lies and evasions are caught on camera -- and she looks really bad.

                                                                        1. re: chicgail
                                                                          karenfinan Jul 21, 2009 05:05 PM

                                                                          boy you guys are a pretty tough bunch. You seem to know this gal very well, know what her thoughts are, her failings as as a human being and I guess we should start stoning her. I mean, should she even be allowed to live? sheesh, I am sure no one posting on this board has ever lacked any sort of integrity, told a white lie, looked out for themselves. You sound pretty mean spirited, vindictive and frankly ridiculous. Your so ready to judge a person based on the edits of a cooking show? Glad you aren't people I have to deal with.

                                                                          1. re: karenfinan
                                                                            dagwood Jul 21, 2009 05:14 PM

                                                                            I believe it's the nature of the beast. You put yourself on a reality cooking show, essentially a contest, to see who is most worthy of their own show. You really can't have that without some judging, now can you? I for one haven't heard anyone judging her personally (i.e., if they'd like to be her friend), rather if she's someone who can be likable or trusted enough to watch.

                                                                            If you don't want to be judged you have no business being on TV. Especially a show like this one.

                                                                            Just sayin...

                                                                            1. re: karenfinan
                                                                              chicgail Jul 21, 2009 05:28 PM

                                                                              Sure I've done that stuff.

                                                                              And when I've done it, it's been without integrity.

                                                                              The good thing for me (and for you) is that we've never done it on camera before a national audience.

                                                                              I'm not putting a moral spin on it. I don't think Debbie is a bad person. I'm sure she's as good a person as you or I. I just think she's been operating without integrity and has had the misfortune to forget that she's been recorded while she's been doing it.

                                                                        2. AmblerGirl Jul 21, 2009 08:18 AM

                                                                          It really is so obvious that FN has their pre-ordained favorite that they know will fit their "brand". The focus is so much more on branding, and "compelling back story" than food.

                                                                          That said I really hope their favorite is not Debbit. Aside from the caper incident, every single week she has shown that she lacks any form of integrity. Yes, I'm sure alot of that is editing, but come on, every single week she either lies or tries to throw someone under the bus.

                                                                          And I'm sick of the Korean schtick. If you look at the first few episides, she marketed herself as a southern cook - bring on the butter etc. She basically said she did not want to be targeted as a Korean cook. Now, how many episides in, all she says is "lets add some garlic, you know us Koreans love garlic!". I think the FN pre-ordained her as the "Korean cook" so she is trying to play into that. But I have not even seen her cook anything authentically Korean.

                                                                          I really want it to go to Jeffrey but there is no way he'll win, he does not have the marketing package they are looking for.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: AmblerGirl
                                                                            HabaneroJane Jul 21, 2009 08:58 AM

                                                                            I find Jeffrey as exciting as watching water boil. Snooze. I like Debbie, but she is so Margaret Cho, incessantly referring to her being Korean. It's annoying. If she dropped that< i find her refreshing to watch. she's natural, not phony if a little bit of a fibber. Melissa can be a big brand for them. The mommy chef. Wouldn't mind if she won, really. As for Flay, how did he get to be a Food Network personality? I love his cooking but he is also like watching eggs boil. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

                                                                          2. c
                                                                            cmvan Jul 21, 2009 12:15 PM

                                                                            I see in the "Ask Susie" board at the FN website that someone has specifically asked Susie or Bob to explain clearly whether or not the winner has already been chosen. It will be interesting to see if either of them comes through with an answer to that.

                                                                            With well over a thousand comments on each of their blogs/vlogs, the vast majority of which thoroughly lambast Debbie and talk about how the writer will never watch her show if she wins, you gotta wonder if the bigwigs at FN actually pay any attention, or if the blogs are just to make viewers think they have a voice.

                                                                            1. C. Hamster Jul 21, 2009 01:32 PM

                                                                              That rigged challenge really pissed me off.

                                                                              I thought Melissa handled an IMPOSSIBLE situation really, really well.

                                                                              If that host had dumped a bottle of hot sauce into my tapenade (or whatever it was) I would have shoved his whole hand in the blender and turned it on..

                                                                              I once like Debbie but she's totally tuned me off.

                                                                              Jamika should have been gone long ago. Bob seemed way too desperate to keep her.

                                                                              Jeffrey is a bore. He needs a valium, too.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                lucyis Jul 22, 2009 03:56 PM

                                                                                Re: the TFN branding...Didn't Susie come right out and say, "Everyone has a line of pots."! She said it when she was asking each of the final 4 what their slant would be. I guess someone decided no body would buy a pot with a photo of Jamika saying,"I'm so pissed right now" although..there are days I'd love a teeshirt that said, "If you push it it I'll bring it", or whatever that was she said explaining her barking at Bob during her challenge. Man, talk about bad decision making, basically telling one of he main judges you can't be bothered by his pesky little questions now .

                                                                                1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                  lucyis Jul 22, 2009 03:57 PM

                                                                                  Jeffrey needs valium? He is valium!

                                                                                  1. re: lucyis
                                                                                    coney with everything Jul 23, 2009 05:25 AM

                                                                                    ITA, lucyis. I think he needs a puppy upper, not a doggy downer.

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