Sunday, July 19, 2015

Food Network Star Episode 7 Elimination Plus Star Salvation

On tonight's episode of Food Network Star, the remaining contestants participated in a Food Truck Challenge.  They had to create and present a portable dish to Bobby and Giada, and then guest judge Richard Blais paired the contestants up to operate their own food truck.  Each team had to create a social media promo video that would be seen by food truck enthusiasts.  The enthusiasts would use those videos to determine which teams dish they wanted to sample.

The food truck teams were Alex and Dom, Jay and Arnold, and Michelle and Eddie.  Jay and Arnold were the best team according to the judges, and the remaining 4 contestants were up for elimination.  The judges didn't get to decide who to eliminate as Michelle decided that she would quit and eliminate herself.

There was still Star Salvation, but just without Michelle.  Emilia Cirker, Matthew Grunwald, and Rue Rusike completed to remain in the competition.  Matthew was the one eliminated and he will not be the next Food Network Star despite many people thinking he would be the one to win Star Salvation.

85 comments:

  1. Hopefully Matthew will fade from TV existence for good now.

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  2. In the discussion for last weeks episode 6, i made some guesses about what surprises were still in store for us. One of them was: Dom or Michelle would quit. Tonight, Michelle stopped cvompeting.

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  3. I am not going to miss Michelle one bit. No great loss as far as I am concerned. More like good riddance. I feel she is just a quitter who knew she was on the way out shortly. She could not stand critiques, so instead of taking the punches like everyone else she quit so she can always claim she was never asked to leave and would most likely have won. I understand Eddie's comments. Her facial expressions amazed me whenever negative comments were made about her food she appeared aghast like she could not believe the judges were not delighted with her flavors. Did you see how she reacted when they were discussing her quiches lacking flavor? And she knew she never added salt! Ahh well, Dom and Alex live to see another week and 1more challenge.

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  4. I'm sorry but this show needs a new format, new judges or cancelled. I couldn't watch it this year because of all the hype. I love food shows and watch a lot on public television and primetime tv. I love Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen, Restaurant Impossible and enjoy these shows immensely. They are about cooking with competition.

    There are only 2 of the food network star winners that have shows on the network now. Guy and Jeff both have shows. The last several year's winners are gone. I've only seen Justin, Melissa, Artie on either chopped or cutthroat. Damaris and last year's season winner Lenny (whose show was never developed) are no where on the network.

    If you're going to have a competition let the real cooks win and not just a personality contest.

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  5. Eddie is crazy. People have a right to change their mind. Michelle thought she wanted it and she found out she didn't. People quit jobs they thought they would like all the time.

    Eddie talked about winning on a "technicality" .. so what..it's a win..it's better somone who WANTS it wins then Michelle winning it and then quiting soon after.

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  6. For anyone that enjoys Bar Rescue, tonight Taffer used Penny Davidi as the chef to help rescue a Moroccan bar. I missed the first bit and when I saw her in the kitchen, I wasn't sure it was her because her look is somewhat different on tonight's show and she also wasn't as brash as she was on NFNS.

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  7. I felt like had it not been for Michelle quitting, that ALEX would have been eliminated tonight. Dom did better.


    I am now curious to see if Dom will get better still on camera--and--end up outdoing Eddie. Dom's cooking has been more consistent than Eddie's. If Eddie continues with letdowns on food flavor (ie. Bobby tells him he has cooked better before) and Dom maintains his great cooking and improves even more on confident presentations, he may pass Eddie. Giada also said Dom is a gamble at this point (true) and many think he should have gone home already. I was thinking that, last week. And maybe tonight was a flash in the pan. But I'm thinking Dom will/should outlast Alex. Arnold did better.

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  8. Damaris was on, saturday around 8:30am?, and Sunday at noon, I think.

    She should get a show during the mon-fri. week. Why not? Why do Ree Drummond and Guy Fieri need so much air-time?

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  9. Damaris' show is on every weekend, and the Network can't risk letting Looney Lenny loose on the public. eek.

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  10. Yeah, if Eddie doesn't want to win on a technicality I'm sure Jay will be happy to take it from him. :p


    The Michelle situation was unusual but then again, maybe she realized like everyone watching has that this is really Jay's to lose and she doesn't want to take up anymore time fighting for second place.

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  11. Yep.....Michele quit to save herself from getting fired. That dancing around shtick and finger snapping was just plain annoying. See ya! Eddie seems to be circling the drain in both food and performance. Alex, it's just a matter of time. Dom, suprise, and Jay seem to be headed to the finish line. The judges did say that Dom has had the best food. His performance has improved and he has an endearing personality. Had the judges had a chance to eliminate anyone last night it would have been the dancing, finger snapping and I can't cook tomato soup Michele. I hope I can erase that performance from my head.

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  12. MHO,I think Dom is better than Alex. He does cook well and there are times he presents well. Mind you his presentations are not consistent....He is like that saying "....and when he was bad he was awful".

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  13. I believe Eddie firmly switched camp to Caribbean Flavors.

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  14. 110 % agree with most of what you said with the exception of I still have high hopes Eddie is hurtling toward the finish line. You are right....not being able to make tomato soup is like well....not being able to make chicken soup.

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  15. Penny was excellent in Bar Rescue. She was calm and informative. Taffer has also used Vic Vegas and Aaron McCargo several times, so it looks like he likes to use FN personalities.

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  16. Eddie seems to have plateaued. But he and Jay have the best personality. And we are never going to taste their food, so there has to be a sales job. Dom was better in presentation, so maybe he's a dark horse.

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  17. I agree. I think she's had help working on her TV personality. She was much better than she was the last time I saw her.

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  18. I also still have high hopes for Eddie. Other than that, I agreed w/ all Cakester commented on.

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  19. I'm here. Still processing last night's debacle. I think at this point it may well come down to Jay, Arnold, and Dom—y'all seem to have forgotten Arnold—and it's really Jay's to lose at this point. Dom still needs to learn how to talk to the camera with the same comfort he has talking to actual people.


    I think had Michelle not quit, Alex would have been sent packing. I happen to like Alex, but I don't think this was the right competition for him. I think he'd rock on Chopped or Top Chef.


    Also, I'm still doing the Dance of Joy knowing that Matthew will not be back in the competition. At this point, I believe Rue has improved a lot, and if she keeps doing so, she may well come back—depending, of course, on who gets sent to Star Salvation next. I really want to see Emilia gone for good as she continues to make me squirmy every time she opens her mouth.

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  20. Damaris continues to record Southern at Heart; she just needs a better time slot. Melissa and Aarti both show up regularly on the network, judging on Triple-G and making other appearances as well.


    Justin, unfortunately, has been put on the back burner, with no FN program, a few talking-head shots on Cooking Channel, competition appearances on Cutthroat and Guy's Grocery Games>i> and a web-only show on the FN site. The network has treated him very badly indeed.

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  21. True, quite honestly I don't have much faith he is ever going to be fully at ease in front of a camera. It's such a shame for him. Did you see when they showed a cutaway clip of him talking to the crowds in their line? He just seemed so personable and outgoing with them.

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  22. True, Artie is still an active part of the network. I sometimes wonder if her not having a demanding show of her own isn't of her own choosing. She has been very open about her struggles with postpartum depression. Perhaps she chose how much is enough to find balance in her life.

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  23. I think you're right. Aarti seems to have found a balance between fame and maintaining her family life, and she seems to be very happy in her choice. I've always liked her and found her to be very genuine.

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  24. Oh no, Arnold can not be counted out by any means. Not sure if this will make sense but..I think he brings a unique perspective. His plating is beautiful. No one else on the network puts much emphasis on that aspect. I know it's a point they harp on that his cooking needs to keep pace with his plating. I think he can cook! It seems to me he had a couple of bad weeks but we have no way of knowing if he wasn't just feeling under the weather. He seems to be back to himself. He's still very actively in the game.
    Emilia, I would have preferred seeing her leave before Matthew.

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  25. Except that he didn't bring any Caribbean flavor into his grilled-cheese sandwich. I think he may have plateaued.

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  26. Interestingly, everyone seems to forget Arnold, and I think that's a huge mistake. In Jeff's recap, he calls Arnold "Jay" and then "Eddie" before he finally gets his name right. And he's called Arnold "Jay" once before. I really don't know what the issue is; I have no problem knowing who Arnold is, and I think he's a real contender.

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  27. Lol, I excuse him of any and all short comings from last night. Dealing with Michelle, her snapping and goodness knows what else was enough to lay anyone low. I know from the on set he was going to have a bad showing.

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  28. Yes Arnold's star still shines bright. He has such a likable and outgoing personality that perhaps his talents would be best utilized as a FN personality. No matter the outcome of NFNS, I think we will be seeing Arnold in other venues.

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  29. Past winners and the current FN stable can cook and teach. Arnold can do both but best of all he can ENTERTAIN! The current FN line-up falls short on that attribute.

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  30. I think Jay is pulling away from the pack, although Eddie is still right behind him. I don't count Arnold out at all as a dark horse. But I still can't fathom why Dom even bothered to enter when he clearly hates presenting. As for Matthew being eliminated for good, all i can say is YIPPEE!!!

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  31. Artie was on TODAY this morning doing a cooking segment.

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  32. It's been quite a week for NFNS alumni. Penny Davidi was on Bar Rescue (and was actually tolerable), and Chris Nirschle and Lovely were both on Food Fighters on NBC.

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  33. I want to see Emilia gone, as well. Did anyone else notice on Star Salvation that Emilia kind of stole Rue's story. I believed Rue's family story...not so sure about Emilia's.

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  34. Not winners, but Nikki Dinky, Kelsey Nixon have shows on FN/Cooking Channel. Not sure if the Jeffery Saad has a show currently.

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  35. Yeah Alex was totally going if not for her. Dom actually managed to not flake out for once. I think he was safe.

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  36. Yep. Avocado trees in the back yard. Pretty obvious. And no explanation as to how she made different use of each of the four kinds of avocado.

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  37. Right...I saw Rue give her the side-eye when she started with that.

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  38. This is fine. I also run www.barrescueupdates.com so no big deal to me. It is also relevant.

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  39. Well in fairness if you're going to have an avocado tree in your yard, California is a likely place you'd find that. Rue's Zimbabwe is another. No reason they couldn't both have had trees. I'm not sure I could come up with too many other avocado-themed stories short of Matthew's guac and you've got to say something.

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  40. So Rue was more innovative by putting a slice of Avocado over shrimp? That really counts as using it a second way along with a bad peanut butter and avocado Mayo?

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  41. Now he is selling fried steak as a health food!

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  42. She made an olive plate and a Chicken Tajine which is not really a good bar food. She just watched them send out rock hard bread and said nothing until Taffer pointed it out.

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  43. Could be. As mentioned, it may be just a flash-in-the-pan., last night. Yes, he can very personable. When he's good, he's charming (and a great cook), when he's bad, he's....pretty bad. I keep feeling like so many episodes are do-or-die with him. Reminds me of all the chances given to Vic Vegas in an earlier season.

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  44. I would agree with you: coming down to Jay, Arnold and Dom.
    I agree its Jay's to lose at this point.
    The hard part is I'm not quite sure who wins between Eddie and Dom. Dom cooks better. Eddie has more swag and charisma. But Eddie is becoming inconsistent and Dom may be improving. However, one more camera-fail and its all over for Dom, especially if it happens next week.

    I disagree with KookooBirdz about Arnold. All this bit about campiness and teenager-like, I disagree. Arnold does not come across as irritating. That matters. His cooking and plating can be excellent. I think some of the challenges have simply worked against him. If I said to Arnold: you've got 45 minutes. Make me something wonderful. I have have confidence he'd do fantastic. You might say others would, too but I'm betting Arnold could do it with a wider variety of dishes. Kudos to him. To me, Kookoobirz is over-emphasing "pop" and energy too much. yes, it matters, and is desireable but to even now go so far as to mention Eddie can carry things with personality and cooking doesnt matter that much, just makes the whole thing a giant personality contest and gee, haven't viewers posted like crazy against that in previous seasons? I would have no problem saying that to him in a reply but dont feel like posting this twice. Some things I agree with him (her?) on. But ya know, its entirely possible that when someone is "made for television" and is "larger than Life", there is also a 50/50 chance that I just wanna stick a pin in them and pop all the hot air out!I dont want dull but "energy is over-rated." Recall how many people loved Emma's gentleness last year. Sarah Moulton didn't have "a larger than life dynamic presence". So what? People loved her. Same with Mario Batali. Bobby is HUGELY successful--and Watched!!--but people wouldn't exactly call him Mr. personality.

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  45. My assessment was of her personality which was 1000 improved from the NFNS competition. The bread thing was because it was a stress test to see how the kitchen performed. She had told them the bread was overdone. Plus the re is a thing called editing. As far as the dishes this was as much a Moroccan restaurant as it was a bar and needed authentic Moroccan foods per Taffer.

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  46. Aarti, folks, not Artie.

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  47. Well-said!
    I feel its Jays to lose. I agree about Eddie and Alex.
    Eddie is good but, overall, i think Arnold is rising and Eddie is slipping. The 2 questions I'm left with are: 1. Will that trend continue between Arnold & Eddie, ...or not?--and 2. Will Dom revert back to camera troubles, or will he improve and pass Eddie? Gotya wait n see.

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  48. Yeah Matthew's looked good enough to me. Rue's sauce/paste/whatever sounded weird and gross and otherwise her dish was just shrimp + sliced plain avocado.

    I agree with you on risk on Emilia. I mean if you make something and it comes out badly, any points you get for taking a risk have to be pretty small next to actually making a successful dish. And on top of that she did an avocado pudding cake with avocado cream topped with avocado salsa. I get it that was the featured ingredient but that's a lot of avocado instead of what might have been a more balanced and interesting dish somebody might actually order somewhere.

    Meanwhile Matthew's looked nice, made sense, was appetizing, was something someone might actually order, and Alex even said it looked like a beautiful, nicely composed salad. Her complaint was that avocado wasn't featured enough and didn't explain how he viewed avocado, but I mean there were big pieces of it that obviously had received special attention. Couldn't miss them as a major special component. It looked like the editors cut off his reaction right at the end where I imagine me might not have been able to absorb her strange assessment. But then again they might have cut out anything else verbal that might have helped him get cut while they played it off as the food.

    Obviously we can't taste any of this, but a failed triple avocado microwave experiment and a weird peanut butter mayo avocado dip seem less successful than a nicely composed salad featuring avocados that conjured shades of guacamole elements and blt elements simultaneously. His presentation wasn't great and wasn't terrible but to get booted for that food seems a bit off.

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  49. Emilia used all four different kinds of avocado provided, but she never explained that or said why she she used each particular type for its component of the dish.

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  50. Michelle wasn't bringing it with the food. Seemed like she survived cuz others did worse. Maybe she saw the writing on the wall?

    I think yer going a bit too far with overemphasizing Eddies personality carrying things and cooking not mattering so much. Also, I'll bet most viewers dont think Arnold is acting ovrrly teenager-like and they dont mind " campiness". If they did, they'd be posting/complaining about him that way, but i don't see them doing that.
    When prople are " larger than life and made for television", there is a 50/50 chance I'd wanna stick a pin in them and let all the hot air out. I dont want dull but "competent with informal playful mischeviousness" works good for me. Its real, and still outgoing. And I'd watch it.

    Dom. I, too, wonder if the "switch" has finally come on. Will it stay on? Or not.
    I agree with you about Alex.

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  51. For the first time in many a year of FNS there are quite a few folks I would back and watch. The current stable of instructional shows are beginning to get a bit redundant and boring for me. If I could have have things my way I would give Eddie a Caribbean themed instructional show, I would give Arnold his flawless entertaining instructional show, Jay, definitely a Cajun instructional show and finally give Dom a travelogue type show because he is so much better at conversing and cooking than he is at presenting directly to the camera(but he can really cook). It's a shame Rue did not do better because I am enamored with the idea of a Southern African instruction show, however I am not enamored of how Rue has brought the concept to fruition. I say add them all to line up and put some cooking pizazz back on the network. And please....I like Kale as much as the next person but make a rule they can not include it in their recipes on a weekly basis!

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  52. I go back and forth about Arnold, but the way this show is edited...
    Arnold has skills. Eddie has skills. And whoever teams up with Jay gets the benefit of working with a competent partner. I think whomever you paired with Michelle last night would have bombed whereas Jay gave enough room for Arnold to turn in a good performance.


    Alex was a goner had Michelle not thrown herself under the bus. But I don't see him making it beyond next week, so we'll just flip-flop the order there. He would do great as a contestant on Chopped, but is out of his element here.


    I'm not sure I see what the powers that be see in Dom. He probably tests well with the ladies. But I don't see him winning this, either.

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  53. Jeffrey Saad has a Cooking Channel series, I think.

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  54. I have long thought that Food network would do better for both themselves, and viewers, if they focused less on the next Superstar, and more on filling currently unaddressed new Niches. (from someone still fun to watch, but so much of a mega-personality at all costs).

    From past seasons, if we would have had winners such as:
    Ippy's Hawaiian
    Nicole Gaffney's Coastal Cuisine
    Emily Ellyn's Retro-Rad (and she seems to be VERY successful in real life, now)..and
    Brad Sorenson's awesome cooking......
    then both viewers, and the network, would be getting more variety, a wider range of dishes/themes, the network would cover a wider range of offerings, and things wouldn't seem so boring and tiring and same ol' same ol' with the current crop of repetitive shows.

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  55. Kale and shrimp. Even if I liked shrimp—and I don't care for any shellfish—I would quickly tire of the number of shrimp dishes that have found their way onto my television screen.

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  56. I think, at least last night, Eddie slipped a little and Arnold rose up.
    Will it stay that way? Unknown. I agree, they both have skills.

    Will Alex go next week? Or will Dom revert back to camera troubles? Hmmmm...

    To me it looks like Jay is the man to beat, Arnold I feel is 2nd place, with Eddie close after that. And i'm thinking if you told them both to make 15 different dishes, their choice....while they'd both be good, I think Arnold would have it over Eddie.

    Wondering if Eddie will bounce back, or if Arnold will keep outshining him. Unknown. No one can plate like Arnold. And he IS a great cook. He also seems easy-to-follow and listen to.



    One more thing. Just a feeling or hunch. Assuming that next week Alex goes and Dom stays (and I dont even know that)....I am expecting to see some rivalry or at least good competition develop between Dom vs. Eddie. I guess I feel that way from when Dom told Eddie that there's four guys left who wanna beat him--and--that the remaining challenges will only get harder.


    next week: What if Alex goes home AND Dom fails again on camera?? Gotta luv the suspense. - @Gravyman35

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  57. (nods). If only FN would focus less on "the ultimate Superstar" and more on new & still unaddressed NICHES of food, they'd be better off. So would viewers. And then the current stable of shows wouldn't seem so boring and repetitive.



    I imagine if from past seasons we NOW already had on the air:
    Ippy's Hawaiian
    Nicole Gaffney's Coastal Cuisine
    Brad Sorensons awesome cooking (there was a huuuge online out-cry when he was eliminated)...as there also was for:
    Emily Ellyn (who seems to be VERY successful in real life, now).
    Think of the variety!
    All that would certainly beat: Sandwiches...,Aarti's spices,... anything from Justin, and the cowboy show that didn't happen.

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  58. Lol, Agreed. I will appeal to the network.No more Kale OR Shrimp.

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  59. She really didn't do too much, she was not bad. Penny ran into a much bigger loud mouth than herself in Taffer for a change.

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  60. I like shrimp, it goes with many flavors and its really easy and fast to cook so it gets used often.

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  61. I guess they ignored the popular "you eat with your eyes first" comment with Emalia. That looked like Snot-loaf.

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  62. Yeah it would be nice to have some of these shows to break up DDD 9x in a row

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  63. I would take Matthew over Emalia, she is just weird, and not the good kind of weird.

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  64. I did laugh when they were slapping each other and eating the JalapeƱos. It would have been funny if he kept giving them extra takes.

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  65. Can anyone advise if Giada was inhaling nitrous oxide off camera during last night's program? The videos the contestants made had some slightly amusing moments (Arnold and Jay more so than Dom and Alex), but you would think they presented the funniest comedy routines Of. All. Time. based on G's reaction. Talk about forced. Blech.


    Eddie is still warm, engaging and has great charisma - he just got stuck with a ridiculously awkward partner in Michelle.

    I have nothing against Michelle for dropping out of the competition - at least she recognized her limits and rather than take repeated beatings, left with her head high and didn't take a spot from someone who really wants the job (ie, Alex).
    Alex is very sweet, but lacks the composure necessary to be an authority I'd want to listen to on tv.
    Jay is very warm also, and cooks very well and it would be so cool if Eddie and Jay did a show together!
    I love Arnold, and would watch anything he did on FN. He is fun, cooks well, is interesting and seems like he'd be terrific giving suggestions on how to entertain people at home.
    Dom: great cook, hates being on camera - so just leave already yet, b/c that's what FN is all about.
    Matthew: was really glad he got the axe, but then felt kind of sad that he was so upset at getting kicked off the show... he became less offensive on Salvation.
    Emilia - just awful, awkward, maybe can cook but has a "mean girl" aura about her, even when she isn't mocking the other contestants.
    Rue- lovely, very nice and interesting background.


    Oh dear Lord, what is wrong with me - how can I have such strong feelings about something as fluffy as Food Network Star??!!! Well, this is a bunch more fun than dealing with real-world issues. :-)

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  66. on a side note i thought it was wrong when Giada made the comment about no women in he competition when Michelle wanted to quit. Imagine the outrage if a male judge told a male contestant not to quit because the rest of the contenders were women.

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  67. I'm not going to beat up Michelle over her choice. It wasn't for her..she thought she wanted and she didn't..and it could be she was missing her family and knew that if she did win she would see them less..i don't know, but I think people who continue to do something they hate instead of walking away because of others pressure them are foolish.

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  68. Thanks...I'm guilty and know better.

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  69. I'm so over the kale fad.

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  70. You're right, and the same can be said for scallops.

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  71. I agree with you, much improved personality from her NFNS days.

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  72. Thanks Matt. I didn't realize that. I love Bar Rescue, especially since Taffer's dialed the screaming back somewhat this season.

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  73. Matthew is slightly more of a "what you see is what you get." Emilia seems to change her personality every time she appears, although so far, I haven't liked any of what I've seen.

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  74. Not any more. United Tastes of America was a couple of years ago. Most recently, he and Tiffany Derry (seasons 7 and 8 of Top Chef> and a winner on Cutthroat Kitchen) co-hosted a massive cooking competition in Vegas—and Vic Moea was a judge on two or three episodes.


    Also Vic and Laila Ali hosted a televised version of a late-night, after-hours cooking competition among Vegas chefs that ran a few episodes. The actual competition has run for years, but the on-air version didn't really click.

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  75. "It's Top Chef, notTop Scallop!"


    The immortal words of Fabio Viviani.

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  76. Emily seems to have abandoned Retro Rad, so maybe that was just a gimmick developed for the competition and not a true POV. After all, she was never able to explain to the judges why she was interested in adapting older recipes.


    After all, pretty much the same thing happened with Loreal the Butcher Babe.

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  77. I did not enjoy the Late Night competition show.

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  78. But would Emilia have said that if she hadn't heard Rue? Perhaps they should sequester the other contestants while each chef presents to the judges.

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  79. Wasn't he also doing ads for some food company? I remember thinking he looked really familiar but couldn't place him.

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  80. Well we don't know. Would we ask this same question if their stories were the same but Emilia had gone first?

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  81. Yeah, Giada's laugh reactions were so forced and not at all convincing. I mean, they have a show to sell here and I guess they can't just say "you were all terrible once again in this bad idea of a challenge". But yeah, skits are almost always bad, like summer camp improv, and these were bad even in that context. I think she was just wanting to sell the bit.

    I'm with you on getting so into this. If I didn't have so much work to do, I wouldn't keep coming here to comment! It's a measure of my procrastination that I'll dive into something like this so thoroughly instead. I would discuss napkin holder designs at this point to avoid doing my work.

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  82. Oh I think it would be played off as pretty casual. "Come on, bro, you're the last guy! Don't let down the team!" Just kind of cajoling them with any reason they could think of to get them to stay. And I also wonder if it was more of an unintended comment on her throwing away an advantage she may have had. Like maybe if it came down to who to cut between her and any given guy, the judges would be slightly inclined to keep her around to maintain a good mix. I think either way the goal was just to come up with anything to get her to not quit.

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  83. It would all depend on what wound being said. I think Emilia would have gone a different route.

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