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NFNS July 18 - spoilers

I kind of felt like singing the song about the wicked witch. I don't know why, but I just didn't like how Briana presented herself. That being said, her food looked great. Whats his face, you know, Pro guy, I really liked him tonight. He is the only one who seemed to bring Sinatra to the challenge.

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  1. ditto on all counts! i'm so glad to see Brad finally come into his own. he's adorable and very likable.

    Brad & Aarti are still my top two. i've liked Herb from day one, but he's going down in flames, i get why the judges like Tom, but he's just not my cup of tea (i wouldn't watch his show), and Aria & Serena just don't do it for me.

    13 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Tom reminds me of Johnny Carson's "Floyd R Turbo" character. Not really someone I'd want to watch, either. Which is too bad, because I think he has some talent.

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        I'm finding it painful to watch people's demons eat them up alive. Yes, it seems like Brianna can cook, but like the rest of you, her need to show up like some sexy diva felt thoroughly inauthentic and rubbed me the wrong way. I don't think she's a bad person, but all the fakery was annoying.

        Herb is another one who can't manage whatever happened to him way back when. Also very painful to watch because when that past isn't running the show he's fun and funny and charming. And when that "thing" comes up he's dead int he water.

        I do like Brad (isn't he the pro?) a lot and how he's developed, but I also still have my eye on Aria and Aarti. My concern is that Aria would be an Ina Wannabe and Serena is a Giada wannabe. Tom is sometimes there and sometimes now and I can't see his show, but then I couldn't see -- and still can't see-- the attraction of Guy Fieri who seems to be making it big.

        1. re: chicgail

          I'm not sure which 7/18 thread to reply to, I'll take the direct titled post. But I find it odd that Brad could turn it around so completely. I didn't think he was quite as horrendous as the judges but he didn't have a lot going on in front of the camera then bang, he's cool guy in both challenges. Aarti wasn't so bad in the quickfire except ending too soon, tanked at the pool party. I still don't think Herb is so great when he's "on" but that's just me. It's odd how he can fluctuate so wildly. I do like Tom and I bet with the little makeover he'd be sure to get if he won, the naysayers would like him better.

          1. re: Joanie

            <the little makeover he'd be sure to get if he won>

            I doubt that. They didn't make Guy Fieri over. He is still just as rough and tumble as he was during the competition several years ago. (and I still don't like him).

            1. re: ChefJune

              I guess I think of Guy as having "a look", whether you like it or not. Tom definitely looks like a schlub and I'd think they'd perk him up a bit, but who knows.

              1. re: Joanie

                Yaay, Brad brought it. Finally! If he keeps it up, he could win this. He can cook, he is adorable and he has such a nice, down to earth demeanor. No diva there. Tom, too. Yapping a little too much, yes, but he's also got that down to earth thing going for him.

                Brianna was the one who proved to be on the wrong show. Top Chef would have suited her best. Clearly, according to the judges, she can cook, but her camera presence was grating, awkward and, at times, embarrassing. She thought she was a diva but came across as an awkward buffoon.

                Serena is on thin ice. Telegenic, sure, but otherwise the jury's out.

                Aria has potential, too, but her food seems to be paling in comparison to the others' lately so she needs to up that ante.

                Aarti blew it this week and I hope that doesnt mean her confidence level goes back to zero. As I've said before on this board, that whole 'gosh, golly, who me?' thing bugs me. That aside, I'd love to be able to make Indian food, which right now seems so intimidating, so I will still keep her on the back burner.

                Herb is annoying. The whole healthy, avoiding his past, demons, etc..is not what I need to see on a cooking show.

                In conclusion: top two to beat right now based on last night (personality and cooking), Brad and Tom.

                1. re: HabaneroJane

                  I agree with you HJ, Brad and Tom seem to be the ones to beat at the moment.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: HabaneroJane

                    Agree that Brad and Tom are hot right now, but I think there's a good chance Aarti will come back -- she has a clear (and distinct/different) point of view, is very likeable, and is an excellent cook. In terms of her confidence problems -- didn't Melissa also have confidence problems last year?

                    I don't know about everyone else, but it seems the contestants are not as strong and/or colorful as compared with the past couple of seasons. I am having a hard time envisioning myself tuning into their shows....

                    1. re: Healthy Delicious

                      I think this is the most likeable group of contestants overall that they've had in a long time. Being likeable may make them boring

                      1. re: DiningDiva

                        I'm not sure that Brianna was all that likeable. She had that sort of "fingernails on the chalkboard" aura about her.

                        Serena can also be a bit annoying in that "is she just dumb, or is she playing dumb?" kind of way. Like Brianna said, who doesn't know what Sriracha sauce is???

                      2. re: Healthy Delicious

                        I think everyone's suffering from cooking show competition overload and/or exposure. When the shows were new, the contestants were obviously greener and less knowing what to expect. now they can hire a coach to prep them in advance if they want. they can anticipate, based on what's happened in past seasons, what to expect. it's all become somewhat rote.
                        And still, I continue to watch expecting a revelation of some sort...

                        1. re: Healthy Delicious

                          Oh, see, I think the opposite -- I think that the contestants this year are much stronger than in recent years. Last year, with the exception of maybe two people, I really thought that I could cook better than any of the people there. This year there are people who actually seem like they have cooking chops.

                          1. re: JasmineG

                            Oh, absolutely. I'm talking about personality! I like the ones who are more natural and not trying to play a role. Those are few and far between!

            2. i was so happy to see her go! and yeah, I really enjoyed watching Brad step up last night! his chicken cordon bleu remake looked amazing!
              what was Aria thinking substituting shrimp for hot dogs? i totally didn't get the connection.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jujuthomas

                I sort of understood her point that it had the same texture as a "pigs in the blanket", so inside and crispy/bready on the outside, but I hate to say it, battered and deep fried shrimp isn't really that luxurious and upscale.

                Flay said she needed to use pork belly or something. I'm thinking she could have used puff pastry for the outside. Or a homemade sausage (I mean, isn't the gal from WISCONSIN???) in a puff pastry with fancy dips on the side. Or, she could have done something Asian inspired, pork in won tons.

                She hasn't really proven herself as very creative, unfortunately.

                ~TDQ

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  ITA that she does not seem very creative. i really wanted to like her in the beginning, she's so bubbly and happy.

              2. Did anyone else catch the after-the-show "party" on Cooking Channel? It was a waste of a half an hour imo. I was hoping it would be interesting behind-the-scenes stuff, esp. since Bob Tuschman (sp.) was on. It was kind of amusing to see Briana loving Kelsey's (is that her name?) tuna noodle casserole, though (she even asked for the recipe!). Too bad she hadn't tried it earlier in life! I'll keep tivo-ing it in the hopes that one of these weeks it will be more interesting.

                1. I was so glad to see Briana cut. She always came off as rude to me. Last night was no different, perhaps even worse than usual.

                  I was glad to see Brad do so well, and I hope he now abandons "The Pro" concept, which also came off as arrogant. I also like Tom and still have hopes for Aarti.

                  Herb has bothered me since the beginning. I still cringe when I remember his performance on the food truck a week or two ago (with Paul?). Serena doesn't bother me, but I sure can't see her winning. I agree with folks that Aria seems to lack in depth and creativity.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: debbiel

                    Another vote for the glad Briana is gone club. I never cared for how she presented herself. Herb is back & forth, I just don't know what to make of him. If you're going to make over foods into being healthy, you really have to "bring it" as a lot of people are resistant to that idea.

                    Glad to see Brad & Tom doing so well this episode!! Although I felt sorry for Tom in a way as he just couldn't stop talking! Open mouth, insert foot much?