This is Show Biz, Kids; It’s Gotta Sell — Justin’s Rebel Recap

by in Recap, July 8, 2013

Justin's Rebel Recap - Episode 6After the "shocking" and "tragic" (all of cyberspace's words, not mine) elimination of Viet, it's now clear that one misplaced pepper can spell doom for anyone, even an Iron Chef competitor.

Whoever thought up this week's challenge was a real smart prepackaged cookie, because a good POV should be able to be easily printed on a label and slapped onto whatever cooks create. A crystal clear POV is essentially your brand, and without a crystal clear brand (I make rebellious cuisine: It's my right and duty to do so), you're going to end up being just a lonely piece of eggplant in the ratatouille of life.

  • The barbecue guy, Chad, dreams up "Big Boy Baked Beans." These aren’t your ordinary beans, no sir; these are for Big Boys. Perhaps Chad's POV is still wearing pull-ups.
  • Stacey - Food Network Star Season 9Taking hoopty recipes and throwing some rims on them is Stacey. She pitches a hot-rodded version of butterscotch, amped up with cayenne.
  • What Chris didn't realize is that this challenge was about selling himself, not the product. People don’t buy a Guy Fieri knife set because it’s the sharpest blade in the store. They buy it because it’s Guy's knife and they like Guy. When I come out with my squid de-tentacler, you'll probably buy it because you like me and my blogs, right?
  • I think a cooler name for Nikki's product would've been Nikki's Vegged-Out Sauces, and its placement in the store would be on shelves above the meat case. Imagine the logo: a steak sitting on a couch made of peppers and tomatillos, or an armchair of eggplant. Nikki, that's for you, for free. You can have it.
  • Russell begins his pitch with, "I'm here to start a culinary revolution. I'm here to get you to embrace sins. My culinary sins." BOOM SHAKALAKA. That's all it takes. Whatever comes after that is gravy.
  • Damaris wants to find a balance between Karaoke Damaris and Drone Damaris.
  • And now Rodney. With a guitar. And a quiche kit made out of coat hangers and gaffers tape. That's all I have to say.

Cue the Scary Music

Food Network Star Season 9Damaris, Stacey and Russell were the complete package this week, while Chad, Nikki, Chris and Rodney were all recalled goods. Chad has whooped it up from the get-go, but this week his beans were as pretty as, well, a pile of beans. Nikki's awesome POV lacked depth and articulation. Chris had as much authenticity as a three-dollar bill. Rodney was an entertainer as opposed to an expert.

In the end, the judges couldn’t see the connection between the person Chris is and the food Chris cooks.

The Moral of the Story: When I was in high-school journalism class, the school newspaper needed some extra funds. Someone came up with the idea of having a bake sale. It was a flop. Why? Nobody trusted the journalism kids to cook good food. It wasn't our forte. There was no connection. The bake sale was canceled.

Chris, with a little more packaging, could have been just the man for the job. Imagine a show called The Bake Sale, wherein we are taken to Chris' kitchen as he cooks up a Food Network Star version of regional specialties, like, say, the apples in Ohio. From here, Chris sells the goods to people on behalf of a charity in need of some cash flow.

Chris had an uphill battle from the start. It's clear to me what the transformative power of food can be and Chris could definitely spearhead said movement, but alas, this is show biz, kids. It’s gotta sell.

Threat of the Week: Russell. Rewatch his first pitch in Episode 1 and compare it to last night's. This is what Food Network Star is about: growth. Forget the veggies, embrace the sins.Russell - Food Network Star Season 9

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Comments (259)

  1. Jb1396 says:

    I would not buy anything from Rodney, nor do I want to watch his cooking show!

  2. lizzy says:

    Who wants to watch personalities get fed recipes from corporate staff to showcase to viewers? Oh wait....

    • MoHub says:

      Actually, Aarti said that after she won, she was immediately asked to come up with a couple dozen recipes so filming could begin. I don't think any of the winners are "fed" recipes to demonstrate.

  3. Lola23 says:

    Really enjoy Chad, if he had a show then I would definitely watch it. My other favorite is Russell hopefully his personality will continue to blossom as he seems very deserving of this opportunity.

    My issue is with Stacey and how she ended up on this show after being on Restaurant Impossible because she couldn't run her business. It feels a bit dishonest that she was provided with help in RI to make her restaurant successful and now all of a sudden she has a million dollar business. If she is as talented as she demonstrates on Food Network Star then why didn't she have a successful business to begin with. Seems like a bit of an oxymoron and she does come off as scripted. She wouldn't be successful without RI and it's a shame she hasn't given credit where it's due.

    • Guest says:

      If I remember correctly, the two biggest reasons Stacey needed help with her restaurant were 1) her menu prices were too low and 2) her restaurant wasn't open in the evening for supper, which is the biggest money-making meal. RI said her food was good, and he seemed to like the gluten-free menu selections. In addition, the restaurant didn't look all that bad prior to renovation. I think Stacey is a very talented cook as demonstrated on FNS; she just needed some business management help.

      • Rhonda says:

        Robert may have said the food was good but it was Stacey's cook Lisa who made the food. Stacey's gluten-free cookie wasn't a hit. Giada wanted water.

  4. viewer21 says:

    Damaris should have gone before Chris.
    Rodney should go before Chad.
    Dinki should go before Stacey, but Russell ‘the new guy fieri’ will prolly win this season.

    • Rhonda says:

      We don't need another loudmouth like Fieri. Nikki's cooking would be healthier than salt, chocolate, fat and bourbon.

  5. Viewer22 says:


  6. Guest says:

    Anybody watching FNS Salvation online? If Lovely is allowed to re-enter the competition, I'm done with this show...for good. Chris deserved to win this week...he made a creative dish in which potato chips were the star of his dish as RI asked them to do. Lovely did not. The judging on this show is subjective and inconsistent!

    • BillO says:

      Watching that? My life isn't THAT pathetic yet, lol

      • Rosie says:

        LOL! I want to know what happens on Salvation but I can't bring myself to sit down and watch online.

    • Judy says:

      Did they ever include how Stacey's The Trails restaurant is doing in the Restaurant Impossible website reviews after Robert left? The other reviews were there but not Stacey's.

      • MoHub says:

        When did that happen? I was under the impression that The Trails was one of the few RI success stories.

        Maybe that's why Stacey needs to keep herself in the public eye.

      • Mary says:

        Say what!? When did this happen? I wonder how many people posting in here have any idea of this.

      • Rachel says:

        Her restaurant didn't close..

        • MoHub says:

          Yep. Jennifer J is wrong. I checked, and the restaurant is not only still open, it's very successful and has garnered very good reviews.

          Which reinforces my theory that FN has predesignated Stacey to win FNS, as she represents one of the few Restaurant: Impossible makeovers that has endured after Irvine left. FN wants to promote her as a network success story.

          • Heath Randall says:

            Agree!! You totally pegged it

          • Ted says:

            So much for fairness and everybody having an equal chance to win. Stacey isn't even the best cook. How can they like her on camera with those odd faces she makes?

          • Shannon says:

            If that is the case (and I believe it is) and Stacey wins this competition when she can NOT cook. I will know that FN has lost their mind and they do not care at all about programming.Yes I have dealt with re-run upon re-run of DDD, Chopped, Mystery Diners, RI and others. I have continued to be a faithful viewer. I will not support them if they truly think that the viewers are so ignorant that they would ever support or watch a "cooking" show with someone who can't cook as well as most home cooks, someone with such horrible business acumen that she literally drove her business into the ground.

      • Star Yellen says:

        folks don't know what you're saying. her restaurant is fine and still open. I can't believe all the false information listed on this site.

        Stacy is not a cook, she is the restaurant owner. She had issues b/c she was just not a great book-keeper or knew what food costs are

        She is looking for fame and fortune with FNS and also to promote her "homey" brand.

        Thank YOU very much for not posting bad info.

      • Dee says:

        where ya get your information from? HATERS!
        she doing VERY well! you must of missed the RI 50th episode, one of the most successful in the series!

        • Crouton40 says:

          OK. I took up the challenge. Willing to hear you out.
          The sandiego6 website video would not display/run when I clicked on it. I'm using the Firefox browser and usually never have any trouble with it.
          I did--completely watch bot the youtube video and also the fox5sandiego.
          Stacey came across well in these videos. That's good.
          You put these on here because you say her restaurant is doing VERY well. Yet, when I watch, it says she *has* a restaurant. It tells where it is. It shows her *in* it. But it says almost nothing about how well it's really doing. Stacey herself said: that she had people from Czeckoslyvakia (sp) visit, and she says sales have doubled--and you could say that is doing well. But really, don't you think it would have been much better to have SOME sort of "independent confirmation" other than just her, herself, saying so? I think that's what most viewers are looking for. If i missed something, feel free to correct me.

    • RoH says:

      that was the first thing WE said when that happened. What the heck?? Lovely used potato chips as a friggin' GARNISH and yet she won?? I feel like the FNS Salvation show is rigged. They obviously want Lovely back on the show, so it doesn't matter who goes up against her, she's gonna win.

      • BGirl says:

        The entire FN competitive programs are rigged, one way or another. Lovely isn't all that, by the longest shot. She simply has a better "on camera" manner than her Salvation competitors. They get tongue-tied which is a major deficit. How they ever got on to this show in the first place is beyond me.

  7. shophappy says:

    Food Network really needs a vegetarian/vegan point of view, this is a growing community, I just don't understand why they don't have at least one show with a great chef teaching us delicious plant based recipes. Nikki is the closest thing they've got, my vote goes to her!

    • BillO says:

      Just about every episode of every cooking show includes a vegetable dish. Just make yours bigger :)

  8. Annie says:

    Since when--can only vegans or semi-vegetarians be the ones who know how to teach us about veggies? If a meat on the side person can show us how to cook meat, then a meat lover can also cook great veggies. This whole argument is just too crazy.

    • jalp says:

      For one thing, vegetarians and vegans are a growing part of US cuisine and culture. It would seem intelligent of FN to offer at least one series focusing on one (or both) of these two culinary POVs.

      But such a series should also be able to broaden its appeal to those who eat their vegetables with meat. Consider that vegans -- and, to a lesser extent, vegetarians -- *have* to do more with vegetables, to get more out of vegetables, than meat-lovers do. The techniques for doing so, and the resulting recipes, could surely be the basis for at least one good series on FN. And (IMO, at least) FN should have that series on ASAP.

      • Perry Mason says:

        Sounds like the fix is in for Nikki. If FN has a hidden agenda to fill a niche they think people want, they should openly declare that, and have a competition for just that. Otherwise, all of the other competitors this season have no real honest chance of winning anyway. This would be disingenuous. They can fill niches but the audience should know up-front that that is what FN is after. They should have a commercial that says this year, we at FN are branching out and wanting to offer you a new type of show. We want to offer you veggies, or hawaiian, or whatever it is. But tell the viewers up front. Then get 12 people who all do that and see who does it best. Anything else, is just dragging people along for the ride with no real chance because of a hidden agenda.

      • AdamJBernay says:

        Ummmm... she's neither vegan or vegetarian. And Kosher food is growing fast too, but all the FN Jews apparently think pork and shellfish were required in Torah instead of forbidden...

  9. Taylor says:

    Rodney, there's a reason you're not a professional musician and this is the food network, not the music network. Let's stick to the cooking and you'll do 10x better.

    • Janet Westin says:

      he makes me want to stick that pie in my ear so I would stop the screeching noise coming out of his mouth.

  10. Tyler says:

    As usual, good recap by Justin. Always look forward to it after the show.

    I see the remaining contestants in two groups; the solid, reliable ones (Stacey, Chad, Nikki) and the riskier, but more entertaining ones (Rodney, Russell, Damaris).

    Of the first group, I think Chad still has a really good shot at winning. He's never been seriously considered for elimination and he doesn't have many weaknesses. Stacey is similar to Martita last year. She has the look and polish needed, but might not be unique enough to stand out and win it all. Nikki definitely has a good chance to win if she can string together a couple good performances. She has everything it takes, and I think she just needs to relax and have a little more fun with it to make it come together.

    In the second group, Russell has been a guy I've always liked. I'm a fan of the POV (although similar to Justin's rebel POV) and his personality, but I feel like he isn't the guy the network is going to want in the end. I'd be pleasantly surprised if he makes it, though. Rodney might be my favorite guy to watch on the show, so I don't want to see him go. That said, he hasn't been very strong with his cooking and he's made some big mistakes along the way. I hope he figures out some of the issues because I always get a kick out of him. Damaris has grown on me a lot lately. The issue that I've always had is that I don't see the potential to win. She might be one of the coolest people to meet and hang out with of the group, but translating it to a TV show might be tough. I do prefer her quirkiness to the more polished contestants, however. We'll see how it turns out.

    • James says:

      You said: Rodney might be my favorite guy to watch on the show, so I don't want to see him go. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but yer really in the minority on that one.

      You were too mysterious about Damaris. You never said how or why you think she doesn't have the potential to win. I think she definitely does! Teaching culinary she can offer a wide variety of foods and wouldn't get boring after a month. You also say that translating it to a tv show might be tough, but you said nothing at all about how or why you feel that way. No evidence. I think she has knowledge and personality. I suspect, though, that those who want someone else to win will take anything at all that she does and play it up to the max. Not fair to anyone.

      Russell has grown on me but with people being health conscious I think his 7 sins are going overboard in the wrong way.

      Chad I'm rethinking. It would be good to see what another barbecue guy besides Bobby does with things even though Bobby is a master. But it's Chad's personality. He has done very well in presenting, but I am now seeing a difference between confidence, which he has mostly had and done well at, and a possible stubbornness or lack of teachability with the judges. Too many sweet sauces and needs to branch out in his dishes. A person may be quite confident. Doesn't mean we necessarily like them just because they are. Chad is mostly good but I'm beginning to pause a bit.

      Nikki, yes and no. Good with an audience but lacks authority. Been told that twice. And most anyone else could cook what she cooks.

      I don't know how it will turn out either but I'm voting for variety and staying power.

      • Tyler says:

        I can see why people might not like Rodney. He can be repetitive and he hasn't been all that impressive in his performances. The main thing I like about him is that he does his own thing and just has fun. Not sure he should win, but I like that he has character.

        As for Damaris, it's not that I think she shouldn't win. I just think the network might prefer someone with a more "unique" POV. I don't agree with that, but they've obviously emphasized having a brand, and I think her southern cooking could be seen as too broad or generic. That happened last year to a few people and the ones that survived were the ones who narrowed it down a little more. That was just my thinking. My TV comment was mostly based on the fact that she's been very funny and likeable during the scenes leading up to and after the challenges, but if I didn't see all of the action behind the scenes, I would have a different opinion of her. Some of her best moments were her reactions to someone/something or a certain comment here and there. I just thought it might be hard to recreate that on a scripted show. Hopefully I'm wrong.

        • James says:

          Thanks for saying more. I don't see her as too generic at all. Look at it this way, last year everyone was clammouring (sp) about unique and outside-the-box and we now see it went absolutely nowhere. Why would FN wanna repeat that? Someone who teaches at a culinary school would not be a 1 trick pony, and they would have enough variety that we wouldn't be bored after a month. If I were the network, I'd be less concerned about every newfangled idea that comes down the pike and get something people will still like and eat 5 years from now. But who knows what they're thinking? They are already losing viewers to the Cooking channel.

          • Shannon says:

            James, thanks for saying it. I also feel that too specific of a point of view is a death knoll. I am looking for something a bit broader, such as what Damaris offers. I don't feel her style is generic, actually she strikes me as the opposite. She seems to be a very unique person and I am sure that uniqueness will come across in her food.

          • Crouton40 says:

            I found a TV clip of her on whas11 (some morning TV show) where she made a quinoa salad. Healthy and nutritious. And it got me thinking. I have a feeling Damaris may be able to show us the heartiness and taste of southern cooking without needing 3 whole sticks of butter or 2 giant scoops of sugar in things. The best of both world's. Healthier, yet tasty. With her background, she'd have plenty of variety and wouldn't be like some trendy whatever that gets boring after a month. That could be really good. But they will all need to keep proving themselves til the very end. I hope in these remaining challenges that we see more cooking from everybody.

      • AdamJBernay says:

        I wonder if Damaris could be another Alton Brown, at least in the sense of producing a show that is as much about the history and science of food as it is cooking, and just having fun doing it. If so, I'd be all for her. But based on what I've seen thus far, it's Chad the BBQ Man.

        • Crouton40 says:

          She is knowledgeable but please don't let Food Network force her into becoming a nerd. I, for one, do want a good teacher but not any sort of history and science lesson. I like Alton but no one should should be made into a clone of him. Just let her Cook in her own way. She's wonderful at it.