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. Foofdie NAc says:

    Will not watch a SINGLE episode

  2. Drew says:

    Everyone deserves a decent chance to show what they can do.

    But finger-food, party-food, vegetarian/healthy has bombed in recent years. Having all of your dishes be like all of your other dishes and only being able to do one thing doesn't cut it either. Good luck to all. Let's see what they can do. I'm looking for the one who can make it taste fabulous and who can explain it easily.

  3. guest says:

    I've been looking around and re-reading several posts that people wrote last season.
    Quite a few mention that they felt the voting was rigged last year. They wrote it. They said so. What steps will be taken this year so that things dont appear to be contrived? It seems like a valid concern.

  4. K_C says:

    Danushka wins and I will not watch Food network any more.

  5. Crouton40 says:

    When this page/thread first comes up, it said there were 160-something comments and in less than 2 seconds later it suddenly says only 133 comments. This sort of thing happens on other discussion, too. What causes it? Where are the rest of the comments?

  6. loftSEVEN Penthouse says:

    Can't wait to see the episode that was filmed at our venue!

  7. Nikki says:

    Did FN already show us the winner? Is it Chad? In the video clip for season 9, it shows him with what looks to be a dozen roses. What did he win? I could see that for a winner at the final challenge, but at some other time along the way? How do you feel about it?

  8. guest says:

    Have you looked at the Star-A-Day section? Some wild, over the top comments. Maybe they will be deleted.

    • Timothy says:

      I bet some of the people in Star A Day are very glad to have no comments at all compared to some other people.

  9. Tom says:

    When someone goes to culinary school, what is the difference between majoring in culinary arts, culinary science if there is such a thing, and culinary management?

  10. Debra says:

    I was going to watch it but have decided not to because of one contestant, danushka the "model" that was on Chopped. That's not how her name is spelled, don't know the last.

    She is such a snob. On Chopped she insulted the other chefs. She thinks much too highly of herself. Beauty comes from within also. I saw a commercial with her saying she's a Goddess? Why in the world is she on this contest? Yet, it also appears the other women contestants are very attractive too but I'm sure their personalities are nothing like that other one. I was going to post a comment but not able to. I'm guessing that I'm not the only one who thinks that individual is a snob!