Keepin’ It Real: Episode 2

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Star, Recap, June 14, 2010

Alrighty! Let me dig in on some of my standout moments – and then I want to hear yours!

NFNS6_Dzintra-Kneading-Dough_s3x4_tzI must admit, I was expecting (and hoping for) a little Dzintra Drama. From the comments I’ve read, she has clearly rubbed some of you the wrong way, but as I explained last week, I enjoy her! If there was a Team Dzintra t-shirt, I would buy it. As a matter of fact, I’m going to make one and wear it around the office.

0137548_Giada-With-A-Smirk_s4x3_tzIn the first challenge, Giada told the finalists that if they couldn’t “cook and talk at the same time,” that they didn’t need to be in the competition. This is where I would make my exit. Think about it – some of the tasks you do (and do well), can you clearly explain what you are actually doing while you’re working on that task? I’m talking out loud now as I type this and all I can come up with to explain my action is, “Writing. Typing.”

Poor Aarti was called out on the “dead air” she left while on camera. I felt badly for her. You know she just wanted to hide behind her hair flower. And Serena? She was criticized for speaking waaaay too fast. Sure, I couldn’t understand a word she said, but really, isn’t having too much to say and speaking super fast to get it all out better than silence?

0137547_Duff-Goldman-With-Hand-Up_s4x3_tzDuff was a guest in this episode and introduced the second challenge. Who doesn’t love this man? Am I the only who thinks Duff’s cakes shouldn’t be eaten, but preserved? They are true pieces of art – they shouldn’t be cut into like savages! Hmm – I’ll save this topic for another day.

NF0602_Feature-Aarti_s4x3_tzThe Santa Monica Pier Challenge was CRAZY! The finalists had to create a savory party plate inspired by carnival food. Can you even imagine? Aarti’s inspiration was funnel cake – and she had never even eaten one before (which is just a travesty – someone get this girl a funnel cake, ASAP)!

NFNS6_Brianna_s4x3_tzBrianna seemed to shut down a bit in this competition. I think she was overly tired. You know how it is when you’re exhausted – you reach that point where you’re simply DONE. Brianna needed a nap to put that pep back in her step. If Bob and Susie had only provided her with an air mattress out there on the pier, she would have been fine.

NFNS6_Doreen_s3x4_tzElimination time. As you saw, Doreen was the second finalist to depart the show. I did understand the judges’ decision to send her home. Giada had said earlier in the show that her facial expressions “made her not want to watch.” Well, that’s clearly not good. But in her defense, in the pier challenge, Doreen was given a “Root Beer Float” to inspire her savory dish. Merciful days, a Root. Beer. Float? My facial expression would have been far from cute, too. So long, Doreen. I’ll miss you.

NF0602-BTS14_Tom_s4x3_tzThat’s my take, what’s yours? Any standout moments for you? Oh, I’m thinking of devoting an entire blog entry to nothing but Tom’s hair. Thoughts?

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Comments (2,489)

  1. Josiah says:

    Many thanks for making the effort to explain the terminlogy towards the starters!

  2. Learn French says:

    I am totally impressed by the design layout on your website. Your logo is extremely colorful as well! Great work! :)

  3. Christine says:

    I personally cannot wait for Dzintra to be gone. She's so scatter brained that I don't understand how she gets through the day! I'd hate to see her on a caffeine high...
    I feel bad for Doreen. So she had a hard time telling them what her perspective was. How many perspectives on food can there possibly be?! She should have stayed and Dzintra should have gone.
    I'm crossing my fingers for Herb, I love his "I can make anything healthier" approach. Brad is adorable. Aarti and Aria rock too.

    • Ashley says:

      Herb is definitely doing a better job at the healthy approach then Katie from last season. He doesn't shove it down your throat and it tastes good. Its so "oh by the way the cheese your eating has a third of the calories." Sneaky guy! lol. And Aarti is awesome I love her.

    • Carole says:

      I agree with you Christina. Dzintra should have gone and Doreen should have been given another chance.

    • Lisa says:

      I can't believe so many people are being so cruel to Dzintra. She could have lost her eye or been blinded by that injury. She made the right choice in protecting her vision. The judges have said on several occasions how impressed they are with her cooking skills. Unfortunately, she is now having to play catch-up since she was not able to participate in one event. And I love her enthusiasm!!!! She is bubbly and articulate and does really well infront of a live camera - which is much more than I can say for most of the contestants. And she looks darling on screen. Give the girl a chance!

    • brokentreasures says:

      i definitely think that dzintra is a "little" ditzy, but i think it's probably because she is nervous. however, that said, i think that the attitude of the others is a disgrace. scratching cornea is extremely painful (i've done it twice), and i don't think the others had any right to criticize her, infering that she was just being a drama queen. it really is possible to compete in one of these competitions without trying to disgrace your competitor.

    • Suprmom39 says:

      I so agree with Christine!!!!!!!!!!!! Dzintra gives me a headache and I lose interest when she is on the screen. She should have been eliminated when she missed the first challenge. I hope she goes tonite.

  4. Grandma Joyce says:

    The preview for the next show appears to hint at some possible personality conflicts between Aria and Dzintra, which could happen if Dzintra continues to make statements such as "I always get the worst". After watching her video, I was impressed with her work ethic, her impressive culinary background, and the fact that she seemed very nice, not what we are seeing now. Are nerves preventing we the viewing audience from seeing who she really is?

    • Evan says:

      I think the takes the network is choosing is preventing us from seeing the real Dzintra. She can really cook well, looks great, and has a huge amount of energy!! GO DZINTRA, don't let them pull you down to their level.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think Dzintra should have left first. She didn't even participate in the group challenge the first week. I was hoping she'd be gone last night. My favorite is DAS. He made a great comeback last night, after a shaky start in Episode 1.

    • Nean says:

      I agree about Dzintra! I can’t listen to her excuses anymore. I understand the concern for her eye but maybe that means she needed to drop out. This week it’s that "She got the worst carnival food". EVERYONE got something hard...that was the point, it was open to interpretation and her's was all over the place (as she is). She may be a nice person but that doesn't always make a good host. Maybe she can go into food journalism in print or something but she shouldn't be on the show. I feel she is being kept on as a bit of a spectacle and I hate when reality TV does that. She's obviously not comfortable in front of the camera, and I don't think a majority of people would watch her show so stop pulling her along. I like Das, Herb, Aarti and Aria for now, we'll see how the season progresses!

  6. DAW says:

    All I can say is, I want and wish for paul to go home, I just don't care for him. Aarti just needs to be confident, that;s all.

    • Saachi says:

      i think there was no mention of how Aria kept her cool inspite of leaving her meatballs behind! i think she rocks!

    • Ashley says:

      I absolutely love Aarti. I love her personality and her Indian style food would be a new thing to add to the Food Network. She also can cook very well.

  7. Claudia says:

    I have my opinions about the contestants but I have to get this off my chest: I LOVE Giada's shows. I love watching her cook and I am always salivating at the food she makes. However, everytime I have watched her on the Next Food Network Star (past shows and now this), she comes across as a very snotty know it all. I'm really starting to dislike her. She's almost like Simon Cowell. She criticized Doreen's facial expressions, which is funny because as I was watching the last episode I told my husband I felt like changing the channel because her demeanor was so unpleasant. I have read her bio and I know it wasn't easy for her to get in front of the camera (she was really shy, blah blah blah). I know she's a celebrity chef now, but how about showing a little more humility and compassion for these people. Watching her on these shows is really making me change my opinion of her.

    • always hungry says:

      Totally agree. Giada needs to back off a bit - for the first time, that SMILE is starting to irritate.

      • food network groupie says:

        Remember, Giada's job is a mentor, one who needs to inform the contestants and make constructive criticism. I don't believe they had mentors in the other NFNS. They should listen to her advice as this group beat out a lot of competitors for a place on this show.

      • Diane says:

        To always hungry - I TOTALLY agree about everthing that you said about Giada. I have ALWAYS thought that she is a snob!

    • westwtingpotus says:

      I have to disagree here. Her job here is to be tough. She's not here to be someone's friend and to pat people on the back and tell them they did well even if they didn't. ( They've all got mothers who can do that!) What these people need is honest feedback, and someone who can tell them specifically what they need to do to improve. Who better to do that than someone who learned the hard way herself.

      She was completely right about Doreen; she looked constipated during the first demo. Doreen took that very good advice and for the second part at the pier was MUCH improved in her presentation. But it was a case of Giada gave her very good advice, the contestant was open enough to take it and it helped her improve. If her cooking skills had been up to par (the not-pulled pork disk was not ever going to fly) she might have advanced because her presentation was definately better.

  8. Jennifer says:

    I'm so upset Paul wasn't axed. Doreen wasn't going to survive one way or the other and I don't think Dzintra will either, but I think Paul's pompous behavior at the pier was inexcusable and an absolute turn off. There is no way I would ever watch a show with him at the forefront because I would forever be wanting to punch the TV screen. I wouldn't watch a show with Brianna or Das either as they are also incredibly annoying to me, but I would absolutely watch a show with either Aarti or Herb. I'd prefer Aarti because there's no one on Food Network who cooks Indian. All the other chefs, I'm indifferent to. I seem to be immune to this mysterious charm Aria appears to have.

    But why is Serena even a contender? I don't find her horribly annoying or anything, but Food Network already has an Italian host. It makes no sense to present her as an option when her there's someone else with her exact same culinary point of view.

    • Saachi says:

      Well, I think Serena is adorable and spontaneous and fun to watch and i am sure there are several italian dishes that Giada does not cook!

    • nani lolo says:

      I agree with most of your comments. Paul and Dzintra should go next, I wouldn't watch either of them. Brianna next and then Das. Aria and Serena both offer home spun charm. I think Serena would be a complement to Giada, rather than a competitor in any way. I don't think their points of view are exact. She may want to model after Giada--you can see that a little with the smile that tends to come across on camera as fixed rather than spontaneous; however, she would be wise to continue to be natural and concentrate on the basics of grandma's kitchen (i.e., home made stock, marinara, etc.) Fresh, easy, affordable and with love.

    • Laurie says:

      I agree about Paul. If other guests of Chef Duff found him to be rude and from what we saw of the degrading remarks he makes, he should have been shown the door. Food philosophys and statements or even poor cooking choices don't add up to the bad PR of having a rude contestant.

    • Sarah says:

      I agree, I do not see Aria's charm. Yeah, I guess she is sort of good, but unlike many people, I do not think she is great.
      I also cannot believe some of the comments Paul said. They were completely rude. I hope he gets out next week. He really should have gone instead of Doreen.

  9. annamerc says:

    Hi I am a big fan of NFNS; i missed last night's episode and I can not believe you can not watch the full episode on line! I can not wait till next Sunday.

    • Violet says:

      annamerc, FN will be repeating their 6/13th show this Wed. nite, early hours Thurs, Sat mid-afternoon, Sun late afternoon. Perhaps you can catch it on one of these days!

  10. luvcookin says:

    Here’s my take:
    If Aarti doesn’t believe in herself, how can she expect anyone else to? I like Aria, but she really needs to speak to adults as an adult. I almost feel like I’m in second grade when she is talking to me. She does have a young child though so she is probably using her “mommy” voice. Snap out of it Aria! Dzintra is so dzitsy that it hurts to watch her. She talks to herself even IN FRONT OF THE JUDGES! She should be a spokesperson for some multiple personality support group. Poor Doreen just couldn’t bring her POV out. One would think that all of these chefs have seen this show and knew they needed to have a POV. Bad on her for not having one. Simply-complex? Brianna is just rude and as she said herself, a diva. I have no room in my life for divas. Serena, the energizer bunny needs to slow down. I cannot understand what she is saying. I love Italian food and really need to get my printer fixed so I can print out her marinara recipe.

    • Grandma Joyce says:

      Aarti needs to read and believe in Boston Dan's pep talk to her, it a good one:)

    • Saachi says:

      I think Aarti is sweet but she does not come across as an expert! I was surprised she won the last contest!

      • anita says:

        I think it's important to come across more as "relatable" and "someone that you would want in your living room" more than an "expert." Experts are boring. Personality is key here, and frankly if there is someone who can demystify Indian food, inspire me to try to make it, and bring it more into the mainstream with some twists on western foods at times, that's "expert" enough to me. AARTI ROCKS!!!

    • Evan says:

      Since when did you get your medical degree. Lots of people talk to themselves. Last season when the winner did that, Susie thought it was cute. Do you have anything good to say?

      • Priya says:

        I think Dzintra should have been sent home this week-I wouldn't want to watch someone like her who talks to herself in front of everyone else.