Sunday, July 5, 2015

Food Network Star Episode 5 Elimination Plus Star Salvation

Photo - Food Network
On tonight's episode of Food Network Star, the remaining contestants had to swap ingredients in the mentor challenge and prepare a dish for Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis.  In a later challenge the finalists had to work in pairs to collaborate on a dish that blended their culinary styles, and present that dish to first-time daters from Match.  Anne Burrell was on hand to help Bobby and Giada judge the second challenge.

After all of the sponsors got their products showcased throughout the show it was time for the judges to decide their top and bottom contestants. Eddie and Alex and Jay/Emilia were declared safe and Rue/Arnold and Dom/Michelle were up for elimination.  The judges decided that Rue Rusike would be the contestant eliminated.


In Star Salvation, Christina Fitzgerald, Matthew Grunwald, Rosa Graziano and Rue Rusike all competed for a chance to rejoin the competition. The link to the video is here, and Rosa Graziano was eliminated and will not be the next Food Network Star.

113 comments:

  1. Ugh, just eliminate Arnold already. He's overdone and ANNOYING. Michelle seems like she won't make it much longer, although she was one of my preliminary favorites. So disappointed that Rue was eliminated, I really enjoyed her cooking style and warm personality, but I was saddened that she wasn't able to be personable with the camera like she was with the judges.

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  2. What saves Dom every time is Giada's weird attachment to him..."There's a side to him that's just so sweet/tender." Yeah, well where was that "sweetness" when he was giving Michelle the cold shoulder in the kitchen?? Can't believe Rue was the one to go home.

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  3. I agree with your comment about Rue. Seems that FN is trying to throw away all the good contestants. How the heck could Rue win the mini-challenge and get eliminated at ththe episode's conclusion?

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  4. I can understand why Dom and Michelle behaved the way they did. They were on the defensive, both having been put on the bottom and being put together. I'm glad neither of them went home on this challenge. I thought Arnold should have gone home. His food was bad, he and Rue didn't prepare for the presentation, and he put her on the spot by suddenly turning it over to her after saying very little.

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  5. Along that same line, while she likes Dom, do you also feel that in an opposite way, that Giada does NOT want any other Italian female "invading her territory", hence the elimination of Rosa. You can always SAY anyones food doesnt taste good. How would we ever know? just a thought.

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  6. My apologies for the repetition. Appears to not go thru, then i try again...and it all goes through.

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  7. Dom was a jerk and ruined his only component on the plates, he should have gone home.

    Rue hasn't shown as much ability as I hoped (I find her POV intriguing) but she won the earlier challenge, didn't offend anyone with her presentation and had food that might have been bland but wasn't over-cooked. She could have been better but she wasn't the worst.

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  8. I liked him at first, but now he is coming off as all style and no substance. Seems like he spends a inordinate amount of time on presentation and doesn't make sure his food is cooked properly.
    He can go next I think.

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  9. Giada is incapable of being impartial when it comes to Italian guys. They are her Achilles heel.

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  10. That's what I'd like to know, too.

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  11. The least Rue could have done was made clear the difference between southern Africa, which is a region, and South Africa, which is a country. The judges kept incorrectly referring to Rue's cuisine as South African, but that's not what it is.


    Also, taking Alex to task for not saying what's in Chinese five-spice was total crap. Television chefs use five-spice all the time and simply refer to it as such without verbally taking it apart.


    And it's interesting to me that Arnold did not want to work with Michelle, and she and Dom were butting heads big time. I have to wonder whether there's something negative about her that the editors haven't been allowing us to see. It even makes me rethink her fight with Matt earlier in the season.

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  12. I've liked Dom and had a soft spot for him until last night. His macho, condescending attitude in the kitchen with Michelle was inexcusable, though I think he later regretted behaving that way.

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  13. Food-wise, we have to go with what the judges tell us. In those cut-away interviews Dom does fine. He's frozen on camera before and last night he committed a cardinal sin: dissing the main challenge sponsor. There is editing so maybe there was more going on in the kitchen. But the main challenge was sponsored by a matchmaking service, so what does Dom do? "The husband can't get a word in edgewise." First, he's publicly calling out his team mate and secondly telling all the guys there, who are there looking to become husbands, that marriage sucks. It's one thing to not have a strategy and fumble around, but he's gone beyond that.

    Rue hadn't developed her African cuisine, which is a shame because I don't know anything about that aside from Ethiopian food. An African food centric show might actually be interesting.

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  14. Every comment spot on, as usual.
    The five-spice thing was just absurd.
    Very interesting theory about Michelle...there's something about her that bugs me, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

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  15. You would think Bobby or Giada would have said the five spices in it since they were so offended (I think it was probably editing though). I don't think the five spices were ever stated on the show, unless I missed it.

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  16. Television chefs use five-spice all the time, but I've never heard one specifically identify the five spices.

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  17. Giada is incapable of being impartial when it comes to guys. They are her Achilles heel.



    There, I fixed it for you :)

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  18. Dom comes across as seriously insecure D-Bag. I guess there's a certain segment of the female population that finds that attractive and would watch his show.

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  19. I'm enchanted by Rue...and, yay, she won a spot in Star Salvation!

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  20. I guess I beg to differ a bit from most of the other posters. I feel Michelle was totally in the wrong. Initially Dom suggested risotto on his side (which is a technique not a flavor) to represent his pov. He asked Michelle what flavors she wanted to incorporate to showcase her pov. Instead of hearing him (I think it was a great idea btw) she stopped communications and just wanted to have attitude that he was taking over the dish. Then they were never going to recover and did not. She was in the wrong for taking all the talking points of his pov and flavors. If he was going to fail it was his place to fail. Whatever we did not see and I assume there was much, Dom was pissed by the time they presented. Dom is a good cook, it makes me wonder what more was happening that caused him to overcook risotto that badly. Then Michelle's hissy fit and walking out threatening to quit?! Give me a break. Bye. It was clear no one wanted to work with Michelle, Dom just lost the draw. Her behavior to me was just appalling.

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  21. Eddie and Alex worked well together. I can almost visualize them doing a show together. I would watch it too!

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  22. Winning the preliminary challenge is no guarantee against elimination unless that is in itself the prize. Many contestants on Top Chef have won Quickfires and gone down in flames in the main challenges, avoiding elimination only because they won immunity.

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  23. Unfortunately, she still didn't clearly deliver her POV.

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  24. His arc is one of a guy on his way out. But winning early always makes a strong impression and can buy you extra time. If he lands in the bottom again though, I think he's done.

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  25. It was too little, too late. She had one good showing amongst a sea of poor ones. I liked her, but it was clear this wasn't going to happen for her.

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  26. Very true. That said it was his favorite ingredient so shouldn't he know what's in it?

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  27. My take: the bottom 4 all deserved to be there and can't be long for this world.


    Rue is pleasant and says the right things in interview and outside of competition but gets flustered and doesn't communicate well in competition.


    Dom gets flustered and can't present. Either he runs away from the camera or he overcompensates like last night.


    Arnold is flamboyant but it's hard to tell if there's substance behind him or not. (of course, he could just be edited that way)


    Michelle is another Dameris: pleasant but not a lot of depth. (Try watching a Dameris show; the charm fades after a few episodes.)


    Prediction: Dom will flame out next. Arnold has potential to be great but it looks like they're setting him up to go home. Michelle strikes me as someone that will show up on Cooking Channel after Star. Emelia could turn into a dark horse to win (or end up on Cooking Channel.) Eddie, Alex, and Jay have some flaws but they're my top 3 to date.


    Actually, I'd be okay with several of these people to show up on Cooking Channel to replace the unwatchable group of C-list celebs who got a cooking show last season on that network. Let that network be a farm team of sorts. Rev. Run and Tia back to back make me pine for the days of Food Jammers.

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  28. My take on the five spice scene was they wanted to take Alex's ego down a few pegs. Putting him on the spot for such a ticky-tack thing sends the message to quit trying to show off and just cook.

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  29. The thing is I don't remember Dom being that way with anyone else so far. Maybe that's just creative editing one way or another. I think the issue was more what he said it was - as a home cook she's seen as a lower order of cook, and in a situation where you have to rely on her, that's a risk. And in the BBQ competition she straight up said she wasn't used to turning out food fast. So without commenting on the way he handled it, I don't think his concerns were unreasonable. To comment on the way he handled it, I think he could have handled it better, but he's also there to win the contract, not Miss Congeniality. Also I think his concern with how she described all the food, leaving him nothing, was legit too. However that tripped his anxiety, which escalated things. And if anyone should know how you can get out there and flub your lines due to anxiety, it's him. But you can't see that in the heat of anxiety that has boiled over. Even he recognized that later.

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  30. "How the heck could Rue win the mini-challenge and get eliminated at the episode's conclusion?" One thought there is that they kept trying to get her to show them her cultural POV in the food and she kept failing. She cooked a good venison deconstructed pot roast in the mini-challenge, but that doesn't do anything to showcase her POV. When it came time to show that POV again, she again didn't. I have to side with the judges on that one. I still have no idea what south African cuisine is. She's at a bit of a disadvantage there, because everybody knows Italian - - you don't have to introduce people to Italian. Everybody has at least heard of Cajun even if they only know gumbo or something, so it's a familiar concept. Same with, vaguely, Caribbean, or Southern, or maybe Thai since Thai restaurants are everywhere. I never see any south African restaurants though, so she starts at a big disadvantage there. I think a show on that cuisine would be a great and interesting addition to the FN show lineup, but I agree with the judges that at some point you have to deliver. A common question on this series is how far do you promote someone on promise/hope? At some point results delivered have to trump the possibility of future results.

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  31. Yeah, it just wasn't clicking and didn't look like it was going to. Nice idea, didn't work out. Some people stumble but pull it together, others never quite get it together and are rightly sent home.

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  32. The thing is, what does that tenderness get you? When they talk about that tenderness and vulnerability, and the contrast between that and Staten Island tough guy, are they actually thinking ahead to whether those things would be part of making him a compelling FN host? Or are they just kind of caught up in the face to face interaction with him in the moment? Because his anxiety problem at presentation time is a huge one for a candidate for this kind of work. And I mean Anxiety with a capital A here. If that's not neurochemical in nature it's got to be close. Whatever it is, it takes the wheel when he needs to be driving. That's not typically something you do an about face on in six weeks or whatever it is. Try to picture him as a versatile host on various FN shows the way these other personalities bounce around. Just can't see it. I don't think this is a great crop of contestants but I can't see him making it because of that huge issue. Even Giada's patience will have to run out at some point, and Bobby's likely will sooner. Rue showed you only get so many chances despite promise.

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  33. Works for Robert Irvine and Gordon Ramsay. Abuse and dickery seem to be good drama fuel.

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  34. I'm not a fan of Arnold's personality and hope he loses, but he seems like one of those types of contestants who could stumble, be uneven, but be adaptable enough to pull it out eventually and survive to the final showdown. Some people don't screw up loudly enough to stick out. At this point the show is still about getting rid of the obvious problem people, with multiple people per week realistically deserving the axe but only one getting it at a time. I think he survives that phase. Dom is certainly a great candidate at this point. Michelle could get lucky on the strength of her food but otherwise seems shaky. Alex and Michelle have yet to be compelling, though Michelle has improved.

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  35. During this phase of the competition "just sort of getting by" is a safe position relative to "person with obvious problems". Those people get cleared out first. People like Alex and Arnold meanwhile can skate by in the background and potentially improve, but at a minimum survive. Later that won't be good enough but I'd take it for now. Low profile.

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  36. Not sure I follow. Ramsey is all an act for American TV. Watch his BBC shows and he's a totally different person. Shoot, you can simply watch him on Master Chef and see that he's a good guy. Irvine? He's just copying American Ramsey.


    Dom seems to truly be a insecure D-Bag, the northeast is littered by guys like him.

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  37. I think Michelle is just garden variety melodrama. We all know this person. We went to school with multiples of her. We may work with her now. She's not horrible but it's that person who just taxes you with making everything into too much drama. Plus as a home cook she's in a sort of inferior position to some of the pros in the room and lacks that self confidence. I don't think that adds up to Food Network Star in the end.

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  38. Yeah I was waiting for Bobby to drop that shoe and then... he didn't.

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  39. Just go in and edit.

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  40. It would have been interesting to see how Dom would have done if Michelle hadn't talked about all of the food and left him nothing like he said. That would have been less anxiety pressure but he may still have stumbled and fumbled in front of that big group. I bet he would have but we'll just have to wait until next time.

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  41. Ever notice how other Italian WOMEN just dont seem to cut it with her? Guys, yes. Women, no. Competition? Catfight? Invading territory? And why do very attractive women get eliminated so quickly? Last year, Donna Sonkin-Shaw. This year, Christina.

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  42. Yeah, the storming out thing is just a childish pressure tactic to get everyone to shift and say "noo please come back" so she can sulk and act hurt and get people on her side and force Dom to give ground. They both made mistakes and both got overly emotional so maybe it's a wash. Both need to go.

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  43. Alex seems too much like the Encycolpedia Brittanica guy to me if not exactly annoying in that way. He seems like a nice guy but just isn't someone I could see myself wanting to tune in to watch. Almost like too scholarly and not enough warmth or personality. Seems like he'd be a good instructor but not a great host.

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  44. But that's the point. As an act, it works for both guys. People tune in to see them shout at people and berate them. With Dom, at least in what appears to be one isolated scenario so far with the show's least-wanted albatross, we've got some of that behavior as raw material. I know the northeast guy you're talking about - an objectionable kind of character - but I'm saying objectionable sells. Conceptually "The Douchebag Chef" or "Jackass Guido's Kitchen" could work by deliberately Jersey Shoring us with a guy people love to hate. I think that's at odds with this sweet vulnerable side Giada and Bobby are noticing, and the otherwise mostly nice guy the rest of us have seen, but I'm just saying that seemingly counterintuitive show concept has already proven itself many times over.

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  45. Well-said!
    At this point, I say Dom, Michelle and Alex are overall weaker than the rest because I see them as A) having a harder time doing well in both food & presentation in same challenge and B) being less consistent or too often on bottom 3.

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  46. Left it that way in case the person I replied to had already read the original and was replying.

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  47. LOL, very well-said! Guess I misunderstood you. Thanks for clarifying.

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  48. Oh, I agree with you. She has a real problem with it, and I don't get it, because she's articulate and smart. I just like her and wish she'd follow the advice she's been given repeatedly.

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  49. You made some good points.

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  50. I always heave a sigh of relief when I see Ramsay in UK programming. It's a shame he sold his soul to Fox, because that's not my Ramsay, and I think it's sad that there's a perception that Americans are only entertained by shouting, abusive types backed by overly dramatic background music and introduced by an overwrought narrator.

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  51. I always heave a sigh of relief when I see Ramsay in UK programming. It's a shame he sold his soul to Fox, because that's not my Ramsay, and I think it's sad that there's a perception that Americans are only entertained by shouting, abusive types backed by overly dramatic background music and introduced by an overwrought ham-acting narrator.

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  52. kishan harripersadJuly 6, 2015 at 1:53 PM

    At this point in the competition, anyone who still can't do a proper presentation should be eliminated without question. When you have your own show no one can taste your food so it makes no sense that they keep Dom around just because he can "cook".

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  53. I agree he presents very clinical. I just think Eddie definitely raised his (Alex's) level. Together they were great. I have to admit a truth....at this point I think Eddie has what it takes to win this competition. All around personable and cooking skills. I also think Jay is high in the running.

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  54. Seems to me.....Alex is trying way to hard to impress us with his world travels, and he never lets us forget it either, it smacks of bragging. Maybe he thinks it qualifies him as a food authority and that is his game plan to win NFNS.

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  55. Ramsey is not an act, he really is that bad.
    Google

    The 20 Most Despicable Things Gordon Ramsay Has Said and Done, Ranked

    Also on YouTube they have old videos of him physically pulling and pushing an employee around

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  56. Surprised no one brought up Giada style of...dressing...they were on twitter complain ing about it

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  57. I think the front cutout was meant to draw attention away from her abnormally large head. Half the reason I watch this show is to see what strange outfit Giada is going to wear next.

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  58. Are you kidding? We constantly "converse" about Giada and her wardrobe, which alternates between clothing suitable for a preteen and cleavage-baring pornwear.

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  59. Agree w/ you about Alex...he needs to drop the pretentious words, but, try as I might, I will never be an Emilia fan.

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  60. It was brought up in another thread but not in this one, and I'm glad you brought it up again, because the focus is supposed to be on the contestants, their skill, and their presentation and cooking ability. Giada does her best to make the focus on her, rather than on the contestants, with her provocative dressing and look-at-me attitude. I'm amazed that Bob and Susie let her get away with it. She has the food knowledge, but I won't be watching in the future if they retain her as a Judge.

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  61. Well I mean Alex has to go with something. I think the sandwich thing was a terrible and limiting idea that could use some help. He's got to work some kind of angle, give people some kind of reason to tune in and watch him. I think under normal circumstances, it is easy to be "that guy" when talking about one's world travel. "You know, the hill tribes of Borneo have an interesting custom that I learned when I was made an honorary member for a fortnight..." but I think we've seen the world traveler angle before, or a single-country specialist. It's something at least.

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  62. Thank you for yer comments. Enjoyed reading them.

    Where Jay has it over Eddie is simply: enthusiasm. (Although I wish Jay wouldn't do that had-wringing gesture so much).

    I could see Jay, Eddie and Emilia all 3 in the finals, although I admit I don't *know* that it will go that way. Why those three?

    Eddie, because he is more consistent than several others--but--I have also heard him do a presentation where he sounds a bit flat, as if he were just reciting or reading off of a script. Jay is more upbeat, and aside from inconsistent meat this time, and his earlier gumbo, has usually gotten food AND presentation both done together in the same challenge. Dom, probably has outcooked Jay (and probably Eddie) if you count every challenge to date, except for this latest challenge. But he's been on the bottom 3 times. So again, I look for food and camera-presence, both together, and for the guys, those two "get it done" most often.

    For the ladies, Emilia is overall the strongest, both in good food and good presentations, together. Michelle has been connecting, but weak on food. Emilia is showing Growth! She already started smiling more last week. Kept it going this week and gave a good story. When her flavors are good, they're very good. She is showing that she is taking mentor advice to heart and improving. At least she has it over the other women at this point. Things may change...or they may get more n ailed down as we go. But for me, now, thats why I pick those 3.

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  63. I agree about Michelle's getting upset and walking out. I thought it was too dramatic.

    Where I might cut Michelle some slack is....she knew that Dom has a history of freezing up. Now she is paired up with him. If he freezes up again this time, she may be taken down with (or because of) him. Team challenges can be bad that way. So, I could see her wanting to make sure that "it all got said" in front of the audience. I acknowledge that as you say, if Dom was going to fail then it was his place to fail. I also agree that Dom is a good cook and this was unusual for him, so who knows what all went on behind the scenes. But after all that, while we can fault them both, Michelle outperformed Dom in this challenge and Dom has been on the bottom even more than Michelle. I like Dom as a person and had good hopes for him but 3 times on the bottom is bad. Bobby Flay was quite adamant and definite about bringing it, seriously bringing it, next time. Who knows?...but others may already be too far ahead.

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  64. Interesting point, but I doubt that Giada viewed Rosa (who may or may not deal with excessive hair issues) as a challenge to her cooking... or to her cleavage.

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  65. Agree 100% with you. He was just a jerk. I don't expect that kind of meanness on Food Network. I watch the damn channel to get away from the jerks in the real world (work, family, road rage warriors, rude members of the general public) - I hardly need to turn into a cable channel to get MORE jerkiness!

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  66. Alex reminds me of last year's Chad, in a way. He "survives" another challenge, but doesn't seem to be growing. Just sorta there.


    If I had to predict or make a wager, I'd say Dom goes home next unless he has a near-miraculous showing next time. Even with that, it may only buy him some time.



    Alex and Michelle are two others likely to go soon. (shrug). We'll see. Arnold has been slipping lately but in the long haul, I think he is more adaptable to more challenges. How would people feel if Arnold ended up going home before Michelle?



    I could see Eddie, Emilia and Jay all making it to the finals. But, who knows? Eddie for food. Jay for connecting, and Emilia for growth & improvement. For now, they look to be ahead of the rest of the pack.

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  67. (nods).Agreed. See my reply to Shannon, below.

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  68. Good point. Could be.

    Funny that more people aren't commenting on the "bare tummy" outfit. It's nice when a woman is attractive and looks it. While Giada has a good figure, whats bad is that it comes across sooo much like she's TRYING to look hot. Less, can be more.

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  69. Speaking of Giada, I wonder how many readers/post-ers feel about this: It appears, as if Giada has a soft-spot for Italian guys...i.e...Luca last year, and Dom this year. However, other women, particularly if they are quite attractive (not necessarily Italian) are eliminated very early..i.e..last year, Donna Sonkin-Shaw. This year, Christina. Both good looking, both 1st to go. A little later, Rosa, who is Italian, also goes. Beauty competition? Invasion of territory? Kitchen only big enough for one Italian women? Wanting to be the Top one? We could say no, that is was based on performance....but if the speculation were true, anyone *could* say "yer food just doesn't taste good" (an easy way out). How would the audience ever know? Competition eliminated. Easy. I admit, I dont know any of this for a fact...but it was hard *not* to notice, too.

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  70. I usually don't comment on her cleavage, it is what it is. It is definitely one of her gimmicks. We all know it is there and to be honest I sort of don't notice it anymore. BUT WOW.....this year, that blue keyhole cleavage barer, the waay to young for her red skirt and the midriff baring top! I almost feel bad for her it is like watching her midlife crisis happen on television. Makes me wonder if she does not have any friends who would be honest with her. Just because you can wear something does not mean you should.

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  71. Mo and Matt, the spices were never clarified and it bugged the heck out of me. I was aware cloves, cinnamon and star anise were common ingredients but was not sure of the others so I looked it up. I now feel the editing of the show was slanted to make Alex look bad. The spice blends vary greatly and they seem to be regional preferences. It could be any number of combinations equaling 5 out of 10 or so spices. How could he answer that as there is no definitive answer....5 different spices is correct. If he gave any specific list it could have been debated. Probably why Bobby and Giada did not answer either.

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  72. Mo, interesting thought. When you mentioned that it made me remember a clip from the episode where it was guys v. gals and Michelle was basically telling Sita what to do with her own dish and she just about literally smacked Sitas hand away from her own pan.Then they showed a bite where Sita proclaimed she has never been treated that way in a kitchen before(or something to that effect).Again I thought nothing of it because Sita seemed to need a bit of help in the cooking department and it was a team challenge after all. Makes me think Michelle may be quite a pill.

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  73. It's a weak crop this year. I actually think Matthew will win Star Salvation and be in the final three because he can actually cook (unlike half the contestants) and is very charismatic. He's also a D-Bag and a bit all over the place, but just being a skilled chef with charisma puts him rarified air this season. Who else besides Eddie and Jay bring both components to the table?

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  74. I think Emilia has shown a great deal of improvement with her skills presenting. She seems a lot more personal.

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  75. She didn't cook (the food was raw), it had no flavour, she chose her team and couldn't work well with her choice of a partner, and her presentation fell flat.

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  76. Yeah she definitely wins Most Improved to date. I didn't think she was going to make it back during her ice phase and she almost didn't. As I project forward, I can't see her as a compelling final FN product but her progress really is notable. Also I liked seeing her in shorts. ;)

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  77. They were both under a LOT of pressure, so I can understand Michelle and Dom becoming very emotional. I agree that Dom's criticism with Michelle talking about all the food and leaving nothing for him to discuss being legitimate.

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  78. I watched last week's episode again tonight. I don't understand why Rosa was eliminated. She was dismissed with a vague "lacking food authority" critique.

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  79. I think he regretted it too. And I think Michelle regretted walking away like she did. They were both on the bottom the week before and both feared they'd be eliminated when Rue put them together.

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  80. Yeah there's sort of a sense of dread as the Countdown to Inevitable Matthew clock ticks away. Sigh.

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  81. The thing is, one of the things that FN is selling is Giada. And Giada is selling Giada. She's a personality and a hottie. People tune in specifically to watch her. I don't care at all about Sandra Lee, for example. She'd be no draw to me on any show. Don't care about Mark Murphy. Put Giada in there though and I'm interested. The show still has to be interesting but I look forward to seeing her. I just think that she and the network know that she's a product in demand and so don't just allow her to go in there and show out, but strongly encourage it. I mean she's one of their prime assets. Yes this show is about which contestant will win, but the hosts are part of the package. People like these two hosts. It's actually a relief for me that Alton is gone this time. He was the one thing that annoyed me about the show, just another indicator that hosts matter and are part of the experience.

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  82. Bobby has a say though too. If he didn't think Christina should have left for the reasons you speculate Giada had, there would have to be some serious talk there. I don't remember Christina's scenario but I think Rosa's was pretty understandable. She was on shaky ground from the start and I think earned her ticket out the door.

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  83. I was happy about the bare tummy. But I'm on Team Giada Is Sexy And She Knows It And That's Fantastic. So, you know, go figure.

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  84. I had totally forgotten that incident, but it's just another demerit for Michelle. There's definitely an ugly side to her that I don't think production is letting us see in its full glory.

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  85. It's not unlike garam masala, of which each Indian cook has his or her own version.

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  86. I Agree, she's made great strides. It was almost like a switch flipped and she changed personalities overnight. Thank goodness, her inability to have ....well a personality at all was just uncomfortable to watch. Even though she wins most improved, there is just something about her I can not get behind. I like her spice pov well enough but with that being her forte, why do they keep saying her food lacks flavor? I find when using spices it is much harder to under season than to over season. As a matter of fact when she used the excuse one week that the spices she normally uses were not available, I nearly choked on my coffee. Isn't spice island one of the main sponsors of the show? I fail to believe they provided limited product line.

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  87. Rosa got eliminated from Star Salvation as well, Christina is still there. For whatever it's worth. I remember people here being surprised Christina got the boot, kind of like Rue going instead of Dom. I dunno, the mentors' reasoning sometimes is just different.

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  88. Alex might be more interesting if his POV was world travels and cuisine. The whole sandwich thing isn't that interesting to me, they already have a Sandwich Guy and one's enough :p

    Maybe Alex should go to Travel Channel. They just need someone to wrangle his presentations so they don't drone on.

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  89. Maybe FN just isn't her style, I kind of hope she gets seen by PBS. They have some cooking shows that are more mellow (Sarah Moulton is there now and Ming Tsai is too), and I think it would suit her style of explaining how the food and culture goes together and what it means to her.

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  90. I don't have any great love for Michelle either, I had questioned her side in the fight with Chef Hashtag but here it seemed like the one who burnt his food and gave yet another terrible presentation should go home.

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  91. Alex came into the competition after becoming known here in DC for his gourmet sandwiches, and I wouldn't be surprised if FN forced him to embrace sandwiches as his POV—especially since the network has now allowed Jeff Mauro to move out of the Sandwich King box and do other kinds of cooking.


    Alex has tried on several occasions to make non-sandwich food and has been criticized for violating his POV. I blame the network rather than Alex.

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  92. Bobby seems to defer to Giada, and what's more, Giada seems to be doing her best to influence the guest judges. I really felt she maneuvered Alex G. and Anne B. into coming into line with her own opinions.

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  93. He seems to be trying to mellow his presentations, but his facial expressions are still smirky—my new word—and border on grimaces. You can pretty much see the wheels turning in his head as he attempts to rein in his natural OTT hashtagginess (my other new word!).

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  94. Makes you wonder why FN is so into sandwiches. One guy who sometimes does sandwiches is enough sandwiching. :p Are they really at a loss for not having a person who only does sandwiches? Is there a sandwich demographic I don't know about? Jeff's not doing a sandwich today- get Alex!

    Sandwich as POV always seemed odd to me though, like the year there was the pie guy. i think I'll audition next year and say my POV is bowls. Whatever you're eating I can serve it in a bowl. Sounds clear enough. #PutItInABowl

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  95. Back in the original Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares days, Ramsay had a UK soul-food restaurant marketing Soul in a Bowl on Wednesday nights: a sampler of the restaurant's best dishes sold fairly cheap to entice diners to come back on the weekends for full dinners.


    The concept was very successful, but unfortunately, it inspired the owner to expand beyond her abilities, and her new, larger enterprise failed.

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  96. As far as I could tell, Dom didn't burn the risotto; he overcooked it, making it mushy.

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  97. How does NFNS keep the winner a secret? Why no leaks? Seems like that would be a tall order today.

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  98. Mo, I just rewatched that "my mother raised a champion" segment from episode 1. Your reference to it made me want to see it from a different point of view. You hit the nail on the head. I still think Matthew is a douche but wow Michelle goaded him into the whole thing and he tried to shut her down before he blew. He might be a jerk but he's correct she is a contemporary not a mentor. She really aasked him "what have you learned?" Like he was a 10 year old. Then kept digging at him. Amazing how it reads now after seeing her behaviors with others.

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  99. I'm absolutely not making any excuses for Matthew, but Michelle was indeed condescending in pulling out the "mom, older and wiser" card. It will be interesting if Michelle is still there when (not if, in my opinion) Matthew returns from Star Salvation.

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  100. The final revelation of the winner is usually broadcast live.

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  101. Last year Lennys brother released that his brother had won a few days early on Facebook. Lenny was of questionable morals to start with...but take note....he's no where to be found on the network. Makes you wonder if it was the leak and breaking the contract that did him in or what.

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  102. I hope drama queen Michelle gets the ax next. She acted like a spoiled 2 year old with her little rant and stomping off the set. What a loser.

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  103. What if Matthew was not the one coming back? What if he were defeated by,,,maybe Christina?

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  104. I think the fix is/was in for Matthew. If it were to be someone else, I think it's more likely to be somebody who hasn't been eliminated yet than Christina.

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  105. Potty antics (read advent calendar) and his "back door" comment about Pioneer Woman probably didn't endear him to the good folks at FN! His persona was total fabrication but damn.....the man could cook!

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  106. Michelle may hold on a bit longer since the female count is down. I'm thinking Alex and Dom will go first.

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  107. I'm working from home today and I always love it when one of Giada's older shows comes on with Todd in them....same with Bobby Flay and his ex Stephanie. I guess I'm easily amused :)


    Hey it's better than countless episodes of DDD

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  108. I get a kick out of dating programs by whether Aaròn Sànchez is wearing a wedding band.

    Maybe FN can launch a new program called Divorced Chefs with Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, Aaròn Sànchez, Giada de Laurentiis, and Alex Guarnaschelli.

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