|Photo - Multivu|
The contestants competing this year are:
Luca Della Casa (San Antonio); Emma Frisch (Ithaca, NY); Nicole Gaffney (Atlantic City, NJ); Loreal Gavin (Indianapolis); Chris Kyler (Stafford, VA); Kenny Lao (New York); Christopher Lynch (New Orleans); Lenny McNab (Debeque, CO); Aryen Moore-Alston (Memphis); Sarah Penrod (League City, TX); Reuben Ruiz (Miami) and Donna Sonkin Shaw (New York)
Some more info on the season:
- Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, and Alton Brown are all mentors/judges again. They will not have teams and compete against each other as they did in season 8.
- The season begins June 1st and goes through August 10th with there being 11 episodes.
- Looking at the contestant bios, it looks like the usual ethnicities are represented, and there is the usual person that has lost weight, and someone who will be cooking healthy. Seems like they cast the same type people every year, and just plug in different contestants.
- The web series Star Salvation is back for a 2nd season, and this year it will be hosted by last year's winner Damaris Phillips and Geoffrey Zakarian.
- In a new twist, two fan favorites from past seasons will be in the first Star Salvation challenge and compete against the first eliminated contestant. There will be 6 episodes of Star Salvation, and the contestant that wins will re-enter the competition on July 13th. So we could see someone from a past season become this season's Food Network Star. I have heard people say they want an "all-star" type season, so this may satisfy them. If one of the 'fan favorites' wins, I am sure people will claim it is fixed.
- The challenges on the show include: a Cutthroat Kitchen competition, viral video challenge from YouTube Space LA, visit to Knott’s Berry Farm, Las Vegas buffet and pool party-themed challenges and an on-camera appearance on the Rachael Ray show.
- Guest stars include Food Network personalities Alex Guarnaschelli, Robert Irvine, Jet Tila and Rachael Ray.
- Four finalists will film pilots, which will be directed by Robert Irvine. Three pilots will be selected by Bob Tuschman, Susie Fogelson, Giada, Bobby, and Alton. These three will be voted on by the public with the winner getting their own Food Network show.
The Press Release is below along with tons of information such as pictures, cast bios, and episode descriptions