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Food Network Star

I apologize if there is another thread about this show but I didn't see it. Caught the show tonight. Thought it was horribly boring. Just a snoozefest. Won't watch anymore. That Michele contestant looks familiar. Was she on Chopped? Also Yvan looks familiar too.

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  1. not sure about those two, but i remember that Justin Warner was on 24 hour restaurant battle. would recognize those weird lips anywhere. i remember he ended up winning the battle but made some incredibly strange dishes

    2 Replies
    1. re: mattstolz

      Michelle was definitely on Chopped. Yvan does look familiar too. Right now I'm having a hard time with that Nikki babe. What a "B".

    2. Looks like Michele was on Chopped and 24 Hour Restaurant Battle.

      Oh yeah, Justin Warner looks familiar too.... Was he the guy who made the bizarre jellies and broke up with his girlfriend on 24 Hour Restaurant Battle?

      3 Replies
      1. re: TrishUntrapped

        Did the Food Network put ringers on this show?

        They've seen Michele, Justin and perhaps Yvan before on other shows. So they've vetted them already, interviewed them, gotten to know them and seen them in action on camera. They have enough information on them to know whether or not they want to give them a show.

        This just doesn't seem fair to the others. Anyway, as I said, the show didn't engage me, nor the trumped up "villains" they are trying to portray here. Been there done that..bored... Next!

        1. re: TrishUntrapped

          TrishU...I tend to agree with you, 2 hours was really TOO long for this show, and it drug in several parts. That's when I realized, this show isn't about the contestants or whoever will be the NFNS. It's really a showcase for Bobby, Giada, Alton and the rest fo the Food Network "talent" that will pass through the show over the next few weeks.

          I don't know how long he'll last, but after slogging my way through all 2 hours of it, my favorite was Ippy, the dude from Hawaii. He seemed the most normal...whatever that is in FTVlandia.

        2. re: TrishUntrapped

          Someone on another site commented that indeed Justin is the same one who made the jellies and broke up with his girl friend on 24 Hour Restaurant Battle. OMG what a jerk he was. If that episode is on youtube or something folks watch it! Dreadful behavior. A cooking show with him as host? No thanks.

        3. I'll be watching not because of the contestants but because of the mentors and how they interact. There are some promising dynamics going on there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ennuisans

            Yeah, I expect to see Giada scratching Alton's eyes out soon!

          2. I couldn't watch it all..only tried because they said it was "all new format". It isn't. Just borrowed from other shows. Boring...irritating..like most Food TV shows.

            1. I really enjoyed it and think that having contestants who already have some exposure to television is a definite plus. It is painful watching some who have had no public exposure take a nosedive because they are so uncomfortable with the camera. Love each on the mentors and they should be interesting to watch.

              4 Replies
                1. re: libstewart

                  I agree--it can be painful to watch someone like Cristie, an average person who has no idea how to act in front of a camera, try to do it. I think that should be part of the interview process--have them do a presentation to the camera. Some people are a natural. Some, like Josh, have no clue on appropriate behavior, and as my kids say, Awwwkward." Did he really think relating moms to eggs was a good idea?

                  1. re: chowser

                    Show like this are kind of pointless without some awkward moments.

                  2. re: libstewart

                    I enjoyed it too. I think it is much better than the previous format.

                  3. Michelle is a bit of a media whore. She was on Chopped and the 24-hour restaurant gig with her partner. It appears the Food Network is drawing from its own stable.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: chicgail

                      I think in order to want to be on the show, you have to be a media whore, or at least a wanna be. This show isn't about cooking. It's about media exposure and being a star. This isn't like that other show, name escapes me, about finding a restaurant chef. I think Alton Brown hit the hammer on the head when he said something about the person being a product he can market.

                      1. re: chowser

                        I was thinking the exact same thing when I watched it on dvr last night. I said to my DH, "you know, I just couldn't supplicate/ prostrate myself to the TV chefs and executives. It would be too humiliating to me.
                        But hey, for some winners, they get a big career and to be one ones kissed up to, so there's that.
                        I just cringe at these contestants acting like dogs being trained to perform behaviors for rewards. The field is so uneven between these adults where the contestants are remanded to child-like roles. I would love to be mentored, but not at the expense of my dignity.
                        Which is to say, I would not somersault onto a stage and shout "rock and roll!", trot out my deceased parents or rail against America's proclivity towards fast food and sedentar lifestyle.

                      2. I too thought 2 hours was much too long for this television program. I did not see any villains in the first episode, maybe later, if I'm watching. I too thought I recognized a couple of contestants. I've seen the blond with the spiked hair and the nose ring. That's Tyler Dale from American Restoration. The young guy with the lip glosses lips seemed familiar as well. I vaguely remember something about jellies that did not set up. I don't recall a break-up however. I must have been clicking. Even though these people have been on other FN shows, that does not mean the network execs have seen enough of them to determine if they are worthy of their own show. They did see enough however to believe that they would attract viewers to this show otherwise they would not have been cast.

                        By the way, did you know that Debbie is Korean?

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: John E.

                          "Even though these people have been on other FN shows, that does not mean the network execs have seen enough of them to determine if they are worthy of their own show."

                          Yet just about all FN's other hosts Rachael, Alton, Bobby, Giada, Aunt Sandy, Ina... didn't have to compete on Food Network Star to get their own shows.

                          1. re: TrishUntrapped

                            Ah, but Melissa D'Arabian and Guy Fieri did -- and look how beloved they are. LOL.

                            NFNS or FNS or whatever they're call it today is its own franchise with its own audience and revenue stream. That it's a pathway to putting people on the air is only incidental.

                            And who is "Aunt Sandy?"

                            1. re: chicgail

                              I think the networks have seen enough of some of these people, I know I have.

                              Aunt Sandy is Sandra Lee.

                              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                Or as many people call her.... the Semi-Ho Maiden.

                                1. re: Leepa

                                  Hey, you're talking about our Semi-First Lady (of NY.) ;-)

                            2. re: TrishUntrapped

                              What's your point about Ray, Brown, etc...? Are you saying you think ALL FN hosts should go through this kind of process? What would be the point in that?

                              1. re: John E.

                                No, just the opposite.

                                I was responding to this quote: "Even though these people have been on other FN shows, that does not mean the network execs have seen enough of them to determine if they are worthy of their own show."

                                Ray, Brown, etc... didn't need to appear on three different shows in order to get the attention of the FN brass and be deemed "worthy" for their own shows. They submitted their own audition tapes, were given interviews etc...

                                Yet on this show you have contestant Michele for example, who has already been on two previous shows. It's overkill.

                                For each of those shows she had to submit audition tapes, had to be interviewed and vetted, and then appeared on camera and was taped. FN brass has seen more than enough of her to decide if they want to develop her further. She isn't unknown like many of the other contestants are.

                                It appears to me FN wanted some "ringers" in the show because they are embarrassed at some of the lousy hosts they've chosen, so they're stocking the pond. Alton pretty much said he didn't like how the show was handled in the past.

                                It's just a little bit of typical FN trickery I find unnecessary.

                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                  Did you forget this line from my post?

                                  " They did see enough however to believe that they would attract viewers to this show otherwise they would not have been cast."

                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                      It seems you did since that is the reason those particular contestants are on the program. By the way, Rachel did not submit an audition tape, FN sought her out. (She was doing food TV in upstate NY). I'm not sure about the others.

                            3. re: John E.

                              I assumed it was a 2 hr premier episode and the rest would be an hour, is that not right? Can't take another 2 hr show (embarrassingly watching Celeb Apprentice and can't wait for it to be over). I too thought no real villains which I appreciated. The rock dude was annoying but not mean. The team aspect is okay but I kind of like the old way better. I don't watch enough of the other shows to have recognized anyone (never even heard of 24 hr whatever) but in these days of Chiclets for teeth (and unreal expectations), that kid Justin needs an appt with the Zoom whitener.

                            4. Some of these contestants would benefit from a make-over before participating. I couldn't possibly imagine myself watching yet another spiked blond hair, two are more than enough! And this one with a nose ring? Unwatchable!

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: RUK

                                I'm okay with the nose ring but I did think the Hawaii guy needs new hair. With it pulled back, he's cute, has a sweet smile that I don't notice w/ his hair down. I'm fine w/ long hair on a guy but his is distracting. I thought hipster contestant looked like she tried too hard to look that way. You can look modern 50's without looking like a Far Side comic strip.

                                1. re: chowser

                                  I agree on Hawaii guy and the one guy (Justin maybe...I am awful with names at this point in the competition) is in need of serious teeth whitening.

                                  I like the black guy from Louisiana (who got all the rave reviews) and there are several contestants I think have real potential.

                                  I think the right person was sent home first...she was like nails on a chalkboard.

                                  1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                    Black eyed pea soup? Maybe call it dip, I don't know, but what a total fail just on the cooking. And the dithering and whining over having to make a soup? Please sister, that's a blessing to anyone who knows how to cook. I could make almost anything shine like a new penny if I could make a soup out of it.
                                    I thought the camera absolutely loved her, so it's a shame she couldn't get out of her own way.

                                  2. re: chowser

                                    Far Side comic strip! Hysterical!
                                    I thought Md. Crab Boy was channeling Rick Astley.

                                  3. re: RUK


                                    Methinks Michele could be the love child of Anne and Guy...

                                    A + G = M

                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                        there's a visual that will haunt many a nightmare.

                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                          Damn . . . that's eerie (and frightening).

                                      2. Michelle does look familiar. I feel like I've seen her on another cooking competition.

                                        16 Replies
                                        1. re: wincountrygirl

                                          Chopped and something else mentioned upthread?
                                          If you watch the main food channels' competition shows, you tend to see repeat competitors. In fact, in many Reality TV genres, you'll see a pattern of the same people popping up.
                                          Fame whoring and flash (albeit brief and sometimes not that bright) without substance.

                                          1. re: monavano

                                            Is the 'fame whoring' any different from aspiring actors taking on bit parts where ever they can get them?

                                            1. re: paulj

                                              Yes, very, Reality TV is not a career. Acting is. Acting is substance. RTV is flash, nothing more. It's a cesspool of desperate, dysfunctional narcissists ripe for exploiting for the car-wreck-ratings-factor.
                                              I give you any and all "cast" members of any Real Housewives of X show. Blech.
                                              Yes, sometimes a Reality star will break through the ceiling and get a media career with legs. Bethanny Frankel is getting her own talk show, but that's exceedingly rare.
                                              What most RTV stars get is brief celebrity and fame, followed by the sound of no one caring.

                                              1. re: monavano

                                                These reality TV contestants are not competing to star in their own reality TV show.

                                                1. re: John E.

                                                  Depend on your definition of reality tv. I place TNFNS and Top Chef in Reality TV.
                                                  They are CAST MEMBERS. Same as Real Housewives, Survivor, Jersey Shore and 16 and Pregnant.
                                                  It's. A. Show.
                                                  If any of them gets a (likely) brief food show televised in the early hours of Sunday morning, then good for them.
                                                  Most will fade into the obscurity from which they came. And that's not a bad thing.

                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                    You seem to sort of, but not completely, understand understand the show in question. The winner, or possibly more than one winner, will get a television show on FN or Cooking Channel. That's the way it has been since the program began. The winner(s) get a half dozen shows and if there is interest they will probably get another contract. What's the problem with that? The winner does not get their own reality TV show. My definition of reality TV is the same as yours.

                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                      You sort of missed my point, so just drop it and let's get back on topic, mmk?

                                                      1. re: monavano

                                                        You can't claim I missed your point and then say to drop it. Did you have a point?

                                                2. re: monavano

                                                  While you're right, "What most RTV stars get is brief celebrity and fame, followed by the sound of no one caring," that's not less than what most aspiring actors get. The analogy to aspiring actors is apt; they take bit parts and hope for a solid career, if not stardom. Virtually all of these aspiring reality stars hope for the same thing, they want a career on Food TV or TV, period. They see Guy, Carla Hall, etc, and can see that if they do well and get lucky, they may parlay these opportunities into bigger opportunities.

                                                  That the networks exploit this desire is obvious, but it's exploitation that the contestants willingly accept as they chase the brass ring.

                                                  1. re: LurkerDan

                                                    I agree. Although I know very little about acting careers besides the obvious, I think they tend to be the real deal. And, they get the shit end of the stick so often as far as breaks go. The breaks seem to go to the ones who deserve it least: Snooky, all the Kardshians and their spawn, any "Housewife" who gets a dance club, auto-tuned-voiced dreck of a song laid and anyone, anyone,anyone who tries to revive their brief Reality TV life with a sex tape.
                                                    And I'll get off the RTV tangent, as I think the retooled FNS has some promise. I think the team leaders' claws are going to be coming out soon!

                                                3. re: paulj

                                                  It depends on the actor. Some want to be celebrities; some want to be great actors. World of difference between Brittney Spears and Joshua Bell. The people on these types of reality shows are aiming to be celebrities like Sandra Lee, not James Beard award winners. Not that there's something wrong with wanting to be rich and famous just for the sake of it but it is different. Winners of Top Chef want to be the best chef, not the most famous (or most of them). Winners of this want to have their own line of everything.

                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                    Quite aside from agreeing with the excellent point you made, chowser, I just had to break out from my usual lurker mode to register my appreciation at the mention of Joshua Bell on this board!

                                                    1. re: FataMagistra

                                                      There's such a distinction between artists who have found fame and celebrities who make music. Having started the violin when I was four, the first thing to mind were violinsits. Itzak Perlman first came to mind but wasn't sure if younger people who know him!

                                                4. re: monavano

                                                  I'm reasonably sure that Michelle was a contestant on Bravo's Top Chef, but got kicked off relatively early.

                                                  1. re: cheferella

                                                    Nope. She might have a similar 'look', but this person has never been a contestant on Top Chef.

                                                    1. re: cheferella

                                                      No. She's apparently in the Food Network stable. She was on Chopped and - with her partner - on that show where people create a restaurant in 24 hours and compete to see whose was best (24 Hour Restaurant?).

                                                5. I thought the Cajun guy's ettouffee looked delicious. I like his look and energy.

                                                  1. Interesting that there is now no chef as a judge, only the programming and marketing departments.

                                                    Does Giada really hate Alton, or was she just hamming it up for the camera?

                                                    34 Replies
                                                    1. re: babette feasts

                                                      She was shooting some daggers with her eyes, wasn't she!
                                                      It's interesting to see the differences in personalities on and off screen. Some hosts more than others. Bobby Flay seems about the same across any of his shows, on FNS and other appearances.
                                                      Giada seems to exude little warmth "in person" on this show.
                                                      Alton seems like a cool dude. I'd be on his team anytime.

                                                      1. re: monavano

                                                        Met him. He is an arrogant ass. This shows up on TV. He treats others as his inferiors. He reacts poorly to being wrong - I love it when Mario Batali corrects Alton's mistakes......

                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                          'When Mario corrects Altons mistakes' - do you mean on old Iron Chef America episodes? I don't recall Alton 'reacting poorly' from those. On ICA it is Alton's job to provide information. If Alton guesses wrong as to what Mario is making, or pronounces things wrong, so what?

                                                        2. re: monavano

                                                          Right from the beginning I noticed differences in their choices of the five. Bobby first, I was impressed with the cooking experience of the people. Then Giada, who seemed to pick "pretty" people. And Alton seemed to pick "interesting" people. Giada's smile drives me nuts. It's like a package of Chiclets. I do like Ippy though. He's adorable.

                                                          1. re: DGresh

                                                            My son laughed when Giada told the Australian woman that she had a nice smile. He said, "It's huge, just like hers!"

                                                            I'd watch Ippy. I like the laid back attitude he has, which the FTV people wanted to kick up some. Why does everyone have to be a kicked up a notch and perky on the show?

                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                              IIRC, that was always one of the complaints about Jeffery Saad when he lost to the ever perky Melissa D'Arabian. He seems to have done just fine without the over-the-top, forced and unnatural perkiness. I think it's mostly an issue of being able to project your personality through the camera and over a TV screen and not coming off as monotone and flat.

                                                              I, too, am rooting for Ippy. For one thing he seems rather normal. He also had me at roasting a pig when they showed clips from his audition video. Go Ippy

                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                and Jeffery went on to have a show of his own (on CC), and do well in Chopped Allstars.

                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                  Yes, he did. I think his success subsequent to NFNS was well deserved

                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                    I was so ticked off when Melissa was chosen over Jeffrey. Typical FN. Melissa is a home cook. I just don't feel that she has much to teach me. Jeffrey is an accomplished chef with tremendous depth and a great POV. I'd love to see him have a cooking show instead of the travel-type show he has now.

                                                                    1. re: bear

                                                                      While I mostly agree with what you say here, I always get ruffled feathers when I hear the term "home cook" in this application. As the chowhound boards will prove there are many "home cooks" who can outcook many "professional" cooks any day.

                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                        Of course there are home cooks with tremendous depth of knowledge. In this case, I don't feel that's true of Melissa. I don't have strong feelings about her personality, but I don't feel that she offers much in the way of education. She demonstrates simple recipes and doesn't do much to expand the skill level or understanding of the viewer. I can read a simple cook book if I just want a recipe idea.

                                                                        Jeffrey, on the other hand, through his travels and his culinary education, has the potential to elevate the viewer's awareness.

                                                                        1. re: bear

                                                                          Apparently there are enough viewers who want the kind of recipes and techniques shown on this program. She has had her program renewed a couple of times now. I don't happen to watch her show because her kind of cooking is not really my thing either but others do.

                                                                          1. re: bear

                                                                            I have to say that I haven't been inspired to even watch the show - the commercials for it are not compelling enough. I think she mispronounces her own last name....according to my Italian class.

                                                                            1. re: bear

                                                                              It's just the demographics of Food Network, not home cooks that have a tremendous depth of knowledge but those who don't so she is bringing something to them. And, honestly, on food network, it's scripted with an entire staff that tries it and then teaches the host. All they need is a relatable person, not someone who has the knowledge. It would be different if it were live TV and people were calling in with questions. I've never seen her show but I thought I passed it in the evening? Maybe it's doing well?

                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                Yes. The FN tends to cater to the LCM of the USAmerican eating public, not the HCF of the USAmerican dining public, the latter of which would include CHers.

                                                                                There are any number of discussions floating around out there, including on CH, about why USAmericans love Olive garden, Applebees, Cheesecake Factory, TGIF, etc etc.

                                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                                  Isn't it a bit pretentious to include CHers in the HCF instead of the LCM? I've seen everything on Home Cooking from questions about how to boil water to answers on how to keep the bottom crust on Beef Wellington from getting soggy.

                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                    Not really. I didn't say ALL CHers would be in the HCF portion, only that they would be included in that fraction. I myself would probably consider myself to have quite a bit of LCM character, but I am not undiscriminating, or so I would like to think. By all means, if you consider yourself to be in the LCM fraction, declare it loudly and proudly! :-)

                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                      I'm too stupid, obviously, to know what the HCF and the LCM are.

                                                                                      1. re: jmckee

                                                                                        They are loose metaphorical uses of mathematical terms.

                                                                                        LCM - Least common multiple, though Huiray may actually mean LCD
                                                                                        From Wiki
                                                                                        'Lowest common denominator' is often used as a figure of speech meaning the most basic, least sophisticated level of taste, sensibility, or opinion among a group of people.
                                                                                        The Urban Dictionary has similar entry.

                                                                                        HCF - highest common factor, though Wiki redirects me to greatest common divisor. I don't find evidence of a common colloquial meaning, but I suspect Huiray is talking the opposite of LCM, a sophisticated taste.

                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                          Your definitions are correct.

                                                                                          I suppose it would have been clearer if I had used LCD, but in my mind (mathematically) LCD and LCM are almost synonymous, as the Wiki article also usefully describes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Least_co...

                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                            Ah. I get it. So I am correct in my original surmise that huiray's post prompting my question was a generalization that Food Network caters to a "lower" demographic than Chowhound. Seems a needless generalization.

                                                                                            1. re: jmckee

                                                                                              Broader demographic might be a better phrase. But that's going to be true for most cable channels when compared to forums with similar focus.

                                                                                              There is a source that reports on the weekly viewing statistics for cable shows.

                                                                        2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                          ...and a frequent complaint about...Justin, wasn't it? The guy who was quiet, no theatrics, "had a problem 'lighting up' in front of the camera", etc. Posters here too were saying that they found him too boring. I, on the other hand, thought I would watch a show with him because I thought it likely that I would be able to calmly learn stuff from him as he quietly explained things, as opposed to a grinning, hyperactive, story-telling, life-experience-sharing, incandescently bubbly showster prancing across a stage kitchen might do otherwise on any of the FN entertainment shows.

                                                                          1. re: huiray

                                                                            I thought the same thing. Plus, he was a butcher and fish monger. I would love a show on different fish, different cuts of meat, etc.

                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                              Yeah, I was interested in that part too. They don't really have anyone doing much with fish that's very good.

                                                                            2. re: huiray

                                                                              I did like that he was lower key, but I didn't find him all that compelling or interesting. It probably didn't help that he simply froze up doing those creative (and I'm using that term loosely) camera challenges. It remains to be seen if Ippy freezes up or not.

                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                @ chowser & DiningDiva:
                                                                                Well, it seems Justin Balmes is indeed teaching nowadays - at The Art Institute of Atlanta. :-)

                                                                                ETA: ...and he still seems to retain his low-key persona in front of the camera: http://www.cbsatlanta.com/video?autoS...

                                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                                  I liked him in that. I think low key works well. I'd watch him over some of the overly perky personalities that FTV pushes.

                                                                          2. re: DGresh

                                                                            Our family decided that Giada looks like a jack o'lantern

                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                              she looks out of proportion, and worse when she wears short skirts.

                                                                              1. re: smartie

                                                                                I always find myself wondering why she bothers to cook when she looks like she never eats. Don't the two go hand-in-hand?

                                                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                                                  I saw a piece on her and her family/career recently... was it the Today Show??
                                                                                  Anyway, it showed her busy day of filming and family stuff etc. and her diet struck me as very regimented.
                                                                                  I think she likes being skinny way more than she likes food. Nothing wrong with that and a big part of her branding is her looks and figure, so she's got a lot invested in being a size 0.

                                                                        3. re: babette feasts

                                                                          Hamming it up for the Camera...I;m sure.

                                                                        4. I wish they would just stop this series. We have the talentless needy actors and the cook wannabees, and whether youy love him or hate him, Guy Fieri was the ONLYcontestant with any "star quality".. If they could get genuinely dynamic people it would be so much better. But they just get fame-seeking whores with no star quality at all. It's sad, really. That's the kind of thing that should be private, if only there weren't so many schleps willing to humiliate themselves on TV for a gig...

                                                                          36 Replies
                                                                            1. re: EWSflash

                                                                              What would you like them to air in its place? Reruns of cupcake wars? They stage this kind of competition because it has attracted viewers. That's its real purpose. If they discover another Guy, so much the better, but that isn't the real goal of show.

                                                                              Look last year's competition. There was a lot of discussion on Chow about the competition, and virtually nothing about the winner's Sandwich show.

                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                exactly. I watch these competition type shows, but nothing else on FN.

                                                                                1. re: DGresh

                                                                                  I hate reality TV, whether its dancing, singing, dating or cooking. In the case of cooking shows, I think its disgraceful that instructional shows like "Good Eats" that sparked an interest in real Culinary Arts for millions of people and taught sound Culinary skills have largely been sidelined to make room for these purely entertainment based Jerry Springer style shows who's content can best be described as dribble. Thank god for PBS.

                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                    I wouldn't lump all reality shows together. There's a world of difference between Top Chef Masters and Next Food Network Stars and similarly So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars. Thank god not everything is high brow PBS. And this summer, I'll be enjoying the ultimate reality show called the Oympics.:-)

                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                      I am not saying everything should be "High Brow" PBS and past Food Network shows like Good Eats that were real instructional cooking shows were nowhere near as dry as the PBS cooking shows. What I am saying is that after about 6pm the Food Network is ALL reality based shows that offer NOTHING of substance and the name of the channel should be changed to something along the line of " As the food turns" to reflect the soap opera that it has become.

                                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                                        I see-so you're not saying all reality shows, just ones on Food Network? In which case, I agree. They are gimmicky but good for mindless entertainment and sometimes, after a tough day, all my mind can handle.

                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                          I don't see anything wrong with keeping instructional cooking shows out of prime time, especially in the age of DVRs. They have a place, but its not evenings.

                                                                                          1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                                                            Not to worry, if the trend holds, late afternoon instructional cooking shows will likely be displaced with reality cooking shows with a cast & theme of the same caliber as Jerry Springer....... starting the program off with gross eating competitions followed by a crescendo of food fights with mud wrestling in raw wet food products being the climatic event. H*LL, I might even watch that !!!!

                                                                                        2. re: chowser

                                                                                          There's a difference between You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars? LOL! Really? You must see something I don't see. Which is why I don't see either of them.

                                                                                          I think the difference between TCM and NFNS has diminished significantly. They're all gimmicky now. The only difference is that the stunts are occur as more insulting to an accomplished chef than they do to a younger-on-the-way-up chef.

                                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                                            The dancers in SYTYCD are real dancers who've spent their lives on their craft. Dancing with the Stars is getting celebrities to dance, often awkwardly. You really can't tell the difference between someone like this:




                                                                                            It's like not being able to tell the difference between Rick Bayless and Sandra Lee! Although, if you're seeing TM and NFNS as closer to the same thing, then they might be. Professional crafters/artisans vs wannabes.

                                                                                        3. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                          Tom's impression is just as good as your's. Looking at the online schedule, I see DDD dominating Monday and Friday primetime. RI has another night. Chopped seems to have displaced Cupcakes, and NFNS is the current darling of Sunday.

                                                                                      2. re: paulj

                                                                                        I had to blink a bit before remembering what you even meant by the Sandwich guy winner. I have never seen any of that guy's shows. I don't even remember what his name is.

                                                                                        I caught just a bit of this first episode of TNFNS, in bits and pieces. Can't say my attention was captured by what I saw.

                                                                                        1. re: huiray

                                                                                          Jeff's show is rather boring and I don't think it has legs. I think his personality is great and perhaps they can shoehorn him into another "POV".
                                                                                          This is not a slam at all when i note that Jeff looks to have gained a significant amount of weight since winning. He's so young and a dad-- I hope he steps away from the "samwiches" for the sake of his health, because he's headed up the scale and in the wrong direction.

                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                            Well...the show HAS legs, as it was just renewed for a third season. According to info published on TV ratings sites and by Food Network's press releases, Sandwich King is a hit, is either #1 or #2 of all FN Sunday morning to mid afternoon programs and usually has more viewers than Guy's Big Bite.

                                                                                            Also, this past week, Sandwich King got nominated for a Daytime Emmy award for Outstanding Culinary Program. It took Guy's Big Bite (which also got nominated this year for Best Cooking Show) 5 years and 11 seasons to get nominated. The director was previously nominated in 2009 for Best Director. It only took Jeff's Sandwich King his first season of six shows to get nominated.

                                                                                            Also, Jeff's getting his own primetime show on Food Network ($24 in 24 Hours) that premeires in August. He'll be the only FNS winner other than Guy to reach primetime status.

                                                                                            It's clear that, after Guy, Jeff's the most successful FNS winner and, while nobody will match Guy's rock star status, every winner has developed its own following and style, some with more success, extent and accomplishments than others.

                                                                                            1. re: ny1221

                                                                                              NY 1221 you seem to know a lot about FN, so I was wondering do you know why the very first FN star winners Dan and Steve were immediately relegated to the ghost hour early Sunday morning shift and haven't been seen in anything better since?

                                                                                              You never see Dan and Steve on any other FN shows like Best Thing I Ever Ate or holiday specials where they could get some PR and moments in the sun. Did FN pretty much write them off from the get go? That's sure how it seems.

                                                                                              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                I can tell you exactly what happened to their show, they did not get enough viewers for FN to decide to renew their original contract. Either that, or they did what the gourmet next door, what's her name, the accidental winner did and choose on her own to not do any more shows for FN.

                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                  The Sunday morning slot isn't going to attract viewers no matter who's there. FN sends you there, like Siberia. I don't think they were ever given a chance. But I'd like to hear what NY 1221 might be willing to share.

                                                                                                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                    The blond with the $10 dinners gets renewed with that timeslot.

                                                                                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                      FN will judge a new show on the Sunday morning slot against other Sunday morning shows, not against their primetime big hitters. Considering that other morning shows are instructional, and competition on other channels is weak, it's not a bad starting point.

                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                      @paulj: I would think so?

                                                                                                      @TrishU & John E:
                                                                                                      They seem to be doing fine for themselves. They don't need FN to earn a living.

                                                                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                                                                        Their website isn't current and their blog stops in 2010. The wickipedia site isn't up to date either.

                                                                                                        Hope they are doing well. It seems FN gave them the heave ho.

                                                                                                          1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                            It was my understanding that the Hearty Boys gave FN the boot, not the other way around.

                                                                                                            1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                              Good, I'd like to think that. I liked Dan and Steve.

                                                                                                              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                Either way, I'm glad they're doing well.

                                                                                                            2. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                              "Their website isn't current and their blog stops in 2010"
                                                                                                              Uhh, the fine print at the bottom of their home page (the link I posted) says 'Copyright 2012'.

                                                                                                              Their Facebook page is active, last post May 17. https://www.facebook.com/heartyboys
                                                                                                              Their Twitter feed is active, last post May 16. http://twitter.com/#!/heartyboys

                                                                                                              Is it important that they decided to stop adding to their blog and went over to their Twitter feed and Facebook page instead?

                                                                                                              Their restaurant is open and is doing fine.

                                                                                                              It is often beneficial to stop and spend a few more moments in looking more carefully.

                                                                                                            3. re: huiray

                                                                                                              I never indicated they needed FN to make a living. I simply wrote a post as to likely reasons why their show was not a long-term success on FN.

                                                                                                        1. re: ny1221

                                                                                                          I watched every episode of the first season and thought the show was better, for a first season, than Aarti's or Melissa's but that obviously isn't saying much.

                                                                                                          I haven't been able to make it through a full episode of this newest season and actually removed it from my DVR auto-record lineup today.

                                                                                                          I have no use for this show. I am not interested in turning meals into sandwiches and his forced humor is just as uncomfortable to watch, IMO, as Aarti's giggling and D'Arabian's wild-eyed raving about buying things from non-existent bulk aisles.

                                                                                                          1. re: rochfood

                                                                                                            What about it? I think Aarti is incredibly annoying as a host. I can't watch her for more than a few minutes without reaching for insulin - and I'm not even diabetic.

                                                                                                            1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                              I can't either. She drove me crazy on Chopped recently with her squealing.

                                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                Just wondering about her show, if it was still on. Didn't feel like googling it..and figured some one with a big opinion would chime in.

                                                                                                      2. I didn't see last weeks show but I saw last night's. So boring! One of the contestants that was on Giada's team, the girl with the curly dark hair, look like one of the Next Food Truck contestants. It was her and two guys one might have been her brother. Not sure though. If this was brought up further down on this thread forgive. I don't have time to read them all. :)

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: Rheta

                                                                                                          Rheta, know who you're talking about and definitely not the same person. The one in the Great Food Truck race was Cuban and the one on NFNS is Mexican. Big, big difference :-)

                                                                                                        2. Food TV is less and less about food and is now about these silly competiitions. Now there are two contests in one show.

                                                                                                          The first one is to see which one of these trolls can grab limited-run 30 minute show on Saturday mornings and the other contest is the "competition" between the mentors.

                                                                                                          Does anyone believe that one of these "mentors" would be allowed to be flushed out too quickly? I would bet dollars to donuts that with four weeks left all trhree mentors will still have a contestant in play.

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: drewpbalzac

                                                                                                            FOOD TV IS LESS AND LESS ABOUT FOOD AND IS NOW ABOUT THESE SILLY COMPETITIONS

                                                                                                            They didn't coin the phrases "Idiot Box" and "Boob Tube" for nothing.

                                                                                                            Eventually some of the "Real" professional chefs will realize this slap stick nonsense is not what they want for their "legacy" and they will move back in the direction of educational TV. 50 years from now people will still be talking about Julia Child / Jacques Pepin / Rick Bayless ....... Then mention the names of these current dime a dozen clowns on FN and people will say WHO?

                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                              You aren't supposed to like Rich Bayless's shows
                                                                                                              nor Jacques. Good thing Julia never had children, or her shows would be just as bad.

                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                Julia would have had the good sense to not bring a child onto her cooking program.

                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                  Is that part of the official hagiography? :)

                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                    I don't know if I would put Julia quite up to that category, but it would be my hope that she would agree with my position.

                                                                                                                    (The all-time worst offender in my opinion is Lidia Bastianich).

                                                                                                          2. I love the Next Food Network Star but I don't really take reality shows seriously. Many of these shows are so 'Producer influenced and induced' that you sit there with a catatonic stare. And please don't let America have to be involved in the voting....OMG..It can get scary. I would love to see Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson cook anything. They sit there from Culinary Mount Olympus reigning from on high, I would just love to see them in action...Just once.

                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Ottojr

                                                                                                              Susie and Bob (I love referring to them that way - like kids in my 5th grade class) are only interested in cooking insofar as it generates viewers and ad dollars to the network. Cooking is incidental to that.

                                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                On TWOP they are commonly referred to as "Kermit and Medusa"

                                                                                                                1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                  Heh. That's a startlingly accurate visual image!

                                                                                                                2. re: Ottojr

                                                                                                                  Bob and Susie are business people, the managers. They have to be able to hire the right people. They don't have to do the job themselves. This show is really one long job interview. As much as people here might complain about Food Network, it's doing really well ratings/marketing-wise so Bob and Susie know what they're doing.

                                                                                                                  In a show that determines who gets to be the host, it would make sense for the audience to vote. Who they would watch is important. It really doesn't matter what the food tastes like. That's why Sandra Lee is so popular.

                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                    Who cooks for a party - whether 10 people or 100 people - in 2 hours? Or 30 minutes?

                                                                                                                    I started watching these shows as a kid because they taught me about food, and technique, and cultures that I wasn't exposed to. Through the magic of television editing, long procedures can be demostrated in 26 minutes.

                                                                                                                    I am never going to use Pop-Rocks in an entree, or pickles in a desert! Show people how to cook and eat smelts for a change. . . .

                                                                                                                    Food Network is so dumbed down I am staying away until they green-light "Toddler-Chopped" or "Octomom on $10 a day".

                                                                                                                    1. re: drewpbalzac

                                                                                                                      Chopped did smelts, for the entree "$50,000 Tournament: Grand Finale" 2010.

                                                                                                                3. "Dumbed Down" is an understatement.

                                                                                                                  1. I, for one, on this "bus tour" episode was annoyed with Giada's "flamboyant" correct pronunciation of Italian words. I personally find it distracting and somewhat pretentious. I know there are those who will disagree, but I just don't like it.

                                                                                                                    17 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                      "I, for one, on this "bus tour" episode was annoyed with Giada's "flamboyant" correct pronunciation of Italian words. I personally find it distracting and somewhat pretentious. I know there are those who will disagree, but I just don't like it."

                                                                                                                      So she is not suppose to allow her natural accent and procreational come thru? She should Americanize it? Hmmm.

                                                                                                                      1. re: dondcook

                                                                                                                        How about that fake smile. Reminds me of the Joker on Batman played by Jack Nicholson.

                                                                                                                        1. re: dondcook

                                                                                                                          Her natural accent? If she had a natural Italian accent then all of her spoken words would have an accent. It's an affectation she uses to push the fact of her Italian heritage.

                                                                                                                          1. re: dondcook

                                                                                                                            And her affected pronunciation, despite Italian being her first language, in is fact INcorrect, or at least aberrational. She pronounces her E's as I's, which Italians never do, as in spaGITti and panCHITta. Truly annoying and makes you want to slap her. There are of course regional variations, as there are here in the states, but Italians, if anything, would tend to pronounce the e more like ay than anything.

                                                                                                                            I can say this with great authority as one who took two whole quarters of Italian in college thirty years ago and who also spent two whole weeks in Italy once. These are my people.

                                                                                                                            1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                              Me, too....a bit of college Italian, taught by a native speaker, has shown me that Giada really butchers the language.

                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                Yep, she's managed to take one of the most mellifluous languages on earth and make it sound like it's coming from a screeching fishwife.

                                                                                                                                I talked to the head Giada-Wrangler about this when I was at The Network and he just shrugged and said something along the lines of "What do you want me to do? Tell her she speaks wrong? Fer Chrissakes, it's her native language!"

                                                                                                                                1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                  Did any of you ever see Brian Boitano's cooking show (I know people here made fun of it but I really liked it) where he was using ricotta and said, "Or as Giada would say 'reeeecoooottttah." It was funny--all in good humor, not in a mean way.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                    And I swear I've seen Giada give the hairy eyeball to anyone who does not pronounce "spagheetee" etc. in her presence.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                      I can understand that. Most of the misprounciation threads on Chow have to do with Italian words. Something about the language or culture makes a person passionate about the way it is pronounced, regardless of how or where it was learned it.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                        There are still some pretty good French manglings going on out there. The very best one is the Prime Rib WITH OW JEW. Guy Fieri is the president of that club!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                          Yea, in Dive is should be 'roast beef with Johnny's au jus', without any attempt to make it sound French.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                            Actually, it should be Johnny's jus, NOT Johnny's au jus.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                              Johnny's does not have any 'jus' products. Their signature product is 'French Dip Au Jus Sauce'.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                Not familiar with the product, but French usage is mangled in the name.

                                                                                                                            2. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                              Finally someone talking about the actual episode. And I totally agree, i was reminded of an SNL skit when Jimmy Smits was host and his fellow newscasters were over pronouncing the Spanish words for his benefit. I was laughing.

                                                                                                                              Also surprised how the dude w/ the bow tie was universally loved last week and now they say it all feels forced like he's doing a motivational speech. What was the big difference (except he wasn't into pickles).

                                                                                                                              And to address a comment from before, I wonder why there are only two judges. Do't you need an odd # on things like this.

                                                                                                                                1. re: dmjordan

                                                                                                                                  Thanks for linking.

                                                                                                                                  So did anyone talk about who got sent home last time? That poor guy (Josh?) just never got his act together with his disjointed presentations and lack of presence even tho he was supposedly a "rock star". And I thought it was really unfair to have to prepare 9 plates for the Chopped challenges, in 30 min. The normal show is only 3, that's crazy.

                                                                                                                            3. Yaaaaaawn. I 'm done with the FN recent shows. Some FN executives sitting around a table have two hats: One is full of all the 'reality cooking competitions written on scraps of paper. The other hat is full of all the recent contestants of all the recent 'reality' cooking competitions. It's five to five on friday afternoon. They quickly pick a cooking completion name out of the hat: "All right, how many contestants do we want? Sixteen? OK just grab the first sixteen out of the hat and let's go! We're missing 'happy hour/s".

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                If it's five to five on Friday, they're already long gone. They're halfway to the Hamptons.

                                                                                                                                1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                  Well, if you could put forth a half as*ed effort producing low grade products that people repeatedly buy day in and day out you would be in the Hamptons by cocktail hour too.
                                                                                                                                  Oh, BTW, you wouldn't be watching your low grade shows either. You would be sipping on a $30.00 cocktail laughing at the fools who do!