Star Commentary: Aaaaand She’s Out

by in Food Network Star, July 20, 2011
It’s been fun, Penny.

Well, it finally happened. The moment many of you have been waiting for came on Sunday night: Penny Davidi, the Middle Eastern Mama, was sent home. But not necessarily because of her food. After seven weeks of mostly stellar dishes that the judges described as “great,” “very well-seasoned” and having “lots of great flavors and textures,” the likeability factor — or lack thereof — sent Penny packing.

While the comments on Food Network’s Facebook page and our Star blog are largely in support of the judges’ decision to eliminate Penny, many of you cannot deny her unique culinary point of view and have expressed interest in learning Middle Eastern recipes. One viewer wrote that she “felt sorry for Penny last night,” while another thinks “it [is] a shame that Penny had to go home” because she has “warmed up to her over the past few weeks” and because “Penny brought something Food Network is lacking.”

Other commenters noted that despite Penny's “awkward personality,” she may have been “worth keeping around,” given the judges’ apparent praise for her food. Another viewer wrote that she “would appreciate some education” on Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors but “couldn't imagine watching Penny to receive that education even though her food was so appealing.”

And then there are those of you who are simply gleeful over Penny’s departure. Viewers wrote that “Happy days are here again” and that “It is about time,” while another told Food Network, “Thank you, thank you, thank you for getting rid of Penny!!” It seems that Penny’s “penchant for drama,” about which you have been complaining since the second episode, is what most viewers found so frustrating and unappealing. Many wrote that “she was harsh,” “her attitude stinks” and that she showed “disrespect to all those around her.”

Given her previous tense moments, many of you were shocked at how Penny’s demeanor seemed to have changed during her final week as she handled her own dismissal. Several of you wrote that she “was a good sport,” showed “grace,” “behaved civilly” and was “more compelling this week than ever.”

Do you think that this week could have been a turning point for the Middle Eastern Mama, that, if given just a little more time, she could have become more personable, both on camera and off? Hear from Penny herself in her Exit Interview and learn her thoughts about viewers’ perceptions of her. Then, join the conversation on Facebook and Star Talk, and tune in next Sunday at 9pm/8c to see who has what it takes to make it in New York City.

Who’s your favorite finalist so far? Cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per day.

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Comments (180)

  1. jena says:

    Giada or whatever her weird name is she is NOT likable herself with her rolling eyes and her snobbish
    attitude. She thinks her food is very special but infact you can find her food in any old Italian cook book.
    She should go to her parents home land and learn some manners.
    Just because Penny was from the middle east Bobby Flay and the other judges decided she is not good,
    She is definitley better cook than Bobby & Giada. It was a disgusting to see them rolling their eyes at
    Penny when she was trying to thank them. Also since when did the show become FOOD NETWORK worst chef??? If you make good food you deserve to stay.

  2. vampira says:

    Go Vic!! Every other contestant is.....YAAAAWWWWWWNNNN-Boring!!!!! Mary Beth? Jill? Please!!!

  3. Izzy says:

    Although I never liked Penny, it seemed like a strange week to send her home. Her food was good, and she didn't really have any major fights like she usually did. still, I'm glad she's gone.

  4. Guest70x7 says:

    FN needs a show with authentic Middle Eastern dishes with a spicy but likable host/hostess. I love Middle Eastern food but I would never watch Penny in any cooking show or eat in her restaurant. Perhaps if she can learn to get past her demons and and learn to be courteous, I would reconsider. Penny, you don't have to "trust" a person to be respectful.

  5. Normad123 says:

    Penny harped on wanting FN viewers to learn about and love her culture; she talked about beautiful downtown Istanbul; she looked and acted cheap, crass, and she's a supercilious phony. Someone needs to let her know that all Americans saw her culture on 9-11. Food Network offended a lot of people in choosing her and the night she did the hissing number like a sick wild animal rested any case that needed a period at the end of a sentence. If she were ever to appear on FN for any reason other than the roundup at the end of the season, it will be the last time I ever watch FN. I hope she's out shopping for something that covers up her mean eyes, which betray who she is no matter what she says. While she's shopping, she also needs a mute to keep her from being overheard in public settings. I don't care if she's the greatest chef on earth. She's repulsive and shames Food Network Star.

    I was in the hospital recovering from surgery and watched the last episode of FN Star. If you think my c omments are harsh, you should have heard those offered by various medical professionals and a couple of visitors who came in during the hour. Best comment was: The only thing missing was her hijab.

  6. bill says:

    do not stereotype the middle eastern race and culture based on the actions of this woman. she displayed wonderful food but her personality had much less to offer. it is sad to see the first face of the middle east to be her when there is so much good people are not seeing or choosing not to see. i hope to see another middle eastern cook who pushes past racial stereotypes.

  7. Guest says:

    Reports exposes FN and reveal Penny was nothing more than a FN plant tasked with creating drama to try to draw viewers to the show.

    Hey Fogelson, you've been exposed and you failed!

  8. djs says:

    can't belive rachel ray's show was aired the friday before the sunday show and that it was not advertised so the viewers could see the whole process.

  9. Jose says:

    FN went out of their way to make sure viewers missed the RR show so we couldn't see what really happened. The idiots at FN had to somehow justify sending Jyll home when Susie the Illegal was obviously the worse and deserved to leave the show and get deported back to Mexico.

  10. J Robison says:

    I am glad you are gone I would never never watch you!