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Check the Countdown Clock: There are only a couple days before the kickoff to The Next Food Network Star. In case you missed our all-out check-this-season-out fervor in the lead-up to premiere night, here’s a cheat sheet to catch you up.
- Bob, Susie and Bobby are back, making up the Selection Committee, prompting nervous laughs and shaky camera smiles among aspiring Stars everywhere. Each week you’ll find news from them here—last year Bob’s posts got more than 20,000 comments--I can only imagine how much you’ll have to say with this trio at your disposal. Guess which of them heats things up early by telling the finalists: "If you guys can't cook, you'll be gone, no doubt about it"? (A matter of seconds into this clip and you'll get the answer.)
- Shooting for this season was in Los Angeles, not New York; we Chelsea Market fans are a wee bit wistful but like the cool-kid approach to cooking West Coasties seem to have. Laid-back vibes, however, do not mean the stress level in the kitchens will be any lower.
- This year’s secret ingredient: Giada’s in the mix. But you’ll have to watch to see what she’s up to. Ok, so I’m teasing. Shamelessly. Read on...
- There will be finalist demos that will make you laugh. And some poignant moments that will make you cry. The finalists will show off recipes you want to cook at home and, yes, some that you will rather not taste.
- Twelve finalists are battling, six men and six women. I tend to root for the ladies; how 'bout you? You can see snapshots of their early action here. Notes from their bios: Among favorites shows for one of them is, um, Reba. (No judgment.) Another says she will not eat intestines--but will she be asked to? Two are from Austin, Texas. And Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York and San Fran are represented. So is Woodridge, Illinois, natch. Shout. Out.
- You will see daring feats of skill and kitchen wizardry, all in the name of good cooking and great television. Me? I'm excited for the drama, yes, and the way newbies make their way from challenge to challenge--or not--by cooking for their lives. I want to see something fresh, something new, something inspiring to take into my kitchen and cook--and I want to see whatever recipe that might be presented with a little verve, with the cook staring straight at the camera with a smile.
How about you? What do you want to see this season? What do you think of think of the Los Angeles factor? Not having seen any of these cooks yet, what are your hopes and dreams? Do you have the chops to be The Next Food Network Star? We're casting...
For more bits and bites, check out foodnetwork.com/star.