Guy Talks Food Network Star and What the Winner Will Need

by in Interviews, August 7, 2013

Guy Fieri Talks Food Network StarIt's hard to believe that it's been seven years since Guy Fieri won the second season of Food Network Star. Since that unforgettable moment, he's dominated homegrown eats on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and cooked up a storm on Guy's Big Bite — he's the ideal example of Star success.

Last Sunday night, the final three finalists — Damaris, Rodney and Russell — had the opportunity of a lifetime. They got to pick Guy's brain for tips and tricks. No stranger to filming a pilot, Guy mentored the finalists through their tapes.

Star Talk recently caught up with Guy to ask him about his time with the finalists and what the winner will need in the future.

What was your experience like on Star this season??
GF: I had a really nice time with all of them while I was producing their pilots for Episode 10, and they all have so much talent that I think the gain — the expectation for the next Food Network Star competitors — is that the bar has been raised so high. I mean, you have to be the best of the best.

Do you think that's different from when you first started?
GF: I think that it's a lot different from when I first started. We didn't have examples to follow. But these folks are sharp. This is not shooting fish in a barrel. It has to be deep down, genuinely, what they're about. It's what people want to see. There's no other way to do it. You can't make it something it's not. You either got it or you don't. You have to let the real you come out.

At the end of the day, after it all gets broken down — when you're focused and exposed to what's happening — fans want to know the stars are the real deal. And the finalists all have real-deal qualities. What they're doing is what America wants. I think that they're just going to have to trust themselves — like a Luke Skywalker thing. May the force be with them. And it's going to be America that says, "We want more of what you do."

What will the new winner need to embrace and embody to succeed?
GF: They've been through one of the toughest competitions there is, and they've proved their cooking and on-camera skills. They have appeal. When they get the opportunity, they need to really bring it, because no one will give it to them. Whoever gets the opportunity needs to attack it with 10 times the vengeance that they attacked the Food Network Star with.

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Comments (54)

  1. cathy says:

    Rodney is a joke. There is no way I would watch his show. Any more than I watch Jeff Mauro's sandwich show. Why would I make a sandwich where I have to dislocate my jaw to eat? Why would I go thru the hassle of making a pie when I can just make the darn casserole in the first place? Southern cooking with DeMaris? I look for a show that uses ingredients I have on hand or at least I don't have to hunt down some specialty store. She looks to be down to earth, uses common items, makes delicious looking/sounding foods. She would be the show I would watch.

    • PrairieDog says:

      "Sandwich" may be a gimmick but Jeff transforms the idea of a dish, adds other ingredients and comes up with an interesting & tasty sandwich. I also like his Chicago orientation & makes me want to loom up some of the places he visits, Pie-man hasn't demonstrated he can do more than just throw ingredients into a crust.. My opinions changed over the course of the show but I'm happy demaris won though I suspect they may do something other than teach a nerd how to cook. I could see her doing a New Southern cuisine show.

  2. Sherrill Hagenson says:

    I actually thought Damaris was too ditzy at first, but she has become better and better every week. at this point, she is likeable, funny, and quirky without being annoying; she's bright, and quick with banter. I like Russell, and Rodney, but Damaris is the one I would be inclined to watch on a regular basis. On the basis of her consistently improving performances, she is the one who most deserves to win.

    • Wa. state guy says:

      Very likeable. I hope she wins. If she does, the network should let Damaris be Damaris. Her way. She's delightful as-is. Watch that wave3 news clip that was mentioned. Unpretentious, intelligent, sweet.

      She can make that Peppered Pork meal anytime she wants. Looked scrumptious.

  3. RodneyFan says:

    I was a fan of Damaris but after hearing the subject of her show I lost respect for her-is this a cooking channel or a soap opera? Damaris is a sweetheart but I wish she would just show us southern food without the dating. Now i'm a fan of Rodney-I want him to win because I llove pies and his personality

    • Ben says:

      That was just a Pilot. They all had to do something. No guarantee that that will be her actual show. Most people like her better as a chef, though. Have faith.

  4. Undercover says:

    Will FN disclose who got the most votes? Will Bob & Susie override the viewers votes?
    Someone told me she thought Susie likes Russell because he is edgy and new.
    So was Justin. So much of a rebel that very few would do what he did. Russell isn't much different that way. Will he win the Revolution? It isn't over til it's over.

  5. Justice & Truth says:

    The guys can't cook to save the day,
    Damaris Phillips, all the way!

  6. Panic Mouse says:

    For what it's worth, this is my breakdown in a nutshelll:

    I think Damaris is gonna take it, and for good reason - she really does have the most universally appealing concept out of the three of them (even though that pilot looked like a dud!) I'll be printing out that sweet potato biscuit recipe before too long...

    Love him or hate him, folks, Rodney's a definite keeper! I personally think he's really charismatic, and that FN would be stupid to not to find something for him. Okay, the pie-thing would get a bit tiresome, but there's no reason not to hook him up with some kind of "tales from the road" type of gig. He's had great energy and seems to be able to riff with anyone, no mattèr how uptight (I'm lookin' at you, AB!) So he needs to slow down a bit. So what? You can't teach that chill attitude! I've seen comments pegging him as some kind of "Guy Fieri wannabe," but that's impossible. I adore Rodney. And I absolutely detest Guy Fieri.

    I was also super bummed out that Nikki went home. Her "meat on the side" angle was by far the most interesting. I was convinced that she was going to be the dark horse come-from-behind winner of the whole thing. Guess I'll have to track her down on YouTube.

    The most surprising thing to me was Russell beating out Stacey. I didn't really care much for Stacey, but she was miles ahead of Russell, in my opinion. All season long, I thought it was bordering on the absurd the way that Giada kept telling Stacey that she was coming across as phony and not connecting with the audience. While all that may have been true, there isn't a soul on t.v. that comes across as more of a phony than Giada. I swear, one day that woman's face is gonna split right in half while she smiles that fake-y smile of hers! It's just not natural to get a peek at somebody's molars when there grinning...

    • PrairieDog says:

      Early on I thought Stacy was the one to beat. But the more I saw of her the more plastic her camera persona became. She was missing an "it". I also think Nikki could have made it to the finals but she just didn't demonstrate something that would allow her to procede. Rodney's energy is entertaining but he is mush-mouthed. In his final video I could hardly understand what kind of cheese he used. I think he got pushed along on potential that never panned out. Saying pie-style is about art and people getting together without actually saying what that means doesn't cut it.
      The final cut got it long as they can keep Demaris from "shaking her charms"

      • Panic Mouse says:

        I know! I would've put money on Stacey at first, but she never really was my favorite. And I totally "get" some of the comments that people were making about Rodney. It's just that I found him really entertaining to watch. If only they'd replace G.F. (as in Guy Fieri, or Ghetto Fabulous, take your pick) with Rodney on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, I'd totally start watching that show!

        I was really hoping that Nikki would take it. Not so much for the more "vegetarian-lite" angle, but for the fact that side dishes are quite often an afterthought in all these shows and frankly, I'm running out of ideas. : )

        And speaking to your "charms-shaking" comment (which was very funny,) I'd bet that Damaris would promise to wear both a sports bra AND duct tape if they asked her to! I just hope they develop a solid show for her - she seems so full of potential.

    • May says:

      I liken it to the front grill of a car.

  7. Jennifer says:

    It's Sunday. Send a good prayer Damaris's way.

  8. Parnassus70 says:

    I am on Pacific Time. We have 1:12:22 before the show airs. AND I get on the Food Network website to look for a dinner recipe and the winner is on the front page! I am so disappointed. The least they could have done is wait for us on the West coast to see the show. All the excitement that was building for this evening has now been completely deflated.

  9. May says:

    Great. Another blond white woman from the South. Would it kill the Food Network to expand their horizons a little?

  10. Deb says:

    I wanted Stacey to win but Demaris is a good choice because I love Southern Food. I also like Niki she had some great ideas