Chatterbox, Ep. 5: Paula, a Sweet Treat, a Catfight and Girl Power

by in Community, July 11, 2010

Midterm exam time. Who sailed, who failed? And what made Paula Deen bring up her string bikini and the quality of her grandchild's cooking ability? Who came out on top--Team Serena or Team Brianna? Did Herb get back on track or crash and burn? Oh the suspense! There was too much drama to fit into an hour this week, so we got extra time and a bonus live chat with season four finalist and Food Network star and funnyman Adam Gertler. Like a Kid in a Candy Store--that's his sweet new show--Gertler zinged fans with running commentary and an admiration for all things Serena. Even Mr. Flay joined the fray with live tweets. The finalists faced two challenges: First, create "you in a jar" and present it to a big-ole live audience. Then they had to team up and run a food truck. That's when the twists and turns arrived. Some happy surprises--two chicks seemed to reach detente ("The empanada, y'all, is really good," Paula said), for now, which bizarrely disappointed chatting fans. Check out the chat below for details, then jump behind the scenes for Bobby's recipe makeover of finalists' dishes (would love his pointers!) and vlogs from Bob, Susie and Giada. Then vote for your favorite finalist, up to ten times per day. Meantime, I'll be wondering if Brad should let dark horse Tom borrow his lucky hat, and if Adam might borrow one of Bobby's ties. A+ episode, everyone.




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Comments (3,739)

  1. anna says:

    Honestly, I'm not impressed by any of them. At this point nobody shines like a star. Sure, I have my favorites but I don't think any of them deserve to be a star YET. I'm glad Paul went home. I just don't like his concept-Blue color dollar. Yeah, I get it-I'm blue color but I don't want to cook blue-I watch TV to learn something exciting and expect from a star to to take the "blue color" ingredients and bring up a notch.
    I don't know. It is interesting to watch. Can't wait to see who wins. I think the last season's show was much more interesting and the players were more interesting.
    I know I'm very harsh but I will not watch a show by Herb. That guy scares me too.
    Brianna lacks peoples skills and it makes her so unpleasant.
    Tom has some personality and comes out good on TV but I'm not sure if I will watch his show. And the Italian girl......she is all over the place.
    I used to like Aria but something faded. Same about Brad-he somehow doesn't inspire me anymore.
    Good luck to all of them.

    • Evan says:

      They booted the only one that could have been a real star, and that's Dzintra. Love her or hate, you couldn't keep your eyes off her and she can cook. Shushing Aria, give me a break!! That's the only way to get that fake to keep quite.

      • Maybe you couldn't keep your eyes off Dzintra but I cringed every time she stepped in front of the camera and breathed a sigh of relief when she was so deservedly booted off.

    • luvcookin says:

      That would be blue COLLAR not blue color.

    • Anna I like your idea about taking 'blue collar' ingredients (assuming you mean familiar, easy to find in your local grocery store, not expensive) and making something fabulous out of them! You should try out! Now that's a point of view many Americans can use nowadays!

  2. Barb says:

    This season has gotten boring - I don't even care to vote anymore.

  3. Lindy says:

    Love Artie, and really like the people competing to be the next Food Network Star, now that Paul was sent home. The exception is Brianna, her overblown ego and her superior attitude are a huge turnoff, I could never watch her if she had her own show.

    • luvcookin says:

      I'm wondering if as many people would like Aarti if she didn't have an accent.

    • Viewer FN says:

      I love Aarti, too. She has a beaming personality on screen; she's obviously a great cook; and I would love to learn how to cook food with Indian and Arabic influences. She's my choice over all the rest. If Aria could get back some of her original glow, and step up her cooking to where it was at the start, I think she'd have a shot. I can't stand either Brianna or Serena. They both come across as self-absorbed princesses. Plus, Serena is impossible for me to understand...and I llived in Europe, so it's not just the accent. It's the "get out of my way or I'll kill you" talking speed! And "honey on the lips, bitterness in the heart"??? Is she from Sicily or what? Can anyone say "vendetta"?

  4. Anita says:

    why did the Food network next star have to run into the time of the HGTV next design star? I was really annoyed

    • Carrie says:

      Amen to that!! I wish it would've started 30 minutes early...and the DVR didn't catch the end because switching to HGTV :(

  5. jolynn says:

    It is no use watching to see who wins. Artari is the winner. Even when she fails--she wins--it is sooooo fixed. she is no different than Kim from last year who kept saying I am Asian--all Artari says is I am Indian. She has no other cooking skills. Maybe foodnet work needs this ethnic food on its schedule. i do not care the these flavors so I would not watch her show. We watch foodnet now to see just how bad Artari gets and still win.

    • Trish says:

      I agree with you, all Arti can do is cook Indian. All right, we get it, but don't like it. She didn't even finish her presentation and won! Come on judges and Paula, was it necessary to say your grandson can make a hotdog? I would hope that Paula Dean's grandson could cook.

    • girloftheworld says:

      it was Debbie not Kim-
      There is a place for Indian cooking on the network every season they have been looking for someone for this style of show...Aarti is good but I am beginning to find her forced and a bit of a caricature.. the same things that the judges slam Serena for they fawn all over her for and I find it cringe worthy...Food network NEEDS her POV because they don't need annnny more middle America one pot food shows Yaaaaawwwwn....been there grilled that!!!

    • Lisa says:

      I think you are wrong they compliment everyone and give harsh comments to everyone including Artari. I guess you need to watch every show to know this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • girloftheworld says:

        I have watched every show thank you very much some more than once... and if you notice on the chefs favourite meal challenge they slam Serena for not making "real" fried chicken and fawn all over Aarti for interpreting the challenge in her own way..the judges are noway "fair" in their comments...they decide who they want to win and stack the deck that way...send Lisa Garza up a wine tower walk Aaron through a casino with one on one coaching...anyone who thinks they are watching a show ruled by the Olympic committee is fooling themselves

        • hollygreye says:

          "girl"....I soooo agree with you. AAAHTI'S PAAAHTI just makes me want to scream. She makes me cringe. If I hear Fogelson saying "I LOVE Arti" one more time.....arghhhhh!!! It is so obvious who they plan to give a show to. I am now hoping that Tom wins. Just because he is so unlikely but mainly because he is NOT AAAHTI.

    • sam says:

      Do not judge Aarti without knowing the facts , about Aarti cooking skills check her blog AArti or watch her videos on youtube at her first challange last night judges didn't pick her the winner its the people who came there.
      If you are an Indian or Canadian you would say "I am an Indian or Canadian " and what is wrong with that , and I don'nt think Aarti is totally showing a show about Indian cusine she showing how to make American classics with Indian twist , like the food truck she didn't make anything that represents Indian food , moreover she made beef tacos which most of the Indians do not eat.

      • girloftheworld says:

        She is without a doubt talented I never said otherwise. My issue is with her playing the humble "oooh who me" shrinking violet when obviously someone with a food blog and a food show has already wanted this for awhile.I don't believe in false modesty.It degrades and disrespects those who believe in you. FN has been looking for a good "Indian" cook for seasons now....they were very disappointed in Nipa I believe Susie even called her a "bait and switch" The need is there. My personal belief is that it is easier to overlook and be encouraging to a prospect that you see as paying off than one that you are not really that interested in...I realllllllly want to eat the lemon cupcake so I wasn't so upset when the red velvet one fell on the floor. just my opinion.

        • Yep. False modesty can be just as annoying as genuine cockiness.

        • James says:

          Yeah. I've thought it kinda "funny" for quite awhile is it that anyone good enough to already have her own other show can act so mousy, surprisingly shocked, etc. It does come across as false modesty.

          Also, I just really honestly CAN'T get figure out WHY isn't FoodNetwork MORE concerned with getting a Chef that does "Chinese food"--as it is MUCH more widely-eaten every day and more "popular". Why not fill that niche first?? I just dont get it.

      • As viewers we judge the contestants based on what we are are we supposed to know otherwise. And what we are shown is a woman who is obviously talented with a bubbly personality but every time she is handed a win (or even a compliment) she acts like she's shocked, just shocked that the judges would like what she did. That's insulting to the judges (oh so you think we're wrong, then? You know better than we do?__ and comes across as disingenuous to the viewers. It's happened so many times she is becoming a characature as another poster noted. Couple that with the incidents already mentioned (she gets praised while others get dinged for doing the same things, her screw ups are downplayed or overlooked by the judges - or at least edited out) - and it adds up to the show trying too hard to Make. Aarti. Happen. The viewers want to decide for themselves, not have the show's agenda forced down their throats.

        That said if I want Indian flavors I'll go out and eat real Indian food in an Indian restaurant. I'm not going to put curry powder in my tacos or garam masala in my macaroni and cheese. I don't need ethnic food 'Americanized'.

        • sam says:

          Ok! my internet was down for two days so I couldn't reply soon.
          About Aarti looking shocked when ever judges say she was the winner, Hello! Aarti is the not the only one contestent there, there are others too! who are very much talanted like her , do you want her to assume that she is already a winner and put a simley face or winning face even before judegs announce the winner!
          I think you plainly do not like Aarti at all! and I would say there is no impressing you.

        • hollygreye says:

          .....nor do we need American food Indianized. This is not a good concept for a show. Of course they will probably bury her on Sunday Morning with the other FNS winners of the past two years.

  6. ncexnyc says:

    After reading the comments from last night's show I can only wonder if anyone is actually watching this show or if people just don't care. Glad Paul got a bus ticket home last night. He was extremely obnoxious, even though he could cook. Aria and Brad are on thin ice and one of them will probably get axed next week. Aria's comment to Brad, about getting the food ready ahead of time was right on.

  7. beachinfrizzy says:

    I thought the "You in a Jar" challenge was appropos and relevant to a FN "Star", as the current ones shill so many products. That said, Aarti did NOT deserve to win. I don't care how much she giggled with the audience, she did not complete the task - Giada made it very clear that they had to taste their food and describe the flavors to the audience, which Aarti did not do. As for Tom, he related well and came in on time, but the judges did not like his product at all. Getting tired of the double standards...Aarti mismanages the time, does not complete the challenge requirements, and wins. Tom's product tastes terrible and he wins. Brianna (whom I can't stand) also mismanages the time (but at least finishes), puts out a tasty product (Bobby said he'd buy it), and is in the bottom. Yes she shook like a scared chihuahua so she didn't deserve to win, but at least should have been middle of the pack. I have no problem with Serena losing, she babbled incoherently, ran short of time AND her product had no flavor.

    Paul's 'blue collar' "joke" was insulting. What's wrong with a blue collar job in any economy? It was also insensitive to people who are really struggling in this economy.

    One other thought about this challenge...Coconut oil? Really, Herb? Isn't that the LEAST healthful non-animal fat? If anyone out there knows for sure, please set me straight. I thought coconut oil was something to be avoided if you're trying to lose weight - full of saturated fat.

    • summergirl says:

      Remember, the winner was chosen by the audience, not the judges. Who knows what was on their evaluation form. Did they have a list of requirments that the contestants were to finish, did they get to taste the food, or did they just pick the person they liked the best?

      • THen the challenge was flawed from its inception. Why bother coming up with a product if all they were required to do was entertain an audience for a few minutes? They could have put dirt in a jar and told knock knock jokes if getting applause was all that mattered.

        • hollygreye says:

          right...right....I did not see the audience tasting the product...their votes were all based on personality and performance.

    • luvcookin says:

      Just to get you started...
      The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.

      See more at

    • Miss K says:

      RE: coconut oil. I used to think so too. But trans fats are the things you want to avoid.. There was a bit of a scare about a generation ago that solid vegetable oils were harmful, but it turned out to not be quite true. My brother is a major health food expert and pretty much always cooks with coconut oil. (Gee I just realized my brother should go on this show... But I digress). What luvcookin said...

      • Thanks, luvcookin and Miss K - I did Weight Watchers after my kids were born and was really looking at the fat/sat fat content of everything and it seemed that coconut oil was off the charts. But then again my youngest is 10 so the 'conventional wisdom' concerning food and what is good/bad for you and what you should/shouldn't eat keeps changing! OK, so I give Herb a pass on including it given its other benefits...but ya gotta admit mixing two oils in a jar is kind of a lame product, even though he was so manic in demonstrating it!

  8. As for the Lunch Truck challenge:
    Paul/Herb - Sooo glad to see Paul booted. Being loud does not equal having 'personality'. I found their constant yammering at each other annoying, and would have walked away. I was a little worried that Paul would slide through on Herb's coattails when the judges liked their dishes (save one bit of tough beef) and also how Paul's rhyming 'collar' with 'dollar' was clever... but then Bobby asked "so what does a blue collar dollar guy cook" you'd think an improv guy would come up with something more than "" Don't let the door hit you in the backside, doofus.

    Brad/Aria - I like Brad, but he's lucky this week's boot was based on 'body of work', because if it was just that episode, he'd deserve to go. He again showed no personality in the 'Jar' challenge and hid in the back during the truck challenge, made no creative contribution to the burgers'n'dogs as you'd expect from the self-proclaimed 'Pro Chef', and his screwing up the timing and then overcooking the burgers was all on him. Unfortunately the limitations of Aria's culinary range and skill are becoming painfully obvious. Topping hot dogs with shredded cabbage (sauerkraut, anyone?) with iceberg lettuce on the side is hardly inspiring cuisine. However it would have been a crime if either went before Paul.

    Serena/Brianna - So the ditzy chatterbox cheerleader and the snotty drama/homecoming queen (really, Brianna, crying because you were in the bottom? Can't take a little criticism?) retracted their claws long enough to play nicely in the same sandbox for an hour or so. Congratulations on acting like grownups for a change. Both of them can BFF their way off my TV screen any time now. That empanada looked really greasy and if Paula Deen liked it you know it was.

    Aarti/Tom - The new 'kewl kids'. Let the shameless promotion continue. Whatever.

    • Trish says:

      Brad did not hide in the truck, someone had to cook and Aria certainly wasn't doing any of it! Come on Brad, don't let these ego maniacs get the best of you.

      • Aria suggested making the food earlier and he said no. Someone had to be at the window, too and since Brad insisted on waiting to make the burgers then that was his choice. Don't get me wrong, I like Brad and would watch him in a show because I prefer a lower-key personality that lets the food do the talking..but he has been told week after week by the judges that he needs to step it up in the personality department and by getting himself in the weeds - which Aria correctly said she wanted to avoid - he did not give himself the opportunity to do that. I don't see how any of that was Aria being an ego-maniac.

    • James says:

      Good Post!
      I agree. Brad has got to do better next time or I fear he might be next to go...or it could be brianna. Paul deserve to be let go.

      Serena HAS slowed down. Herb didnt melt down again this time. Tom really connected well.

      I wish contestants were judged MORE by the public (like when people eat bobby flay's food in a throwdown) and less by the judges, which seems to be too much like: "its "bad" because you didnt do what I woulda done." (None of us are mind-readers).

      • Viewer FN says:

        One thing I don't understand about the judges' attitude re: Brianna. Paul and others were criticized heavily for not having a show concept. What exactly is Brianna's show going to be? "Cooking with My Nose Up in the Air"? She has NEVER put across a cohesive concept for her show and they never, ever call her on that. Why not?

    • Eric says:

      Maybe I'm seeing something that isn't there but I thought I saw Brianna go back to her cold shoulder personna towards Serena in the back room after the judging was over . Not that I care or if it even matters . I don't much care for either of them and hope both are close to being sent home .

  9. SpiritJewel1 says:

    A comment made by the judges made it impossible not to sign up for an 'account' and add my two cents worth, in hopes that the judges might actually 'hear' the opinions here. The comment was about Brad .. would viewers resonate with him .. or something to that effect.

    Brad was the first person I noticed and wanted to hear from, from the very first episode. He has something to say, something to actually teach, which makes him 'not just another cook / chef.' I don't think viewers need more people chatting behind a stove about things that don't offer something entirely new and informative.

    Does he have the personality to 'make it?' Absolutely. In my opinion, who he really is almost 'screamed' at me from day one. In honesty, he is the only one that I would bother to watch in the future. The others, though they may be good chefs and 'bubbly,' or whatever adjective we might want to use, Brad is the person who offers the most and seems the most genuine and passionate about food and giving something great to the viewers. I hope the competition comes out honestly and doesn't feel 'fixed,' like so many other competitions do.

  10. Pam says:

    I know the network needs some vamping up, but really can't someone do something about Brianna. She is so mean and she thinks she's all that and then some. What ever happened to style, taste, and compassion. She has none. I can't believe Bob or Bobby hasn't called her on the rug for the mean things she has done up until now.