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The Next Food Network Star Recap: Season 5, Episode 1

The Next Food Network Star Recap: Episode One

A week ago, I introduced you to this season's contestants on The Next Food Network Star, and last night we saw the 10 competitors in action for the first time. They'd barely settled into their new digs before facing their first challenge: to cater the network's sweet 16 party for more than 75 guests, including Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and stars like Giada De Laurentiis and Alton Brown.

Although all 10 cast members appeared to bond right away, I wasn't experiencing the same connection to them on the small screen. Hopefully, I'll soon be convinced otherwise. Find out my thoughts on the show — and share yours! — when you


  1. Most of the contestants didn't seem comfortable speaking. Were you as stunned as I was to find that outgoing personalities like Brett and Eddie became awkward and flat in front of the camera?
  2. I was surprised that dietitian Katie Cavuto, with her plain Swiss chard and stereotypical spinach salad, didn't wind up on the chopping block. What did you think of her dishes?
  3. Debbie, with her awful leadership skills, also should have faced elimination. Although she jumped at the opportunity to take charge, she turned out to be an ineffective leader and poor judge of character. Shouldn't she have taken ownership of the atrocious angel food dessert?
  4. I thought the judges were spot on to eliminate Jen. Her food looked bland, and I couldn't take her seriously at all. In fact, I felt like she set womankind back a few decades with some of her remarks. What makes her a "housewife 2.0" anyway? It's entirely de rigueur for women to work full-time and cook every night. And what was with the parting comment about "making babies"?
  5. Who are you rooting for so far? I don't mind watching Michael, Jeffrey, and Teddy. I already can't stand Brett and Debbie.

What were your initial thoughts about the season? Share them with me below.


flyowsley flyowsley 8 years
I think I liked Michael the most, he kept me interested and laughing.
Food Food 8 years
bonniebonnie, I agree about Brett. What about comment about "pretty girls"?
bonniebonnie bonniebonnie 8 years
I couldn't stand Michael at first but I think he's growing on me. And speaking of setting women back a few steps, what's up with Bret's misogynistic comment and female pet names? "We'll let you ladies talk about lipstick." Really? What decade are you from? I am looking forward to this season!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I was really excited for the first episode, but I didn't like all the contestants as much as I wanted to. I thought Jen's dish was really generic. I mean, come on, green beans? And I agree with the point about the contestants being terrible speakers. When Alton asked Katie about her salad, she mentioned that it promoted "digestive motility". Sorry, that doesn't appeal to me. I also think Debbie should just about have been eliminated for her grocery-store budgeting lie and the fact that she forgot like, half the ingredients. And she definitely deserved the blame for the angel food cake thing, no question. I think Michael and Jeffrey are really cool and I also like Jamika and Eddie. I think Debbie will be cut next and I also can't stand Brett.
mo_ri_ah mo_ri_ah 8 years
I was bummed that there weren't more powerful personalities, but I think some of them will come around.. I hope so anyway! I don't recall Jen's parting words, but I think she was the best choice to leave... those green beans look lifeless! Debbie was well received by the people, hence her staying, but I think that little fib she said when they got back from the store will cost her any chance of winning. Brett and Katie get on my last nerve, but I really like Jamika, Michael, and I'm mildly attracted to Eddie. :)
partysugar partysugar 8 years
I think Katie looks too much like Claire Robetson and Brett too much like Adam Gertler for them to get a FN show. I loved it when Anne Burrell complained about one of the contestants being too frantic, um Anne have you watched yourself?! Overall, I was unimpressed. I doubt there is a Guy Fieri in this group. Also, doesn't the group totally lack diversity?
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