New Format and Chefs’ Takes — Star Commentary

by in Food Network Star, May 16, 2012

The eighth season of Food Network Star may have only just begun, but it is already off to an intense start. We know that you all had a lot to say about the jam-packed premiere episode, particularly in regards to the new style of Star and this season’s opponents. Fans Tweeted @FoodNetwork, left messages on our Facebook page and commented on our Star Talk blog to share initial reactions to and thoughts on the premiere.

During our premiere Twitter party, many fans told us they're pleased with the new mentoring aspect of the show and are excited to see how it impacts the competition, while others simply voiced their excitement about an extra Mother's Day present: two hours of Star!

Virginia stopped by the blog to comment: "I like the new format and agree with the several people who commented on the benefit of additional 'one-on-one' time with the mentors. It's also interesting and entertaining to see Alton, Bobby and Giada in these roles.”

Iaini70119 added that “it will be interesting to see the differences in the mentors’ coaching styles.”

The mentors themselves joined the Twitter party during Sunday night’s episode, each supporting his or her team and engaging in a little friendly competition:

Giada used Twitter to explain to fans her camera-focused Star strategy:

Now that you’ve seen the finalists in action and have gotten to know the mentors’ coaching styles, how do you think the remaining 14 contestants will fare in the competition? Which finalist can attain that coveted balance of over-the-top cooking chops and dynamic camera presence? Tell us in the comments below, join the #Star conversation on Twitter and Facebook, and cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per day.

Tune in to this Sunday’s episode at 9pm/8c to see who from #TeamAlton#TeamBobby or #TeamGiada goes home next.


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Comments (250)

  1. Cheryl says:

    I hope that you all pick someone worth watching this year. Aarti's Party and Sandwhich King--YUCK. I do not watch them. There were others SO much better then these 2.

    • nd160791 says:

      Will all due respect, I think you’re been mean to Aarti and Jeff. They’ve work hard to be at where they’re now and they have followers who feel when comments like yours are displayed. While I don’t follow Aarti’s show as much as Jeff’s, she showed during season 6 that’s she’s very talented and a joyful, entertaining person. As for Jeff, Sandwich King is a ratings hit and one of Food Network’s most popular shows, which just happened that got an Emmy nomination last week for Outstanding Cooking Show. While to you Jeff’s show isn’t great, to lots of viewers and the professionals who vote to nominate shows for Emmys (who now about talent, producing and putting a good show on the air) it is. You have all the right to disagree, but they’re other ways to do it, other than demeaning human beings.

      • jeri says:

        That was well put. I just got off work and read the post, would have said the same thing but you said it first. Way to go.

      • Amy says:

        The sandwhich king SUCKS!!!!!!!!! He's trying too hard and he isn't funny at all!!! We taped a few shows and he's awful!! If i'm looking for funny i will turn to comedy channel!!!!!!!!!!!! He sucks big time!! If he has big ratings then all the old folks think he's hilarious and trust me....HE'S NOT!!!

        • JLF says:

          Take a deep breath and back slowly away from the !!! key. This is not life or death or world peace. It's a food contest. And Jeff Mauro is not even part of this contest. Time to move on.

          • jeri says:

            JLF, sometimes you are so funny. You brighten my day. Thanks.

          • JLF says:

            Well I thought of suggesting chocolate, but we all know what happened the last time I did that! :-)

          • jeri says:

            Yeah, I remember. But I'll have chocolate with you, just because. Guess it will be between us. Let them wonder.

        • Lainer says:

          I'm an old folk and I agree with you! He tries to be funny but is not. I actually find him ofensive at times and to be quite honest, it takes alot to offend me. I think he is a mistake - unfortunately.

          • LISN says:

            I agree with you. Jeff is neither clever, funny or interesting. His concept is no better than any frat boy's = make a sandwich - big whoop.

    • spiritualchild2 says:

      I disagree so much. I love those shows. I dont like the one with Melissa De Arabian, because she always has so much spice in her food. Dont like her recipes. Im really sick and tired of all the hot spicy recipes. Many people cant eat those things! Youre entitled to your opinion for sure however.

    • A. Kotto says:

      I like both Aarti Party and Sandwich King. They just come on at a bad time. As much as I love Rachel and Paula, I am sick of watching their re-runs in the afternoon/evening. Aarti has really good food.

    • Adam says:


    • lisa says:

      I really think they are trying to put shows that have people getting healthy, but people are going to eat what they want, what they need to do is listen to what people want to watch, melissa I have no idea what she is cooking and you can cook 10 dollars for 4 or 5 people please show me.

    • Cookbook Chef says:

      We're all entitled to our own opinions but I don't agree with yours. I both both of these shows as they are easy to learn from and quick to make and on top of that, they taste great! It doesn't get any better than that for me. If I'm making sandwiches for the guys before a game on T.V. or I'm cooking for my lady a dinner with soem class, I can find what I need from these two shows. That's good enough for me. Sincerely, Cookbook Chef

  2. [...] this link: New Format and Chefs’ Takes — Star Commentary This entry was posted in Food Network and tagged blog, camera, coaching, comment, commented, [...]

  3. Linda says:

    Why can't Giada dress conservatively? On a show about food, why do we constantly have to see her breasts hanging out?

    • serious says:

      Why are you constantly looking at her breast??

      • Barry Rhodes says:

        Because I can.

        • Serious says:

          That's expected, you're a guy. But a gal?? I'm a gal and I don't give a hoot about her boobs.

          • Dishy says:

            I don't give a hoot about her boobs either. Besides, her teeth take up most of the TV screen.

      • Amy says:

        How can you miss them when she's wearing shirts that show her cleavage and when she's chopping food they are jiggling all around....let me guess....YOU'RE A MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Serious says:

          I'm not a man and her boobs jiggle because that's what boob do!! Not much short of a nun's habit is gonna stop that. You are probably against women breast feeding too. I find nothing inappropriate in her attire. If it were that inappropriate, don't you think the network executives would has changed her wardrobe???

    • Serious says:

      Bet your son likes it!!

    • Donna says:

      Why do you think?

    • Jackie says:

      OMG......I have been saying that very same thing for eons!!!!!!! Soooooo tired of fake boobs hanging out......almost as tired of her CONSTANT re-pronunciation of Italian words!!! Watched latest episode and she never ceases to show her defensive, childish side when things don't go her way. She did it on Iron Chef when she teamed with Bobby against Mario and Rachel.....stomping when she goofed up and their team lost. Now on "Star" you see her anger when Alton asked her for correct pronunciation of ricotta, and again when something positive happened for another team, and then when Josh won and Christie lost, she carries on in glory right in front of Christie.......totally inappropriate. She turns me off so much I may cancel further viewing of the show.

    • guest says:

      Thank you for keeping us abreast of your opinion on Giada's boobs...of which I am a fan...

      ...the boobs, not your opinion of them, that is!

    • Shannon says:

      To all the haters on Giada's cleavage.... I can't get my guy friend to LET me watch FN at his house unless Giada is on! Keep the men watching and the cleavage Giada!

    • A. Kotto says:

      I happen to like Giada's breasts, TYVM.

    • FanFare57 says:

      Your comment has stirred up a big reaction and most ridiculous debate on this site. How funny is that? Maybe, FN can have an audience poll on "Yay or Nay for seeing Giada's Boobs"...

      • Dishy says:

        Really! Can't believe all this fuss over a pair of boobs! Honestly, I never took much notice of them. Her teeth on the other hand . . .

    • Sanita says:

      I am sorry you can't watch her show because of what your son could be exposed to. So where can you take your son? I thought we are here to talk about food and the next food network star. I think your comment is rude. Is that what you want to teach your son? I'm sure you are a really good person, who just got caught up in the hype.

    • Christopher says:


    • Adam says:

      very good point I agree. she brings an almost provocative image that Im not sure is appropriate

  4. Guest says:

    This will be an interesting season. There is a real mix among the contestants--some have incredible backgrounds, others have outgoing personalities, etc. I think it will take another show or two to see who begins to stand out. Just a few seemed to stand out in the first show, but it was the first show and I'm sure they are getting to know each other, etc. I think Michele, Judson, and the gal who loves the fifties (sorry, I don't want to make an error with a wrong name)--they all seemed to me to have some depth, personality, and potential. I'm looking forward to the coming shows!!!!!!!

    • jeri says:

      Her name is Emily. Very intelligent woman. I agree we need more time for everyone to settle in.

    • Food Fan says:

      Will be interesting to see how this new format works out. Gonna give it a chance.
      I do hope we can avoid the drama of past seasons. We dont need another Penny (from last season). Seems there's always:
      the bully
      the fast-talker
      the timid, unconfident one
      the loud-appeance type
      the ditz.
      Im glad to see a more mainstream-looking bunch of folks (for the most part) this time.
      While it will be fun to see how Bobby's, Giada's and Alton's do against each other, I am also hoping that the coaching still lets the contestants be themselves and not be "wrong" just because they aren't "clones" of the team-captain.s. Hopefully, that wont happen. Also, people should not be allowed to stay even if they do badly just because the team they are on did good. I'm hoping to see contestants food judged more by the Public (everyday people) and not snobbish downtown yuppie "foodies." We'll see.

  5. RMarie says:

    My husband and I are still in shock over the new season. The new format was very promising, but after watching the interview process, we had zero hope for the actual show. I had been a fan of Giadas recipes - easy to follow, approachable. Never impressed by her "airheady" "cutsie outside, bubblegum mush" but her recipes are so straight forward and esy to make, we could over look her high maintenance diva-ness. Watching her interview process was too much to swallow. Her. Notices as air headed as she and I'm sorry, I am Hispanic, and I liked Martita, but we do NOT need another Latino show. FN has a great chef, has had great cooks and quite frankly, Valladolid can carry e network and represent Mexican cuisine perfectly. Giadas has been a terrible disappoint,ent and I will not watch her shows again nor buy her books. A better choice would've been Guy! Really feeling sad for Giada. As for the contestants, I don't see it, but I'm glad team Bobby's folks can cook, and Alton has some good contenders. No point of view I'd like to see, actually, I watch cook channel to keep up with runner ups on times I can watch, and to get away from the horrendously boring cupcake wars or sweet genious. SIGH!

    • Amy says:

      AGREE WITH 100%!!!!!!!!

    • Marsha says:

      I, for one, am hugely glad that Fieri is not on this show. I would had to pass.

    • J H says:


    • nike52003@gmail.cim says:

      agree with you folks. giada has a fake smile.would like to see her be just a real person and not so barbie doll like. a little of her goes a long way.give me paula dean anyday!!!!! dubuque52003

  6. Rmarie says:

    Sorry for I pad typos! And glad another health nut gone! FN Consumers are not oblivious to healthy eating. Remember Mr. Lion in the kitchen? Or "veggie girl" from season 2? The 30-50 year old can actually make dishes healthier, and all FN stars make efforts to make it healthy. We do want depth, flavor, variety, different levels of difficulty, budget and splurge levels of cooking and dishes. Yes, as much as Paula is too much, we do want some of her butterfat once in a while (want to learn how to rock bisquits? yep, go to Alton, Ina or Paula!) Contestants trying to push the healthy kick, need to go to another network. I don't mind Giada not dressing conservatively. But I get enough of her close ups (face and boobs) and her legs. She is fit, and beautiful, got it. But she is also conceited, airhead and her choice of contestants questionably bubble gummy. Sorry FN, but I'm still in shock.

    • Amy says:

      I agree!! Her boobs hanging out in every episode is awful...and she's a mother!!! I can't watch her episodes with my son because of the boobs!! This season is horrible!! Too slow and everything is negative!! We arent watching depressing!!!

      • hshawn00 says:

        You are obsessed with this woman's boobs! Enough already. You sound like a catty old hag and who said mothers had to dress like nuns. And what are you so worried about your son seeing. I suggest you turn off the tv and lock him in a room for life because boobies are everywhere on TV and in the real world. Get over it already! Jealous much?!

    • Serious says:

      What is with everyone's obsession with Giada's boobs? She's a woman for crying out loud! Get over it. I'm female, I pay no attention to her boobs! It's not like they're out there naked!!!

      • Food Fan says:

        She IS a woman, and an attractive one. but its the frequency.
        Let me just say this, and I hope the right people are reading this.
        1. Giada is an attractive lady. Men and women will agree.
        2. She's an excellent cook and easy-to-follow.

        Some of you are wondering why so many on here are writing about how she dresses on her shows. (I'm trying to be as matter-of-fact and impartial as I can here): We can call it "fashion-police" all we want, but realize this:

        The fact that people *are* writing/posting about it shows that they *do* notice-- and for alot of viewers it *is* an issue or concern.
        Or else they wouldnt bother saying anything. But they do!
        A) Notice that people are NOT writing these kinds of things about, say, Paula, or Ina. You could say maybe its because they are heavier. Ok then, I dont see people posting similar stuff about Sandra Lee (who is more slender). Or Melissa, either.
        Which leads me to the next point:
        B) Its not that she cant ever do this or that...but --how often.
        For alot of viewers, thats just it, they are seeing it "too often." They *dont* with others. Are at least not as frequent.
        So they dont write about others. I would keep that in mind if one is getting sick of the comments.
        I hope I am saying all this politely enough.

        • Dishy says:

          Yes, Food fan, very politely said. Obviously enough people have noticed Giada's boobies to comment on them here. I for one have never paid any attention to them and I watch her show every day. I'm not blind though, I will admit she has a fabulous figure and I imagine she must work out a lot. (I know they show her doing yoga or something in the opening of her show.) As for people saying (or not saying) the same things about Paula or Ina, I think it's not only because they are heavier, but they are also a bit older and dress age appropriately. Hopefully Giada won't wear short, low-cut dresses when she's in her 60's. As for Sandra Lee, she might not wear low-cut dresses or tops, but you can notice from the tight-fitting tops she wears that her boobs are huge. OMG, I can't believe I'm contributing to this boob conversation on the Food Network blog!! Well, that's my last word on the subject then. :-)

    • Guest says:

      Lion in the Kitchen - has a show on, I think PBS, and it is really good. He does a great job and I think would be value added on Food Network. Think they missed a good opportunity for a good show.

  7. Diane says:

    I guess we shouldn't be surprised about Giada looking for people who are good on camera. I remember on "Chefography" she was just the worst on camera at first. She has come a long way. I hope the judges will keep in mind that these folks are not used to cooking on TV and should be allowed some slack in that regard.

    • jeri says:

      That is so true. I remember that show. She was really not comfortable with the camera on her. My, how far she has come! Good point.

    • JLF says:

      That's why the team mentoring is such a good idea - give the contestants a fighting chance to pick up real practical advice on improving their presentations. Having them try to figure it out on their own from mixed up judges' feedback has not been successful for that past several seasons, It was time to try something else.

      • Food Fan says:

        Here's something: We now have 3 different team captains. Each with their own style/brand of coaching. In the end, one of these teams will have a winner/contestant. And when they do---will the NEXT season (and all the ones after that) "require" all contestants to be clone's of that (since it will have "worked" the previous season) and will constestants lose their individuality? This is admittedly "down the road" but its a trap to mark-down for the future and hopefully Food Network will NOT degenerate in future-seasons to just a bunch of copycat's. So far, I am intriuged with the new season. :)

    • Food fan says:

      2 things:
      A) I hope we can keep "Cattiness" out of this season and not find 20 ways to not like the food of anyone else who may be an attractive contestant and "encroach or invade" anyone's "territory." Steps should be taken to eliminate or seriously minimize this. With ANYONE who already has a show of their own towards any of the new contestants!
      B) the simple fact that so many people posting comments on here *are* commenting on "appearance", clearly shows it matters and is NOTICED and is a concern of much of the viewing audience. Yes, the focus should be on:
      super-great food---from a clear explainer---with a warm smile--who isnt irritating.
      As for appearance itself, I think its better to let someone's eyes, clean hair and voice and smile be the attraction.

  8. Amy says:

    THIS SHOW SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It used to be so exciting and fast paced! We are sooooo disappointed with this season!! We won't watch anymore!!!

    • Adam says:

      i agree to an extent. something just slow paced and less interesting about it

    • Dishy says:

      I think they wanted to try out a new format,and they probably realize it now that it's not as successful as they had hoped. But what were they to do? Scrap it in the middle of taping? Who knows, maybe they'll revert back to the old format for next year's show. So I'm cutting them some slack on this one.

  9. Amy says:

    And Altons Narcissistic , egotistical personality towards all women is appaling!!! He's a determent to the show...he's the reason we won"t watch....besides the new format of groups and putting everyone down!!!! This show has plummeted!!!!! So sorry FN you had a great thing until this season!!! PLEASE tell Giada to wear appropriate clothing on her shows!!! Save the boobage for her husband!!!

    • Serious says:

      If her clothing were a real problem the net-execs would have told her by now. I find nothin inappropriate about her clothing.

    • JLF says:

      Enough with the boobs already. Making your point once was making your point. Making it 3 more times in one page is getting excessive.

    • M K says:

      Wow, another person who shares my opinion about Giada! I cant believe they let her wear the things she does. She basically doesnt have much of a figure i guess and so she wants to push up her bust and show it like theres no tomorrow. Problem is there is tomorrow, and there is a time and place for everything. ESpecially the degree of her low cutness on her tops are so deep usually that I am in shock they have this on a cooking show! I always get really angry at the tv, and say she belongs on the other kind of shows that people in heat want to watch! There are plenty of other people to pick for her jobs. I dont even think she is a good cook, or teacher especially. She really doesnt teach anything except to smile a phoney smile. Also, having her on a cooking show sends the wrong msg to girls watching. It says, to dress this way is appropriate, and there are no limits to what you wear to work/as it is Giadas workplace and youll be accepted; as the whole world should accept this because its on tv.

      • Phineus says:

        And again, you should probably turn off the TV and find more joyful ways to spend your time. If something provokes this much anger in you, you need to avoid it for your own good health. Wishing you happiness.

        • Sanita says:

          I agree! If this show gives you no entertainment or you don't like the way Giada dresses just turn it off. Find something else that will bring you both joy. Haven't you both make your point?? Enough!!

      • Cookbook Cooker says:

        You need professional help! I can give you the name of a good therapist who may even be willing to take your case pro-bono as I'm sure He'd be able to write a great case study about you and your deep seated emotional problems. This isn't the place for this note but I don't know how to reach you. I hope you get help before you are beyond help. Sincerely, A true food lover and beginner chef!

      • Dishy says:

        So change the station! Take a walk! Read a book! Why do you bother watching if you find it so offensive?! You said you don't even like her cooking! IDK. I just don't understand some people. Some people aren't happy unless they have something to complain about. (Profanity deliberately left out!!)

    • Elena Shepherd says:

      Has anyone else noticed that some forum postings are a sort of a cyberspace public port-a-john with no door. When an angry person wants to take a big dump on a celebrity or a show or anything viewed by the public - they run to the forums and troll away with their opinion as they sit in their trailer shoving potato chips in their face. So ... here comes our troll of the day ... Amy. She takes a big healthy dump on a great man who truly loves his work and is one of the kindest men I have ever met. Yes, I have met him and I am not some crazed fan or stalker ... ok ok ... I merely moved into his back yard and he doesn't know it yet. But ... I digress. Back to Amy - the troll. She claims that Alton is a detriment to the show? She makes some personal attacks to the man's character with no specific examples. A detriment to the show? That's rich. Alton's narcissistic egotistical personality towards women? Really? The most narcissistic thing he does is act as a food know-it-all ... but not a women hater. Perhaps Amy has narcissistic confused with sarcastic. Alton is sarcastic - ok EXTREMELY sarcastic - but he certainly is not a women hater. A food science guru, a perfectionist AND he knows his stuff.
      Away from the camera when you meet this man he is a true gentleman. He is very considerate and kind and sarcastic :). Ok the show needs help I admit. Unfortunately, Alton didn't create this show or it would be more of a success. There is way too much style channel and entertainment network stuff infused in the food network perhaps because some folks watch the food channel for Giada (usually while channel surfing and have no interest in whatever she is making)... but Alton is different. Alton is just plain fun. By the end of his shows you are usually on your way to buy the ingredients you just saw on his show. Alton's unique food science shows and his own wacky-metro-country-geek-MontyPython-style - has brought many fans to the food channel. Alton's shows make food preparation FUN. He has certainly has helped the Food Channel grow in years past. I am a big fan of this fine man and will defend his character against any hateful person who attacks his character. Amy, stop trolling.

    • Dishy says:

      Amy, can you please explain what "Narcissistic, egotistical personality towards all women" even means? Do you even know the meaning of these words? Perhaps you believe he is misogynistic? Which he isn't. I don't know how you got that impression of him, but I think he is a doll. He is super intelligent and a fabulous chef. Well, some people just see what they want to see.

  10. NancyB says:

    With the exception of Amy Finley, Food Network Star has done well, in particular with Guy Fieri, Aaron McCargo and Jeff Mauro. I really dislike the new "The Voice" format and the immense number of commercials, at least in the opening episode; not sure why they felt the need to change. That said, I like Judson, Malcolm (we've seen him cook on TV before) and Michele. Not so fond of Eric Lee (dude, stop trying so hard to impress the judges) and Nikki (could everyone PLEASE do something about their hair???)
    P.S. Can't wait to see Justin's Foie Gras Donut show up in a challenge!

    • JLF says:

      Why ask Eric to stop trying to impress the judges? That's what all the contestants need to do to stay in the game. And at least he's doing it with his food, not with cartwheels.

    • lisa says:

      I agree guy is doing well but of course aaron McCargo show got cancelled I really liked his show but no well I still watch guy fieri on mondays

    • hshawn00 says:

      I too am not a big fan of the new format change. Why re-event the wheel?