Before I start with last night's Next Food Network Star recap, I have a quick question: Would you actually watch a show hosted by any of these folks? None of them seem that likable. I once rooted for Adrien, but he's coming across as blah. Then I rooted for Amy, but she's too snooty/whiny. Paul is unfortunately too wound up for Food TV, Rory seems too much like everyone else on the network, Michael seems robotic and Jag, well Jag is sometimes downright scary. So, which of these contestants deserves the chance to build an empire? I'm not sure, but to find out who's no longer in the running,
Last night started off with the contestants headed to Fort Dix to cook for the military. Surprisingly, Giada is once again the guest host & judge, although Paula Deen does make an appearance - causing me to wonder why she wasn't the host/judge. Does Giada pull in higher ratings or is Paula too pricey?
The contestants start things off by taking MREs (Meal Ready to Eat) and re-inventing them into something a little more edible and tasty. They have 20 minutes to make it and 1 minute to present it. Amy says the word gourmet too many times, Adrien has the least flavorful dish and barely "made" anything, Jag had the worst presentation and a spicy stew, Rory made nothing memorable, Michael said MRI instead of MRE and Paul had a pretty nice presentation talking about carbs and nutrition. And although he was talking quite fast (Giada actually cut him off with a curt, "Thanks Paul"), Paul is the winner with best presentation and flavor.
With a win in his back pocket, Paul is now told to divide the group into three teams (he & Jag, Rory & Amy, Michael & Adrien) and to choose which dish each is going to prepare. They have to serve either lasagna, meatloaf or chicken pot pies to 75 military folks and are given 2 hours to prepare and prep and 3 minutes to present.
Here's where things start going crazy. Jag and Paul find out their oven doesn't work, so they deep fry their bacon wrapped meatloafs. Amy discovers there's no brown sugar, so she whines to Paula who says, "It'll be sweet and that's all that matters." Amy & Rory can't get their giant pasta pot to drain. Michael & Adrien forget to thaw their fruit and decide to serve it frozen. Once again, I wonder, "Would I actually watch any of these shows?"
When the food is ready, it's time to present. Jag and Paul are actually a lot of fun on stage - Paul even does several pushups. Michael awkwardly talks about Vietnam and Amy & Rory decide to flirt their way into the audience's heart. Ultimately Jag and Paul are declared victors with their deep-fried meatloaf and funny routine. However once everyone's in front of panel, things get emotional. I know I would probably do the same, but keep it together folks, you're on TV! There's no crying in TV! Oh wait, there is, and last night there was LOTS of it. Jag, Amy and Michael cried and a think Rory shed a little tear too. In fact I'm sort of surprised that the whole gang didn't break down. Come on Adrien and Paul, are you dead inside or what!?
In the end, Michael is sent home and the rest of the folks move on to the next round. Next week's episode looks especially interesting. Alton Brown is the guest host/judge and from the preview things look like they go horribly awry. In fact, Alton is even shown saying, "Send them all home and start over." I don't know about you, but I can't wait!
Oh and if you think you can do better than any of these folks, they're currently looking for season 4 contestants.