This week the six remaining finalists had to shoot a 30 second promo video about their show that would then be reviewed by a panel of current Food Network personalities such as Robert Irvine, Sunny Anderson, Jeff Mauro, Melissa D'Arabian, and Aaron Sanchez. After the promo, there would be an elimination where all remaining contestants would film a pilot. All of the promos were filmed in a bright green trailer and each of the finalists had only 3 takes to film their promo. Everyone used all 3 takes and stumbled a bit in their first 2 takes to make their third take dramatic. Who knows if they actually limited them to 3 takes as all of the promos had no stuttering or errors.
When the promos were reviewed by the Food Network panelists, each promo had mostly positive remarks, with a few questions of if it would work as a show. The finalists were then lined up team by team and were told that half of them were going home. The first team up was Team Bobby and they told Michele that she would be the one from team Bobby to film a pilot, and Nikki Martin was sent home. Then for Team Giada, Yvan was told he would be the one to film a pilot episode, which meant Ippy was eliminated. Finally, Team Alton was up, and we were ready for the surprise of the show. They told Justin that he would be shooting a pilot episode, and after the tears and celebration, Bob and Susie then told Martie that she would also be shooting a pilot episode as they couldn't eliminate her. This caused many tears for Alton Brown, Martie and Justin.
Onto the pilots:
Yvan Lemoine - His pilot was cooking family style and he decided to include his family in his pilot episode because of Giada's suggestion. I felt Yvan was the most comfortable on camera, but didn't think having his family help out in the kitchen worked and it may have taken away from the show.
Michele Ragussis - Michele's pilot had her going to a local restaurant in New York to get 'inspiration' to cook a dish. She visited a restaurant and had clam chowder, which somehow inspired her to cook clams with chorizo, a dish that she always makes for everyone. So, again, here we are with more clams for Michele. Not sure why the judges never said anything about cooking with the same ingredient throughout the show. I at least would have liked to have had a tip with the clams such as how to clean them to remove the grit or how they open. I would say this is very similar to what Jeff Mauro does on the Sandwich King.
Martie Duncan - Martie did a pilot of 'Martie with the Party' where she had a party and was entertaining guests. She made a shrimp dish for the guests and then brought the shrimp upstairs to where the party was going on. Martie seemed comfortable on camera, but not sure about the party concept. Also 'Martie with the Party' sounds very similar to Aarti's Party, so if she wins, we will have to see if Food Network allows the name of the show to stay.
Justin Warner - Justin did a pilot that was a 'Rebel with a Culinary Cause.' He had a clip of Alton Brown's first season of Good Eats where he was talking about Caesar salad. Justin then decided to give the Caesar salad a rebellious twist by grilling the lettuce and making a chicken broth gelatin as the dressing. While the show is interesting, not sure many viewers would try that at home. However, the point is to get people to watch, not to recreate things, so this may work.
Now it is up to America to vote between the 4 pilots and the finalist with the most votes will get to produce their own show. Voting is happening now at http://star.foodnetwork.com/ and will last through 5pm EST on Tuesday. A facebook account is required to vote online.
So who do you think is going to win after seeing each pilot? I wish they had full pilots online to watch rather than just the 2 minute edited clips they had during the show. I will put a poll up later to get an idea of who everyone is voting for. (Link to Poll)