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. Tucker says:

    Now that Ms. artificial "Sweet n Low" is gone for the second time, can we please get rid of the "educationally" challenged pie man. Newborns have a higher IQ than this fat slob.

  2. Wayne says:

    Food Network:
    Things I like about your changes this season are:

    1). Giada, Alton & Bobby sharing mentoring & choosing whom to eliminate together. (Even if I dont always agree with whom they eliminate, I personally think they do a much better job than Bob n Susie. I found Bob a bit boring, monotonous, and Susie could sometimes be kinda mean...tellin that guy last year he was a bs artist or whatever she said.. was rude & unbecoming).
    2) Less focus on storytelling this season
    3) Rare appearances of Bob & Susie.
    4) Less team/group challenges that enable the true loser to remain.

    Things I dont like thus far about this season ( & maybe other seasons)
    1) Your salvation series....
    2) Any group challenge. Compete individually just as you'd win individually.
    3) Your polls. We all know they dont really work nor represent our choice.
    4) And hopefully you wont lean on facebook alone to choose your winner again. I wanted Justin to win last season, however i thought it was unfair to ignore the many bloggers that you have here, and make the facebookers the ultimate judges.

    And last but not least... give the winner a weekly series and remove some of your other repeated series that have been on forever. You're calling this series the next food network star, however, we dont get to see the winner except for the early winners. And those we see all the time. Too frequently.

    • Crouton40 says:

      I agree! I mentioned about three-quarters of this last season. Nice to see someone else who feels the same way.

      • Wayne says:

        Yeah Crouton. Now that's a strategy. Each year, a different one of us will share the same stuff with them....and just year, they'll take notice and incorporate some of our requests. Personally, I applaud the changes they have made...I think they do listen to us...after all...they do want our viewership...they're not trying to torture us...but like Abe said...can't please all the people all the time. Keeping it in perspective, it's just a show for entertainment...and I appreciate the show being on the air whether i like everything they do or not cos aint much left to watch...and to think we have to pay for the tv that we have when most of it is trash leaving us with only a handful of stuff to watch.

        We can never reiterate our likes and dislikes too much and when done constructively, they might just enact some of them...and if they don't, we can always stop watching.

        • Crouton40 says:

          I do think they are listening and reading. I am thankful for that. Last year, I talked about the pitch room and no more teams (along with alot of other folks) and whattaya know? This year, No pitch room and no teams. I consider those to be positive improvements!

          Some folks like teams as they seem to feel that would get the cooks better mentoring but I disagree. First, there is no reason at all that Bobby, Giada, and Alton cant coach/advise ALL the cooks as they go along anyway. I believe they are! Even if they aren't showing us that much of it.
          There is also a problem with team-mentoring: It leaves the door open to any chef who loses to say: "But I woulda done much better and maybe would have won if I coulda just had _____________ as a mentor instead of who I had. So, better to do it where "everyone-competes-against-everyone" like this year and they get feedback from all the judges. Besides, there isn't *that* much more to tell anyone on top of what they get at the end of challenge-evaluations, anyway.

          It is far better this year to NOT have anyone get "kept" just because their TEAM did good. The "Salvation" thing pretty-much filled that role this year and was a big waste of time--but again, if they are reading what we all write, maybe they leave it out next year. I'm counting my blessings and things are, overall, better this time. I think the main frustration this time around is, they were TOO quick to eliminate anyone who wasn't Immediately very good on camera....i.e...i think most viewers agree that Viet and Chris were better than Lovely or Rodney. Still, I'm thankful for the improvements over last year. Kudos to Bob T., Susie F., Bobby, Giada and Alton.
          PS--like the list you made, too.

          • Shannon says:

            Crouton, you mentioned doing away with safety just because of teams doing a good job. I agree. That's a bogus reason to be safe. I am glad that they did away with the over all team theme this year. I want to take it a step further, while I like team challenges and they are interesting to see how folks collaborate, I don't think you should be safe just because your team wins a challenge. Just as an example, Stacey was the worst this week. I have to say she was even more horrid than Lovely. Stacey knew she deserved to be gone , it was pretty evident in her emotional melt down. Let's take away the safety nets...let them get eliminated if they deserve to be eliminated regardless if they are on the winning team in a challenge.

          • Crouton40 says:

            Yes! Everyone should make it on their own merits.

            The ONLY caution I would add here (and I know you didn't mean it that way, either) would be: Let's say, someone had 6 very positive and quality challenges. Nice speaking. Great cooking. Doing MUCH better than several other cooks. Suddenly they have one bad night--BUT--others have been on the bottom twice already (or more) and have had several worse dishes. I would not want the judges sending someone home if eight-tenths of everything else they've done up to that point has beat 2 or 3 other cooks who have been hit-n-miss or nowhere near as consistent. That person may be on the bottom 3 for that night, but I wouldn't feel deserves to be sent home with so much other positive good.

          • Shannon says:

            Crouton, Oh, I should remain cumulative. I think that is why you and I agree that in the 1st few episodes no one should go home, scores should be reviewed and then a few episodes in send home a few with the weakest abilities.

  3. Gregg Nelsen says:

    Rodney will be the next one eliminated....he needs to enroll in a communications class. The best cook (Veit) has been eliminated...his problem is not knowing what to say to the audience.

  4. liviya says:

    I truly do not get what the judges see in Rodney, Russell, or Stacy. Get rid of them all. Stacy is fake and way too uptight. Russell is slow, boring, and arrogant. And Rodney doesn't care one iota about food. All he wants to talk about is his music gigs. HELLO! It's FOOD network star. I want to watch things related to food. I'd be happy with either Demaris or Nikki. And isn't there a void in the Southern Comfort Food department right now? Fill it up with Demaris. :)

    • Tammy says:

      Damaris is fun. If there is anyone who could fill Paula's void, she could do the best job. She also knows pastry.

  5. Ruby Guppy says:

    Rodney should have gone home long time ago. He can't cook and he cannot speak English , It's difficult to understand what he is trying to say, how can he host his own shew, he would need an interpreter . Go home Rodney, and learn to speak engilsh.

  6. GoodbyeConnie says:

    Connie's POV was a joke fom the start. Rodney is too "funny" to be taken seriously regarding cooking, Russell is interesting at times but not that much. Stacey, still don't understand the whole "vintage" POV or how her recipes tied in with, also she doesn't seem sincere. Nikki, I like, but not as much as I like Damaris.

    But yes it was time for Connie to be told to go home or good ths time.

  7. Karen Utofka says:

    Once again, the judges have showed poor judgment. At least Lovely made dishes that looked edible. I can't stand Rodney. His recipes suck big time. If he won, I wouldn't watch his show. He has absolutely zero camera appeal and I can't understand what he's saying most of the time. The judges keep saying how unique he is........well, I'd have to agree with them, but not in a good way. (He's not the rock star he thinks he is, either.)

  8. SouthFNViewer says:

    Sorry, Connie (who in da hell calls themselves Lovely? That just screams "look at me I am so FAKE"). Irvine did us a disservice with his choice of Connie to save, since several of her dishes were "sub par" from his comments. Connie was weak and her "glammed" pizza dough donuts proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. A true chef would have done some beignets or some fritters that would have been better better better.

    • Guest says:

      I agree about Lovely! She should have been let go a few shows ago. I wonder how unbiased Irvin is going to be considering one of the contestants was on his show.....hhhhmmmm smacks of unfairness

    • Joe says:

      It could be worse. They could bring back Divanushka.

      • SouthFNViewer says:

        Noooooooooooooooooo. Ding dong the witch is DEAD DEAD DEAD!!!!!

        • Tammy says:

          Hope that she doesn't move into that house across the street. lol

        • Crouton40 says:

          Binng-boonnngg. Doorbell rings. You open the door's HER! Danushka.
          "HI. I'm yer new Avon lady and".......

          Gives a whole new meaning to "Nightmare on Elm st"., doesn't it? Mwuuahahaha!
          Just kidding...

  9. @zoemoire says:

    The reason pie-man is still in the mix is that it's something to talk about on blogs.

  10. Myra says:

    What?? Lovely thinks if she'd showed us more worthless ways to make ridiculous food bling we would have loved her? That woman needs a reality check.

    "Is 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."

    Read more at:

    • Melisha says:

      Agreed - Lovely - so unlovely. A bit of a wanna be. Like she's never understood 'glam' Glam is not trashy. She can't tell the difference

      • GoodbyeConnie says:

        I guess I never got a clear understanding of what her POV and from the way she described it and cooked, I don't think she does either. What is she going to do? Bedazzle a pork roast?

    • Goodbye says:

      I guess I never got a clear understanding of what her POV and from the way she described it and cooked neither did she. Was she going to bedazzle a pork roast?