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

by in Interviews, July 23, 2013

Rodney and Lovely - Food Network Star 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 Food 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.

Lovely JacksonLovely Jackson was the first contestant in Star history to earn the chance to rejoin her fellow finalists in the on-air competition after winning Star Salvation — four intense weeks of challenges that tested basic skills and pushed limits on creativity.

In the end, Lovely's return to the competition proved to be short-lived, as she was sent home after just one more week. "It's my time. There's nothing more I can do here," she explained afterward. "I sent six people home. I did that," she added of her success on Salvation. "So, you know what? I'm OK."

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

You're the first contestant on Food Network Star to ever receive a second chance. What was that feeling like?
LJ: I am truly grateful to receive such an amazing opportunity. I gave everything I had and put my heart in each dish I prepared during each challenge. I can't put into words how I felt when Chef Irvine named me as the winner of Star Salvation. My emotions were all over the place, and all I could do was thank Chef Irvine and cry with tears of joy.

Which elimination was more difficult: the first or the second?
LJ: The second one because I was one step closer, and I fought so hard to get back into the competition.

What's the one "glam ingredient" you can’t live without?
LJ: Champagne

Throughout each round of Salvation, you seemed very confident you'd eventually return to the competition, but was there one challenge in particular that you thought might break you — or was there a competitor you were dreading battling?
LJ: The potato chip round was difficult because we could not use the chips as a coating or crust. It pushed me to be even more creative.

Lovely JacksonIs there something viewers didn't get to see from the Glam Chef?
LJ: Viewers didn't get to see how many ways I can "glam out the kitchen." I couldn't show things like my edible diamonds, edible gold or my Louis Vuitton chocolates.

What did you find more difficult: cooking for Robert on Salvation or cooking for the Selection Committee on Star?
LJ: One wasn't more difficult than the other. Both Chef Irvine and the Star Selection Committee are veterans in this industry and they each have high expectations.

After elimination, you said: "It's my time. There's nothing more I can do here." What's next for you?
LJ: Continue to grow my company, Lovely Eats, and seek other avenues to get my own show. I thank the Star Selection Committee and Chef Irvine for their wisdom, and I thank Food Network for this opportunity. The best is yet to come!

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Comments (90)

  1. Crouton40 says:

    Thing's I'd Rather Not Hear Any Cook Say
    *****************************************
    1. "I cook with--passion!"
    Reply: Good. You should. But so what, who doesn't?
    2. "I put alot o' LOVE in my cookin'"
    Reply: Nice. But again, don't they all?
    3. "I make it healthy"
    Reply: Really. As if everyone else who doesn't say that, is automatically somehow un-healthy. As long as yer not dumping 3 giant scoops of sugar in everything or being deliberately "sinful" like Russell with his Salt, Booze and Fat, etc., there isn't all *that* much difference in the healthiness of the different cooks. Not against healthy but I do want flavor. Sometimes a *little* "sin" is just darn tasty...but we don't have to overdo it.
    4. "I take old dishes and make them modern or jazz them up."
    Reply: That might be good, but--How? What does this mean? How is your version tastier? What was wrong with the original or older version? Doesn't anyone still like it today? No? Why did they ever like it, then?What makes yours better? Maybe it is, but tell us how. Spell it out.
    5. "I take complicated dishes and make them easy."
    Reply: Nice, if you can really do it. But you better be able to teach--clearly and simply.
    That's it for now. I could probably make a longer list if I thought more about it. The Big thing is: it drives me crazy when anyone makes a claim and I--immediately--think: But what on earth does that even mean??
    And so....once again....we are back to what I believe really matters:
    1. Awesome food
    2. Great personality
    3. Clear teaching
    And with that, there are 2 slices o' cooked bacon cooling on a paper towel and waiting for me. Mmmm!

    • A FN Fan says:

      #4. I so agree! That is what I think about the vintage cooking POV. What makes it vintage? If it is an old recipe that is no longer made......then maybe there is a reason.

    • Wayne says:

      That is a great list! Funny AND thoughtful!

      The one that gets me is when someone loses....on any cooking show...(i.e. Chopped), and the loser looks in the camera and says...."You haven't seen the last of me." Unless they go on a different cooking show, it usually is the last we see of them.

      • Shannon says:

        Wayne,very true until this year..now they all wind up on FNS. (smile)

        • Wayne says:

          True Shannon. Which really oughta be against the FN law. It's like show hopping---recycling is definitely in! Go from show to show 'til you win something.

    • Robert Ostrowski says:

      Crouton40 - I couldn't have put it any better than how you said about what really matters. Can you believe I'm a bacon-lover and would be DELIGHTED to do just as you did? Lucky thing Tom Pizzica from a previous NFNS season attempted to take the subject of bacon as a "secret ingredient" to the NTH DEGREE - after watching him try to make a Bacon Steak, I was ready to declare that now's the time for BAC-ovision - my take on Emeril LaGasse's plea for SMELL-ovision years ago!

  2. jjay says:

    Thankfully, not-so-Lovely is gone.such arrogance is similar to Paula Dean. Not enjoyable to watch. On first several shows she didn't really produce edible food.
    She can eat, but not able to cook for others.

  3. ajm says:

    I don't know why anyone watches this show. Food Network - PLEASE bring back the real cooking shows. I learned to be a much better cook by watching those original shows where the chefs actually taught techniques & recipes. Really miss Michael Chiarello, Emeril, Dave Lieberman, Wolfgang Puck.....

  4. JJC says:

    Why do they LOVE Rodney? This isn't America's Got Talent, it's for a cooking show for goodness sake. How many dishes has he had that turned out edible? So, if I watch him at home and make the crap he's telling me too, then have to throw out my food, wasting all my ingredients, they don't care? Just so long as I can say, "hey, what a hoot that guy was". This show has gone right into the dumper.

  5. Darlayna says:

    I will not watch the PIE Guy. He really needs to go. Not every thing needs to be wrapped in dough. I find
    him annoying.

  6. disappointed guest says:

    Please, please, please do not let the country get screwed over another year!!!! This week we lost one of the very few possibilities of a decent FNS. Last year we ended up being stuck with some young puck who can't even cook and his debut is doing a gardening commercial. WOW now that's a star. The year before we got the pleasure of learning some Indian and Artie and she seems to have disappeared. Our other FNS was Jeff who can make a sandwich. A great invention...putting Caesar salad in a wrap. Wonder when he learned that?? I was eating them before "he" created them. Out of the remaining contestants Nikki was one who had something to share with us. Rodney is finally getting it together. Stacy and Rodney have nothing and I mean nothing to give us. Robert had to go and bail Stacy out a year or two ago and now she is going to cook on TV. Rodney is somewhat like last year's winner. He can't cook a darn thing and has not cooked a thing since the show started. Dimaris is an air head who most of the time isn't even sure what she is doing. Please Food Network Gods do not punish us one more time.

  7. ANC says:

    Almost every medical advisor on the air & off is telling the American public that we need to include more vegetables in our diet in order to maintain health. The way the judges praised Nikki's food made me think that she really had something. She seemed pleasant, iintelligent, hardworking and energetic. If you are what you eat, then it seemed to be working for her. I definitely would have watched her show, When I saw Rodney roll out his last pie dough, I thought this is a Pie Man ? The judges apparently love a buffoon. I think the Food Network producers have forgotten why we watch the show. I, for one want to see inspired cooking, people so good at their craft that they make you drool over their dishes. Sure "kitchenside" manner counts but it doesn't mean a thing if you can't cook.

  8. nananan777 says:

    i was hoping the kid that had the food truck would have won but it didnt happen. i have noticed that in the past some of the losers went on to have their own shows on food network anyway!!!!whats with that??i was glad to see them lose, its as if they know someone???
    that bothers me and makes me question the whole show. like its ironic that stacey just happened to qualify as a contestant after being on irvines show? i hope the pie man ends up with a show, he is special, ill watch it. i still watch the sandwich man, jeff is cool and artie is special also. i think paula should be a contestant for the next competition

  9. nananan777 says:

    i think russell is too wierd for food network. i didnt like it when they had the FN show , i thought it was in poor taste

  10. Lucy says:

    Of all the contestants on this show, Niki Dinki was the only one with original ideas that would be worthy of a new Food Network show. There are no vegetarians so she would have been a delightful new face with great ideas for me to watch. The judges definitely blew it when they gave Nikki the boot... Rodney is a trainwreck, the revolution is dead, Staaceys fake and syrupy sweet and I wouldn't watch her for a moment! I want Nikki and so do many others...