One-on-One With the Latest Star Contestant to Go Home

by in Interviews, June 9, 2013

Food Network Star Episode 2 EliminationEvery Sunday, Bobby, Giada and Alton take on the difficult task of eliminating one finalist in the quest to help guide fans to vote for Food Network's next sensation. And this is no easy task. Check back here every week to read Star Talk's exclusive exit interview with the latest Star hopeful to leave Star Kitchen.

If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — Star Talk is about to chat with the latest finalist to go home.

Andres GuillamaA childhood obesity prevention coach, Andres Guillama, was the second finalist sent home from the competition. His inability to commit to what could have been a successful culinary viewpoint prevented his growth on camera and in front of the focus groups. His "bland food," according to Bobby, didn't help his case. Week one's potato omelet with chorizo lacked seasoning, and last night's burger wasn't much different. Despite being eliminated, he left the competition confident in his future.

Do you think he deserved to go home? Tell Star Talk in the comments below.

You really had two POVs: teaching men how to cook and then you had a weight-loss/healthy angle. Why did you seem to put more focus on teaching men how to cook?
AG: I fully embrace my weight loss and am dedicated to helping other people understand that they are more than capable of making the same changes I made for themselves, but I feel as though young guys have an uphill battle getting to know their way around the kitchen. They could really use someone to be there to answer the simple questions — or the questions that seem simple to someone who knows how to cook. My dad was always there for me, and I can be there for them.

The dial of doom really does show the group how each finalist is faring with fans. Do you think you used this to your advantage? How did you feel about the dial in general?
AG: It seems like a good idea at face value, but the fact of the matter is that the focus group was just a small sample of a huge audience. Additionally, I was going against the grain and hoping to draw a new audience to the network, so I didn’t feel like the audience I was trying to reach was there.

Danushka, Andres and NikkiFor fans who were inspired by your story, what's the one piece of advice you'd share with them?
AG: Don't underestimate small changes. Something as small as to say you're going to drink diet cola instead of regular cola is the first step in the right direction. The road to your goal is a long one. I've been losing weight for a few years and still haven't reached my goal. As you reach your goals, you'll create new ones for yourself. If it takes you one baby step at a time, do it. Don't ever let anyone stand in your way or make you think it’s impossible. Anyone who says you can't do it is just jealous of your success.

How did you feel about the structure of the show this season, as in, no more teams?
AG: I was really hoping for the teams because it helps bring a sense of security, and I believe that brings about the best results in people. The solo act was kind of a thrown-to-the-wolves and fend-for-yourselves situation, which doesn't bring about the best results for me.

What were some of the biggest surprises you encountered?
AG: The biggest surprise I experienced was definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, the negative feedback on the meals I prepared. I was prepared for criticism, but it felt so overtly harsh. That said, I never argued with any of the criticism. When someone doesn't enjoy a meal I prepare, I take it back to the drawing board and work it out all over again because I refuse to make the same mistakes twice.

Who was the most-intimidating mentor: Bobby, Giada or Alton?
AG: Bobby was great and on point with everything he said. Alton was interesting, but Giada has the “I'm super-sweet, but I'll stare right through you" thing down. The Intimidation 2013 Award goes to Giada, in my opinion.

What's next for you?
AG: I'm going to keep doing what I do. I'll keep working on my personal goals, telling everyone my story so they ask questions, and I can help them answer their questions. I will never stop working towards a chance to be back in a position where I can make my voice heard to an audience larger than the one in my kitchen. I'm a pretty positive dude. I know something awesome will come my way.

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Comments (479)

  1. Bored of dumbness says:

    I don't understand why the network spends so much time creating the show and voting for a "star".

    I don't know when their shows are on. There are no re-runs as far as I know. It's like setting them up for failure, after going through all the hard work, because not all people tune in at a certain time to watch.

    I don't remember seeing the previous contestants - Aarti, Jeff or even Justin on TV, and I watch a lot of Food Network. What I get is an overload of Diners, Drive ins and Dives and Chopped!

    This year's cast is not very impressive. I would watch Viet, since he seems to know how to cook.

  2. Lisa says:

    Whats her name Douche something, she is the worst!! Wrong one sent home! I usually agree with the judges but she is horrible!!

  3. TJD says:

    Can't understand why Danushka is still on except for the 'drama' This woman needs to be eliminated ASAP! Not watching any more shows while she is still a contestant, she just makes me sick! There are other shows on..................................

  4. Crouton40 says:

    June 12th. Wednesday. 2:30-3pm. West coast time zone. Watching Rachel Ray on Food Network. And it hits me---she is doing a really GOOD job....of just plain TEACHING as she goes. Nice!
    I am not-at-all saying that other FN chefs don't, just that I can easily see, with Rachel today, that if someone didn't know a frying pan from an oven mitt, they could follow along with her and "get it." Whoever wins the next FNS, I hope that they, too, have a knack with teaching. :)

    • Shannon says:

      Crouton, So funny that you said that. I had the same thought while watching. I was hoping that whoever wins will "channel" the older Rachel Ray. She certainly used to be able to explain even the "simple" stuff as she went along in an easily flowing,easy to understand and replicate kind of way. She used to remember that many of the people watching were novices.

  5. Dale says:

    OMG!!!..How could you send Andres home and keep Danushka??? She is awful.She has no talent,no personality,and no team spirit.Just because she used to be a model doesn`t mean people want to see her in a forum where she cooks and speaks!!

  6. Pam says:

    I do not like Danuska. I would much rather have seen Andres stay. He is a little unpolished, but I think he was starting to get it and could have been good. Danuska is boring and arrogant. If by some weird chance she wins, there is no way I would ever watch her show. I found myself very upset when she was not the one bumped. By all the comments I read, everyone else agrees with me. She is obnoxious and doesn't seem to be much of a cook either.

  7. Carolyn says:

    Andres was the wrong person to eliminate...he was far more interesting and talented than the two who stayed! I'll add to the chorus of those who want to see Danushka GOOOOOOO! What's with the judges? I sincerely feel that Andres should be recalled with an apology from the judges who can create an ugly atmosphere...PLEASE LIGHTEN UP!!! If this kind of lop-sided performances by the judges persists, I won't be able to stay with the program...PLEASE change some things!

  8. AmuseBouche says:

    Last Sunday's show solidified for me that this show is more "scripted" behind the scenes than the hype would have viewers believe. Perhaps I am naive, but the "peg" for this show is that it had a realism to it. Bobby F., Alton and Giada are professionals, the audience meter plus their comments during Danushkas's presentation from a purely analytical data standpoint would have eliminated her simply because they are looking for someone who connects with an audience - she clearly did not. Andres did show the ability to connect. If this had been a real audition, the person who "connected" surely would have been selected. - I agree with all comments previously, this is clearly just a contrived show that honestly is a bit insulting to their educated audience. Plus...this type of scripting, which clearly everyone sees right through runs the risk of damaging the credibility of some of FoodNetwork's most popular "brands" -- Alton, Bobby & Giada.

  9. Debra says:

    I read someone's comment of that snob Danushka saying is the show have her on for her looks - to me she is UGLY. Beauty comes from the inside too. I have some friends who are more beautiful that her & they aren't stuck up

  10. GuestG says:

    Wan't at all surprised when she-Danushka-got chopped on Chopped! Was seriously surprised to see she made the cut to be on Next... in the first place.
    While I can now understand the "strategy" behind it--the unlikeable antagonist we all love to hate--it is only fair that I tell you I have not watched a single episode of Next... simply because she is on it. So, in my case, the strategy failed. Just not worth my time...and that's saying a lot, since a huge majority of my television viewing is devoted to Food Network. FN is a major entertainment lens through which I like to view people, in all their "splendor". But, in this case...no, epic fail.
    Just thought you should know.