All I’m Looking For Is a Star

by in Food Network Star, August 9, 2010

Bob Tuschman

So here we are heading into the final stretch with TOM, HERB and AARTI. Am I surprised by these final three? Yes, actually.

If you had asked me before we taped, I may have guessed that the final three standing would be ARIA, AARTI and, maybe, BRAD.

I couldn’t have predicted that ARIA would have started out as astoundingly impressive as she did … and end up on such a low note.

I couldn’t have predicted that BRAD would struggle so much for so long with the camera … and never really make peace with it.

I couldn’t have predicted that TOM would finally find a way to mix his low key slacker vibe with humor and cooking creativity to become a real contender.

I couldn’t have predicted HERB would find a way to fuse his Latin and Healthy point of views so appealingly, and in a way that lets his inner-star shine through.

And I couldn’t have predicted AARTI would struggle all season long with her self-confidence in ways that nearly sunk her, and our confidence in her, over and over.

That’s what I love about doing this show. You can never predict anything.

So, do I have a favorite going in? Not really. All I'm looking for is a star. I think each of these three have the potential, but in wildly different ways. Can't wait to see what they do with their pilots. I'll see you at the finale.

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Comments (2,162)

  1. Thank you for this explanation, I feel truly auspicious I found this site!

  2. Jason says:

    Watching Aarti call Bobby Flay's bluff last night while her food was being judged was priceless. If that isn't self-confidence, I don't know what is.

    • ElaineS says:

      I was so glad to see her, after a moment's hesitation, answer with confidence!

    • Karen Donzell says:

      You are right Jason, that was arrogant on her part!

    • Ryan Wenzler says:

      That's why he asked the question. To check whether she had confidence in her cooking. To see if she's grown.

    • Hopeful says:

      I can't wait to learn how to make Aarti's food.No one on food network teaches how to make Indian food with it wonderful flavors and spices. I would watch Aarti every week!

      • Ann-Marie says:

        I agree. It's great to have an option for food beside steak, burgers, pasta... i love the idea of tasty food! I would definitely watch Aarti's show!

    • Michelle C. says:

      At this point I am all about Aarti winning! I like her personality and would love to learn some Indian cooking. I dont like Aria @ all, I believe she is a phony!! I like Herb, but I like Aarti better!

    • Darlene Joyce says:

      I agree. I also think that it was very unfair in the Iron Chef Episode to give the first pair shrimp, and the second pair bacon. The second mystery ingredient was MUCH harder. The ingredients ought to have been more similar. I GET why they were not the same, but it felt really OFF to me. I'm still, frankly, bummed that Brad was sent home. It was a poor choice by the judges. It would have been so fun to see Aarti, Brad and one of the other surprise men go up against each other in a fair challenge. Now, iron chef needs to do a bacon challenge with all of the iron chefs competing with EACH OTHER over how to make bacon the star dish...and somebody best show us HOW to do a bacon steak and a bacon crab cake properly. Darlene in Minnesota

      • bmj says:

        I think the point is the Iron Chef wouldn't have done a bacon steak and bacon crab cake. They would have been more creative than that.

    • guest says:

      If Herb had been on the program "Chopped" and served sand from the clams in his gritty soup,
      he would have been chopped immediately. Tom has never seasoned his food correctly and has
      continually failed to cook a decent meal every show. Clearly FN is only concerned about who
      is most marketable to make money for them. FN can give them the recipes and prepare the
      dish for the show, so why does the person need to know how to cook ? Although Tom has a
      nice personality, he comes off as a slacker and sloppy. I do not think Aarti is sophisticated
      enough for Susie's liking. I guess it all comes down to what show FN thinks they need and
      what population/culture they want to attract.

    • Marguerite says:

      It didn't seem close to me at all. Aarti's food was superior, her point of view original and appeal on camera natural. Her show is going to be the best of all the past FNS winners!

  3. NLanier says:

    I've watched Aarti grow all along, and I really do think she has what it takes. I find her to be extremely relatable, and I would watch her show in a heartbeat..... She makes her Point of view current and approachable.

    • rndgriffith says:

      If she wins (I hope not) Please name the show something other than Aarti Party, I am sick of her saying that. She is annoying and I won't watch her show, but there are still commercials.

    • Tara says:

      but all he knows is Indian food - she does not know her way around another food - maybe she should touch up on KNOWLEDGE of all products - I just can't stand her

    • Sarah says:

      I absolutely agree with you. If I may add, I find Aarti so sincere, unexploited and humble - the kind of chef I would look forward to watch.

    • patpat52 says:

      I agree with NLanier she really does have that star quality and a smile hat would brighen up any program. bob, I beleive you have already found your star but yet you got to do your job. Go Aarti, you deserve to shine. Her passion and love or her food really stands out and she has been the best cook by far. She deserves to win.

    • patpat52 says:

      Aarti has the smile and personality to win the biggest opportunity of a lifetime. She has so much love and passion for her food, I would watch her show. Good Luck Aarti,

    • Carolyn Dickerson says:

      I think she has what it takes to present herself and her cooking on TV, but I would not watch her.....there is something about her when she opens her mouth to talk that gets on my nerves...I would, however watch Tom...

    • Lyzzi says:

      Yeah! Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Aarti

    • Angel says:

      I agree with you whole heartedly, I have watched Aarti grow from day one and she has come a long way from the first show, She is alot like Melissa DeArabia in $10 meals, she was the same way last year, she grew from day one and she won and her show is great, I think Aarti will be the same way. I would watch Aarti's show before I would watch Herb, Herb makes me tired, and I think Tom could clean his-self up a little to be working with food. So good luck Aarti, I am rooting for you! Does anyone know how we can actuallly talk to Like Alton Brown to learn some cooking info?

    • Dean says:

      Sorry I wouldn't watch Aarti because of all the foreign mixtures and spices she uses. I want something I can make with out having to go buy something that is expensive and don't know how it would taste.

    • Andagain says:

      Aarti is so "sweet" she makes me gag. I couldn't possibly watch her. And all she cooks well is Indian food...mostly what her "Mum" makes. Can she cook anything else? What happens when she runs out of curry recipes?

    • Someone says:

      Totally agree. I would LOVE too watch Aarti's show and would watch it all the time(also, nice title). Tom's show, I would watch sometimes... and Herbs"s, I wouldn't want to watch it. :)

  4. Guest says:

    Aria's down fall is that Bob and Suzie want Tom to win. Aria should have moved on not Tom. Tom didn't have one decent dish. I don't care how simple Aria's dishes were, Tom's food was awful. Bob and Suzie make it evident every season who they want to win. They want Tom to win. No matter how good Aarti you can tell they want Tom to win. They didn't hardly say anything about his terrible food. But, yet Suzie had a nasty look on her face because Aarti's commentary wasn't perfect. If Aarti's food would have been as bad as Tom she would have gone home. If Tom wins, I know that it is all about what Bob and Suzie want not about who is really good. That's why there has only been one real food network star come out of this. Tom does not deserve to be in the finals.

    • beltofwhiskey says:

      I can't recall the episode precisely right now, but I don't recall Suzie seeming biased towards Aarti. I think they said that both the commentary and the cooking we're equally as important and, in all fairness, Aarti wasn't really that talkative. But I see your point, it's not like she's trying out to be a reporter. For a first time doing that gig, not so big an issue. But cooking garbage on the other hand? No excuse for that.

    • innerjuju says:

      Tom?? They want TOM to win??/ What a joke. This whole season has been about Aarti, Aarti, Aarti. Even when she bombed, the Selection Committee looked the other way. Last season, the Committee made it well known that Food Network wanted an Ethnic cooking show. There is no question that Aarti will win. The problem here is that it is a show I will never watch (hmmmm, just like Melissa D'Arabian. Guess I'll never get a decent "Star".)

      • Jandy says:

        Melissa d'Arabian's recipes are so easy and good. I've kept several printed and at hand for a year. I use them all the time.

        • Cindy says:

          Don't like Melissa either. I think she's boring and have never wanted to print and make anything she cooked.

        • Shelly says:

          I agree! Her winning pilot dish was 4 step chicken-I made it for a friend's b'day dinner that same week and the potato au gratin too. Delish and easy. She often has simple tricks that I like. The caprese tartlets with the shell made from white bread! I haven't tried it yet but I will. And I like her shopping and storing tips like cooking up lots of dried beans and freezing them. I don't know why so many people don't like her.

          • ChrisK. says:

            I was one who did not want Melissa to win AT ALL and swore I would boycott her show. She has grown on me, and now I love to watch and never miss her show. She cooks like I do - using every last "drop", so I love her tips. I have tried a few of her recipes, and they are very good. I love the way you don't have to spend a fortune to create a nice meal.

        • dessertgirl says:

          Melissa takes her recipes from other chefs and from food magazines. Wow, she came up with the salad in the jar several weeks ago. The jar was featured in the August 2009 issue of Gourmet Magazine.

          Her recipes cannot be made for ten dollars and often the cost is double what she says. Why does FN continue to let Melissa lie and mislead us?

      • Vikkie says:

        I agree 100% with you innerjuju about Aarti.. I can't stand watching her .. no one this season jumps out at me.. but especially not her... she isn't "sweet" she isn't very smart.. and her confidence level is low. I think the judges want her to win.. I prob won't watch her show if she wins..

      • Nunya says:

        Until they get over their "every Food Network Star has to have a huge personality" nonsense, there won't be a decent "Star". Just more obnoxious one season hosts.

    • foodnetworkstarfan says:

      Aria didn't make bacon the main dish, it wasn't that her food was simple it's she didn't push the envelope which is what Tom did even if he didn't make it his commentary was also spot on. I don't like any of Melissa's dishes and wouldn't make any of them. I have watched her show though but so not interested. I'd watch any show with any of the finalists, don't know how long but certainly will give them a shot. Never know they may do what they did with Adam and make someone else a star even if they don't "win."

    • Bea says:

      Please.....seriously.......Aria?????? She really needs to back to school and learn how to cook!!!!! I can agree that Tom is not the best either, but she was by far the worst!!!

    • Kelly says:

      Okay, I'm sorry but have you just NOT been paying attention to the show??? They have been pretty rough on Tom and have made it clear when they didn't like his food...however, he does actually step outside of his comfort zone and tries to do things that are above and beyond. No, they don't always turn out right but at least he isn't afraid to give it a shot. As for Aarti, she has YET to make a single dish that wasn't "Indian Food." Serena didn't ever get past the "Italian Food" and she was booted off because of it. At least Tom is unpredictable and entertaining. Aarti...well, she just isn't. Yes, I think she has a nice personality but she couldn't hold my attention for long or on a daily (or even weekly) basis. She doesn't have great camera presence but isn't horrible either. Tom can make anything seem fun and in a REAL show he'd have a chance to perfect the dish before shooting, so it wouldn't turn out bad.

    • Lori says:

      I agree with innerjuju that Aarti seems to be the "fix is in" contestant at this point. I'm actually the one who wants to see Tom win. I'm not sure why I like Tom more. Aarti is adorable and has a terrific accent, but I don't like Indian flavors, for the most part. I think FN was hoping Debbie would fill that Ethnic slot they wanted until she alienated the entire viewing audience with her cutthroat ways.

      IMHO, Aarti's been a shoo in because she didn't act like Debbie "Did you know I'm Korean?" from last season. Maybe Tom will pull an Adam Gertler and get shows based on his personality.

      Side note: (I love Adam. I wish they would have kept his "Will Work for Food" show. I think it's better than "Kid in a Candy Store". He's also a fun part of "Best Thing I Ever Ate". )

    • Karen says:

      I don't see that Bob and Suzie want Tom to win. In fact, I thought they were biased towards Aria because she should have went home a long time ago. Especially when she interupted Aarti during her speech a few episodes ago.

      • @austinchump says:

        +10 @ Karen. Some of these people clearly have not been paying attention to the dynamics on the show. Bob T. and Susie have both been swooning over Herb and Aria the whole time. Susie or Bob or both tell Herb and Aria EVERY week how wonderful they are. In fact, Susie told Aria that AGAIN this past week, true to form. Cummon people! Both Aria and Herb shoulda been gone a long time ago.

        Herb is gonna win because he is the remaining apple of the eye of both Bob T. and Susie. But whatever >_>

    • Karen Donzell says:

      I have felt that they are partial to Arti, not Aria. Tom's food wasn't a success on the Iron Chef challenge, but he did think outside of the box, and his comfort on camera was unshakable! He has won several challenges and his food has been beautiful (like his tale of two tuna's). I believe he deserves to be in the finals along with Herb and Arti.

    • sharon hinlke says:

      I agree 100% it is very obvious!!!

    • Laura P says:

      I can't say I see any particular favoritism from Susie and Bob toward Tom. But I agree he doesn't offer much that I would be interested in watching. He looks unkempt, and he waves his hammy hands around nervously the whole time he's presenting. Aarti knocked the socks off the Iron Chefs, and for that along, Susie and Bob should be looking very, very strongly at her.

    • Karin says:

      Wow, I haven't seen an preference to Tom at all. He's had a few successes with his food too. Aria should have gone last week already too. Aarti is a delight but she is painful to watch with her insecurities; not to mention that she's failed a few times with her food. Yes, Aarti was a winner with her food last night but her commentary was awful. Tom failed in his food last night but his commentary was very good. So they both remain. As they should.

    • RKW says:

      I don't think they are showing Tom favoritism. Tom did one aspect last night really well last night, and bombed on the other. Aria really bombed both. She could have taken her POV and Iron Cheffed it, no problem. She didn't push herself at all. I don't think they're showing Aarti favoritism. I think, in gambling terms, she's "the favorite to win." Indian food is her POV, which would be suicide if she didn't cook it REALLY well. That's what puts her out in the front at this point. Frankly, I have always thought the whole Iron Chef Challenge is unfair. Most seasoned Food Network Celebs would get very close to cracking under the pressure of Kitchen Stadium. Frankly, unlike all previous FNS seasons, with these 3 finalists, I think they should stop the competition now and give them all shows.

    • Denise says:

      I agree wholeheartedly. Tom's presence in front of the camera is only so-so, where Brad's was 80% better and could have gotten much better, and his food was always fantastic. What's the deal here! I'm glad Aria is gone, she was getting a little bit too cocky for me. I'm pulling for either Aarti or Herb, because they are always natural and geniune in their presentations and their food is well liked.

    • Cathy says:

      ARIA isn't nice and it shows in the camera. She is not star quality. Tom has a lot more to offer the audience. Judges, you got it right.

    • biya6895 says:

      You are kidding, right??? Aria isn't in the same league as these others. I think Aarti is going to win. I do not see anything going in Tom's direction except maybe a couple of good dishes and he seems to be a little more comfortable in front of the camera. I thought for sure that Brad was going to be in the finals and probably should have been over Tom.

    • buttercupgirl says:

      I don't think you even watched that episode . . . half of the competition was the commentating - in which Tom excelled and Aria failed. Aria's food was mediocre and did not fulfill the requirements of the challenge (highlighting the secret ingrediant, taking challenges, being polished and professional); Tom's food although not tasty was creative and without question featured the main ingrediant. Aria didn't cook anything that any homemaker couldn't do without instruction. It's not that I even especially like Tom or want him to win, but Aria was clearly the loser in that challenge.

    • Jennifer L. says:

      You miss the point though. It was an Iron Chef challenge. And if you've ever watched Iron Chef, you know that the premise is that you utilize the releaved ingredient as the highlight of your dish. Aria didn't make bacon dishes. She made breakfast dishes (and not even super quality ones) with a side of bacon. She showed a lack of creativity, a lack of finesse, and furthermore, she blew the whole commentator part of her challenge by being completely unprofessional, lacking personality and an utter absence of food knowledge and assertiveness.

      Tom had horrible dishes, yes, he followed in the spirit of Iron Chef, which was the whole premise, AND he also did phenominal on his comentary, showing not only personality but impressive food knowledge.

      Aria has been on a slow decline for a while now... and frankly, I think it's long overdue that she left. I think all three remaining chefs have their separate issues, I don't think any of them is perfectly camera ready as we speak. But can I see any of the three with their own interesting, watchable food network show? Yes, I absolutely can. I have my favorite for sure, but I would give any of their three shows a chance.

    • susie says:

      The only person that coulod have written this is Aria herself, or maybe her mom!!! Aria sucked, and it was obvious for too long that they were trying to give the win to HER! This poster is obviously not into food at all!

    • Tammy says:

      Aria should of been gone a long time ago. She hasnt made one thing that would inspire you to give it a try. She has just been flying under the radar this entire time. She only made it this far because someone has been worse. She is a kindergarten teacher on steroids.....annoying. Tom is personable, tries things out of the box, some successful some not but he is interesting and his choices, good or bad,cause dialogue which is what you want. You would want to give his show a try just to see what he is going to make.

    • Nunya says:

      They want Tom to win? Really? I don't think so. As we saw last episode, Aarti gets every break possible. She's being set up to win just like the winner last year. Herb had successes in both the cooking and commentating parts and lost, Aarti completely blew the commentating part and served up what I considered to be run of the mill food and wins. What's wrong with this picture? Throw into it the petty slamming done by AB and the judges about that short return from commercial intro and what do you get? Aarti as the winner. I've had a problem taking this show seriously from day one and nothing has changed.

      • NEECEE says:

        Aarti served "run of the mill" food? To whom? That CERTAINLY WAS NOT THE OPINION OF THE IRON CHEFS. Thank you very much!

      • Emma says:

        When Bobby Flay says he would like to have a restaurant with Aarti and Kat Kora says she would like to get a part in that, I seriously doubt the food is "run of the mill".

    • Zach says:

      "They didn't say hardly anything about his terrible food"?? You mean like, "It was like cutting into a boot." (Bobby), "This is a big mistake, you shouldn't serve this." (Suzie), and "That was the WORST DISH IN THE HISTORY OF NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR" (Bob)???? What show are you watching?

      I've only watched Season 4 and this season, but from what I've seen it's difficult for me to believe that the outcome is not predetermined. But giving the benefit of the doubt and assuming it's not, I actually like Tom. Not as much as Aarti, but Tom is talented. There's just too much feast or famine with him, if you'll excuse the expression. He's the Big Chef, and basically every episode with him has been either a big hit or a big miss. I just hope they don't go the Adam Gertler route with him and make him essentially a clown. He has more talent than that when he keeps himself roped in a little.

    • Joyce says:

      I don't know what they were looking for....some of the best was right there and there did not recognize it so we will probably be looking Aarti as the winner....she is sweet but not better than Brad, or Tom, or Herb. I am so sad that Brad was sent home when Aria's food missed on so many occasions but because she had a big cheesy grin....she moved is not just the big facial expression....can you teach us anything. I am not aware of anything that Aria taught anybody.

      I am not convinced that Aarti is that great of a teacher....but she will be the winner...................

    • Drippin_inSwagJuice says:

      Thats stupid! Aria got off because not only her food was simple and not in the spirit of Iron Chef, and her commentary was horrible. She didnt know what she was doing, and Tom did very well on his commentary, which was half of the score. IMO, Aria is really annoying and treats everyone like there 3 years old.

    • Jan says:

      Tom has more camera presence then aarti will ever have. and I would watch him over Aarti any time.

    • NONASUSAN says:

      I never liked Aari. I always felt her forced and false in her approach to the camera, to the judges, and to everyone else. I was surprised she lasted so long and was really glad to see her go!

    • clear says:

      Tom and Susie wanted the last winner "Big Daddy" by the way I refuse to watch his show, I figured Herb has a good shot . There are no Hispanic male TV Food Network Starts. Unless Herb really steps on the old crank he might have a shot. .................As a side not I really seldom watch food network anymore. They have not had anything new in several years . Rachel is same old same old. Gina is good to look at and I do like AB , though the reruns are getting old . Iron Chef is good when there is a new show.

  5. Sarah says:

    I'm so upset that Aria isn't in the final 3. I feel she was the BEST on-camera from the beginning; then Herb. I think her down-home POV & cooking style is reminiscent of Paula Deen & who can argue w/ her success?? I mean Aria wasn't trying out for the Iron Chef show, but for her OWN show....& even if the judging was to be solely based on THAT challenge, Tom should've gone... his lame attempt to pull your vote by knowing what paprika was... well it worked; but may i point out -- Paula Deen can't even pronounce paprika!! (& I LOVE Her!). What I think happened, is that the horrible comments on this site (I call it the 'witch hunt' after Brad left), affected Aria's confidence...& maybe u bought into it too. She wasn't her happy self on the episode last night -- tho' she tried -- & failed. That's true....but u could've let her go to the final 3 -- u know you're going to send Tom home next...& she deserved it more; her food may've been plain, but they said Tom's was the worse ever!! I'm voting for Herb, even tho' I'm afraid Aarti's going to win. If she does, I WON'T watch her.

    • Cindy says:

      Aria was good on camera to start. But I think she was also a bit stuck on herself. She undercut and shushed how many people during presentations. That turned me off of her then. Haven't liked her or anything she's done since then. And her personality started grating on my nerves.

    • David says:

      You realize that comments here couldn't have affected that Challenge, right? Bob alluded to Tom's cooking in this challenge weeks ago, after all...

    • ElaineS says:

      Any comments on this site can't have had an effect on Aria since those shows were taped some time ago, this is current as we see them on TV and only the finale will be done now!

    • Laura P says:

      I disagree. Aria was so fakey sweet in the beginning. Lately she showed her true b*tchy colors, and that was not pretty. Both her cooking and her commentary last night were awful. She should have gone home earlier, but last night was okay too.

    • Wanda says:

      Aria was a back stabber twice when she couldn;t let someone else finish their talking, but had to butt in
      I absolutely would not have watched her show if she'd got one.
      I wish Brad could have made it, he was the most honest of all

    • Leah says:

      thats not fair to AArti, she is just as much in this crazy mix as any of them.

    • Carole says:

      Aarti will win and she deserves to! Come on; there's no comparison. She has the best personality too. How can anybody NOT like her??

    • Tammy says:

      Aria's food is uninspiring. There is nothing she has made you couldnt make yourself and better. She would be better on a childrens show. Why would you watch a cooking show to learn how to make plain french toast. And the commentary was important. Why would you watch a show with a grown woman giggling like a little kid the whole time. You wouldn't you watch a cooking show to learn something new, or to be inspired to try something new. Your missing the point

      • foodlover says:

        I agree with you. I almost felt like Aria purposedly made such mediocre food so she can leave the battle.

    • maggsie says:


    • Rae says:

      I like Aria at the beginning but her "full of herself" attitude wore thin fast and reminded me of Debi (or whatever the "I'm Korean" was last year. Aria deserved to go home as she didn't even complete the challenge correctly and deviated from what was asked. Would you want that for an employee? There is nothing wrong with Aarti. I'd watch her. She doesn't talk to you like you were 2.

    • Cath says:

      I am with you, Sarah... I won't watch Aarti either. "Aarti's Potty" is obnoxious. Brad, in my opinion, was the best of the bunch. He would have caught up to the cameras eventually - but he didn't do it fast enough :+( Herb has a great TV presence and I would watch him.

    • Cheryl Moulthrop says:

      To be food network star you have to bring something special. My teenage nieces can make simple family style food. I agree with the judges.

    • gaye says:

      Sarah I agree with you, I wanted Aria to win. And I will NOT watch Aarti....I can't stand it when she says Aarti's Party.....YUCH

    • dave says:

      Aria did not fulfill the iron chef challenge which was to make bacon the star. She made dishes "with" bacon. So she did not do the challenge. Tom's dishes were not great either but he at least did the commentary with knowledge and did not act stupid like aria did and her food was simple too. You want to cook great food. and not serve crap

    • pie girl 22 says:

      aarti is way better than aria, i saw that from the start ,you should have relized that too

  6. Barbara says:

    Aria refused to cook sophisticated food and instead choose to cook for her child. Clearly she misses him and needed to go home. Very boring food and point of view. Most moms, like me, watch the food network to help us rise out of the dull-drums in preparing meals.. not embrace it.

    Aarti wowed the judges, but honestly she hasn't wowed me. She can't stop the "how to cook like my mum" talk and I would like to see her able to cook from within herself.. not her mom..

    Tom is very likable..but does't seem to know what works and what doesn't. I don't want to follow a path that leads my family to protest!

    That leaves me with Herb!! I know he freezes in the camera but he has knoweldge, skill and keeps showing recipes I want to know and try. My vote is for Herb .

    • innerjuju says:

      I'm still trying to figure out how Aarti won the challenge. The Challenge was 1/2 cooking and 1/2 commentary. The judges said they loved 2 of 3 of Herbs dishes (33%) plus did well on the entire hour of commenting minus the one 'throw' (so let's give him a 40%). Aarti's food they adored (50%) and she did horribly as a commentator but did the thrown (10%).By my count, Herb: 73% and Aarti: 60%.

      • Lisa says:

        I totally agree with your calculations here. I thought, in all fairness, that Herb very clearly won the event.

        • JackJones says:

          Agreed. Aarti did a horrible job in commentary. Herb did great commentary, good food. So how is it that she won? Im telling you, they have it all set for Aarti to win.

      • T. says:

        You don't make the rules, the judges do! And a little bit naive to put numbers in!

      • Alina says:

        Now that I think about what you's true..if it was 50/50 then Herb should have won!

      • Michael says:

        I just don't like the fact that Herb isn't truly very Hispanic. I lived in a Spanish-speaking country (and yes, I'm Hispanic), and he has many occasions where he says things incorrectly and messes up the essence of the food. As a Hispanic, I would NEVER watch a show where my culture is being demeaned. Food Network does this a lot. They have many people that claim everything to be Cuban, when really, very little of it is.

        • Ruth Deneau says:

          I think Herb is the one we want to watch on Food Network

          we dont have to have all Spanish all the time

          This is still America

          • Brianna says:

            I think so as well. Herb has talent and also star quality. He can also be an inspiration to young hispanc males who think they want to be somehing in life and go somewhere as long as you perserver and never give up. He is a great role model and an talented chef

      • summergirl says:

        Remember there are lies, d*amn lies and statisics:) when you put numbers in you can make anything "true" Aarti: food 50% commentary 25% (since she did the throw well) which gives her 75%. Then, Herb with food 33% and Commentary 35% (his throw was not good) That gives him 68%.
        I can even make Tom "win" Commentary 50%, food 27% (very inventive, out of his comfort zone, incorporated unique cooking techniques, but tasted bad). That gives him 77%.

        • jasmine says:

          I think that those numbers arent true in my opinion.

          • summergirl says:

            you can make the numbers say anything you want by munipulating them. If you dislike Aarti, use innerjuju's numbers. If you dislike Herb, use the ones I made up. That's why there are lies, d*mn lies and statistics. It's one of the first things they taught us about analyzing scientific studies. Data is often munipulated according to the author's point of view. (did you know that the best indicator of whether a drug will be proven to be effective in a clinical trial is who funded the study? If the manufacturer funded the study, the drug is effective, if a competitor funded the study, it's not effective.)

    • ElaineS says:

      I have to agree with you about Aria (especially the boring food part lately) and Tom. Personally, I think I would watch Aarti and use many of her ideas to make those humdrum meals more interesting sometimes. I probably would also watch Herb-he struggles with the camera (so far) but his new point of view is something I could really enjoy seeing too! Everyone likes different things-thank goodness-and it must be incredibly difficult for the judges. I just hope that Food Network doesn't destroy the POV of whoever wins and make it a show as ignorable as they did with Melissa d'Arabian...

    • Cindie says:

      Yes I agree with you Barbara . Herb is getting better when he is on cmera but he's not there yet but he will. It's different when you are not in the pressure cooker. I so remember Big Daddy Arron who was like a deer in the head lights on camera and now its like Arron is a pro . The only thing is food network shows take good people and change them so much. Paula Dean was a dream till they made her Y'all . laugh and her blinding teeth so the focus. Herb will be great to watch and learn from his points of view and tips of healthy eating. Tom also would be good to see also if he just doesn't get stupid acting--Rachael Ray is enough to make anyone throw-up !!!! After all she is 42 not 4. Aarti is ok but I just don't seeing myself watching Aarti Party but I am not a fan of india cooking.

    • Linda says:

      I'm with you. Go Herb!!!

    • Starquilter says:

      I, too, would like to see Herb win it...but Aarti with her "cutesy" style will probably get the vote but not the viewers.

    • Linda says:

      If Aarti does win, it will look like a fix - looks like she's the one the judges wanted allalong.
      I won't be watching Aarti, and probably with discontinue watching foodnetwork.

      • Barb Ladd says:

        I agree with you for sure. Aarti will probably win, and if she does, I certainly wont watch her. In fact, I watch little cooking shows, They are all foreign and uses food that the average joe dosent have in their cabinet. Tom is the one. Down home cooking, and he;s fun to watch. Go, Tom

    • Guest says:

      I love Cuban food and I love the idea of having a show that shows me how to enjoy it with a healthy, flavorful twist! Herb just needs to get comfortable in front of the camera and that just takes practice and guidance.

    • julie says:

      Herb is the only one, for me, who has something new to offer in the way of a consistent concept -- healthy and appetizing food presented in a way that´s neither precious nor preachy. He´s honest, competent and comes across as someone who truly cares about the audience. You need something besides a glitzy smile to get me watching, I want to see a repertoire that´s new and Herb is the only one who offers that. He´ll settle down in front of the camera once he´s off the blazing hot seat of this competition. And then he´ll be a fresh, interesting guy to watch. The other two are too similar to what´s already all over Food Network: a mish-mash of ethic and american (Aarti) or in Tom´s case...well, I don´t know, I´ve been so unimpressed by what he´s actually come up with, especially on the last show! My vote goes to Herb.

    • Barb Ladd says:

      I sure hope aarti dosent win. I like tom, with his down home receipies. Aarti wants to cook India., we need a cook just like us, plain and simple. Throw Aareti out. Tom is the #1 choice without a doubt

    • karen says:

      I agree whole heartedly with all of the above>

    • Goya says:

      All I can tell FN is that I will not watch Arti show, she is so anoing and superficial and also I would not be atractive to Indian Food as I could be with Herb Puertorican-cuban flavors. and like other viuwr said, why you bask us to vote if you wont liseent to us. I think this will be the last Food Network competition that I will watch.

  7. Guest says:

    I know only one person can win (and it will probably be Aarti), but I think the Food Network would be foolish to let Herb go. He's very easy to watch...I would by anything that man had to sell!

    • Lexie says:

      HOW?! Because you feel bad for him because he cries constantly?!

    • CAROL says:

      i f Aarti wins I won't watch her program as she leaves me cold!!! herb would do a great program and I would watch it ina heartbeat and probably want alot of the recipes. Please NO AARTI

    • Anne says:

      I'm with you on that. I love watching him and would love to try some of his recipes.

    • Care says:

      Herb is really the only star they have!!

    • Fran says:

      I agree. I am very interested in healthy recipes that are fun!!!! Many Americans need to watch their diet. For many moderation just isn't enough.

    • Linda says:

      I really prefer Aria, but he would definitely be better than Aarti.

    • Barb Ladd says:

      I sure hope Aarti dosent win. She has no appeal for me. Tom is a homebody, just what we need, he's comical and he can cook. Please let Tom win

    • olga says:


    • judy says:

      I do not care for Aarti -

    • Pearl says:

      I agree that Herb should of won, but it Bobby Flay seemed like he was in love with Aarti the whole time.

  8. Tillo says:

    Tom made a steak that seemed more like an old boot!

    I think there is a 50-50 chance for Aarti/Herb to win. Hoping to see either of their shows over Tom's!

    • Joan says:

      I hope it's not Aarti, there is more to life than Indian food, I'm tired if it. And get those stupid flowers out of her hair.

      Not happy in Texas!

      • Annie says:

        Variety is the spice of life! I don't cook Indian every night or Italian or any other cuisine. I think it's good to have a choice of different shows to inspire us from every day fare including Indian ( if indeed Aarti is only cooking Indian food.....gaspacho? )

    • CHARLA says:


    • olga says:


  9. Ann says:

    I have no idea why Aria even got to this episode, it really should have been Brad not her to move on from the last contest. Aria started going down hill after about 3 episodes. Think of the food truck - she made gross burgers and milk shakes! It was her menu that caused Brad to be in the lower tier for judging in that episode - even Paula said the shakes needed fresh strawberries which was exactly what Brad wanted but Aria has an oversimplified cooking style. Then to re-create the pig in a blanket she made shrimp!!! How off base was that??!! And when serving to Eva Longoria she made potatos again and they weren't even executed properly! How Brad got kicked off on the episode when he finally got his point of view together is beyond me. And to think that it was in favor of someone who has little culinary skill and talks to the audience like they are children is just crazy! Brad is like Adam Gertler, really personable and easy to watch on tv. While I don't think he would have won this contest he should have at least been in the final 3 because he's skilled and enjoyable to watch.

    • Cindy says:

      I agree completely with you Ann!

    • Lindsay says:

      I completely agree. Aria should have gone, not Brad. Though Brad does have trouble in front of the camera, I think it was mostly his nerves that got to him. With someone directing him and without the pressure of the judges right there, I think his personality could have shined. I was really excited about his culinary point of view and wish we could have seen more of it, unlike Family Style or Blue Collar Dinners, which I've been cooking my whole life (though I will probably watch Tom if he wins, and for all the naysayers: he took the Iron Chef challenge! he went out on a limb and failed, which sometimes happens on Iron Chef. on his own show, he'd have time to practice his recipes to get them perfect.). I don't care for Indian food, so that leaves me with Herb... Now that Brad is gone, I'm hoping Herb will win, because I think FN could really use a show like Cooking Con Savor. It's too bad, though, because I think most viewers want what Brad offered: infusing gourmet flavor into home cooking.

      • Jean says:

        I completely agree about Brad remaining, rather than Aria. (Although I do like Aarti a bit more than Herb, simply due to personality-style...Herb's ups and downs are draining for me to watch, whereas Aarti's style simply draws me in.)

        • Rich G says:

          Herb's Ups and downs are draining but Aarti's Ups and downs arent?? ohhhh am i good enuff? can i do it? i have no confidence? i need my husband to tell me i'm worthy!! please she needs to see a shrink, not be on TV

        • Pat says:

          I totally agree. Brad was my favorite. He lights up like no one else. I would have watched his show for sure. Just like last year..I didn't think Melissa D should have won and I still can't stand to watch her...
          Brad should be in the final 3 and Aria should have gone long ago..

      • Leticia Austria says:

        I agree with you completely about Brad. He should have been given another chance, based on cooking skill. Since it is, after all, the FOOD Network, cooking should win out over comfort in front of the camera, which, as you say, is a different ballgame with a director and without judges. David Bromstad, who was the first Design Star on HGTV, was stiff before the camera during the competition, but from his first show he was absolutely charming and spot-on.

    • Lynda says:

      Spot On! I am pulling for Aarti, but would love to see shows with both Herb and Brad also. Tom not so much. Aria...I do that already...most people interested in cooking can do the simple so where's the new there?

    • Irishmike0531 says:

      Like the others, Brad should be in the final 3, Kitchen stadium would have been perfect for him.

    • Cindie says:

      AMEN Ann==Bring Brad Back or at least get him a show like you did Adam G.-I'll be watching for it.

      • @austinchump says:

        -1@Cindie. That would be an utter waste of Brad's cooking talent. While I agree that Brad's dismissal was unwarranted, I strongly disagree that he should waste his talent hosting an inane show. That would be akin to relegating Alton Brown to hosting a show like Cup Cake Wars. sheesh! I want to see Brad cook, learn some techniques from him, and have him share some awesome recipes with me.

    • Peggy says:

      I agree, I think it should be between Brad and Herb. I was shocked when they sent Brad home. BIG MISTAKE. Aria was horrible in kitchen stadium, Brad was great. Aria seemed to think it was all a joke when she had to walk the floor.

    • Cath says:

      I am with you, Ann. Brad is great, easy on the eye and has that "sparkle" the TV personalities need PLUS he is a great chef.

    • Kami Dehler says:

      BRING BACK BRAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is someone who I believe could teach us all to be better cooks!!!! He did fine on camera in the between shots - I don't think it would take much refining there and he just seems like a natural talent for a show where he interacts with us and teaches us to be better chefs!

    • gballg says:

      I agree, I would have watched Brad before watching any of the final 3. He really is the most personable of all the finalists.

    • NGH says:

      I agree with you. Although Aria is very personable she lack any depth or surprises. To me Brad is the easiest to watch. He seems to be a very special young man and I feel he would be great with a show of his own similar to Adam Gertler. I know Aaron won that episode but sorry - Adam has had more shows and is more interesting than Aaron. I hope the Food Network will use Brad. EVERYONE liked him so much. I was so upset when he was sent home. Brad should have been in the finals!!!

  10. beltofwhiskey says:

    Aarti, Brad and Tom would have been a cool final to watch. Aria should have never made it to New York, would liked to have seen what Brad could have done in the Iron Chef kitchen (as chef). Guarantee you he wouldn't have served the judges sand like Herb! Aarti remains my favorite and deserves the win, but don't forget these two guys. They could easily replace the repeat shows and $10 Dollar Dinners.

    PS - Chef Morimoto reminds me of Penn Gillette. Diner food: priceless and spot on!

    • caroleeastman says:

      I agree. Aarti deserves to win! YAY! And u are right. Ten Dollar Dinners is boring. It has to go.

    • susie says:

      Bob, you had a star in Brad, you just refused to see it. Are you really that out of touch with your audience? To ever think Aria was a candidate after the 2nd episode shows me that you make up your mind and are then blind to the info you are bombarded with. Aria was truly a joke; she wouldn't even have made the cut in Gordon Ramseys new show for amateurs. She is like the common, boring, mediocre cook that this network was supposed to help. Guess politics are everywhere, and she is the lame tea party a bad Sarah Palin (hehe talk about redundant) !

    • Holly says:

      When Aria said she was going to serve the Iron Chef judges "Family Style" I about fell out of my seat laughing. It was almost as if she had never watched an episode of Iron Chef. The Secret Ingredient is supposed to be the star of the show... Aria, as usual, made it about herself and didn't step out of her boundaries. I love the 3 finalists... I would watch any one of their shows. Aarti has been my favorite since the beginning, I can't help but remember Tom's hilarious promo on the first episode (wearing a life vest next to the grill -- SO funny!!) and Herb has actually really grown on me since he has found his groove. I really think Brad deserved to be in the final 4 way more than Aria... she really started getting on my nerves about 3 weeks ago.

    • Janna says:

      We did see Brad cook on Iron Chef. I find it ironic NO where has anyone mentioned Brad did all of the work for Aarti. She was slow but he made up for it. Had it not been her assistant she would never have finished. She forgot all sorts of things and there was Brad saying I took it out for you, I did this, I did that. Aarti for a food blogger should have been able to nail the commentary and know a lot more about food than just my mum Indian stuff. I am so bored of her.

      • guest says:

        I was so glad to see Brad on the Iron Chef challenge. And I agree that if it weren't for Brad, Aarti would have never fininshed. Brad should have been in the final three.

      • grannieroe says:

        You are so right. Brad did have her back. If it wasn't for him, she wouldn't have finished on time. You seemed to be the only viewer that saw that. It didn't register with me until I read your comments. Too bad the judges couldn't see it.

        • @Lady_Evol says:

          It's so funny that not only has no one else mentioned this, but everyone who brings it up is getting a -1. any anti-Aarti comments have -80 at least.

    • Lee says:

      Aria was a backstabber and her dishes didn't measure up. She had it in for everyone else so that she could win. I like all three of the final contestants, but am rooting for Herb. And as for $10 Dinners, I LOVE Mellissa. She is a down home, common sense cook who is also very versatile. She definitely deserved to win.

    • Joe J says:

      I agree with all comments here...

    • Bebe says:

      actually it would be nice if brad herb and serena were the finalists.I think tom shoudent have made it to the final round .serena should of won.