Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Food Network Star Season 8 Recap

Well, season 8 of Food Network Star is now complete with Justin Warner declared the winner during Sunday's finale.  His new show is scheduled to air in the Fall, but right now, there is no set date.  So lets take a look back at the season as a whole.

Food Network Star Finale Season 8The order of eliminations this season were: Cristie Schoen, Kara Sigle, Josh Lyons, Eric Lee, Judson Allen, Linkie Marais, Emily Ellyn, Malcolm Mitchell, Martita Jara, Nikki Martin, Ippy, Martie Duncan, Yvan Lemoine, and Michele Ragussis.  Nikki and Ippy were eliminated during the same week to get us down to the final 4, and Martie, Yvan, and Michele were eliminated during the finale.  Martie was eliminated first during the finale, but I don't think it was because she had the least votes, but because they wanted 1 person for each mentor in the end.

This season was the first time Food Network Star used mentors, and they were Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, and Giada De Laurentiis. While there were some positives to having mentors, I did think it took away from the competition a bit.  We didn't get to see as much of the contestants as usual as they had to give a lot of airtime to the mentors and their coaching.  I would have liked to have seen more clips from the contestants when not doing challenges, such as some of the clips shown during the finale of them talking trash and making fun of each other.  Another negative of using mentors was the need to keep the teams even throughout the competition, which made eliminations very predictable.  Every third week, you knew what team was going to have a member eliminated so the teams would stay even and the mentors could stay around until the end.  Some argue that Team Alton had the top 3 competitors (Justin, Martie, Emily), but due to the way they had to do eliminations, could not be final three.  I guess the Food Network tried to get around it with keeping 4 finalists at the end, but it didn't seem to have an impact.

Do you like the mentor approach to the Food Network Star?  Alton Brown has said on Twitter that he probably wouldn't do it again, so I am guessing there would be some different mentors if they keep doing it this way.  Who would you like to see as a mentor?

Image - Foodnetwork.com


  1. I think Guy Fieri will be one of the next mentors. In an interview I saw, he talked about how he would Ike to do it, and he is a popular personality and would probably be entertaining and also genuinely care about people, like Alton.

  2.  Yeah, I'm not buying the Alton is a loving mentor thing.  Alton ended up being the disappointment of the season for me.  IMHO he sabotaged Martie's pilot (which was clearly WAY underproduced and hacked to death).  I suspect it was because he was already in love with producing Justin's show and was mad he was having to produce two pilots---one of which he didn't want to have to produce (high tech cuisine vs party show).  I'm okay with Justin's win but geez, Alton did you have to destroy Martie in such an ugly way to get there?  Martie's strong finish was a large part of the show's charm this year.  And the voting thing....yeah, well that didn't work out so well, did it?  If you can't post the vote totals you're probably manipulating the results.