Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Food Network Star Season 11 Begins June 7th With Some Changes

Photo - Food Network
Season 11 of Food Network Star will begin on June 7th, and the format and contestants were announced today.

The contestants competing this year are:
Emilia Cirker (Reston, VA), Jay Ducote (Baton Rouge, LA),  Christina Fitzgerald (St. Louis), Rosa Graziano (Los Angeles), Matthew Grunwald (Scottsdale, AZ),  Eddie Jackson (Houston, Michelle Karam (Santa Barbara, CA), Sita Lewis (New York), Alex McCoy (Washington DC), Arnold Myint (Nashville), Rue Rusike (Brooklyn, NY) and Dominick Tesoriero (Staten Island, NY).

 
Some of the changes this season:
  • Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis are the only regular mentors/judges this year.  Alton Brown will not be on the show this year.  I reported this in February and guessed it had to do with his live tour happening at the same time as filming.
  • There will be guest judges helping out Bobby and Giada this year, such as: Sunny Anderson, Richard Blais, Anne Burrell, Melissa d'Arabian, Bobby Deen, Duff Goldman, Alex Guarnaschelli, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro, Damaris Phillips, Rachael Ray, Geoffrey Zakarian and comedian David Alan Grier.
  • The web series Star Salvation is back where a competitor who wins will get to rejoin the competition.  This year it is hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli and Jeff Mauro.
  • It appears that America will not get to vote for this years winner judging by the episode descriptions. The last two episodes are described as:
    • "The  winner  of Star  Salvation rejoins  the  competition,  while  the  final  four  choose  a sous  chef  from  the  eliminated contestants to help them cook the single best dish of their life.  They each have one take to present the dish on-camera, and Bobby, Giada, Bob and Susie choose the final three that will each film a pilot directed by special guest Rachael Ray"
    • "Season Finale - The nine eliminated finalists return to view the pilots along with Bobby, Giada, Susie and Bob.  Each pilot is screened and after the selection committee deliberates, Food Network President Brooke Johnson announces the winner – the next Food Network Star."
  • The press release says that the winner will receive their own Food Network show, but it also said that last year, and Lenny is no where to be seen.  We probably know the reason why, so hopefully the Food Network properly vetted the contestants this year.


Below is a player that has a plenty of information on the season such as a video preview, photos of the contestants, bios on the contestants, and episode descriptions.  I am sure some contestants have appeared on other shows and I may do a post on that in the future:



Press Release From Multivu is below:

FOOD NETWORK STAR BACK FOR ELEVENTH SEASON WITH FRESH CAST OF HOPEFULS COMPETING FOR CULINARY STAR-DOM

Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay Return as Mentors/Judges in Season Premiere on Sunday, June 7th at 9pm ET/PT

Web Exclusive Companion Series Star SalvationAlso Returns to FoodNetwork.com 

Food Network competition series FOOD NETWORK STAR returns for an eleventh season this summer, with a cast of twelve talented hopefuls competing to become the next new face in food television. Food superstars Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay are back as mentors/judges, joined this season by a roster of top-notch special guests and judges. In the biggest audition of their lives, the finalists battle in a series of unique challenges designed to determine who has the personality, on-air charisma and cooking skills to win the ultimate prize - their own show on Food Network. Exclusive web series Star Salvation also returns, giving one eliminated contestant the opportunity to rejoin the competition. FOOD NETWORK STAR season eleven premieres on Sunday, June 7th at 9pm ET/PT and the winner will be crowned in the season finale on Sunday, August 16th at 9pm ET/PT.

"Each season, our viewers love following the journey of FOOD NETWORK STAR contestants as they develop from aspiring newcomer to confident pro," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President Food Network. "Having Giada and Bobby guide these finalists along is like watching a master class in food television."

The finalists are: Emilia Cirker (Reston, VA); Jay Ducote (Baton Rouge, LA); Christina Fitzgerald (St. Louis); Rosa Graziano (Los Angeles); Matthew Grunwald (Scottsdale, AZ); Eddie Jackson (Houston); Michelle Karam (Santa Barbara, CA); Sita Lewis (New York); Alex McCoy (Washington DC); Arnold Myint (Nashville); Rue Rusike (Brooklyn, NY) and Dominick Tesoriero (Staten Island, NY).

In the season premiere, the twelve hopefuls arrive in Los Angeles and are introduced to food icons Giada and Bobby. Each finalist must produce a 30-second introductory video and make their signature dish for a food festival to be held the next day. At the festival, attended by a crowd of Food Network fans, each video is screened and signature dish tasted by a judging panel including Giada, Bobby, Food Network executives Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman, and People Deputy Editor J.D. Heyman. For one finalist, their dream ends, while the remaining eleven continue on their journey. Upcoming episodes include a dazzling Fourth of July-themed celebration, intense food truck/social media challenge and do-or-die live television demo.

Special guests/judges this season include Food Network personalities Sunny Anderson, Richard Blais, Anne Burrell, Melissa d'Arabian, Bobby Deen, Duff Goldman, Alex Guarnaschelli, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro, Damaris Phillips, Rachael Ray, Geoffrey Zakarian and comedian David Alan Grier.

This season also features a fully-integrated, multi-platform partnership with Volkswagen, organically woven throughout the series and helping propel the competition. A FOOD NETWORK STAR contestant's success requires an uncompromised drive to stand out and shine, and having the right partners, tools and expert guidance allows this group to compete at the level they need to excel and, for one, to ultimately win.

Exclusive web series Star Salvation returns to FoodNetwork.com on Sunday, June 28th and goes live after FOOD NETWORK STAR east coast airing. Hosted by Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli and former FOOD NETWORK STAR winner Jeff Mauro, the six episode culinary competition gives eliminated finalists a chance to re-join the competition. The Star Salvation winner re-enters the competition on Sunday, August 9th.

Viewers wanting more can visit FoodNetwork.com/Star for exclusive interviews, photo galleries, blogs, behind-the-scenes footage, interactive quizzes and more. Fans can also connect with each other and the show's stars on Facebook at Facebook.com/FoodNetwork and on twitter with the hashtag #FoodNetworkStar.

Food Network Star is produced by LEG/Triage Entertainment.

FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) 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, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to more than 100 million U.S. households and up to 35 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine's rate base has grown tenfold and is now the second largest monthly magazine on the newsstand, with over 11.6 million readers. Headquartered in New York, Food Network has a growing international presence with programming in more than 150 countries, including 24-hour networks in the United Kingdom, Asia, and the Europe, Middle East and AFRICA (EMEA) region. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), which also owns and operates Cooking Channel (www.cookingchanneltv.com), HGTV (www.hgtv.com), DIY Network (www.diynetwork.com), Travel Channel (www.travelchannel.com) and GREAT AMERICAN COUNTRY (www.gactv.com), is the manager and general partner.

70 comments:

  1. Matthew Grunwald? Really? The most obnoxious chef ever to appear on Cutthroat Kitchen? I hope this doesn't mean he won the Evilicious tourney.


    And Arnold Myint was in season 7 of Top Chef. Charming guy whom I wouldn't mind seeing win NFS.


    Other names look familiar as well, but I can't place them for now.

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  2. A few from Masterchef and at least another from Cutthroat Kitchen

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  3. Thanks, Matt! Glad to know it's not just my déjâ vu.

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  4. So I guess based on what happened with Lenny and the fact that FN seems to hate Justin, they no longer want America to decide. Can't really say I blame them, since I would bet a lot of money that the voting has been rigged somehow and I don't mean by FN but by the finalists.

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  5. interesting that they may not have needed help??

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  6. It's a shame. Justin was probably their most interesting contestant, but he didn't fit that mold of warm and fuzzy but questionable food knowledge.

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  7. I am much more interested in watching Star Salvation than I am in the series itself. I love Chef Alex and Jeff Mauro!!

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  8. Several looked familiar to me and I imagine when the show starts, seeming them more will remind me where I've seen them. Matt, as always, thanks for all the scoop.

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  9. Would you say something about this guy to jog my memory? The name isn't ringing a bell. Matthew Grunwald I mean. I recognized Arnold Myint's name.

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  10. Gosh. Really not sure about this one.

    While the owners definitely are likeable and genuinely good-hearted people, I'm not confident that they can learn how to run a proper, profitable restaurant while they're actively running a restaurant. I mean, I wouldn't want to have a root canal performed by a dentist who's receiving his dental education at his dental practice. Ya know...???

    If I were Gigi and Semone, I'd strongly consider hiring someone who has some kind of management/leadership experience in the restaurant industry. And I'd place that person into some kind of position of 'general manager' or 'night manager' - something wherein their knowledge and experience is being put into use every single day.

    Gigi and her daughter really do seem very earnest and sincere in their desire to run their restaurant in the way that it needs to be run, but they'd benefit greatly from ongoing, accurate advice from someone who actually knows what he or she is doing in a restaurant. I'm having trouble understanding see how they're going to achieve and maintain any legitimate degree of financial successful in a long-term way without someone 'in charge' who knows what's going on.

    One of the taglines at the end of the episode said that business was up 40%. In and of itself, that's really encouraging. Maybe they really are learning as they go. It'll be interesting to see how things are going six months from now.

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  11. Their prices are good, maybe still too low even. 11 bucks for that pork shop dish with the sides.

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  12. Any more the show is less and less about food and more and more about Robert "fixing" people and relationships. Anyone know where he got his psychotherapy degree from ? A for-profit online University perhaps ? Looks like they are trying to get away from the old outworn concept before the new Ty Pennington exact same show starts in a couple weeks.What Ty Pennington and food /cooking have to do with each other I have no idea.

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  13. Looks like an annoying bunch.

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  14. I agree. What I don't understand is why they won't even give him a shot. Clearly millions of people love him...won't that mean high ratings????

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  15. Yeah, I had a problem wrapping my head around this episode too...


    For me, the general problem was that Gigi bought the restaurant because it was her "dream", and admittedly had no experience running one. I mean, who decides to do something like this without understanding that it's a venture that they need to be dedicated to 24/7? If you have to still work your day job to support what Robert coined "a hobby", then something's not right. And the fact that she's an accountant (something I can relate to) but couldn't tell Robert what any of her costs were was especially troubling. I'm not saying being an accountant guarantees a successful business, but IMO that's basic financial info she should have known.


    I also thought that they should have hired an experienced restaurant manager instead of bringing in family members, all of whom eventually left, save for Semone. It's all well and good that you want to make this a family business, but if no one has any experience then what's the point?


    Though the women said all the right things after the rescue, I didn't come away with the feeling the restaurant is going to be successful on a long-term basis. And the fact that one of the other taglines at the end of the show said that kitchen help has since been hired and fired was telling as well.

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  16. Matt Grunwald was most recently seen winning the first heat of the Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious tournament. He's an egotistical 20-something with an obnoxious smirk who likes to throw shade at anyone older than he is. In his first Cutthroat appearance, he kept referring to a not-much-older woman chef as "Mom." If you watch the Evilicious finale in a few weeks you'll see him and maybe get an idea as to why I don't want to see him as the next FNS.

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  17. Yeah, it's a shame that the "family dynamic" aspect of the show has now become the main focus and the food is taking a back seat. The same thing's been going on with Bar Rescue too for quite a while now...and it's gotten tiresome...same predictable script!

    Saw the promo for that diner show last night, too...the only reason I could think of that Pennington is involved is if he will be responsible for the remodels, if any, that these diners undergo.

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  18. Not a Cutthroat Kitchen fan, but I actually saw that episode and remember that he was even getting on Alton's nerves who told him to just quit talking.

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  19. Not Arnold Myint. He's terrific. I will definitely be on Team Arnold.

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  20. I got the impression FN didn't know what to do with Justin. He's not the "stand in a fake home kitchen and present recipes" type. In fact, I'd guess the very unusualness that got Justin the viewer vote is what made it so hard for FN to design a program for him.

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  21. NFNS is growing old.

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  22. Amanda Freitag will handle the food-business side; Ty will do the community support and construction part.

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  23. Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis



    No Thank You!!!


    Seeing the two of them ham it up on camera every week isn't going to probably help the affair rumors go away either.

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  24. Despite the controversy over Lenny, doubt he would have gotten a show. Guy is a walking cliche.

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  25. Nope. I can take Bobby in small doses, but with no Alton to even things out I think I'm done with this show.

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  26. The leaky boat thing was so ham-handed. 'Gee Robert, I'm not quite sure what you mean about my business 'sinking.' Can you take me out back to that dirty, stagnant canal and show me what you're talking about...???'


    That was just a stupid waste of time.



    Not to mention that down here in Florida, God knows what kind of dangerous local animal life could have been living in that canal: poisonous snakes, eels, gators.

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  27. Exactly.

    Even though Gigi is a bookkeeper, maybe she doesn't have the specific skill set to properly keep track of the finer points of restaurant numbers. All businesses have unique figures to track. So, I'll give her that much leeway.


    But...


    If this business is Gigi's 'dream' - her own words - then wouldn't you think that at the very least, she would be interested/capable in knowing how much money is coming in and how much money is going out...??? Just in a very broad, general sense...??? Like, this month we made/lost XXXX dollars.


    Robert might have summed it up properly when he said that for Gigi, the restaurant is more of a hobby, rather than a business.

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  28. Denise Martinez-RamundoApril 30, 2015 at 1:51 PM

    Andrea, not sure if I'm not contacting the right way or if you are not interested in speaking with me for MLM story I'm working on. As I mentioned I'm a producer with ABC 20/20 but I completely understand if you would not like to chat. Could you please let me know one way or the other by emailing me at Denise. Martinez-Ramundo@abc.com? I certainly don't want to keep bugging you. Many thanks. - Denise

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  29. Robert Irvine wrestling a gator. I'd watch that!

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  30. dwight mannsburdenApril 30, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    It's not like Ree and Giada need more money, but Lenny's definitely a walking HR lawsuit as well.

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  31. I'll probably watch, but Bobby and Giada won't be the reason.

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  32. Oh! The guy who thought saying "hashtag" was cute? Yeah. I so wanted Tom to win.

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  33. That's him: "hashtagYOLO." I, too was on Team Tom. I love that dancing chef! Jernard is my next now that Tom has been eliminated.

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  34. Well, she did say that in the first year she made money, and in the second year she broke even. So, she clearly had enough general P & L information to make the decision to expand into and renovate the space adjacent to the restaurant.


    I think this episode was a perfect example of why, if RI comes back for another season, the producers should revise the format and have Robert mentor new owners as well as rescue failing restaurants. It would have been interesting to see what direction this would have gone in if Robert had been around at the beginning to guide Gigi.

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  35. That boat shtick was boring.

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  36. Giada and Flay have no class.

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  37. I didn't remember who he was until you made the hashtag comment. Yes, very obnoxious.

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  38. I thought the name Arnold Myint sounded familiar. I don't really remember him, so he must not have been on very long. I don't remember anyone from Cutthroat Kitchen other than that goof with the tattoos on his neck that was on Hell's Kitchen, Tommy I think his name was. Most of them are cooks I don't want to see again.

    I'm going to have to find the season of NFNS with this Lenny character on it. Human train wrecks are fun to watch.

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  39. I haven't seen CK:E yet, and I'm going to skip that episode. I wish whoever came up with saying "hashtag" followed by anything would get a hashtag tagged in his forehead. I really hate that phrase.

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  40. Not even reason enough to see which one of them either pops the question or let it slip they've been kneading each other's dough first? lol

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  41. Wait...Irvine actually sunk a boat? How big?

    I would have loved to have been in the boat. I would have faked a dramatic panic attack, like I was deathly afraid of the water, then "passed out", going head first over the side and into the water, sinking straight to the bottom making them drag me out thinking I was drowning. Then when I was back on shore, I would have come around, then weakly motioned for Irvine to lean down to hear my dying words, "Can we stop this foolishness now and get back to fixing my restaurant?" I'd have done it!!

    There was a great make Irvine look foolish moment wasted.

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  42. Most of Lenny's ugliness wasn't on display during his FNS run; it was things he was doing off air. For instance, cooking a piece of meat while spouting sexual innuendos, eating chocolates from and Advent calendar while sitting on the toilet, and post on the Ron and Fez message board saying he wanted to have anal sex with Ree Drummond.

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  43. Considering the revelations about Bobby and his 20-something assistant, I'd say Giada is too old to spark Bobby's interest.

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  44. I think I might apply for the job as metaphor advisor for the show, since the producers think that these are so important to the program. Earlier this year, he used cards to 'teach' a poker player something; this time, he puts two women into a leaky boat.

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  45. I'm thinking they needed the help, and the decision to expand was fueled more by the ability to potentially earn more profit, thereby saving them from closure. Nonetheless, I'm not sure if Gigi and Semone can continue on or not, but I did like them. I am definitely rooting for them to be able to learn what's necessary, to really dedicate themselves to making the place succeed, so here's to a hopefully prosperous future.

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  46. Merlin_Arrowhead_AddictMay 1, 2015 at 12:23 PM

    Matt got away with cheating during the first round of his tournament too. He should have been eliminated right then. In the last couple of seconds, he dropped the net he was carrying and used both hands to adjust his dish.

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  47. But I loved seeing him trip!

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  48. Merlin_Arrowhead_AddictMay 1, 2015 at 12:39 PM

    True, but unfortunately, he got up :(

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  49. OMG not him please!

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  50. Terrible. Shut it off after 10 minutes. They are nice people but they have no chance! No point in watching.

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  51. Didn't she say it was her 'daydream' rather than just dream? To me, it almost seemed like she had money and decided she didn't want it burning a hole in her pocket any longer. I dunno. I hope they do well, regardless of what the circumstances were.

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  52. Yep, but that seems to be the trend now. American Chopper was like that too. I learned a lot about bike fabrication in the first few seasons, then they showed less and less. :p

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  53. Something minor I noticed was Robert's hair. I think he dyed it, if not before this episode, then it was more apparent in this one.

    The renovations were nice. A bit dark, but it fits with the jazz club atmosphere they were trying for. The cymbal wall was neat, as were the drum lights.

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  54. David RofulowitzMay 1, 2015 at 6:57 PM

    Well, hopefully Robert scouted out the area beforehand, lol! he kept them pretty close to shore, though I suppose anything still could have happened.


    Definitely a waste of time; Robert had already explained to Gigi that her daughter was overworked. I don't understand why he didn't spend some time with Gigi helping her hire a competent manager, rather than beating an already dead horse.

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  55. Richard JohnsonMay 2, 2015 at 4:57 AM

    I'm watching that episode now. Comcast has CT:E in Season 7 and I've apparently watched one episode of Season 8 already. No wonder I couldn't find it.

    I remember #twerp now. Watching him take a nose dive was worth watching.

    They really are pulling out all the stops on the sabotages. It's hard to decide which was the best...the rocking canoe or the mine cart. Yeah..mine cart. Chef Robert was hilarious in it.

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  56. I, for one, am glad that Alton is not on the show this year. I used to be a fan, but not so much anymore. He has brought his Cutthroat Kitchen persona into the show and that's not good. I am not so sure abut Bobby, but I wish they could replace Giada.

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  57. I miss "Good Eats" Alton, who seems to have been murdered by "Cutthroat Kitchen" Alton. The former was fun, good natured and interesting. The later is lame, stupid and a cliche. It is so disappointing to see someone who was once really fun to watch turn into this idiot who loves tapping his fingertips together.

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  58. Will people feel it's rigged this year? Will we see Giada call an attractive female contender a pageant girl? Will someone who does barbecue or grilling be eliminated because Bobby already does it? Will Susie be swooning over anyone with a "story"? Will Bob Tuschman be so focused on camera presence that people will feel a few other better cooks are getting thrown out the window? Also, I won't miss Alton at all. He had gotten much to snappy and egotiscal for my taste. Him being gone is positive in my book. All these guest judges, however, are in my opinion a negative. Too many fingers in the pie, so to speak.

    I hope this years contestants are more down to earth. We don't need another Lenny and Justin was horribly monotone and nearly expressionless. How people could ever want to vote for that is beyond me.

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  59. Pffft. It's fellow rebel-hipsters and wannabe's that like him. Fried Octopus, anyone? Calling some weird concoction of food that almost no one would really serve to their family or friends isn't cool just cuz someone might CALL it original. Plus, he sounds so "flat" when he speaks. This is people's idea of a Star?!? Ughh!

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  60. Let's hope that whoever wins this next season does NOT get another travel and stuff yer face show. Enough already.

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  61. Can't stand Mauro. If every meal can be a sandwich, then you or I can easily do it already and we don't need him. The whole concept was bad from the get-go. Plus, he tries too hard to be funny.

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  62. It won't be so bad. At least Alton is finally gone. I wont miss his bossy jabbering.

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  63. Hoping they *will* have the star-talk blog (besides the discussion here) like they did last year.

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  64. I absolutely agree with you. I would like to know if FN suggested or required the changes or if Alton himself was affected by changes in his personal life or what. He was very grumpy and not very likable the last year or two even before Cutthroat Kitchen began.

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  65. Check it out at: http://blog.foodnetwork.com/star-talk/2015/04/29/food-network-star-season-11/#idc-container. If that doesn't work, just try: blog.foodnetwork.com/star-talk . Sound off. Join the fun.

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  66. Oh, is he the guy that actually SAYS "hashtag" out loud? I didn't mind him too much on CTK because they're suppose to be obnoxious, but I don't think I could stand him in much of any other context. Plus he looks like the first love of my life who crushed my heart far too many years ago, so that's definitely a big strike against him. :)

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  67. Princess StarlightMay 4, 2015 at 11:44 AM

    You're not alone, my boyfriend says hashtag a lot, and it drives me up a wall. Hashtag doesn't sound cute at all in real life or on the internet.

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  68. It makes sense online as a means of tagging and facilitating searches. Saying hashtag is douchy.

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  69. That would be a great title for a show - Travel And Stuff Yer Face.

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  70. Agreed. He's a little too cocky as well.

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