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NFNS Finale August 14 2011 (SPOILERS)

I think Vic would win for most improved, but alas he's out after the first challenge. He took instruction so well and always got along with everyone. What a pro.
So, so happy to see Susie in the top 2.

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  1. Eh. Either one will do and both will probably get a show. So there's really no suspense.

    1. JEFF wins!

      I have actually warmed up to him alot. I will watch his show.

      12 Replies
      1. re: C. Hamster

        yes me too I would watch him, interesting they said FN could go on the road with him - I do think he is more marketable and funny than Suzy was but I figure she'll get a show of some kind anyhow.

        1. re: C. Hamster

          Yes, interesting that for the first time my wife said at the finale, "Let's watch his show." Nice too that he got to keep his concept of "Sandwich King" instead of some other invention. I think Giada's point that he stayed true to that vision the whole competition is a good one -- I think maybe FN decided to let him run with it.

          1. re: jmckee

            That would be amazing since McCargo and D'Arabian's shows were totally reworked, with the latter getting stuck with $10 meals. I'm all for frugality, but that constraint would just suck. Kelsy, not the winner, has a show where she can showcase anything.
            I'd be quite ticked, actually.

            1. re: monavano

              Wasn't her schtick during the contest $10 meals? And I thought McCargo always had the "big daddy" persona?

              1. re: jgg13

                I seem to remember Melissa's schtick being "Kitchen Rescue" (which was filled by Aida Mollencamp).
                I think you're right with McCargo's show.... it is still more or less big Daddy.

                1. re: monavano

                  I didn't watch any of Melissa's show and it's been long enough that I don't remember specifically anyways. I do think it was about "how to cook on a budget when you're a home cook w/ kids".

                  McCargo might not have been *exactly* the same, but I did watch his show early on as he was my favorite that season and I don't recall being at all surprised by how it played out. I also had to explain to the gf why I was dvr'ing a show about a guy nicknamed "big daddy"

                2. re: jgg13

                  It may not have been $10 meals specifically, can't recall, but I do recall her shtick including "tips and tricks for moms on a budget". And yeah, McCargo's show is pretty much as he pitched it, as near as I could tell. Haven't really watched either of them because I don't have a DVR and don't watch TV during the day.

                  1. re: jgg13

                    No, D'Arabian was the homemaker - feeding the kids and family

                    1. re: wincountrygirl

                      But homemaker & cheap dinners kinda go hand in hand, no?

                      1. re: jgg13

                        Not necessarily. Her focus was more on fast and easy techniques than cheapness. I specifically remember her showing how to make pan sauces a few times and stressing how easily the technique could be used for different ingredients.

                        I'm a stay at home dad, on weeknights I definitely make fast meals. That doesn't make them cheap.

                        1. re: donovt

                          She also had a lot of tips and tricks that she would throw out and I remember one tip in particular, freezing fresh ginger because it lasts longer and grates easier, was something that Suze and Tush loved about her.

            2. I'm not interested in a sandwich show and won't be watching.

              1. u guys didnt already know it was jeff??

                the jeff spoiler has already been online since at least the middle of june

                FN has a history of letting the winner slip out lately...

                8 Replies
                1. re: srsone

                  And if you're on the West Coast FTV has REALLY spoiled it. They're running ads for Jeff's new show before the finale has even aired out here!!

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    Screwing up the and letting the winner slip has become sort of a FN tradition.

                    1. re: Withnail42

                      Yeah... I know, but this is the first time they've gone so far as to run ads for the winners new show before the finale had been shown in all time zones.

                      Actually, Wikipedia had the results at 7:01 Pacific time as well. I looked ;-D

                      1. re: Withnail42

                        i liked when they ran the ads for the next chopped champion show in the first one
                        and let u know who won the first round

                      1. re: C. Hamster

                        I am so used to seeing spoilers from contests that I try to turn away or turn the channel or mute so I don't pick up on subtle or not so subtle spoilers.
                        FN and Project Runway are notorious for doing this.

                        1. re: srsone

                          food network humor had a pic and a link to a scripps news story from June 17

                        2. i still would more like susie's show. but compared to other years, jeff's not bad at all.

                          1. How many shows can you really make out of sandwiches.

                            His show is essentially going to be making interesting dishes and sticking them between two slices of sort of carbohydrate, risen or not.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Agree, but I think that Jeff's personality will make at least one season quite watchable, then it *will* run its course after so many hoagies, subs, paninis, wraps, lettuce wraps yada yada. I see a re-branding after that and I think he may have a shot at following in Guy's footsteps.

                              1. re: monavano

                                Exactly my thought. I think the show will be good, but I can't imagine it being good for very long.

                                1. re: monavano

                                  And judging from the commercial he's going to do some "remote" work too, rather than being chained in the studio like Mellissa D'Arabian.

                                  1. re: jmckee


                                    I'd prefer she be chained to a big boulder and pushed off the end of a dock.
                                    But that's just me...

                                2. re: ipsedixit

                                  Sounds like about 35% of Rachael's shows...everything's a burger.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    He'll get two seasons on with this format,

                                    Then they'll send him on the road to find 'interesting' sandwiches across the country.

                                    After that he'll be hosting the 'Sandwich King Challenge.' Or what ever name they give their sandwich competition show.

                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                      Bingo! Like Adam Richman's Man vs. Food. Adam's tired of stuffing his face and burning his GI tract from end to end with nuclear hot food, so now he gets to cheer on others who want some face time on tv, and the stomach upset afterwards.
                                      Pretty smart, I'd say ;-)

                                    2. I don't really care to watch a sandwich concept, but having watched this episode, I'm glad Jeff won. As a presenter, he's much more poised and natural while Susie's energy is a little frenetic and hard to watch. They kept talking about her joie de vivre, but I find her distracting.

                                      And perhaps this was due to editing, but as a human being, Jeff just seemed more humble and gracious. Susie seemed completely unable to get over herself for 10 seconds to congratulate Jeff on a job well done (and don't even get me started on the running sob story).

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                        I'll start on the sob story ;-) and perhaps it was enhanced by editing, but I'd get so tired of hearing about a grown woman's mommy and daddy. At some point you've got to put something else out there besides the lovely immigrant story. It's nice, but it came off as a bit immature and not quite ready for prime time.

                                        1. re: monavano

                                          totally with you monavano, enough with the stories about deceased parents, it happens in Chopped too. Then again I am also bored with the proud parent story, doing this for my kids story......... we all work for our families but we don't go to work every day and say how proud my mama is that I work!!

                                      2. I thought some of this show was very funny - Jeff's impressions. I had no idea there was a problem between MB and Jeff. I think Jeff's show is a welcome break - sandwiches. I am sick of the talking heads on this network all doing bascially the same thing. I do think, however, that Jeff's stint will not end with a sandwich show - I think he will go on a la Guy - to host other things. Great personality.

                                        1. I actually was kind of surprised Susie didn't win. I liked Jeff better overall but felt his clip wasn't as good as hers in the end, altho it seemed better when he finally nailed it with Guy. And there was one thing he said the first time that I didn't see when everyone was viewing. Can't remember now. But I did think he was a top contender throughout.

                                          I thought having all the former contestants come out for their critique was kind of dumb esp. when they only spoke with 4 of them and Penny getting double duty (she's icky). And of course Vic is all for his "bro".

                                          I thought it ended kind of abruptly with the kid saying 'say cheese' and very little wrap up and zero from Susie which was odd. Fairly anti-climactic.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Joanie

                                            Penny does not get along with other women. That's obvious. She shows a catty animosity that has to stem from something in her childhood, can't say what, but other women trigger a nastiness in her that oozes out her pores. Penny feels more contemporary with men. To dismiss Susie's show outright, knowing how much was on the line, was being a real bitch. Penny could learn something from Susie, but doesn't consider Susie her equal. Sh'de rather undermine and sabotage Susie than buoy her up and help her succeed-- root for her to win.
                                            We've all met on of these women at some point, right ladies? ;-)

                                            1. re: monavano

                                              totally agree. was exactly what i thought when she slammed susie and was over the top about jeff.

                                            2. The former contestant (completely clueless as to name) who remarked on Jeff's schtick getting a bit old was spot-on IMO. Only so much of that I can take.

                                              11 Replies
                                              1. re: coney with everything

                                                Howie I think said that about the schtick and it was true. A little too much, and thankfully they got rid of the worst take where he kept saying 'boom' or whatever the overused phrase was. But I think Jeff will do well finding the right mix of entertainment and info.

                                                1. re: Joanie

                                                  The "booms" were so funny! But then again, Emeril made a career out of "BAM!"
                                                  It reminded me of the episode of NFNS where the contestants kept on saluting at the end of their presentation. It was so odd, but probably a nervous gesture, but I had to laugh.
                                                  Boom! boom! boom! Guy was just dying watching that. I have to say that it really seemed like Guy got both finalists on tract to extract excellent performances. Good for him.

                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                    I thought it was like the pot calling the kettle black when Guy mentioned "filler words" or whatever. He is famous for his "filler" rhymes. Even SNL parodies that stuff. .

                                                            1. re: coney with everything

                                                              And while we're offa things: Off da CHAIN!

                                                  2. re: coney with everything

                                                    Guy's schtick got old, yet he is still popular. So who knows?

                                                  3. I actually think that FN has finally found a "star". I liked Jeff and Susie both prior, but in the finale Jeff's food looked great and he was funny in the reunion too- that impersonation of Bob T was a riot. Not only are the possibilities endless for him besides the sandwich show (and they don't film that many eps a year that they couldn't milk the sandwich ideas forever), I see him becoming another go-to for other shows.
                                                    More experienced cooks may not be that excited, but I think just like Guy he will appeal to families and sell lots of crap at Kohl's and Target. Just what FN wants:)

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: BubblyOne

                                                      I agree, I think they've found another Guy Fieri, but funnier and with a little less trendy "edge"

                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                        Like Fierri he's a bit of a frat boy. Unlike Fierri he a frat boy who grew up.

                                                        1. re: Withnail42

                                                          Yep, good description.

                                                          I actually like Jeff. He was very much at ease with the camera and it's easy to see him doing more than just sandwiches.

                                                          1. re: Withnail42

                                                            That's a good description of Jeff.

                                                            Since I haven't been able to post the last week, I will say I don't mind Jeff (though I still have no real interest in a sandwich show in general) and he has a great comfort level in front of the camera. For me, though, there's a very fine-tuned "volume" switch on his personality - just the slightest tweak over that setting, and it's a bit much for me. He was a bit grating during his pilot for me - it reminded me a touch of how he was the Fourth of July episode (though he was nowhere near as annoying as back then.)

                                                            I think they were going to give him a show regardless, and I think FN execs were already leaning to someone with a little more oomph after having two lower-key personalities in the previous winners (Aarti & Melissa.)

                                                      2. I haven't been following the CH threads on this, but I have watched the show. Slightly OT, but did anyone else find Mary Beth's use of Sunday Supper a bit of a rip-off on someone else's blog concept? When I heard she was a blogger and what her theme was, I assumed she was part of the popular "Sunday Suppers" blog -- but she isn't. Maybe she should have did something on a pioneer woman theme?

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: smkit

                                                          I love the SS blog...very talented!
                                                          I think that MB was thinking of family dinners with a catchy, alliterative name.

                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                            Yeah, maybe, but she is a blogger and she no doubt has heard of SS and probably has read the blog before. Just saying.

                                                            1. re: smkit

                                                              Maybe, and may have come into a big problem trying to brand her show with that exact name.

                                                          2. re: smkit

                                                            I liked Mary Beth throughout the show but I was shocked at how bitchy and shrill she came off on the show last night.

                                                          3. One thing that was a nice fresh of air in reality/competition shows is all three finalists seemed like genuinely nice people who played fair throughout the competition and did their best but not at the cost of others.

                                                            I'm happy for Jeff, Susie & Vic

                                                            1. I have no interest in watching Jeff's show.

                                                              When a host perfects his 'schtick' so much by the end, FN is shooting itself in the foot. Why watch the new show? You've pretty much seen everything the host can bring.

                                                              And really, sandwiches?

                                                              10 Replies
                                                              1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                But you don't understand. You can turn every sandwich into a meal and every meal into a sandwich ;)

                                                                1. re: smkit

                                                                  Reminds me of that infomercial for the GT Express, with "Chef" Cathy making stuffed soup...maybe Jeff can make a soup sandwich.

                                                                  1. re: coney with everything

                                                                    ...but's it's FN, so let's make that a stoup sammie.

                                                                    1. re: pine time

                                                                      If he calls his food "sammies" or uses the word "stoup", I believe that he will have issues with Ms. Ray and her lawyers :)

                                                                2. re: pdxgastro

                                                                  No matter who won or their POV, some people will not watch the show. That's obvious.
                                                                  But considering the track record of 1 star out of the prior 6 seasons, I don't think having someone who is camera-ready is shooting yourself in the foot.
                                                                  As I said prior, I do think lots of people are interested in the sandwich concept and I see this show appealing to families especially and Jeff doing very well.
                                                                  Time will tell, but fortunately these threads last forever, so we can always revisit:)

                                                                    1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                      I thought his braciole sandwich looked to die for..

                                                                      I'm Italian American, and have eaten braciole all my life - but never in a sandwich, let me tell you, next time I make it, I am definitely going to make a sandwich out of one!

                                                                      1. re: NellyNel

                                                                        I'm with you on that. I never thought to make it a sandwich, either.

                                                                        1. re: NellyNel

                                                                          The whole point is, you can make a sandwich out of most leftovers (or "first time arounds"). I love frittatas in sandwiches, as well as eggplant parm. Steak on toast.

                                                                          So maybe people *do* need Jeff's show.

                                                                          1. re: NellyNel

                                                                            Well now you can turn that meal into a sandwich, and you can turn that sandwich into a meal

                                                                        2. I haven't seen the promo for Jeff's show yet.... When is it going to start?

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Uncle Ira

                                                                            This coming Sunday at 11:30 AM. Saw the promo - looks just like what he did on FNS.

                                                                          2. Just as long as he doesn't drip pouring sweat into his food.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: rochfood

                                                                              Ha. I imagine they can stop the taping and wipe his brow between takes.

                                                                              1. re: rochfood

                                                                                I would like to see him wear the red sweat band on his show. Then FN could brand them and sell them. Hey, if it can keep a King from seasoning a sandwich with sweat from the tip of his nose, it can help you look stylish while you turn your next meal into a sandwich. BOOM!

                                                                                I like Jeff and will give his show a shot.

                                                                              2. Good for Jeff. What I'd like to see him do is a hybrid travel/cooking show. Have him sample all the best cheese steaks in philly and then make his own. Sort of how Tyler's Ultimate used to go..

                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                  Apparently, for now anyway, all of the out-of-studio visits will be in and around Chicago. My husband swears his Chicago accent is heavier now, too, as if they asked him to turn it on.


                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                    Be still my heart...his first episode featured Johnnie's Beef! My absolute favorite beef in Chicagoland. Less famous/flashy than Al's or Portillo's, but still the finest beef, Italian lemonade and fries! The service is top-notch, you get your food as you get your change. They run the place like a fine oiled machine. I thought the show was great, I will try both recipes. I think we were all skeptical that you could have a show just about sandwiches, but the recipes were legit. Local boy makes good and I don't notice the accent at all, he talks normal to me ;o)

                                                                                    1. re: shell22

                                                                                      I might try both recipes, too, actually. I think he was very awkward in his onsite interviews, kind of dominating the conversation while trying to be funny, but I'm hoping that will change as he gets more comfortable.


                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                        I agree...he sort of seemed in awe of the whole thing, but should get better.

                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                          I thought it was a good first effort, and I'll definitely be making that italian beef and homemade giardiniara.

                                                                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen


                                                                                        I noticed his accent get thicker too!!!
                                                                                        (and I don't like it)

                                                                                        1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                          I didn't particularly notice his accent getting heavier, but when around your fellow natives, wherever you're from, that can tend to happen. My mom had the slightest remnant accent from being "raised up" in rural Kentucky. When she spent time talking with her brothers and sisters, whether in person or on the phone, the accent tended to become quite a bit more pronounced for a while.

                                                                                          1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                            I don't mind it at all, but I thought it was interesting that he can apparently turn it off and on at will and had it "off" for the competition. It seems to me that they want his sandwiches show be very Chicago focused, at least for the first 6 episodes. Trying to lure in the Chicago audience perhaps? It's a huge market, and a food savvy one at that.


                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                              I am from Long Island and my accent has mellowed in the 30 years I have lived in Washington, DC. But if I go home for a week or am around other NYers, it comes right back and people comment on it.

                                                                                              1. re: Manassas64

                                                                                                Entirely possible that his accent comes and goes, depending on who he's talking to. Thanks for reminding me. I have several friends who are "accent chameleons". I would swear it's an affectation but they've assured me that it is not.


                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                  I also have a weird accent...Brooklyn/English!
                                                                                                  The Brooklyn comes out when I'm with my old friends or when I'm mad, and as soon as I am back in the UK visiting my in-laws, I sound exactly like the Queen~

                                                                                                  However, in this case, it really does seem like someone told him to go with it -

                                                                                                  I assume it's his natural way of speaking, but for the show he had originally been trying to sound "more professional"...

                                                                                      3. I watched his show the other day, and considering it was his first episode I thought he seemed pretty comfortable in front of the camera--overall did really well. I remember watching Aarti's first episode from last season and thinking that her nervousness was quite evident and remember there being a few uncomfortable, awkward silences.
                                                                                        Sure, I don't like it when he acts way over the top (i.e. 4th of July episode, and the excessive high-fiving on the Rachel Ray show), but overall I think he's a genuinely nice and funny guy and I'll watch his show if I'm able to catch it.
                                                                                        Did anyone else watch on Sunday? What are your thoughts?