It Was Two Votes to One — Alton’s Post-Star Rundown

by in Judges, June 29, 2014

Alton's Post-Star Rundown, Episode 5Every week, Alton Brown is joining the Star Talk roster to talk about the most-recent elimination and the thoughts behind each difficult decision from the judges' perspective.

As far as I'm concerned, this challenge got down to the nitty-gritty — the real skills required to do the actual job of being a Food Network Star. The finalists had an hour to concoct a crowd-pleasing dish based on a classic summer pairing. Then they had to demo that dish to a crowd of roughly 400 food fans. The food was as up and down as the rides at Knott's Berry Farm. When it came to the demo, two finalists were clearly on the bottom: Reuben and Christopher.

Reuben's dish wasn't great and his demo was messy, but he did manage to engage the audience. And I still think he's got something sticky about him that made me want to keep him in the competition. Christopher, on the other hand, failed to connect with the audience and his demonstration just didn't actually demonstrate anything. To me it was a complete fail despite the fact that his food was actually the best plate of the day. As far as I'm concerned, it's the demo that counts most, and this challenge proved to me that Christopher is just too "back of the house" for this job. Bobby remained staunchly in Christopher's corner because Christopher does have considerable cooking chops, but Giada and I agreed that despite his troubles, Reuben earned himself another week. It was two votes to one, and Christopher was eliminated.

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“So That Wasn’t Very Easy” — Alton’s Post-Star Rundown

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Comments (147)

  1. Mary says:

    This is the FOOD Network not comedy hour or harlequin romance tell me a nice story. Giada has been really mean spirited about some contestants and if you don't do it her way with a silly little story etc.etc.etc she get that curled lip look and you are gone. Chris could be helped to work with the camera but he is a great cook. We have been watching FOOD Network since it started and remember how horrible Giada was. Alton Brown is so talented and so reputable but I hate when he acts. I just turn it off. I like his serious side. There is an audience for the Chris's of the FOOOOOD!!!! Network. He will be able to learn if you stop judging and start helping. You will have a comedy hour with no one who can cook. Good luck. Those poor contestants who actually can cook. Give us a break.

    • MoHub says:

      Christopher's issue was not one of problems playing to the camera so much as it seemed he was unwilling to instruct and demonstrate. He failed to give measurements when teaching Alex, and all he demonstrated at Knott's was the plating. It was stated that "he WON'T teach," and I think that's a fairly accurate summing up of the problem.

      I think there's no question that he's a superior cook, but if he wants to enter competitions, he'd be better off going out for Top Chef, Chopped, or even Iron Chef America, where it's completely about cooking skills and not teaching dishes to home viewers.

      • shannon says:

        I think he is more cut out for that type of program, however he strikes me as being unable to take criticism. If his food was critiqued on Top Chef, and it would be, because they are tough and honest, he would never believe any negative comments.

        • Joan says:

          If Emeril were competing today and said BAM, people would call it Schtick and say he's trying too hard. They'd say he's fake.

      • Joan says:

        That is a valid point. But Food Network has gone too far the other way. It's as if all they care about is some friendly buddy teaching us to make Mac-n-Cheese or a burger as long as we like them than getting a superior cook we can like more with time as our respect and learning grows.

        Both are needed but the pendulum has swung to far. They say nobody is going to watch if we don't like them. True. What they fail to realize or ignore is that while friendliness gets you in the door and gets people to start watching, it won't keep them watching. And it hasn't. The audience loses respect, gets bored, stops watching and another show gets cancelled. We need higher quality dishes from better cooks.

  2. LuckyMe says:

    I'd rather look at Christopher and experience his food than watch that freak show of Reuben's any day.

  3. SausageRE says:

    FN is so confused they are looking for an entertainer who can cook. Their powerhouse show host that does not cook on a show anymore Mr Guy F Winner of "Next Food Network Star" With all the second an third runner up have shows Hmmm.

    • guest says:

      Sad but true. It shouldn't be comedy central with a little cooking thrown in. It's the FOOD Network. Then, if they can be entertaining, fine. I liked Joan's reply above, too.

  4. Elaine says:

    I was very disappointed with last year's show and was not sure if I would watch again this year, but I did. This year is even more disappointing so I probably am done at this point. I don't watch Food Network to see good actors, I want to see good chefs. If they can do both - great. But give me a good chef over a good actor any day. Bring back the format of the earlier "Star" shows. They were so much better. I've seen a side of Giada over the last two years that has not been very pretty. I can't even watch her shows anymore without seeing this mean, nasty person that has emerged. Lastly, I can't believe you all made an issue of Emma's French accent. That is an easy fix, yet it put her in the bottom three. Really unbelievable!

  5. chef anne watcher says:

    Alton didn't do a blog about last week's show (episode 6)? I guess he didn't have to, because Christopher was gone much to Alton's glee, so the time came to throw Reuben under the bus. Alton truly IS the CutThroat Judge of the show. Any predictions of who is on Alton's hit list tonight?