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. Betty says:

    Am I the only one that noticed how down right rude Martita was to Linkie? Commenting on her not being able to spell the words for the board and then saying the disrespectful remark about oh well we will just say the woman from South Africa wrote the sign???? She threw her under the bus by talking her into the churro and then not even helping her. I think we saw Martita's true colors tonight. She lost all my respect. I liked how Linkie seemed down to Earth. Shame to see her go.

    • Brianna says:

      Betty, you said it perfectly. Martita was just downright rude to Linkie tonight....and to her other team members by stating "I can't carry the whole team." Really? Martita carried the whole team? Wow....what an ego. Yven and Ippy did just fine ....and Linkie was simply asked to "do" Mexican, when she had clearly never done so. Martita did not offer much in the way of kindness or camraderie.

      Besides, Martita certainly didn't "knock it out of the park" with her presentation.

      • My perspective says:

        And, Brianna, just like Betty, you said it perfectly. Martita is all about Martita. And, yes, she threw Linkie under the bus.

    • FanFare57 says:

      I didn't take it that way. So Martita had some fun at Linkie's expense because she can't spell Spanish. It was a harmless laugh. Martita didn't throw Linkie under the bus with her advice. Linkie was lost and Martita made a suggestion. Linkie is a grown woman and could have thought for herself. Instead, she said how she never had a churro. In an earlier challenge, she had never had a cannoli (that she chose to prepare. Martita had her own dish to prepare. She wasn't responsible for the success or failure of Linkie's dessert. Maybe Linkie should have made a version of pollo con arroz instead.

      • Pollo says:

        I agree with you FanFare57. Martita had her own dish to prepare under tremendous stress. It was unfair for the other contestants to keep asking her about stuff. If they are on a show like this, they should be strong enough to stand on their own. Linkie didn't show much pastry chef skills here. There is nothing simpler to make than a churro and not even being able to spell guacamole is downright embarrassing. Totally agree that Linkies bombing cant be blamed on poor Martita.

        • guest says:

          Are you hispanic?

        • Arianna says:

          oh blah blah!! I bet if it was all about desserts, Linkie would not have thought twice about being asked advice. In fact, I think it honors what that person knows if others ask advise. Poor Martita, ha! That woman is not tv material. Even the Network said they are still waiting on her. Quit waiting FN and just say ai yay yay, adios!

        • JLF says:

          Not necessarily blaming Linkie's elimination on Martita, but Martita showed tonite that she has a hard nasty side to her underneath the sweet exterior. She really is kind of a Giada clone, isn't she.

        • beachinfrizzy says:

          I'd never tasted an avocado or even heard of guacamole until I went to college in the 80s, and I grew up within an hour of both NYC and Philadelphia with their diverse ethnic foods and populations. I don't think it's fair to say it's 'embarrassing' for someone who grew up on the other side of the planet to not know how to spell it. I'm of Dutch heritage and I assure you there are plenty of dishes common to South Africa that most Americans never heard of, much less be able to spell. As for "poor Martita" I don't blame her for Linkie's departure but between the snark on the spelling and her 'why do I have to carry the team on my back' whining when she herself was handed a gift on a silver platter, she went down a couple notches on the 'plays well with others' scorecard.

          • Food Fan says:

            I'm betting you could probably find six people, easily, who aren't sure how to spell Guacamole.
            I liked Martita very much in the beginning, and said so! But her comments, and the ego being shown is making her less desireable.
            On that note, elsewhere on this thread, Frank Dimeo posted a link for a newsclip on youtube about Martita when she talks about flying back to new york and working on a Cookbook. Hmm. Will Martita be in the Finale? Do you get that impression. Sorry I didnt already cut-n-paste the link from Frank. I think its news5 that it was on. Dont know the city. In this video clip, we see a nicer Martita like the earlier version of herself.
            Will be interesting to see she handles herself from here on. In fairness to Martita, Nikki made some unpleasant comments very early on...but has since toned it down. Perhaps Martita will also.
            After last night....my 2 favorites are now Ippy and Emily.

          • Homer says:

            If you are the self-declared dessert queen it is only fair to assume that you would know how to make everything.

        • Guest says:

          I agree with you Pollo. I also felt it was unfair for the others to keep asking her questions. I felt that Linkie was the right person to go.

        • Jenn says:

          Im sorry but that is rude. She lived in South africa until she was a teenager and didn't know barely any English when she moved to MS where there are NO other people from her country. In our small town there are barely even any hispanics. She was a HUGE minority and as she told you SHE HAS HAD A HARD PAST WHEN HER ENGLISH and people putting her down because of it. I remember everyone in school LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED Linkie, but when you have someone telling you that you need to be different it makes you feel as if you are not good enough and it stays with you for life (unless you can heal from it which she is trying.) Yes, Linkie is a dear friend of mine and she is an amazing baker and cook. Have you ever seen any of the cakes she has made? FANTASTIC! My problem with what Martita said and you said is that you are basically kicking a girl while she is down which is LOW. You never joke with someone when they are dealing with something that really hurts them. So, please do not talk about my friend that again. Thank you!

          • mncrftr says:

            I agree that it was totally downright rude. Couldn't Martita understand? She was from Mexico! She was probably jealous that people were more interested in Linkie immigrating than they were in her.

          • FanFare57 says:

            To Jenn: With all due respect to your friendship with dear Linkie; if she is that fragile, perhaps trying out for a television show (where her every effort is highly scrutinized) is not a good idea. From your comments, I can't imagine why Linkie (or you by extension) believe she would receive cheers and bravos from complete strangers. Being on tv or spokesperson opens a person up to all kinds of criticism. You need to possess a very thick skin. I wish Linkie luck in her future, out of the limelight.

          • Guest says:

            It may be that way and trust me Linkie is tough and a very hard worker. We use to run sprints in the 103 degree heat of MS at 3pm after school without her complaining. She just did it and worked her butt off. She is a determined and dedicated hard worker that doesn't quit or try to breeze through. She is not fragile or a whimp. Who cried when they announced the bottom 2? It wasn't Linkie. I think it's very sad that you have to have such a "tough skin" to be in this business. People who are so cruel need the Lord. Maybe then they wouldn't be so hateful. That's just my opinion, but I will stand by it 100%. Linkie will have amazing opportunities because people do appreciate warm, kind, hard-working, positive, and happy people, and that is who she is through and through.

          • Arianna says:

            Dude, no one said she was fragile! Don't asume stuff. Nothing suggested she's fragile. You NEVER saw that girl cry or say anything negative. Sounds like you have some personal agenda against her, tho I don't get it unless you know something about her the rest of us don't?? Your bashes against her is waaaay being outweighed on this blog. Linkie we'll miss you on the show. I'm sure you're thick skin can handle people like FanFare57!!

          • FanFare57 says:

            Arianna - I have not bashed her on a personal level. I responded to her friend Jenn's comment. Maybe, I misinterpreted what Jenn said. Please read my words carefully before you jump down my throat. I don't have "something against" Linkie. I've stated throughout my posts that I found her sweet. How is that an insult? As to her offerings, I gave my opinion on that issue. In her talking head interviews, Linkie continually stated that she had never heard of this or knew how to make that. The fact that I noticed her lack of culinary experience should not to be considered offensive. She made it fact when she didn't deliver. That's the way the cookie crumbled.

          • Sarah says:

            Amen.

          • Guest says:

            Linkie needs to gain confidence in herself

          • VerH says:

            As a fellow South African I have to say that we were all taught English as a second language all through school. Do not agree with your observation about the English regarding Linkie as she had enough of a basis to speak proper English when she came to the USA. And yes, there were others from her country in Mississippi that her family befriended. Having said all that, she is fantastic and I love her dearly.

          • Izalda says:

            I don't believe that I know you but I can answer you. yes, Linkie did know and speak basic english when we moved here. We did befriend some South Africans. As a matter of fact Linkie is married to a South African she met here. Linkie speaks Afrikaans in her home. I on the other hand am married to an American and didn't speak my native tongue for about 8 years. I don't think anyone in our family would be offended if I said I speak english better than they do. When we moved here we were told by numerous people "you're in America now, speak english". Hearing that did leave a mark on her but she didn't allow it to become a weaknes. To be truthful, I am unsure as to why her english has become such a major deal. She may not necessarily say something in a manner y'all are accustomed to, but, I believe so far everybody has at the very least understood what she's said. I mean seriously folks, I'm watching the Dukes of Hazard and this one dude is harder to understand than her!

          • VerH says:

            I am I not sure why it has become such an issue either. You are right. Nice to meet you Izalda. I came to America two years ago and I live in Arkansas now. I did live in Mississippi first and someone I worked with at MUW knew Linkie. I have never been told to speak different English for which I am grateful. I am sorry y'all had that horrible experience.

          • Jerilee says:

            Really??? English is taught in most schools of other countries. South Africa is one of those countries. SA, being British rule, is predominately English, and native SA. I can see where language is a barrier. But...she is well versed in English. Some words are foreign and don't translate well. If Linkie were given more description of a churro she would have been fine. Blame the English (American) language if you want. I blame the mentor.

          • Izalda says:

            Good morning Jerilee, actually, SA being British ruled is a fairly common misconception. The Dutch, German and French were actually the first settlers in 1652. That was when Afrikaans (our native tongue) originated. The British got there and siezed the Cape in 1795, but it was a bit of a tug of war until 1806 before they conquered it. At that point in time, there were two distinct groups, the English speaking British in the cities and the Afrikaans speaking Boers on the farms. The Boers9 which we are descendant from refused to speak English. As a matter of fact, my grandparents coul speak very little if any english. After a couple wars, the Union of SA was formed in 1910. It was a self-governing dominion, and in 1961 declared independence from Brittain. Of course, that's the compacted version. Anyhow, we grew up learning Englsih in schools, like they teach Spanish and French in American schools. All of our subjects were taught in Afrikaans. I think things are a little different over there now, but that's how we were raised. :) It's actually kind of cool when I think about it now. There's a real cute story about SA's first president spitting on the British palace floor, because he didn't understand the concept of a spitoon.

          • Jerilee says:

            Thank you for the lesson, Izalda. My great grandfather fought in the Boer Wars(sp). I have his coins. The language taught is not necessarily the language spoken. My son took Spanish in school but was not able to communicate with our neighbor from Mexico!!!! That's a perfect example with the spitoon. And that is where Giada and Martita failed

          • Izalda says:

            Ultimately though, I do think you are right. I don't think it is fair to blame the language barrier. After all, when the first Europeans came to America, they figured out a way to communicate with the native Indians. I think, however that it does come down to mentoring and communication. Again, as I have said previously, I'm not sure why her english has become such an issue

      • My perspective says:

        This was a TEAM event. Mexican is Martita's specialty. Why couldn't she simply give her a recipe for Churo's? That would have been the right thing to do! Martita showed her true colors for sure!

        • Val says:

          Maybe she could just cook it for her too while she's at it.

          • Arianna says:

            actually, Martita said on therethat dessert was not her thing, so Martita probably would have done it even more injustice, just like she messed up her own presentation

          • chocorabajos says:

            No need to cook for her.

            When Martita (as an expert of that cuisine) told Linkie that she should make churros, It's not too much to ask for her to give the 3 sentence directions on how to make them. --fry links of pate a choux and cover in cinnamon sugar.-- Linkie would've understood that immediately, and that's only one grammatically insufficient sentence. I wish Linkie hadn't trusted her teammate's 'expert' advice.

        • Guest says:

          Agree, whereas, if she did share, she could have claimed victory for herself as well as her team. Was she threatened?

        • Guest says:

          Linkie would have been proud to share a South African recipe!

      • JLF says:

        Martita showed a little bit of Nikki in her behavior tonite. Impatient and self serving. And there is nothing harmless about making fun of someone for not being certain of spelling words not in her cultural vocabulary. I'd bet that there are Afrikans words very familiar to Linkie that would stump Martita. Perhaps Martita was trying to be helpful in suggesting a churro, but when it was clear Linkie was unfamiliar with churros, making another suggestion wouldn't have killed her.
        But even before Martita got going on Linkie, did anyone else see Giada roll her eyes at Linkie for admitting her unfamiliarity with Mexican food? I'd bet that Martita took her cue from Giada in her dismissive and rude behavior.

        • Jerilee says:

          Yes, I saw that too. And I agree. Martita was rude and self serving tonight. Knowing Linkie was unfamiliar with Mexican cuisine, why didn't she suggest a Mexican dessert instead of churros? In my opinion, churros are not a dessert but a snack. The quip about Linkie's spelling was soooo uncalled for!

          • FanFare57 says:

            I got the impression that the suggestion of churros was simply the first thing that came to mind. It was like brain storming. Linkie relied on her team mates too heavily. How she got this far in the game speaks more of her sweet personality and less on her food experience. She seemed very stuck or unable to "go with the flow" and repeatedly stated that she had never heard of something before or was unfamiliar with another product of type of food. If she lived her long enough to develop a southern accent, she must have encountered Mexican and Italian food. She basically got by with a smile and luck until now.

          • Food Fan says:

            If you say "stuck, and unable to go with the Flow"....i wonder if you would also say that, if the food-theme woulda been South African and everyone was relying on Linkie.....? They woulda been stuck, too.

          • FanFare57 says:

            Perhaps they would have. What's your point?

          • Food Fan says:

            The point has been made. I think I'll just leave it here, as is, for all to see.

          • FanFare57 says:

            Your point has not been made. However, you obviously have missed mine. Quite simply - Linkie lacked knowledge of MANY different ethnic foods and was unable to adapt to the challenges in a confident way. That, in itself, is enough to get her offed. Although I, too, liked her personality wise, I found her to be insecure (cooking wise) and lost much of the time.

          • Rita says:

            Well said FanFare57. If you are going to go around saying you are the dessert queen, you'd better be sure you know how to make everything.

          • NotaFan says:

            It stands to reason then that Martita also lacks knowledge of many different ethnic foods, as mexican cuisine is the only food she has shown us. I know that you are now going to say that Linkie didn't know cannolis either. I will say, however, that perhaps if the churros had been compared to something similar, she might have known. We have all seen in her scarpbook where she compared them to "vetkoek" something native to her country. Someone earlier said a churro is similar as a french cruller. Perhaps she may have known it, and been able to work with that. My point is, perhaps she knows a churro as something different and just did not know the name. Yes, she did express her lack of knowledge in mexican cuisine, but I think it may be slightly misguided to say she lacked knowledge of many ethnic foods. Especially when we consider what type of editing goes into this show. Chances are there was a whole conversation that we will never know.

          • Quintin says:

            My thoughts exactly FanFare57. She was lovely but struggled in his competition. In her exit video Bob said they were looking for a star and he didn't think Linkie was it. That speaks volumes.

          • Food Fan says:

            Agreed. Linkie handled it well, too.
            But it was rude. I doubt Martita would've appreciated it if the situation were reversed.
            Linkie left a good-bye message/post in this thread and she was very positive. I think it shows class on her part.

            Her presentations needed more calm smoothness but Linkies charm and genuineness were a breath of fresh air. No gimmicks.
            Her Cake-Gallery at linkiecakes.com is amazing. Any Food Channel needing pastry/baking expertise can certainly benefit from her.

        • your biggest fan says:

          Thank you............I agree!

        • Razzie8 says:

          I missed the eye rolling, which raises the question of why Giada didn't recommend something when she found one of her team unfamiliar with an ethnic menu? I assume that is what any coach would do for a team member who finds themselves in shaky water. I am not saying give her a recipe, but a suggestion for something!

          • Guest says:

            Wonder how Alton or Bobby would have handled this one.

          • FanFare57 says:

            I thought that Giada was there when Martita mentioned churros, to which Giada shook her head in the affirmative. She then asked Linkie if that would be okay, to which Linkie replied, "yes, I'll make it work". It's not up to Giada or Martita to read Linkie's mind. They took her at her word and thought she would figure it out.

          • Guest says:

            While Linkie was relying that her team mates would help her make it work. What if she refused to make it because she did not have a recipe? How would they have handled it then?

          • FanFare57 says:

            Guest, Well, Linkie could have thought of something else (as she did when she didn't know what a cannoli was). It's a very simple solution, really: make something else.

          • Food Fan says:

            I sorta torn here.
            On the one hand, I can agree with: if you dont know it, dont make it. make something else.
            On the Other hand---we all saw Giada's reaction to Yvan about boning the Fish and not doing things her way...so if Linkie wouilda gone her own way, how would Giada have likely reacted, given her reaction to Yvan?

          • FanFare57 says:

            Isn't it a stretch for us to try to read Linkie's mind? None of us actually know why she chose to do what she did. We don't know if she thought of the Yvan situation. That's a rather flimsy argument.

          • Food Fan says:

            I dont think its flimsy at all.
            I was never asking anyone to read Linkie's mind.

            If I woulda been in her shoes, I think it'd be reasonable to consider what happened to Yvan, and then whether she should, or shouldn't, based on how Giada handled him.
            I, too, have no idea whether she even thought of that or not.
            But if she did happen to think of it, then sticking with what her Mentor wanted was a safe bet. Even if she didnt think of it, following her mentor wasnt unrealistic. But i think Giada shoulda been more supportive.

          • Leo says:

            Giada is not the end all. Linkie could have said no. Give me other suggestions. I dont feel comfortable making it. And if Giada was worth squat as a mentor she would have said LInkie lets look at these other options that you may feel more comfortable with. Martita only SUGGESTED the churro. She could have been nicer. So all three is at fault here. Sad that Linkie had to pay the ultimate price.

          • FanFare57 says:

            Leo: Exactly so! Linkie needed to speak up and say something. She also could have turned the churro idea into something else (as she transformed the cannoli into a cheescake in an earlier challenge).

          • your biggest fan says:

            And you think Linkie did not speak up. She is not that weak. I KNOW she made other suggestions.

          • Ken says:

            Your Biggest Fan, you sound similar to Mother of Linkie in other entries of these blogs. That must be how you KNOW she made other suggestions. Sweet mother you are indeed.

          • Guest says:

            You pretty well nailed it when you said "if Giada was worth squat as a mentor". I think Giada has shown time and again that she is NOT a mentor.

        • Bristol says:

          I second that! Martita I'm sure wanted to be like Giada, but I admit that that was uncalled for Giada to roll her eyes. I think Linkie was on her own, with no real pure mentor to look to for a short time, but I'm thinking that Giada helped Linkie most of the time. Maybe Giada was annoyed that it was the teams turn to lose a team player.

      • Jack says:

        There is a fine line between fun and rudeness and in this case it was not fun. As a team player, you should always help the other team mates. In a team you can make fun but what Martita did tonight was stepping over the line.

        • Guest says:

          Always look down to help someone up, never up to see how far you kicked them! Linkie even reached outside her team when she helped NIKKI last week with flour! Go figure!

          • beachinfrizzy says:

            Nikki has a short memory. Instead of snotting about how she was going to leave "grill marks on Linkie's butt" because of the tomatoes, she should have remembered how Linkie had saved hers with the flour (which Bobby even gave her undeserved praised for, saying using whole wheat flour for the pizzas was "smart") and called it even.

          • Guest says:

            I totally agree. She has a lot of demons herself and hopefully this experience with soften her up a bit and make her a bit more appreciative and thankful instead of thinking she has done everything herself. Did anyone make her move out at 17? i dont know because she didnt tell us but it seems like she made the choice herself so I dont feel sorry for her. Linkie is such a sweet girl she is willing to help everyone while doing her best. She didnt know NIkki needed the tomatoes and wasnt trying to be mean while on the other hand NIkki has done nothing but put her down from episode one and I think its because she has lots of problems.

          • Food Fan says:

            2 things:
            I didnt get the impression that Linkie was "hogging the Tomatoes" and keeping Nikki from them. It looked to me simply like she was already using them and they were already cooking when Nikki asked.
            Secondly, (not just for Nikki but all females, and men, for that matter): all this prideful politically-correct trendiness about beinbg a "strong, independent, confident woman"--(or, a guy, too. It works both ways) is almost nauseating. Why? Because: "strong, independent, confident people" dont need to keep announcing it to the world. They just, are! Quietly and without fanfare. When somneone keeps making a point or issue about it, then its obvious they dont already have it. It just comes across like they're still wishing they had more of it.

      • guest says:

        If that's your idea of fun I won't turn my back on you.

      • guest says:

        "Pollo con Arroz" is chicken with Rice. I could be wrong though. And Linkie was making a desert.

    • Jerilee says:

      Martita showed poor judgement by being snippy with Linkie. I don't believe she should have had Linkie make the sign. She was rude and not being a good team player. Linkie admitted her lack of knowledge about Mexican cuisine, why in the world would Martita suggest churros??? Talk about being thrown under the bus!! I did not like Martita tonight at all.

      • FanFare57 says:

        Aren't churros Mexican donuts? They're supposed to be easy as pie to make... It wasn't a bad suggestion. Linkie could have gone another route. Nobody put a gun to her head to make that. Why didn't she make something else like Mexican chocolate flavored cupcakes?

        • Guest says:

          So if it is a donut, why not call it a donut? Why confuse with fancy words?

          • Jerilee says:

            It's the shape; stick shape is churro. Take the same batter (dough) shape it different and it's a crueller, French.

          • Guest says:

            Exactly. I am sure Linkie can make a donut or something similar (benjays maybe). Could it be that Martita did not know anything else to compare it with?

          • FanFare57 says:

            If she could make something similar, why didn't she?

          • your biggest fan says:

            Maybe a lack of proper description. Did you see any eagerness from Martita to help Linkie out?

          • Jerilee says:

            Then Martita's knowledge is just as lacking as Linkie's. As for Giada not supporting her people for not following HER suggestions, just goes to show she's not that good as a mentor!

          • Steve says:

            Benjays? I think you mean beignets.

          • your biggest fan says:

            There are 2 spellings. Check it out. In Afrikaans it is a vetkoek. You'll find the word in Linkie's scrap book.

          • your biggest fan says:

            Oeps I went back to check again. Seems like you are right on this one Steve. In any way, in Afrikaans beignets is similar to vetkoek. ( dough balls, deep fried, maybe it can also be called a fritter) South Africans has 3 favorite ways of eating it: fill with curried ground beef, or with golden syrup, made from sugar cane with peanut butter and also with apricot jelly and grated cheese. There are various recipes of it.

          • Steve says:

            Beignets have really sweet dough. My wife is from South Africa and makes vetkoek frequently. It is more savory but the two are quite similar. Knowing churros and knowing vetkoek it makes sense that Bob found Linkies churro lacking sweetness and finding the dough tough as the vetkoek becomes crisp on the outside when fried. No wonder they didn't buy into the biscotti spin. Big difference between biscotti and vetkoek. She would have been better of doing doughnut batter. It would have made great churros.

          • your biggest fan says:

            There is a vetkoek recipe which asks for eggs and I have added sugar to it in the past. It is a very basic batter. It comes out somewhat crispy, but if one covers it a while, it becomes soft. If you know vetkoek, you will also know koeksisters. It took me a while to figure out that the yeast dough for koeksisters makes crunchy ones. These are recipes that Linkie knows. I truly think that the problem was that she did not have something to compare it with. I wish someone could have said: make crepes ( pannekoek!) That would have been a hit with chocolate sauce and could relate back to a tortilla. Oh well, we are still extremely proud of her.

          • JLF says:

            Seeing this explanation, it's too bad Linkie didn't sell her churros as her South African spin on a less sweet, more crispy churro.It might have given her a slightly stronger position and allow her talk about something she was more comfortable with.

          • your biggest fan says:

            Agree......

          • Jerilee says:

            It doesn't matter the spelling. The point is it's a basic pot a ju( I know the spelling is wrong, I don't do French), or French pastry. Simple. Turn it into anything you like. If Linkie had known it was that simple she would have been ok. I still think she was thrown under the bus.

          • FanFare57 says:

            Hi Jerilee,
            Do you mean, "Pate Choux"? I think that's the basic dough for cream puffs.
            Now, that everyone has figured out what Linkie could have made, (or better explained her concoction once it was prepared), she just really need more time and BETTER coaching from Giada to help her hone her on screen patter.

          • your biggest fan says:

            No, you just described something that we know as an eclair. Prepare the dough on the stove top, pipe it and shove in the oven.
            Okay I'm out of here!

          • Jerilee says:

            Hi, FanFare57! Yep, that's it. Baked log shaped it's eclair, round it's cream puff, fried it's either churro or crueller!!! Thanks. :).

          • FanFare57 says:

            Jerilee, I didn't realize pate choux is so versatile. Thanks for the tip.

          • Jerilee says:

            You're welcome, FanFare57. Getting back to answer is becoming a real problem. Too many replies!! I think we should start something that would make it easier to follow. Over 140 replies.....really??

          • your biggest fan says:

            agree..........one of the things that I would expect from a teacher is to give proper descriptions.

            Churros, is really simple to make.Although I never made it before, I checked out some recipes and it is like I said before; like vetkoek, something that was almost a weekly dish in Linkie's home while growing up. I know Linkie is experimenting to convert it into a churro right now.

            I am curious about the chocolate drink. Anyone ready to teach me about it?

          • Jerilee says:

            How can you say they are simple if you never made them before??

          • chocorabajos says:

            Jerilee--They are simple, especially for a dessert expert, because pate a choux is a specific recipe used for MANY desserts. Linkie could probably make it blindfolded.

        • NotaFan says:

          It could be the editing. Everybody saw how Giada reacted when Yvan didn't take her suggestion to debone the chicken last week. I'm sure the contestants saw it too. Perhaps Linkie did suggest something else, but we all saw Giada nod in the affirmative when they said churros. Linkie was doomed either way. Giada wanted churros, knowing full well Linkie was unfamiliar with them, but Linkie also had to know after the Yvan episode that Giada would not support her if she went against her wishes.

          • Food Fan says:

            This is pretty-much what i said to FanFare57, above.
            I thought I held up quite well.
            But its nice to see someone else also see's it the same way....i,e..."but Linkie also had to know after the Yvan episode that Giada would not support her if she went against her wishes. "
            Even if she didnt know...and woulda gone her own way...there's every reason to think Giada woulda reacted toward her like she did with Yvan when anyone doesnt do it her way.

          • NotaFan says:

            My apologies Food Fan. You did say it very well. I don't think I saw your comment at the time of mine. And yes, I do see it the same way.

          • Food Fan says:

            No problem. Carry on! :)

          • Bristol says:

            Wait, what comment? I don't see anything. explain.

          • Food Fan says:

            I was replying to NotaFan. Right above me. :)

      • Guest says:

        Martita is the Hispanic. She shouldve made the sign herself since she's the pro apparently. Why did she ask the girl from south africa to make a sign focused on Mexican food? Seems weird to me!

    • JML says:

      I know others have said that Maritia was only being a competitor, but this was a team challenge! This is what I don't like about the new format. If you are competing as a team, help your teamate. I think it was obvious that Linkie was the outsider. And Martita showed her colors last week when she made comments about the men getting all "bro" like with Guy. I really don't want to watch her, but Giada seems to be very taken her. I think she should have helped her more for this challenge. Poor Martita, everyone needed your expertise, but you didn't come through.

      • JLF says:

        "I think she should have helped her more for this challenge"
        By "she" did you mean Martita or Giada? I certainly think Martita was being a snit in not being more helpful, but bottom line, it was Giada's role to be the supportive mentor and help Linkie through her discomfort. Instead she rolled her eys and kept quiet. Guess she just wants her own teacher's pet to shine.

        • Celeste says:

          Martita only suggested the churro to Linkie and Linkie was clueless. A good teammate would have helped with a recipe. Having said that, Linkie could have asked for other ideas that sounded more familiar to her. She didn't have to do the churro. Martita could have steered Linkie towards something like a flan which Linkie would have been able to do with ease. I saw a side of Martita I did not like. Feeling so threatened that someone else would do better than you that you can't help them to the best of your abilities? Shows a total lack of character. We are seeing the backstabbing from previous seasons.

          • JLF says:

            I thought of flan immediately too. Why on earth did Giada not speak up? She did the most harm by leaving Linkie floundering in a food genre she did not know - some mentor. And it gave Martita implied consent to treat Linkie like an outsider too. That's where Martita's lack of character jumped in - if she had any integrity she never would have been mean with the spelling and the impatience with Linkie asking questions. If you choose not to help because you feel it's wrong to help another team mate who should know what they're doing then own it and say so honestly. But leave your air of superiority alone. Karma's a b___.

          • Jerilee says:

            Well said.

          • Celeste says:

            Giada is not a mentor, but a tormentor. She should have intervened and said no to the churro. It was almost like she stopped believing in Linkie. If you listened to what she said about her to Bob and Susie, she let them know she thought Linkie was the leakest link of her remaining team members. Giada kind of looked annoyed at being on the show at all tonight.

          • Food Fan says:

            I am starting to re-think my support of Martita.
            She had SUCH promise in the beginning. I like her video and when she 1st meets Giada. And her Energy, And at ease on Camera. I remember the good Cerviche' she made. And then...last week the thing about guy and Ippy. But then an explanation was offered by her. Now his week, its the: I cant carry the team...and the attitude toward Linkie. Not good. Yes, it is a competition. But there is also teamwork and good sportsmanship.I mentioned last week, (or maybe before) to all contestants about: dont act like you've already got it won. And now, we see this attitude tonight. Life has a way of biting people back. Act honorably.
            I think Giada shoulda encouraged Linkie in a better food-direction, too.

          • Guest says:

            Both Giada and Martita signed Martita's exit tonight!

          • beachinfrizzy says:

            Exactly - it was Giada's job to advise Linkie, not Martita's, but being Giada decided for whatever reason to let Linkie sink or swim, her teammates, if not out of general sportsmanship but in their own self interest to have their team be 'safe' - should have helped her to the extent that they could. I'm sure Martita could do chicken soup and guacamole in her sleep; labor-intensive maybe, but not exactly so taxing she couldn't have been a little more generous.

          • Guest says:

            I've been getting the idea that Giada wouldn't help anyone on her team other than Martita. I think if the roles had been reversed, she would have jumped to help Martita. I feel sad for Yvan and Ippy. I hate to see how they get trampled on in the coming weeks.

          • Guest says:

            Maybe, but is Martita getting the spotlight on her own or is Giada helping her along? But I have a feeling that the Netwrok won't want Martita for long. Martita has a fiery personality, but the Network kas seen it a million times, Penny from last year for example! I have a feeling that they will want Linkie, instead of Martita, to be 1 of the team. Linkie has a original POV, desert is a unique idea, literally. Martita has a more Mexican POV. Been there, done that. Mexican Made Easy: Exhibit A.

          • chocorabajos says:

            Guest, I think you're right, No one wants to work with a mean person who cant take control of a project that focuses on her own expertise. However, I would love to see someone with a fiery personality win! You can be fiery without being mean. It's just not in the cards for this season.

          • Wayne says:

            Giada didnt advise Linkie becuz SHE was ready for Linkie to go home. She knew someone on her team had to go and she felt Linkie was the weakest link. Last week she made an off color comment to Linkie re: Linkie being surprised that her cookie was well received. Giada felt Martita was a sure sure win! She was ready for Linkie to go.

          • NotaFan says:

            Perhaps Linkie wasn't the weakest link, but a threat? Someone who at the end of this competition could give Giada some real food network competition?

          • beachinfrizzy says:

            I guess I didn't think about it that way. Yikes. Yvan, be afraid. Be very afraid.

          • Jerilee says:

            Giada isn't worried about Yvon, he's a guy! It's the attractive, good cooking, female she fears. The ones "not of the same cloth", if you get my drift.

          • NotaFan says:

            That's exactly what I tried to say!

          • mncrftr says:

            This is a side to Giada I haven't seen. On her shows she seems so nice and relaxed but there really is a cruel side to her.

          • JGB says:

            You are so right, Giada knew it was her teams turn to lose and she wanted Linkie to go.

          • Joel says:

            I agree, Wayne. Could Giada have come up with a more bland defense for Linkie staying? I mean, she parroted the positive aspects the judges had just mentioned about Linkie, and then said "I'm proud of her." How unspecific could you be? Linkie has fantastic baking skills - attested to by weeks of successes. In her best moments presenting she is wonderful to listen to... and guess what? TV has editors! If she has one blip here and there, it isn't going to destroy her. They will simply cut it out, like they do for everyone else in the business. And the FN could use a baking show more than another Mexican food show. Linkie has great stories, a great background, and I haven't even been watching her with great attention all this time. Surely Giada could have been observing enough to find even six specific words and put together one meaningful sentence to defend her for the very best she has to offer.

            Also, Giada's comment to Linkie's dish presentation ("She won't always have her team around her to pick her up") - ummm... I surely hope that Linkie has a much better support system around her than this team, and with her kindness, I can't imagine it any other way.

            Giada's comments here seems like they could be taken for nothing else than a blatant attempt to throw Linkie under the bus to get the spotlight off of Martita after the judge's very real comment that they've been waiting for her to show up for six weeks.

          • Food Fan says:

            huh?
            "She won't always have her team around her to pick her up"...??
            I missed that.
            Giada really said that?
            Wow. Thats just wrong. I dont believe that Linkie had been "picked up" by her teammates. She had never been in the pitch room before! While there was some stumbling in presentations, others have performed worse. And Linkie has made tasty dishes that Giada was proud of, and the judges enjoyed. No one was "picking her up." This seems undeserved and unwarranted.

          • Joel says:

            The exact quote, in the 25 minute mark is "her team won't always be there to lift her spirits." Slightly different, but still as pointed. It was like she was saying that Linkie doesn't have what it takes without lots of support.

          • your biggest fan says:

            Thank you for mentioning this. Knowing Linkie, this is the kind of remark that will put fuel on her fire. You will see so much more of her in future, because she took the challenge. She was portrait to be weak and insecure. NOBODY will make it on this kind of show if they comes over weak. In fact, Linkie is a very strong person, she is strong in her faith, her believes in who she wants to be and her abilities. Her exit video is the strongest one I've seen this far and I know she was tearing up with disappointment and frustration, but she kept her posture and she made Giada shine, giving her a lot of credit. Only people that is secure in themselves can find the courage to make other people shine like Linkie did.

          • your biggest fan says:

            Oh and I wanted to mention: because she is humble and respectful, many people sees that as weak. What nonsense.

          • Mary says:

            Not trying to be mean or be the grammar police, but the word is portrayed, not portrait. She did keep her composure well and for that I commend her. Best to you Linkie.

          • your biggest fan says:

            Thanks Mary, it is one of those things where English catches me, the small nuances. Told someone once before "she has a homely house" fortunately, she understood and corrected me. :-D

          • Bristol says:

            Also, everyone on the entire SHOW shoved Linkie to the bottom. They knew that her accent and background was unique (Even more than Ippy)and her idea was even more unique. They tried to find a flaw in her and blew it up in Linkies face. They found 2: 1 as the desert theme "Leave your frosting at home" direct quote from Nikki. The 2nd flaw was her confidence level, it was kind of obvious right from teh beginning. But all of the contestants deserved a spot on the Food Network, they had guts and paaion, with all very unique personality.

          • Irene says:

            That is complete and utter bullshit, Bristol. Nobody shoved her to the bottom. Pfft.

          • kathy says:

            It is obvious martita is giada's favorite pet. She should have helped her figure out a recipe or idea that she was more comfortable with.

          • MoHub says:

            It was obvious to me that Giada felt she'd found her star the minute she auditioned Martita; everyone else was just filler to different degrees.

        • btw says:

          Martita is Giada's "superstar" - that's been obvious since the audition show. If I hear either of them say "fiery Latina" one more time I'm gonna throw something at the television.

      • Guest says:

        Giada and Martita: Birds of a feather flock together

      • Guest says:

        I'm glad you remarked about Martita and her "bro" comment; that was surprising, because these men are on HER TEAM! You'd think she'd be happy that HER team scores some points, no matter who's getting the attention...you'd think!

      • Guest says:

        I'm glad you brought this up~I was amazed that she would react like she was resentful, when HER teammates were scoring some points for HER team! It's obvious that it's all about MEtita.

        • kathy says:

          YOU ARE SO RIGHT .... She is all for herself. She needs to go and the sooner the better.

    • steve says:

      Ditto!! Well said.

    • guest says:

      I agree that Martita was snippy about the spelling and misguided about the churro. But Linkie should have been strong enough to come up with a dessert item, that's her forte.

      • Guest says:

        How strong must she be if her mentor and couch was clearly playing to get her out! Wish I could see Linkie in Alton's team. Too pretty, too sweet for his team........I don't think so. The authentic people is in his team.

    • Amy says:

      If you are going to be a food network star, you should be able to carry a team of 4 chefs and then some. If Martita gets that overwhelmed, she needs to re-evaluate her choice of careers.

      • Fanfare57 says:

        Conversely, if you're going to be a Food Network Star, you should be well rounded in your knowledge of many ethnic foods. You have to be a leader, yes. Yet. Linkie is being excused and exalted for being less than a follower.

        • Guest says:

          Wonder what you get out of these debates Fanfare57? You spent the whole day fighting against Linkie and everybody else on this blog. Don't you have work to do?

      • Louisa says:

        Amy - TOTALLY AGREE!! To Fanfare...Linkie wanted to be a follower, a team member, but as someone said, Martita happily threw Linkie under the bus!! PHFFFTTT!!!
        Louisa (not all Mexicans are like that!)

    • JEssica says:

      she was incredibly rude and honestly she was cooking mexican food she really should have picked up the pace a little.

    • Guest says:

      I totally agree with you; I wasn't sure about Martita being the next FN Star because she hasn't shown any star quality yet. But now, it's evident that she's cutthroat and not a team player. I'm sorry to see Linkie go; there are a few other hopefuls who could have been cut instead.

    • Guest says:

      Wao Betty, you created a blog within a blog! I love it!

    • Louisa says:

      Hey! We are so with you and your opinion....I felt so badly about Linkie leaving....should have been Martita.

      Martita is cocky and yes, I did see and took note of her rudness to Linkie. Hardly the character of a professional. But then again - Martita is not a pro...yet.

      I wish Linkie well in her future endeavors!!!
      Louisa

    • Eileen says:

      I don't care for Martita either. And, isn't there already latino cooking on Foodnetwork? I think the competition will end with Ippy and Justin vying to be the next star.

      • chocorabajos says:

        Eileen. We already have Mexican Made Easy, but we don't have any Venezuelan Bien Me Sabe. wink*

        Martita is mean, but Yvan is easy on the eyes, nice, and could teach me some new tricks. I have never had Venezuelan food.

        Of course, i really do want those fried fish bones that Justin made! Justin gets a show even if he doesn't win. (i declare it, so it must be true)

    • Fran says:

      Did you expect anything else from a Latino?

    • kathy says:

      POOR LINKIE !!!! martita should have helped her more. Her comment about not being able to carry her team was RUDE . SHE IS NOT my favorite contestant . Hope one day she needs help and someone leaves her to fend for her self. She is not a team player.

    • Jeremy says:

      I agree it was obnoxious to say "We'll say the girl from South Africa wrote the sign," but I don't think the churro incident was her doing. She didn't talk Linkie into it, she just suggested it, and she did help as much as she could.

  2. Halcyon says:

    I really like Nikki. Although Linkie has warmth, it doesn't mean Nikki does not. I'm sure many people can relate with her and she takes the intimidation out if grilling. Linkie's lack of confidence sqaushed her and it was fair for her to leave. Not on just this challenge but others. I wish she would have embraced who she is, accent and all. Her authentic self is best. When she stuck to desserts she knew, she excelled. I do believe with more polishing and confidence, she'll be ready at another time. On the other hand, Nikki has the chops and believe viewers can learn from her. Not everyone on the network is the world's favorite. However, ppl love a great cook!

    • FanFare57 says:

      I completely agree with you. Linkie was as sweet as candy, but was unsure of herself. Nikki knows what she wants to do and her concept is clear.

    • Makemyown says:

      OK. I have watched every show at least once and I can't say I have gotten anything usable from Nikki about grilling "she takes the intimidation out if grilling" - - she lectures, list ingredients, and when you watch her she really seems annoyed with the whole process. I get no tips, nothing new. She is still plastic. She needs to change her color palette in her make up to soften her. Maybe that would help....she's more like a teacher than an instructor (yes, there is a difference)

    • Guest says:

      Check Linkie's star journal on her photos. Insightful.

    • Greg Taylor says:

      glad that you can see thru all the hate.

    • Katie says:

      I really like Nikki, too. I don't understand why the judges have such a problem with her personality not being "real". I think she's great; much better than a few others on that show.

  3. Guestagain says:

    Great point made from the commentator Chris about how Linkie shared her personal story, as she was encouraged to do so. Linkie's presentation was clear to me. What did Bob not understand? Her story was clear and sincere. She has the warmth and the real charm. So sorry to see her go. Best of everything, Linkie!

    • Sunny says:

      Her presentation was really not that clear. She is warm and charming but no real star power there. The immigrant story was a bit iffy to me. Been there heard it before.

      • Arianna says:

        been there how? What do you find iffy? When you watch a show, wouldn't you want to watch someone warm and inviting? I'd rather listen to someone telling interesting stories while cooking and stumbling over words than listen to a robot. Did anyone notice that the last time Nikki was doing her 1min pres. she started off with "lemmie tell you something" and tonight she did the same thing. Don't want to hear the same thing everytime. Best of luck to her tho. Linkie: we'll miss you!

        • Chris says:

          I want someone that can tell me what they are doing in a clear and understandable way. Linkie could not do that to save her life. At this point, you need to be able to do a simple presentation without falling all over yourself. Sure, her story about immigrating was clear, but that took 10 seconds. The rest of the time she was falling all over herself about what she made.

  4. Tyler says:

    One thing I liked is that Linkie got to show a little of her cooking skill before going home. Baking and desserts were her thing, but I'm glad she impressed Bob with her chicken. I do think Nikki deserved to win...she had a very smooth presentation and her food has been very good. I think her likability issue is difficult to fix, though. She seems like she would be better suited as an executive than a host. She knows what she's doing, demands respect, but isn't the type who everyone wants to be hang out with.

  5. Wayne says:

    I was first to say on this blog that Nikki's confidence came off as arrogance and that I couldn't put my finger on what there was about her that was disconcerting...she responded to what I said to a fellow blogger , by "grilling" me good with an angry response......perhaps she should've just taken the constructive criticism and tried to work on it. Sometimes we don't know how we are coming across to people but if we hear the same thing about our personality image over and over from various & different people, perhaps we should take note. Unless we just don't give a hoot! I'd wager she does give a hoot because when you're on tv, you want as many people to watch you and like you as possible.

    She teared up when hearing she was 1 of the bottom 2 --- I always feel bad when a woman cries so I felt bad for her. For a minute. Best to you anyway Nikki...but Emily and Justin are my 2!

    .

  6. Jack says:

    In today's world, you do not find honesty, warmth, sparkle and truth everywhere. Linkie showed all of these characteristics during this show and even the judges gave good comments about her personality and her food. I think with her it is really a case of what-you-see-is-what-you-get. A nice humble person.

    She needs someone that can train her, guide her, build her confidence and support her. This girl has a natural talent and I would like to see her get more opportunities. I am sorry to see her go and hope it is not the last seen of Linkie ...

    • guest says:

      DITTO!!!

    • Jerilee says:

      I agree Jack. Linkie should be given as many chances as babbling Martie. Linkie has an incredible talent and should have been given more time to develop camera presence.

      • Food Fan says:

        Her work at linkiecakes.com is awesome! Such creativity and detail.
        Linkie would have improved her presentation with more time.
        Others have done worse and been given more chances.

    • Debbie says:

      Can anyone explain why Linkie needed ALL of the tomatoes in the challenge? There were only a few slices on each plate. I thought that was just rude!

      • Guest says:

        When Nikki needed flour last week, Linkie was the one who stepped up and gave her some. Cut her some slack. She was trying to stay in the competition.

      • Guest says:

        Do you know how many tomatoes she had? Do you know how many plates she had to make? Did you see that she used almost a whole tomato on each plate. Do you realize that she was directly up against Nikki that wanted to "grill Linkie's butt" ! Have some sound judgement!

      • beachinfrizzy says:

        It looked like there were only 4 or 5 tomatoes; they weren't very big and I'm not sure how many plates they have to make - one for each judge, plus Bob and Susie, plus one for the 'beauty shot'? She probably wanted the slices a consistent size for plating purposes, which you don't get many of in a tomato, and to not give any away in case she messed one up. Besides, at the point of elimination it's every chef for him or herself. Why should she help the competition, especially when she'd saved her butt the week before?

  7. Susanne Barrie says:

    Nice to see Team Alton win a clean victory... really worked together!!!! Great Food!!!! Martie in particular picked it up!!!!

    Sorry about Linkie but she never seemed ready for Prime Time... even her desserts were never complex or especially interesting... but she has promise and should NOT give up on what she is meant to do!

    Nikki has never been a favorite of mine though there may be more to her... I like the way Bobby defended her.

    On to next week!

    • Linda L says:

      I love Team Alton....except for Martie. Every time she opens her mouth, I just cringe. I find myself yelling to the TV..."Stop TALKING!"! I would never watch or be able to survive a show hosted by her. I would, however, watch Justin or Emily...they are unendingly interesting.

    • Peggy says:

      Martie seems to be the only one that stumbled, was given the riot act and stepped up to the plate. So much improvement here and I would watchher overany of the other contestants. She is definitely the one with the most personality and warmth. And OMY that chocolate roulage looked FAB!!!

  8. Wayne says:

    Emily is a natural in front of the camera. Justin is so precise in his cooking. Ippy's food seems to always taste good. Yvan finally got some kudos & I was happy for him.

    You guys....still crazy over your Martita? Flustered at her team mates asking her questions, speechless at one point in front of the judges. She's still pretty, but ain't my choice to win. Seems like a nice girl though. However Zakarian liked her soup so that's good for her because he is hard to please when he's on Chopped.

    And I'm probably the only one happy Martie got a chance to do well, before they chop her..which eventually will happen, but at least she will have had 1 successful episode to remember. Good for you Martie!

    • Frank Demeo says:

      Yep...I'm still liking Martita...as well as Justin. Although....in the previews for next week, looks like Justin is the one that has a bad day. Keep in mind, editing is a huge factor in this and the network allows you to see what they want you to see.

      • Wayne says:

        Well good for you Frank! Nobody likes a fair weather supporter. Stick with her then.

        And yes I know it seems they're wondering what peculiar thing Justin has cooked up. Hope he isn't speechless. That might be the reason Susie F. looks flustered. She & Bob clearly like Justin irregardless if he wins or not. And as we've all said, whomever wins will only be placed in an obscure time slot so we'll never get to see their show anyway!

      • Jorge says:

        I don't know, Frank...I think Martita showed some (gasp) cleavage and you know how that gets certain people riled around here!

        • elaine says:

          Yeah, Like Giada shows cleavage & leans over her plates on her show. Many men commented on 1st blogs in beginning on how they love to watch hot Giada, now i see others are starting to see the real Giada, Fake smile & all.

        • elaine says:

          Yeah like Giada showing cleavage & leaning over plate on her show.On 1st food network star blogs ,many men wrote Love watching hot Giada, now it seem more are noticing her real personality. I saw it along with that FAKE smile.

      • Jorge says:

        For the record, I was being sarcastic in my comment about Martita's cleavage. It seems like every week someone on here gets in a twist over Giada/Susie/Martita/Nikki having one button undone. If there was any cleavage last night, I must've missed it.

    • Jerilee says:

      Wow! It's nice to see you men taking interest, cleavage not counted but expected- being males, in all this. Martie did have a good night.

    • kyle says:

      I'm not liking Martita so much, except for her looks. SHe has frozen in front of the camera before, even though Giada keeps referring to her as a "Fiery, spicy Latina." BTW, isn't that stereotypical and somewhat racist?

  9. Donna says:

    I am very disappointed the "good guy" didn't win this battle tonight. Linkie was warm, charming and had good food skills; Nikki has a grill and an attitude. Nikkie took a food item she knew well, that SHE chose and blew it in the star challenge by having no personality at all. Linkie tried to make what her fellow competitors wanted unsuccessfully, but she at least tried! I find the explicit ignoring of this contestant's aggression and bullying to be unacceptable. To have struck out at Linkie for taking a food item she wanted was not just poor form...with bullying rampant in schools across the country, I am surprised this kind of personality is allowed to be shown. Maybe karma will get her in the end, but if Nikki continues she makes it very difficult to watch the show. Food Network, bullies are BAD! Do you not get that?

    • JLF says:

      I found Nikki to be the hard, abrasive self-focused person she admits to being, but I think it's over stating the point to accuse her of bullying.

    • Marsha says:

      I think you viewers are getting way to caught up in this. It is just a show and Nikki is not a bad person. You just want to see her that way. Grow up!

    • Bristol says:

      Perhaps all they want is drama. Penny from last year: Exhibit A.

    • Kyle says:

      I totally agree, it was nasty of Nikki to say "You realy need all the potatoes!!" Especially after Linkie loaned her some flour last week when Nikki forgot to buy some. She says she's a survivor and assertive and aggressive, and that's fine, but she's actually just a bitch. And lest I be accused of sexism,
      if she were male I'd say she was a total dick.

      • Sou says:

        Agreed. I know the footage is tailored so that we only see the melodramatic bits, but from those you can easily sort out the sincere from the tongue-in-cheek. No one would watch a grilling show hosted by a distant and colorless personage unless that personage was Bobby Flay.

        Maybe she'll end up on Cooking Channel.

  10. Wayne says:

    Whoa! What about Michelle...was a great team leader on this episode!!! Encouraging all the way! I was impressed! She seems to have a great happy party personality! Think she should lose the nose ring though.

    • JLF says:

      She had me worried in the beginning - lots of negativity about the challenge, hating that she was stuck with the surprise ingredient. But once they got to the food court she rose to the occasion surprisingly well and was the star of her team for this week.

      • Wayne says:

        Yeah feels good when the underdogs get some kudos. Everybody needs a boost now and then. She definitely seems to be the most cheerful of her group.

    • beachinfrizzy says:

      We haven't talked on this blog much about Michele lately but yes, she really stepped it up...although once again she started off complaining about what Giada's team was assigned, which is really off putting for me. And don't decide to make clam chowder if you're going to complain about taking two hours to open the clams!!! But as the series progresses, I'm beginning to see that Michele is a naturally good natured, roll-with-the-punches person who also wears her heart on her sleeve, and whatever is running through her mind, good or bad, she's going to talk herself (and anyone within earshot) through it. I do love that she was a good sport about the chicken livers (which no one else on her team wanted to touch with a 10 foot pole), and turned them into something unexpected but that still worked with her chowder! She did her best to sell it, too, although that one tall man didn't seem to be buying it!

      • Guest says:

        Wonderful description of Michele! You have absolutely characterized her and given her due comments. Michele did so well in this episode, and you are right--I really like her naturally good natured, roll with the punches personality she has!

      • MoHub says:

        I have been on Team Michele from the get-go. I took a liking to her back when she was on Chopped and think she would bring something different and special to Food Network.

    • Mona says:

      Love Michelle!! I like her tattoos, spiky hair and nose ring but then again I'm a 52 year old grandma that has body piercings, tattoos and short spiky blonde hair :)