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: