Aarti’s After Party: Redemption and Defeat

by in Food Network Star, June 17, 2012

Aarti Sequeira won Food Network Star season 6 and expanded her popular blog into a cooking show, Aarti Party (catch it on Food Network, Sundays at 7:30am/6:30c). As a Star veteran watching from her couch at home, Aarti shares her insider’s take on what went down each week.

Well, didn’t Martie redeem herself this week?

I was kind of amazed at how many of you wrote, with some vitriol, that sweet Martie didn’t deserve to stay last week. Well, she certainly proved herself this week, cooking a rather elaborate multi-step dish (Southern-style arancini, which I would never have attempted to make for 150 people) and bowling the judges over with her warmth and humor.

Just one thing though, Martie, my love: That moniker you’re using? Martie Party? It’s kinda taken. Ahem!

I am sad that Linkie went home, though. I understand the network’s decision, but I really fell for her warmth and sparkle. I’m also sad about the prospect of a dessert-centered show disappearing. Who doesn’t crave a little more dessert in their lives? (If you don’t, then maybe you can teach me your trick!) And, sadly, I don’t think it was a lack of talent or potential that handed Linkie the go-back-to-go card.

Rather, it was that Linkie fell victim to a syndrome that attacks all of us at one point or another: changing who you are to be something you think someone else wants you to be.

In this case, it manifested in the form of a churro. Team Giada was assigned Mexican food, and with two team members of Latin heritage, I assume that Linkie felt pressure to create an authentic Mexican dessert, something she had no experience making. I found myself wincing and crying out, “no!” at the screen when she bowed to Martita’s suggestion to make churros, even though she had never had them. Cut to the Spanish inquisition in the car, where, out of what I can only imagine was some deep fear, Linkie interrogated Martita about churros and Mexican hot chocolate – flavors, ingredients and textures.

Here’s a hard and fast rule for Food Network Star finalists: If you don’t know how to make it, don’t make it.

This always sinks contestants. Heck, it nearly sunk me. In one of our first challenges during my season of Star, Duff asked us to transform sweet carnival snacks into savory ones. The creepy fortune teller machine assigned me funnel cakes – something I couldn’t remember ever having in my life.

I freaked.

Someone told me that they resembled deep-fried pancakes in texture, so I made little scallion-ricotta blinis topped with tandoori-barbecue chicken. It saved me. Had I tried to re-create funnel cakes? Well, I don’t think I’d be sitting here writing to you now.

I would have loved to have seen Linkie make something that was Mexican-inspired, perhaps a Mexican chocolate cupcake or some Horchata-flavored ice cream – something that expressed herself and her expertise in her unique God-given way. Ultimately, cooking something she was uncomfortable with stole her confidence to such an extent that it dimmed her characteristic sparkle when presenting to the judges.

Linkie, if you’re reading this: You’ve got it, girl. Everything you are is good enough. Share your sparkle. I can’t wait to see where you go from here.

What did everyone else think?


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Comments (716)

  1. Guest says:

    I so agree with you, Aarti! Linkie has the warmth and the sparkle and I think with more time, her confidence would have grown and shown through. I wish you the very best, Linkie! As for Nikki, even though I think she is a good cook, there is just something there I cannot put my finger on. Bob and Susie were very open about Nikki's hardness, but I am disappointed with Nikki's attitude. Perhaps that is competition, but I am uncomfortable with the underlining "unkindness" Nikki holds. And I'm so glad Team Alton did well tonight!

    • hd2020 says:

      I agree too Aarti. You said it well that Linkie needed to find the combination of making something to fit the challenge that most expresses her and still pushes herself. I would be VERY interested in seeing a show of hers as NO ONE has her perspective and culinary background. I would love to learn something new. FN = please hire her anyway! Nikki to me has nothing new to offer -- i.e. Bobby already has a grilling show, there's a grilling 'week' and others grill just while they cook and although I have compassion for her tough exterior, I won't spend my time watching a little girl proving she can do it. I want to enjoy myself and learn something.

    • Marsha says:

      I don't see any "unkindness" in Nikki at all. Martita showed more unkindness, imo, by not explaining the churros better to Linkie.

      • JLF says:

        Whle she may not have insulted Linkie to her face as Martita did, her aggressive competitiveness makes her appear less than generous about others. Other contestants have been able to compete without compromising their own ambition, but also without doing it in a way that belittles others. Nikki appears more than ready and willing to step on anyone to get where she wants to go.

      • Bristol says:

        The proof that Nikki was being over competitive, was right under your nose wehn Nikki and Linki were facing as the bottom two when Niki said "Took all of the tomatoes huh? Wow" And in a very harsh tone as well.

    • driedcherries says:

      I didn't think that it was possible, but I dislike Nikki more than I did last season's Penny! Nikki thinks that the world revolves around her and that she is superior to everyone. I can't see Nikki relating to an audience because she would likely talk down to anyone who watched. Nikki might have cooking savvy which is probably why BF wanted her on his team, but she'll need to get off her high horse if she wants to host a cooking show on FN.

      • JLF says:

        Wow - memory of the Pain of Penny must have really faded for you over time. I don't care for Nikki, but she is nowhere near Penny's league of nasty. Nikki reacts aggressively to immediate threats such as Linkie last nite, but Penny declared war on the entire field of contestants every week.

        • driedcherries says:

          There is nothing wrong with my memory. I recall specifically that Penny's "Mediterranean Pizza" was the best dish that I have seen prepared on any season of FNS. Penny's "mean girl" persona was encouraged by the show's producers, and Ms. Davidi did her utmost to give them exactly what they wanted. While Penny didn't win FNS, she was among the chosen few who were invited to participate in "Chopped All-Stars" and was one of the final two in the competition.

          • JLF says:

            Well my mistake. I'll just agree to disagree about the the level of nastiness displayed by Penny however motivated or encouraged. As for Chopped AllStars, I wish she had not been invited to that show because I found her just as unappealing there as on FNS. As the Queen of Mean, they may be able to retire her number - I can't imagine anyone topping her.

          • Jerilee says:

            I haven't forgotten!!!

          • MoHub says:

            Penny actually reached a new level of nastiness onChopped All Stars, gloating at Michael Symon's failure to get an item on the plates, actually believing Symon and Samuelsson were intimidated by her, making fun of Jeffrey's plates, and questioning Amanda Freitag's ability to judge whether her dish had too much saffron. She also seemed to be more willing to win based on others' failures rather than her own abilities.

        • Zoey says:

          Nikki and linkie are good friends what you see and what is edited is all created by the producers it makes good tv Nikki s remarks are part of the show not in real nastiness what you didn't see before is giada had linkie take all the tomatoes giada knew Nikki needed them and linkie only used three slices of tomatoes on her dish it's to create drama for all of us viewers to see Nikki is not the b..... That is being portrayed here

          • beachinfrizzy says:

            Do Bob, Susie, Giada, Alton and Bobby all eat off the same dish that sits out for God knows how long until it's photographed? And it doesn't matter...if such drama is a 'set up' wouldn't Nikki have known that from previous weeks (or have been intelligent enough to figure it out) instead of assuming Linkie was out to purposely sabotage her?

      • guest says:

        Right on!

    • Zoey says:

      I think you all are being very harsh on Nikki! She is really super sweet and funny and very quick witted unfortunately they edit so much and the producers were constantly telling her to be this way and that way. Yes she is very confident as she has been out on her own since she was 17 in Hollywood mind you which is extremely difficult!!! You learn survival skills quickly so that strong assertiveness is just fighting to survive living in L.A in a very critical city everyone has to be and look perfect there and tons and tons of rejection. The Nikki I know would have you in stitches she is historical and will go out of her way for you. she is a very gifted and smart young lady if you met her in person you would Love her honestly:)

      • driedcherries says:

        "The Nikki I know would have you in stitches she is historical"

        I'll give you the benefit of the doubt because you probably meant that Nikki is "hysterical" as in funny, makes people laugh. There is nothing about Nikki's on-camera persona that leads me to believe that she is funny or even fun to be with. Nikki comes across as phony and full of herself. You might suggest to your friend that she learns to be a little humble.

        • guest says:

          AMEN TO THAT.

        • Zoey says:

          I really wish the producers really would let her be herself if only they would do a live show then you would really see how goofy and funny she is. Shes an incredible cook and fabulous host. I have been to many of her parties and enjoyed her cooking. You have to give her this she has stayed true to her show concept everything that she has prepared on the show has been grilled and food has always tasted good. She has always done great on speaking hopefully her warmth will be seen soon. I truly believe that if Nikki could do her show her way America would fall in love with her. Don't give up on her yet. She really does have an incredible story she's a fighter and you need that to be successful! :)

          • JLF says:

            I take it that you are a friend of Nikki's and your loyalty is commendable. One thing to remember is that it is one thing to be funny and warm in social situations with friends. It's quite another to be a warm, informative food expert when talking to a camera with the pressures of a competition weighing down on you. Some handle it better than others. Unfortunately to many of us viewers, Nikki is letting her competitive ambition get the better of her and at best she looks stiff and impersonal, and at worst she looks hard and ruthless towards her competition. Either way, she is not very appealing right now, no matter what she cooks.

      • Jerilee says:

        Nikki chose to go to Hollywood at 17. I grew up near Hollywood. I know how tough it can be, if you're not prepared. You don't have to turn out that way, she chose that way.

        • Zoey says:

          Seriously did you try to make a movie or write scripts being in the film industry is bruttle!!!! If she was in Hollywood to reside would be one thing but try to make it in the film industry is ruthless. what do you do Jerilee?? Everyone doesn't see what goes on behind the scenes and they are really making her out to look like a brat. Give her a break she's attempting to fulfill her dreams most people don't even try and to subject herself to this harsh and negativity is amazing. You have to be tough. I have known Nikki for a life time and she hasn't been handed anything she has gone out there and made a life for herself. Everyone needs to not judge with such a critical eye.

          • Jerilee says:

            I didn't mean to imply that. Was just stating the life is tuff in Hollywood, and if you choose that route you need to know what you are doing. Obviously she knew what she wanted when she went there at age 17. I'm saying don't blame that on how you are. She chose that route. Others did the same, some successful, some not. I wish her well in her dreams, i hope she succeds. she has a lot of guts, but don't blame your downfall on Hollywood. Just accept and move on.

      • Nicole says:

        I don't know her personally, but from watching the show, I can tell that she is a tough girl and very competitive. I like her though. I don't think it is bad to be tough and competitive. You can see the soft spot in her. We saw her vulnerability when she was up for elimination. All of our lives shape how we react to and deal with things. I think she has great food and is a sweet person that is simply hard on herself and has a protective barrier she puts on. I don't know that she'll win, but I like her.

    • rgg says:

      I couldn't agree with you more!! There's just something about Nikki that's not genuine. She's seems poised and all, however a bit phony. Think maybe judges kept Nikki because of her demonstrated culinary expertise (Linkie's key lime pie - "cafeteria" they said - and now the Churros.) Perhaps they feel they can coach Nikki to being more natural. I am sad to see Linkie go.
      And AARTI - No one can replace AARTI Party!! :)

  2. vert2013 says:

    I'm having a really hard time continuing to defend the integrity of this show. At the beginning of the season I gave them the benefit of the doubt with the order of the eliminations (team alton, team bobby, team giada) but it has continued though out the season. This week, Linkie stumbled, there is no denying that. But even if every member of Team Giada had hit it out of the park, one of them was going home because that's the way this season has gone. So set up.

    • FNfan says:

      agreed, and it is going to continue, which makes it annoying. If you click my name, it has the remaining episode descriptions, which shows how eliminations work from here on out

    • Lola says:

      I agree. I made this same comment to a group of folks I chat with on FB. I love this show, but HATE the contrived Team Concept. Please please please Producers, don't do it again!!!

    • mncrftr says:

      That is SO true. Team Giada always does amazing!

    • Adam says:

      well, they also realize that they dont want to probably offend the producers. i mean, one of them may take it seriously or personally.

    • Rasf2012 says:

      So true. I cannot believe how predictable this show is. Alton is the only chef showing any personality. Giada and Bobby look like puppets. Linkie was never going to win NFNS. However, two others should have been eliminated before Linkie.

    • Bristol says:

      It's a folly if they really are doing that. C'mon network! No drama! Keep it real!

    • MikeW says:

      We have the option of not watching, if we're unhappy with the show. And speaking of not watching, though it was pretty clear Linkie was a nice person, I can't imagine tuning in to watch her. She was uncomfortable in front of the camera. It was painfully apparent.

  3. marygee says:

    No surprise to see Linkie go-- it was her team's turn to lose a member -- that's that nature of the new format season. Hopefully, next season they'll go back to the old system. Even though the judges keep asking the contestants to reveal more of themselves, I don't think the format works -- the contestants are all strageers because we don't get to see them interacting with one another as in the past. (BIG sigh). New format does not necessarily mean improved format. :)

    • Jessi says:

      Yep, you hit the nail on the head...this new format doesn't work....we all knew that Team Giada was going to lose a chef tonight....to keep the teams "equal." Predictable and yes, sad.

    • MaryRichards says:

      I agree. Love the show but dislike the new format. Remember, producers: If it ain't broke ...

    • Allan says:

      I completely agree with Marygee. Very unhappy with the new format. It is the first time I have not faithfully watched every episode of FN Star. I want to see the contestants interacting with one another away from the kitchen. Team captains Giada and Bobby talking up their contestants in the Pitch Room very insincere. Please return to the earlier, proven format or you will lose THIS longtime FN viewer.

  4. guest says:

    i agree

  5. Grandma Joyce says:

    Martie was saved by Justin. Linkie asked for help from her teammates, but she was asked to cook from an unknown palete. Nikki may cook delicious food but...the lack of warmth may be her undoing. Linkie, best of life to you.
    Ippy, Emily, Justin, Ivan, Malcolm, wow, awesome job!

    • My perspective says:

      Really don't agree, Martie saved herself and her team by interacting with the crowd, which she is perfect for. I have to say, last week wouldn't have been nearly as bad if they'd let her go first instead of Justin, who bumbled the start.

      • Wayne says:

        Actually if they let her go first last week, none of the rest would've got a chance to speak at all. She doesn't keep track very well when she has a designated limited time to speak.

        That being said, I don't know that I agree that Justin saved her--other than Justin volunteering to take the livers when Alton was looking at Martie cos he probably secretly hoped she'd take them & mess up the dish & just leave already. But I think she helped herself pretty well. Unless she would've just tried to fry her little balls without the oil being the right temp as Justin advised.

        • Grandma Joyce says:

          What I meant was, if Justin had not offered to fry the food, she would have been sitting with a blob of uncooked food, looked flustered. She only regained her composure when Justin offered to fry and let her "work the crowd". So yeah, Justin "saved" her. Alton even mouthed "I'm doomed" while watching Martie appear to spin out of control.Anyway, that is how I saw it, but we all see things alittle differently, and then comes the sharing of our views, which makes for lots of posting here.
          Martie seems to be a very nice lady but time management skills are not a strength.

          • beachinfrizzy says:

            I don't know and I'm not sure I'm going to rewatch at this point, but wasn't Justin bringing BOTH pots of oil up to temperature? It's not like his fritto misto was finished and just sitting there getting cold and soggy while everyone waited for Martie to finish her aranciata, at least it didn't look that way. Having one keep the crowd engaged while the other finished the frying just made sense. I don't think it would have made any difference if their roles had been switched. YMMV.

          • Marsha says:

            Imo, Justin and Martie worked it as a team. No saving going on.

          • Grandma Joyce says:

            Good points, you all convinced me, thanks:)

      • MoHub says:

        Judson, not Justin.

    • Louisa says:

      According to Martita, "everyone is asking me questions...I can't do it all!!" Or close to that....good grief, Martita....it was right down your alley girl...what are you complaining about??? And you should have listened to Linkie when she said she knew nothing about churros...you threw her the curve ball that got her out. That look on your face as you hugged Linkie "goodbye" looked pretty pleased to me!

      Mellow out girl!

    • Zoey says:

      Grandma Joyce I have known Nikki for a life time and she is super sweet funny and very quick witted. What is being edited and what they are showing making her like the brat it creates drama which makes for good tv if you met her you would love her yes she is a very confident woman but that is just from her life experiences that she has encountered Iam positive if Nikki had her own show and could be involved in how it was being edited everyone would feel they learned something from her and you would see her warmth and humor. I have learned soooo much from her she is a wealth of knowledge really it saddens me as her friend to see how everyone bashes her and this is Not the Nikki I know this is a competition which everyone forgets which is a dream of a lifetime and you are locked up in an apartment with these contestants for months with no tv , radio ,books or contact with the outside world you film to 1 am and get up at 4 am with cameras in your face 24/7 you eat horribly believe it or not and no exercise so if your a healthy conscious person this really sucks for you! And they try to create mega drama just some inside facts:)

      • Grandma Joyce says:

        Zoey, thank you for defending your friend and for helping us see "the big picture".

      • beachinfrizzy says:

        It's commendable for you to defend your friend so vigorously. HOWEVER. The producers can't make someone look like they are someone they're not if that person doesn't give them anything - eyerolls, stank faces, complaints, dubious 'witty' remarks - that they can work with to that person's disadvantage. I'm sure other contestants have let slip some less-than-flattering moments that have not been edited in...their time will come (or not, depending on how long they last). We are commenting on what we are shown. If you choose to take a 'shortcut' to stardom and choose to subject yourself to the pressure-cooker conditions in order to get there, be prepared for scrutiny and criticism if you stray from the high road along the way.

        • Grandma Joyce says:

          Very good point. Everyone in the spotlight has to develop a "brush it off" attitude.
          In my workplace, the best bosses were the ones that praised me for my strengths and shared the areas where I needed to improve.

  6. Razzie8 says:

    I really liked Linkie and the joy she took in every thing she did. I agree with Aarti-if you don't know a food try what you do know and mix it up a little. I have one concern-it seemed to me that Bobbie Flay was campaigning for Malcolm to be put off the show. Instead of trying to inspire one of his team members he told Malcolm he was surprised he was still in the running. He made another negative comment to the judges.

    • Guest says:

      You hit it on the nail about Linkie's joy! Her sparkle and warmth comes through as so natural, and those characteristics are so welcoming in today's television world. FN, you missed the boat with Linkie leaving and Nikki staying on. Nikki is not FN material--her edge is uncomfortable, despite her strong cooking skills.

      • MoHub says:

        And let us not forget that LInkie previously bailed Nikki out by providing her with flour when Nikki forgot to buy any—even though they were on different teams. Perhaps Linkie was just too nice to last.

    • Halcyon says:

      I totally agree! I like Malcolm and his flavor, cool personality. Not everyone is a bubble ball and not all viewers want to see that. Diversity in the FN stars us essential because the audience is diverse. I was absolutely thrilled when Aarti won because we need different. Bobby should be rooting for all team members.

    • FanFare57 says:

      I agree. Bobby's comment to Malcolm was strange. He may have meant it as a warning, but it seemed as though he felt Malcolm should pack his bags. That offering could only serve to unnerve Malcolm rather than help bolster his confidence. I wonder why Bobby chose to say that at that time? I felt Linkie was a sweet heart , but not much of a strong confident cook. She always surprised herself each week when she did well. When she kept asking Martita for advice, I felt like screaming, "shut up and figure it out or do something else." Linkie wasn't very self sufficient or resourceful here. That said, I wish Marti was dumped because I can't stand listening to her warble on...

      • FanFare57 says:

        why did I receive so many negative next to my comment? just wondering why you all found it offensive.

      • Guest says:

        I agree FanFare57-Linkie did say she could figure it out herself, so she should have tried to figure out how to make churros herself.

    • beachinfrizzy says:

      Bobby's comment to Malcom was my "WTF" moment for this week, for sure. It seemed out of nowhere, but since we've been shown so little of Malcom thus far, maybe it has been something the judges have brought up but since Malcom hasn't landed in the bottom yet they just haven't shown it. Late in last week's episode, Malcom said something like "I don't need a point of view" and now Bobby is shown refuting that...so this is probably an inkling that we will see it become an issue soon. The crab cakes looked great, BTW. Dude can really cook.

    • Fran says:

      I never waste my time watching the clown Bobby. (cocky and arrogant)

  7. sammy b says:

    This new format protects the weak and is showing a very unflattering side of Giada. I never really cared for her but she seems petty if her team does not win and I do not like the way she pushes Martita at us.
    Go Team Alton!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • JML says:

      I agree with you about the unfattering side of Giada. With every episode I am amazed when I watch her. She does not like to loose and her disgust shows in her face. I find myself not wanting to watch her show as much. But Alton! I have grown to love him even more!

      • Adam says:

        alton is ok. he has a good knowledge of food but he has dry personality and rather boring. he would be good standing up in front of a culinary class teaching about cooking but not the knd of guy id go and have a drink with

    • Adam says:

      agreed. frankly giada is just too provocative in her attire and trys to create this sexual persona on tv. im not sure I appreciate her. her smile and teeth is bigger then her food!

      • cindy says:

        I agree!!! Goodness GIADA, use your manners and shut your mouth when you chew!!!!They do have minor surery to correct your DOGBONE smile. If not don't do the big toothy smile!

    • Angela says:

      I totally agree! Go Alton's team

    • foodie says:

      I could not agree more. I used to like Giada and I used to like Anne Burrell. Now, seeing them in a competitive format which seems to bring out the worst of them (either that or the editor's really don't like their women stars) I can't stomach anything they are involved in. I think Giada's team is the weakest of the bunch and Martita bores me to tears.

  8. Chris Velazquez says:

    Well, that was disappointing and even infuriating. Linkie had been overall more consistent, more likeable, and more versatile, because she could cook savory food as well as her desserts. And her POV was so simple yet effective, a dessert show. I like Cupcake Wars, and am a huge fan of Sweet Genius, but The Food Network currently has no shows about cooking desserts. Linkie's confidence was her main problem, and her stumble this week was due to an unfamiliar recipe. However, I don't think she had any easier ways out. Any other dessert could have sunk her as well, as I believe she did say she has no experience with Mexican food, so it could likely have meant just Mexican food in general, not just churros.

    • Chris Velazquez says:

      Still, I felt that was no reason to kick her out, because she's showed before that she can follow advice and overcome the obstacles that hinder her. It really got to me when I heard Bob say her presentation was not clear. To me, it was using a personal story to show how you take simple ingredients and elevate them into something awesome. How much easy to understand can you get, how much simpler would she have to put it? Not to mention that she was dealing with an ingredient that had nothing to do with her dessert POV, so I personally think she did a really nice job with what she was given.

      • Chris Velazquez says:

        Nikki, on the other hand, had so far been rather fake, unlikable and unrelatable from the very start of the competition. I don't care how good her food's been from the start, a good personality is a must, and I need to point out no further than Penny. Nikki was going right down the same path (though nowhere near as hateful as Penny) and it bothers me how they saved her when she just started to show some personality this week, whereas Linkie had been showing it from the start. What infuriates me the most is I remember the first thing Nikki did after introducing herself was bash Linkie, so to have her picked to stay over Linkie leaves me annoyed. Ugh, now I'm gonna be angry all night...

        • beachinfrizzy says:

          Heh, good to see someone else being reminded of Penny when it comes to Nikki (albeit Penny lite.) I guess the producers feel the need to produce a villian. They just can't help themselves.

        • SAHchef says:

          Yes totally agree w your comments about both nikki and linkie. my 7 year old reminded our group about Nikki's bashing of linkie in the first episode. Didn't Nikki say for Linkie to take her icing and go home..... ? We are all still really annoyed at charming talented Linkie going
          home instead of the self centered Nikki . Nikki turned all of us Totally off the first episode. Her 'grill marks ' comments in last weeks episode cemented our opinion.....Linkie you were our fave. They still need to give you a show!!!!!!

    • JML says:

      I was worried about Linkie because all she did was desserts. But she wowed the judges with her dish and proved that she could cook. I would rather watch her than Nikki.

      • Tammy says:

        How does cooking one dish other than dessert prove she can cook? Chicken is one of the easiest things to cook and pretty hard to screw up.

        • Arianna says:

          correct, BUT, what you do with the chicken and and the presentation is not that easy. I'm sure the Network has tasted well over their share of chicken, yet they were still impressed with hers....that DOES say that she can cook

          • Ian says:

            It only says she can cook chicken.

          • Chris Velazquez says:

            She did something to that chicken that I had never even heard of before and the judges enjoyed it. I actually learned something new from Linkie, whereas with Nikki, I've known for ages how to grill a lemon to go with some proteins, thus I learned nothing new from her.

        • Arianna says:

          I'll say it again. Cooking chicken is easy, but what you do with it and how you plate and pair it with other foods is not. THe network has had their share of chicken, I'm sure, and yet still they were very impressed with Linkie"s. That shows she can cook

  9. Jerilee says:

    Am disappointed, but not really surprised, at Linkie's departure. FN is following a rather predictable pattern when it comes to eliminating contestants. Giada was wy worse thn Linkie when strtd out. Linkie hould have stayed and allowed to develop. She committed a cardinal in a competition; if you don't know it, don't do it!!! It flustered her and she didn't recover.

    • FanFare57 says:

      Perhaps if Linkie stayed on, she might have improved. Look how many chances Frumpy Marti has been given. That woman has 9 lives. It just wasn't Linkie's luck to be given extra time. I actually like Nikki's POV and her food. Linkie's lack of self confidence bothers me. Due to the way the chopping block is going, it was clear that someone from Giada's team was going to be cut.

    • Food Fan says:

      Linkie needed more calmness and smoothness.
      I think she could've improved with a little more time and she has a sincere charm about her. Nikki is more at ease on camera, yer harder to like.
      I think Nikki and Martie will likely go home before long.

  10. Katie says:

    Linkie was lovely, sorry to see her go. But frankly....I'm just ready for Justin to win!

    • FanFare57 says:

      You're right. Justin blew me away when he happily accepted handling the chicken livers. His personality is unique.

    • JML says:

      I think Justin is truly an original. I love him. I don't think we have seen anyone like him on FN before.

    • Guest! says:

      Justin is just so smart and clever. I loved his line when he said "Littler Italy, literally" with his perfect deadpan.

    • scootersandi says:

      Katie - please be sure to vote - you get TEN per day. That's how I'm helping Justin - and look! He's in the lead!! I doubt I did it single-handedly, but it all helps. But will they award the STAR winner to the fan favorite???