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Sunday, June 29

The Next Food Network Star, Week 5

Cat Cora, confusing compound butters, a triumphant Shane, "Bon Ap," Adam's uncooked chicken, shattered bottles, and more. How'd you think it went down?

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At 6/29/2008 11:44 PM , Blogger Gregory said...

I thought pretty much everybody sucked but am glad they got rid of Jennifer. Adam and Aaron should go next, leaving Shane, Lisa and Kelsey. All of whom would be the least of all evil.
It amazes me that yet again they keep pushing this idea, "Oh, you gotta be prepared to think up dishes on the fly..." Um, the shows are taped several months in advance, there are staffs that break down the process, taste the recipes etc. Before going to tape, retaping from numerous angles etc. I'm betting Giada never had to throw something together like that in 45 minutes that was completely unplanned. Or imagine Paula or Aunt Sandy doing that, yeah, right..you gotta spot Aunt Sandy 8-10 hours for the tablescape alone..
Anyway, there is no one who I see as the clear winner here. The all have issues. However, getting rid of Jennifer, then Adam, then Aaron will be a step in the right direction..

At 6/30/2008 12:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I think this season is really boring. I dont have any contenders that I think are interesting enough to have their own shows. I dont know what it is about these people but for some reason I dont have any that I have any kind of connection with...its just pretty much boring now.

At 6/30/2008 12:16 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they should send all of them home and just start over. Usually I have one I root for... but not this season.

At 6/30/2008 12:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

TNFNS is about "your next door neighbor trying to win a shot at a show on FN." Who cares? I want to learn from people who can cook better than me. Lisa appears to be the only one with better skills than I have. Now THE NEXT IRON CHEF, that was a show that I LOVED! The only thing I hated about it was that any of them had to lose!

Anyway, I called it all -- Shane, Kelsey and Lisa safe; Aaron and Adam get a talking to, Jen goes home.

Next week Adam better step up or he is going home. You know you are in trouble when the head of FN says "You are still in the competition on the strength of your personality ALONE." No cooking skills. Then why, why, why are you even offering him a spot on FN!

Give it to John Besh!!!

At 6/30/2008 12:32 AM , Anonymous Patricia said...

OMG! I am going to stop watching this show if it doesn't get any better.
Jen is Jen, but it all is like Food Network is trying way too hard.
For the record, I did watch KQED yesterday morning and their shows were more interesting even ala Food Network where they had a "plain jane" teach a "plain joe" how to make risitto (sp?) with chicken and vegetables.
Then America's Test kitchen had more information than anything I have seen from Food Network.
So, Congrats to Food Network you are starting to lose viewers!

At 6/30/2008 12:34 AM , Blogger Karen said...

The field seems really weak this season. Last year, it seemed like 5-6 of the final contestants were at least interesting to watch, even if they had some flaws. But this year, only 3-4 of the contestants have any promise at all. The last couple of weeks, I've wished that they'd eliminate 2 or 3 people, just to get rid of the dead weight. It feels like a waste of time, watching all the screen time devoted to people who can't cook and don't have any presence on screen - get rid of them and let us concentrate on the contestants who are interesting and talented.

Watching Jennifer for the last few weeks has just been painful. Adam has made one bad dish after another. Although it seems like Aaron can cook, he has no presence in front of the camera, and he doesn't seem to be improving. I can't help thinking that any of the contestants from Top Chef would wipe the floor with these guys.

At 6/30/2008 12:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This year's show is simple----a f'g trainwreck.

I don't need to watch---just read the blogs----to know how barrel-bottom scraping it is.

At 6/30/2008 1:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Susie Fogelson sound like Sean Connery when she talks, or is it just all in my head?

By the way, this is the first season of THFNS that I'm dreading them picking a winner because all of the contestants are annoying as hell.

At 6/30/2008 1:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa has no eyes. She has no eyes!!! Where are her eyes??? AHHHHH!!

At 6/30/2008 8:09 AM , Blogger JordanBaker said...

Since I've been rooting against Jen more than I've been rooting for any of the other contestants, I don't know what I'm going to do now.

Oh well. At least I got one last week of her priceless stupidity to tide me over. Who in their right minds opens a bottle of juice that way?

At 6/30/2008 9:47 AM , Anonymous Brian F. said...

Kelsey drives me crazy...I loved that they went after he last night for sounding like a little girl! Ha

At 6/30/2008 9:48 AM , Blogger Sarah Clark said...

Last night put me in mind of a quote from last season that is even more true of this year's batch:

"Can we send them all home and start over?"

--Alton Brown

Seriously, Shane is about the only one I can watch without being in pain. I kinda like Lisa, but doesn't FN already have a Sandra Lee type? Honestly, I wouldn't trust most of these people to cook an edible grilled cheese sandwich.

I also thought Jen was sabotaging things for a second--I mean, has anyone in the history of mankind EVER tried to open a juice bottle by whacking it on the edge of a stovetop? Was she trying to sabre it open like a bottle of champagnene or something? Then I remembered--Jen has the IQ of your average protozoa (at least as depicted on TV).

As for the rest, I keep thinking that Aaron has promise, but he folded on camera one too many times for me. It's frustrating, because the rare times he's kept it together he's seemed pretty watchable. Adam just needs to GO already--he keeps being saved by people who are even more idiotic than him, but I suspect next week will be his last.

Who am I forgetting? Ah, Kelsey--At first she reminded me of that really annoying faux-perky cheerleader we all knew in junior high, but she's dialed back the cheese. You can make that short, chipper girl-next-door vibe work for you and still come off with authority (See: Sara Moulton, RaeRay), BUT you gotta have more brains to pull it off than Kelsey has shown so far.

However, all I can figure is that TNFNS isn't about picking the next food network star--it's about getting viewers to tune in to 8 weeks of schmucks making fools of themselves, and if the contest spins off a watchable personality, it's just a bonus.

At 6/30/2008 11:02 AM , Blogger John said...

I agree with so many of you: Jen needed to go. And even though Food Network has my ear for the rest of the season (so I can riff on it), I still think it's worth watching for the comic value.

Here's who I think is going home over the next few weeks: Adam (did you catch that barb? "You have only made one edible thing so far"), Aaron (whom everyone raved about before but is now lacking much confidence), Lisa (relatively safe), Kelsey (safer) & Shane (God, they LOVE this kid now!). I liked Adam before but it really is his time. And I admit it's kind of cool to see the two youngest kids up for the top two places.

At 6/30/2008 11:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Aaron still might have a chance if he just lets loose like he did in the evaluation room last night. His cooking has a good mixture of urban and urbane. I'm always curious to know what he's going to make next. He could advance if he just relaxed. If he's going to lose, then what the hell? Go for it, Aaron!

Now that it's down to 5, I agree that one of the two young-uns could be in the top 3, and it looks like it might be Shane. He's doing good work, there really is no young-young FN star right now, and he could fit a niche. Lisa would be a Martha &/or Sandy wannabe and Kelsey a mini-Raechel.

I predict that the selection committee is going to start pimping Shane more.


At 6/30/2008 12:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

They need to scrap the whole group and start over. I am so underwhelmed this season. The lack of talent is laughable! They all suck and I can't see any show out of this group making it past the obligatory 1st season. I would not watch any of them, as they are either boring or completely useless in the kitchen. It is sad that these are the best contestants the FN could find. Total trainwreck! All this season of TNFNS has proved is that Top Chef is a much better show. We only watch to laugh at the stupidity....although, it is so painful I don't know how long I can keep up with it.

At 6/30/2008 3:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i never get their judging......WHY keep Adam when he has only made ONE freaking thing that was decent??? WHY?? maybe jen wasn't too brilliant but they never said that about HER... why do they keep the ones that can't cook??? i don't get it. isn't it about FOOD?? he is an a-hole anyway...falling down and singing and shit.....totally stupid.... they need stricter guidelines choosing contestants in the 1st place........i mean, they DID pick NIPA out of thousands of people and look where that got them...... and us......
BAD SHOW as usual....

At 6/30/2008 4:16 PM , Blogger Wine Dine Whine said...

My favorite part was when Jen said she was surprised that she was the one let go. I'm like... have you watched yourself?

Last night gave me more hope for Shane, and honestly, I'd rather watch him than Lisa or Kelsey anyday.

At 6/30/2008 4:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Painful....perfect description for this season. Watching them all try and fail miserably is absolutely painful. I end up fast forwarding through the on camera work and their explanations just so I dont have to cringe for each one of them.

Shane, obviously is the only one of them that has some talent in both fields and probably will end up winning. Although Aaron I think does have decent cooking skill, its just too...whats the word...oh yeah PAINFUL to watch him! And Lisa...yeah, I cant stand her, plain and simple.

Why cant the Food Network get some great actual chefs on there? Top Chef is 100 times a better show. I dont feel like I would learn anything from any of these people or want to. And personally they all look just like everyone else on the food network, BORING...BORING...BORING.


At 6/30/2008 5:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am now pulling for Shane more than ever. He's the only one I'd be inclined to watch unless they give one of the others ALOT of presentation/cooking coaching. That said, I thought he and Kelsey had some nice chemistry and wondered if TFN might consider them as a team (co-winners) helping to drive a younger viewing audience. They also both have the culinary school background. I guess I'll just keep watching to see what develops.

At 6/30/2008 5:36 PM , Blogger Gregory said...

[However, all I can figure is that TNFNS isn't about picking the next food network star--it's about getting viewers to tune in to 8 weeks of schmucks making fools of themselves, and if the contest spins off a watchable personality, it's just a bonus.]

That's a good point. I really don't think they are that serious about really have a new celebrity chef. They've got so many already, now the Nealey's, Mary Nolan, Simply Delicioso, Sonny What's her name etc. etc. If they need more show material, they can simply double the order for Ellie Krieger, for example. They have like 15 sources of shows, from Bobby Flay to Robin Miller to Tyler Florence, Rachael, Paula, Nigella...more than they can fill. All of whom will likely draw more ratings than one of those newbies.

So I think it is an 8-week ratings thing. But sadly, it is inferior to
Top Chef. I don't mind that they want a more touchy-feely look to it than TC, but at least have competent cooks. Jeezus, even Rachael Ray has a 30 minute beef wellington and a 30 minute coq au vin (and for god's sake folks, pronounce it quickly...)

At 6/30/2008 7:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG !!!
Does anyone realize or know Lisa Garza is related to the guy that Bobby Flay did a throw down with in the military remeber the steaks in the sand episode.
I am searching for it but I think that guy's last name was Garza too.
If she does win the whole thing it will prove that these things are rigged from the beginning. UGH, I don't think she has eyes she just has eyeline and eyeshadow.

At 6/30/2008 7:46 PM , Blogger LawHog said...

I think my favorite moment of the night was when Tuschman put Adam on notice that he's next on the chopping block by saying "I think you know that you are still here solely on the basis of your personality."

I couldn't figure out whether I wanted Adam or Jen to go first. I'm still amazed she made it this far. Adam will be the next to fall. Then poor Aaron needs to go. His decent cooking got him through the first few weeks but he's just not good enough under pressure and on camera. Lisa is just a bit too glam-girl for the Food Network and for me. Hopefully she at least learned her lesson about wearing high heels in the kitchen after Week 4.

I'm expecting this to come down to a final battle of youth between Kelsey and Shane. Shane seems to be the one with the most pure talent, as far as his combination of cooking skills and the way he works on camera. He's the one guy I've really been able to relate to. Of course, it helps that he's been on TV for most of his life. Kelsey is finally tolerable to watch since she's reined in some of that intense energy. If Shane can keep the momentum going I expect him to come out on top.

At 6/30/2008 8:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, my how I agree with most of the comments here. This is a "yawn" season here. Not one of these competitors steps to the head of the class. And as one commentator reiterrated from Alton Brown, "Oh my, can't we just send all of them home and start over again?" And Jen, get over it - you had no idea what was going on with Lisa's Udon Noodles - I just gritted my teeth with that whole debacle.

Of the three possible remaining talents - I pick, Shane, Lisa (shudder) and Kelsey (again, another shudder). None of them have the maturity or presence to host a 30 minute show. Of course, FN picked that Mary Nolan person so go figure!

This season is really a "ho-hum" and the only reason I DVR it is to skip to the end to see who was picked to go home. The same can be said for H&G with their Design Star this year. No one jumps out.

At 6/30/2008 9:19 PM , Anonymous Turtle said...

My thought last night was, "Why don't they give the contestants sparklers and have them whistle Dixie, too?"

I think Shane, Lisa or Kelsey would be perfect FN hosts if they got the time, attention and rehearsal that a TV host typically would receive.

But this crap about cooking a dish in 30 minutes, then having to describe someone else's dish--with no rehearsal at all!--and harshly judging their abilities to connect on camera is really stacking the deck.

Yes, I get that you should be able to speak extemporaneously, and that by quickly taking in a dish of food you should be able to at least describe what you see to the camera. I understand that. But how about giving them, oh, 30 seconds to prepare?

I mean, crap, some of them had never even contemplated designing and packing their own products before. That kind of things takes months, of not years, of preparation and research. And they had less than a day--and then they had to present to Martha-freaking-Stewart!

Enough already. I understand that certain challenges are designed to test one's ability to think quickly and so on. But too often this show is designed to trip up the contestants, not test their ability to present a TV food show.

At 6/30/2008 10:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

re Tuschman put Adam on notice that he's next on the chopping block by saying "I think you know that you are still here solely on the basis of your personality."

THAT statement alone is scary....WHAT personality??? The guy has the personality of a 12 year old boy.....if this is the kind of person they keep on they need to just give it up.
the whole show is a joke.

At 6/30/2008 11:37 PM , Anonymous DocSod said...

Is anyone else as embarrassed for these people as I am? The show is hard to watch.

With the exception of Shane, Kelsey, and maybe Lisa, there have to be people in this country that have a better combination of cooking skills and personality.

Shane may be the only one who has a slight combination of both. I want to root for Aaron, but it seems like he's not going to stick it on camera. Kelsey still annoys me, even though she's toned it down a bit, and I hope and wish for Lisa's downfall every week. I won't watch a show that she hosts. Plus, I wish she'd shut up with the "beautiful basic" crap and just do what she's supposed to. Being constantly reminded of her culinary point of view is slightly less ingratiating that being repeatedly hit in the head with a ball peen hammer.

At 7/01/2008 1:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next weeks' headliner should be titled "NFNS Wreck 6 Recap".

At 7/01/2008 7:26 AM , Blogger Judith Kreindel said...

Wow! Some moments I like Tuschie so much, then others I just want to stab him in the eyes with a spork! (Like when he is mocking Kelsey's voice...get over yourself!)

Lisa was really very down to earth on this epsiode. I felt horrible for her being paired with Jen. I actually felt I could connect and relate with Lisa throughout this episode. And...she was wearing flats! (Coincidence after the previous fall or will her cronies try and argue the episodes aren't filmed in order? hmmm...)

As for Jen, my god. I've done silly things in the kitchen but come on! Repeatedly cracking a glass jar on the counter? You really can't come off that ditzy and inept and have your own FN show. You did make a good point-- You'll go on about your life and being a great mom, job #1, has nothing to do with your lack-luster performance on NFNS. Good luck to you. :)

Shane and Kelsey- SO darned cute together! Maybe we could have a show with the two of them? Shane, you're killing me with those eyes, babe. :)

Adam and Aaron- Adam, Adam, Adam, well..when you're not slightly funny you are just plain painful to watch. Aaron- I really hope we see you rise to the bar we know you're capable of.

I agree with previous comments...what's with all of the ridiculous comments like "you have to be able to think quickly and describe items, you also have to cook meals quickly." WHAT? Um, a good portion of us have watched the behind the scenes episodes of FN shows. We all know it takes HOURS and multiple retakes on food edits alone, not to mention the FN cook/chef flubs in speech and action.

At 7/01/2008 11:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jen reminds me of Cyna the wrestler. Shes nice, but damn, was she terrible on tv and couldnt cook worth a shat. WTF was that jar incident. How stupid could you be. Lisa with her stupid eye glare and model wanabe lip pouting is hilarious as well.

At 7/01/2008 12:49 PM , Blogger Lester Hunt said...

Last year, only Rory, JAG, and Amy were even remotely plausible candidates from the git-go. This year the same can be said of Shane, Kelsey, and Lisa -- except that these three just don't seem to be in the same league as last year's three.

At 7/01/2008 2:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they look for people who can improvise quickly in order to get a sense of their existing culinary knowledge and skills, what do they do know already that won't have to taught? Anybody can learn to cook anything with enough time, but from a behind-the-scenes perspective, it's much easier on the production staff when the talent has some idea what they are talking about and isn't being "spoon fed" every line. As the above posters mentioned, it already takes a lot of time in terms of retakes and edits, imagine how much longer it would take if the talent needs oodles of time to come up with recipes and do research? There just isn't time for that. They need to know what they are doing.

The other reason is for those situations in which they will have to think quickly, especially promotional appearances where the two-minute spot may not be so carefully scripted.

At 7/01/2008 7:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I finally put a finger on what I don't like about this season. Nobody is being allowed to just be themselves. That's what was so endearing about some of the old-timers on the FN, their distinctive personalities. The contestants are constantly being given suggestions such as Kelsey being told to tone down. It's like the judges know what characteristics they want, and are trying to find the right person to fit the mold.

At 7/01/2008 8:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damnit Jen,its your falt that Lisa wasn't able to show off her true skills!This was Lisa's time to shine and you just take a dump all over it with your stupid jar-breaking stunt.You know,theres a thing on top of the jar called the 'lid' and you do this amasing thing where you turn to your left,am I loosing you Jen,or do I have to speak slower?And after you turn it a couple of turns,it comes off and you can pour you drink,and then put it bck on the jar and save it for later!Itsn't technology amasing!But you wouldnt know that cause you probly still use sippy-cups.

If Jenny were to win(which was very unlikly)she would probably have a cooking show aimed twords children;have her daughter we heard so much about on it alot;and come out with a couple of children cookbooks.But if she thought she would be the next kid-fiendly chef,then theres already a certain adorbale Queen of EVOO who goes on tasty travels and cooks 30-min meals and has an anoying talk-show(sorry Rach)that already has that all covered.You are not needed Jen(just like alot of all these new chefs that keep poping up on Food Network,which i never saw them going on any stupid contest to get the job.....)But lets face it,would some of our favorit chefs be able to handel these challenges.I think Rach would fall flat(sorry again).

Speaking of that certain cook,next week they go on the RR show!Acording to the way the coming atraction was editted(usually false)Kelsy touches the kids in a way that Suzi labled "inapropriate".But again,you can't tell by the edits.

At 7/01/2008 9:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh come on, Lisa is a Diva B***h! The only thing worse than her personality are those funky eyes of hers. The only way I could stomach her show would a "Clockwork Orange" scenario with my eyes forced open while strapped to a chair.

At 7/02/2008 2:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think its interesting that when tuschman was telling lisa she was safe he said it was her food knowledge that saved her....ironic as hell considering these contestants should all have food knowledge if they plan on being able to carry their own show and teach anything to the rest of us. they want an entertainer, not someone who might actually teach people a thing or two.

At 7/02/2008 9:12 AM , Anonymous dairyland girl said...

Yes, they want an entertainer! It IS called Next Food Network STAR.....maybe that was the intent all along, and we just wanted it to be about cooking.

At 7/06/2008 6:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe Jen was surprised she was let go. Woman, you opened a jar with a stove!!

At 7/06/2008 6:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe Jen was surprised she was let go. Woman, you opened a jar with a stove!!

At 7/28/2008 1:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Food Network does "simple" every which way. What they don't have in the line up is the style and panache that Lisa brings to the table. Aaron? OMG, distant third. Doesn't have the culinary chops to know a chipotle if he was sitting on one, is afraid of cameras, and his mush mouth dialog is unintelligible. I wont be tuning in to Big Daddy's Kitchen amateur hour, that's for sure. Yuck.

At 1/02/2009 5:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Does anyone realize or know Lisa Garza is related to the guy that Bobby Flay did a throw down with in the military remeber the steaks in the sand episode.
I am searching for it but I think that guy's last name was Garza too. "

That means nothing. Garza is a really common name, especially in the American south. Lisa's name is Garza because she married Gilbert Garza. Her brother would have the same last name as her maiden name, so no, they are probably not related.


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