Team Alton: Down to Four

by in Food Network Star, May 15, 2012

Team Alton was the first to lose a member with the departure of Cristie Schoen in Sunday's premiere. Cristie, a movie-set caterer, came off as angry when she delivered her pitch for healthy eating (and a bland black-eyed pea and cabbage soup) in the Restaurant: Impossible challenge. She tried to redeem herself in the Producers' Challenge, but Bob and Susie ultimately felt that Josh had more staying power.

"I got confused and you lost me at the end. I don’t see the joy and the excitement that will excite an entire nation to eat healthy," Bob Tuschman told Cristie. She handled her early exit gracefully, but with regrets about her performance: "I’m really disappointed that I did not make it close to the top because I do have such an important message to share. I wasn’t able to communicate that message out."

Hear more from Alton, Bob and Cristie in her exclusive exit interview. Do you think she deserved to be the first to go?

Flip through Cristie's Star Scrapbook and more behind-the-scenes photos from Episode One.


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Comments (85)

  1. beachinfrizzy says:

    DVR'd the episode and haven't watched it yet, but I did watch the casting show and knew this gal wasn't going to last long. "Healthful Food" contestants ("healthy food" drives me nuts...the food doesn't have a cold) don't win these type of shows. Remember the gal with the bulging eyes who kept blathering on about antioxidants a few seasons back? If people want to be lectured about what's good for them they'll go see their doctor. Or Herb "The Energy Chef"? His backstory was about how he used to be a 'fat little Latino kid' until he discovered diet and exercise, but the judges kept badgering him to focus on the "Latino" aspect rather than the "fat" aspect to be more 'relatable' and show the audience 'who you really are'. They could not have cared less about his "energy chef" POV.

    • JLF says:

      While you're accurate about chefs whose primary focus is on healthy nutrition (sorry if the word bugs you) have not fared well in any of the FN competitions, in Christi's case it was her bad food and bad attitude ("i'm fed up") that got her the door. I thought she sounded whiney in the cook off at the end which was no big improvement over the angry petulence she showed in the team challenge. She needs to stick to her catering - she can serve all the "healthful" food she wants to change the world.

      • jeri says:

        I agree. Bad attitude will find the door. She didn't have to be "fed up", she needed a better attitude. If you cook good tasting food & have a good attitude you won't get the boot in the first round. Healthy, nutritious cooking is really very basic, and easy. It doesn't need to be pushed on any one. Just cook!!!

      • beachinfrizzy says:

        Bad attitude as well? So much the better, then. I'm a little surprised they didn't keep her around for 'drama' like some previous NFNS contestants that come to mind!

      • Food Fan says:

        I agree.
        The pushing health-n-fitness in-yer-face stuff just doesnt go over well. Sprouts, carrots, soy and tofu are not my things.
        On the other hand, 3 whole cubes of butter, a half-pitcher of heavy-cream and 2 cups of white wonder people who cook and eat like that become diabetic and overweight.

        Who doesnt enjoy delicious food?
        We wanna "live", too. Just dont be extreme about it. Either way.
        At least not full of sugar, butter, or chocolate chips.
        But hey--I Love a good plate o' cheesy Nachos w/tomatoes, white onions and beef-- and a thick grilled steak and baked potato w/butter. I just cant do it every day.
        That said---I may be in the minority here, but---i think the whole idea of point of view is waaayyy overdone. In my opinion, IF we were looking specifically for a "special specific niche" kind of show..i.e..australian-outback cooking, ..or scottish-highland cuisine...something very specific and pin-pointed, OK. Then I would say it matters. But--if yer gonna have yer own show and makes all kinds of recipes and food, I could absolutely care less about point of view at all. What I DO care about is: Is it fabulously-delicious and can you explain simply how I can make it, too? Thats it!
        Do I like yer FOOD?--and do I like and will I watch, YOU?
        (If I want the rest, I'll just click on yer Bio and read it.)

  2. RAnne says:

    does anyone know why Bobby Flay wears a hearing device - I noticed it on Worst Cooks in America and now again on there a reason for this?

  3. [...] posted here: Team Alton: Down to Four This entry was posted in Food Network and tagged alton, don, eat, end, entire, handled, message, [...]

  4. msille says:

    Can any of the contestants greet anyone without saying 'you guys'? Their pronouciations and grammar could use some training as well. For example, it's important not imporant. Makes thiem sound ignorant.

    • msille says:

      Sorry I meant them not thiem.

    • guest says:


    • Guest says:

      I totally agree with you. It is so obvious that the term "you guys" is so overused and at times a bit inappropriate. I think a bit of training would help the contestants with their overall presentation.

    • Darlayna says:

      Unfortunately most people do not use good grammar. How many times have you people say libeary in stead of library...the word has two R in it. Not to mention my all time favorite is 'Where are you at". Leave off the preposition at the end.

    • Food Fan says:

      The only thing is, what would you use instead?
      Probably not Mr. & Mrs for everyone.
      ..and probably not: Hi Joe, and Cathy, and Yolanda and Dennis and 5 other names until you finally get to the end of acknowledging everybody.
      Its probably just a time-saver thing. You guys, covers everybody.

  5. dolores says:

    i agree with msille. sick of "you guys"

  6. Patricia says:

    I do not like the manner in which Alton speaks to his team and the ugly faces he is constantly making. He should not be allowed to work with novice chefs. His mannerisms when he was in front of the judges was also disrespectful. He stood there with an ugly look on his face, hands in his pockets - showing NO RESPECT for these people. How can his team learn anything from him. If he ever smiled at his team they would faint and so would I. I like the show but thank goodness for DVR I can fast forward Alton.

    • FanFare57 says:

      In all fairness, Alton can't help his "ugly" face. It was the one he was born with. He then tries to wow people with his "clever repartee". For many, he's a hit. Due to his smugness, for me, he's a miss

    • Jimmy says:

      I agree. I've never been an Alton fan. His humor is often condescending and he can be very snide. Both for which were on display in this first episode.

    • Violet says:

      I like the new format for this show with 3 FN Chefs serving as teachers/mentors because the contestants are able to learn at a quicker pace with their instruction. It certainly gives the show a "fresh" approach! As far as AB's teaching skills, I feel that he's getting a bad rap just because he cuts right through to the point. I found him to be relatable with his descriptions. Sometimes the truth hurts, and since this is a competition, you're in it to win it so whatever it takes. Thanks to AB's shows over the years my skills are honed for sure!

      • AHW says:

        I'm with you, Violet. Television is a relentless, fast-paced industry with little room for mistakes. AB uses facial expressions to communicate quickly with his student/contestants. He has no time for touchy/feely stuff. Bobby Flay and Giada can be tough as well. They are being paid to be brutally frank with these contestants. I've always appreciated AB's wry humor.

      • dee says:

        I love alton brown. I think he is great

    • GotGOD? says:

      With all respect Patricia, I believe Alton brings "the personality" everyone wants to watch. He's so much more funny then giada and Bobby. I dont know about everyone else but I like funny shows. His "ugly faces" as you say it are really funny. everyone should try to not be so serous when they watch this show! You sure miss lots of laughs when you are like that! Live Life, Laugh LOTS, Love God....

  7. guest says:

    I appreciate Alton's shows on FN (Good Eats, Iron Chef). I really enjoyed the road trip series when they traveled by motorcycle throughout the country. Alton does well when speaking into the camera. However, I find his one-on-one individual discourse with people to be off-putting, sarcastic, condescending, etc. While I've learned a lot from watching his shows, Alton is not a person with whom I would like to hang out. But nonetheless, I can appreciate his food knowledge and will continue to watch his shows.

    • Darlayla says:

      I have not seen Good Eats for a while now. I know he lost weight, so I hope is health is good. He does need to smile more.

  8. girloftheworld says:

    Alton-- was priceless when he was like all " I am sure i can make something out of her" in between the lines it screamed she looks good I know if she shuts up doesnt think and just does what I say I can make a show of her...

    • FanFare57 says:

      Yes, i caught that too. He thought he was Henry Higgins and she was Eliza Doolittle.

    • sincere says:

      What's with "when he was like all"?? Like all what? Trying to say something? Are you a Valley Girl, or just a wann be that hasn't mastered the English language yet? Learn to speak, girloftheworld.

      • Billsfan says:

        Good to see you see you here again Girly! I feel like you have grown up with us from back in the Lisa Garza Days . You are how old now? 11? Don't let the bastards get you down. We love ya!

      • girloftheworld says:

        Learn to discuss the topic without attacking posters on personal level. Have you read a book that is written with "voice"? I write with the style needed. Should you be bothered to " hear" a person in his or her post. Then perhaps it is you who have the problem. Yes, I sometimes do speak like that. A lot of my friends do. Perhaps it is our age. However, trust me I have "mastered" the English language well enough. Thank you for your concern. I suggest that you look into some other way to validate your ego other than slamming someone on a message board who is just trying to make conversation. Oh and by the by it is "wanna be" not wann be"

  9. Donna says:

    To refer to your adressee as "you guys" is just 'common'. I cringe when I hear it.

  10. FanFare57 says:

    I believe Cristie's problem was that she wasn't sure how to adequately express her POV. In seasons past, many of the cooks have changed horses in mid stream when they changed their POV. Mr. Tattoo (Vic) last season did that. He tried to be tough and Las Vegas-ish. When that didn't work for him, he tried to be "Momma's Boy". He looked like a motor cycle mechanic. I'm not sure when the cooks actually define themselves. Some are clear in their ideas/brand. Others seem like they hadn't thought of their POV until they were on their way to the studio for the first time.

    • jeri says:

      Her original POV, in FN magazine, was "Home Grown with Cristie Schoen", from farm ti kitchen, with a focus on "healthful, kid-friendly cooking". What happened to that?

    • AHW says:

      Cristie's worst problems? An inability to use the English language properly, coupled with ignorance about food. If she is going to make Scotch eggs, then she should not refer to them as "Scottish." Saying her father made omelettes, eggs, etc. then repeating eggs again just made her sound like a twit. I could not stand watching her on this show and would change the channel if the network gave her a show. FN has more than its share of ignorant, twangy hick wannabes. Her rage at people struggling with their weight had nothing to do with nerves, and the judges were right to reject her for the angry little fool she is.