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. WatchingFromFl says:

    I have watched The Next Food Network Star for the past 5 seasons and this is by far the worst. In my opinion, none of the contestants have the personality or ability to have their own show and whoever does win, I won't be watching. About 75% of my TV viewing is Food Network. I don't know where this this years group from, but they are a sad group.

    • AdamJBernay says:

      I agree that this is the worst season I've seen. A couple of these people have potential, if only they were really being MENTORED.

  2. Jan says:

    James, I like your reply to Tyler. You should have put it out here where people can see it.

  3. Tunamonger says:

    Whatever happened to Eggpants?

  4. Melissa says:

    Trying to picture Russell, Rodney and Chad each wearing an office shirt and a tie. Or even looking like Bobby's picture, above. I can't.

    • Ramon Sanchez says:

      Bobby looks a bit pain and under the weather during the last 2 shows. not sure if it's just lighting or he's not well.

      Save Bobby

  5. Karen in So Cal says:

    I don't really see how much longer Food Network can get away with having this competition. As we've seen with Justin, winning Next Food Network Star doesn't necessarily mean you're going to have any kind of a presence, much less get a show in a time slot where people are watching! All we ever see are competitions and stuff-food-in-your-face (Guy Fieri). Let's get back to shows where the food is the star and we can actually learn something.
    IMO, Damaris is the best of this group.

    • Crouton40 says:

      I'd like to see more focus on cooking. I've watched Chopped, and Iron Chef and DDD. I've even enjoyed them. But FN, much as I like it, has just gotten ssooo into competition-mania that I now find myself almost UTTERLY burned out. It's gotten to the point where, if it's after 5pm, I almost don't watch it at all. I either flick over to the cooking channel or watch something else altogether. It's just too much.

      Even shows I used to like, I don't like enough to watch anymore. Again, Overload. Saturation. Thinking back on it, I liked Rachel Ray's 40 Dollars a Day -better- than I like DDD. It was better food than just an endless supply if triple-patty burgers with too much gooey cheese and sauce or some mega-platter of noodles or whatever that is stacked high enough for 3 people to take home.

      I want someone who can show me more than how to make bacon & eggs and yet show me that making things with 6 to 10 ingredients (or simpler) was easier than I thought. I want variety of dishes. I want it delicious! Even Guy was better on Guy's Big Bite than on DDD. It used to be more about Cooking!

    • Callie Carver says:

      I wish they didn't run days upon days of reruns of DDD. I would like to see the Neelys, Tyler Florence, Nadia G, Anne B, Debbie Mazer and her Italian husband, and Michael Symon a little more during prime time. Bring some of those shows you have hidden on odd hours over on the Cooking Chanel and put them on the Food Network

      • Mike Stevens says:

        Seriously agree with you. . . sad that all these chefs had been moved to the Cooking Channel - which I do not get from my local cable company. I would love for FN to get back to preparing foods that I would want to try making at home.

      • Crouton40 says:

        Good Point. There are quite a few great shows that are almost hidden. I'm sitting here brainstorming. Let's try this: start at 5:30pm. DO include 1 episode of chopped and 1 of DDD...and add some others..maybe like this..but you get the idea:
        5:30---Tyler Florence
        6:00---the Neely's
        6:30---DDD
        7:00---Ree Drummond
        7:30---Chopped
        8:00---Nigella, or Debbie Mazer
        8:30---Bobby;s Barbecue or throwdown
        9:00---FN Star winner!
        9:30---Alton doing anything
        10:00-more variety
        Isn't anything like this MUCH better than all the re-runs??
        You STILL get chopped and DDD and the audience gets far better variety of cooking styles! isn't this better for ratings? for demographics? for different regions of the USA? Why on earth aren't they already doing this?? Variety!--and a happier audience--makes for better ratings.

        • jalp says:

          Maybe FN feels it's easier to draw an audience for a show to a regular night of the week -- and they're hoping or expecting that audience to tolerate the overload. (Not saying I agree with this . . . just guessing about why things are as they are.)

          • Crouton40 says:

            OK. It's possible. (And this is in no way any sort of attack on you...I am just offering this idea)...I would think if the network really cares about ratings, they would wanna connect with their audience or at least get audience feedback. And reading this Blog, would be an excellent way for them do that, as we watch "star" and other shows. We are "informed and engaged." That said, and the fact that what people *are* saying/posting is that they tired of all the re-runs and overload (some are already tuning out and switching over to the cooking channel, because at least there, it's "more about the cooking")...you would think if they *are* aware of this feedback, and don't want to lose viewers, that they would get with it and *not* continue with all these re-runs. To continue to do so makes one think they are out-of-touch and/or simply ignoring the people who really watch, who are starting to leave. There was a guy by the name of "Wayne" on here before who said something like" for every 10 (viewers?) that leave, the network gets 30 new ones. How he can possibly prove this is beyond me. He never offered any proof. He just said so. Oh well, they will do what they will do...but how many more people complaining (and they are) will it take?

          • jalp says:

            No attack taken, Crouton40. Actually, I like your draft schedule and I tend to agree with you in general about what FN would be wise to do. Of course, the PTB may think other-wise. . . . :D They may even have some kind of marketing data convincing them of that -- FWIW, which to us is not much. . . .

        • Callie Carver says:

          Don't for Anne Burrell's "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef", and there was a show on before that I can't remember the name but it was Aaron Sanchez and another chef on this team, and then there was a local team in that city, and they would have to race around doing tasks trying to get to the finish line. I found those different tasks very interesting, and wonder why it it never on any longer. I also liked Extreme Chef, and with that was on and would engage more chefs in a cooking boot-camp type contest. (That is where I first saw Viet and was impressed with him on that show.) Also once a chef makes the level of IRON CHEF, they should replace them on chopped and give other chefs a chance to be the judge.

          • Lynn says:

            I always switch the channel when Anne Burrell comes on. She belongs on a boot-camp show where she can keep on telling people yer givin' me a heart attack or yer makin' me nervous! It's what she does. Too much attitude.

      • Bernard says:

        PREACH it, baby!!!

  6. dr.smoochum says:

    Is it me or am the only fan of pie guy around here lol

  7. bobbrowntown says:

    I am a big food network fan, but I get a sense that this one is off, and maybe some people agree with me. The Paula Deen shadow is all over this show. I know they are shot in advance and that they are somewhat scripted but compared to the competition where the mentors seemed to be involved and the executives seemed to be fully involved. This series seems to be off. Did they have to reshoot a show or rewrite a show because of the Deen mess? I'm not an insider so I don't know, but I do feel a shadow on the whole thing.

    The second thing I noticed was that the first five eliminated so far were

    Peruvian-??
    Cuban American
    Russian -??
    African American
    Vietnamese American

    All of the 'ethnic foods/personalities' which I enjoy seemed to be eliminated, leaving

    American barbque
    American pie
    American vegetables
    American Bourbon
    American truck
    Russell
    Stacey, mom

    The second optic that came out of the last episode was the three corporate types. How did they select three middle age, attractive white women to be the three corporate reps? The brands represented Kraft, Target, and Kellogs. Three mainstream products who would not touch any of the offerings presented by the 'stars' without soaking them in sugar, salt and fat. I know these are serious Food Network advertisers, but how about Whole Foods, Goya and Kashi? I watch Food Network because I don't want to eat mainstream middle of the road bland food that these brands offer. I don't want my Food network stars to be bland either.

    • Molly says:

      You sound like you may be playing the race card and belong to the tofu, eggplant and kashi crowd. Just because something is American doesn't make it middle of the road or bland.

      • jalp says:

        But it may make that thing already well-represented on FN, or perhaps even over-represented.

        Perhaps we need a series featuring a different cuisine each week? Call it "The Melting Pot"?

        • BillO says:

          I believe they have a series on Cooking Channel with Michael Symon and another guy doing Eastern European food called the Melting Pot

          • MoHub says:

            Aarti has a travelog-type show on Cooking Channel in which she explores a food concept—such as "comfort food"—as it's viewed around the world. No actual cooking, though, so we could still use a demo show.

          • jalp says:

            My thanks to both BillO and MoHub for the news. These two tidbits sound at least like a start -- a nice bit of diversity. Too bad for me they're both on Cooking Channel, since our cable company only includes that with the most expensive top-end options. . . .

    • Mike says:

      Somehow, I don't think you would move to Vietnam or Cuba and tell them they are too mainstream and need to diversify and embrace American culture.

      • jalp says:

        If I were commenting about FN/Vietnam or FN/Cuba, and there were lots of shows about home-country cooking already but nothing about a new trend of (say) New Orleans cuisine in restaurants and/or home cooking, I might well encourage that network to try a show about US cooking. Why not?

        But above and beyond that, the US prides itself (or at least it has in the past) on being a place where people from many other countries and cultures have come to live. And they have brought their food cultures and cuisines with them, and those cultures and cuisines have become a part of US. So, seriously now -- what true food-lover wouldn't want to know about all that?

        • Crouton40 says:

          Jalp, that's a valid point. And yet foodnetwork keeps sending people home from other countries.

          Last year, Ippy, could have shown us who knows how many interesting things we never thought of?..or Linkie, from South Africa....and this yer Danielle could have given us new things, too, however her accent and nervousness were too much. True, they may have not been "star material", but--if FN really wants a show with foreign foods, there *must* be a good star-worthy representative out there, somewhere.

    • Janice Ward says:

      Paula Deen has sold her soul. Let it go and move on.

      Have a blessed day

      • Callie Carver says:

        Paula Deen DID NOT sell her soul, it was a character assignation. Can you truthfully say you have not done or said something in your past that you wish you could take back or were embarrassed about? Even the woman suing her said she had not used that word in her presence. The woman suing her had the problem with Paula's brother, and because Paula did not take care of the situation, and she was the one with the deep pockets, that is why she named her in the law suit. Paula was honest and when asked if she ever used that word in the past she said yes. It happened after she was robbed years ago.

        Sorry if you are a saint Ms Ward, but after being robbed at knife point I am sure some nasty words would come out of your mouth too.

        As this saying is said over and over "He who is without sin, cast the first stone", I do believe not one person can throw that stone. Leave Paula alone. I do hope she has the chance to resurrect her brand, and believe that many of these companies jumped ship too soon.

        • Janice Ward says:

          Again - Move On. Paula does not need or care for your support.

          Read the transcripts . . . it's not able what she said but the on-going issues she has with her restaurant and the people that she has working for and with her.

          MOVE ON

          • MoHub says:

            And there's also the whole issue surrounding her diabetes diagnosis: hiding it for 3 years while continuing to promote the kind of cooking that is a factor in type 2 diabetes until she got the deal with Novo Nordisk to promote its diabetes medication. And many people were unhappy about her ties with Smithfield, which has a reputation for treating both its employees and livestock less than humanely.

            In other words, the most recent revelations are the culmination of Deen's downslide from credibility.

          • Mary Kay says:

            Wow - I didn't realize. Great info.

            Interesting facts from this blog - how wonderful

          • BGirl says:

            She pushed the food that made her sick. If grown adults couldn't understand that her butter laden meals weren't healthy, then that's their problem as well. I'm no Paula fan. However, this recent kerfuffle with "racial slurs" occurred in the past. Per usual, FN behaved in a knee jerk reaction to it. What a bunch of wusses. Have they no loyalty to the woman who was a back bone to their line-up? The "powers-that-be" are spineless and vanilla.

        • Shannon says:

          The reason that "everyone jumped ship" as you called it is because FN branding was all tied in with her contracts by the way.

        • Lavonia Smyth says:

          So Callie dear - what's your sin. Please remember as you do unto others. Replying aggressively and with conviction is very valid for things you may be passion about. . . but what are you really passionate about. I don't think it is about Ms Deen's cooking, her show, or her books.

          I'm not really sure why you replied when there is no point to your argument. Unless you are saying that we should tolerate these attitudes and actions even though you know it's wrong and horrible.

          Please clearly state your point.

          • Callie Carver says:

            It's all a mob mentality, one person goes after her, so all the companies dump her. And as far as medical, it's personal. That's why there is HIPAA laws. To keep medial information confidential. She was under no obligation to anyone but herself to who she told PERSONAL medical information. I am sure athletes, celebrities and politicians keep their illness quiet until the last moment. I am most sure they do not run and tell their fan base before they can deal with it in their own lives. She was under no obligation to tell her fans or even her boss, that is why there are HIPAA laws.
            And the word that she spoke to someone that help her at knife point was 30 years ago. Why is the media and the public not condemning Alec Baldwin with his constant verbal abuse of women, and his recent homophobic slurs? Double standards are so obvious that some are given a pass while others get character assassinations.
            And Ms. Smyth my personal life is just that...personal. Ms. Ward said Paula Deen Sold her soul, and I replied to that, and nothing else.

          • Mr Dictionary says:

            Freedom = the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint:
            Honesty=the quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness.
            Grace=elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action
            Fairness=the state, condition, or quality of being fair, or free from bias or injustice; evenhandedness
            Compassion = a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
            Tolerance=a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one's own.

            Y'all can learn from a few words

        • Alysoun says:

          "because Paula did not take care of the situation"

          Precisely. She allowed intolerable conditions to continue.

    • NoMoreConnie says:

      That is why I think it highly important that they come out with a timeline of when the salvation show came into being. When is the winner going to be reintroduced, or when was the winner reintroduced. IF it was already done before the Paula Deen thing went crazy, then ok, let it be over. BUT if it started AFTER the Deen problem came about, then it is a poor attempt to save face, a very poor attempt.

  8. Crouton40 says:

    Slow night? Not much goin' on online?
    How about a lil' comic-relief til things pick up?
    Iggy, a Cat, investigates an iPad. Enjoy.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9NP-AeKX40

  9. CarrieAnn says:

    I agree Justin . Russell and I have followed in our own footsteps and have become twitter friends . I'm hoping if he wins , it will help food network see that they need unconventional chefs like you and Russell on the air . I myself like rich un healthy food sometimes , along with veggies of course ; that's how I stay balanced .
    Thanks again . By the way , Europe was great ! Ill send / post pictures and video soon . At our Paris lunch we had. Duck and far grois terrine that reminded me soo much of you . :)
    Carrie

  10. Mamakate says:

    Hmmm . . . Stacey. I am reading the other's comments and am wondering if you are still my number one pick. I believe you had the best stage presence until this week. Get your stuff together lady. I want a WORKING MOTHER to win this!

    • Carla says:

      And this matters one iota because ? Does it automatically make her a good cook? Lisa was her cook at The Trails restaurant.