Aarti’s After Party: Thinking on Your Feet

by in Food Network Star, July 8, 2012

team giada

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.

I was all smiles after watching Martie, Yvan and Michele do their demos this week.

In fact, after watching Michele stretch for an extra minute by talking about how looking for holes in the sand is a marker for good clams, I wrote this down on my notepad: “Joy. Joy. Joy. Joy. Joy!”

Let’s face it: There’s enough stuff on TV that leaves you with a sour puss on your face, or wringing your hands over the fate of the world.

Watching a show about food is a warm, happy place — somewhere to escape at the end of a long day.

There’s a direct connection between how much fun you’re having and how much fun your audience has as a result. Ask any actor, comedian, dancer, public speaker or now, the future Food Network star.


That was what I loved about Yvan’s demo: He did he not allow the audio issues to throw him from the cooking and the stories he wanted to tell, nor did he let the issues steal his joy. In fact, he used the situation as an opportunity to amplify it, speaking all the louder to be the boldest Yvan we’ve seen yet; I’m starting to see this as his trademark reaction. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that he barreled through a scary situation when he told the story of rummaging through dumpsters for food as a kid. This time, he barreled right through the broken microphone. Try to throw Yvan and he’ll come right at you, beaming that winning smile at you in such a way that you’ll move out of the way and reach to pinch his cheeks.

Martie did the same thing. Remember at the beginning of the season when she fretted about being the oldest contestant on the show? Well, I think her “extra years” on the planet worked to her advantage here. She laughed off her missing fish with the kind of perspective that you can only get from having the rug pulled out from under you over the years.

“That’s OK, we can wing it,” she said. Why, yes, you can, Martie. What an understated show of confidence. That little moment made me want to hang out with her, confide in her when rugs have been pulled out from under me so she can share her wisdom whilst feeding me a little Southern comfort food — and that’s what will keep people watching. Brava.

philip ippy aiona

I found this episode fascinating because I think the best way to get to know someone is to try to throw them for a loop — how they react is incredibly telling. Ippy, who is normally such a laid-back fellow, showed a flash of anger, which I actually loved seeing because it sort of rounded him out a little. Justin resorted to intellect and wit when faced with a challenge, but he then showed a somewhat scornful side that he has to watch; you don’t want people thinking you’re looking down your nose at them. Martita, who’s had trouble telling stories in the moment because she’s so into the cooking, clung even more to the cooking when one of her key ingredients was taken away. Nikki, whose poise can sometimes come off as a bit artificial, fell completely off course. This is something I can relate to, having done a similar thing during my demo challenge on Star — I didn’t finish my dish either. I get it. It’s so frustrating.

After winning, I remember doing my very first demo at the New York City Wine and Food Festival. I was so incredibly nervous; the crowd wasn’t particularly receptive, staying quiet through most of my demo. I felt like a huge whopping failure, but I was close to the finish line. I just had to whip some cream for my “Come ‘ere Puddin Pie,” but since it was so warm in the studio, the cream wasn’t cooperating. I have a stubborn perfectionist streak, so while I plastered a smile on my face and batted my false lashes with all my might whilst the stand mixer whirred away, on the inside I was having the proverbial cow. Suddenly, something took over and I said, “You guys know what whipped cream looks like, right?”

The crowd murmured yes.

“OK, use your imagination and imagine a big dollop of cream on this piece of pie. Cool?”

I didn’t think it was particularly funny, but the crowd started laughing. And I started breathing a little easier. Suddenly, I was enjoying myself again.

I think I may have gone on about this point ad nauseam, but it’s so appropriate for this episode that I’ll say it again: Perfection. Is. Boring. Perhaps it's beautiful, but it's boring. Thinking on your feet, dodging and weaving, picking yourself up again after a stumble? That is the most fascinating, rewarding thing to do and watch in the world.

What did everyone else think?

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Comments (501)

  1. Tyler says:

    Definitely agree with Aarti that the imperfections keep things interesting, and also the point about Ippy's anger coming out a little bit rounding him out. I think it showed the pride he takes in his work and I'm glad he was irritated that people weren't paying attention.

    I was preparing for Ippy to be sent home...definitely a relief that it was Martita. I thought for sure they would keep her till the end over more deserving people. Sad to see anyone go at this point, but I never found her interesting enough to have a show. From the comments it seemed like her biggest supporters were guys who thought she was nice to look at.

    Ivan has been great lately. He seems more and more genuine every week, which was my problem with him at first..seemed more "fake happy" in the beginning and now seems truly excited in his performances.

    Justin is still my top guy. His wit is awesome and every episode he has a comment or action that makes me laugh or impresses me.

    • Abby says:

      I honestly agree with everything you just said.

    • Guestforthenight says:

      Ippy's anger was extremely off-putting to me. A walk-out or rude people can happen very easily if you're performing in front of a crowd (been theredone that.) He seemed genuinely pissed off and I don't think that's the face Food Network wants to put in front of their fans. Personally, I'm kinda looking forward to Ippy going home. IMO, he's pretty dull.

      • Unknown says:

        His anger huh? What about Justin? if his anger wasn't off putting to you yet Ippy was then I don't know what's up with you.

      • Food Fan says:

        You must be a Justin fan.
        I didnt think Ippy came across as angry. More like "questioning". Genuinely pissed-off seems like over-stating it to me. At any rate, Justin reacted back in more of a smart-a** manner. Some of the people who try to make Ippy out as being dull, never admit that Justin's monotone is dull. As for warmth, have Ippy and Justin both smile. Ippy wins easily.
        Food-wise, Ippy has great flavors and makes things people would really eat.

        • Bro says:

          can you imagine if Ippy had responded calmly and simply let the fact that people were walking out roll off his shoulders? I am almost positive that Bob and Suzy would be complaining that the reaction shows that he is too laid back and not passionate enough LOL...

          • Elderleigh says:

            The exact thought went through my mind. Good call.

          • Food Fan says:

            Yep. Some folks probably would have. Its the ONLY thing they can try to hold against him! And if thats all they've got...ppffffftt, so what? Why dont those same people callmer to Fire Ina garten then? She's even more laid back than Ippy. Burt her show hasnt been cancelled, she's still on the air and has a huge following!
            The nice thing about Ippy is, he isnt just another fad or gimmick. He is true to himself, his people and his point of view and his food is consistently good. A show from Ippy would offer an amazingly wide range of possibilities and new things.

    • Studentessa says:

      When I see Justin, I see a snotty guy. Nasty, too.
      I did not see anger in Ippy's reaction. I think you are just trying to smear him.

    • Danny says:

      I had no problem with Justin or Ippys reaction. Ippy seemed passionate, which is good, and Justin gave it right back to the heckler, good for him.

    • tiagolin says:

      I don't blame Ippy for showing a little anger. The people were soooo rude, and he didn't know why. Blender not working vs. people walking out??? It was the toughest challenge in my opinion.

  2. suzy says:

    I am sick of Giada and Bob and Susie gaslighting Ippy that he has no energy!!!....He's alive isn't he???
    This is total BS. And by the way, Justin is the one with no energy - he is deadpan.

    • Unknown says:

      The boy got energy this week he dish it back to the guy man I wanted that guy to said hey why are you wearing lipstick?

      • Suspicious says:

        That's what I wanted to ask too. Justin is such a fake.

      • Wayne says:

        Well I've seen episodes whereas Ippys lips are pretty red too...AND Yvan. I will agree that it seems Justins lips are more frequently redder than the other guys but I HAVE seen the other guys lips appear red too. Lets dish it out on all accounts. And let me be true to say while I'd like Justin, Martie or Ippy to win, I will agree that Justin is monotone and can be deadpan. Yup I can agree that my fave has problems as well as the rest. I dont think Justin walks on water but he's still my choice to win becuz he can be funny, and different and I never know what peculiar thing he'll do and I like that. So to summarize... I like no energy Ippy, deadpan Justin,and boring Ina. There is a place on tv for these kind of people. My opinion.

        • Deanna says:

          Bob Newhart is low energy. he's deadpan, and monotone, and FREAKING hilarious! Because he's smart. he's quick. So is Justin, and that's what I really love about him. Jim Carey humor is not for everybody.

    • deelync says:

      I agree. Energy is what they say when they really don't know how to help you get to where you need to be. He is who he is. If they don't like his laid back personality they should send him home.

    • Food Fan says:

      Deadpan is right. And monotone. Flat. Not enough expression in Justin's eyes.
      Funny how people keep silent about that. If anyone else competing were like that, they'd be "all over it"!
      And Ina Garten is even more mellow and soft-spoken than Ippy, yet i dont see people griping about it wanting her to be cancelled. Hypocrites.

    • Shannon says:

      I agree Justin has no energy and is honestly boring. I was however shocked he was so "mean" to his clientele. You don't do that. Never. It does not matter what your occupation is whether it is a client, a patient a guest or whoever you deal with in your job you always smile and deal with it politely (and we all know people can be annoying and rub you the wrong way sometimes). If you behave that way you won't have a job long.

    • lynda says:

      I totally agree .. love Ippy!! And i LOVE his laid back attitude!!
      There is an over abundance of overly hyper cooking shows ..
      Ippy would be wonderful to watch.
      Reminds me of the Barefoot Contessa. She is calming to watch .. not loud.. in your face..
      GO IPPY!!

      • 1Dishy says:

        Wow, just surprised there are so many Ippy fans! Sorry, not a big fan of his. But good luck to him in whatever he chooses to do.

  3. Jody ergle says:

    Grill next door should of went home! Or been in the bottom two Ippy was not in the bottom. The judges never said anything to the grill this show is rigged they already know who the winner is can't believe those two run the food network BOO !!!!!

    • Jerilee says:

      It was team Giadas turn to loose a member. Next week is different, 3 contestants will go home. Ho will they be??

      • Food Fan says:

        Who will they be? Very good question!
        Wouldnt it be freaky if they faked us all out and one Mentor lost all of his/her team members and then we had 2 candidates from one Mentor and one from the other?
        Suppose the popular/leading people got sent home in some wild surprise upset?
        I miss Emily.
        But Ippy would also be good and show us new things!
        But suppose Ippy, Justin and Michelle and went home and it ended up being between Martie, Yvan and Nikki?
        I hope that's NOT how it goes...

        • Justme says:

          I really don't like the format of each team losing a contestant in turn. If they REALLY went by who succeeded and who bombed, Nikki would have been long gone. She was by far the worst last night.

          Ippy wasn't any more nettled by people walking out than Justin was at his heckler, yet Ippy landed in the producer's challenge. But it was Giada's "turn" to lose a player. I suppose it's written into the contract with Bobby, Alton and Giada that each stays until the end, so each will have a contestant in the finals. I'd take Michelle and Marti over Nikki and Justin, but Team Giada is a toss-up. I like both Yvan and Ippy. I might give Ippy a slight edge, just because he brings a different perspective, with his Hawaiian traditions.

          • JML says:

            I agree. Yvan did great last night but I find Ippy's food far more interesting. And who's to say how any of us would react with people talking and walking out, it would have made me angry. Nikki had the easiest mishap and she couldn't handle it. Michelle did a great job at the end and I have to give it to Martie (even though I'm not a fan of hers) she was pretty entertaining. My fear is if she gets her own show she won't stop babbling and bore the crap out of me. And her food doesn't interest me.

          • Food Fan says:

            Another thing is.....Yvan, while he did do excellent last night, that was that night. By comparison, Ippy has been good more times in more challenges. So for that reason, the scales tip in Ippy's favor.

          • Food Fan says:

            Hi Justme,

            And now there is a preview on here where, at the end of it, we see Alton looking like he's crying. What on earth is that all about??
            If it isnt someone being eliminated, then what is it?
            After 3 people get sent home, I just hope there's someone left we'd wanna vote for. We'll see.

          • Wayne says:

            I hear ya! In fact, doesnt it look like Martie is squatting on the ground crying....did she get eliminated and Alton really was attached to her and crying about it? Or did Susie ditch Justin and that tear Alton up? I dont think those were tears of happiness. Seems he was overcome by whatever happened.

            Whaddya wanna bet Bobby and Giada aint crying over none of their people...strictly biz with them. I think Alton really cared personally about these last 2 people...in addition to Emily.

        • Sou says:

          I still can't believe Nikki and Martie survived Emily --- in the ideal ending, it would have been Ippy, Justin, and Emily going head to head.

          • Guest says:

            That would never have happened because Emily and Justin are on the same team.

          • Malia says:

            Exactly, and even though Martie and Justin are the top 2 in the fan vote, only Justin will probably make it because they're on the same team.

    • Dvorah says:

      I agree with Jerilee. No way Grill could be sent home, even though she couldn't finish. Giada had to go to 2. So, it had to be Martita or Ippy.

      They should have sabotaged a bit more evenly. Is a broken blender the same as people ignoring you AND walking out on you? I don't think so. Martita only lost 1 thing while Marti lost mutiple - great job Marti!!!

      • tlan1049 says:

        That's exactly what I was thinking last night. I mean- seriously- a broken blender? How was that a fair challenge compared to the gaslighting they did to Martie, Ippy and Michelle? This show seems totally rigged to Nikki advantage. I couldn't stand her from the first show and and it just gets worse every week.

      • Food Fan says:

        I was proud of Martie. 3 or 4 weeks ago, it looked just about Hopeless. But she has really learned and taken her Mentoring to heart, and has grown! Who woulda thought?
        I cant say she's my favorite. I'm not remembering any particular dish that people just went nuts over and the "keeping it brief" will be something to be constantly aware of, but I do hafta say, isnt it interesting that the one many of us likely thought "oh, forget it, she''l never make it"--stayed bubbly, connected with the audience, and was the most "unflappable" of all. Very nice job, Martie!

    • Suzanne says:

      I really like Nikki. She reminds me a lot of myself in being a young, tough, and independent woman determined to make it in a man's world. Every time I watch her I find myself cheering, "You go girl!" I don't particularily care about grilling at all, but I found her tips on synthetic grilling very informative. I also think she is very versatile. She has shown it on numerous occasions throughout the competition. Whereas some of the participants only have one perspective on cooking that defines them, I could see Nikki being calm and confident not only through her first show but for many seasons to come in different capacities. Nikki, you go girl! :)

    • deelync says:

      I can't stand the 'Grilll Next Door' or whatever her name is. Should have gone home a long time ago. Normally I don't take the time to post things but i have been watching week to week and it's dragged on way too long with contestants that should have been eliminated. Most of these contestants are cooks, not stars......why not start with a Star personality and teach them to cook?? I think you might be better off. No one in this group has the star quality that Guy Fieri has.........

      • KittieDanger says:

        I too cannot stand Nikki, her voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me, she has no personality, she comes off as harsh and aloof and I for one don't like to grill, but that's beside the point, she tends to have one of those "I told you so, I'm smarter than you" faces and attitudes that make me want to change the channel as soon as possible.

        • Nice says:

          I still remember how rude she was to Linkie during the episode where they were both in the Producer's Challenge. Complaining that Linkie was using all the tomatoes when in the previous challenge Linkie has so graciously offered Nikki some of her flour. And the infamous 'leave grill marks on her butt' comment that was totally unnecessary.

          But of course Bob and Susie are too concerned about Ippy being laid back instead of Nikki's general unpleasantness. And will kick off the chef who has only been in the bottom once, simply because she does not wish to divulge secrets of her past, over an irritating snob who has been in the bottom three times already. Great to see they have their priorities straight.

    • Nita says:

      she will or Ippy will next week I am guessing. Hopefully so will Michele.There is nothing wrong with Nicki, nothing excsting either. I disagree it is rigged. Sure they have favorites and they probable have an idea who will come out on top, but think of past years, the winner is usually a contestant that starts out slow: Melissa for one and certainlyl Aarrti was never expected to go all the way. Of course I wish she hadn't to be truthful.

      • Lola says:

        Frankly, Aarti was favored to win, IMO. Bobby clearly loved her (offered to open a restaurant with her). She was always on top of the fan vote. You're totally off base there ...

    • Sandra says:

      Well, I don't know about it being rigged, but I couldn't agree more that Nikki - Grill Next Door - should have been in the bottom two. Not Ippy. It was clear to me the judges were playing a numbers game. That is trying to even out the teams. Bobby was down to just two contestants. Sorry about that Bobby. You're my favorite, but Nikki should have been outta there! You threw her a curve of a non working blender for Pete's sake! AND SHE FROZE. Really? She doesn't have what it takes and she's not going to win. Let's just stop the bleeding.

      • Guest says:

        Bobby really lobbed his girl Nikki a softball with the blender mishap. I think the other mentors should have picked the snafus to avoid favoritism.

    • Susan B. says:

      As Jerilee said, both were Giada's or I think Nikki would've been there with Martita

    • Ingrid says:

      Agreed! There is something about "Nikki:the grill next door" that is uncomfortable. As if someone scrapes a nail over the blackboard! OK this shows my age, but I would like to see Ippy get a bit more attention. Laid back? Perhaps but his manner of presenting is much more enjoyable to watch than some of the other contestants! His dishes sure are more interesting!

  4. C in Indy says:

    What a great episode, Food Network! Totally enjoyed it. The curve balls and the contestants' reactions made watching tonight a real pleasure.

    • Unknown says:

      Yea I like the way Justin and the guy going at it that was the best part.

    • Elderleigh says:

      I liked the idea of the challenges, but like someone else posted, they should have been more even handed. Even though I am warming to Yvan each week, I think he and Nickki had the easiest of challenges.

    • FN fan says:

      I enjoyed the episode very much. However, it seems a little ironic that each mentor still has 2 members left. Unless I miss my guess, each mentor will be down to 1 next week. Kind of takes the thrill out of the decision.

  5. Ugh! says:

    Ippy? Seriously? He is as personable as a paper plate and needed to go a long time ago. Same with Nikki. Martita may have stumbled a bit but she gave actual cooking info. I'm in the camp with many other fans who have said we would rather learn about cooking and food and care less about personal stories.

    Why is America being allowed the final "vote" when all the contestants with personalities have been kicked off? We're going to end up with another (yawn) Aarti, or even worse the sandwich guy.

    • guest says:

      Ouch, Ugh. You may not want to slam Aarti on her own blog. Kinda harsh, doncha think?

    • PAAmishGirl says:

      Dissing Miss Aarti on her own blog, huh? C'mon, Ugh, Aarti is the ultimate combination of the girl who you just wish was your BFF or sister, plus Queen of the Exotic Kitchen. Her food just jams!

      Oh, and BTW, the Sandwich Guy has a name. It's Jeff Mauro and he's funny in a quirky way. I didn't want him to win, didn't think I'd want to watch his show, but I've never missed an episode. And miss an episode of Aarti Party? Not on your life!

    • Nice says:

      Leaving 30 seconds of dead air on camera should have resulted in an automatic elimination for Martita. She should have been gone weeks ago, looks like the judges finally realized that no matter how many chances they give her, Martita would never use any of them to her advantage. I'm only sorry that we lost Emily at her expense.

      • Jimmy says:

        Emily should have been in the final six!

        • Nice says:

          Totally agree. The top three, in my opinion, should have been Emily, Justin and Ippy. Ignoring the whole 'one person from each team' nonsense.

    • steve says:

      Which show were you watching? Ippy's presentation not only described a Hawiaan dip for oranges or other citrus, he gave the exact recipe for making it.

      • tchumeshe says:

        I agree, steve, Ippy has great skill and is a personable guy. If people started talking and leaving while I was cooking up there, I would have been mad too! I think Ippy did just fine last night and Nikki should have been in the producer's challenge instead of Ippy!

      • jessi says:

        Good point, Steve. Thanks for giving credit to this young chef, Ippy, who "the Network" claims is too laid back.

    • Sou says:

      Aarti's the best FNS winner since Guy!

    • Nita says:

      I like the sandwhich King,but Aarti; give me a break. We watched her a couple of times, but she just doesn't cut it. Every week I think this will be her last and she just keeps coming back.

      Yvan and Marti have come into their own the past few weeks I think. Michele would drive me nuts if I had to watch her very often. The rest of those remaining, well, I doubt I would watch them...

    • Betsy says:

      Good points! Martita was someone from whom I'd like to learn a cooking style I'm not familiar with. Her food has always been wonderful. While Justin is engaging and entertaining, I'm not so sure I'll watch his show (we all know he's inevitable, the way the judges just lap him up). While I'll finish watchcing this season, I don't think I'll be watching the next FNS's show.

    • emma says:

      Aarti's preety cool but sandwich guy...really?! UGH and im pretty mad that Martita had to go and if the make Yvan go 4GET THIS

    • FoodLover says:

      Whoa....what have you been smokin? What cooking info did Martita give? I think you have the 2 competitors crossed.

  6. sunny says:

    The grill next door gets another free pass .... I mean c'mon, she had the easiest of the mishaps and she is still on FNS.

    Michele has no personality ,,, you say Ippy has no energy Susie and Bob ?? Why don't you take a better look at Michele 's energy level.. she makes me want to go off to sleep.

    Actually her show would be good for those nights of insomnia.

    • Elderleigh says:

      I half agree with you - Nikki has some kind of guardian angel, but I like Michele-especially when she is being herself and not worried about trying to please Bob and Susie. Personally, I would like to learn more about New England and it's dishes - I think too many people think only lobster rolls and while yummy, Michelle has already shown there is much more to sample.

    • Jimmy says:

      I know what you mean, and I can't see her having her own show. Remember in episode one they said she had a personality. That's so wrong. Eric Lee got everyone at their restaurant, "Hello, I'm Eric from the beautiful wine country. My course is an EXOTIC mushroom lasagna. Not only have I HAND-CRAFTED the pasta, but also the ricotta. You're gonna love that."

      When Eric was eliminated, Ippy should not have been bottom and someone else should have been eliminated. I hope he finds a job.

      I want Justin to win!

    • @CJBC65 says:

      I would not and will not watch a show will Michelle. Everything about her puts me off.

    • tiagolin says:


  7. Sunny says:

    Well let me clarify my comment ..., Michele's show would be good to help put me to sleep for a night when I'm having insomnia..

    Bob and Susie , I didn't want you to think I meant I would watch her if I was having insomnia. ,, ABSOLUTELY NOT !

  8. angel beckman says:

    i like michelle shes funny in a down home kind of way and also marti for an older lady shes pretty alright in my book i think ippy is laid bk but i was stationed in hawaii and they all r like that its their personna

    • JML says:

      I spent 4 years in Hawaii and that is what people love about it. It's laid back. You have beautiful water and landscapes everywhere, what's to get worked up about? Except traffic! But once you make it through the traffic you can destress on a beautiful beach. And I like Ippy's food.

      • Michele says:

        I've never been to Hawaii, but i hope to visit one day....as a matter of fact, Ippy's recipes and his relaxed, confident demeanor make me want to try Pacific cuisine and visit his home state. Ippy is the greatest advertisement for Hawaii and a more "laid-back" lifestyle!

    • steve says:

      Exactly. if Ippy wasn't laid back I'd think he was being fake and that would make me wonder what else is fake. He needs to maintain his Hawiian authenticity if folks are to trust his food to be authentic. I hope he can pull it off.

  9. tennischick says:

    Aarti, you really described the night's three best, perfectly! Martie, Ivan and Michele were a pleasure to watch. Personally, I'm pulling for Martie; I find her warmth very engaging and think she's learning quickly on her feet.

    • Jennifer says:

      Alton has character - Justin is just a smart alleck.

      • Deanna says:

        Nice the way you can pigeonhole him so easily. Oh. I mean it's actually not. In the weeks since Emily left, and even before, he has been very supportive to his teammates, and actually seems to treat Martie very sweetly, and lend a hand whenever she gets herself in a tizzy (i.e. every week).

        He's JUST a smart aleck? I'm sure you'd hate it if people said you were JUST a ______. (Fill in the blank).

    • Guest says:

      Personally, I thought Michelle was average, but she did amazing considering that they told her she had five seconds and it was actually a minute.

      • MoHub says:

        They actually flashed 5-1/2 and 4-1/2 minutes at her when the whole presentation was supposed to be 3 minutes. I'd have been way more rattled than she was, and she recovered beautifully.

    • Joyce says:

      I was amazed to see Michelle respond so nicely to all the time changes....it was as if she just let go and followed what was there. That has been so needed by her! I think that she is an excellent chef and has a wonderful point of view that would certainly get air time!

      So glad that Martita is gone...she lasted way too long based on her performance!

  10. FN fan says:

    It seemed that Ippy and Justin had the toughest of all the "mistakes" .

    I think they should give each contestant equally hard mishaps. It's not at all fair. I see lots of favortism. But then again favortism and unfairness happens every week... what else is new?

    • Juli says:

      I agree. Especially do to the fact that it was Team Giada's turn to lose someone. Alton and Bobby's teams could have all fallen flat on their faces and still would have been safe. I didn't like it at all that Ippy almost got sent home.

    • Nice says:

      And of course, Nikki has the easiest "mistake" (blender mishap? Similar to one she had already experienced in a previous episode? Come ON!) and STILL managed to screw it up bigtime... she didn't even finish her presentation! And somehow she gets a pass? She should have been in the Bottom Two, not Ippy. Ippy, despite having one of the most difficult mistakes, still managed to put together a solid presentation.

      • JML says:

        I completely agree with you. It should have been Martita and Nikki. Nikki bombed. As she continues to do. I really think it came down to rounding out the teams.

        • Brianna says:

          FN should get rid of that "Gall (yep, I meant that) meets Grill" !! What a callous attitude and a "nothing special" kind of cook.

      • tchumeshe says:

        Yes, I TOTALLY agree with you!

    • Food Fan says:

      Yes. The more equal, the better.
      Same goes with same ingredients in the challenges.
      As I mentioned in another post, it leaves things open to charges of favoritism.
      Looks like you have similar feelings about it.
      I'd also like to go back to all contenders against every other contender. No Teams next year!

      • Elderleigh says:

        100% in agreement with you. I really don't like the teams or the mentorship concept - it's more about the mentors. Alton has come off the best. Bobby apparently couldn't teach them any more last week and Giada has behaved like a mean girl cheerleader all season. I used to just find her annoyingly condenscending - now I really dislike her.

        • Jewels says:

          I agree especially with your comment about Giada. I have never been a fan of hers and this show has cemented it for me. Staring down Michelle - what is she 12 years old or something? The special treatment she gave to Martita was so obvious. I think she saw herself in Martita, including the phony accent. I hate to be disrespectful to any of these Network Stars, but Giada went off my last nerve ten nerves ago. No time for fools.

      • BeeGee says:

        I agree........No Teams next year!

    • LHSSC says:

      I'm not sure how to judge how difficult or easy the 'mistakes' were. They were supposedly tailored to the individual weaknesses. IF they truly were, then the difficulty factor is entirely relative.

    • Ingrid says:

      Ippy's challenge was, in my opinion, downright MEAN and uncalled for! I do not understand the comments from Bob and Susie that he seemed angry. They would not be angry, not even a bit? Get a grip! Are these shows "rigged"? What is the Food Network looking for in a "star"? Thus far it has not been clear to me. Some of the most culinary interesting people in the current and past episodes have been eliminated. What am I missing? would love an answer for that one!

      • Michele says:

        Of course, Ippy's challenge was mean-spirited....Bob and Susie have been disrespectful to him from the very beginning of the season ! Bob and Susie appear to have already picked both the finalists and the winner, from their own viewpoints !
        Even when they compliment Ippy's dishes (they can't seem to discredit him based on his cooking chops....he's clearly that good), they don't "go on and on" as they seem to do upon tasting one of their obvious favorites' food. In addition, only one (Eggplant Zuppa, from early in the season) of Ippy's recipes has ever been included on the FN website. Biased, anyone ?
        Bob and Susie are relics from a time long past....and can't seem to grasp that a young (he's 23 years old !) Hawaiian man from a very interesting part of the United States has "out classed" them. He displays his cooking skills...and ignores the Network's efforts to "suck him in" to dirty play and cattiness.
        Ippy has proven himself to be a excellent chef....and if Food Network does not "grab him up" and give him the FN Star title and a TV show, another TV station will !

    • Guest says:

      I also think Michelle's was very hard. I mean, she had no clue when the presentation would end, and it could have completely ruined her presentation.