Season 9 Dictionary + The Dial of Doom

by in Behind the Scenes, June 4, 2013

Star Season 9 Finalists and JudgesThe newest season of Star kicked off this past Sunday night, and along with 12 new contestants, there are a couple of new features added to the show that may be unfamiliar to fans. This handy little guide should help navigate you through the next 10 weeks of competition.

Challenges: This season there are two different challenges that can occur in each episode. If an episode includes a Mentor Challenge, that means Alton, Bobby and/or Giada will help guide the finalists through that day's events. The mentors will share their advice and raise any possible concerns they may have. After the Mentor Challenge, finalists will be faced with a Star Challenge. This can consist of cooking demonstrations or presenting to a focus group.

Finalists: This year the mentors are tasking 12 hopefuls with weekly challenges in the ultimate multi-month interview for the chance to earn their dream television job. The contestants bring with them a mix of backgrounds, including culinary school, restaurant management, private chef and food blogging.

Focus Group: New to Star this year, a group of ultimate Food Network fans and food enthusiasts will help the mentors decide who came out on top and on the bottom during the challenges. This group will also be the driving force behind the dials of doom (see below).

Food Star Kitchen: When the finalists aren't on location in and around Los Angeles, they'll be cooking and presenting in this space (see photo below).Food Network Season 9 Star Kitchen

Mentor-Judges: Alton, Bobby and Giada are back this year as both mentors and judges.

Network: The "network" includes Food Network executives Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson.

Pantry: Located in the Star Kitchen, it includes common items like spices, kitchen gadgets and serving pieces. Fun fact: There are 36 spices available to the finalists, and the most-used spices include red pepper flakes, garlic powder and chili powder (see photo below).Food Network Star Season 9 Star Kitchen Pantry

Stew Room: When the judges are deliberating about the top and bottom performers, the finalists gather in this room.

The Dial of Doom

Food Network Star Dial of DoomWhat might be the most-exciting and nerve-wrecking addition to Star this season is the dial of doom. It records levels of like and dislike among the focus group, and then the mentors use those numbers to help formulate their decision for the top and bottom performers.

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Comments (30)

  1. Elderleigh says:

    Unless something changes this week (or unless I missed something last week) it seems like they dumped the three team model from last year and I can only say "Bravo!"

    The whole team thing made it much more about the mentors than the contestants. Dare I believe someone at "network" actually listened to some of the feelings expressed on the blogs from last year?

  2. foodfan says:

    If I ever had to see that model I wold be so so so so mad because she as acts so cold and unlikable that I dont not think anyone would vote for her. I don't get how she is a model because she is not pritty ( I don't think she is ).

  3. [...] dial of doom really does show the group how each finalist is faring with fans. Do you think you used this to [...]

  4. Marcia says:

    Dajnuska is a due ill mannered and would never watch her how. Time to send her home. She cannot cook. Thinks she is a queen. Turns people off. Get rid I'd this thing.

  5. Amy says:

    I don't know why the judges insist on keeping that Danushka Lysek should stay on the program. She is rude, not pretty, snotty and a looses both nights yet they got rid of one that had something to say rather than her. I don't care if she is the best cook in the world the people spoke by giving her only two tokens and also last night with a zero for a vote. what do the Judges see in her? One wonders if it is political and she knows someone that they are trying to appease because clearly she has nothing but a huge turn off GET RID OF HER!!!! I am a faithful Food Channel network watcher but I would Avoid her show if she is selected like the plague. Two weeks of her has been two to many! I say go with what the people want and get rid of her. WHY Did you get rid of the Andres with three tokens and good enough food too and people liked him better than her. I'll tell you If she still remains next week that will be the last time I will watch this joke of a program!

    • Punkido says:

      I have thought that Danuskha should not even be on the show, to me, she comes across as an arrogant, hateful b---h, I would never watch her on any show. Seems to me like she was on a previous Food Network Star show and remember disliking her immensely then too. She may be a great cook, but her personality totally turns me off, I don't enjoy the hatefulness or her continual critical sarcasim. I thought she should of been sent home on the first show, and for sure on the second. I don't understand the judge's decision, but would sure appreciate an explanation. I'm an avid Food Network Fan, but if this is the type of person the network is going to put out there for their fans to watch, I won't be one anymore.

    • Roy says:

      I'm sure they kept her for marketing reasons. People would keep tuning in to see if she would get canned. Thankfully they only made us wait 3 episodes.

  6. Lemur says:

    Danushka has all the personality of cornstarch. Except that cornstarch isn't noticeable (and thus not obnoxious.) Sadly, this probably means we're in for several more weeks of Danushka. It's my theory that they seem to keep the most arrogant, hateful contestants on as long as possible so that viewers will tune in, praying to see that person go home, week after week.

  7. marg says:

    It would be nice to see the contestants cooking good food that they would do on a show of their own. This nonsense stuff is getting boring.

  8. Rickie in Honolulu says:

    I really like the show this season in the dual star and mentor challenge model. This is so much better than the prior season team competition approach using three mentor teams. This new model really uses the mentor's knowledge, skills and abilities to help move the competitors forward. Good job FN!

  9. cristina sneed says:

    I have seen all seasons of Food Network Star, and, I believe this has been my favorite. In the past there have been divas, stars, and poor behavior. This bunch of future food stars have really acted like adults. They have helped each other when help was needed. They were competitive certainly, but they didn't back-bite or undercut each other. I liked all the contestants, but the three last girls were my favorite.