Thursday, April 18, 2013

Food Network Star Season 9 Begins June 2nd

Food Network Star Season 9
Photo - Multivu
We knew Food Network Star would be returning in June, and now there is a press release to confirm its
return on June 2nd.  Same format with having the same mentors, but I noticed this year it didn't say the winner would get a show produced by their mentor after last years ordeal.  A new twist this year is an eliminated contestant will have the chance to come back for another chance at victory (sounds like the idea is taken from Top Chef).  Also, viewers will get to vote again this year for the winner.

I will link to the press release, with photos of the contestants and details of the changes for the show this year below.  However I wanted to take a look some of the contestants set to appear on the show.  You will notice a lot of recycled talent that have appeared on the Food Network or other shows.  Lets take a look:

Rodney Henry Paula Deen
  • Rodney Henry has been on Throwdown, Chopped (Halloween episode 2011 - eliminated after first round), Paula Deen, and Down Home with the Neelys (pictured right)

  • Chris Hodgson was on the Great Food Truck Race Season 2- Truck Hodge Podge (Link)
    Viet Pham
  • Stacey Poon-Kinney was on Restaurant Impossible.  She is the owner of The Trails in San Diego, which appeared in Season 2 of the show.  I guess she wants more than $10,000 from the Food Network.

  • Connie "Lovely" Jackson was on Fox's Hells Kitchen.

  • Russell Jackson went against Jose Garces in Iron Chef America this season, and lost 71-62 (Link)

  • Danushka Lysek appeared on 24-Hour Restaurant Battle on Food Network a few years ago (Link).  Also appeared on Chopped on 7/31/2012 and was chopped after the entree round.

Recognize anyone else that I missed?  Rooting for any of the the people above?  Let me know in the comments.

*Nikki Dinki has also done some acting including appearing on an episode of Sopranos, but has not been on any food related shows.
*Danushka has also been on The Bachelor and Fear Factor

Video Preview of the Season:

Press Release Below (link to photos of contestants plus video):

New Roster Of Hopefuls Vie For Culinary Stardom In Season Nine Of Primetime Competition Series Food Network Star

Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay Return as Mentors/Judges in Season Premiere on Sunday, June 2nd at 9pm ET/PT Audience Vote Will Determine Winner, To Be Announced in Season Finale on Sunday, August 11th at 9pm E/PT

NEW YORK, April 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Food Network's long-running competition series Food Network Star returns for a ninth season this summer with fresh talent, intense challenges, and culinary icons Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay leading the charge to discover the best and brightest new faces in food television. In the one-hour season premiere on Sunday, June 2(nd) at 9pm ET/PT, the twelve contestants arrive in Los Angeles, ready to kick off the biggest audition of their lives to find out who has the personality, on-camera charisma and kitchen chops to follow in their idols' footsteps and helm their own show. In new twists, focus groups of Food Network fans will also have their say on contestant performances and one finalist will be brought back after elimination for another chance at victory. Viewers will again be able to vote online or via phone before the August 11(th) finale to determine who will win the ultimate prize: their own show on Food Network.

"Alton, Bobby and Giada are not only enduring stars, but also star-makers, so they are the ideal mentors to bring out the best in our talented cast," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network. "These newcomers are competing to achieve their dream, and their journey is fascinating to watch."

The finalists are: Nikki Dinki (New York); Andres Guillama (Waynesville, NC); Rodney Henry (Baltimore); Chris Hodgson (Cleveland); Connie "Lovely" Jackson (Los Angeles); Russell Jackson (San Francisco); Danushka Lysek (New York); Daniela Perez-Reyes (Haleiwa, Haw.); Viet Pham (Salt Lake City); Damaris Phillips (Louisville, Ky.); Stacey Poon-Kinney (San Diego) and Chad Rosenthal (Ambler, Penn.).
Each episode before the finale features a first-round Mentor Challenge, second-round Star Challenge and an elimination determined by the selection committee, including returning judges Food Network executives Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman.

In the season premiere, Alton, Giada and Bobby greet the finalists and immediately kick off their life-changing Star journey. Each finalist is challenged to refine their personal point of view and film a pitch tape in the season's first Mentor Challenge, and convincingly explain why they are the best person to win their own show. In the second round Star Challenge, each contestant must prepare and present one dish to Food Network executives Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman and a focus group of Food Network fans.

Upcoming episodes feature a Chopped-themed mystery ingredient challenge before Chopped judge Alex Guarnaschelli; an anything-can-happen live, on-camera test with E! News co-host Terrence Jenkins; a fresh Italian-themed challenge with a twist using Buitoni(R) products; a pantry cook-off with Kellogg's(R) Special K(R) Cereals and Snacks; a Star-making screening evaluated by The Hollywood Reporter Editorial Director Janice Min and Senior Writers Gary Baum and Leslie Bruce; and guest appearances by Guy Fieri and Robert Irvine.

For more Food Network Star, fans can visit all season long for on-set video, exclusive interviews and insider blogs, behind-the-scenes footage, photo galleries, peeks into finalists' personal journals, online polls, interactive quizzes, sweepstakes and more. Launching Memorial Day Weekend, fans can vote in the "Star Summer Showdown," pitting summer recipes from Star winners and judges against recipes from Chopped. Fans can also connect with one another and the show's stars on Facebook at and on Twitter with the hashtag #FoodNetworkStar.

All season long, Food Network will offer the Food Network Star TV SYNC EXPERIENCE. Partnering with Yahoo!'s second-screen mobile application, IntoNow, Food Network is creating a custom experience that will bring fans into the world of Food Network Star like never before. This unique two screen offering will allow viewers access to exclusive content from the set including commentary, photos, exclusive video, behind the scenes details, live polls, interactive trivia and special culinary tips. Fans can download the IntoNow app from the iTunes App Store or Google Play, then sync the app with the broadcast. The experience will also work when synced with encores and when watching the episode on DVR, VOD or online streaming.

Food Network Star is produced by LEG/Triage Entertainment.

FOOD NETWORK ( is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers' best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring and empowering through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to more than 100 million U.S. households and averages more than 9.9 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine has tripled its rate base and delivers a circulation of 1.5 million. Headquartered in New York, Food Network has a growing international presence with programming in more than 150 countries, including 24 hour networks in Great Britain, India, Asia and Africa. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), which also owns and operates Cooking Channel (, DIY Network (, Great American Country (, HGTV (, and Travel Channel (, is the manager and general partner.

SOURCE Food Network


  1. Danushka also competed on Chopped. She acted like she was half asleep and made comments about how life is so much more difficult for people as beautiful as she is. I sure hope she's improved her attitude since then, because I wanted to smack her. I actually cheered when she was chopped.

  2. Updated.. Thanks!

  3. Rodney Henry also competed on Chopped. He was chopped after the appetizer round.

  4. Still stinging from the last FNS pack of LIES about Justin's show we all wanted to see and to be produced by AB that didn't happen. Not sure I will get invested with my time and attention for another year only to feel disgusted w/FN after. FN never explained or apologized to fans who voted but they did a bait&switch after and left many of us feeling lied to and like we wasted our time. No apology or reason about the blatant hyped lie from last year - which shows they don't think much about the viewers or the integrity of what they do. Good they are not promoting the same prize of lies as last year - but it makes you wonder where the 'fix' may be in for this year..especially with all the recycled talent and no fresh unknowns. The line up makes it seem more of a rigged scripted staged gameshow and less of a fair competition for a new star. So I don't know if I (or many) will watch or vote - what is the point..we'll see.

  5. Danushka was easily one of the most obnoxious people ever on Chopped and that's saying a lot. I wanted to smack her, too. I can't think why FN wants to showcase her at all. Thank you, Matt, for doing the research and putting all the FN news in one place.

  6. If somebody had to have their restaurant 'saved' by Irvine and his merry band of misfits then how in the world do they have the capacity to be a food authority with a cooking show? What am I missing?

  7. someone needs to eat some humble pie.

  8. He was ripped off. Best Chicken foot ever. LadyIrish317 can suck it.

  9. In Stacy's defense hers was one of the few restaurants where Irvine actually liked the food. Her problem mostly stemmed from trying to prioritize time at home with her kids over spending the necessary time at her restaurant.

  10. HAMANDEGGS, all I did was note that Rodney Henry was chopped, which he was. Why are you angry at me?

  11. Thank you for clarifying i was having extreme de ja vu of a lot of the people in the comercial so im introgued so many of them atually have appeared on other shows.. and in general i like a lot of those people so this may be a great season to watch

    the bigger woman reminds me of Josie(from Top Chef) but a nicer not so bitchy version! that tough looking guy with the mohawk looks very familiar as well but the fact he had like no speaking time on that commercial tho makes me think hes an early out.. also are there less people this season or was it just how they edited it?

  12. Yeah i remember he was in the Halloween episode with Michelle Garcia another favorite of mine thats appeared in a few shows as well... they were both screwed over ultimately by that spacey hippy guy that ended up winning..

  13. Because she was a model so shes all look but i agree her personality wont get her far on the show.. unless shes been able to find energy and be more likeable..

  14. Yeah actually her situation was perhaps one of the best success stories of Resteraunt Impossible but her flaw was mainly because it was not the food that was he problem it was the expanding her resteraunt and not budgetting correctly that was hurting her ... even the makeover they say was perhaps one of the best since she kept her resteraunt in good condition it gave them more money to work with.... i dont believe shes on here because 'she needs more money' she has great success with the resteraunt but i believe shes more of a personality of a food network star but her cooking abilities is something we didnt really see on the RI since she was the manager/owner of the resteraunt so im wondering how she cooks..

  15. Ah ok yeah that guy with the mohawk is Russell Jackson rigt? He recently competed on Iron Chef America And lost to Joee Garces in battle Rhubarb.

    Connie Lovely Jackson was on season 6 of Hell's Kitchen but eliminated in the 4th episode placing 13th/17 overall..

    Apparently Nikki Dinki has an imdb page that claims she was in an episode of Sopranos but the page is very vague.. if she did act apparently it wasnt a successful career choice since shes known more for cooking (has a food blog and has done cooking radio shows)

  16. What did I say to make you angry? All I said was that he was Chopped -- which he was.

  17. Well, Michelle can only blame herself for forgetting a mystery basket ingredient, but I agree with you about the "winner." I suspect that most of the "herbs" he used weren't in his dish.

  18. And unless she cooks better than she showed on Chopped.

  19. Actually she didnt miss an ingredient in the halloween episode her downfall was a lackluster dessert when she specializes in desserts.. she missed an ingredient in her redemption episode, which she could have made it to dessert if she didnt forget the item.

  20. Danushka was on "The Bachelor" and a show on VH1 that had Ted Nugent in it, don't know the name of it.

  21. Ah, the VH1 show was called "Supergroup".

  22. Rodney is the clear favorite again, and people just don't want to be disappointed. When I try to picture anyone else in the episode actually carrying the weight of a cooking show, I cannot.

  23. Plus "Chopped," and this. Man, that is another level of reality whoredom!

  24. Chef Lovely was also on Rupaul's Drag U.

  25. WTF is YOUR problem? Why the need for such casual viciousness???

  26. She sure isn't THAT attractive

  27. OMG. I don't like ANY of them. Not even a little bit. FN has racheted up the

    poor failing show; obviously they have told them all to be hyper and over the
    top. Guess they just don't know their audience, or DON'T CARE that interest is not a part of their network

  28. Chris is on unique eats. It's on my TV right now.

  29. They have the chance to spread the knowledge to people about food waste.