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Sunday, August 2

Next Food Network Star, Finale




It's hard to believe it came down to Jeffrey Saad and Melissa D'Arabian this year, but I guess they like to keep surprising us week to week. I've already told you who I think is going to win; do you agree with me? Am I way off? I'm usually horrible at picking winners, so I still wouldn't be surprised in the least to see Jeffrey take the prize.

I'll be online here throughout the entire finale and at Twitter. Send me your thoughts!

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38 Comments:

At 8/02/2009 6:35 PM , Blogger Wicked Good Dinner said...

I have a feeling they're giving a show to both of them this year.

 
At 8/02/2009 8:40 PM , Blogger Tiffany said...

All I've gathered from this season is that Food Network really needs to give John Besh a show.

 
At 8/02/2009 9:25 PM , Blogger Janet said...

OMG! Yes! I love John Besh. I would definitely watch a show with him doing anything he wants to do...

 
At 8/02/2009 9:58 PM , Blogger jacob said...

Who's it gonna be?

 
At 8/02/2009 10:01 PM , Blogger Judge Roy Bean said...

MELISSA!!

 
At 8/02/2009 10:10 PM , Blogger Christa said...

Jeffrey was ROBBED!!!

 
At 8/02/2009 10:16 PM , Blogger Jani said...

Tiffany: Yes! John Besh definetly deserves a show, and would be great addition to FN.

I am quite embarrassed to say that I found myself shrikieng with joy when Melissa won. While Jeffrey was great, he was just not what the FN was looking for. All I can say is, I hope Melissa can do way better than Aaron McArgo (like that's so hard to do...)

 
At 8/02/2009 10:22 PM , Blogger femaile said...

2nd place is not a loss. jeffrey will end up with some type of show. they both would hit different demos.

 
At 8/02/2009 10:27 PM , Blogger James said...

Jeffery was my vote, however both were good. I was more looking foreward to a show with Jeffery. What was that ladies name 2 years ago whose show only went maybe 1 or 2 episodes? She had a few children also.

 
At 8/02/2009 10:37 PM , Blogger Java Bean Rush said...

Before the finale I thought it would be a tie.

However, when they showed the two talking about their experience just before showing the pilots, you could tell that Jeffrey (still in his lavender shirt) was depressed and Melissa (still in her red dress) was still her perky self, suggesting that JS had lost. I told mom this halfway in, but we were still hoping JS would get it.

I should have known when the editor kept showing the judges praising JS in the deliberation room that his head was on the chopping block.

I like Melissa's 4 step chicken idea; if she would do that multi-step cooking every week it might be worth watching. However, if she's not, then it's just another home-cook show, of which FN has plenty already.

I love Jeff's idea of showcasing a different ingredient every week. I would tune in for that show and want to try new stuff. My only problem is that he did not explain the ingredients of the Harissa condiment. Even though anyone can look it up (I have), it would make the show fuller, more substantial if he went into more detail about the ingredient he was showing off. But that's fixable.

 
At 8/02/2009 10:49 PM , Blogger Mrs. U said...

When it came down to it, I wanted Jeffrey to win more. I am happy with the choice of Melissa and I've already set my DVR to record her show next Sunday. But, I would be ECSTATICALLY happy if Jeffrey had a show, too!!! Perhaps another network will pick him up? I mean, PLEASE people, I'm dying to buy some harissa tomorrow!!!!!

His,
Mrs. U

 
At 8/02/2009 10:50 PM , Blogger Katherine said...

Hi all,
I knew Melissa was going to win. Bobby had nothing good to say about Debbie and was intimidated by Jeffery. In the Miami challenge Jemika was only given celery root while Debbie was given 3 ingredients to use. Bobby was all over her for forgetting the capers. He was always ready to find fault with her. Did anyone notice that in Melissa's demo she didn't use any seasoning on the chicken or in the flour? Bobby would have been all over if that had been Debbie. As for Jeffery - I've been team Jeffrey since Debbie was gone. I've been looking for harissa since his demo aired. I think Debbie and Jeffrey's concepts were unique and fresh. Melissa has that deer in the headlights look to her like Amy Finley. And where's she? Food Network got it wrong this time. Maybe next year! Melissa is another Robin Miller or Sarah Moulton - they may cook, but not passionate.

 
At 8/02/2009 11:11 PM , Blogger oldtimers said...

Sorry, but I really felt Jeffrey was the true winner. He inspired me with his spices and ingredient smuggling. I can eat just so much chicken- Melissa. Food Network blew it on this one. Can't wait to see the rebound and Jeffrey be reinstated as the real "Food Network Star".

 
At 8/02/2009 11:19 PM , Blogger femaile said...

remember these pilots were longer than what we saw...

i see it like this... my friend a guy watches Rachel Ray but would never bother trying to cook her foods. I very busy woman uses many of rachel ray's recipes. by friend takes the time to do some of Alton Brown's stuff he made the marshmellows, me I love to watch, but name me a working mom who has the time to harvest their own sugar cane, process it and use it to create a simple syrup (lol).
I like Melissa, but would watch Jeffrey. I wouldn't take the time to find his ingredient, but recorded the 4 step chicken. My friend likes Jeffrey, he is already planning a trip to wegman's to look for the smuggled ingredient, but said he would watch Melissa.
I think they should both get shows.

 
At 8/02/2009 11:24 PM , Blogger Computer Gardener said...

For most of the season, I was rooting for Melissa to win. However, after watching both pilots I actually much preferred Jeffery show concept. FN has enough shows teaching people cooking 101. For those of us who have been watching 5+ years, I think FN show start to have some cooking 202/303 shows. Jeffery concept would have been 202ish in my opinion.

Regardless, I will DVR mellisa's show and at least watch the first 10-20 episodes before I make a final call. I really like Aaron but watch the first 60 seconds and just can't find anything he is making that I would be even slightly interested in giving to my family.

Off Topic.... I am really starting to enjoy the 5 Ingredient fix show. I think I am going to try the mint pesto later this week.

 
At 8/02/2009 11:41 PM , Blogger Judge Roy Bean said...

you people do know that "smuggling" agricultural products through customs IS illegal!! ROFL So silly, wtg Melissa...you earned it!

 
At 8/02/2009 11:48 PM , Blogger Kym D said...

C'mon...Melissa's food looked like crap - totally uninspired and pedestrian...and she looked like bugs bunny on steroids...i honestly am not sure why they went with her...her show will be the most boring addition to the FN...I know I will never watch it...she is not engaging, she is not interesting nor is her food...again, B-O-R-I-N-G....Jeffrey had me at hello...interesting food, great to look at, and not possessive of a personality somewhat reminiscent of fingers being scratched down a chalkboard...bad choice FN. At least this program she said her mom passed away and not share with us again that she committed suicide...ugh...I think the FN is going to be mighty shocked at low ratings...Melissa, unfortunately, is the PTO mom you see coming your way and you duck for cover asap. Another reality show that I will not watch again (along with The Bachelor, The Bachelorette)... nothing new, nothing inspired, and maybe a little overly too scripted.

 
At 8/02/2009 11:50 PM , Blogger WHITE RABBITT said...

i will use melissa's 4 steps in cooking chicken

 
At 8/02/2009 11:58 PM , Blogger talat said...

I've watched every year the NFNS and I think this group of people was by far the best. Can't wait to watch Melissa's first show next week.

Jackie at PhamFatale.com

 
At 8/03/2009 12:02 AM , Blogger daniel said...

i worked for john besh and he is good... but jeffery should have won and i am willing to boycott melissa's show

 
At 8/03/2009 12:57 AM , Blogger Judge Roy Bean said...

"i worked for john besh and he is good... but jeffery should have won and i am willing to boycott melissa's show"

You're not a judge. Also you have no idea what FN's marketing data looks like. Notice one of FN's VPs of MARKETING just happens to BE a judge! There is a reason for that.

Go ahead and hold your breath till you turn blue, its funny to watch.

Like Bobby said: "Jeffery has limited range" Well guess what? That really matters (in the real world) beyond how YOU feel about his cutsie smile! doh

 
At 8/03/2009 1:50 AM , Blogger flutter said...

I am tired of the cutesie blonde stay at home mom type. Bored, tired, meh pleh beh.

 
At 8/03/2009 7:07 AM , Blogger Dan Nestor said...

MMMM, milf'y !

 
At 8/03/2009 9:15 AM , OpenID nygroove74 said...

With Ms. Ray's contract soon to expire this result does not surprise me at all. I do find it a little disappointing that someone would claim the idea of using base ingredients with interchangeable proteins as "their" invention.......

 
At 8/03/2009 9:24 AM , Blogger Attila the Fun said...

I always disliked Jeffrey from the beginning - he seemed to be adored by the judges without much reasoning and I found more reasons to dislike in the finale:
- Backhanded compliment about Melissa like, "I'm so excited for her, from day 1 I didn't think she'd last at all!"
- What does Harissa taste like Jeffrey, what's it made from? How about any info whatsoever on this ingredient you "smuggled" back. Where in the hell can I find it? I already know the answers to these questions, but the average viewer might not, so he left out really important info.

Yay for Melissa, she grew on me and I'm happy for her!

 
At 8/03/2009 10:16 AM , Blogger Little Ol' Liz said...

Both promos feel like something you use as filler when a program runs short -- like when HBO does short segments on upcoming movies and specials. I have to wonder if there is something about to change.

Anyone find Alton a little curmudgeonly? If he had worn a cordoroy jacket with suede patches he really would have nailed it.

 
At 8/03/2009 10:46 AM , Blogger sharyn kolibob said...

I wanted Jeffrey to win because quite frankly FN is becoming overrun with cutsie tutsie housewifey types - Jeffrey would have been a great addition - trying new seasonings, more interesting meals. I don't have 4 kids to feed and don't really care if she puts her mashed potatoes in muffin tins (cute for elementary cooking class)- I work a nine hour day, FN is on everyday at sometime - stimulate my taste buds and quit showing all these teethy, bubbly women. Give Jeffrey a show, he was great and a more interesting chef!

 
At 8/03/2009 10:48 AM , Blogger Alec Smart said...

I would love to see a show with John Besh. The guy is an excellent chef and I am sure we could learn so much from him. Sadly probably way too overqualified for Food Network. He is a real chef with proper training that can be verified afterall.

As for the winner, Melissa won this fair and square. I understand her new show, based on feeding a family of 4 for under 10 bucks airs next week.

Wow. That should be a bit of a challenge. Totally doable. I'll bet that makes few FN chefs uncomfortable. 10 bucks uh ? That's one tub of mascarpone right ?

 
At 8/03/2009 12:14 PM , Blogger Christa said...

Watching Melissa cook her four-step chicken was about as exciting as watching someone floss their teeth. Any home cook worth his/her salt has a favorite chicken recipe.

I watch FN to learn something new, exciting and inventive. I want to learn about ingredients I haven't used before and incorporate them into my cooking. I thought Jeffrey was the sort of chef who could inspire and entertain, all while making something truly tasty. In my opinion, Melissa is the sort of cook who's great in her home market but on a mass level just doesn't deliver the goods. And that voice...yikes, it's shrill, annoying and won't be worth 30 minutes of my time.

 
At 8/03/2009 12:22 PM , Blogger E said...

John Besh was the runner up in the next Iron Chef competition. And I did so want him to win! But I've grown to like Michael, so I am going to give Melissa a chance to impress me as well.

 
At 8/03/2009 1:57 PM , Blogger Mark said...

I think they let Melissa win just to take Robin Miller's place. The 4-step chicken thing sounds smart, but it's just what everyone does in the kitchen. I actually think Robin Miller's idea is better, although her food is just ordinary.

 
At 8/03/2009 2:27 PM , Blogger hhtp//:strictlywicklesscandle.com said...

I am a FN Junkie... I am voting for Melissa I think that she is great and I feel like she has a very real personality.

 
At 8/03/2009 3:10 PM , Blogger Angie said...

I didn't like Jeffrey, and I wouldn't watch his show, but the concept was interesting.

I think Melissa won because of the recession. With so many people out of work and watching television at home they're looking for someone they can identify with. Rachael won't be back, Robin Miller was axed, and Aunt Sandy is an acquired taste. I think they were looking for someone to fill the void and Melissa has a likeable personality and she can related to working moms and dads with a few kids. If we weren't in a recession, Melissa wouldn't have lasted and Jeffrey would have cleaned up.

And, if we've learned anything from FN, we know that Jeffrey will have a show starting in January.

 
At 8/03/2009 4:37 PM , Blogger Kym D said...

Does anyone get that TV is based on escapism? I like to think that most of us who watch cooking shows love to cook, enjoy a challenge and don't need to be reminded of the economy. I would rather buy fresh parmesan or a $4 tub of mascarpone (not sure where Alex Smart is buying the $10 tub?) to liven up a meal than some tired old Loser Loser Chicken Dinner for under $10...my sense of taste rebels.

 
At 8/03/2009 5:38 PM , Blogger daniel said...

quoted from above

"You're not a judge. Also you have no idea what FN's marketing data looks like. Notice one of FN's VPs of MARKETING just happens to BE a judge! There is a reason for that.

Go ahead and hold your breath till you turn blue, its funny to watch.

Like Bobby said: "Jeffery has limited range" Well guess what? That really matters (in the real world) beyond how YOU feel about his cutsie smile! doh....."


now come on.. jeffery had better food and i am sorry but alot of my friends and people i talk to are boycotting it...
this women is another amy...

"i need to take care of my kids... i choose not to resign"

mark my words... mel had problems with seasoning food and she is just another racheal ray... the food network already hads a melissa and her last name is ray and does it better then she could ever do... come on 4 step chicken... she did not invent anything... i learned that 1st day of culinary school... come on... she just sucks and i will never watch her show... and many people i know will not eaither... she is another amy/ hardy boys... maybe 2 and done if not one and done.

 
At 8/03/2009 5:41 PM , Blogger Charles said...

"Loser, Loser Chicken Dinner" lol I love that. Yeah, I agree w/Kym. I just made a Giada recipe that called for 2 containers of creme fraiche and Asiago cheese, and the people reviewing it were up in arms over the price of creme fraiche, and even stated that they substituted sour cream and cream cheese and even cool whip for it because it was too pricey. WTF? It's less than $4 a container @ Trader Joe's. All this penny pinching and economy talk is getting really old, and I am not sacrificing the taste of my dishes for generic products, sorry.

 
At 8/03/2009 10:17 PM , Blogger Greg said...

So I haven't seen the ep yet but I'm curious about one thing, did McCargo ever make an appearance during this thing? Who wants to bet he got these episodes and that will be it. The fact they did not bring back the previous winner says a lot.

 
At 8/04/2009 9:17 PM , Blogger Tim said...

I have never been so disappointed in the FN before. I am a fan from the beginning and to give this to Melissa was a total shame. Jeffery clearly had something new. I am a women but really another woman telling us how difficult life is with a family and cooking. Not impressed. Jeffery was someone I could watch and learn from

 

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