Sunday, June 23, 2013

Food Network Star Season 9 - Episode 4 Recap

Photo - Food Network
In the fourth episode of Food Network Star, the nine remaining contestants were split into teams of three to create a menu and a 60-second movie trailer for a focus group of movie enthusiasts.  The focus group decides which meal they want to try based on the trailer, and then vote on which menu they liked the best.

This sounds like a challenge straight from Rachael Vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off and that is not a good thing.  The three different teams were: 1. Musical - Lovely Jackson, Chris Hodgson, and Rodney Henry, 2. Romance - Damaris Phillips, Viet Pham, and Chad Rosenthal, 3. Western - Russell Jackson, Nikki Dinki, Stacey Poon-Kinney.  Nikki Dinki should have an advantage over the other contestants, because as we know, she has done some acting in the past.

Here are how each of the contestants did during the creation of their trailer and the cooking of their menu:

  • Team Western - Received the most orders
  • Nikki Dinki - Tried to be patient with Russell as he botched lines.  Made the appetizer for her team and went with chili, which impressed Alton Brown.
  • Russell Jackson - Fumbled over his lines in the Western trailer, but came across fine after it was edited.  His spaghetti was disappointing.
  • Stacey Poon-Kinney - In charge of dessert and made a smores popcorn dessert, which the judges seemed to like.
  • Team Musical - Received the second most orders
  • Rodney Henry - The one who has a musical past, but you can't understand him when he's singing.  Of course made pies sticking to his theme, and the pie didn't work.
  • Chris Hodgson - Seemed to want to take over as team leader for the Musical crew.  Made some lobster mac and cheese, which had too many flavors.
  • Connie "Lovely" Jackson - Made doughnuts out of pizza dough, which Chris was not a fan of.  The judges also weren't fans of the heavy doughnuts that they couldn't bite through.  The dials seemed to say that the crowd liked Lovely tonight though.
  • Team Romance - Received only 10 orders
  • Viet Pham - Responsible for dessert and did berries with CO2 yogurt, which did not impress many people.  Alton Brown felt he is not growing week to week.
  • Damaris Phillips - Made shrimp and grits as her romantic dish, which didn't have enough seasoning.
  • Chad Rosenthal - Made some korean style wings which a lot of people liked.  Came off as a bit creepy during the trailer.  Bobby couldn't hold his laugh in when critiquing his acting.

Giada De Laurentiis was back this week to join Alton Brown and Bobby Flay with the judging of the contestants, but still no Bob and Susie.  Giada's squealing laugh was a bit much during the trailers.

Although the contestants competed as teams, they judged them as individuals and the bottom three consisted of Lovely Jackson, Viet Pham and Rodney Henry.  Two members were from the Musical team and one from the Romance team despite the Romance team having the least orders.  Viet Pham was told he was safe, leaving Rodney Henry and Lovely Jackson as the bottom two.  The judges then told Lovely Jackson that she would not be continuing on in the competition due to not growing in the competition and making a bad doughnut.

Lovely Jackson Eliminated

What do you think about the elimination this week?  Do you think there is any chance Lovely will be able to make it back with the "Star Salvation" that is pretty much a Top Chef ripoff?

Here is the link to the first episode of Star Salvation.


  1. Well I only got mid way through and the Great Central Coast Blackout happened! But im a spoil sport and already read who was eliminated anyways..

    From what I saw tonight I actually do like Lovely as an entertainer, she actually was the best in her group in the video but yeah fried pizza dough is just a big question mark on her part...... its not even glam its glob! In retrospect Lovely was the first to speak in the episode so perhaps they were foreshadowing her elimination all along giving her more air time before being eliminated which is typical for reality shows to do when theres still lots of people is to focus on the ones in danger..

    It seemed rigged in an interesting way tho. Certain people were perfect for their theme, some were out of their element but coped well but really would have done way better on another team... Lovely probably could have survived this week if she were on Romance, Chad on Western, and Nikki on Musical (but she did fine on Western anyways) those switches would have made each team more dynamic and appropriate even if it were supposed to be 'random' ... i dont think it were could you imagine Musical being Chad, Russell, and Viet?! Although culinary-wise possibly brilliant but the video would have been mad awkward! The teams had to be pre determined imo...

    Its interesting for Viet and Lovely because in their videos they were perhaps the best... Romance was awkward in general and Damaris and Chad's lines were just ridiculously bad sexual innuendo! Although funny it wasnt really supposed to be so it was massive fail on their part but I dunno Im still on the fence on Chad is it natural charm or cheesy goodness thats carrying him?!... both Lovely and Viet though bombed their desserts.. and Rodney just failed where he should have... you really couldnt understand him so I dont get why he just messed up but sometimes its that curse of being on top one week and then letting nerves of staying there get to you...

    Oh by th way everyone: Dont worry power has restored after about 3 hours (for now) ... so not too bad on response but long enough to make some worry.. the fact it was a whole coastline and a few counties wide is pretty astounding though!

  2. I knew Lovely was gone the minute she made the donuts from pizza dough! Even I'm a better pastry cook than that.

    I notice Giada slipped and pronounced the word "spaghetti" correctly. So that whole "spageetee" thing is a total affectation. She's slipped a bit in my estimation recently.

    And hey, we bet Bob back next week! Hopefully Susie will be back soon as well.

  3. Considering the envelopes with the "tickets" were already on the tables, and the contestants were likely lined up by production before marching into the studio, I'd have to agree that the "draw" was rigged. If all the envelopes had been in a big basket, and each competitor had to draw one in turn, I'd be much more convinced the teams were random.

  4. I can't get past the audience scenes anymore. The forced reaction shots, the dubbed-in laughter and applause, the way they try to make 25 interns sitting in an auditorium look like a sold-out theater...blech.

  5. I missed that part because of the blackout but i imagine editing did get cheap this season because they did the same in the burger bash episode