Sunday, June 16, 2013

Food Network Star Season 9 - Episode 3 Recap - Chopped

Photo - Food Network
In the third episode of Food Network Star, the contestants were each given an exotic ingredient, in which they had to identify and use that exotic ingredient in a dish.  The two contestants that did this the best did not have to compete in the next challenge, which was a Chopped competition.  No shock there as there is only room for four contestants in the Chopped kitchen, so they did two rounds of four.

After the exotic ingredient challenge, Rodney Henry and Damaris Phillips were determined the winners, so they did not have to compete in the Chopped challenge and were safe from elimination.  If you were hoping for a pie stuffed with basket ingredients or another shimmy, you were out of luck.  Here are some quick thoughts on how each of the contestants did during the Chopped challenge, in which Alex Guarnaschelli was a guest judge:

  • Nikki Dinki - Forced vegetables into her dish by adding broccoli, which ended up working for her.
  • Rodney Henry - Got to judge the Chopped competition and was safe from elimination. Loved when people did things relating to pie.  Used the adjective 'killer' a lot.
  • Chris Hodgson - Won points with the judges by helping out Stacey after he finished early.  Won the judges over after revealing he was a drug addict and alcoholic, and that food was how he got over it.
  • Connie "Lovely" Jackson - Apple pie filling on top of a salad = Rodney liking anything to do with a pie. 
  • Russell Jackson - The judges didn't like his food and his presentation went over the time limit.
  • Danushka Lysek - Has been on Chopped before, so should have had an advantage.  She made Alex Guarnaschelli angry when she revealed she was frying things out of boredom.
  • Viet Pham - Made some hot dog ramen
  • Damaris Phillips - Got to judge the Chopped competition and was safe from elimination.  Took it out on Danushka for her presentation, which Danushka didn't like.
  • Stacey Poon-Kinney - Went with a pot pie, which had Rodney pretty excited.... Until the pie dough and vegetables inside were raw.
  • Chad Rosenthal - Did well once again

After both of the Chopped rounds, the judges let everyone know who was safe, and they had a bottom 4 this for this episode, which included Danushka Lysek (Again), Russell Jackson, Lovely Jackson, and Stacey Poon-Kinney.

The judges told Lovely she needs to be more polished and was safe from elimination.  Stacey was the next contestant that they told was safe.  The judges then finally decided to eliminate Danushka Lysek, and she didn't seem too upset.  Everyone hoping for her elimination the past two weeks can rejoice.

Photo - Food Network

For the last two weeks, there was no Bob and Susie, and this week, no Giada De Laurentiis because she was filming something else in NY (probably the Today show).  Hard to take things seriously when the Food Network can't even book the judges of the show for the duration of the show.  They also didn't use focus groups or the dials this week, which is probably a good thing, but shows they aren't sticking to their own POV.

Are you finally glad to see Danushka go?  While I thought she had no shot to win, I thought she made the show interesting and it was entertaining to see how angry it got people that she wasn't eliminated the first two weeks. 


  1. There was no way for Danushka to get her own show if America is truly voting. Everyone hates her. And with the winners seeming to disappear after a season (or less) perhaps they're hoping to pack the top with likable personalities and not just drama.

  2. I'm delighted Danushka is gone. She acted as though the whole thing was a drain on her time. But I totally agree -- where on earth are Bob and Susie?

  3. I know everyone else is relieved Danushka is gone but I actually liked the fact she was candid and also fibally started seeing a potential in her, but in reality she was never going to win with that smug side if she was able to show her more realistic but humbling side then maybe there was a chance... she was right though that there isnt anyone quite like her and that did make her standout.. and actually this episode was interesting because this week Danushka wasnt the worst presentor nor worst dish but she came off simple and indifferent again so she had to go. Russell and Stacey actually had worse dishes than Danushka for sure, which sucks cause I still generally like both of them but their risks arent paying off so perhaps back to simplicity but twisting it their way. Chad I still think will derail at some point.. Although hes still doing good hes just staling out for me personally (unusual but interesting note: Danushka and Chad are the same age at 37, but Chad looks way older than that and Danushka looks way younger than that).. im happy Rodney did a creative twist of his pie theme and pulled it off... he does make me smile with his cool smooth talk but he may have had not hat much substance when judging everything was cool and killer. Damaris I think was being foreshadowed as a darkhorse this episode. Everyone kept noting her change of personality as a judge. Viet is still boring but I actually thought he produced the best dish this time. Aw my favorite moment this episode was Chris admitting to his past and im happy he did because it shone some light and subtance in him, he has a likeable personality already and showing where this drive comes from just propelled him. Nikki went back to being likeable and good, I loved that she said she watched all the episodes of chopped but never wanted to be on it! I really liked Lovely this week and im getting annoyed with the judges keep saying shes so fluid but comes off 'scripted' because I actually think how she presents herself in front of judges and in the confessionals is the same and thats just how she is... well now she needs to bring something deeper and she too can be come from behind. I still love this season a lot because Im still scratching my head of who will win... Chad may be a frontrunner but the ones that start off strong always faulter, I can still see many of them getting to the top so i dunno, Its down to a nitty gritty of the good ones and its just a matter of who can improve, who can deliver, and who can avoide messing up...

  4. WOOT---the wicked witch is GONE!

  5. I knew Danushka would never win and her presentations were so bad they couldn't justify keeping her much longer, but I actually found her absolutely hilarious. Much more appealing in a way than the rest of the brown-nosers on this show.