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NFNS 7/24 with spoilers

Yep the right decision, Jyll. Not much personality and not sure what her POV was regarding food and who she is.

Jeff was terrific tonight but would I watch a show about sandwiches? Which one of the finalists would you want to watch regularly, frequently or occasionally?

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  1. Phew. Was worried for awhile (until Jyll went up) that it would be Vic or Susie. Neither if whom I love, but should outlast Jyll (yay) and MB.

    I might watch Susie. Might. Otherwise? Eh.

    Judge Susie: many people do have misconceptions about Mexican food. I did not understand her complaint about that.

    14 Replies
    1. re: debbiel

      i agree with your point about misconceptions BUT i also agree with judge susie's point about the difference between susie and penny. while it was quite obvious on here that i was no fan of penny's, i agree that her love of her heritage and her food was refreshing - and that susie shouldn't apologize for it. gourmet or interesting authentic mexican food is one POV - "really, mexican food doesn't suck" is another - and they'd get different viewers.

      vic's dish looked disgusting. and i find him and his schtick annoying.

      jeff was better. MB had a very on night from top to bottom. Even whitney looked more like she might have a chance.

      But i agree susie's still the only one i might watch.

      1. re: AMFM

        but Susie's hands are annoying, she waves them around all the time.

        1. re: smartie

          That could be her Latina background
          "Body and hand movement is also extremely important. Many Latinos find it necessary to move their hands in order to communicate effectively. I find myself using hand movements even when I talk on the phone and nobody sees me! I have said many times that if you tie my hands I am unable to speak. "

          1. re: paulj

            Some cultures do use their hands as part of communication more than others, But Susie's hand gestures get excessive only when she is on camera which leads me to believe that it's nervousness, rather than cultural.

            1. re: chicgail

              I saw these comments before I saw the episode, so maybe I was extra aware of the hand actions, but I thought Mary Beth was way worse with them than Susie was. Actually, all the girls were

            2. re: paulj

              I am Sicilian and I cannot talk if I sit on my hands. LOL

              1. re: Manassas64

                LOL. i'm irish and alsatian - red haired and freckled - and have the same problem. think it's just a personality/habit!

            3. re: smartie

              she does wave them A LOT. i talk with my hands like crazy and hers was still noticably excessive.

              1. re: smartie

                Susie's delivery and gesticulation remind me a lot of Giada...

                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                      And what about the Skeletor smile? (http://www.he-man.org/assets/images/c...)

                      Sorry moderators. It's my last one. I promise!

              2. re: AMFM

                Hmm...I just didn't think she sounded apologetic. Just that she was acknowledging the misperceptions. But, opinions are going to vary on that, obviously.

                I didn't like MB tonight. Her 30s intro of herself seemed over the top phony to me (that's the usual vibe I get from her though). Agree that Jeff was better than typical, but I just don't see a sandwich show working. Whitney is definitely looking better.

                1. re: debbiel

                  she was on for MB -even with good food. however, she totally grates on me. the funny thing about her fake though, is that i think she's REALLY fake. all the time. like that TOTALLY suburban housewife who is just annoyingly pretending to be perfect all the time... her. :)

            4. They really are a pretty uninteresting bunch - all of them. I would give Susie at least a look, but I doubt if I would watch any of their shows more than once. I don't think this show has anything to do with finding the Next Food Network Star. It's just about ratings for itself.

              2 Replies
              1. re: chicgail

                "I don't think this show has anything to do with finding the Next Food Network Star. It's just about ratings for itself."

                I absolutely agree with this chicgail.

                1. re: chicgail

                  I've kind of liked Jeff the whole time, He seems inherently fun and personable and certainly has the point of view down. I agree a show about sandwiches might be kind of limiting but I do love a good, interesting sandwich so it might be worth a look. Not sure who the final three will be, right now I'm thinking Jeff, Whitney and Susie.

                2. IMHO, Vic should have gone home. Did not answer an audience question, which was a major part of the challenge and his dish was as gross as Rachael's tortilla-wrapped hot dog (if you watched RR show Friday). Leftover lasagna fried in a tortilla?

                  It's interesting to see how they edit, because Jyll went first on RR's show and my perception would have been completely different had I only seen this. And her cupcake looked tasty.

                  Agree with everyone about Susie, like her the best.

                  1. For some reason, I don't know why, right from the start I've found Susie to be extremely annoying.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: Withnail42

                      i understand. i don't but i get how someone can rub you the wrong way. vic does it to me.

                      1. re: AMFM

                        Bob "I love tushy" and Susie Folgelburg (sp?) do it to me. I really want to rip out her ratty extensions. I've worked for people like them in the past and I'd rather sell oranges on a freeway offramp.

                        1. re: BubblyOne

                          What do you mean by "Bob 'I love tushy'"? That comment seems rather out of place.

                          1. re: jmckee

                            He's gay and so am I. No different than the hundreds of comments on Giada's hair, teeth, head size and boobs. HRC, watch out! Bob is on the ropes, help needed.

                            1. re: BubblyOne

                              LOL. I think there is a fair amount of editing to make Bob look like a bit of an ogler sometimes. Makes me chuckle.

                              1. re: BubblyOne

                                My point is: SO WHAT. And the "I love tushy" comment is really crass.

                        2. re: Withnail42

                          Susie reminds me of Kelsey from a few seasons ago. Bubbly, effervescent personality with very little substance. Cute smile, that's about it.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Hmmm...Susie has her faults but she lacks that nails-on-the-chalkboard, annoying quality that Kelsey has. I've seen Kelsey on the Cooking Channel and she's still annoying as hell.

                              I think Susie's biggest problem is that she's young and lacks enough experience (cooking time in actual kitchens) so that when she's out of her element - as she was last night - she gets flat and nervous. But Kelsey-style annoying? Naw, not so much for me.

                          1. Well, they seem to be more or less getting the eliminations correct week to week with Jyll going this week. I think Chris lasted as long as he did only because others did more poorly than he did any particular week.

                            Based on today, I think Jeff is going to get his own show even if he doesn't win - the folks that matter seem to like him a lot (rightly or wrongly).

                            Still, I have no use for watching his show as well as anyone else's show, save maybe for Susie. I'm not sure I'd give Vic a chance now based on his TV performance today (not to mention his dish...any college student could've probably done that in a moment of "inspiration" to spice up old leftovers)

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: josquared

                              i think they like that he has a POV that they don't have as a show. there is no sandwich show. so...

                              1. re: AMFM

                                I don't think it's necessarily his POV IMO - they just seem to like him period.

                              1. re: joonjoon

                                LOL. And that very poorly backpedaled dig at Ina - ouch.

                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                  Almost as cringeworthy as Penny's scary meow thing.

                                  1. re: alliegator

                                    Hmm... what did I miss here? Did someone take a ding at Ina?
                                    Actually, I'd be like Whitney and cry if I got to meet her. I would really value her feedback and bend over backwards twice to get her approval.

                                    1. re: monavano

                                      Jyll took a dig at her then backpedaled, she talked about how unlike Ina, she would be more accessible to the mainstream, or something like that. Then she realized that it sounded like a dig, and tried to take it back. She was just super confused last night.

                                      1. re: LurkerDan

                                        Oh, I do remember. Something about doing it on a budget.
                                        The thing is, Ina's food is remarkably approachable. Not pricey, not fussy.
                                        Now, her home and car is another matter!!

                                      2. re: monavano

                                        This took place at the end when they asked her from which orifice the Midwestern Gal with Cali flair POV came, and she was trying to defend her value proposition, so she said something about how she's not just that, but she also entertains on a budget, not like Ina, well, not that Ina isn't fabulous in her own right, yadda yadda yadda...

                                        It was one of those cringe-making, buttock pinching moments for sure.

                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                          OK, went back and saw Jyll totally losing it with her explanation. She did dig at Ina, but it's without merit. Ina does not use $$ stuff. She tells her viewers to buy the best that they can, and it's great advice!
                                          Jyll just stopped fighting. She was done, and I can't blame her. These "reality" shows are very hard.
                                          Sometimes the filming takes it's toll. It's a marathon and she crapped out.
                                          And what's wrong with where you're from? Susan BASHED Mexican food and Jyll felt that her MidWestern roots weren't good enough. She had to throw CA in there to make her food more acceptable.

                                          1. re: monavano

                                            Maybe I need to go back and rewatch (though I'm loathe to think of giving this dreadful show--which I'm admittedly stuck on--a second viewing). I just didn't hear her bash Mexican food. I heard her say people had misperceptions and that she was going to show them Mexican food beyond that. Can anyone save me from a second viewing and give me the actual quote? If not, I'll go back in. I'm just curious now that a few people have posted about it and had very different reads than I did.

                                            Now, Jyll, I think she was just strugglin for POV. Maybe she thought WI wasn't interesting enough and CA was overdone. Why not Wiscofornia!

                                          2. re: inaplasticcup

                                            The first cringe came in her segment on RR, when named her show ("bites") and she said that her show is about entertaining, then she makes a plain old meatloaf. If she had made little meatloaf bites, it would have been perfect, don't know why she didn't do that. Oh, yeah, because she was a lost puppy with no vision, that's why!

                                            1. re: LurkerDan

                                              "Oh, yeah, because she was a lost puppy with no vision, that's why!"

                                              Most accurate way to describe her. If she had longer, she would have dug her way to China.

                                              1. re: LurkerDan

                                                Good idea on the meatloaf bites. Her direction was just bizarro. Maybe she didn't want MB to have all the shepherds pie glory.

                                      3. I like sandwiches. But, do I need to watch a show to learn how to turn pork chops and applesauce into a sandwich by taking pork chops and applesauce and putting it in between bread? I can't get over how much alike Whitney and Rachel Ray are. I think Whitney seems personable enough so I don't know why they keep saying she's not. I'm really thankful I don't have to hear about "Jyllicious bites" anymore. It got more and more grating as the competition went on. And, I'd never watch a show called "Mama's boy."

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: chowser

                                          I actually thought Whitney was more like a younger version of Ina than Rachel. She kind of has that calm, efficient way of moving through things, tho' she kind of lacks Ina's instinctive warmth and ability to make the viewer feel at ease. But I rather suspect Whitney could learn that once she got some mileage and experience doing a show. She (thankfully) lacks that over-the-top perky gene that Rachel has.

                                          1. re: chowser

                                            Was Whitney wearing "Native American" attire?

                                            1. re: Shrinkrap

                                              I thought her clothes were unflattering! She's really pretty--why did she pick an American Girl outfit that made her look dumpy?

                                              1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                I was shocked to see Whitney's getup on the RR show. She just needed a pair of boots to be a go go girl!

                                            2. Jyll's fate was sealed at the end when she almost answered a big question with "I don't know".... If you don't know why you want to do this, what you want to do with it, you're toast.

                                              Whitney and Jeff both did better than the judges thought, I believe. I enjoyed watching both of them.

                                              Vic looks staged, artificial. He even stands like a wrestling "action figure" in its blister pack at the toy store. His shtick gets really, really old -- and really, really quickly. And the la-changa? Oy gevalt.

                                              I still have hopes for Susie. I think when the nervousness calms down, she could be just fine. And being around Rachel Ray and audience wouldn't exactly soothe anybody's nerves.

                                              Susie Fogelson gets on MY last nerve. I don't find her to be a particularly consistent or knowledgeable judge. And she clearly prefers the guys to the girls.

                                              What's the deal with Rachel having the guys on the couch and the girls at the counter?

                                              22 Replies
                                              1. re: jmckee

                                                "What's the deal with Rachel having the guys on the couch and the girls at the counter?"

                                                I noticed that too and wondered what was going on.

                                                I can take or leave Susie. She's a producer/administrator; she's looking at the contestants from away different angle than we are. She's trying to figure out how in the world FTV is going to "sell" the new "talent". The better the person can define themselves the easier her job becomes. When the contestants are inconsistent, she's inconsistent. I do find her comments weird and annoying sometimes and wonder if she's seen the same thing as we the view have seen, and then I realize probably not. She's seen more than we have, some of which is probably on the editing room floor, but, I agree with you, it certainly does not make for easy viewing sometimes. It's pretty much not about the food with Susie but about the package the person presents.

                                                1. re: jmckee

                                                  Re: Vic. I thought it was funny how he was sure if he had told the audience to use LEFTOVER lasagna, that would have saved his epic fail of a food idea.

                                                  He's very distracting to look at and reminds me of this cartoon I once saw at a Sick & Twisted festival called No Neck Joe...

                                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                    Yup, it wouldn't have saved a very bad idea. Now, the next logical thought is who in the world does not LOOOOOOOVe leftover lasagna? It is perfection. Ah, lasagna in a leftover container, heated for a couple minutes in the micro.. you're house smells amazing and you're right back to the day you made it.
                                                    Repurposing lasagna for anything other than its lovely glory is a crime against food.

                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                      And wrapping it in a tortilla makes it First Degree...

                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                        And I also think, if memory serves me, that Vic topped it with Mexican ingredients, which would really muddle the taste, IMO. I get the ethnic spin, but I would have stayed in the Italian realm and made.... calzones! With just the lasagna filling.
                                                        That would have been really cool.
                                                        Vic over thought and over reached. I think that Vic knew it and that's why he couldn't sell the dish.

                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                          I have a confession -

                                                          I was really hungry when I watched the episode, and I have to admit...I was kind of drooling at the thought of deep fried lasagna...
                                                          I didnt like all the glop he put on it afterward, but fried lasagna in a tortilla, with a bit of sauce (gravy) on top ...oh yes!!! I'm on board with that!

                                                      2. re: inaplasticcup

                                                        The odd thing was he was supposed to do the comfort meal in his style. His style was supposed to be italian american food like his mama made; when did it become "how to Taco Bell your mama's food"?

                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                          I have to say, I do have a tinge of sympathy for these people when it comes to defining and maintaining a POV. Even those of us who consider ourselves good and serious cooks don't make every meal with a point of view in mind, and I would imagine the contestants are constantly torn between refining their POV and wanting to put the breadth of their abilities on display in the hope that enough of them will stick and enable them to stay in the running.

                                                          This does not, however, excuse one bit of the ill-conceived notion of a Lachanga, btw.

                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                            If I were going to be a contestant on this show, I'd go with a definite point of view and experiment with every recipe/technique I could find on that topic. And, have a back up. It's not like this is the first season. How many people have been called out for not having a POV (not that it's that important anyway because they will tell you what to do after you've won--Melissa's $10 meals never entered in her season). They've seen it, they should know it. Susie went in saying she wanted to show she's more than a cook w/ a Mexican background but the judges had her pegged for that and she's fallen into it.

                                                            And then, have a bunch of personal sob stories ready to go. Practice, practice, practice. This is really essentially the world's longest job interview.

                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                              This is my thought too. Sometimes even those with a clear POV have trouble fitting a particular challenge into their POV and still turning out good food. So then do they stick to their POV, or do they do their best to make the best dish they can to meet the requirements of the challenge?

                                                              Like the dinner party with Wolfgang Puck, they actually asked Jeff why he didn't make a sandwich. Really? How many actual sandwiches have you had as 1 course in a formal dinner party? (Granted he could have done a riff on a small "open" sandwich on top of a salad or something.) So sometimes something has to give -- POV or meeting a challenge.

                                                              1. re: eamcd

                                                                a napoleon?
                                                                could have been a riff...

                                                          2. re: inaplasticcup

                                                            I actually came in my pants a little when I first heard "deep fried lasagna." I thought that was a genius idea...imagine...it's 2am and you just left the bars, still wasted, and someone rolls up with a LASAGNACHANGA. I would have to eat everything in sight, immediately. I would prefer to eat it hand-held, though, instead of in a bowl smothered.

                                                              1. re: joonjoon

                                                                I thought the exact same thing until Vic smothered the hell out of it. I think I'd forgo the noodles and just stuff the changa with lasagna filling.

                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                  iapc: I prefer LASAGNACHANGA. :)

                                                                  monavano: Yeah, keep it simple - all he needed to do was wrap, fry, and serve. It takes the fun away from it when you pile all that other garbage on top. A crispy lasagna wrap should be amazing all by itself.

                                                                  1. re: joonjoon

                                                                    lasagnachanga would not have impressed RR as much... you know how she loves her cutesy contracted words like stoup and choup.
                                                                    Blech, personally ;-)

                                                                    1. re: joonjoon

                                                                      joonjoon, Now that you mention it, I think I do too. The other word reminds me of a Richie Valens song.

                                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                        Dear lord, you had to plant that tune in my head?!


                                                                        oops, didn't re properly

                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                          Hey, maybe if Vic comes up with a dance for it, he might be the next food network star or something...

                                                                          I know. I shouldn't give him any ideas.

                                                                      2. re: joonjoon

                                                                        LOL -

                                                                        I totally agree!

                                                                        I said the same thing just now, above - before I read this post

                                                                        Edit :(This was a relpy to Joon Joon, but it ended up down here)

                                                                    1. re: pitagirl

                                                                      You know No Neck Joe, too??? Awesome. :)))

                                                                2. I too think they made the right decision. I do like Jeff, but, although this is a fun competition - I won't watch a show by any of these guys.

                                                                  1. Jyll- nice girl but does not have cooking chops. Hard to believe she has a catering service? Her food was basic, very basic.
                                                                    Oh, why the hell did almost everyone make a savory cupcake? Yuk. Loved that Whitney did a knockoff of Ina's cupcake. Gutsy!
                                                                    And what's with the saluting at the end of a presentation? How frickin' weird.
                                                                    Stop winking!!!! Are you people used car salesmen? It's creepy.
                                                                    I initially thought the lachonga was a great idea... then I thought pasta and more pasta in a tortilla. Nah.. now, if you got rid of the pasta and just made an Italian chimichanga, that might work.
                                                                    MaryBeth shows flashes of brilliance. But, she seems self-centered to me. Don't know what it is, but she seems most lit up when it's all about her.
                                                                    Jeff and sandwiches? That's not a POV, it's something ANYONE can do. You need no skills per se, unless you want to make duck confit in a bun, but that's not going to be on anyone's regular rotation. And OMG, there is no "M" in sandwich. If that's going to be your "schtick", for Pete's sake, say the word "sandwich", not samwich.
                                                                    Wow, I'm done ragging! Thanks for listening.

                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                                      I wondered about the saluting too!

                                                                      1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                        Not sure who was the saluter in the bunch, but I have a habit of saluting folks. For me, I'm pretty sure it was my growing up in a military family where that habit emerged - can't vouch for the NFNS contestant to whom you're referring.

                                                                        1. re: josquared

                                                                          I think it was Vic and Jyll.

                                                                          BTW, I did some time in the military, and last night's salutes were NOT military! (LOL)

                                                                          1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                            Oh, no one would mistake my salute as up to military-snuff either I don't think (LOL) though I probably might do a much more reasonable facsimile anyway.

                                                                            I don't really want to, but I might have to find a re-run of the episode just to spot those two for curiosity's sake.

                                                                            1. re: josquared

                                                                              i only saw MB's but it was obvious and annoying. it just looked kitschy. of course i think everything about her does.

                                                                          2. re: josquared

                                                                            I got the sense that the "saluters" never do that-- they were just nervous and stymied by the cameras. It came across as kind of a twitch or something.

                                                                        2. re: monavano

                                                                          I have this thing whereby I am distracted by overdone or poorly applied fake lashes, and Mary Beth needs to '86 the falsies. They add a certain, and unintended I'm sure, kookycrazy factor to her otherwise well and casually groomed appearance.

                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                            Actually, she doesnt need falsie to appear kookycrazy!

                                                                            Am I the only one who notices that when Mary Beth is unhappy - her face virtually distorts!
                                                                            It's creepy - a bit psyco, really...

                                                                            1. re: NellyNel

                                                                              everything about her i find a bit creepy. there's something stepford (but in a weird walmart suburbia way) about her. ew.

                                                                        3. Note to contestants: please stop using your dead parents to get points.

                                                                          17 Replies
                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                            But the FN people totally encourage the use of cheap emotional device to manipulate people like you and me into truly and genuinely caring about the contestants, dontcha know...

                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                              Nail meet head! It's CHEAP.
                                                                              When D"Arabian trotted out her mom's suicide, I just about fell over. The judges are always about energy! energy! Happy happy stories!!
                                                                              The room just deflated and I was shocked that the judges (who had all the joy sucked out of them) gave her such props for "sharing".
                                                                              Would not have been a maneuver I'd use, but whatever it takes to stand apart, I guess.

                                                                            2. re: monavano

                                                                              If I hear the judges talk about wanting to hear personal stories, I'm going to scream. They loved Whitney mentioning her firefighter brother? Although, maybe I'd appreciate a picture of him.... I'd much rather hear the history of the ingredient their using than the history of their family. Geek-speak, please.

                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                I've always felt that I'd be too "whitebread" dull for the judges.
                                                                                Mom cooked plain meals. We had some lovely Polished dishes interspersed, but overall, I didn't hang on to her apron as a kid. I didn't cook. Could not have cared less. If my mom could have my ass in the chiar long enough to feed me, it was a good day.
                                                                                I was too busy playing!

                                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                                  There are a lot of voices on this topic that I agree with. OK, here are the basics. You are on a food "Star" show. Shouldn't they all be practicing what their niche is, and research it? It seems so basic to me, and yet so many of the contestants fall short on that.

                                                                                  1. re: SmartCookie

                                                                                    I think many of the contestants over the years are "posers", In other words, I don't think they really "know" who they are. They will change like a chameleon just to get the judges to like them.
                                                                                    Hardly any of them say "hey, look, this is me and it's not going to change". They want to please and win but somehow either can express their POV, or more likely, don't have one.

                                                                                  2. re: monavano

                                                                                    Uh, hello. Everybody knows that's when you start making shit up about your family... :P

                                                                                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                      but.... careful - you don't want to pull a robert irvine. although he's still a star!

                                                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                        They have to be embellishing some, I think.
                                                                                        Robert Irvine recovered from BS'ing his resume. His replacement on Kitchen Impossible really couldn't fill his shoes. Irvine brings the tension and friction and somehow slaps mass chow together that people apparently like.

                                                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                                                          I thought Michael Symon was so much better - better cook, better interpretations of the requirements, and certainly less histrionics. In fact, I quit watching after Irvine came back, (even though I had watched him before), he seemed so incomplete and lacking by comparison. He just doesn't have Symon's chops. Interesting that Irvine's been beat by Anne Burrell every season of Worst Cooks, and on Chopped. He and Cat Cora also lost to Symon and Anne on ICA. I'm just not terribly impressed - maybe he really had to BS his resume for a reason.

                                                                                          1. re: applehome

                                                                                            agree that Symon is the better chef, but the show needed Irvine the villain. As I said, I can't believe how Irvine's food is so loved. Maybe it's editing.
                                                                                            But no, he's got mass produced food chops, but Symon's got refinement and talent.

                                                                                            1. re: monavano

                                                                                              Everything is better with Michael Symon ;-) Swwwwooooooonnnn

                                                                                            2. re: applehome

                                                                                              Off the cuff impression: Michael Symon seems to be one of the guys on this network that would be the most fun to hang out and drink beer with. I just think he seems like a nice, fun, enjoyable guy.

                                                                                              1. re: jmckee

                                                                                                Agree with that. And if that beer is shared in his kitchen as he cooks a meal for me, all the better!

                                                                                                The fact that he LOVES pig makes his food that much better. :-D

                                                                                      2. re: chowser

                                                                                        They did show a photo of Whitney with her firefighter brother.

                                                                                      3. Question-- Does anyone know or think that the contestants are allowed to do some internet research for recipes?
                                                                                        I love cooking and am getting better at baking, but I need a recipe for measurements (baking). I think I can whip out almost no knead bread off the top of my head, but not cupcakes, which they all had to make.
                                                                                        I wonder if they all crash-study before the show.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                                                          Contestants (at least in previous years) are asked to submit their recipes to FTV prior to filming of the show. It could be that FTV wants to see what they can do and have in common so that they can craft their "star challenges" around them. I suspect they all may have been asked to submit a cupcake recipe before the show filmed. I thought it was really odd that so many of them elected to do savory cupcakes that it made me wonder if some were asked to submit savory and some were asked to submit sweet, cuz those savory cupcakes just didn't make sense to me and no one, no one in their right mind would really do a savory cupcake in that kind of competition.

                                                                                          I wondered about the recipe angle too when I watched the show. I bake a lot and there are a few recipes I can do from memory, cupcakes are not one of them :-)

                                                                                        2. I like sandwiches. But, do I need to watch a show to learn how to turn pork chops and applesauce into a sandwich by taking pork chops and applesauce and putting it in between bread?



                                                                                          My thoughts exactly.

                                                                                          To watch for me if on FN? Whitney. Great eye candy much as Kelsey is on Cooking Channel.
                                                                                          Learn something? Likely not.

                                                                                          Vic and Jeff possibly, but c'mon, a 30 minute (well, errr, 20 minutes real footage time if counting commercial time) on sandwiches. Nope.
                                                                                          Hell, past winner Melissa D'Arabian give me hives and a nasty rash if I don;t flip the channel fast enough when she gets air time.

                                                                                          All in all no real personality stand-outs and even less cooking talent. FN seems to think it;s like "American Idol" where 10,000 people sign up and you are likely to find one, Maybe it's more like an open call for NASCAR/Formula 1/LeMans auto racing where you can sign up 10,000 no-name iffy-talented folks and still not find a single star with the necessary talent. The thought of injury, flaming wreckage and crunched metal would be far more entertaining tho in that case. LOL.

                                                                                          BTW, the Bob and Susie "peel the onion we need to know more about you" philosophy still creeps me out. Basically, it;s not your (*&^% business. Relateable stores? Sure. Personal tidbits? Oh hellz no.

                                                                                          Can't have it both ways FN.

                                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                                                            I disagree (to some extent), I think Bob and Susie know their business. They know that viewers like it when RR or Paula Deen or whoever mentions something about their family, about how they always cook such and such on this holiday or whatever. It connects the viewer to the "star". This isn't PBS, they aren't looking for a purely technical cooking show. They're looking for someone that the viewers can identify with, and because of that identification, they want to watch. Maybe for you, the fact that so and so is a father/mother and has 2 boys or grew up in a family of immigrants or whatever, doesn't matter, but those things do matter to the FN. Not the specific details, just that there are details to share with an audience to allow them to humanize you.

                                                                                            Sure, they can be relateable stories, if you had them and they involved no personal details. But generally speaking, those stories contain personal details, and those details are important.

                                                                                            1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                              "They're looking for someone that the viewers can identify with, and because of that identification, they want to watch."

                                                                                              ...and buy the myriad of products the winner will eventually shill for them ;-)

                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                  Books, cookware, and in the case of Melissa d'Arabian Johnsonville products and Ranch Dressing (so far, not sold together)

                                                                                                  Jerry Maguire got it right "show me the money", they need a new face that they can groom enough to resonate enough with viewers and entice them to purchase an FTV product or two.

                                                                                                  Am I the only one that's noticed...well heard, actually...the line at the top of the show that when stating what the winner will get also includes mention of a book tour? A book tour?!?!??? How can a total unknown produce a book to go out on a book tour? Chances are pretty good they can't, but FTV certainly has multiple books - their own, and those of their "talent" - to support a book tour. Think about it, we spent nearly 10 weeks watching week to week and identifying, or not, with these people. What better way to develop the winner (and their viewership base) than by sending him/her/(it?) out and about around the country to do a meet and greet with potential viewers. And if they can drum up sales for FTV products along the way, well why not?

                                                                                                  FTV and this show are about business and about money, not food.

                                                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                    I'm trying to think of whose cookbook I'd want to read. Thinking hard....

                                                                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                                                                      What you don't think learning how to use a pound of buttah in every recipe isn't worthwhile ;-)

                                                                                                      Bobby Flay's Throwdown cookbook is actually kind of fun.

                                                                                                    2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                      Am I the only who finds it odd that people are griping about being sold products by a TV network? And in particular, from a show that's designed to take a nobody and manufacture a television personality? I enjoy the show, but really, fundamentally there isn't a more crass commercialistic show out there. And everyone here is lapping it up, but complaining about the fact that FN is trying to sell you stuff? Really?

                                                                                                      1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                        I don't think this show is anywhere near as bad at hawking products as Top Chef, which is blatant.

                                                                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                                                                          I agree. Top Chef is one of the worst. The worst, however, based on the my vast experience with the tiny handful of shows that I watch ;-), is the Biggest Loser.

                                                                                                          But NFNS's very concept is as commercialistic as it comes.

                                                                                                        2. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                          LD, I'm not complaining at all. I merely stated (above) that *ultimately* this show is about the money and that FTV has vested interest in finding someone who will be appealing enough to the majority of their viewers - who aren't on here, BTW - to open their purse strings and buy products.

                                                                                                          I don't think I implied displeasure, shock or that it was inappropriate...especially in my response to you. My god man, I even used an emoticon to show I wasn't deadly serious about it :-D

                                                                                                        3. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                          That's why it is called "show business".

                                                                                                  2. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                                                                    That's the problem with this show, is that the judges are so invasive. Relatable? Yes. Your family history and how many bowel movements you had today? Best to keep that close to the vest.

                                                                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                                                                      So funny, 'cause when the sandwich guy (Jeff?) was hand-slapping Rachel's audience and doing his over the top schtick, I was trying to imagine Julia Child doing that. We've moved from actual cooking technique to reality game show star-creations. Not sure how much progress that is.

                                                                                                  3. Am I the only one that's noticed...well heard, actually...the line at the top of the show that when stating what the winner will get also includes mention of a book tour? A book tour?!?!??? How can a total unknown produce a book to go out on a book tour? Chances are pretty good they can't, but FTV certainly has multiple books - their own, and those of their "talent" - to support a book tour.


                                                                                                    I agree 100% and thus my quandary.

                                                                                                    FN cares little about what or how you can cook, just that you can.
                                                                                                    A book deal for someone with little to limited cooking experience? That should say it all.

                                                                                                    FN is about marketing, images, likeability and buyablility. Not cooking, but books, products and stars they can lease off to the bigger networks and get paid twice for. (I'm looking at you Minute to Win It and the Ray Ray talk show),

                                                                                                    The more that's touted or found out, the less of a "food" based competition it becomes.
                                                                                                    Don't pee on my head and then tell me it's raining.

                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                                                                      The actual win is a bit of a joke now too. Uh, how many contestants that were eliminated now have their own show on the Cooking Channel or FoodNetwork? Count them: Kelsey, Adam Gertler is eating candy coast to coast, the curly haired guy from last season (see, I can't even remember what his current show is about, but he messed up the lobster dish during the competition) also, the guy who kept using Nutella has his own show (he was always referrring to making Nutella breakfasts with his son) and I think I'm missing another one or two eliminated contestants.

                                                                                                      I stopped thinking it was a real contest a while ago - esp since the Cooking Channel debuted.

                                                                                                      1. re: breadchick

                                                                                                        However there is a difference between having your own show (based on your on ideas), and being employed as host on a show conceived by someone else. The winner shows are produced in house (at least Aritie's is), while shows like DDD and Outrageous Food are produced by separate companies. But regardless of who wins NFNS, all the participants are getting a 'screen test'.

                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                          Gotcha - that's true. Gordon Elliot produces quite a few of these "outsourced" shows - thanks for the heads up. I'd forgotten that part.

                                                                                                          1. re: breadchick

                                                                                                            I kind of miss Gordon's "Door Knock Dinners" show. The first one with Lidia Bastianich was particularly memorable.

                                                                                                            1. re: jmckee

                                                                                                              I remember that show! I thought it was fun to peek into other people's pantries and fridges to see what the chefs had to work with.

                                                                                                      2. I think pretty much everyone is glad Jyll is done! She was a train wreck.

                                                                                                        I might watch Susie's show, because I'd like to know more about making Mexican inspired food.

                                                                                                        1. I don't disagree that Jyll should have gone, but Vic, yeah, he needs to go just on the back of that Lachanga thing. Really? Maybe it's me, but that was gross. I am not very impressed with any of this bunch, TBH. If I had to pick one to watch, maybe the food writer or blogger or what ever she is. I guess that says something that I cannot remember her name.

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Matahari22

                                                                                                            Mary Beth? I don't find her any more "real" than Jyll...don't quite get what the judges are thinking.

                                                                                                            1. re: pine time

                                                                                                              I think the same thing. I find her fake, too.

                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                Me too, on Mary Beth seeming very fake.

                                                                                                              2. re: pine time

                                                                                                                Yes, Mary Beth, that's it. I can see what you are saying about her, like insincerity. I guess for me she is the lesser of the evils. I am just not connecting with any of them.

                                                                                                              3. re: Matahari22

                                                                                                                It's not just you, that thing looked revolting.
                                                                                                                I really can't see myself watching any of the remaining potential stars. I just don't see potential in any of them.