Coming This Summer: Food Network Star Season 9

by in Food Network Star, April 18, 2013

Bobby, Giada and AltonWhile most will be enjoying a summer full of weekend road trips, lazy afternoons by the pool and casual evening cookouts, 12 hopeful finalists on Food Network Star will be facing off in the ultimate multi-month job interview for a chance to earn the most-coveted career in the culinary industry: hosting their own Food Network show.

The ninth season of this life-changing competition is set to start on Sunday, June 2 at 9pm/8c, when contenders will travel to Los Angeles to begin an 11-week journey, complete with all-new Mentor and Star Challenges, surprise chef guests and on-location demands. For the finalists, simply showing off advanced cooking chops or shining camera-ready smiles won't be enough. If they want to survive weekly eliminations, they'll have to work their way to the coveted Star sweet spot, demonstrating both a mastery of the kitchen and an effortless television charm.

Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis will be back to mentor the contestants through each phase of the competition, but this season they're doing so from across the judges' table as members of the selection committee. Food Network executives Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson will be on hand, as well, praising and critiquing hopefuls in an effort to discover the next fresh face of the network. Focus groups will also be invited to challenges, not just to watch what goes down, but to share their reviews with Alton, Bobby and Giada — and impact judging. For the first time this season, one finalist will be brought back after elimination for another chance at victory.

While the selection committee must decide who stays and who goes each week, it will be up to you — Star fans — to choose who will ultimately be your next Food Network Star. Just like last year, there will be a live finale fan vote to determine the winner at the end of the season, when you'll have the chance to support your favorite finalist by voting for him or her to take the win.

Meet the Season 9 competitors below, then check out the Food Network Star headquarters for more insider coverage of the show all season long.

Andres Guillama (Waynesville, N.C.)
Chad Rosenthal (Ambler, Penn.)
Chris Hodgson (Cleveland)
Connie “Lovely” Jackson (Los Angeles)
Damaris Phillips (Louisville, Ky.)
Daniela Perez-Reyes (Haleiwa, Hawaii)
Danushka Lysek (New York)
Nikki Dinki (New York)
Rodney Henry (Baltimore)
Russell Jackson (San Francisco)
Stacey Poon-Kinney (Spring Valley, Calif.)
Viet Pham (Salt Lake City)

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Comments (201)

  1. NQIactSC says:


    Coming This Summer: Food Network Star Season 9 | Star Blog...

  2. xDUskakg says:


    Coming This Summer: Food Network Star Season 9 | Star Blog...

  3. UlzcGALT says:


    Coming This Summer: Food Network Star Season 9 | Star Blog...

  4. James says:

    Why are you people even doing this show...where are the past winners???? Justin what sort of a joke show is that....ARTIE is missing in action...Melissa is missing in action.
    The people for Chis Hodgson (joke) have never left the city and gone to a real city to take real food.

  5. Harry Mann Jr. says:

    Lovely has been a contestant on "Hell's Kitchen"

  6. Harry Mann Jr. says:

    Russell has also been on "Hell's Kitchen". He finished second in season 8 and blamed his sous chefs for his loss. Nasty attitude.

  7. Guest says:

    Focus groups? Really? Why? Will they simply be disgusting foodie-snobs?
    In past seasons they get advice from TV Guide, etc. only to reject or ignore it later.
    What will this group be like?
    Who will be this year's Penny Davidi?
    Who will be the immature frat-boy?
    Who will be this year's nervous wreck?
    Last year Bobby Flay emphasized the Food, Giada: personality and Alton: originality & quirkiness. Will they do it again this year?
    Will the audience be bored out of their minds with endless harping from the judges to: tell-us-who-you-are?
    There was a ton of feedback from last years viewers about turn-off's. I wonder if they took any of it to heart.

  8. Grace says:

    Ahh yes, I am looking forward to this :)

  9. Guest says:

    They say one finalist will be brought back after elimination for another chance at victory.
    Jeffrey Saad? Last year's Martita?
    Will people who do a lousy job, not be eliminated because the Team they were on saved them?
    I hope this year's Cooks aren't restricted and limited to not budging one-half-inch beyond their point-of-view. Range-of-Talent is a very good thing. One-trick-pony, is not.
    Will Giada shoot down any competitor who also cooks Italian? Will Paula feel threatened by another southern cook? Will Food Network fill some new niche we don't already have?
    Dont let the fans vote til the very end.

  10. Barbara says:

    I can't believe that Danushka person is on. I hated her on Chopped. I may have to wait until she is elimated to watch.

    • Debra says:

      Oh I couldn't agree with you more! She is such a conceited snob! I saw a quick commercial on a scene with her saying she is a Goddess! Goddess of who? Frankenstein! Yet I think he has a better personality. I was going to leave a comment under her name but I wasn't able to, actually no one can. Perhaps we aren't the only ones that think this way about her & she was getting alot of negative.