The First Is Always the Hardest — Alton’s Post-Star Rundown

by in Judges, June 1, 2014

Alton's Post-Star Rundown, Episode 1Every week, Alton Brown is joining the Star Talk roster to talk about the most-recent elimination and the thoughts that went behind each difficult decision from the judges' perspective.

In the end, someone had to be eliminated first and we felt it should be Donna. She's got a lot of passion, but her presentation came across as conflicted, suggesting that she has some significant issues to work out. A Food Network Star has to be confident about who they are and where they're going to take an audience, but personally, I got the sense that Donna isn't very comfortable with where she is at this point in her culinary life. She told us that she put a lot of love into her food, but we have to take the crowd's opinion into account and they just didn't taste the love. It's a shame, too, because we all felt Donna's passion. But without focus, passion can be a loose cannon, and in Donna's case it was something of a disconnect for the audience. If she can work out her point of view she might be a contender, but only if she can put it all on a plate that works. Compared to the other finalists, she's just not there yet.

The first elimination is always so tough because we haven't really had the time to get to know everyone. But compared to the other finalists, Donna just wasn't ready. We all wish her well. She's got a lot to say — but she has to be able to communicate it clearly and put it on the plate.

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“In the End, It Came Down to a Simple Question” — Alton’s Post-Star Rundown

Every week, Alton Brown is joining the Star Talk roster to talk about the most-recent elimination and the thoughts behind each difficult decision from...

Comments (25)

  1. guest says:

    I'm wondering if these post-star rundowns will get many comments at all. Will too many viewers be intimidated or reluctant to disagree with or question a judge? I hope not.

  2. Mark says:

    Can't you find someone with a healthy POV who doesn't suck? Or, are you just trying to make us think you tried when in fact health is opposite to FNs agenda?

    • Shannon says:

      Well remember Mark, Reuben has an amazing weight loss story. He is most likely fairly healthy when he cooks. That was his POV in his casting video. I like that his POV is healthy but it is not his sole focus. Isn't that how we all like to cook, and what we are looking for. Don't forget the flavor, keep it healthy, cut the fat sugars sodium and calories when practical but not at the cost of losing the enjoyment of the food. If it can't be successfully cut out, leave it, after all whats the sense if it is not satisfying. We may still have a shot at the "healthy POV" but approached in a much better way.

      • Liz Cantu says:

        I agree. I think alot of people equate healthy with boring. We need someone who can show us a fun exciting way to keep things healthy and still tasting great.

      • Mark says:

        OK Let's see if we get any of that on the show....

      • Crouton40 says:

        Donna went home first. She had a focus on healthy eating. Last year, Andre had a beard, also had a focus on healthy eating and wasone of the first two (first?) to go home.....and now...Reuben also has a beard, has somewhat of an emphasis ( but not totally) on healthy eating.....so my question is: will the audience also vote him out before too long? I am NOT saying this is what should be done. Just wondering how the audience will react. Last year's Andre, this years Donna and then....?? We could all use less butter, deep-fried, salt & sugar. Imagine if Russell would have won last year...still, people want their comfort food.

        • MoHub says:

          You need to remember Herb, who went all the way to the finale.

          Donna, unfortunately, thinks lists of nutrients are what people equate with healthy food. Check out her Salvatiion presentation and see how long you can listen to a roster of chemicals that includes Vitamin K and lycopene.

  3. Shannon says:

    I honestly agree with the elimination decision, Donna was my choice to boot as well. She was the least engaging person I saw tonight. She was scattered and non-cohesive. I felt the same way watching her casting video, so I don't think we can blame it on nerves. I guess all negatives have the potential of being corrected only if you can cook, I just don't think she showed that she has that ability.

  4. Sue says:

    Just a little hint to Giada. She is delightful and I enjoy her show. She hinted to contestant's to "Smile". There are many instances where Giada's smile has been so over-done and exaggerated that it gags me. Give the contestants a chance and let their personalities come out. One excellent suggestion might be to ask Reuben to slow down a bit. He talks too fast.

  5. Shirley says:

    I have to say that I cannot stand to listen to Alton Brown one more minute. What a pompous jerk he is. Is anyone else sick to death of him? I have to change the channel if he is involved in any show. UGH!!!

    • Well... says:

      Just change the channel and be done with it. Alton is brilliant. His on air persona is to say or do what we all really want to. (Maybe not you, you may be a better person than some of us!) I just take what he says and go with it!

  6. Well.... says:

    Alton: good, Giada: jealous. That's all I can see when I watch this show. Be friendly to the girls too, Giada, you won't be the cutie for ever. Keep up the great cooking techniques but stop trying to be the only pretty face. Have you seen the network lately?

    • Liz Cantu says:

      This is true, I think Alton is great. I very rarely watch GIada's show, and I have a feeling she will try to take Nicole under her wing as a "mini-me" type.

  7. Melanie says:

    What an awesome decision to bring Martie Duncan back....talk about star quality! What a perfect POV...we Southerners take pride in our ability to entertain spontaneously, and she does so with such charm! The proverbial "icing on the cake" is that she is one of the most genuine people you will ever meet....so refreshing in this business...we wish her well in her quest to be the Next Food Network Star! #PartyARMY

    • Elderleigh says:

      I may be by myself on this one, even though I really like Damaris and her new show - she always has a helpful tip or two, I really can't stand another southern cooking show. We have other sections of this county where people cool amazing food.

      • Liz Cantu says:

        I would agree. I haven't seen Damaris' show yet, but I prefer a bit wider selection of cooking. I like Aryen's idea of international cooking at home, or maybe something like a different state or section of the US each week. If they can do something like that, but with a reasonable budget for us at home cooks that would be great.

        • Cora says:

          Dishes from other countries would be welcome but international sounds so general and undefined.

          • shannon says:

            Elderleigh,Liz & Cora, I agree with each one of you. Damaris has a great show, even if I don't personally like a particular recipe she makes I always learn a tip. It may be something I already know to do but she explains why it is done that way and that helps to avoid pitfalls. Specific southern cooking is covered. I would love a show about dishes from other countries made at home. We have shows that focus on specific countries cuisines, I'd like one that mixes it up. I know this thread started about Martie, I do like Martie she herself is engaging and non pretentious. I wish her focus was party and possibly not "southern party".

      • Guest says:

        Thank you! There have been sooo many southern shows on FN that whenever I see someone with a southern POV, it's an instant turnoff because I would never watch them. I would really like to see someone with a really different POV this year, like Aryena. She's got a pretty unique POV IMO, and if she can hone her skills a little more I would love to see more of her.

        • Melanie says:

          Martie's POV is not Southern cooking or a Southern party....she is about affordable entertaining...and she happens to be from the South. Having seen her in a real life setting, I know that she can skillfully entertain large crowds, is able to speak and cook with authority, and at the same time makes everyone feel at home...a rare gift. FN brought her back for a reason...time will tell how things will go.

          Definitely some interesting POVs this season...can't wait to see how they develop even more in the weeks ahead.