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The Next Food Network Star - 3.5 Recap

Based on the previews, I was actually looking forward to last night's Next Food Network Star. I'm a big Alton Brown fan and the commercials made it look like it was going to be an interesting drama-loaded trainwreck. So naturally, like all drama-loaded trainwrecks, I couldn't wait to watch.

Let me start with one word: Wow. And that's more of an "Are you serious?" sort of wow, as opposed to an "Amazing!" sort of wow.

We're down to five chefs and at this point none of them look like they're ready (or deserve) their own show. They're yelling, crying, flubbing lines, not cooking anything, and just failing in every way possible. I know that there's a lot of fancy editing, and that they're living in this unnatural pressure-cooker type of environment, but still, get it together folks. Quit your crying, start your cooking, and get ready to be a star!

To see what happened, find out who went home, and discover what causes Alton to breakdown and say, "Can we send them all home and start over?"

The show begins with Alton "the supreme educator of Food Network" Brown greeting the contestants in the kitchen for a quick challenge. For the first challenge they each pull three ingredients and are told they have 30 minutes to come up with a dish that they have to present to the camera. That's right, the contestants are finally going under the "gun" of Food Network and will have to present their own recipe in three minutes without stopping.

Once the cameras start rolling things were semi-ok. Rory should have cut stuff up, Jag should have been less gourmet, Paul shouldn't have told so many non-related stories, Amy should have been more put together and Adrien should have actually cooked something... anything.

When they're done with their first challenge, they're then presented with their least favorite food item. For Amy it's bokchoy; Jag, tofu; Paul, lima beans; Rory, goat cheese; Adrien, baby corn. They then have to design a dish that glorifies their ingredient, and then create a 5 minute demonstration with 4 major talking points. Oh and again, it's going to be live with no stops.

Here's where the already mediocre events take a turn for the worst. Amy can't concentrate and cries all night about going home. The next day, Jag throws a tantrum over missing banana peppers [note to self: do not piss off this guy]. Then, when the presentations start, you can actually see the pain and discomfort in Alton's face. He wants out of this room, and is probably wondering how he ended up having to do all of this anyway. Paul rambles on and makes an awkward joke about his hands burning. Amy forgets her script completely and goes blank. Jag has a bajillion ingredients, drops his tofu and says that it's "not half bad." Rory and her huge smile are boring. Adrien "roasts" things in a sauté pan, and tops his dish with a raw egg. See? Disaster. At this point I don't know who I'd watch, I can't tell who I like and I'm not even sure who did the worst.

During panel the judges are rightfully harsh and Amy tells them she wants to go home, only to change her mind immediately. So she stays, as does Rory and Paul - who was the "one person who showed a succinct upgrade" from the day before. Which means we are left with Jag and Adrien on the chopping block. After a few tense moments, they tell Adrien to leave. I'm a little bummed by this, but had already guessed the outcome. Also, what does it say when the one guy who already has a cooking show is kicked off?

Wow. I can't believe there are only 4 contestants left. I think I'm rooting for Paul at this point, and hope he makes it to the end. I guess we'll see what happens after next week's Iron Chef inspired challenge.

Did you guys watch? What did you think?

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Join The Conversation
yabbiyum yabbiyum 10 years
I think they should stop trying to MAKE the Next Food Network Star happen. It's crap. It's more a personality contest than a test of skills. The little contests they set up are ridiculous. The show sucks, and it should be allowed to die. Food Network should do its homework and actually research people who have established careers and outputs that would be of interest. The beauty pagent - American Cooking Idol concept is a joke. Food as competition has been beaten to death. Let it die already.
CamillaCat CamillaCat 10 years
I saw one episode a week or two ago and I agree, none of them seem worthy enough to be the next food network star, not even close. where did they find these people?
kikidawn kikidawn 10 years
This season is disappointing. I watched this episode and thought they were all horrible! I can't stand Jag and was mad when they sent Adrian home instead of Jag. I am currently rooting for Paul I guess. I don't know who deserves to win.
MrsSchmitt MrsSchmitt 10 years
I can't believe they didn't send Amy home after all that whining!
Padraigin Padraigin 10 years
I'm more disappointed with the meanness of the judges this season. I think that with a bit of mentoring, most of these people could pull together a decent show. I'm also diappointed with Adrien because he already HAS a tv show and it certainly didn't show. But they looked for home cooks and were surprised when the home cooks couldn't immediately adjust to tvland?
Tamquette Tamquette 10 years
I don't think any of them deserves a Food Network show...They are all boring....Paul is Ok...But he needs to calm down...Jag scares me...They really do cry too much and it annoys the hell out of me...I agree with Alton send them all home and start over.
LuciLu LuciLu 10 years
i agree with partysugar. not one of these people would intrigue me enough to watch their cooking shows. also- i cannot stand these people who cry and whine about being away from their families while TRYING OUT FOR A TV SHOW. what did they thin would happen, that they whole family would be on set all day, and it would be an easy 9-5 job?? PLEASE. very annoying.
partysugar partysugar 10 years
I'm kind of disappointed in the Food Network with this season. It seems like none of these contestants should get tv shows. I mean Yum & I would be better than these cry babies.
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
This season seems to be flying by!
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