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. AMSchu says:

    Thank God she is gone! Her food looked good and I may even try some of ther dishes. But watching her was as bad as watching Anne Burrell. When she is on I turn the channel....

  2. Dave says:

    What I don't get is how Giada and what's her name (that other Food Network women, who I can't stand) actually got made at Jyll for NOT losing it when Chef Puck called her out. That was a major moment that would have had me crying like a baby. Yet Jyll held it together and didn't cry in front of the judges. But for some reason, rather than give her credit for holding her composure, Gianda and that other lady got after her! What the hell do they want? The judges are full of crap this season.

  3. [...] you missed last weeks episode, catch up with this recap or watch the latest exit interview on Food Networks Star [...]

  4. norealityhere says:

    Maria, First, Grant was trying to push Penny on us - now, you are.
    What is going on??
    Can't the FN realize that the majority of viewers really DISLIKED Penny?

  5. Megan565 says:

    I'm thrilled! The wicked witch and the immature baby is gone! In fact, our group started singing the Wizard of Oz song when Penny got eliminated! And thank goodness we don't have to watch that messy, immature brat, Chris any more!

  6. SixDegrees says:

    No amount of extra time was going to fix Penny's disfunctional personality. Giving her a show was going to be an obvious money-loser for FN; many commenters had already promised never to watch a show of hers, or even to abandon FN altogether if she won. In the end, it's all about profit, and Penny was going to drag down the bottom line.

    If FN wants to do a show about Middle Eastern cooking, how about coming to Detroit and taking your pick of some of the finest Middle Eastern restaurants anywhere outside the Middle East? You're guaranteed top-caliber chefs in the field, and you'd be providing a much-needed boost to a city suffering from a very bad image.

  7. Baba says:

    This show is a joke.
    Wolfgang schools Jill's risotto and she isnt one of the 2 that was eliminated?

    Clearly, this show isnt about cooking. Its about personal stories and filling a niche.
    Im done with this show.

  8. Ken says:

    Giada has one of the most umcomfortable forces smiled Ive seen on TV.
    She is only there for her name and her breasts

  9. CCPN says:

    The more I see of all the judges, especially Bobby and Giada, the more I am turned off of watching their shows. The FN has really tuned into all this drama. It's a shame, I thought it was a food and cooking show.

  10. Randy says:

    Joy to the world, Penny is gone, let the show get back its viewers, let everybody cheer for her, that she is gone, Penny got kicked off the show Penny got kicked off the show when Penny got kicked off the stupid show.