The Most Intense Episode. Ever. — Star Commentary

by in Food Network Star, July 18, 2012

Well, you can’t say that Food Network doesn’t know how to shake things up, right? This year, the network is leaving the decision of this year’s winner in your hands, fans. And while the opportunity to vote for your next Star ended last night at 5pm, you can relive the emotional and surprising episode that sent four hopefuls instead of three to the finale.

In an unprecedented moment during last Sunday’s elimination, both of Team Alton’s final two contenders, Justin and Martie, were given green lights to create show pilots and advanced to the finale to compete against Team Bobby’s Michele and Team Giada’s Yvan. Understandably, tension filled the air in Miami’s outdoor pitch room, as Alton, Justin and Martie waited to find out who would be sent home. And of course, that same angst found its way into many fans’ living rooms on Sunday, as they endured a doozy of a cliffhanger.

Sunny Anderson was among those watching the drama unfold from home. Though she sat on the guest panel that judged the six contestants’ promo videos, she and the other judges didn’t see the elimination, so this week’s shocking turn of events was just as stunning to her as it was to fans. Sunny Tweeted a spot-on reaction to the commercial break before the announcement. “IF YOU JUST YELLED AT YOUR TV RT!!!! I hate a cliffhanger!!! #star,” she wrote, earning our Fan Post of the Week. Many fellow Star fans echoed her feelings.

Once Bob and Susie revealed that Team Alton wouldn’t suffer an elimination, the situation on set and at many fans’ homes quickly turned from emotionally draining to downright emotional. Just as Alton couldn’t help but tear up when he learned the good news, so too did fans, who were relieved that both finalists had survived.

Join the #Star conversation on Twitter and Facebook during Sunday night’s finale and your comments may be featured in our weekly roundup of Fan Chatter.

Be sure to tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c to see who from #TeamAlton, #TeamBobby or #TeamGiada you voted to be our next Food Network Star. Hosting a Star viewing party? Check out these party-ready snack recipes that Justin, Martie, Michele and Yvan created especially for fans.

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Comments (259)

  1. LHSSC says:

    This was a great way to choose the finalists. All of them did well, I voted for Michele because her dish and her presentation were the most appealing to me. Justin's hunched over presentation was not appealing at all. Although the aspic sounded tasty, I thought it was rather lot of extra work to make a salad dressing. Right now, I can't remember just what Ippy and Martie made, but Yvan's dish and his family participation were very appealing.
    By the way... I tried Michele's deviled egg recipe and it is a HUGE hit. While preparing it, I tasted the filling before I added in the lobster and it was one of the best I've ever had or made. So, even when I can't get the lobster, I'm switching to this recipe for my deviled eggs..

    • Ippy Fan says:

      Ippy didn't get a chance to make anything because he and Nikki were eliminated and didn't get to make pilots. I still think if they gave Martie a chance as a second person on Alton's team, why couldn't they have (or they SHOULD have) given Ippy the opportunity to make a pilot, too. He's the only one who would have really given Justin competition in the voting -- although I'm curious as to how Martie moved up so suddenly in the fan voting after Martita left. Though I'm sure Martie has a good following, I can't believe Martita's fans switched over to her because they're so different.

    • CLARITA says:


      • Jerilee says:

        Wow!! You want someone to win, but you don't even know her mame???if you promised not to watch, why did you watch? And do you realize all caps represent yelling? You like the change, but at the same time you don't ? What's with that? You need to get things straight.

  2. FNGossip says:

    They should have made this episode 1.5 hours and shown a little more of their pilots. They had episodes that long early in the season when it probably wasn't needed.

    • UjustLostAstar says:

      I think the episode should have been longer too. But the reason should have been to give more background and closure on Ippy and Nikki. They sent them packing in a huge hurry and never really told us why.

  3. Maritza says:

    I voted for Yvan it'll be nice if we can see more spanish dishes on foodnetwork, something different plus he is in team Giada love her dishes.

    • Eyechick1 says:

      Unfortunately I live on the West Coast so couldn't vote after 3 pm because the an vote closed at 5 pm Eat Coast time. Unfair to the rest of the country. Should have been Ippy in the finals tho. I won't watch any of these people!

  4. Bob Toren says:

    I thought that was great twist to have both Justin and Martie from Alton's team.
    I've disagreed at different points along the way this season on who has been eliminated but alll of the final 4 are very deserving, good luck to all of them.
    I noticed that the way they lead up to picking the final "3" that they were going to have one from each team, makes me curious if there is something to some of the comments along the way this season about keeping the teams even throughout this season as people were being eliminated.
    One thing I strongly disagree with is this show or any show that has fan voting should not allow more than one vote per person. About the only way that should be fair is if you had to purchase and watch one TV per each vote. :)
    ...pretty sure Justin is going to win.

    • Bobbrowntown says:

      I think multiple voting is a good thing. It allows me to split my vote to first and second choices. I may have a preference, but there are other choices out there as well that I would like to see and offer votes to.

    • Nita says:

      I agree with you pretty much: I think voting should be limited to only once, not 10 times per day. because we did have the opportunity to vote so many times I split mine up between Martie and Yvan.. You know it might be interesting to see 2 winners tonight, possibly two and have them share a program??

    • jannieran says:

      How convenient that each of the three teams had (at least) one contestent for the 'Final Three". I wish I didn't think this rigged, and that some deserving talent was sent packin' to make this a nice tidy package for the finale.
      Also think ten votes per person per day is a bit excessive, and for the FINAL vote, I was not able to vote on line, because I refuse, I left the voting up to the rest of you....and you picked my favorite.
      Maybe won't try lots of his recipes, but what a breath of fresh air!!!

  5. Priscilla says:

    I go for cooking shows that offer recipes that are more affordable. I also enjoy a family atmosphere, like "The Neelys", Paula Dean's shows and Giada's show when she has her aunt helping her. I love her aunt! It makes the show alot more fun and down to earth. Martie with the Party sounds alot like "Artie Party", plus there are other shows with party ideas. Justin, although cooky and fun, didn't prepare a dish that I would be interested in preparing myself. Given the opportunity, I would have liked to see more of Ippy's recipes. My vote is for Yvan.

    • shmershiesmersh says:

      Really? my vote is for Giada... i would like to see her show when she wins. she deserves her own show.

    • Diamond Chef says:

      I would like to punch Paula Deen in the face, she is so fake and annoying, and her dishes kill people with diabetes.

    • Nita says:

      oh, I don't find Giada's dishes particularly affordable, I would be quicker to say Ina's are, but we all have our own ideas and I don't see anything similar about Martie and Arrti except the name, party..They are totally different in everyway: Marti is strickly a party theme, Aarti is not, Aarti is very young, Martie is middle aged plus;arti, cooks Indian dishes with a Us flare, Martie is strickly party type of foods.

      As for who I want to win, i would be happy with Martie or Yvan, even Justin but I will be totally ticked if Michele wins. I would never watch one of her shows. She itrritates the heck out of me. She is arrogant, not much personality and just too far out there. It is one thing to have Guy and/or Anne who are both a little different, but they are not Michele.

  6. Justin will win! says:

    WOW THAT WAS AN AMAZING EPISODE! I am so glad that both Justin and Martie got in there! In the commercials, I saw Alton crying and I was like "WHAT HAPPENED"!!!! They deserved it. They were both amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Love Justin best though

    • TeamJustin says:


    • FOOD FAN from Maine says:

      I agree! I am so glad both Justin and Martie "are in!" I couldn't imagine what would happen if it wasn't one of them! When I was watching this episode (I was practically ripping the couch cushions from the suspense) a person in my house was on the phone so I couldn't hear what happened and then when I saw Alton's face and he started crying I was like who got eliminated and then they hung up and it was both of them I was so happy! I love this show! Can't wait for the finale! Voted for Justin and Martie!

  7. cjcal says:

    Confession: I almost muted my TV's sound because I was so anxious about the contestants during their promos! With only three chances, and some folks flubbing their first two attempts, it was tough on my already-high blood pressure. But I got hold of myself and watched the show, and cursed the commercial breaks.
    I am thrilled FN included Martie in the final four. I am also heartbroken they did not come up with something for highly-deserving Ippy - like "We at FN have decided to include Ippy in Food Network's new summer special: 'A Foodie's Paradise in Hawai'i.'" Or maybe tell us that he will host a special Iron Chef or Chopped competition taped in Hawai'i. And on that thought, I will quote FN's great Ina Garten "How hard could that be?"

    • Ippy Fan says:

      I know, how hard could that be, right?

    • Pat says:

      Yeeha! I would watch Ippy! I LOVE his laid-back style.

    • Mags says:

      I loved Ippy. I don't know what they talk about with him not being unexciting and too laid back! Bobby Flay is totally calm and not exciting but he's extremely popular. Ippy has class and even though he's not bubbly Giada he has his own personality that draws people. I love his point of view and was looking for something totally NEW. All of the other concepts are done at some point or another, but not Hawiian or Polynesian style cooking!

      • SilverScribe says:

        I have to agree 100%. And on top of that, Ippy gets a huge seal of approval from almost the entire guest judging panel and still, they let him go?

        *shakes head* Utterly mystefying.

    • UjustLostAstar says:

      Go Ippy. Someone please give him a show.

  8. Derisea says:

    Ridiculous beyond belief. Martie should not be left.... this must be about Justin winning and getting rid of any real competition against him... Get some REAL Judges not puppets.

    • Stinky Cheese says:

      Oopsy, should read 'eliminated'.

    • Mona says:

      I agree! It really pissed me off that Martie was given a spot!!! The judges are so over the top stupid that I'm willing to guarantee that either Justin and Martie will have a show together or seperate shows!

    • Nita says:

      why would you say that? she has a delightful personality, has a good therme and is fun to watch, who would have been better in the end? What does getting rid of someone else have to do with who wins? There haven't been any others that are better in my opinion than who they have left. If Justin wins, good for him, I don't think he will to be honest...

      • MaryEllen says:

        I dunno...we have Aarti Party (from 2 seasons ago) and, if Martie wins, she wants to do a Martie's party theme. Way too similar, altho' I don't watch Aarti. I thought her competitor should have won (and I enjoyed the limited shows that he got to do afterwards).

  9. Stinky says:

    Clearly, this was staged.

    • Lois says:

      I agree - 100%

    • Stinky Cheese says:

      And a little unfair to Ippy and Nikki who both did a great job equally. It seems fair to save all six (now that's a cliffhanger) than two from a single team and leave each mentor with an illiminated contestant.

    • SneakFromWork says:

      Geeeee, Y'THINK???

      Pffffttt. Won't be watching next year unless they lose the blatant fakery.

    • Mags says:

      I found this much more staged with the contestants being in teams rather than being on their own. They tried to keep the teams even, so I believe that people were kicked off at times when they didn't deserve to be. Also, why change the rules for Marti? That wasn't fair to the others!

  10. Taryn says:

    What a great show! This is by far the best cooking reality show... I mean I actually like some of the contestants :)

    I just watched all of the pilot videos. I wished I watched them before I voted. I was really impressed with Justin, Marty and Ivan.

    I couldn't really sit through Michelle (?) - she is just too laid back for me and the pilot wasn't interesting.

    Justin, of course, blasted through it by being entertaining and really putting a twist on an everyday dish. He really is just so interesting. I don't care what he does as long as he's there. He could do a show about cleaning closets and I would watch it. He definitely has the "it" factor without being a um... Dbag (sorry couldn't think of a better word). I really like him.

    Marty was absolutely adorable. I am not even remotely interested in her party info - I just love to listen her stories. She is by far - the most huggable and deserves to be in the finale.

    And Ivan surprised me. I knew he was talented but his idea was just stellar. He was warm and engaging - and I wasn't even expecting sit through the whole pilot. I wish I threw at least one vote his way.

    I think they really ended up with 3 genuine stars in their finale so I guess the judges know exactly how to pick 'em.

    I do think a flaw with the show is that it is clear that they made a concerted effort to have a contestant remaining on each team. I think the person who is the best should stay. Period. And if a team runs out of members so be it.

    Great show.

    • steve says:

      I noticed that your likes and dislikes didn't have anything to do with the food that the contestants prepared.

    • FOOD FAN from Maine says:

      Personally, none of the pilots souned good except Ippy's, Michele's, Ivan's (which was great) Martie's (<3) and Justin's (that one was wierd it rocked!) What I don't like about the show is that more or less the same amount of people have to be on the team. Some people deserved to go home and didn't just to keep the balance right. I am talking about Martita and Emily.

    • Bobbrowntown says:

      I agree to a certain extant. they could not embarrass one of the team leaders by leaving them without a participant, but in the end only one of them gets the official show. We have seen talented members get a show in the past like adam who lost in the final round. Lets face it, the last four all deserve some sort of tv programming.

    • Bobbrowntown says:

      Really....just think about what you wrote. "Best cooking reality show"???? WHAT HAS COME OF AMERICA????

    • SilverScribe says:

      I can only assume that you watched a completely different program than I did. (Especially since "reality" is not a term one can honestly apply to this program and keep a straight face.)

    • Micki Nicol says:

      I totally agree with Taryn about it not being necessary to pick one person from each team. I was devastated when I thought that Justin or Martie might not make it because of this. It should be about the best --- nothing else. Also, one vote --- a favorite is a favorite and only requires one vote. Thanks!