Tell a Story and Throw Some Rims on It — Justin’s Rebel Recap

by in Recap, July 15, 2013

Justin's Rebel Recap Episode 7With half of the hopefuls left, the crew returns to the Food Star Kitchen and sees Bobby Flay in chef whites, cranking out what looks like the best food I've seen on Food Network Star all season. I guess that's why he’s Bobby Flay and the other six people in the room aren't — yet.

Wonderful, incredible, delicious, sexy: These words don't provide any actual description of what's going on in one's mouth. I adore this challenge.

  • Rodney, the recovering rocker, has made it quite clear to us that he speaks in the parlance of his former profession. It's not a bad thing, necessarily, but the actual taste of a "boss," a "killer" or "dynamite" isn't very appealing. Poor Rodney got the cartoon music played on him. That happened to me on 24 Hour Restaurant Battle when I compared pancakes to modernist sculpture. I deserved it.

  • Our friendly neighborhood barbecue guy, Chad, came up short when hitting up his word bank.
  • Stacey was able to create a mental image of someone who cooks with painstaking care, authenticity and an unending desire to serve. Mo Rocca would be so proud.
  • Once again, Damaris reels herself in too far and spiels the dish like my doctor does when she lists off all of the maladies that affect a bon vivant like me.

Russell Jackson - Food Network Star

  • Speaking of clinical conditions, Russell flatlined. Maybe one too many culinary sins were clogging the arteries to his brain.

I couldn't believe that half of the competition has been canned and only two of the remaining six could deliver a palatable presentation. Stacey's story Cryovac-ed the deal just like it did when she made her son in to a potato ball in Episode 1, and I think it's clear as corn syrup that she's mastered communicating to the camera.

Star Challenge

The hopefuls are to cook a dish that will be bid on by the Gastronauts. Google them. I've dealt with them, and they live life like the judges on Iron Chef every day.

  • Green bean casserole doesn't even register on my "really fascinating" radar, but Damaris made me feel like it was OK for me to like green bean casserole even though I'm supposed to be in to rebellious cuisine.
  • Nikki has squashed her insecurities. She's no longer apologetic about her veggie-centric POV, and in this challenge, she hawked her wild mushroom pasta as though she already had the gig as the girl who goes gaga for greens.

I have to ask this question: Has anyone ever made french fries with any success on Food Network Star?

  • The ever-likable Chad made a barbecue brisket version of poutine, which I thought was the most inventive of all of the dishes presented. Unfortunately, when Chad got up to sell, his speech was saddled with "ums" and littered with meaningless catch phrases, including "explode in your mouth." Unless the dish contains pastry rocks or a pyrotechnician, nothing should be exploding in anyone's mouth.
  • In addition to Russell's curious case of multiple-POV-disorder, the vigor and conviction in Russell that was so present last week had withered. I felt like I was watching someone on C-SPAN attempt a filibuster by reading from Food Lover's Companion. Also: pureed bread.

Stacey - Food Network Star

  • Over in the vintage kitchen, Stacey's made her Maple Bacon Cheesecake sound like it was a baconized Hope Diamond.
  • Rodney was pure shtick. I like the guy, I really do, but being an entertainer doesn't mean you have to put on a show; it merely means you have to be a generally entertaining person, which he is already. Apparently, though, his pie was no laughing matter and was the dish most liked by the judges.

Cue the Scary Music

Damaris - Food Network Star Season 9Stacey is clearly the captain of this week's safety patrol, with Nikki serving as first lieutenant. Damaris showed tremendous growth from the first to the second challenge. Rodney fell off — hard, but his pie was a giant berry-laden safety net.

As there must always be two before there is only one, we are left with Russell and Chad. Russell's split-personality POV and weirdo liquefied bread sauce were the sins of his former performances revisiting him. Chad has been constantly constant, and the judges fear he has plateaued. There's been no "a-ha" moment like Russell had last week. What I fear has been happening is that the judges can't see Chad as anyone more than the "friendly barbecue guy."

In what I'm sure will be one of the most hotly debated eliminations of this season, Chad was sent home.

Chad - Food Network Star Season 9The moral of the story: Communication is key.

Being the a Food Network Star comes with responsibilities. We are ambassadors of the culture of epicureans: We must enthusiastically articulate what's so special about a life driven by the appreciation of food, cooking and hospitality. We must communicate in a way that entertains, enriches and educates the people who are paying not with their wallets, but with the most precious currency: their attention.

Also, really, most of the mistakes I've made in my life were over a failure to communicate. Ask my girlfriend.

Threat of the week: Stacey. As we move closer to the end, I foresee an intense pressure being put on with on-camera presence and POV. She's got no problem staring down that box of glass and metal. Her POV isn't complicated, either: Tell a story from the past to find inspiration, and throw some rims on it.

Similar Posts

Ask Yourself These 10 Questions Before You Vote — Justin’s Rebel Recap

Congratulations, Star fans! You've waited 10 weeks for this moment. Indeed the power to transform the life of a formerly ordinary cook into a bona fid...

Comments (362)

  1. Rosie says:

    Here's my two cents:
    I think it's Stacey's to lose at this point. I think she's the most camera ready. I actually like her but I'm not sure what her food style would be. In earlier comments, someone compared her to Ellie Krieger and I have had that same thought myself.
    I like Nikki's POV and she's probably the person I'd be most likely to watch. I just don't care for Damaris's personality but I think her recipes would probably be good. I find Pioneer Woman annoying but I still check out her recipes and I think Damaris would fall in that category for me.
    Chad should have been in the final four. To oust him before Russell and Rodney makes no sense to me. I guess I'm just not hip enough to get either of them.
    I know a lot of people are dissatisfied with this season but I still prefer this crew to last season's. I thought last season was horrible and I almost swore off the show because of them.

    • Heather says:

      Right from the start, you make it sound as if as long as anyone is good on camera, it trumps everything! It's a necessary piece of the puzzle but someone can be smooth and not be very competent in cooking.
      Damaris is fun. I think she's down to earth. You say you don't like her personality but you don't say what you don't like about it. You also say you find the Pioneer Woman annoying, but what does that mean? It's as bad as the cooks using words like delicious or awesome that don't tell us anything.

      Nikki is good but she scampers around like a little girl sometimes and doesn't have as much authority as the judges want.

  2. paulad says:

    Chad has now joined the contestants in the Sakvation rounds. Hopefully he has what it takes to beat out the (not so) Lovely to return to the battle. It should not be that hard for her final dish she fried goat cheese and added it dripping hot to a cold salad. YUMMY ? This has been the worst season ever. P.S. Lovely now wears very large eyewear to highlight her new POV the smart party chef... ha ha

  3. Crouton40 says:

    Next Sunday, another cook will be eliminated. I thought I saw a commercial where Giada says: this time, the decision was *not* unanimous.
    QUESTION: How do you feel about sending anyone home when the judges aren't unanimous in their decision? Do you think this has any sort of ripple-effect or fallout for another remaining chef, later? If one judge was outvoted by the other two, do you think they'd shoot down someone the other two liked, later?...or, no, not at all..?...Ho do you feel about it? Should there be a rule that it's always a unanimous decision? Would you be concerned that an innocent chef may be sabotaged later? Or do you think that's far-fetched? I read a review earlier tonight where someone predicted a 3 -way final showdown between Stacey, Russel and Rodney. (Their opinion, not mine).
    I'm leaning toward "Unanimous is always a better idea", (probably should be required), but I'm open. You?

    • Cindi says:

      I agree with the "ideal" .... but if we have to wait for a unanimous decision....we'll be scratching our noses for weeks!

  4. Catmama says:

    Personally I think Rachael Ray is one of the most annoying, with Sandra Lee in a close second. Both have remained on the air for a long time.

    I am not enamored with anyone so far. Too bad Viet went home. Too bad he had difficulty with his on camera challenges. I do like Nicki's POV.

    • MoHub says:

      I'd say Rachael's only edge over Sandra is that she actually cooks, but that's pretty much where it ends.

      I've been watching UK Masterchef: The Professionals—a far cry from the Fox bastardization—and they had finished airing the competitions, so they presented an hour-long cooking demo by Michel Roux, Jr. It was refreshing to get real instruction and demos with no drama, posturing, or gimmickry.

      • Myra says:

        UK Masterchefs - Professionals was excellent, no nastiness, just good constructive criticism if necessary, but mostly just positive remarks. SO REFRESHING!! Why does American TV encourage negativity and drama?

        • MoHub says:

          Maybe not all American TV, but certainly Fox. Fox has built itself on a foundation of catering to the lowest common denominator. In fact, most Fox viewers aren't even aware that the Gordon Ramsay they see is not the guy you see on UK TV, whom I like very much.

    • guest says:

      Annoying. There's that word again and no one ever says how anyone is annoying. It's an easy thing to throw around at people.

    • Asdfghjkl says:

      I don't think annoying is the right word, because I really liked Rachel Ray at the beginning, I think a better description is that she brings nothing new to the table, humdrum, flat, almost to he edge of boring. She is likeable, and I do occassionally still watch her, but I don't care too much if I miss her show. Sandra Lee is A BORE! Snooze fest!

  5. Crouton40 says:

    You said: "It was refreshing to get real instruction and demos with no drama, posturing, or gimmickry."
    Hear! hear! I second that.
    Who might do the best job of that with our current crop of FNS contenders? They can still be engaging and interesting just fine without gimmicks. Hopefully the network will agree.

    • Crouton40 says:

      Should have been under MoHub's reply to Catmama. Eyes must be playing tricks on me...

    • Myra says:

      With the current contenders? None, well, perhaps Damaris, they should let her be herself, I liked her sense of humor and personality and they crushed it. Viet would definitely fit the bill. If they are smart, they will listen to us and also give Viet a show. Look at how he blew the numbers out of the water on the poll asking who was sent home too soon! Shows for Damaris and Viet.

  6. A Foodie says:

    I was hoping that an Asian chef would be selected as the next Food Network Star. The Asian restaurants serving Pho, Dim Sum, Korean, and Japanese dishes are packing in the hungry crowds, but yet Food Network seems to be out of step. Like diamondfan57, I've watched the Food Network competitions yet haven't taken the time to check out the newest "star" programs. After watching the last few episodes of the current FNS, the cameraman seems to focus his camera on certain women. From the expressions on the judges' face, they seem to prefer certain contestants, too.

  7. Cindi says:

    OK.......... Just for kicks...................I watched the most recent episode...again...TWICE!!!!! Someone was talking about the "raves' for Stacey....the rave was for the crust & any idiot cab make a crust! The "judges" seem to be wrapping the show in a ribbon for Stacey......and this is show # 4 that I WILL NOT WATCH!!!!!

  8. Joanne Baltimore says:

    Love love love Rodney (Chad too) but Love love Rodney

  9. viewer21 says:

    I think it’s ironic some of the comments being made about the contestants, from the judges or so-called mentors, about not being too sexy to Damaris or about not being a one-trick pony to the pie-man … I mean, seriously? Coming from GDL who uses her low-cut tops to make her culinary points of view (pun intended) or AB trying to be the mad scientist in the [kitchen] lab … or BF always near a grill. Who are these ppl trying to kid?
    They are one-trick personalities. GDL is always chopping an onion and adding some mascarpone cheese to anything she cooks … for crying out loud.

  10. BillO says:

    I wonder if the PTB are noticing how many viewers aren't big fans of their darling Giada