Code Blue

by in Food Network Star, June 27, 2011
Paula and Eliminated Finalist Justin B.
Paula and Eliminated Finalist Justin B.

Let me begin by stating the obvious: Paula is the absolute best. Any time I see her I just get the best feeling. Maybe it’s because I’m from the South and she reminds me of home, or maybe it’s simply because she is an amazing cook and I have enjoyed every buttery recipe she has created. Whatever the reason, she is a SUPERSTAR (far beyond just a “star”) and the finalists were completely justified in their awe of her. The kind of warmth and engaging personality Paula exudes is what they should be aspiring to.

When Melissa d’Arabian introduced the Kellogg’s Camera Challenge, I was intrigued. I live off most of those treats that the finalists had to use as ingredients. Rice Krispies? Um, I have a bowl every Saturday morning. A Pop-Tart is my go-to Monday through Friday breakfast choice. And Cheez-Its? I enjoy them regularly with little scoops of French-onion dip – so tasty! How though would the finalists use these snacks in serious dishes? Well, I was impressed to see what they did.

Chris’s chicken nuggets made with Corn Flakes sound delicious. I can just imagine the crunchiness of those flakes on little nuggets — I want to taste them. Bob was definitely impressed. Whitney’s use of the crushed Pop-Tarts on Parmesan crackers wasn’t a big hit, but come on — that’s a toughie. What could you make with a Pop-Tart? I eat them all the time and I’m completely clueless. I admire Whit’s effort. Justin B.’s Cheez-It crust on top of mac and cheese? That’s mad genius! Can’t you just taste it?

The Cougar Town Challenge was interesting. The Penny/Mary Beth teaming made me nervous. I kept expecting to see Penny be short-tempered with MB, but she wasn’t. Instead, I was surprised to watch Penny be so friendly to MB while working with her, yet in her video interviews talk so hatefully about her. The characteristic that I respected previously (and took heat for) about Penny was that she owns who she is and doesn’t seem to change herself no matter the circumstance she finds herself in. Sorry, Penny — I’m now questioning your authenticity. As for Mary Beth, this lady continues to shine.

Justin D. needs to wake up. Is he sleepy? It’s like Giada should snap her fingers in front of his face and snap him out of his “slumber.” He’s really beginning to stumble and I’m not sure he’s going to gain his footing. When Busy Phillips said of Jyll, “she’s very polished, but I don’t want to watch that show,” I smiled. That summarized beautifully what I’ve been trying to articulate for weeks now.

And now, back to Justin B. I enjoy the guy and was sad to see him go. I really feel with time, he would have been able to bring his personality out on camera. But, I guess that’s just the problem: There isn’t any time.

Finally, before I close, I want to give props to Orchid. She seemed to have had a calming effect on Jeff with her “Code Blue” signal. Chris’s frenetic energy is exhausting to watch and would irritate me greatly if I was there in person. I thought it funny that little Orchid could settle this big guy down.

That’s it for me — now let me hear from you.

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Comments (289)

  1. Sofia says:

    If Penny is a plant, it's working based on all the discussion about her. She's the main reason that I always tape the show - I can fast forward right though her scenes because I honestly don't like watching this character. At the end of the day, I think the real question we should be asking ourselves is: Which contestant am I most likely to watch if they get their own show? I'm favoring Susie - most of the others remind me of current Food Network/Cooking Channel stars and there's no need for more than one.

  2. Jan says:

    None of the remaining contestants strike me as being devious enough to do something like that. They may really want to win, but not to that extent.

  3. Kelly says:

    I was surprised by the judges sending home Justin B. Yes, he was awkward in front of the camera, but I think he was starting to relax a little and he certainly (in my opinion) had much more potential & seemed like a far better cook than some of the others who are still there. While I'm not totally sure he'd have won, I definitely expected him to make it further in the competition than he did. That being said, I can totally see him competing again (and winning) on a show like Chopped or Iron Chef. Actually, I'd love to see him go up against Flay on Iron Chef America, win & wipe that smug, arrogant "I'm better than you" look off his face.

    • Marie says:

      I don't think he would have made it much longer, the judges were just too impatient with him. But you are right, he would be great on Chopped or Iron Chef America.

    • 666 says:

      So sure he would have killed it on Chopped.

      That'd be interesting, the Food Network star competitors against eachother on Chopped, or an ep. where they go against eachother on Chopped?
      :)

      • attheamericantable says:

        Choppedid an All-Stars elimination 4 parter - former FNS contenders, former chopped champs, FN stars and chopped judges.

  4. dinks14 says:

    Penny is just unlikeable. I cannot see people watching her with that personality. They have to be keeping her around for the dramatic effect.

  5. saluki1 says:

    Okay folks- Anyone who is looking for Marybeth's Knock-Your-Pants-Off Sweet & Spicy Glazed Buttermilk Meatloaf - It is posted on her own website. - Just google Mary Beth Albright. Live Deliciously. ---Was surprised to find Parmigiano-Reggiano in there as well. Looks like it would make some great sandwiches.

  6. bkeremes says:

    I was disapointed that Justin B was sent home but he just was having such a hard time on the camera! I am sure it is really intimidating to be on this show. (to be with Bobby and all the others that host the show) Penny just needs to go.. terrible attidude MaryBeth is quirkie, Susie is upbeat and smiley., Orchid is cute and very camera at ease.!! Jyll is great and so is Mellisa..Jeff, Chris, and Vic It really is hard at this point who should really be going. Since we are only going on their personallities and not tasting their product it is really hard to vote. Justin D.. ok you can cook..So lets show it!! Make this the best thing you do..and don't quit!!!! My vote would be for you if you do not give up... TO ALL--- GOOD LUCK ---You have a talent and personality that (except Penny) I would only dream of..

  7. Tucker says:

    The Food Network's sister station, The Cooking Channel has a show called "Bitchin' Kitchen". Penny could do companion show to that called "Bitch in the Kitchen"

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  9. LindaSta says:

    You focus on things other than your cooking. That's how. She is so focused on 'dissing' the other contestants - specifically the women for the time being - that she forgot to put her full attention on her food. Mary Beth chose to "Kill her with kindness" so she could focus on making her meatloaf and look what it got her. Penny could learn a lesson or two from that.

  10. Winnie says:

    I stopped watching as Penny is really really horrible to watch..Just plain mean spiritetd. Not what I am looking for to watch for enjoyment and entertainment. I checked this blog to see if she is still in....Sad to say I won't be watching this week either. Sad as I watched all the other episodes to each season. My husband was so repulsed by her behavior he is also on board.
    I enjoyed seeing you win and become a great host. I really enjoy the channel and it makes me sad that this behavior is being tolerated. Children watch and learn from example and having someone badmouth people is just not what I expect from Food Network.