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. Charlotte H says:

    I think the judges chose Aarti as the next FNS from the very beginning and are just going through the motions-Susie Fogelson talks about how huge Indian cuisine is now in her video blog; and I think that's the type of show they want to add to the network-seems unfair to the other contestants as there is no way Aarti should have won the first challenge last night. I haven't cared much for Tom; but he was fun to watch last night for once. I don't know about his food though. I still love Aaria's warmth & her beautiful smile; but I knew she blew it when I heard her planning the menu for the second challenge-there was so much they could have done to make their food stand out considering they're in a competition on national tv-on top of that-Brad burns the burgers(ouch)-I'm hurting for both of them because they are so likeable . Brianna's food gets an A+-her personality-F, Serena is impossible to listen to-undecided on Herb-will have to see how he does-no love lost on Paul.

    • sam says:

      Aarti won the first challange it wasn't the judges choice it was the crowd who attented there haven't you watched people voting and writing on the piece of paper.

      I have to disagree AArt is purely showing Indian she is reinventing American classics with Indian flavors, and I like the idea.

  2. Trish says:

    I absolutely LOVE Brad. He is talented, genuine, and just needs to get over his camera nerves. He is such a nice guy, he let Aria run the show. He told her to put real strawberries in the milk shakes and she said no. If he had picked the menu, it would have been much classier. They never even gave him credit for the wonderful sauce he created for the jar challenge. I would definitely watch him on his own show. I hated Melissa and still don't like her show. Does she ever stop smiling with all those teeth? I am looking forward to having Brad teach us some chef techniques. That's why I LOVE the Barefoot Contessa because she shows you how to do things and how easy some things are to prepare. DON'T KICK BRAD OFF PLEASE! Everyone should read how nice he is to his little brother too. I love that kind of guy, not full of ego like most of the others.

    • Joyce says:

      I concur with you! I would like to be taught about cooking...those helpful secrets to making something special! Please keep BRAD....he is wonderful!

    • Maybe Brad is choosing the 'fly under the radar' strategy, because I can't believe he just stepped back and didn't want to put any 'chefly' input into a menu of hot dogs, hamburgers and iceberg lettuce. BORING!! He and Aria are really at opposite ends of the spectrum - down home family style vs. highly trained creative chef. It could have been spectacular but ended up so meh. Now that the cannon fodder has been weeded out, hopefully he will make his move, step forward and shine without all the yammering distractions that were Dzintra, Paul, etc. Serena has toned it down and so has Aria, but in her case she's gone too far and became boring. He needs to grab the spotlight NOW.

    • reba says:

      Trish, I agree. Here;s hoping that great things pull out for Brad(Tom too) This could be the interest we all seem to need now. Suzie said early on that some started out at fast pace and that doesn't last for some. Seems like it! Brad would teach us new things. And why do the judges hammer sooo much about camera presence when Big Daddy was awful even up to the last few episodes? Does anyone recall Giada at her earliest? Yep, we might get a ninth inning surprise from Tom or Brad.

    • James says:

      I really do like Brad. Becuase I believe he could impart knowledge and be a good explainer!
      Mario Batali wasn't so hot in front of the camera when HE started.
      Yes--they shoulda gave Brad credit for wanting to use REAL strawberry's.
      If he is using a flying under the radar strategy, he better drop it this next time and make something Bobby likes. By the way, how good was Bob by Flay on camera when he began? ..and....

      Speaking of Barefoot Contessa, she is great, and another one who can teach. What would you think of having her on in the evening? What if Sandra Lee or Tyler or Robin were on primetime weeknights? I say we need "NEW BLOOD." I, for one, am getting quite sick of Alton or Guy "every time I turn on the TV". Give some other some EXPOSURE! That means evenings. Weeknights. Not some lousy weekend time-slot where nobody see's them. It beats endless repeats.

    • CIAMom says:

      I think Brad has a lot to teach us. He mentions that the camera's make him nervous but he seems to do great with a live audience. I think with time he could learn the camera trick the problem is there isn't time to show the judges he can get past the nerves. Arti seems to be gaining confidence, and watch out for Tom. He is making progress each week.__I have been a Foodie for years. I love the story behind each person. Only time will tell.

  3. MLM says:

    I, too, was ready for Paul to go; next will either be Brianna or Serena. The latter doesn't have what it takes, and Brianna is too much of a diva. Yeah, she may be able to cook, but as some others have said, her personality has a lot to be desired, and it's my opinion that she cannot overcome this. As for Brad, his biggest shortcoming is his identifying himself as a "Pro." He actually reminds me a lot of Bobby Flay as I personally do not think Mr. Flay has THAT great of a television personality. I can see Brad making it; but I think his age has a lot of bearing on his "Pro" thing. Aria has lost it quite a bit the last little bit, but I still think she could pull it out. Herb, come on, fellow...I like your ideas the best of all since I need to watch what I eat and am trying to eat healthy! But Tom has the personality; not sure he has the cooking skills of some of the others. Aarti...well, I still just don't care too much for her. So my four are (in no particular order): Aria, Herb, Brad, and Tom!

  4. Jenny K says:

    You guys are crazy if you don't like Aarti. We need an Indian cook on TV. Her food has been great each week and she is likeable. The competition is not rigged; she is just good.

    • spiket says:

      But can she do anything but cook Indian food and fake smile?

      • Hope they do the switcheroo like they did last year...told them they could make whatever they want, then took away Debbie's Asian ingredients, the runner up guy's Latin spices, Melissa's citrus for her seafood, etc. Then we'll see if she can do anything else. Come to think of it, the judges really haven't thrown any of the contestants any curveballs yet.

    • Different strokes for different folks....doesn't mean one or the other is crazy. Not everyone needs an Indian cook on TV as not everyone likes that kind of food or would ever prepare it for their families, and not everyone finds "gosh golly who me?" with big flower hair to be charming. Keep in mind it's not strictly a 'competition''s a television show and the primary purpose is for entertainment which leads to ratings. The "characters" are "casted" ("the Diva" "the sweetheart" "the tough guy with a heart of gold" "the jokester" "the villan" etc.) and edited according to the story the producers want to sell. I'm not sure it's predetermined who is going to win but right from the get-go there are designated "ones to watch" and the rest are filler.

  5. Donna says:

    Glad I DVR'd the show last night as my phone wanted to ring off the hook. I want to re-watch the episode this afternoon while things are nice and quiet, but have to agree with the judges that it was Paul's time go go. Acutally I think it was probably PAST time for him to go. I would have actually axed him first, just for his insulting attitude. Just don't know how he lasted so long. Who's next? Who knows, but I do hope it is Brianna, her attitude would not make her show welcoming to me. I wish Herb would get it all the way together. I think he would make a great host if he could just loosen up his nerves a bit. It would be nice to see some more healthy and DELICIOUS recipes come about. Do they even exist together?

    • Pandaluvr2 says:

      I agree Donna! As a diabetic, I would like to see a show geared towards diabetic meals that are delcious, yet healthy. Show us how to cook it, how much is the right amount and the calories, carbs, fats etc... that are in that particular meal would be nice! Help diabetics control their diabetes through the foods we eat, instead of controlling it through medications.

    • James says:

      I'd like to see either "Cooking Light" or diabetic-type of show. Those would be healthy.
      But just dont let it degenrate into faddish "tofu & carrot juice" kinda stuff.

      Here's another idea: like healthy? Then how's about cutting back on all these shows with "2 whole cubes butter....a pitcher of heavy cream....3 whole cups white sugar" get the idea.

  6. Frances says:

    I just love Brad and hope he will come more out of his shell. Paul was an idiot to be a smarta$$ to Bobby. I knew he was gone after that happened. Tom is doing much better too. I am in his corner. Aarti is my favorite of the girls. I am tired of trying to figure out what Serena is saying. Brianna is just a fake. She can be just as rude as Paul was. Aria is getting boring.

    • James says:

      Yeah. I couldn't believe that after all the trouble Paul had already gotten into, that he would come , off with a comment like he did to Bobby. He just doesn't learn.

      I do think you should give Serena some credit, though. She was told to slow down and did. For two shows in a row now. I kinda wonder if food network would ever allow her to teach Giada something Italian. I wonder if Brad would ever be allowed to teach or show something new to Bobby. This is exactly what I mean when I say the folks who already have the job have TOO MUCH POWER. It should not be about: Be a copy-cat of what I am already doing, or its "wrong". I want to get as wide of variety of ideas as I can. Being a "STAR" doesnt mean you are merely a "protege" copy-kat. New people should be allowed to give us new ideas--and recipes and techniques.

  7. girloftheworld says:

    Am I the only one a bit weary of Aarti's fake foot shuffle humble pie princess routine? if you have a confidence to have a food a food blog and your own show Aarti Paarty then you already know the game false modesty is a quality that only is attractive on beauty queens and boys who want to date my sister. She makes my eyes roll back in my head. Own your talents be proud. The woman we see on the cut-aways and in the confessions is not the same woman we in front in panel and interacting with her peers and that bugs me. Glad to see Paul gone. He was there to get famous not because he loved food.

    • Grandma Joyce says:

      Good thoughts, girl of the world. Perhaps Aarti's confidence flickers when she moves from the familiar blog environment to the"i'm being judged" environment. Poor Brad immediately loses his warm smile as soon as he is in front of the camera. It would be hard.
      What about you competing sometime, girl of the world? I don't know your age but if you are a teen or preteen, you could offer something not seen yet on Food Network . You do seem to know your food chops. Just a thought.

      • James says:

        I really hope Brad can ull it of in front of the camera--and not forget to smile.
        He would make a good teacher.
        Does anyone else besides me think that thee just might be a little "cattiness" on this show (with men as well as women)...i.e...that maybe someone new may just "upstage" someone who already has the job?...or that someone knew may be able to teach a thing or two that someone who already has the job HASN'T already shown us?

    • velops says:

      I'm not sure why you are singling Aarti out for acting different during the cut-aways. Everyone on the show does it in different ways. During these cut-aways, they are reflecting on the challenge in an environment where they don't have to worry about the stress of impressing the judges.

    • tigergal75 says:

      Guess I gullible, but having known quite a few Indian women, I believe Aarti's lack of confidence. Her cuisine doesn't really interest me, but I would watch because she's good and entertaining.

    • Doris says:

      I believe that the whole cast is weak, both in consistent culinary performance and overall "star power". Would I really want to watch any of these people on a regular basis as a "star" I watched last week because Paula Deen was a guest. Otherwise, I have lost interest in this cast completely.

      • And Paula didn't get to do or say much...I like this, I don't like that. They took that one line about her grandson could make a hot dog and played it to death. They could have done without Giada's Oprah sit-down (notice no one's commented on that) and showed more Paula.

    • Eric says:

      I'm not convinced that her , as you say , false modesty is an act . I think it's real and could end up being here downfall . She's a negative comment , critisism or remark away from completely crumbling . I wish Bobby would mess with her and say "This is the worst thing I've ever eaten" and watch her melt .... and she would .

  8. cathy says:

    I was least impressed by Herb and Paul's Lunch Truck Challenge in last night's episode. Loud and rude is what comes to mind!

    I think the next to go is Brianna's her people skills are just not there and there is no room for a Diva!
    I watch the food network channel to learn how to improve my cooking skills and learn alots of tips along the way while getting to know each of the stars as well.

    I would love to see Serena, Herb and Artie as the final 3.

    But I would love another Italian cooking show with helpful pointers and for more people on a budget-less expensive foods.

    • tigergal75 says:

      I had high hopes for Serena because she is Italian, and when she pronounces Italian ingredients with a pronounced accent, it seems genuine Also, her smile is genuine, and she is drop dead gorgeous: (reference the phony Giada, born with a platinum spoon in her mouth.) But Serena must not be a trial lawyer because cannot seem to articulate her ideas coherently enough.

      • Eh, I don't hold Giada's famous family against her. If she'd sought fame as an actress or some other film-industry position, then OK you could argue she had an unfair advantage. However after going to law school and then deciding on her own to try the culinary world, she went to The Cordon Bleu in France where they may or may not have been impressed by her last name. I give her credit for making it in a tough industry that isn't the one her family is famous for.

        However I am with you that I roll my eyes every time she over-pronounces italian words ("mootz - a -LELL - a") because she doesn't speak with an Italian accent; that seems way affected.

      • James says:

        Serena is a beautiful lady.
        MY big question is: WHY cant there be more than just ONE "expert" when it comes to any specific kind of food, whether it be Italian or Mexican or Asian or whatever? Who knows? Perhaps Serena could teach a few new things to Giada? (Would they even "allow" that?). Maybe Brad could show something new to Bobby, but would they "Allow" that? See what I mean? I am the only one who feels this way? It seems that at times, its like...the new winner has to be someone "safe" wont be "competition" for someone who already has the job. Anyone agree?

    • spiket says:

      Serena has a voice like chalk on a chalk board and she slobbers when she sputters -sorry. Also, all she can talk about is her grandmother's food and kitchen. Uh, how about an original thought and recipe?

      Her jar of pasta sauce was supposedly awful.

  9. James says:

    Tonight's episode: Mid-term.

    I was impressed by three things tonight.
    1. TOM---he really charmed and connected with the audience and the food was good. Tonight Tom really came into his own. If he can make it last, he has a good shot.
    2. SERENA--She deserves credit for learning from, and doing, the advice of the judges. She already learned to slow down last week, and she did NOT speed-up again this week. Good. Also this week in the 2 chicks in a truck, she DID get her smile back. She worked well with brianna and it was heart-warming to see how they both "turned a negative into a positive" in working together. My advice to Serena: 1. Stay relaxed (talking). 2. DO smile. She has a beautiful, endearing smile. 3. Show enthusiasm without sounding nervous. The way Serena did it tonight in the truck was excellent. Girl-power! Outgoing, smiling, enthusiastic without talking too fast. And the food was good. If she can keep this up, she has a real chance.
    3. HERB--is my 3rd surprise. I half=expected another continued meltdown but it didnt happen. Herb seemed more like he got his happy energy back. Good job. I would have him talk maybe 20% softer. His enthusiasm is great but he can become too loud if not careful.

    To me, those 3 people, showed the most IMPROVEMENT.

    It is true that brianna was also doing a great job in 2-chicks-in-a-truck but today I am focusing on "who is gaining ground and IMPROVING?"--not just staying the same.

    On another note: Paul went home. It was time. I could hardly believe that after all the trouble he's had coming off as offensive, that he would put his foot in mouth yet again tonight when Bobby Flay asked him what his point of view was and what exactly he would cook--and he said: "food". OBVIOUSLY. We know that. It came across as sarcastic. Again!
    You could see the looks on the judges faces.
    One more thing: Brad. I'm afraid next time is do-it-or-else time for him. I was really disappointed that he made over-cooked burgers. I would lose the "pro" thing and maybe go with something like "I can show you how to make it simple". Less pro. More teacher. 3 things for brad to do: 1. Pretend--the camera isnt even there. Look at it, but pretends its his friends powershot camera. SMILE at it and relax. SMILE! 2. Make better food and make it better than "something anyone could throw together". Dont make it complex, just very tasty.

    But again---the big news tonight is TOM, SERENA and HERB. In my opinion, they are learning, improving and showing how they can use the judges advice in a positive way. Good job!
    1. Be outgoing and SMILE. 2. But also relax and dont be "hyper" . 3. Make awesome, delicious food everyone will want more of! 4. Explain how the audience can make what you are cooking and show how it is easier than they think. Show us all how following your cooking steps will take the fear out of cooking and make it simpler. Show us you believe in your own food by smiling again! :)

  10. Debb says:

    Aarti is a refreshing change from the cooks we have on TV now. I personally love Indian food and would watch the show daily! She is fun to watch, with personality plus!