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. FoodieGal says:

    They both needed to go home.

    • Debbie says:

      you are absolutely correct! Lovely had no business coming back. Irvine was "had" by her personality. the pieguy is an idiot. no communication skills, disregards instructions,etc. how he's lasted this long is amazing to me.

  2. barbiegal says:

    One is worse than the other.Lovelys food didnt seem bad it was her personality she was too fake and stiff. As for Rodney i dont understand anything he says and he dosnt listen to any directions he does what he wants and its getting him no where. The one who turns my stomach is the one with the black hair and foney smile ( i cant even remember her name) She is oh so fake the candy apple smile and the wide doe eye stare make me want to barff gaet a clue

  3. Lynne says:

    Obviously, I'm in the minority, I think Rodney is a riot and I don't have any trouble understanding him either. He's about the only one I actually would watch with any regularity. I don't know that I would use his recipes, but then, I generally watch the person or to get new ideas, not how to make something specific

    • joyce says:

      You are in the minority! If he could articulate anything, it would be an improvement. Quirky, yes but entertainment, no!

    • Shel says:

      I agree with you Lynne!!! I guess taste in television and what is considered actual entertainment has changed and it shows every time I turn that tube on. Gotta love Rodney for his crazy, down to earth, humble and larger than life personality!

    • Cassandra B says:

      Why does Rodney have that 'duh' look on his face when the judges are talking with him. Makes it worse that he does not seem to care about the judges recommendations.

      Really, Rodney - I would watch him for a NY minute then I would just want to point my eyes out before I start weeping blood.

    • nananan777 says:

      i agree, even if he loses i bet he gets his own show, he is already a food network star. i seem to remember him on the neeleys show, he was great and i think we toured his pie store. we understood him when he wasnt stressed. he is the only interesting person competing. i liked him and i love pie, i would watch his show....................and then there is $10 meals............didnt she lose? whats with that? maybe you can buy your own show?

  4. Teresa says:

    I truly did not get Lovely's point of view. How would you create a show around "glamming up" food? Throwing edible flowers, diamonds, glitter, or gold is not cooking, it's decorating. Rodney is all schtick and just how many ways can you make pies? He's too limited. Russell's sins are boring and couldn't sustain a show.
    Stacey is just an Emily wannabe without the funky style plus she's too slick. This is going to come down to Damaris and Nikki. Both have solid POVs and are very good on camera. I really hope Nikki wins since she has a fresh POV and is very good on camera.

    • MaryAnn says:

      I thought Lovely was fake from the get go from her made up name ~ who names themselves Lovely? To her idea of glamming up food. Does anyone know someone that is a home cook that uses edible diamonds and gold flake? I sure don't and with everyone cutting back due to the economy and gas prices, who has money to add things like that to their food?

      I think Nikki is the ONLY one I'd watch as Demaris tries to pull the sweet, southern bell card out too often. Just be normal, don't put on an act.

      • a student says:

        That's funny, I don't see Damaris acting overly sugary or too sweet.

        I think she has leadership in the kitchen, is down to earth, and she was impressive and professional as a judge. Could Nikki or Stacey have spoken with as much authority? If you think she's phony, you have a right to your opinion like all of us, but what is she doing to give you that impression? How is she doing it? I think there's alot to like about her.

        • Shelley says:

          I thought it was funny that time when she talked to her peaches. I got a kick out of her.

  5. Lois says:

    I enjoy Sunday nights and watching the next foodnetwork star. But this year I've been disappointed with the language.

    • Robert Ostrowski says:

      Lois - I, too, am disappolinted with the language of this year - ESPECIALLY with RODNEY! Rodney is not getting my vote for him as the NFNS at this point, because he doesn't have the ability to connect with the viewing public in a way that can make him UNDERSTANDABLE. i am losing all faith in him right now. As for Russell, I'm sorry but he is flip-flopping between one POV vs another. I believe that Nikki or Demaris will emerge as the top choice with Stacey close behind.

  6. Billie Williams says:

    Lovely would make a good foodnetwork star

  7. Kathleen says:

    There isn't anybody on this season that I find worthy of watching. I used to be glued to the set when NFNS came on on Sunday nights, now I watch the show on Hulu after the fact. Bring back Michael Chiarello, Dave Lieberman, The Neely's, Ingrid Hoffman, and Emeril. They were entertaining and informative. I hardly ever watch Food Network anymore, just Giada & Ina.

    • Tucker says:

      The Neely's.......really? Maybe one or the other solo but together??? Great....if you need to vomit!

    • Disappointed Guest says:

      I was with you til you got to the Neely's. The Food Network is no place to be one step short of having sex on TV. They do not cook anything worth eating and they make me feel dirty watching them or even listening to them. And they were Paula Deen's friends???

      • nananan777 says:

        thats right paula sons found the neeleys and made them rich and famous. mrs neeley got on my nerves always trying to be kinky but i did watch every show, i make grandma jeans potato salad all the time. i bet the whole family got richer everytime they were on the show, but they had a great bbq place to start with, thats what got them on tv.

    • nananan777 says:

      i loved ingrids shows, i would love to see her back for another season. i wonder if paulas shows will be removed? they need another channel to hold them all. i miss the old shows even though i have them memorized. theres probably a poll somewhere that reflects which show is most watched and makes the most $$$

  8. Heather says:

    Neither should win! Rodney has glimmers of being entertaining, but mostly, he gets on my nerves. Lovely couldn't have been more fake if she tried. She can probably cook, but I can't believe she "won" during the potato chip challenge on Star Salvation - she crushed them and put them under the main dish! At least the other guy transformed them into something different. When Robert Irvine said his soup was "too salty," I thought I was going to throw my shoe through the TV - they are potato chips, for goodness sake! It comes down to who would I watch...only person is Damaris.

    • Da Godfather says:

      She has much to offer to the network and the viewers. She would still be relevant two years from now, and longer.

    • nananan777 says:

      i agree, i wished the food truck guy would have come back, he should have washed the chips first

  9. Kat says:

    To answer the question as to whether it was time for Lovely to go home: Yes. Hell yes even. She shouldn't have come back in the first place (I was hoping for Chris or Chad). I agree that she comes across as fake - a thin veneer of "style" with no substance beneath. And every time she said "Party on a plate" it made me grind my teeth. Any of the other contestants, I would consider watching at least one episode of a show (even Rodney), but I would never watch a Lovely Show, she just gets under my skin.

    • Leese says:

      Kat, I agree with you. All of Lovely's dishes were below par as far as I was concerned. I think some of the other dishes were much better. I did not want to belief that this show would be fixed like the FNS, but it looks like Irvine only had Lovely in mind no matter how bad her dishes, like the potato chip dish. I probably could have done better. Very disappointed in Robert Irvine. Looks to me like he was told who should win the comeback challenge. None of these folks should have been on the challenge except for Viet. He knows how to cook, but not how to speak.

  10. Wayne says:

    Umm...Connie....I was wondering why you couldn't believe the doctor's name was sincerely his....I think it was...Dr. Kute....Namesake-wise, I thought you and he made a Lovely pair.....