Now That Brad’s Gone ….

by in Community, Food Network Star, August 4, 2010

Brad Sorenson of The Next Food Network Star

Aside from just wishing he was still around, I've been thinking some about what Brad could have done differently. What might have kept him in the running? His food had some inconsistencies, but he certainly proved himself enough times on the cuisine front. His camera presence, at first so shaky, definitely seemed to be coming around. Should he have taken more risks? Or maybe it was the late discovery of his culinary point of view. Would he have pulled through with just one more episode to see how this newly defined direction (which the judges seemed to like) played out?

So based on what Brad wasn't able to do, who of the "final four" seems to have the best shot at going the distance where he fell short? Who's your money on at this point? Whoever it is, don't forget to vote for them ... just one more week and it's finale time.

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Comments (1,899)

  1. summergirl says:

    My Rant:
    This show has become asinine.Why would you eliminate Brad and Brianna who clearly have superior cooking skills to some that you've kept? These choices were made as if we, the audiance, are stupid. Do you really think that we would watch a cook who is charming but has limited skill over one who was stiff but could teach us how to make great food? Bobby and Giada became stars because of their talent as chefs, not because of their charm (watch their earlier shows).
    The challenges are ridiculous. Cooking an emotion? Really? Why not have them pick a color and only cook food in that color? It would be just as silly. Aria you get red. Brad, because we're going to scr*w you, you get blue. Shouldn't the challenges be related to the job they're auditioning for? Make them cook a Valentine's dinner that includes a cooking technique in their POV that they would have to demonstrate on camera. A good cook should be versalite. Give them one ingredient and have them make 2 dishes, one in their POV and one from the POV of an opponent

    • Michelle C. says:

      I am sad by the loss of Brad also, but now I want Aarti to win. She is sweet and a good chef and I would love to learn how to cook Indian food. I think they sent Brad home b/c he is too young and might not be seen as authoritative enough.

    • Annie says:

      Wow! Good ideas......much better than those coming from the staff on the Food Network Star!

    • James says:

      You go, girl!
      Yes, the challenges *do* need to be more "relevant"---not so far-out and above-n-beyond anything they will ever do once they get the show.

      But to the Question: What should Brad have done differently?
      Answer: "hardly anything!"
      OK--he coulda got a little better, earlier, with the Camera---BUT:
      1. Go back and RE-play some very early clips of:
      Bobby Flay
      Mario Batali....coommmme ON! Frankly, Brad was already becoming BETTER than their early-stuff.
      2. Brad WAS improving--on camera.

      This whole (very poor) decison has gotten SUCH a backlash and outcry on these forums! Have we EVER seen +40...+60 thumb's up's?---and even Higher? Go look at the 1st pg. of the Chatterbox forum.

      Brad's cooking was more consistent than herb's. And more consistent than Aria's.
      Brad wow-ed even "the Foodies". he can manage a "downtown crowd".
      His smile would melt ladies hearts.
      Brad WASN'T: conceited, obnoxious, sarcastic and didnt talk-a-mile-a-minute.
      ...and he has the Chops.
      This would been a decisive win-win for the network---and they just threw it away!
      How herb and aria ever outlasted Brad is beyond me. And from the looks of things on these threads/forums...hundreds of viewers agree!

      1st, there was EMERIL and his "BAM!"
      Naturally, they'd wanna repeat his success.
      Then, they hired Guy--and we got yellow hair, baggy pants and armbands.
      Ever since they hired Guy, the trend has been towards louder and more wound up people.

      Mark it down: if they give this to herb, or Aria, then you can bet you will NEVER see anyone else like Ina/Contessa ever win again!
      It's "all energy, all the time."

      I wonder if perhaps Bobby Flay felt a lil' threatened or like Brad might have become too much competition. We'll never know. I couldnt belieeeeve they did that.
      There's more: I am betting they could take another FIVE Italian contestants--and there would be something "wrong" with them. (Cant let anyone "invade" Giada's territory. Nice as she is...)

      Was it last year or the year before? A really GOOD cook,--ernie? or eddie?
      was from (i think) Atlanta, Georgia (Paula Deen country) and I remember thinking he was "hitting to close to home" and was "a little too good"...i.e..would be a "threat" (competition) to paula...and sure enough, he did come close to the end, and almost a winner...but they let him go, too.

      Point being: The CURRENT Chefs have TOO MUCH POWER!

      New Contestants are NOT to be simply a copy-cat of whoever already has the job already in order to be "safe". The people who already have they job are NOT the new cooks Boss--just a colleague, to whoever wins. But they have too much say--into deciding who is allowed into "he inner circle." So who should decide? THE PUBLIC. (At least much more-so), or someone from Cooking Light magazine or TV Guide, but drastically cut these world-travelled 5-star iron Chefs types. The contestants are applying for THAT kind of show.

      Have THE PUBLIC--EAT--the food the new contestants make,(like the food truck challenge, or bobby flay's public at outdoor picnic tables kinda thing..or a police dept...or 25 long haul truck drivers, or a nurses convention...or have food booths at a High school dance and let the student comments. Again, "regular folks".)-- and let it be rated 70% TASTE and 30% personality.

      Hey!--if its ME eating/rating thats exactly what I would do...i.e..."if you make incredible, awesome food, I wont be THAT concerned about yer personality, as long as not HORRIBLY dull, or obnoxious.
      We need MORE recipes and NEW ideas. and that does not have to mean foreign or another country, just better food that tastes better.
      Who would you like to see for new judges?

      • Erika says:

        I agree. What happened to simply being able to cook! They said that Brad was too shy in front of the camera, and Brianna wasn't emotional enough. They were my two favorite contestants. How in the world could they give that clown Tom another chance!

      • Dale says:

        You better find Brad some kind of show or people will be tuning into another channel to find him (like Nathan Lyon) Aarti is cute, but can she cook anything other than Indian food (I love Indian food, but . . .) Tom seems immature, but he can cook anything - he"ll need a good coach; Herb is inconsistant. - Brad was your best choice. I've been watching Food Network since Emeril was new - none of those people had camera skills you require of the new "stars". Brad's on a "Journey" we like to see him grow.

    • Joyce says:

      Wow...thank you for stating this so clearly. My frustration too is that the judges seem to want them to be perfect and that simply does not happen when you are a novice in front of a camera. I would watch Brad at any time....I might watch Aarti but I don't think that I would watch the other 3....maybe Herb if he sticks to his roots (but he is so up and down, it is scary).

    • L Brown says:

      Right on! Brad was the only hope for someone who might offer a different approach to what we already have on FoodNetwork. To be honest, I am tired of perky and over the top. Give me someone who can cook, who finally came up with a great right concept and has passion to continue to learn and share that knowledge with us. I was very disappointed when Brad left. He is the one with the potential to hold audiances. Is Bobby perky all the time? Is Gaida? Are any of the great chefs? Heck no. They have their moments and, you know what, that is what makes them real and real is what I want, not phony! I am tired of forced toothy grins and commentary that is so contrived it drools syrup. Give Brad a show and watch him run!

    • Jacki says:

      This has become ludicrous. Brad leaves and Aarrti stays?? Aarti has the single most grating voice I have ever heard... Nigella she is NOT! And the the stupid challenges that are in no way able to showcase the true ability of these chefs. Brad had the most promise. Just like you let Adam Gertler go and then brought him back....And Melissa D'Arabian is cute but so dull. And Amy Findley??? What a mess!! Guy Fieri is the only one yet who has proven he has the star power the network needs. Aaron McCargo??? Another bad choice.
      Please!!! C'mon judges wake up! Let these chefs have a chance and stop with the dumb challenges that sabotage these chefs...Tom is the best of the rest....and let Aarti go for heaven's sake. She is annoying. I sure wouldn't watch a show she was on.

    • Jacki says:

      I just have to make this comment! FN desperately needs new personalities that sparkle. I adored Ina Garten but how many shows has she done with overly repeated recipes??? How may times has she made store bought antipasti, made vinaigrette, made roasted vegetables, made "ganache", made crisps, made beef tenderloin, roast chicken, the same old same old!! I can go the store any day and buy appetizers and nuts, Ina! Start showing us some new recipes that aren't just retreads!!! Getting so boring. Same with Giada's recipes! Time for new stuff, meaning new stars! The selection committee needs to wake up!!!

    • Ed P says:

      I don't know about all that, but one thing I do believe is that Arti should have been gone a long time ago. Now I'm thinking that the network is trying to force her into a show about Indian cooking which right now they don't have. She is horrible and getting rid of Brad proved to me that they they want Arti to win. I feel sorry for the rest of the rest of them being dragged through this for the eventual coronation of Arti. Just like last season, the wrong person will win.

    • Cheryl Dyer says:

      I agree. And you keep Aria over Brad! Really? She has been rude, back-stabbing and her recipes suck. She also sounds like a pre-school teacher. I would NEVER watch her show.

    • Vicki says:

      I agree with everything you say and feel that the judges forgive contestants who can't cook over those who can. Yeah, I know, personality. It will be REALLY embarassing when Artie or Aria can't cook and no matter how big their smiles are. This is my first year to watch this competion and my last. Actually, when Brad left, that was the end of the seaason for me. I wish they (judges) could have listened to their own stars who saw Brad as a gem.

    • Cheryl S says:

      Is it possible to vote Brad back in. If we get him to the number one spot. What a twist to the show to bring him back.

    • Vegas E says:

      This show is just a joke. I cannot believe that they put this garbage out. I think Bobby Flay is great. I believe that Bob Tuschman needs to stay behind the camera and desk. This Susie Fogelson is joke she needs to stay behind the camera. Please stop this show. They have not done anything with the past stars except odd times and horrible shows. They need to get real chefs to be a guest job. Take a look at the HGTV Design Star and have it a web show and not a network show. Very much need to restart this and get it to be better. It is said. Food Network is not what it should be. No More Challenges either.

    • Tennscgirl says:

      I agree with your opinion of the weird and unrelated challenges. I completed don't understand the timed cooking and the one shot presentation to camera. NONE of the other current stars would ever have to do that. Who cares if it took an hour and FIVE minutes to prepare. We're never going to know because they edit. Also same goes for presenting something to camera. You know they get unlimited takes for that. So it's all irrelevant as to being a Food Network Star. So far though I have agreed with who has been voted off except for Brad. I so would have watched his show. Now I'm for Herb or Tom.

    • habaneromama says:

      It's just a crying shame that Brad wasn't able to get himself together on camera as quickly as they wanted. It's a bigger shame the way they completely disregarded how hard he worked, and his cooking skills, and kept going on about how he was just "too young", when they should have been praising how hard he worked, and his cooking skills, despite his age. The only one left with any real personality is Tom. He's really coming into his own. A big, fun-loving guy that can cook – yeah, I’d watch that!

    • habaneromama says:

      Sorry - I've got a lot to say. Here's to the other finalists: I am absolutely SICK of Aria's gaping fish expressions and back-stabbing phony-phony-phony and her mediocor run of the mill cooking. And don't be fooled - Aarti's just as phony with her oh poor little me I'll just cry if everyone doesn't love me, she's just better at hiding her 'other face' when she's on camera. Herb can cook, but he's just plain scary, and let's face it, all that angst just wears me out!

    • habaneromama says:

      And to the judges and "Stars" - why don't you try to remember how you got there? Quit being so holier-than-thou just because you finally got to the top. Bobby Flay in whatever that show was called where he was with the overalls-wearing bumpkin? You couldn't harldy understand Emeril when he first started - he mumbled half the time. Ever see any of Rachel Ray's first shows? She hardly ever looked into the the camera to make eye contact with the people watching her show. Get over yourselves!

    • ZenChef says:

      You have some good ideas for challenges, and I do agree that Bobby & Giada were not the stars they are now, when they began on FN... But Brianna??? Really? She might have had the skills, but her self-righteous, b---- attitude was not something I was willing to watch on a FN show... Brad on the other hand, had a lot to offer. He could have (and maybe still will be) a mentor for all the young foodies and aspiring chefs out there... something the FN is lacking right now. As far a last seasons winner... I tried to watch her sow once.. NEVER AGAIN! She is truly awful!!!... Let's hope this season's winner is a better star.

    • laurie says:

      this show isnt worth watching without brad, i would have watched boil water!

  2. summergirl says:

    Rant Part 2
    I am so tired of the Indian food bashing. How can people who may have tried Indian food once or twice condenm the food of an entire nation? I have lived in the midwest for years and had vaguely negative feelings about grits. Then I moved to Charleston, SC. My 1st real taste of grits was at a VA hospital cafeteria...all my worst suspicions were confirmed. Then I went to a restaurant were I had pecan encrusted grouper served on a bed of butter,cheese grits. Wow! Now I understood why grits were so popular in the south. Delicious. I learned to appreciate so many different foods while in SC. Sometimes it took a few tries to understand why the locals loved a dish so much (she-crab soup), but the effort was worth it.
    Any new cuisine can be challenging and it might take you awhile to find a version of a local dish that you like. But to condemn multiple cuisines (India has 28 states each with their own cuisine just like the US has multiple local cuisines) based on 1 or 2 dishes seems lazy and wrong.

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you! Over 2.5 Indian Americans, and they say there's little interest in Indian food. There is no show or television chef that will appeal to everyone.

    • Annie says:

      Another great comment! I think if Aarti wins, she should teach us how to cook authentic Indian dishes and some easier, more beginner friendly recipes ,both in taste and technique.

    • Prozz says:

      Yes. I think her Indian fusion idea is fantastic. I personally want to learn how to make good Indian cuisine because I love eating any and all different types of foods, but the fusion with more common entrees found on the average dinner table in some of the U.S. is a great way for the bashers to eat thier words. That's assuming they aren't to hard headed to try a recipe once or twice.

    • WhutUp says:

      Well, I get your point, but I think you are unfairly applying it to everyone (tit for tat!). I have eaten Indian cuisine MANY times. Too many to count. There have been a few GREAT dishes, and a few horrible ones. Most fall in between for me. It's definitely not a favorite. I don't really want to see any show that's based on one cuisine. I want to see a show where I can learn something every time I watch it. I'm not sure Aarti can offer that, but I'd be willing to tune in now and again.

      • summergirl says:

        Thank you for illustrating my point so perfectly. Indian food doesn't have to be your favorite or even in the top ten for you to find dishes you think are GREAT. Isn't that how it is when you explore a new cuisine? Somethings are great, some horrible, and most in between.
        I'm not saying you have to watch a show about Indian food or learn how to cook it or eat it everyday. I'm just asking that people not bash ALL Indian food based on 1 or 2 dishes they may have tried.

    • habaneromama says:

      I will paraphrase another of my comments here - we are not bashing Indian food - we just don't like it. Indian food is no better or worse than Mexican food, German food, Chinese food or Italian food. They all use different spicing and cooking techniques. I've traveled throughout the entire continental United States, and enjoyed great local cuisine and local versions of "foreign" foods. Depending on where you are, you might have a hard time finding one over another because every region has their favorites. However, even in large metropolitan areas where the populace has embraced a multitude of cultures, you will not find more than one or two good restaurants featuring Indian cuisine, simply because most Americans

  3. dakota boy 57 says:

    What I have to say is based upon the viewer's perspective. It's maybe not even close to what really brings the winners to the forefront. We don't see what the production process may already be doing behind the scenes to bring each candidate to the episodes. Here goes with what I have to say...Each of the contestants, every year, have magnetic personalities, a food vibe, experience & talent. The contestants this year are 10 out of 1000's that applied. It appears that they are somewhat "fending for themselves" in preparing for each challenge. That tends to make it a drama..."Oh Brad you have come so far!"

    • Stanton says:

      I totally agree.....besides, didn't he tell Bobby Flay he was about to eat the best burger (overcooked and lacked flavor) Brad has some great skills but he has a ways to go before he is ready to be in front of a camera. I worked in TV for twenty years and finally burned out doing production work for CBS and changed careers. You can't teach charisma. You either have it or you don't. Brad isn't ready yet. I think my biggest concern is Herb. He might not have any idea what level commitment is needed to prosper in the world of TV productions. It is a totally committed deal. Look at Guy's show Triple D and see how much travel he does to make that show a success. Think Herb could do that? Aria? I am not seeing it.

  4. dakota boy 57 says:

    (part 2)
    I would rather see each member in their "raw stage" for just the first episode (maybe two), so that we can really see what each is, or is not made of. Then, let the production professionals take them, coach and mentor, so that the strongest and best really does win in the end. Kind of like "Dancing With the Stars". The way it'sdone now is entertaining reality television, but it doesn't find the true star. The strongest and best Star is the one that can be coached and mentored, quite often turning their biggest weakness into their biggest strength. I'm a Realtor. My strength comes from receiving professional education, training and mentoring; and then applying it to my natural talents, not the other way around. Next Food Net Star is doing it the "other way around" and it doesn't bring the best to the forefront.

    • Ashley says:

      That's a great idea! I would love to watch that show. Watching NFNS now is so frustrating and uncomfortable because the contestants are often put in ridiculous situations. I think they would have better results then as well. I would much rather watch them set the contestants up for success rather than failure as they do now.

  5. dakota boy 57 says:

    (part 3)
    You may even say that the best star doesn't have a real chance ...when the ability to cook, the simple & natural charm, boyish innocence and natural smile and charisma lose out because no one considered giving the young man the training to smile on camera and properly present his "emotion word". Brad, you have the goods. Now find someone to improve your shine.

    • Kurtdm1 says:

      Excellently said and I most certainly agree.

    • Irene says:

      I absolutely agree ! The Food Network has already hired for whatever audience Aria might appeal to with the ( please forgive the reference, but it fits so well) "Barbie" like persona of Melissa De Arabian.
      My 20 year old SON was home last week and we watched the show together, when Brad was eliminated he got up and asked if we could turn it off with " That stinks. He (Brad) would really have been fun to watch. Of all of them, he had most to offer. " Perhaps the network needs to reassess it's demographic "needs". So very, very sorry to see you go, Brad. You will be greatly missed.

  6. Jake says:

    I know Brad would have pulled off an awesome meal for the iron chef battle. He was improving in every episode I saw, whether it was his camera skills, food, and even his POV. It is absurd to me that the judges did not give him another chance. He would have done so good. Apart from all of that, Brad still should have stayed because he had a relaxed nature about him that made me feel calm and assured to take his tips. We are about the same age and I thought he was extremely relatable. I felt that he would have brought some young blood to the network. By the way, I think Flay is great but c'mon he didnt even smile for like his first years on the network. My advice to you Food Network is to bring Brad back!

    • Pam says:

      I agree, Brad was by far the most talented chef. He also had great carisma and would have continued to grow. I am very dissappointed in the judges because the 4 that are left would never inspire me to tune in to their shows. They really missed the boat by letting Brad go. BOO to the judges.

    • Pam says:

      Brad was great and he should not have been cancelled. He was clearly way above the others in both chef ability and charm. The 4 that are left are a sad group to choose from, I doubt I'll tune in for the next few episodes because any one of them would be a dissappointment.

      • Maizie says:

        I feel the same way Pam. I doubt I tune in either. With Brad gone there is really no one to pull for. Brad was the best candidate in my opinion and several others opinions as well. Sometimes I wonder what the judges could be thinking about. I wouldn't watch any one of the four that's left. This show has lost it's appeal.

    • Kristin says:

      I totally agree. Brad was obviously a very talented chef. The POV he discovered within himself is extremely inventive, unique and interesting. What a fresh show for the FN! I'm very disappointed that he's been eliminated. Aria should've gone home. She doesn't have the cooking chops, and that has been evident for some time. Her POV is just not something I want to watch either. I am a home cook, yet even I want to yawn at the thought of another show with that perspecitve!!! Besides, can anyone do homestyle better than Paula or the Neely's? Can anyone do elegant, casual better than Ina? NO. There's already a stable full of talent for such perspectives. Don't know who to root for now.

    • Ed says:

      I voted for Brad also, feel the same as you Jake and others. Herb did not cook one good meal until that night and gets to go on. I don't understand it, your right. Brad was such a good cook and so cute and a pleasure to watch his sweet smile.

    • tania says:

      I so agree!!! his smile was so heart melting and he definitely cooked better than some of the final 4. There is nothing wrong with a little eye candy which the food network definitely needs.

    • 2nd Mom says:

      Jake, I am in total agreement. Brad I feel out shined everyone....even though he may have been a bit camera shy his totally relaxed nature and superior cooking abilities made him shine in my book. Unfortunately I'm not Brad's age . . . much older.....his mother's age probably....but I truly fell in love with his persona. I was outraged when they kicked Brad out and kept Aria - she has struck me as very condesending through this whole deal and did not see anything positive about her at all.

      I feel that Brad will shine wherever he goes and "shame on Food Network" for letting him go!

  7. cassie says:

    Sad to see Brad go. Next Aria is just a reapeat of sooo many others except that she act a bit spoiled , interputing others rude to them with facial grimaces and actions. It would be a sad comment to see her get a show over some of the others . She is not setting a good example , certainly not one I would want to watch or have my children watch.

  8. Johanna says:

    I really enjoyed Brad's enthusiasm, fresh clean-cut look and recipes, however, he froze in front of the camera on the single auditions. I was sorry to see him leave. Since he seems to blossom while interacting with others, my thought is to place him on specials with a partner where he is engaged in interaction while cooking and and hopefully loses what appears to be a fear of the camera. I would love to see a show where Brad teaches singles, ie, college students, single men and women of all ages (there are many of us) how to cook great meals for one person and how to transform any leftovers into a great dinner for one.

    • Pam says:

      Brad has so much potential and would have progressed and grown as all others have. The judges have really missed the boat on this one but it is not the first time.

    • carol says:

      So spot on! My daughter (22) and I love Food Network but she has said, "How about a show for those of us who cook for one?" Not just leftovers but "Cooking just for Me"

  9. Danny says:

    Since he shouldn't have been eliminated in the first place, I doubt that there was anything he could have done. Perhaps be less interesting and telegenic? That seems to be what the show goes for.

  10. Steve Roser says:

    Too bad, I'm getting tired of hearing about Aarti's party....

    • Martha says:

      Amen! I have to say that she is the one person I would not watch if she got the show. I don't think Brad should have been eliminated either and I don't like the way they have them cooking and the themes they use. It doesn't seem like they have a chance to really show what they are all about. Quite frankly, none of them have impressed me a whole lot.

    • Annie says:

      I think it's the show's producers who are making her say it all the time....have a clear vision of your show etc. She is probably sick of saying it too! I'm sure if she wins, that won't be the name of her show.

    • Jacki says:

      ME TOO, Steve!!!! She is NO party and just as annoying as can be. Keeping her over Brad was just stupid, simple and plain. What is an Aahti Pahty anyway??? Her food has been so inconsistent. Brad is and could be a hugg draw, given a little help from the pros, which is what Giada and Bobby both got. Giada's first shows were dreadful, and now her huge toothy smile is so forced. She really gets on my nerves too. I love Bobby Flay, and he has proven that with time and practice someone can get great, if they have the chops to start with, like BRAD! What a huge mistake to keep Aria and Aarti...they should both go! Tom looks to be the most promising now!