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Next Food Network Star - 6-20 episode - with spoilers

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I am glad that Dzrina - don't know how to spell it got the boot this week. My picks for the final are Aria, Artie, Herb, maybe. That other girl, part of the sexy team, she may be able to cook, but i don't like her on camera at all! Most of them I don't like on camera. Tom is growing on me, but the rest can just go home now for all I care. What do you think?

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  1. As Sharon Osborn says on America's Got Talent, Dzintra was just "barking mad". It was *very* uncomfortable to watch her. I couldn't believe it when she told people "they aren't
    the poisionous mushrooms" and referred to frisee as a "hairball". What was she thinking. She was so intent on proving that she belonged that she actually proved that she didn't. All that talking to herself was not quirky or charming, it was just plain creepy. I have never been so glad to see a contestant go on any show as I was Dzintra.

    I'm also not wild about Brianna. When she said she didn't feel like she was responsible for Serena's accident that turned me off big time. While it is true that people do say "behind you" when working in professional kitchens, this was not a professional kitchen. To then turn around and say it's not your fault when clearly you were caught on tape backing into someone doesn't leave a very good impression. This is the second time she's expressed no sympathy for someone injured. She raked Dzintra over the coals for going to the hospital with her eye thing in the first week. I don't expect the contestants to necessarily be all gushy, touchy-feely about each other or injuries, but I do expect so see some concern and common courtesy...neither of which I've seen from Brianna. I don't care how well she can cook, if there isn't an ability to express some compassion for a fellow human being, why do I want to invite them into my living room via their show?

    I hope Tom sticks around, he's finding his sea-legs, so to speak and settling in. I'm finding I'm really amused by him. I think he can cook, but what I really appreciated about him last night was the fact that he knew he screwed up the jerked cabbage and rather than get totally thrown by it, or overly apologetic, he just kind of rolled with it and went on. There wasn't much he could do about it, so why worry. I like that attitude.

    We know Brad can cook, he needs to forget trying to prove he can cook and just relax and be normal. Forget about the food for 2 seconds and just be yourself.

    I like Herb, Aarti and Aria, tho' I think Aria should have stuck with her farm-fresh to table concept rather than ditching it for the "family meals" idea. Serena is charming but talks way to fast. Paul and Das are fish out of water, they're floundering.

    Doing this stuff is harder than it looks. We all can sit here and be Monday morning, arm chair quarterbacks but unless we've walked their walk we can't be too critical. I had the opportunity to do a food demonstration over the weekend for 150-200 people. Talking to crowds isn't a huge problem, tho' I much prefer the more intimate contact of a few people like what we saw on TNFNS last night. I also don't have much of a problem walking and chewing gum at the same time so talking and demonstrating food prep isn't particularly hard for me. However, remembering to smile, make eye contact with ALL of the audience, be upbeat and perky (okay, I don't ever really *do* perky) and animated along with making food, and remembering all the points one needs to make, make it look effortless and look like you're totally comfortable doing the demo is a big task. I have no aspirations to do food demos on TV and certainly no aspirations or desires to be on TNFNS, I do, however, have an idea as to what they're going through, and can have some sympathy and compassion for the process. It ain't always easy...

    7 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      I have no doubt it's difficult to do any of the challenges, quick on your feet, in front of the camera, etc. But, it's the nature of the job, grace under pressure, or at least the appearance of grace under pressure.

      1. re: chowser

        Exactly.

      2. re: DiningDiva

        All that's true, DD, but if you were accepted for a show like TNFNS, wouldn't you get someone with a videocam to help you practice so you'd have some clue how you're coming across? I know I would.

        1. re: ChefJune

          Yes, I absolutely would get some help and experience in front of the camera before showing up for the first day. I've been on television a number of times - not doing food - and until you get used to it, it is weird having this "eye" of the camera kind of looming in front of you as the unspoken, inanimate presence.

          I am much more comfortable in the back-of-the-house, than the front and will let my employees get all the kudos for their front of the house work at our catering functions.

        2. re: DiningDiva

          "Doing this stuff is harder than it looks. We all can sit here and be Monday morning, arm chair quarterbacks but unless we've walked their walk we can't be too critical. "
          ~~~~~~
          DD, i'm glad you brought this up. i'm terrific with presentations and demos, and people are always telling me how much they like my energy and delivery...but the second you turn a camera on me i'm like a deer in headlights! this is why my friends and family have been wildly unsuccessful in their repeated attempts to get me to try out for this show, and you won't be seeing me on this one, America's Next Great Restaurant, or any other!

          i was very happy Dzintra got the axe, and i'd like to see them boot Paul and Brianna next. Paul makes me really uncomfortable, and whether or not he really is joking, i find a lot of his remarks to be sexist, narrow-minded, and somewhat offensive. Brianna is too much of a diva, and she exudes absolutely no warmth - i don't see her connecting with an audience. plus, i still can't figure out what the heck her POV is - i'm not sure she knows either.

          Serena is too frantic, and unfortunately that kind of energy is typically inherent in one's nature - i don't think she's ever really going to be able to slow down enough to be watchable. her presence on the show has puzzled me since day one - i feel like her food might be too similar to Giada's.

          Tom seems likable enough, but i can't imagine i'd want to watch his show. and though DAS also seems like a good guy (i suspect his egotism is a front for insecurity), he just doesn't [yet] have anything really unique or interesting to offer that would warrant his own show.

          I'm sticking with my initial predictions for top 4 - Aarti, Aria, Herb & Brad. i think Brad is the dark horse here because he really needs to improve his comfort level in front of the camera, and Aria definitely has a lot to offer but i think she's a little too standard-issue FN (and by that i mean the same-old, same-old they've already got). i really like Herb because i think he's got great energy and his POV is really relevant in light of our country's issues with consumption and food-related weight and health issues...but at this point i suspect the whole thing is really Aarti's to lose. she can obviously cook, the judges adore her, and she seems to get a terrific response from the public when they're out doing challenges.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            One more word about Paul: He is SO politically incorrect that every time he opens his mouth I cringe! From day 1, it was Asian that, white that. What an ass! Begone soon!

            1. re: mnosyne

              And then he was so astounded when the judges told him that people found him offensive. He has no clue.

        3. "As Sharon Osborn says on America's Got Talent, Dzintra was just "barking mad".

          BWAH! No shit. She was a weird as they come.

          I think this year's group is very underwhelming

          12 Replies
          1. re: C. Hamster

            Paul IS offensive. I can't stand him. He is not charismatic or funny and doesn't seem like he can cook. The nerve of him to criticize Serena for being a home cook. So glad that the judges called him out on that one. And everytime I think that someone is unworthy of this gig, there's Guy Fieri's big (literally and figuratively) head to remind me otherwise! Faves? Aria, Aarti and Herb. The rest leave me having to go look up their names . Unmemorable thus far.

            1. re: HabaneroJane

              Reminded me of last year when Eddie? thought so little of Melissa. Whatever happened to Melissa?? Whatever happened to Eddie?????

              1. re: kprange

                Good questions. Didn't they both get some FN show?

                1. re: chicgail

                  Melissa did get her own show - 10 dollar dinners. Eddie got to go away with his tail between his legs...i guess. He didn't get a show.

                  1. re: kprange

                    I did remember that she got a show, but is it still on? I seem to recall that her show was on at something like Sunday at 8 am, hardly a time when most people would see it.

                    What is she doing now?

                    1. re: chicgail

                      10 dollar dinners is still on FN, the latest showed on Sunday according to the FN episode search. I don't know that they are doing new episodes, but I am generally unaware of FN show "seasons". I enjoy her show, but have to dvr it because I'm never up that early on a weekend. lol. doesn't matter now what time a show is on!

                      1. re: jujuthomas

                        It does seem like FN buried this show. I wonder why. I thought Melissa had some style and stood a shot.

                        I'll have to hit the TIVO button.

                        1. re: chicgail

                          well, they can't give the newbies the prime time slots, can they. ;) I think she was actually on at 11am EST, but could be mistaken. I still don't watch tv at that time on a Sunday morning. and seriously, with the prevelance of DVRs, does it matter anymore what time a show is on?

                      2. re: chicgail

                        Melissa is on her second season now. The show is 12:30 Eastern time on Sunday, 9:30A on the HD channels here on the West Coast.

                2. re: HabaneroJane

                  In spite of Aria's fast start, I assert that Aarti is most likely to win. Not only does her food appear to be good, but she's charming and she fills a hole in the FN offerings. Last season they tried to push a woman who cooked Indian food, but ultimately she couldn't cut it.

                  1. re: chicgail

                    That idiot who wanted to cook Indian food last season simply couldn't cook.

                    1. re: chicgail

                      I'm pulling for Aarti, too, because I can actually imagine myself tuning in to watch a show with her. Very glad to see Daffy Dzintra leave; she just creeped me out.

                3. I watched this episode last night... we were SO happy to see Dzintra go home! What a mess! Poison mushrooms? hairballs? ack!
                  I really enjoy watching Arti... she just seems like such a doll.
                  I don't know that I agree with Brianna and Herb winning the challenge... their food did get raves, but she's just so off-putting to me. oh well, looking forward to next week! :)

                  27 Replies
                  1. re: jujuthomas

                    How is Melissa's show doing anyway? Does anyone watch it? I was a big fan of hers during the competition but admit I havent seen her FN show.

                    Aarti's food looks delish and she seems so sweet, but that sweetness could start grating on me. Same goes for Aria.

                    Brianna seems to be able to cook but her personality blows.

                    I hope that unfunny comedian Paul goes soon though. Dzintra was painful to watch yet in a trainwrecky way, sort of amusing. More so than Paul, that's for sure.

                    1. re: HabaneroJane

                      Personally, I think her show is fabulous but then again we share exactly the same point of view on food.

                      But if Sara Moulton couldn't stick, she might not either.

                      1. re: C. Hamster

                        However, I'm guessing she doesn't make as many $$ as Sara did...

                      2. re: HabaneroJane

                        Paul is not funny. He makes the viewer cringe every time he comes on. His "improv" schtick -- trying to decide who he will be on this show or for that challenge -- does not work because he is avoiding the one thing he needs to do: be comfortable being himself. He won't be around long.

                        1. re: HabaneroJane

                          What's worst, being an unfunny comedian, or being a chef who can't cook? Paul covers them both.

                          1. re: chowser

                            Agreed, Chowser. He has to be next unless he does a 180 this week..

                            1. re: HabaneroJane

                              Maybe Paul would be the perfect winner of TNFNS.

                              It's like counterprogramming. He's so bad on so many levels, that you just can't bare NOT to watch.

                              Sort of like rubbernecking when there's a 10 car pileup on the freeway.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                That's why people watch TNFNS.

                                1. re: Withnail42

                                  It's why people watch any reality TV show and that's also why the producers make sure to cast people like Paul and Dzintra. It ain't ultimately about the cooking.

                                  1. re: chicgail

                                    I can just hear the producers: Let's see. We need one OCD, one military guy with authority issues, one bitch on wheels, ...etc"

                                    1. re: mnosyne

                                      Pretty much.

                                      1. re: mnosyne

                                        I can imagine how much fun it is for them to interview people. see their quirky personalities and have to decide which ones to eliminate. I'll bet they come across some colorful personalities.

                            2. re: HabaneroJane

                              I've seen Melissa's show and it's pretty good. There was really only 1 thing I could nitpick and it only became annoying because she did it the whole episode, and that was refer to what she was cooking as "my recipe", "my pork roast", "my cabbage". Once or twice it wouldn't have matter but for the whole half hour, it was noticeable and grew more irritating as the show wore on. But, as I said, its a nitpick on my part, no one else has probably noticed.

                              She is at ease in front of the camera and her recipes are all approachable and doable. FTV did a lot fo promos with her last month and she was recently on a grilling special that pitted some of the (lesser known) FTV chefs against each other. I suspect they'll keep her around as long as she wants to stick around.

                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                I notice this & it is beyond annoying. All the "MY everything" And every recipe is something that she "created" because of when they lived in Europe. I think she is a mess---partly because of the premise of the show, partly because of her stupid set and mostly because of annoying stuff that she says.

                                1. re: sparkareno

                                  I kind of agree that the $10 premise of her show is a little on the lame side, particularly when the pice of meat she's working with probably cost $10 all by itself. She does, however, often give some pretty good tips on shopping to save $$$. And whoever designed her set needs to go over to HGTV for some design rehab, it's an awkward space and not exactly the most functional lay-out.

                                  But...after having watched her show, I do have a better idea of why they do certain things and challanges on TNFNS. Carrying a show for half an hour requires some skill and stamina. The Melissa shows I've seen seem to start strongly, but they loose some steam and energy towards the end.

                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                    I like her. I wish they would let her expand beyond the horribly crippling $10 for 4 people concept. What would your show look like if you could only have $10 worth of ingredients? Meh. Let her cook shrimp!

                            3. re: jujuthomas

                              Brianna seems more interested in being a “Star” and having the celebrity that goes with it than sharing her expertise on a cooking show. She says she’s a diva, she acts like a diva, but when’s the last time you saw a diva peeling potatoes or gutting fish

                              1. re: cuccubear

                                I can't stand watching her. She seems very full of herself. Did you notice the way she strutted her way down the red carpet? Did Guy make a face while she was walking?

                                1. re: kprange

                                  Yes, I noticed. That's what I mean, she seemingly couldn't care less about getting her own cooking show, she wants the exposure, she wants to be - a Diva!

                                  1. re: cuccubear

                                    Don't they already have many of those on the Bravo Housewives' shows? ;-)

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      Maybe they'll do a Chicago Chef Housewives show, or a competition for the Top Housewife of a Polish Sausage vendor? The possibilities are endless!

                              2. re: jujuthomas

                                "Poison mushrooms? hairballs? ack!"

                                Exactly what I said to my wife as we watched it. It was as if she didn't really think about what she was saying at all. And to top it off, she "shushed" her partner in mid-description in front of the judges. Bad attitude on top of marginal skills.

                                1. re: araknd

                                  when I heard that sssh and saw the startled look on Aria's and all the judges' faces, I knew she was toast.

                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                    I thought Aria handled the shushing professionally. She just smiled and let Drinza talk. I admired her for that.

                                    1. re: runwestierun

                                      She was probably scared.

                                      No need to cross a deranged person unless you absolutely must

                                      1. re: C. Hamster

                                        Especially when the deranged person has a knife.

                                        1. re: Withnail42

                                          My wife and I both had the same thought at the same time, we thought Dzintra was going to go home and strangle a cat.

                              3. It is hard to believe that 'DIzzy' is in fact a 44 year old woman with a child. She came across as a five year old whining about how she wanted to talk. And then to 'Shush' her teammate in front of the judges? That more or less sealed her fate. It seemed like she has no idea what went wrong, can't understand why she is not a success. Certainly she is not someone who should be around knives.

                                When paul was being an (more of an idiot) when opening the soy sauce with the knife. it would have been good to see them pull a Raymond Blanc. It Last restaurant Standing he threw out a team even prior ot elimination because they simply worked too dangerously.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: Withnail42

                                  And Dzintra's LInkedIn profile says she went to the American University of Paris and
                                  Le Cordon Bleu!

                                  Color me shocked.

                                  1. re: coney with everything

                                    Doesn't Sandra-Lee claim to have gone there as well?

                                    Giada say the same thing but it has never been verified.

                                    Given the way she has behaved on the show it could be possible that Dizzy only thinks she has been there.

                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                      Some people who have gone to LCB and taken a couple of demo classes for tourists claim to have attended the school. Well, technically, they did, but they didn't get any diploma. (just a thought)

                                      1. re: ChefJune

                                        That would be Aunt Sandy

                                    2. re: coney with everything

                                      Dzintra talked about the "Cordonne Blue" in the last challenge. Maybe they have recreational classes? I've gone to L'A'cademie de Cuisine. Rec classes. It means nothing.

                                      1. re: chowser

                                        The recreational classes for tourists are the ones I was referring to above. You can learn quite a bit from them, but it's certainly not "going to Le Cordon Bleu!"

                                  2. I can only join in on this thread tonight because I forgot to Tivo it on Sunday (driving up from the Keys) so just watched a re-run.

                                    Also glad Dizzy Ditzy Dzintra has gone. Aarti emerging as my favorite - I think an Indian inspired cooking show might work and she seems nice too. But there are a few more weeks to run so let's not rush yet.