Expect the Unexpected — Star Commentary

by in Food Network Star, July 10, 2012

Nikki Martin

Sabotage was the name of the game this week, as the final seven Food Network Star contenders attempted to dodge unexpected hurdles during their live cooking demos. These obstacles ranged from a messed-up microphone during Yvan’s performance and a broken blender in Nikki’s presentation to a persistent audience heckler during Justin’s demo and everything in between. The idea was to play to the finalists’ weaknesses in an attempt to gauge how they instinctively react to unforeseen challenges and minor issues. “They’ve gotta roll with the punches and come out the other end,” Alton Brown explained.

Though some viewers were frustrated that the contestants were purposely messed with, others couldn’t help but laugh as they watched the finalists maneuver — some gracefully, some not so much — through their presentations. One Star fan, Holly Burtchaell @RandomCravings, Tweeted her reaction to this week’s challenge. “I hate to admit it…I love the episode when they mess with them! @FoodNetwork #Star,” she wrote, earning our Fan Post of the Week.

Join the #Star conversation on Twitter and Facebook and your comments may be featured in our weekly roundup of Fan Chatter. 

Who’s your favorite finalist still in the running? Don’t forget to cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per day and tune in to this Sunday’s episode at 9pm/8c to see who from #TeamAlton#TeamBobby or #TeamGiada goes home next.

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Comments (321)

  1. C. Sylvester says:

    Nikki, has to go, she doesn't perform well in front of the camera she comes across as fake and I honestly do not understand why she is still there! Also I agree with many others that Giada is more than annoying her fake smile and coaching is worse than Nikki's fake style or Martitia's fake accent!

    • Sumay says:

      IMHO - Giada straight out cheated. If you were in any type of competition and the coach is sitting there giving you cues - that is just wrong. She was the only one doing it - and assuming she was cute while at it. Not.

      • Jerilee says:

        Isn't that counter to your previous post about all the Giada bashing?? Just sayin....

  2. Jflavoredmidget says:

    Finalists: Justin, Yvan, and Michelle

  3. Jflavoredmidget says:

    Don't you think a lot of Giada bashing on this blog is due to the fact she's pretty and people are jealous of her good looks?

    • Jerilee says:

      No. A lot of the bashing has to do with the way she has changed in attitude during this competition. Her facial expressions are that of a spoiled child that didn't get her way. She sulks. She pouts. She is overly enthusiastic when her person does well. Her whole attitude is nothing like the Giada we see on her programs. Her whole attitude is that of a spoild rotten child, and is not becoming to the woman she is.

    • Bro says:

      The last time I saw that many teeth in someone's smile was during Shark Week on the Discovery Channel!!! LOL

    • Jflavoredmidget says:

      I guess she doesn't bother me like the producer guy. He's always wanting them to be genuine, but he, himself, seems anything but genuine or authentic. I've also guiltily said similar things about her teeth.

    • FN fan says:

      No, not at all. I think Giada is beautiful and cooks great. Growing up I heard the saying: pretty is, as pretty does. Giada isn't acting very pretty on this program. Making faces, and her attitude. The difference she made between Martita and the rest of her group. I just saying, I've seen a different side to this lady.

    • AltonFlay says:

      Giada is good looking, but her girl-crush on Martita is annoying.

      • Sumay says:

        Giada may be good looking - but she is not the only one out there with good looks - the world is full of people like that. However, there are many good looking people who are gracious, kind and not fake in their actions - demeanor and interactions with people.

        I have seen her before this - and was not interested in her type of food so I never watched her - but I never disliked her. Now that I feel like "I know her" - I don't like her. That's it. I'm assuming she hasn't had any plastic surgery in this short time and now I dislike her because she is more beautiful - but anything is possible.

  4. Jerilee says:

    Better yet, no teams to save anyone. Everyone for him/herself. Worse of the bunch goes. Give everyone mentors to help them learn what FN expects, give tips/pointers. In some challenges, give same ingredients, most creative wins. Chuck the "deep dark personal stories". Who cares?? Give two takes for camera challenges, with coaching tips. My list could go on, but that's enough.

  5. dave says:

    with a brief glimpse of alton crying in the next show, it looks like martie will not be one of the three. the reason i say that is that alton has shown tough love with martie especially during the earlier challenges when he ridiculed her after the chopped challenge. they seem to highlight his fondness for her but i could be wrong. susie likes yvan so that seems to be the logical choice for team guida. as for team bobby, do they really want a "guy" clone on the show? they can let nikki pass to the final three (this is assuming that one from each team advances) knowing full well that viewers dislike her and she will not win.

    • Blonde Browne says:

      Great comment, I was wondering too if a contestant from each team advances. Kinda makes sense because it would give each mentor/producer an equal opportunity to win as well.

    • dave says:

      thanks.. i'll get the spelling of giada's name right for now on.

    • cjcal says:

      Does the clip also show Martie crying? I think I saw this on a promo for Sunday. After 11 weeks of competition, emotions are probably on the edge. Martie and Alton could be crying because Justin leaves. Marie could be crying because she has tried sooo hard and gotten sooo close and in the end she was stymied by her old nemesis - rambling. Maybe.

      All I can say is, if Justin leaves, it must be because of something quite remarkable.

      • Food Fan says:

        Yes. What is Alton crying about? Dont know. And what did he mean when talks about: no one saw this coming...? Gonna be interesting.
        If by chance Alton is crying over Justin being eliminated, then I wonder who alot of the Justin fans will vote for instead.
        I am hoping for a win by either Ippy or Yvan.

  6. Guest2012 says:

    Giada has been very rude to her team. In the episode when Linkie left, she made it very clear that she thought Linkie was the weak link and deserved to go. In the pitch room at the end, she claimed that Linkie had grown and improved and all that, but her expressions made it very clear that she did not believe what she said. Another thing is that she has always made it clear that Martita was her favourite. In the Paula Deen challenge, she said that Martita had improved and puts a fresh spin on Mexican food. I was glad when Alton called her out on that comment. And again, this week, she mimed many actions to Martita. She also did this to her other team members but not as much. Then, after Martita's elimination, she got emotional, but did not even bother to congratulate Ippy for making it one more week. She is VERY phony and, if this format continues, should not be brought back on the show.

    • Sumay says:

      I don't mind the format so much - and I think it might be helping the contestants - although there are some things that make you scratch your head. Like - for instance - why it wasn't drilled into the contestants from day one (and worked on with their mentor's help) that they need a POV. Why didn't each contestant come out of the gate with a strong POV? Isn't that a good part of the show?

      I also can not stand Giada and I did not have this feeling until watching her on this show - she seems really fake and only cares about winning. As long as you help her win - you have her support - otherwise, under the bus you go. I do, however, like both Alton and Bobby as mentors and think they have helped in some ways - especially Bobby (he mentors and then pulls back when he feels they "got it."

      • Guest2012 says:

        I agree. Bobby and Alton have proven themselves as good mentors. And the contestants really do need a strong POV--remember Judson and Malcolm? They realized their POVs too late and were sent packing.

        I also agree about Giada. I used to watch her show occasionally but now I turn off the TV every time Giada at Home is on. She is so fake and phony and doesn't even properly mentor her team. As well, she plays favourites and gave her favourite (Martita) more help by coaching her more than the rest of the team. By Week 4 it was clear that Linkie was Giada's least favourite.

        This show used to be so good, but now Food Network has ruined it. Giada needs to be taken off the show, and the judges should stop with the comments about "give a personal story". Have you ever seen Alton tell a personal story on his show? I watch him because he teaches me something. I don't care about the person's family, I care about the food. Isn't this the FOOD Network?

  7. wifey231 says:

    The beauty of this challenge was that it was a crash course in "expecting the unexpected," and what NOT to do. The mess-ups were on the mean side, but when you are vying to become an *extremely* public figure (i.e., Emeril; Paula Deen; Bobby Flay; Rachel Ray, etc.), you had better be able to keep your cool in the public eye -- even under duress. I bet none of those contestants will forget that challenge. I think these challenges are as much about preparing these contestants, as much as testing them.

    • Sumay says:

      I agree - but in the fairness of any competition - the challenges should be equal across the board. There is no way that a nonworking blender is equal to people talking during your presentation and walking out. Anyways - if someone is going to take the trouble to attend a certain function (and it is not mandatory for some reason) - I doubt anyone would have had that happen. It should have been more realistic.

      • wifey231 says:

        Agreed, Sumay. I did think that the hypothetical problem should have been the same, but these guys do demos at conventions and functions that are part of larger events, so sometimes people *will* leave if they get bored or have something else to see or do. You can't take it personal as a presenter. Regardless, it would have been interesting to see how contestants reacted to the same challenge.

    • cjcal says:

      I do kind of feel it was harsh to make the mentors come up with the challenges.
      OK, maybe toss out some ideas to judges Susie and Bob, but how can Ippy truly trust Giada knowing that she was the one who came up with the exodus of audience members? Likewise Michele and Bobby. Let someone else be the meanie, but not the mentor.
      Whoever in FN came up with this idea may indeed have a mean streak. Time for some self-reflection.

  8. wifey231 says:

    By the way, I agree with posters commenting about Giada. I was never a huge Giada fan, but her show is tolerable. However, she's been mildly annoying during this competition. Her screaming, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" Every time one of her team members performs well is beyond unprofessional. I understand that Giada, Bobby and Alton are personally vested in these contestants, and I like that the contestants have personal coaches, but Giada doesn't seem to have a composed approach to coaching her team.

  9. guess says:

    I insist the vote count is set. Every time there is a mischief in totalizing the addition of individual percentages, it is Justin votes which are fixed, and his amount increases. No way. Since the beginning all his pictures are in the front, all his recipes, he and then Martita got all the attention. This is ridiculous and no professional at all. Please, Eric, and Malcoml, were better chef that Justin. More polite, easy going, more professional. And in the last show Justin blew off... disgusting the way he treated the man. However, Yvan charming, excellent, more than that great, all the excellent comments for his food, the elegance and he is always out of the spotlight, Ippi forget about, the same; Yvan and Ippi are the neglected chidren... Martie, Yvan and Michelle go to the final...

  10. HonoredGuest says:

    Everyone is talking about how Yvan's challenge was easy.... NO! >:O It wasn't easy. Maybe a little. But listen to what the judges said. The judges and mentors had said that they gave the contestants a challenge based on their flaws. Obviously they didn't give Yvan anything else like people asking him irrelevant and annoying questions, a broken blender, or missing ingredients b/c he would have known how to deal with it. If they gave him the challenge of giving him an inoperative microphone to challenge his speech, it was because that's his ONLY flaw!

    I'd also like to point out that I think its a little humorous, crazy, and shady, how I got AT LEAST 100 people to vote for Yvan last night and he has not gone up, not one percentage.