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Food Network Star - Episode 1 (formerly "The Next Food Network Star") [spoilers]

I think I'm going to enjoy this season.

Lots of pleasant eye-candy.

Sorry to see you go Howie, but what the f*ck is a radio DJ doing on a cooking competition show?

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  1. Oh gosh. The conflicts are painful to watch, especially the Jill-the-selfless-midwestern-doormat storyline.

    (I'm not done watching the episode yet--I'm on the west coast.)

    1. I hate hate hate Penny.

      I'm glad they got rid of Howie, the guy can't cook and has no integrity.

      Vic "Vegas" get over yourself and stop pandering to the Vegas stereotype that is only known by the tourists.

      I think this season is the worst group they have had.

      6 Replies
      1. re: rasputina

        It seems that once they get rid of people who obviously can't cook, they're going to ask her to go home for her one note "sexy" concept.

        And come on, "bringing sexy back?" That reminds me of Justin Timberlake, which does not speak of food, expertise, or any perceptible sexiness.

        1. re: Harmy

          I kept wondering when sexy "left" the kitchen.

          I don't get why no one called BS on her concept. It's just dumb.

          1. re: charmedgirl

            Personally, I think it's creepy.

            Plus the Neely's already have that franchise.

            1. re: charmedgirl

              LOL, you mean you don't wear sexy stilettos in the kitchen and act vampish, turning your back and flipping your hair? I can't believe she thought that would be a good idea. Awkward. If you have to refer to yourself as sexy, you're not.

              1. re: chowser

                "If you have to refer to yourself as sexy, you're not."

                Too true!

            2. re: Harmy

              And who in the world says stilettos in the kitchen with ... kids is freaking normal???

          2. I can't remember who they all are yet, but model girl is annoying (alicia), so is tough tattooed guy, mexican girl who's from Colorado and middle eastern roots woman (is she the self professed sexy one?).

            It will be fun to watch, perfect sunday night TV.

            2 Replies
            1. re: smartie

              The Middle Eastern roots woman is unattractive, unsexy and nasty to boot. Can't wait for her to get it (the boot, that is).

            2. I tried to pay attention as much as I could with a whining, sick husband demanding most of my attention. But from what I picked up, I think Orchid is about the only one with "star" quality. And I like the idea of a show that will feature Asian flavors.
              Most of the contestants had me scratching my head and wondering how the heck they got there to begin with.

              17 Replies
              1. re: alliegator

                I agree with you about Orchid. I think she's a winner and Whitney is a close 2nd. I would like to see Vic get the axe next. He should have been the first to go. Maybe it's me but, I wouldn't eat anything prepared by someone who doesn't look presentable.

                1. re: mucho gordo

                  I'm guessing you don't see the people who cook your food very often, if you think his look is enough to disqualify him.

                  1. re: jgg13

                    If Vic is any indication, then it's probably better that I don't see them. Anything goes these days and we're not supposed to look askance.

                    1. re: mucho gordo

                      It's only tattoos, they can't get into your food.

                      1. re: Joanie

                        It's not just the tats, Joanie. It's also the piercings and the whole macho, gangbanger look; somewhat disheveled and unkempt. I would like someone clean-cut, mainstream looking to prepare my food not someone who will do whatever he wants and to hell with anybody else.

                        I know it's not PC to judge people by the way they look but, we all do it to a ccertain extent. It's human nature.

                        1. re: mucho gordo

                          He seems very "clean cut", not disheveled and unkempt. Clean shaven, shaved head even. Clothes looked clean and not wrinkled. It really is just that you are turned off by his tattoos and piercings (btw, "gangbangers" look nothing like him). Which is fine, we're all entitled to our opinions.

                          But I take exception to your remark that "not judging people by the way they look" is "PC". My grandmother wasn't "PC" but she still taught me that "you can't judge a book by its cover". Don't know how such an old and accepted maxim can be derided as "PC".

                          Again, you're entitled to your opinion, and perhaps you'd have a point if this man was the receptionist at your company, but to complain about his look when he's cooking food in a kitchen? Don't be surprised if some people judge *you* for having that attitude.

                          1. re: LurkerDan

                            I am a senior citizen, fairly conservative, dislike tats,(even though our son is heavily tattooed) and I love Vic. He is sexy as hell. Clean cut, seems knowledgeable about food, and when he smiles, the sun comes out.

                            The no food was not his fault, flaky crying blond dumped the food in the floor. I am glad they are giving him another chance. I learned years ago never look in the kitchen. You do not want to see who is preparing your food or what is happening. Friends in the food business have told me more than I want to know.

                            . Just enjoy the food.

                            1. re: Janet

                              I like Vic too; but I think it was the other blond who dumped the food on the floor, The one who looks like she grew up either on the beach in Malibu or under a cornstalk is the crying one :) I absolutely can't stand Penny and she can't go soon enough for me.

                            2. re: LurkerDan

                              Lets face it, Dan. First impressions tell us whether or not we want to look past the 'cover'. It's human nature to pass preliminary judgment. You're walking down the street and see someone approaching from the opposite direction. Don't you judge whether or not the person poses a threat by his appearance?

                            3. re: mucho gordo

                              Based on this post, you're right. You *really* don't want to look into any kitchen that is cooking food for you.

                            4. re: Joanie

                              Doesn't matter. He looks unpleasant, and I wouldn't watch him on TV with the tats and the stupid ear gages or whatever they are. He looks creepy and therefore I wouldn't watch his show.

                              I don't think that's going to be a problem however. He seems inept. How many times could Alton say to hold the damned fish higher? And he never did.

                              1. re: jmckee

                                You're not even talking about the same person. Vic is the beefier guy with tons of tats, the taller slimmer guy is who you're referring to w/ the fish. He certainly wasn't great with the camera but lots of people need some more practice than 1-2-3- go.

                                  1. re: jmckee

                                    The guy you're talking about (not Vic, as was already poitned out) was actually the one guy I would be most interested in watching, at least based on this very early sampling. As we've seen in previous seasons, a lot of these people evolve pretty wildly over time

                                    1. re: jgg13

                                      I'll own up to name confusion. Cleared up by y'all, thanks. But I wouldn't watch EITHER of them. And for the skinny guy with the fish -- evolve is a good word to use. He needs to look more human, less engineering.

                                      1. re: jmckee

                                        "He needs to look more human, less engineering"

                                        I'd say the opposite, as that's why I liked him :)

                          2. Getting a chef who can both cook and has the camera presence to be entertaining is evidently as easy as we might think. Juba can really cook but looses it when the little red camera light comes on. Many of the others are comfortable on stage but are not cooking stars.

                            I was feeling sorry for Vic when both his dishes crashed and burned but man did he loose my sympathy in that final judging when he might have been sent home. I think he was ready to go postal if he was eliminated. Talk about pissy attitude!

                            I think if they keep Penny for long I'll stop watching. To so openly taunt, tease, insult and pick on a single competitor! This lady oozes bad attitude and spoiled rotten little princess.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Goldendog

                              They'll keep Penny around for a few weeks just to create some drama.

                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                Whenever she was on screen, I thought my TV had somehow switched over to Real Housewives of New Jersey.....

                                  1. re: cmvan

                                    Oooh, that's it! I wondered who she reminded me of, and you nailed it! Wow, quite a contrast in the bonhomie of the Top Chef Masters "competitors" and the "camera whore" nastiness of Penny. Self-aware adults just shouldn't play to the camera that much. Is Alicia just clueless?

                                    Does seem that most of 'em (including Penny) can cook, tho'. Hope Juba calms down & completes a single coherent sentence, 'cause he's a cutie and seems like a decent chef.

                                    All those promos were cheesy and over the top--is that supposed to be the point?

                                    1. re: cmvan

                                      I don't get the Jersey Housewives vibe from her -- probably because I know a Penny in real life who's this new agey mother goddess type. It was extra painful watching her because it hit a little too close to home for me. But she certainly makes for some good TV.

                                  2. re: Goldendog

                                    I'll need to watch again, but I didn't notice his bad attitude. I thought he seemed very accepting of the fact that he might go.

                                  3. I thought for sure I'd like the Next Great Restaurant, and ended up losing interest and didn't even see who won, or care. Whereas I assumed I'd have no interest in Food Network Star, and I really enjoyed it. I think this group is taking to the camera challenges more readily than past competitors, which is a relief. But that kid that was holding the porgy fish and froze up --- that was hilarious. That's exactly something that I would do.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Niblet

                                      The kid with the fish - who I actually liked - reminded me of Bowser in the old 50s group Sha Na Na. I kept expecting him to open his mouth and have Doo Wop come out of it ;-)

                                        1. re: Withnail42

                                          I thought he was super hot.... guess it takes all types

                                          1. re: rozz01

                                            I thought Star Trek's Mr. Spock was hot.

                                    2. I don't know what to think of Penny with the "sexy" concept. To me she is one of the least attractive ladies on the show. She looks a lot like that wrestler lady Chyna. And her personality is unattractive to boot.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: cb1

                                        She's accomplishing what FTV hoped she would...get people talking about the show on the various food fora.

                                        I never knew sexy had ever been in the kitchen, let alone left it. Who knew it needed a come back ;-)

                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                          You are so right DD....we are talking about her, so I guess thats what they wanted. Do you think in the editing process this was planned?

                                          1. re: cb1

                                            She looks like the mother from Tangled.

                                        2. re: cb1

                                          She seems to confuse "sexy" with "vulgar." Unfriendly, unpleasant, unwatchably irritating.

                                        3. I can't remember the guy's name (was it Justin?) but what was that about wanting a 6 pack to share with the guys (not the women?) instead of getting good quality chocolate? Was he serious? I'm glad his partner stood her ground and did well w/ her s'mores.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: chowser

                                            And it wasn't even good beer, it was Corona. They're in L.A. where good craft beers are not hard to find. Nothing trumps chocolate, right ;-)?

                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                              Well I do think a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale trumps chocolate ( although my wife disagrees), but even if he were able to afford the beer and the good chocolate, shouldn't it have been for his team?

                                              1. re: cb1

                                                They should have split the difference and gone with a youngs double chocolate stout

                                          2. I caught this near the end, but that Howie guy seemed like such a douche from the 20 minutes I watched it, that he NEEDED to go.

                                            I'm predicting Orchid will be the top 3; the judges seem enamoured by her!

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: sugarflowers

                                              Howie was an ass but it seemed odd to keep Vic in when he didn't have complete dishes two times. Altho obviously the spilled calamari was different. Someone said he wasn't presentable but just cuz he has (too many) tattoos doesn't mean he's not clean. And Orchid is def. a front runner, a combination of Aarti and the Korean woman (Debby?) from before.

                                              When they all first walked in, I thought didn't the execs let any "regular" people enter? It seemed like they went for looks and except for the lawyer woman and a couple others, were all too pretty or had too much of a "look". Fragile Alicia cooked surprisingly well but has some issues. Orchid seems like the obvious person to root for, maybe the bow tie guy.

                                              1. re: Joanie

                                                Alicia (model-lady) can obviously cook, but based on her meltdown in the last session and the previews that show another meltdown, she needs to get herself together. Although it's hard to say whether it's real or the elves' editing, it appears that the "not-really-very-sexy" lady is a pretty non-stop barrage of attacks on her. Why would anyone be that gratuitously mean? I hope it's not her strategy.

                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                  Yeah I couldn't tell what pissed her off so immediately about Alicia. No reason for her attacking and/or getting so annoyed w/ her. Altho after the meltdown, I can see why you'd be annoyed. I had to laugh at Alicia's soft talking, isn't that a Seinfeld episode?

                                                  1. re: Joanie

                                                    "Yeah I couldn't tell what pissed her off so immediately about Alicia."

                                                    Could it be because Alicia actually is "sexy"? Penny may be a little jealous.

                                              1. re: rochfood

                                                exactly what I thought - too much like aarti for me .

                                                1. re: rochfood

                                                  yes she's a shoe in to win it, they don't have a Filipino food show

                                                  1. re: rochfood

                                                    Orchid must be the shortest contestant in the history of television cooking competition shows.

                                                    She's nearly as long horizontally as vertically.

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                      "She's nearly as long horizontally as vertically"

                                                      That describes a lot of americans these days

                                                  2. Does Penny really think that she has an original idea? Every year on this show there is some woman who insists on stilettos in the kitchen and making cooking sexy.

                                                    For that matter every year there is a dizzy blond type. Last time there was crazy Dizinia(sp). then Coulomb. One year there was a foot model who was on.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                                      Guess Penny's never caught "Bitchin' Kitchen". The schtick has now been covered adequately...

                                                      1. re: Withnail42

                                                        I don't think she'll get very far...

                                                        I kind of like Vic. It was totally bad luck that his calamari hit the floor ten seconds before deadline, and it wasn't even him who dropped it. I hope he makes out like a bandit in the next round and shows everyone exactly what he's made of.

                                                        The 'sexy' lady should have called her show 'The Kitchen Hooker' if that's what she thinks is sexy. About all that was missing was her swallowing a banana whole. (surprised she didn't try it actually! lol) Hopefully the judge's little lecture on tastefulness will sink in and she'll tune it down about a dozen notches and concentrate on the cooking.

                                                        As for Howie, thank goodness they dumped him. As soon as he introduced himself and said he was a 'kitchen novice' it was like 'what on earth were the producers thinking to even put him on?' And he was a prize jerk on top of it. The girl assisting him was way too helpful, but he treated her like a kitchen serf. 'Do this, do that' If she hadn't helped him out he wouldn't have had anything to serve! And after all that it was inedible and he STILL tried to push his teammates under the bus? Please!

                                                        1. re: Kajikit

                                                          Maybe Penny just needed a "wock-a-wocka" baseline for her background music...

                                                          1. re: Kajikit

                                                            'About all that was missing was her swallowing a banana whole.' -perhaps that was on her demo tape.

                                                            1. re: Kajikit

                                                              Penny should do some type of Gypsy cooking show.
                                                              Complete with castanets and a crystal ball.
                                                              "Dinner and a Fortune."

                                                          2. The first couple of episodes of this show are always a little confusing to me to keep everyone separate. Penny came off pretty bad. I know the producers are asking them to comment on their competitors, but if it were me, I would only pick out something positive to say and concentrate on the challenges and work on what they tell you you're weak on.

                                                            From just the first episode, I have to say the Filipino and Mexican women are the most natural so far. None of the men stand out in a positive way. I find the 'Vic Vegas' thing a little annoying, not his tattoos.

                                                            id you know that Debbie is Korean?

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                              I agree with you, John - what kind of people are these who talk so ugly about their fellow competitors right out of the chute? I disliked a bunch of them for being kind of petty in their interviews. It's ok to be confident, but some of them were kind of catty.

                                                              1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                They're, unfortunately, fairly typical Americans......

                                                                1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                  As noted on Chopped threads, we need to distinguish between the real person, and the persona that we see after editing. That ugly talk is not spontaneous and unsolicited. I'm not saying these things are scripted, but there's a lot of prompting and editing that we don't see. There wouldn't be much drama if all the competitors where polite milquetoasts.

                                                                2. re: John E.

                                                                  OMG, Debbie is Korean??!! Why hasn't anyone told me this before?
                                                                  (Thanks for the giggle, John).

                                                                3. Vic Vegas has a pretty good chance at making it to the end, as he was obviously selected by the producers and asked to be on the show. I've seen him on at least two of the cooking competition shows and he's always done really well. He didn't just pop out of nowhere, he was pre-selected.

                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                  1. re: UptownKevin

                                                                    I think not. Apparently, he can't finish dishes. Plus -- Vic Vegas? Really? Did he try out for WWE and not get in?

                                                                    1. re: jmckee

                                                                      I laughed at Slater's comment that Vic Vegas had some weird Mixed Martial Arts thing going on.
                                                                      He kinda looks like a puffy Vin Diesel to me.

                                                                      1. re: rochfood

                                                                        Right! I was thinking he was Vin diesel's alter ego. There could be some kind of sitcom in there....

                                                                        1. re: rochfood

                                                                          The whole Vic Vegas persona bumgs me a little. It reminds me of the mearball guy on the next great restaurant show and hus Goodfellas schitck. The tattoos don't bother me, I don't see the allure of them however. I'll judge him on his food as soon as he presents some. I also don't understand the attraction of the funky ear lobes/rings on the fish guy. It seems he might be able to cook but they are loking fior someone who can talk in front of a camera.

                                                                          I always cringe a little seeing them attempting to do the oromos and otyer camera work early on.

                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                            "I always cringe a little seeing them attempting to do the oromos and otyer camera work early on."

                                                                            Okay, I just realized you meant 'promos' and 'other', at least I think that's what you meant. Thought these were Greek words or something at first.

                                                                            1. re: Joanie

                                                                              The iPhone keyboards are really small and sometimes I don't proofread like I should.

                                                                      2. One thing I really liked about this year's show is that they didn't make us sit through every grueling moment of the on-camera promos, and of their cooking tasks. There were bits of each team, but the editing this time is appreciably better.
                                                                        More of the contestants have some experience with teaching or public speaking - just being out there with people.....it seems like they looked for people who had a better chance from the get-go of relating to the camera. Maybe 'World's Worst Cook" took off some of the pressure to show incompetence here.
                                                                        I had gotten pretty bored with the same old format NFNS had the past couple years, and was happy to see that the producers figured out they needed to freshen it up.

                                                                        1. I don't recall any of the names, but isn't one of the brunettes a dead ringer for Rachel Ray?

                                                                          Smile, hairdo, and definitely all of the perk.

                                                                          And of course the judges all were impressed with her. Does FN need to recycle itself already? I suppose it's a formula thats working well for them.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: laststandchili

                                                                            I think that was Whitney and, you're right

                                                                          2. A few nights ago this show appeared on Cooking Channel, and tonight it is on Travel Channel. I suppose even dedicated Man v Food fans need a break.