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Food Network Star July 13 Episode - Spoilers

anyone else still watching? I did not watch the "last chance" episodes so didn't know who would be returning. Luca seems to have improved his food description skills, good for him.
The elimination challenge was painful to watch at times - with Emma and Sara just wishing someone would come taste their food - I think it was time for Chris to leave. His skills had not improved and I can't remember that they've been wowed by any of his food.
Do you think Lenny will take it? Would you watch a show about making elevated cowboy food? Personally, I wanted to reach through the tv and grab one of those lamb sliders last night! YUM.

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  1. The blonde is a child- zero interest in watching her on a show.
    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!
    Chris stole the filet mignon!!!!
    I thought that bitch was going to cut Chris.

    The woman who did the scallops lied. I don't want to watch a liar, so she's out.

    I think it's Lenny's to lose.
    He's unique, although a bit cartoony for me.
    Lenny is just enough of a buffoon to win.

    14 Replies
    1. re: monavano

      Totally agree - I was pretty bummed that she wasn't sent home even though Chris would be gone soon for sure.

      I think they're keeping her around because she seems to be the main narrator of the show.

      1. re: apprentice9

        It didn't matter to me which of them went home, they both are going, it's just a matter of time. I was sort of wishing they'd just sent both of them home this week.

      2. re: monavano

        Sara's chronic whining about "her" beef tenderloin drove me crazy. Why is she so entitled to protein that she didn't have? Oh sorry, you claimed it IN YOUR HEAD so it's yours. And, she talks like she's talking to toddlers all the time, maybe because she has little ones at home. Of all the contestants, I would actively avoid anything she's involved in--and what is Texas as a POV? Grits, really?

        Lenny can cook but I'm not sure I'd watch him. While Food Network does Italian, do they have anyone like Luca? A young person who is Italian, not Italian American. And he is good looking. He'd do well w/ marketing and that's really the ultimate goal here. He also has a good self-deprecating sense of humor ("Yes, Rosetta Stone 1 and 2").

        1. re: chowser

          What bothered me about Sara's meltdown over the beef was that I saw *real* anger, and being quick to anger to the point of being overly bitter is not attractive.
          She was just not going to let it go and I have to wonder what about Chris made her reaction so, so visceral.

          1. re: monavano

            Editing. Editing. Editing.
            The first thing that will make me stop watching is if I feel the editing has gone too far into Reality Television:
            catty backbiting
            faked drama
            contestant vs contestant
            And those "one person on a secluded couch, whining" diatribes certainly strike me as RT stylings.

            1. re: Kris in Beijing

              I know that the editing elves love to use reactions and facial expression anachronistically, which I can usually spot a mile away.
              But, you can't edit something in that was never there.

              I just don't think I could sign on the dotted line for a show like this, knowing that you are not there participating as 'you", rather, you are cast as a character, and they'll use whatever footage fits their story arc.

              1. re: Kris in Beijing

                It's all editing but really, I don't care. It's no different from discussing a written TV show or a book.

                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                  I was actually surprised that they skipped the stuck up model type when casting this season.

                  1. re: rasputina

                    Isn't that Sara, former beauty pageant contestant who blew kisses at her first video taping?

                2. re: monavano

                  Yes, she kept mentioning "her" beef tenderloin. Serving that many, Chris probably did need them all but there certainly wasn't enough for both of them. She obviously can't refocus/regroup. I think it was irrelevant who left this week between Chris and Sara. They're both going to go.

                3. re: chowser

                  Luca is my favorite and I might even watch him. I would not watch any of the others and that includes Lenny. Stupid shtick.

                  1. re: wincountrygirl

                    I think if they just Lenny be Lenny and gave him a show about cowboy cooking from easy to sophisticated, he'd probably be relatively successful. It's when they try and put these square contestants into round - and very uncomfortable - square holes that they act stupid and weird.

                4. re: monavano

                  "Just enough of a buffoon to win" is the long and the short of it.

                5. Doubt that I'd watch shows by any of these remaining contestants. That said, Lenny seems the one with some cooking abilities, altho' his schtick wouldn't wear well.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pine time

                    I can't believe Chris made it this far- I didn't see much in the way of cooking chops.
                    I couldn't get over how the panel fawned over his "butter coins".
                    Whoopdeedoo.
                    Compound butter.

                  2. I'd watch Lenny. He's definitely putting on some schtick for this show, but that's what it's all about, standing out from the competition. He's earned his cooking chops legitimately. Heck yes. Give the man a show.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Firegoat

                      I'll bet Lenny gets a show whether he wins or not, certainly if he's in the final three.

                      Sara's trying to hard, Loreal isn't trying hard enough and I don't see her in it much longer. Emma would be a good show host but she's not that great a contestant. Nicole makes poor choices in her presentations (big words, wrong ingredients) and it may be too late to overcome that.

                      Luca's just an unknown to me at this point. I didn't watch Salvation but he's come back pretty strong.

                      1. re: ennuisans

                        Well if Giada is the deciding vote Luca will win. Otherwise my money is on Lenny. I once owned a horse named Lenny.

                        1. re: Firegoat

                          I actually think Emma could win. Lenny reminds me of they musical guy last season, good entertainer, but he has not cooked anything interesting.

                          1. re: cwdonald

                            I like Emma also; though Luca is certainly eye-candy. Lenny is too over the top for me.

                            1. re: cwdonald

                              I agree, I think Emma could win too. They seem to like her and compliment her food. I'd give her show a chance. I like that she seems to be about fresh healthy food without making it diet food.

                      2. I could see Lenny winning and find him fairly entertaining despite the "schtick." Luca is a looker and I don't feel like another Italian show on food network would be overkill. He looks like he would lean a little more classic which I would like. Loreal is fun but I'm not terribly interested in her cooking style (it seems similar to Lenny's and I'd rather watch him). Emma is very sweet and calming and I could see myself learning things from her about good ingredients and fresh food. She's also pretty much what I was hoping Nicole would be but like someone else said, I don't really trust her. Sarah just needs to go home, she's fake, can't cook, and has a horrid and snooty attitude.

                        As a bit of background I'm a pretty novice cook, so I'm happy with being taught more basic stuff!

                        1. I'd watch:
                          Emma -- Yes. As she tours through grocery stores and farmers' markets explaining items and common/ extra special uses
                          Lenny-- yes. I think he'd calm down if on his own show. However, I'm not too sure how open he'd be to cuisines he doesn't already know.
                          Loreal-- Maybe? Until this week, I thought she just needed to push the Butcher Babe, but this week she seemed unfocused and even silly.
                          Luca -- probably not. FN Does NOT need more Italian at the expense of other choices, and I don't think I could listen to him for half an hour.
                          Nicole and Sarah -- Nope. I think they're the same person, essentially, but Nicole's vice is intelligence and Sarah's is beauty.

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: Kris in Beijing

                            I like that Loreal is a butcher and has some meat knowledge (although Alton Brown called her out about presalting meat). She tries too hard to fit her created persona and it feels almost cringeworthy to me. Her "dang" commercial last week was awful.

                            1. re: chowser

                              It might be editing, but Loreal seems overly critical of her fellow cast members.
                              Everyone on that show makes mistakes, and she seems like "Little Miss Perfect", which is not an endearing quality.

                              1. re: chowser

                                i thought her commercial was one of the more successful ones. Not saying it was great - they were generally pretty bad!

                                1. re: jujuthomas

                                  Loreal's "Dang" branding was clever, but was it just me or did she put huge pieces of pepper in a jar, and call it a marinade/sauce?

                                  1. re: monavano

                                    I didn't catch what went in the jar, I was distracted.

                                  2. re: jujuthomas

                                    I like the challenges that have them describe the food because that is an important part of the job as is likeability. The challenges like this about creating a commercial, or designing a label? As if Food Network would ever let them do it! They have a team that will have complete control. So, as commercials go, I didn't care for any of them but they're amateurs. I don't expect them to have skill in that.

                                    1. re: chowser

                                      Oh, wait! Did you see Giada actually ding someone for using the word "creamy" too much?
                                      That's actually a bonafide drinking game, isn't it?
                                      The one where you drink every time Giada says "creamy' on her show?
                                      ;-)

                                2. re: Kris in Beijing

                                  What drives me crazy about Loreal is that every time she's talking to camera about one of her past performances, she is always saying "heyyyyy" or something like that, w/ the hand motions to go with it. It's super annoying. Can't she just talk normal???

                                3. So I turn on the TV today and it happens to be on cooking channel and Nigella is on describing her black risotto and then what does she say but the word viscous ( referring to the squid ink). I immediately think back to Giada complaining that "no one knows what viscous means" to Emma on Sundays episode.

                                  Which reminds of the time Tyler Florence complained in a past season about a contestant boiling the marinade to use as a sauce, saying "you're just going to make someone sick". Except I've seen him do the exact same thing on Tyler's Ultimate.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: rasputina

                                    I know the word viscous, but it doesn't sound appetizing (more like the motor oil someone mentioned). It's used sometimes to discuss the less pleasing aspect of okra.

                                    Sheesh, Tyler, I've boiled marinades to serve as sauce for years, and no one's ever gotten sick.

                                    But I also found Alton to be condescending with something about giving control to the audience "who don't know" what they're doing, or words to that effect (for Emma's condiments, I think).

                                    Also, Nicole could have been booted for assuming her eaters were too dumb to know it wasn't Seranno ham, therefore not only insulting her audience but lying, as well. And Sarah should be booted, just because. Well, she's childish and hasn't proven to be a good cook.

                                    1. re: rasputina

                                      I was really annoyed by Giada's condescending attitude, as usual - the "viscous" thing was just the cherry on top of that.

                                      EDIT: Regarding condescension, perhaps Giada is taking lessons from Alton.

                                      EDIT TWO: Alton is smart and has learned a lot, but the stupidest thing a smart person can do is to assume they're superior to absolutely everyone else. Sort of negates their accomplishments.

                                      1. re: sandylc

                                        Yes, Giada and Alton seem thick as thieves this season.

                                      2. re: rasputina

                                        The celeb chef hosts contradict themselves all the time.
                                        Prime examples- "don't say I wish you could smell this, or 'smellevision' " when they've all done it at one point or another.

                                      3. well, that was... awkward...
                                        Garden of the Gods could have been a great concept for Emma's team, unfortunately it didn't seem like they discussed it much beyond that idea.

                                        9 Replies
                                        1. re: jujuthomas

                                          Emma's concept and team just never came together.
                                          I think it's BS to get rid of Emma, who is mature, learned and cares deeply about the subject matter.
                                          She's better than DANG!, and YEEHAW! I need a WHAAMBULANCE!

                                          I thought Luca's food and presentation were very good.
                                          Ms. Texas seared a steak and didn't screw it up. Frankly, that steak tasted good because of that, but moreover, it's Wagyu!
                                          The concept of the frog's leg dish sounded excellent, but trying to somehow marry Jersey with Thailand was ill conceived.

                                          1. re: monavano

                                            I almost, alllllmost, got out Excel to chart how much air time Sara was given.
                                            Instead I just made little tic marks for each speaker. She was, at the end, close to 3:1.

                                            1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                              Alton has been live Tweeting the last few episodes. Last night he suggested the producers had a crush on her.

                                              1. re: ennuisans

                                                Is he still doing Post-It's only tweeting?

                                                1. re: ennuisans

                                                  She had wagyu- doesn't exactly require turing a sow's ear into a silk purse!

                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                    Fortunately for her Sarah realized she had a silk purse already. Emma didn't, and despite Lenny's advice stuck a bunch of fruit in her food. If she had treated her pork like Sarah did her beef she might have survived the cut.

                                                    On the other hand Loreal got dinged for not doing much to her langoustine so yeah, it's an uncertain universe.

                                                    1. re: ennuisans

                                                      Sarah made amazing sides too .. Emmas sides were not memorable. Emma basically flubbed the whole thing. She came up small. Sorry to see here go, but she definitely was the most deserving. Lennys dish was horrible, and he should have been up for elimination.

                                              2. re: monavano

                                                I have not paid too much attention to the details of each episode, but not counting the B.S. of this show, and with experienced food producers in charge and coming up with a good concept and production, I think Emma would have had the best chance at a successful show. (Or at least as successful as the last several winners who actually ended up with a program on FN. Certainly better than Aarti Paarty.)

                                            2. Lenny and his crazy eyes make me really uncomfortable. He has a little touch of serial killer to him.

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: LeoLioness

                                                Between Lenny's crazy eyes and Loreal's creepy voice, that could be one scary show.

                                                1. re: monavano

                                                  I can appreciate that Loreal is green and prone to nerves but when her voice gets into that shaky upper register/on the verge of tears thing, it gets real uncomfortable real fast.

                                                  Lenny looks like a ticking time bomb to me.

                                                  1. re: LeoLioness

                                                    I wish Loreal would drop the word "baby" from her vocabulary. As in "Vegas, baby!" "NYC, baby!" "beef, baby!" And always with the exclamation point.

                                                    1. re: pine time

                                                      I wish FNS would stop sticking "I'm the butcher babe" at the beginning of every single commentary she does.

                                                      I liked all three contestants but since I've expected Loreal to get kicked off for the last two weeks I expected they would be the losing team (also what with all the confidence they showed at the grocery store, because editing).

                                                      But at this point I like just about everyone pretty equally, and no one is a shoo-in. With Emma gone I have to lean toward Nicole. (Luca would be good with a David Rocco/Extra Virgin type show, but I doubt FN would give him that.)

                                                      1. re: ennuisans

                                                        For me, Nicole's show would be too limiting--"coastal," so I equate that with seafood, which I can't eat. I live in a "coastal" town (San Diego), and I eat everything BUT seafood here (altho', of course, here we get great Mexican food).

                                                        I could watch a Loreal show if she'd drop the caricature and really focus on cooking various cuts of meat from different critters. That's the only time her butcher babe would have some real credibility.

                                                        I'd never watch Sarah--can't think of one single thing she could teach me. I'd watch some of Luca for more Italian home-cooking ideas, possibly Lenny (but only toned-down).

                                                          1. re: pine time

                                                            I'd watch Luca to, you know, watch him. He's kind of adorable. Just kidding, I don't have time to waste, but he is cute.

                                                    2. re: monavano

                                                      I have watched parts of a few of these episodes. I watched enough of last night's show to decide that if Lenny won, viewers would soon tire of his act.

                                                      "Lenny, when you're not cooking and you're indoors, take the hat off."

                                                  2. I wanted to add that I think Emma was too "vanilla" for the judges/mentors.
                                                    Emma reminded me a bit of Joanne Weir, or even Sarah Moulton.
                                                    Pleasant, learned, innocuous.

                                                    I guess that just doesn't sell- what a shame.

                                                    It seemed to me that the judges made a big deal of her not being familiar with the breed of pork, but it's loin.
                                                    Loin is loin and you should prepare it a certain way, and I didn't pick up that the judges took issue with the doneness or her method of cooking.
                                                    The judges hated the pairing with apple and cherry, which is nothing short of classic
                                                    I don't know- looked to me that they were itching for a reason to dump her.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                      I liked Emma too. I liked her voice and relatively calm personality.

                                                      Considering we now seem to be in the Campbells Soup era of the Food Network (seriously, Trisha Yearwood seems like a nice person but her recipes seem straight from a circa-1983 Family Circle magazine) I wonder if the idea of someone into fresh food and global flavors just doesn't work with the current viewership.

                                                    2. The topic has been discussed repeatedly on CH, but I have to say again that I AM SO TIRED of POVs, "stories", etc.

                                                      Give me someone intelligent and kind who can speak well and knows food.

                                                      Oh, that sort of person would NEVER catch the attention of CC or FN.

                                                      20 Replies
                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                        Me too. They are just so canned. Terrific, your mom made _____ for you as a kid. So?

                                                        1. re: LeoLioness

                                                          For some reason, Bob and Susie think this is a really big thing.
                                                          I don't get it.
                                                          If you didn't grow up cooking with your Nona, you're SOL.

                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                            Bob and Susie are smug idiots and their ratings are falling as a result.

                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                              I don't know if it's all editing, but can't the judging panel keep a pleasant countenance when the contestants are presenting?
                                                              It must be unnerving to sort of know your presentation is going off the rails, and you see Susie cock her head and raise an eyebrow in a WTF????? kind of fashion, and Alton's gob open wide enough to catch flies.

                                                        2. re: sandylc

                                                          My big problem with the POV is that these contestants putting themselves in a box before they ever slice a carrot on the show.
                                                          Many times, the contestant can't make it translate to the plate, thus, Ms. Texas pulling her hair out (and claws) when someone takes "her" beef, Ms. NJ trying to tie the Jersey shore to Thailand and the Cowboy trying to sell uni as Prairie Porcupine.
                                                          Just stop!

                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                            I think that uni porcupine gag could have worked in a different venue or even a different frame than the Greek gods one they saddled themselves with.

                                                            It is a shame about them being forced to have a POV so early, but then again it gives them a chance to test the idea out. Sarah was smart enough to bail on date night for the broader Texas theme, while Nicole has found hers to be fairly adaptable even if only in retrospect (shoulda woulda coulda).

                                                            But so far I can't think of anyone who has been kicked off for not living up to their POV. It's almost always poor execution of another element. (Even Kenny, who was kicked off during the Cutthroat episode, made a dish that was part of his "elevated" POV but was in the end, with no sabotages, a crap dish.)

                                                            1. re: monavano

                                                              POV is something that develops as a person grows and stretches in their TV career; it isn't manufactured and instant - you can't take an inexperienced, unformed person and glue a POV on top of them!

                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                I see the point of "requiring" a POV early on. There's no sense in hiring someone whose passion is, say, grilling when they already have Boby Flay doing a grilling show, or a young woman whose specialty is Italian, when they have Giada. Beyond just a personality they do need to make sure the person will complement the current lineup.

                                                                1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                  A talent? A passion? Of course! Wrapped all up tightly in a pretty package with a bow, and yammering about it every ten seconds? YUK!!!

                                                                  Less of Marketing 101 and more actual creativity, please.

                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                    I hear you. My favorite show back in the day was Sara Moulton because her "POV" was that she cooked good food and gave good advice.

                                                                    1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                      Bingo- and Moulton does it with and easiness that is enjoyable to watch.

                                                                      1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                        Exactly. And no one yammered about her POV or wrote supporting scripts for her to reinforce it.

                                                                        People become icons because they break the mold. Bob and Susie are completely obsessed with jamming people into molds.

                                                                2. re: sandylc

                                                                  My DH and I watched a few minutes of Barefoot Contessa yesterday. I said Ina would never make it on FN these days...imagine her competing on FNS. Hubby said, no way...she has too much class.

                                                                  FNS is the 180 degree opposite of class

                                                                    1. re: coney with everything

                                                                      I agree. That is why I liked Emma.... she has that soothing way to her. Why does everyone on that channel lately have to be loud and over the top. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the entertainment, but I grew up loving cooking shows and not everyone has to be a Guy to be good.

                                                                      1. re: coney with everything

                                                                        i love watching Ina, she is pleasant to listen to, and gives great advice.

                                                                        1. re: DGresh

                                                                          I like Ina, too, but I doubt that she'd make it on the FN today as a newbie, which is a shame.

                                                                          1. re: pine time

                                                                            Yeah, they used to hire adults to teach us what they know.

                                                                            Now, not so much..