Aarti’s After Party: Star As Therapy

by in Food Network Star, June 24, 2012

Emily Ellyn

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.

Someone give me my clairvoyance badge! (Isn’t that something you earn in the Girl Scouts?) Last week I asked why Emily was so fascinated by the '50s, and why Justin felt the need to pursue this "rebel without a culinary cause" POV because, in my estimation, what you cook isn’t the whole story — it’s why you cook that turns an everyday burger into something special.

And guess what? That was exactly what this week was about.

I’ll be honest. I’m still a bit surprised that Emily was sent home. She was an early favorite of mine, although always with a bit of reservation. I wanted to see beyond the awesome wardrobe and masterful cooking technique to the beating heart beneath the halter-neck apron. I had really hoped we’d get there this week.

During my season of Star, we often likened this competition to therapy. The last thing you’d expect in a TV competition about cooking is to have to deal with your demons. But you do, because being under this kind of scrutiny, under this kind of pressure, draws all of those suckers to the surface. And, rather than enduring hours of self-analysis on a couch in a therapist’s office, you’re doing it in your heels, under interrogator’s lights and before a national TV audience. It’s scary, no doubt. But one of the things I learned through Star is that if something scares you, you can’t back off — you’ve got to run full-speed at it, roaring with all your might.

Yvan Lemoine

I have to give it up to Yvan this week. Until now, I honestly haven’t walked away with much of an impression about him. But when Bob asked, “Why is food important to you?” I thought, oy. That is the kind of massive, $64,000 question that can sink you under its weight. But, depending on how you look at it, it can also be a gift. Rather than shy away from it, Yvan barreled straight into it, revealing a chapter in his life of such heart-wrenching depth that I don’t think I’ll ever forget him. It takes a lot of courage to stand so vulnerably and nakedly before the country, but when you’re that honest, how can anyone not love you?

I loved Martie’s story for the same reason. Sure, I have to have a defibrillator handy every time she cooks because I’m never certain she’ll make it in time (now I know how Bobby felt when he watched me cook!), but, boy, did she bowl me over when she told that story about learning to throw her own parties so that she’d never be stood up or uninvited to one again. Again, she revealed a deep wound, one I totally relate to (being the victim of cruel children’s pranks). But rather than indulge in any “woe is me,” she turned it into a trademark Martie moment: a little spunk, a little pull-your-socks-up vitality and a hefty dose of warm humor. I don’t know how she manages it every week, but I have a feeling Martie could stick around a lot longer.

Emily Ellyn and Alton Brown

But, oh, my sweet Emily. All she needed was one good story, one good moment from her past, perhaps the moment that started it all for her. I know that it’s hard to pull down the walls you may have built up, walls that in Emily’s case may resemble an awesome ‘50s wardrobe and a knowledge of retro fare that is likely rivaled by none. But like it or not, this show calls for not only the slick coat of paint, but a look at the bones of the house, too.

I long to know what it was that made Emily choose this particular era as the one that she clings to, why she longs for the “simplicity” of the Leave It To Beaver days. By her tears, I sense that there’s some deep sadness behind it. Sadly, I’ll never know. I’m starting to get attached, people! I’m disappointed that she’s gone, especially because I think that, had she taken the plunge and given us a glimpse of her story, she would have stayed this week; neither Nikki nor Martita told deep-enough stories for my liking, but at least they told us something. Emily was one of the top people whom I looked forward to watching each week, and with her gone, a bright cat-eyed light has disappeared from the competition.

What did everyone else think?


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Comments (1,119)

  1. BCPP2B says:

    Emily had a bad day and that's it for her all of the sudden? There are plenty of vapid candidates left... the food network really lost today.

    • guest says:

      Yes Martita , Marti and Nikki are just blah- nothing to make you want to watch them, nothing different.
      You could find them on any cooking show, very vanilla. I am so sad Emily went home as she was one of my favorites and you just knew there was more that was going to come out and that drew you in.

    • Evelyn says:

      We agree completely. What a loss!!

    • Cindy says:

      I agree! I am really disappointed in Bob and Susie! I don't understand why contestants have to spill their guts and relate aspects of their lives that are painful and/or embarrassing to earn a trickle of respect from "the network." Martita and Nikki are clones of existing Food Network "stars." Emily is quirky and different and would appeal to a wide audience. Instead, she is booted off because she can't cry and tell some sordid story of her past. I am so disappointed.

      • guest says:

        Exactly! Couldn't agree more. Nikki with her Grill Next Door... That is already done. Come up with something original... Oh, but if you do, you get called phony. And if you weren't living on the streets as a child or bullied, or physically accosted at some time in your life, I guess you aren't worthy of being star? Maybe you had a normal life. Don't those kind of people exist?

    • Jeremy says:

      I disagree, Emily was very awkward on camera the times she was. Only four weeks left, and she still seemed very uncomfortable on camera. I agree with the judges that in four weeks she could not go from uncomfortable on camera to being ready to host a TV show.

      • Sarcastic says:

        But Nikki should have went home first. Honestly, she looks like someone took a very large spatula (from the grill next door) and firmly shoved it very far up her....... well, you get my drift. I don't think its her fault. I think she is just like that. That's her personality. A perfectionist and always plastic and trying to please everyone... Never see natural laughter or a real smile, just that plastic barbie smile... Complete with accessories, of course.

        • Sarcastic says:

          I'm sure Emily's "awkwardness" on camera would go away very quickly.... I would be nervous every week until I WON, just sayin...

      • guest says:

        She did completely great "on camera" when she wasn't needing to compete, just be her... which is what she would be doing on a show. I'm sure anyone can tell you when you're trying out for the team, you aren't as great as when you actually make the team.

        • Deanna says:

          Exactly. How on earth was she supposed to feel comfortable when she felt backed into a corner? She knew the network wanted her to talk about something personal, and also that she wasn't going to go there for them. I think they were really kind of brow beating her. But WHY do YOU like the 50's? What HAPPENED to you? That was a bunch of BS.

      • Guest says:

        I agree Jeremy. I wouldn't have watched Emily if she had won. She sounded very awkward and like she was unsure of herself.

        • guest says:

          You mean to say that it's going to be more interesting watching Martita? An overgrown Dora just staring at you for thirty seconds.. At least the cartoon Dora asks you question before she just stares at you blankly....

  2. Guest says:

    I'm sad Emily went home. I think she deserved more time because I loved her retro rad pov. It's much better than others who are still in competition, Nikki, Martie, go home already.

  3. Michael says:

    I think Emily was just too wrapped up in a POV that she couldn't properly portray her reasons for adopting. It seems to be that Emily is so determined to be different but the audience doesn't know why.

    The judges made the right call here, although if this season had been set up in a similar fashion to the previous seasons, Martita would almost definitely have gone. You can't just stare at the camera for 30 seconds waiting for your time to run out and claim that you have true star potential. The food network looks like it's pushing for her to win though, especially since Suzie Jiminez was so close to winning last season and filling the latin role on the food network.

    • JLF says:

      Who cares why??? Do I need to know why Bobby Flay, a native New Yorker has become an expert at Southwest cuisine? NO!! I don't need to know why any chef is focused on the food they choose to cook. Just be really good at it and show me how to be good at it too. I am beyond fed up with FN assuming that the viewers have to understand their "stars" at a personal level before we will accept them on a 30 minute hidden time slot on a Sunday morning. What narcissistic nerve.

      • Sharonbru says:

        JLK, I agree. I don't need to know if they had a troubled childhood, or why they choose to cook what they like to cook. I just want interesting recipes to make. I respect Yvan for telling the judges his reason why food is so important, but they shouldn't have to bare their souls to stay on the show. I have no idea what kind of childhood Bobby, Giada, or Alton had, that is not why I watch the food network.

      • Food Fan says:

        I think we've got Susie F. to thank for all this hype about "stories." Or is it someone else? Who?
        I dont care about back-stories, AT ALL.
        This stuff about yer Aunt gave ya this recipe when you were 14...well, goodie. I just think: so what??
        Is the dish good, or isnt it? If it is, just show me how to make it. Do I like the host/Cook, or dont I?...and it isnt all their childhood struggles and past history drama that makes me like them. Not at all. Gaawwwwd, I wish they'd get off this stuff...

        • Duck says:

          I totally agree about not caring about how the host got the recipe, blah, blah, blah. As much as I love Sunny Anderson, she talks on and on about how she came by the recipe, stories about her childhood, traveling around the country, etc. Sometimes I just want to yell at the tv to shut up with the stories !!!! Same goes for Melissa D. I just want to know about the recipe. That's my 2 cents..

    • Mandy G says:

      Food network/Cooking network already has several mexican/latin food shows-they're just on too early in the morning for most of the latin audience to notice. We don't need another latin food show. Emily would've been a nice change.

    • FanFare57 says:

      Does the audience NEED to know why Emily is the way she is? If you tune into a cooking show, are you hoping the host will tell you his/her deepest inner feelings as to why he/she decided to make that particular dish? It's ludicrous to send Emily home for not (proverbially) taking her clothes off in public when her food was good. Nikki's food was poor and Martita couldn't think on her feet leaving 30 seconds of dead air.

      • Sarcastic says:

        The Food Networks "Next New Food Healing Star"... We offer remedies of Chicken soup, homemade lasagna (if you're crying, blame the onions!), and together we can cure the common side effects of neglect with a warm apple pie! We'll tell you our problems and together we can restore the pain that life has given us while self treating ourselves with a healthy dose of Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake! *Disclaimer: Not all results typical. Side effects are obesity, overdose, and stomach upset from eating too much. But at least you can listen to our feelings.

    • beachinfrizzy says:

      Ah, yes, Suzie "yes I have a Mexican ancestry but I don't necessarily make Mexican food" Jiminez. She was just skimming by for the first half of the competition...remember she had to "elevate" fried chicken and she was reamed out for...not making fried chicken? Her hockey puck 'churro pancakes' when she forgot to buy frying oil? (Those were much wore than Linkie's). Until, of course, Susie kept harping on her to amp up the Mexican angle so she gave in and played along...she went from "I don't want to be known as a Mexican cook" to "this empanada reminds me of my papa out in his backyard garden in his sombrero tending to his jalapenos." Ole!

      • Lilly Faye says:

        Martita's accent becomes SO much thicker when she does her camera challenges that it makes her seem phoney.

        • FanFare57 says:

          Good observation. I noticed that too. btw: What was SO special about Martita's "story"?

          • Inspired says:

            Um... Martita's story... she was the oldest of 4 children? Isn't that about all you learned? And Nikki's story? Um... yeah... so she had a little red grill and her dad let her start it. I also learned that Emily's mom took her to 50's diner to eat a classic hamburger because she loved the era. So, all in all, the stories were similar. Wow. The other contestants had been doing the challenges in the bottom MANY times. So not pleased with their decision.

          • Food Fan says:

            I think the networks Marketing Dept. needs an overhaul.
            They keep emphasizing things that poeple dont care about, or are tired of.

          • LISN says:

            Maybe Martita's name is as fake as her Mexican accent. She's probably named, Mabel. Nikki's and her story were a couple of yawners.

        • majorwoody says:

          That's becuase it is phony!!!

      • reba says:

        beachinfrizzy, as always, i enjoy the heck out of all your thoughts-good one!!!

      • Wayne says:

        You are so funny beachinfriz! Love your phrasing!

    • kay says:

      Marcela/Mexican Made Easy is great! We don't need another Mexican cooking show and other chefs like Guy incorporate Mexican flavors in their food. Plus Martita's accent is phony-she turns it off and on. And, I'm not interested to learn anything personal about FN chefs- I just want to learn to cook well, which is why I like Anne Burrell.

  4. Abby says:

    I'm not convinced Nikki has a soul. Martita, as they said, has yet to really do anything besides speak in an accent. Marty is a bit grating, and as someone mentioned earlier, seems to have a similar POV to Aarti Party.

    Emily, while I questioned her genuine personality, was crazy and fun to watch with a really unique POV. When the judges told her she had lost, they mentioned opportunities in the future, and I really hope she has a chance to bring the 50's to life in a show in the future.

    • Joyce says:

      I am convinced that what has kept Nikki around is that her food tastes good....you have to respect that!

      • FanFare57 says:

        You are on to something. She certainly doesn't win in the personality department.

        • beachinfrizzy says:

          That's for sure, even though she apparently has a closet full of them.

          • FanFare57 says:

            beachinfrizzy: HA! Yes, Nikki has flip flopped about whether to be naughty or nice. Since her "nice" persona went over like a lead balloon, she decided to just "herself" (naughty?). Whenever she prevails in the producer's challenge, I think she is just a brown -noser and Bobby-Sue are too gullible to see it.

          • beachinfrizzy says:

            Susie was giving Nikki the stink-eye about the sudden change of tone, much as she did Judson and his POV du jour. I think she's on to Nikki and running out of patience, but for some reason they didn't "get" Emily (and didn't want to) from the beginning and were waiting for her to have a bad day so they could boot her first.

          • Food Fan says:

            Speaking of waiting for her to have a bad night.....
            I re-watched Emily's audition video where she first meets Alton. Listen to Alton's impression of her.
            Alton can recognize talent.
            Alton can recognize phoniness.
            But he thinks the '50's is who Emily really is! And I dont recall him ever changing his mind since then, either. So, why then, are Bob & Susie so not-on-the-same-page about it as him? Why do they keep pushing Martita (who's audition clip i really loved) when she is having (the previous challenge) a poor presentation, and negative viewer-reaction, and now 30-seconds of dead air. Can anyone win this thing on just "camera-confidence?" Its almost as if FN is operating on a philosophy opposite of Bobby Flay..i.e..if you can show at-ease and confidence on camera, we can help you with recipes and ignore how the audience feels about you. In fairness, I hafta say, Martita is entitled to a poor night just like Emily, or Martie, etc.....but things have really faded for her lately.
            Will she survive to the end? or will it be either: Ippy, Justin, Yvan or...Michelle?

          • Violet says:

            You hit the nail on the psycho head, beachinfrizzy!

      • beachinfrizzy says:

        Sometimes yes, sometimes no. She's had some real clunkers, tonight's 'bitter and sour' scallop (Bob's words) a prime example.

      • kay says:

        Sour scallops w/ rose petals wasn't enjoyed by the judges!

    • Dr.D says:

      I agree with everything you said, especially the nikki bit.LOL.

    • Adam says:

      nikki looks ike a real B8#*#) she jsut looks unpleasant to me and not friendly she will be next to leave.

    • Jodie Perry says:

      Are you just stupid? Aarti's show is about Indian food. Martie would have a show about actual parties and entertaining which is Martie's passion for her entire life. Check out her website... she is good at what she does. She is a home cook and has never ever worked in the food industry or gone to culinary school I think the enviornment of a television kitchen may be hard for her but she's keeping up with some pretty accomplished lifelong trained chefs... and even beaten them a few times. What else does she need to do?

  5. Jerilee says:

    I have seen sides of the contestants not seen before. Nikki tough, gone soft, gone in-between. Justin's story was wonderful. Martita somehow redeemed herself. Ippy was good but I think the judges still find him too laid back. Michele was good in her story and her cooking. Yvan.... my what a turn with his story of dumpster-diving for food...heartwarming, no one should HAVE to do that in this country. Malcom's showed what hasn't been seen before. Martie... I thought she started rambling but she contained herself. Poor Emily just got flabbergasted. She knew what she wanted to say but it just wasn't there.

    • FanFare57 says:

      Jerilee, I concur with most of your insights. I still find Marti more annoying than a gnat. Her cooking style is frazzled and disorganized. Her dish (the choc roulade) didn't turn out that well. The name she gave it sounded too hillbilly for me. Martita seemed less genuine than Emily. I got the impression that Emily was hell bent to not "go there" deep down to give her back story. Maybe she wants to keep her privacy.

      • Wayne says:

        Yeah she coulda bared all and still been sent home. Told her pain and they still kicked her off. Perhaps she wanted to retain her integrity. Perhaps with no coaching she wasn't prepared to have something to share. I mean I like the 50's just because it did seem like a happy homey simpler time. No long story to tell. But we know Bob n Susie NEED a story. Not us as viewers. Just Bob n Susie.

      • beachinfrizzy says:

        And if so, good for Emily. I don't know why there is this sordid need for "The Network" to pick away at someone until they draw blood. Not everyone wants to see that. People have their own lives to deal with, they don't necessarily want to be invited into someone else's issues.

        • Violet says:

          If we want drama then we could turn on the news. FN should be our escape from this.

          • Wayne says:

            Agree Violet! Even the weather channel occassionally throws drama and sadness in between the weather reports.

          • cjmain39 says:

            BIG agree Violet. I do NOT watch the FOOD channel for stories, I watch it for COOKING!

      • Jerilee says:

        Annoying as a gnat??? How bout one of those big flys?? I wouldn't go so far as hillbilly, but certainly southern. She was frazzled but better than before. I don't care how Emily camy upon her POV, she has the right to her privacy, as they all do. I don't want to watch a show where the host spills their guts about personal stuff. A quick story about the dish is fine. Emily deserved to stay. Martita is still about Martita, but she really hasn't been full into her POV!! Nikki needs to stop flip-flopping to please someone else. As sad as it is, she needs to stick to herself. I'll prob get thumbs down but I'll just eat my chocolate , drink my beer, and take it in stride.

        • Wayne says:

          Yeah even if we get thumbs down we'll be true to ourselves...like Ippy and Nikki.

          I was glad that Nikki confronted Susie when she complained about Nikkis decision to try to go soft. I found myself rooting for her. Stand up to those folks whether you get a tv show or not. Who wouldnt be aggravated at being reprimanded for following instructions as best as you knew how to do. Although that silly rose on the plate was weird but she was cute with her little flower in her hair.. Now if that don't get thumbs down, then that little icon button aint working.

        • Guest says:

          What an offensive and prejudice comment!! So basically, you find anyone from the South (yes, Southern and South should be capitalized), annoying as a big fly? What an ignorant comment. Those of us from the South would probably find you as annoying as a big fly as well. People who are Southern or "hillbilly" as you call it, are some of the most genuine and kind people out there. I am proud to be a Southerner and while I have lived all over this country, I wouldn't live anywhere else.

          Personally, I find Martie very genuine and interestingly enough, if you look at the recipes posted on FoodNetwork from Martie, they are the recipes that have gotten five star ratings so apparently she can cook, too. I am thrilled she has stayed as long as she has and I would watch her over any of the remaining contestants.

          • Jerilee says:

            I know geographical terns are capitalized. As for the fly, Im sorry I was unclear on that statement. Won't do any good now, but it's my error for typing out of context. I was referring to the tone of her voice when she was stressed, to my ears it rose. My comment on "hillbilly"; it was referring to a comment by someone else calling her hillbilly, I called her Southern, not hillbilly. I thought Marti was frazzled, yes, but complimented for improvement.
            I'm sorry if you were offended. Absolutely none was intended. I believe Marti is a very genuine person. If you read all my posts, you would know I don't do personal attacks, portray prejudice, or try to offend anyone. Whenever someone feels offended in any way, and let's me know, I always apologize.

            Just as a snide remark, some of your comments can be taken as offensive and prejudice, just FYI. And by the way , the non capitalization of any of my geographical is an error of auto spell, auto perfect, and my lapse of editing.

            Again, sorry for any offense. Thanks for letting me know :)

          • FanFare57 says:

            I believe Jerilee was referring to the person involved (i.e. Martie) specifically rather than her home town. When she used the word "hillbilly", she was answering my use of it (which I stand by even though you are obviously hot under the collar by it). It's a turn of phrase. I'm not sure why you're so sensitive about someone using "Southern" as a point of reference, btw. I'm a Bostonian and you can call my people Northerners or New Englanders (or Yankees, if you like) and it wouldn't bother me in the least. Let's face it: we are a product of our environments and there can be differences that are open for comment either way (as in positive or negative).

          • Jerilee says:

            Thank you for those words, FanFare57. You I try not bash. Funny you are from Boston. My family, after coming from England, settled in Boston-my parents lived in Attleboro. I was born in Hyannis!!! Wow, what a small world it really is!!! Now, being as how I grew up in L.A. (mostly), would you like to share an ice cold Hamms beer with me (if you can find one)!!!! Is Black Label & Naragansett still around in the East?? Sorry all this stuff is off topic everyone, but it's nice when you can find "family."

          • FanFare57 says:

            Hi Jerilee,
            Yes, that IS a coincidence, isn't it? I know where Attleboro and of course, Hyannis are located. So, you were born "down the Cape".? It's a resort area. I was born in Boston and I have lived much of my life in the (suburban) MetroWest area. Black Label - (from Carling brewery) has been gone for many, many years. Narragansett may still be kicking in an old fashioned "package store" (i.e. "packie") which is a euphemism for a liquor store.

    • Food Fan says:

      Malcolm really stepped-up tonight.
      Yvan is doing better.
      I would've liked to see Ippy smile more.
      Emily did suprisingly poorly tonight, but that was one night, and much goodness coming out of other nights. If I look at performances to date up to this point overall, then Martie should've already gone home before Emily. In her video when she meets Alton, Alton never thought she was phony (he would be able to tell). He thought she was real. Dont know why she was suddenly so nervous. Sad to see her go.

      • Marsha says:

        Malcolm seemed not genuine to me last night, his personality was totally different that we have seen so far, imo. Just sayin...

        • JLF says:

          Now that kind of reaction has me worried. If someone doesn't improve we want to kick them out because they aren't learning. But if they DO improve, we assume it's because they are being phony, as if they couldn't learn from their experience. We can't have it both ways. If Malcome continues to show what he showed last nite, I'll be happy for him and hope it works in his favor. It certainly offers an acceptable alternative to Nikki.

        • Food Fan says:

          OK. We're all here for opinions. No problem.
          I give him credit for a better night, and I thought it was nice to see.
          But I also feel he's been off-again/on-again and that next challenge may be a make-or-break night for him.
          Always glad for any replies. Thanks!

          • Ry33 says:

            Malcolm bugged me a few episodes ago by claiming 'I don't need a POV.' To me that was just stupid. A certain POV is what would set him apart from other contestants, current hosts & make him special. Kinda look forward to seeing him get in trouble for that next Sunday.

      • Wayne says:

        I agree Food Fan, she did get nervous all of a sudden. First time I ever saw her that uneasy.

        Ya think maybe becuz she knew she was gonna try to skip by the storytelling purpose n maybe even just thinking of the things she didn't wanna share worked on her mentally.
        Remember she made a comment about not wanting to share that stuff. I don't remember her exact words but it was when they were in the room with Alton & each one was talking about what they would prepare . That was when her uneasiness began to show.

    • kay says:

      Yes Jerilee we've seen other sides to the contestants but a lot of us really don't care! We just want to learn to cook, and not be treated to a therapy session.

      • Jerilee says:

        I don't have a need to hear all those stories either. I'm not really interested in some deep seeded emotional connection to a dish, just teach/show my how to make it. If the chef/cook WANTS to tell a story, fine, as long as they teach. Why does "the network" think it's so important, and what makes them think a lot of us care?? I wast just commenting on the difference from last week.

        • Food Fan says:

          I think the Marketing Dept. needs an overhaul. They just keep emphasizing things that lots of folks dont really care about, or are tired of.
          I'm sure Emeril brought in lots of money and ratings!
          I liked his personality. . I liked his Food. And I didnt need any background Drama for either of those.
          There are other ways to "draw people in."

    • Elizabeth Emery says:

      I saw how the network was touched by Yvan's story and I have to say he is so natural and warm. Even though he is not my #1 pick of the candidates I still like him, and probably more than all of the others in the competition I could like him as a person if I knew him personally. I just wish I had his recipe for his chicken liver tacos. Now Nikki I wish was the one who was sent home back when Linki was disqualified.
      It seems like all of the nice girls get sent home. I hope that Michele chews up that smug Nikki in the next competition, and i believe she is the one who can do it. Somebody needs to. And even if Emily got flabbergasted she wasn't as lost for words as Martita was. Martita should has been the one to get sent home.
      Justin is my #1 pick so far as a chef. He is such a risk taker, I can see him successfully pulling off some Dinner Impossible Episodes.

  6. Ha7cyon@yahoo.com says:

    I believe there's a deep pain inside Emily and why she's in love with that era. I'm sad I will not know. I use to be a therapist, many times, people bury their pain and once a wound is open, it's difficult to go there, especially in front of tv for everyone to see. I often watch the FN and don't see many ppl sharing their heart while cooking. Yes, I understand cooking and family but I've never heard major FN stars go that deep yet the producers expect the contestants to do so in such a short time period. Justin is cool to watch but we dont have to know his pain to enjoy him. Seems to be a double standard. I watch Guy all the ime and don't know much about him, just live his personality.

    • Brenda says:

      I completely agree. I love Ina but she doesn't tell her whole life as do very few others. I know nothing about Alton but I like him. I agree about Emily 's pain.

    • Miss_seeann says:

      Finally, someone realizes there is too much sadness in Emily's past for her to go there with the whole world watching! I don't care about a huge back story, just how the person makes me feel, about food! Sometimes opening up isn't the best idea, especially when you know it will hurt others, Emily is thoughtful.

      • Violet says:

        Emily's recipes were appealing and she made me want to get into the kitchen and cook. I have no "emotional" draw from any of the other candidates.

    • Juli says:

      I here what you're saying. Too bad Emily couldn't share her story, painful as it was, if it meant her being able to stay on the show.

      • Juli says:

        I meant hear what you say, not here.

      • JLF says:

        I'm not sure a food show is worth that price. I really wish Alton had been able to help her find an acceptable storyline that would speak to the food well enough to satisfy the judges without breaking her down in the way the judges broke Yvan. A person's soul is their own, not the property of a corporation or fodder for public entertainment.

        • LISN says:

          JLF - I agree with you. I may be in the minority but, I found Yvan's story and its affect on him to be beyond aukward. It was not uplifting. It was depressing. For Susie to sit there, cry and then say it was what she wanted to hear (or words to that effect), made me sick. Suse can go produce Dr. Phil.

          • La Nita T says:

            I thought it was worse for the guest judge to say, "This would make a good headline news story", with no emotion or sign of empathy for what Yvan had gone through, it really turned my stomach.

          • JLF says:

            I agree. What kind of heartless exploitation would that be? All of these network and press people were just jaw dropping in their insensitivity. Did they all get their start at The National Inquirer?

      • Lilly Faye says:

        I think it's possible Emily is protecting someone else close to her by not spilling her guts, and I respect that.

      • Marsha says:

        If Emily didn't want to share her story, she shouldn't have to. They need to stop pushing .

        • Food Fan says:

          Makes you wonder if the judges would be willing to share their deep, dark secrets...

          • JLF says:

            Well, Susie was at least willing to share her shoes. Maybe we can psychoanalyze something from that.

    • Sharon says:

      There you go: We don't need to know about Justin's "suffering" to "enjoy" him. That judges are rewarding suffering by passing it off as entertainment is crazy. Guy is a good example. I don't need to know a lot about him (I can watch a Chef-ography to get that).

      Send in the clowns;/ The contestants are being humiliated.

    • Jerri says:

      Clearly Emily has been driven to embrace a time-frame she perceives as being "ideal" even when her perspective has come from old TV shows from that era. I don't know her history or why she's chosen to seek comfort from flawed input. The 50's on TV were very different from the 50's in real life.

      • Ry33 says:

        I once had a college professor who hates how nostalgic people are about the 50's. He told us, "I was there, it wasn't that great.' Makes sense; segregation was legal, rape & domestic violence weren't taken seriously.

        • Deanna says:

          But OTOH, Shake and Bake and Hamburger Helper didn't exist. There is a real culinary POV there.

        • JLF says:

          So is Emily being demonized for the sins of the 50's? She's talking about food for pete's sake.

        • FanFare57 says:

          Emily isn't old enough to be from that time. Therefore, her perception comes from stories from her relatives or tv shows or historical study. Who cares, really? She found a time period of food that she was interested in updating. Her motives shouldn't be analysed to death. Just eat her food and decide if IT'S interesting. Bobby-Sue consistently liked her offerings. Their decision to drop her in favor of the other two still bears scrutiny.

          • Jerilee says:

            Agree. Like my daughter, 23, being totally fascinated with Rin-Tin-Tin and Lassie. Reason? "Because I like the way the were trained.". No deep dark secret, and she doesn't HAVE to tell ANYONE, so why does Emily? OK....off my soapbox!

  7. JLK says:

    Emily and Justin are the only contestants I would actually watch on the Food Network. Martita, Marty, and Nikki shouldn't have lasted this long. I'm pleased that Ippy is staying true to himself. All the emphasis on having a story is annoying. What do we really know about Bobby Flay, Giada, or Alton? Did they have to have a story to be where they are now? Emily's POV was interesting and I hope she gets her own show on ME TV or a channel that gives us older shows.

    • FanFare57 says:

      Exactly! What do we really know about Bobby, Giada, et al? Not much and that's fine with me.

    • HHK says:

      Thank you. I made that point when they released Eric ... I would watch all day if I could learn how to handcraft food in a short time. What a lost art. They are too focused on things we do not care about and letting new and interesting potential show ideas slip away. Seriously? Mexican food? Grilling? Been there. Ugh. I am disappointed this season.

    • guest says:

      Has Bob or Susie shared thier personal story with the viewers? I havent heard anything from them that explains or authenticates their POV. Did I miss the episode where they shared a heartbreaking tale about their family that would explain their "personalities"?

    • Dr.D says:

      I TOTALLY CONCUR! why do we need a "story?" and all anyone ever talks about is family...which is fine, but doesn't that sound canned after awhile? I hope Justin or Ippy win, or I'm going to be pissed I wasted my time watching this long.

  8. R Crabbe says:

    My oh my, this "personal" angle is what I dislike the most about this show, and tonight's episode put me over the edge. I don't give a damn about their personal lives, and it's none of my business. Have you ever seen an episode of Good Eats or Grill It! that share ANYTHING about Alton's or Bobby's life? It is just not relevant. In terms of the show, I don't want to hear about growing up rummaging through dumpsters, I want you to tell me about the food, why it's awesome, and how to cook it.

    This episode was over the top, and I am done with the show this season; I will not watch it again.

    • LISN says:

      Those are my sentiments too.

    • Ben says:


    • FunSized says:

      I agree that the"personal" angle over the top, but I fell in love with Yvan a litttle bit more tonight when he shared more about his past!! He's always so cute and happy and then this sad story of his childhood gets told and you realized all he has overcome. I thought he gave them exactly what they asked for, and it actually worked.

      He got Susie Fogelson to cry and lets be honest: She's got a pretty cold, hard exterior and basically shows little to no emotion.

      • JLF says:

        Personally I think it's a damn shame that it worked. First of all it will just encourage Bob&Susie to keep it up. And secondly, do you really now think of Yvan as a better chef? Did his kitchen skills just improve? Is he a better host standing there working with all his might to stay composed and not fall apart? If that's the show you want, then lobby for Jerry Springer to add cooking to his show. I don't need it on FN.

        • Jerilee says:

          I agree, personal gut wrenching storie are not going to change my mind about who I think should get the show. Lay off FN. If they wnt to spill their guts to you, they will. Otherwise lay off cuz I don't give a gnats a@@!!!

    • iris45 says:

      R Crabbe, I've never seen Alton or Bobby share personal things either and really don't care about that just what their cooking good. It seems to me the judges are missing the mark this season and I'm tired of watching it as well.

    • Becky in 'Bama says:

      Crabbe: BRAVO (oops that's another network)... Who gives a rat's rear about the past when it comes to cook a meal NOW? Sure it would be nice to get to now the person when he/she has their own show, but for now this is a cooking competition not a soap opera. Seriously FN stop making it up as you go along.

      • FunSized says:

        I know everyone says that "they are tired of watching" and "this year is horrible" and "they are done and wont watch again" and stuff like that, but I have been posting on the blogs a few seasons now and EVERY single season people complain and say that. So, obviously there is something everyone likes about it since everyone keeps watching. I dont agree with all the judging either, but seriously....

    • Angie says:


  9. Bigfoodnetworkfan says:

    Loved Emily and would have definitely watched her show. It's sad to think that you have to spill everything about yourself to move forward. She seemed to have a very sweet attitude and could really cook. I will miss her on the show.

  10. Ohio Represent says:

    this is such bull crap...nikki has been in th pitch room for 3 total times and has not got sent home? martita had 30 seconds to spare in her video and the judges say she hasnt shown up for 7 weeks now? emily screws up once just because of her family background...horrible choice by the judges...horrible.need new ones after that one. if i seem bias im sorry because emily used to be my aunt but thats a poor descision by the judges!

    • FunSized says:

      Wow, Emily really used to be your aunt??? Thats so cool!! You should definatley tell her to keep on trying because the judges definatley blew this one.

    • connie townsend says:

      I totally agree.........really whats with the nosiness into their paat? If they want you to know why then it should be their decision and from someone who has been in the restaurant biz for 35+ yrs I would prefer to watch Emily,Michele of Ippy'' come on people at least these 3's TRUE personalities shine through w/o being prompted i mean c'mon Nikki Martita they are full of themselves for no reason and they shouldn't be there period I love the food network but am seriously wondering about this competition....its like the judges are just going to make us watch nikki and martita whether we like it or not so Emily wherever u are goodluck and keep your chin up 1

    • kialai says:

      Totally, totally agree with all your points. This is food network, and there were complaints about Nikki's food...and still they send Emily home?? I would definitely watch/record a show with Emily. Nikki? Nope. Why watch Nikki grill when I could watch Bobby Flay grill??
      Please tell Emily not to give up. I want the recipe for the Thanksgiving bite. What a cool and perfect idea. :-)

    • Food Fan says:

      You, and Emily, can both let it warm your Hearts, that there is (as I type this) a "+122" on yer post that I am replying to.
      A post by Adam at the beginning of this thread calls Emily "just too unbelievable, almost phony."--and his post (as I type this has a "-143".
      A positive post by Athena, above, says: I am heartbroken. I was really pulling for Emily to win....
      and it has a "+121".
      ...and this Emily-thread is up to 920 posts! However painful it is to lose, a TON of people miss her! I miss her, too. I hope she see's and reads this thread. I hope she keeps right on being herself. people like her "as is"--and she's getting the Plusses, and supportive posts to prove it.
      People just dont get that kinda support. Best wishes. :)