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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Comments (147)

  1. Wayne says:

    Is there anyway to vote Giada off the Food Network Star show?

    • Guest says:

      Great idea!

    • Cynni says:

      Have ALWAYS thought that: white teeth and the smile do not a star make. Have you noticed she's the only judge who intentionally looks at the camera?

    • CVeraS says:

      See my comment on the post interview blog.

    • Becky says:

      Totally agree with you...wish Giaca would go....she always insists on keeping someone less capable of cooking. I firmly believe that fans of the Food network want someone who can COOK FIRST and then engage the audience second.
      Wrong move tonight.

    • Guest says:

      Amen! Giada is the one with "the resting b#### face". Would love to see her off this show. Thought she was going to slap Sarah when Sarah mentioned her using the big spoon. And no I'm not a big Sarah fan.

  2. jdr says:

    Why was Giada so down on Chris? When she began her food network career,she too was a great chef,but was very inexperienced in front of the camera. Food network gave her the benefit of the doubt and she blossomed into the food network star she is today. Bobby Flay saw Chris's potential and was willing to give him a chance but Giada and Alton were set on Rubin. What if Rubin never reaches the cooking status of Chris and doesn't
    improve in front of the camera, he will have two strikes while Chris only had one,jdr

    • Jelaza says:

      I'd rather watch a show with Christopher than with Rubin. It's not even that Christopher is "bad" in front of the camera/audience, he just doesn't focus his presentation in the direction that the judges want.

    • BKR says:

      I wonder how many people realize that Giada taped her shows twice in the beginning! She couldn't talk and cook at the same time, so she cooked in one taping and talked about it in the other. I have a hard time watching her critique others for doing what she struggled with.

      • Home cook says:

        I agree with what many of you are saying about Giada. How she got her own show is a puzzle, because I have seen the programs where she was really bad on camera. Whatever coaching she got resulted in the giant tooth grin and fake over pronounced Italian words. I am really sick of looking at her make ugly and rude faces at the contestants food and performances. Can they not get a female judge with some class and one who can stop trying to be so cute?

        • Monte says:

          It's likely she got a show because someone, somewhere thought she was hot.

          • Kristen says:

            That's awfully sexist of you. Just saying.

          • shannon says:

            As a female myself I understand how Montes statement could be perceived as sexist, but unfortunately I think it's a true statement. I don't think Monte was being the sexist one rather I think he was pointing out the sexism that got Giada the show to begin with. I believe she was the "look" the new network wanted to project.

        • guest says:

          I seem to recall, maybe on her Chefography episode, that one of the producers saw her do a cooking demo on television and thought she would be a good fit for their still-new network. She was initially reluctant to do a show for them, but they were willing to work with her inexperience, gambling that it would pay off for them in ratings, which it did. It seems that on Food Network Star, the producers no longer want to take the time or risk on someone who is not camera-ready.

        • Dinner For One says:

          Giada has a television career because her grandfather was Dino De Laurentiis. He was a major Hollywood film producer ( Blue Velvet, King Kong Lives, etc.). Her grandfather also had a restaurant called DDL Foodshow. She actually has a degree in anthropology. Her step-father and brother were also producers. She also had hear last name changed to De Laurentiis which is actually her mother's surname. I always assumed they made her a judge to get her into producing like the rest of the family.

    • joyce says:

      Giada is a star no matter what else goes through this discussion thread. I was thoroughly shocked at her visceral response towards Christopher. He by far is the best cook in the group...that is what this network is about...not just a quick wit but teach us how to cook good food. I think Bobby has it right...cook great food and we can teach you the rest.
      So many of the others just do not have it. Cook a steak without salt and pepper...even I know that bit. Wow! Nicole seemed to have it together with cooking chops and being able to talk about it.

      Again, I am so disappointed in Giada. I really had a lot of respect for her before this competition. Did we see all of the discussion or was it chopped!

  3. Pete says:

    The judges are professionals at what they do, how dare that blonde challenge Bobby and the others when she couldn't put together a good burger. This was the show at Knotts Berry Farm. That last contestant had nothing but negative comments about other contestants, didn't even consider the possibility that their families are watching! Seriously! She should have been cut from the show just for disrespecting the show and the judges. I'm appalled that she will even move to the next challenge.

    • Eric says:

      Actually, Bobby is the only one that may have cooking experience. Alton was a video producer that sold the idea for a TV show "Good Eats" to Food Network, he's never actually cooked anywhere, he was just acting the part of a cook, and Giada went to Culinary School but couldn't cut it as a cook, with a few unsuccessful short jobs before her name landed her a stint at Food Network.

      • Cindi says:

        Brown notes that he was dissatisfied with the quality of cooking shows airing on American television, so he set out to produce his own show. In preparation, he enrolled in the New England Culinary Institute, graduating in 1997.[6][7] Brown says that he was a poor science student in high school and college, but he focused on the subject to understand the underlying processes of cooking. He is outspoken in his shows about his dislike of single-purpose kitchen utensils and equipment ("unitaskers"), such as garlic presses and margarita machines, although he adapts a few traditionally single-purpose devices, such as rice cookers and melon ballers, into multi-purpose tools.[8]

    • cynni says:

      Bobby's restaurants are the ONLY ones I would cross the street to experience. He has CONVINCED me thru TV that he knows food. Alton's a great 'star' factor.........Giada??? ummm..............

    • CVeraS says:

      I really liked her until tonight. It really looked like she was really struggling to hold her temper during the judging - I can relate to that with my own work situation right now....but anyway, we have to keep in mind that the editors show us only bits and pieces. It might have just been the "let's make HER look bad tonight" - night. There has been some catty comments from some of the others too on some of the episodes.

      • shannon says:

        I really think there is more to this story than what they could or would show us. I replied to you on another thread about Giadas quite obvious disdain of Sara. It was apparent when the judges were walking around checking in with each of them while they were cooking. Sara will never win nor be judged fairly, at least not by Giada.

        • Buffy says:

          Giada does not have anything to do with Sarah's cooking. Sarah is challenging the judge and has never watched a FN program to see how to execute a green chilie burger. I actually thought she was going to prepare a red chili cheese burger. Her green chilies were slimy. I don't see her winning. Sarah is missing the opportunity to take instructions from those in the business.

          • Pete says:

            Thanks for your reply, you make a lot of sense as well as some of the others. I just have a problem with any sort of cut throat when everyone is there to compete. Cutting others down in the process doesn't make one look any better.

          • Dinner For One says:

            I agree. The constant catty remarks were annoying. Also, there are different types of "Texas" burgers depending on what part of the state you are in. I was just in central Texas and they're big thing was sausage burgers. Being familiar with food in San Antonio does not make you an expert on the state.

          • shannon says:

            Did you read what I wrote Buffy? I did not defend Sarah's cooking. Her burgers were not delicious. I stated the obvious from last night's show, prior to the judgement round Giada treated Sarah like a peon, period. It could not have been Giadas reaction to Sarah's food or Sarah's defense there of. The cooking was prior to all that. What I am saying is we only saw a "glimpse" of Giadas rudeness and out right disdain of Sarah, what more may have led Sarah to be so vocal in her own defense. She is generally very nice,positive and upbeat. I am wondering what led to her argumentative meltdown. If you debate the treatment of Sarah by Giada, rewatch the episode.

          • Buffy says:

            Pardon me :). I have been thinking about the comments regarding treatment of Sarah. Yes, we only see a glimpse of the process. True Sarah is upbeat, but tends to give a reason for her short-comings. I am looking at this from the stance of a supervisor, it is maddening to help a person who always has a reason for doing the incorrect process each time. Sarah was selected out of thousands people to appear on TV. I find that people tell me things that are true when I take time to think about it is true. I learn something new each day.

          • Deb says:

            Thank God you are not my boss.

            To write an employee off when they explain or to not even want to hear their side of the story, becuase you'll just believe they're making excuses anyway, is simply very poor communication skills for a supervisor or anyone else. Your mind is already made up.

          • sunshine says:

            Giada i think is a little jealous of Sarah beauty and how she flirts with Bobby flay, this is what Giada is famous for!

          • Buffy says:

            Sarah is married. I thought it was strange the way she flirted with Bobby.
            Sarah cannot cook pasta al dente

          • Crouton40 says:

            Yes, I was surprised by all that. It seemed out of character, for Sarah. Something must have caused it. Something we probably didn't get to see. The usual Sarah is quite likeable and upbeat. Too bad she got stuck with making a burger again. She has been on TV news and shows, etc. and has done much better. See youtube.

        • guest says:

          Interesting -- when I watched the episode I got the impression that Giada liked Sarah more than some of the other contestants, at least until Sarah's remark about the big spoon. Sarah has been focusing too much on impressing individual judges with individual dishes (the burger for Bobby, the pasta salad for Giada) and that may be part of her problem. I don't think any of the judges were impressed by Sarah in this episode -- Bobby seemed especially down on her food.

          • Monte says:

            Yeah, Giada didn't like the "big spoon" comment at all.

            But I think one of the issues that Sarah had was that she was trying to cook too much for the judges (i.e. I'm making a burger for Bobby, and pasta for Giada), than just cooking.

          • guest says:

            Exactly -- like Bobby said in the Cutthroat Kitchen episode, the focus of her presentation should on her cooking strengths, not those of the judges. I don't do burgers as I am allergic to red meat, but I have watched enough FN shows to know you should never overwork the meat. And I knew the pasta salad would be forgettable as soon as she started to assemble it. If a pasta salad is only all about the dressing, then why not just dump a bottle of ranch dressing on the pasta and be done? I like the fact that Sarah changed her POV, and I think she could do well, but she needs to listen to what the judges told her on this episode rather than simply decide that they are wrong. If Sarah were to focus on the foods that she and her family love rather than what she thinks the judges will like, I believe she would do better at impressing the judges.

          • shannon says:

            Monte and guest, I see it from your point of view if that is was Sarah meant about making pasta for Giada.
            I interpreted her to mean she was Leary to cook pasta for Giada since cooking pasta is Giadas specialty her "thing", if you will. In the same way people are never comfortable about cooking pasta for Scott Conant,he is always hyper critical of it because that's his "thing" too.

        • chipotle says:

          Sarah has been doing vlog recaps of the challenges after the audience see's them. See http://www.sarahpenrod.com. We may find out what happened.

    • Monte says:

      What Sarah should have done with that burger was this:

      Instead of chopping up the jalapeno, garlic, and whatever else she put IN the burger patty, she should have put them in a food processor, and made them a spread. It probably would have gone over better.

    • MoHub says:

      "That blonde" has a name; it's Sarah. Whether you like her or not, she's at least entitled to that much respect.

  4. ChefDFan says:

    the kids were a bit tough on Emma today also... i know a star. i picked Damaris. Emma's got 'IT!' too.

    • shannon says:

      I agree, I think Emma was utterly charming and engaging today. She seemed to captivate the audience as well with her story, she clearly did a good food demo. I was offended on their comments asking if she can cook....how soon they forgot the last 2 times she cooked for them. I don't think they want her because "farm to table" is "out" and not trendy anymore.

    • Cindi says:

      The biggest "problem" with Emma, is that she speaks in a soft voice. Nothing wring with that, but it may be difficult the hear over the tv

      • Guest234 says:

        That's why mics were invented. ; )

        • guest000 says:

          Ina can use a mic, too, yet she puts many to sleep. Same with Emma. Does Emma cook any big, hearty dishes with meat? Say, a big blackened steak, a pot roast dinner? Or is it more vegetarian, zucchini and yuppy food? Looks closer to that. Not for me.

          • shannon says:

            I think you stated the whole problem with this year's competition, do you realize other than their first dishes at the Hollywood Premier they have been assigned what to cook. I personally still have no idea what they specialize in or even prefer to cook. I want to see them cook some dishes of their own choosing. Then I would feel like I am getting to know their styles.

          • guest000 says:

            Fair enough.

        • MoHub says:

          It's less volume than intonation and inflection. I personally don't have a problem with either Ina's or Emma's delivery, but there are viewers who want a 'bouncier" presentation—and Emma will never be that OTT.

          • Henry says:

            If Emma will never be that then she'll never have enough energy for Tuschman or Giada as they are always harping about Energy. Happens every year. Emma is the softest one of the bunch this time. Didn't work for Viet last year, too. And Viet was a better cook than Emma.

          • MoHub says:

            I still mourn Ippy's elimination on the grounds he was too laid back. I'd have watched him in a heartbeat.

    • Guest234 says:

      Of course, this is the same selection committee that seemingly saw mass appeal in both Rodney AND Russell last year; so much so they put the 2 of them in the finals over Stacey and Nikki. Biggest miscalculation in FNS history. Damaris won right there and then. : P

      • MoHub says:

        The conspiracy theorist in me says there was no miscalculation whatsoever. I've come to believe the powers that be manipulated Rodney and Russell into the final three to ensure the viewers would vote for Damaris.

    • Louise says:

      Whatever IT is, I don't think D had it, but then Rodney really didn't.

      • ChefDFan says:

        everyone has, like a belly button, their opinion, Louise. but Damaris has a show and co-hosts Star Salvation. my belly button says 'that is IT!'...

        • FlavorDude says:

          Chef Damaris is awesome.
          She never lost a challenge in her season. She knew more than Nikki Dinki. She out cooked Stacy. She wasn't a heart attack on a plate like Russell. She was 100 times better then the pie man. Her food always looked appetizing. She grew and improved alot on camera before she won.We are very lucky to have her. She deserves a daytime show during the week. She offers useful tips and shows how to do things easier.

          • shannon says:

            I voted for Damaris all the way last year too. What I liked about her so much was her ease at teaching. While I may not like some of her recipes, and that is only a matter of personal preference not a critique of them, I always find she teaches me something. It is generally something I already do because somewhere along the line I was told or taught to do it that way....what she does is casually mentions why it's done. Or she gives background of how something evolved. I know many don't like her but in my opinion she and Anne Burrell are the best teachers on the network.

          • Louise says:

            I like Anne Burrell too. Unfortunately, I don't like many of the recent winners of Network Star.

      • MoHub says:

        Crazy thing is that Rodney really does make terrific pies, but he's terribly off-putting as a television personality, and as for his musical chops—the less said, the better. But he is putting out some excellent product in the Baltimore/DC area.

  5. Robin G. says:

    We were VERY put off by Giada's performance on tonight's show. She always comes across as being jealous of other attractive female chefs. She has an air of superiority about her that is off-putting!

    • Cathy Lee says:

      I noticed that. Donna was beautiful and the first to go. Will Sarah or Nicole get axxed for being too pretty? They will never say that is the reason. There will just be something bad with their dish, their POV or whatever.

      • Buffy says:

        Giada is a host/mentor Giada is not making the decision to dismiss these people.
        Did Donna's style of cooking appeal to you?

        • Cathy Lee says:

          Yes, Donna's style of cooking appealed to me. . To have better knowledge of items that are say, rich in calcium, iron, potassium, B-12, etc. and to get more bang for the buck, nutritionally, when I eat is a welcome thing. Foods can still be very tasty doing this and I like it much more than any vegetarianism or fitness training. We're not talking tofu, yogurt and soy. What is nutritious, flavorful, not junk food, and satisfying? Sure, I'd watch that. Donna was not another granola girl, She was better.

        • MoHub says:

          Giada—along with Bobby and Alton—is also a judge and has a lot of say in who is eliminated. What made you think she is not making such decisions?

          And I will agree with you that Donna just didn't have "it." Her cooking was not good, and she did not come off well in Salvation. She was the right choice to eliminate first.

    • Frances says:

      I believe she thinks everyone is a competitor for her. I wish she would be replaced as a judge!

  6. Crouton40 says:

    This elimination was a tough one.
    I have always said it takes:
    Cooking
    Teaching
    Personality
    and NOT being a turn-off (loud, monotone, freaky, conceited). I still firmly believe all that.
    While I will freely admit that Christopher did NOT "pull me in", I still feel the wrong call was made in this case. (Often, I do agree with the judges). Here's some of my "thinking out loud":
    Christopher made the best dish of the night. He's clearly a better cook. But he isn't winning over the audience. True. And that IS Huuuge. But---Reuben isn't wowing us with his dishes--and, is he really going to be much more "engaging" when the audience has to wrestle through his accent and/or times when he gets into fast-talking mode? So, "engagement" is a problem for both anyway. But Christopher can cook!
    Secondly---wouldn't it be better to work with Chris to simplify things and give better instruction than it would be to try and get Rueben to Chris's cooking level? Sorry if this next part sounds a bit sarcastic but, isn't it pretty-much like admitting: we'd rather have someone do a good job of teaching you how to make totally hum-drum ordinary Mac-n-Cheese....than to get a very skilled, accomplished chef to "take him or herself down a couple notches" and then explain to you how to make a dish that will knock everybody's socks off? I think so. I can see both sides of this one, and there is no doubt that teaching matters. I have already said/posted so, many times. And yet....when it comes down to it...unless someone is just flat out offensive or a total turnoff...I'd rather have a great cook who needs help on camera than a nice person who never impresses me. Think of the great chefs that have been lost: Brad Sorenson...Eric Lee....Ippy....Emily Ellyn (and the audience LOVED 'em!) my 2 cents....

    • shannon says:

      Again we disagree Crouton. I honestly don't think Christopher could ever be able to connect with an audience. I think there is such an arrogance about him he would never be able to do that. To that same point, your suggestion of "taking it down a few notches" to be able to prepare dishes that would reach the masses of home cooks....I don't think he could or would ever do that one either. He should, your suggestion holds much merit. However I support his wanting to keep the integrity of his cooking intact I just don't think he can do both. I will bet that was the power struggle happening behind the scenes the whole time. He would never adopt the concept that simplifying a dish enough so a novice/amateur could make it is not ruining the dishes integrity. It is creating a new dish.
      Lastly, I believe you can teach anyone camera skills, where to look, how to speak etc....but I don't think you can teach someone "warmth" it comes from within.

      • Crouton40 says:

        There is more.
        Yes, I Agree that I, too, see he isn't connecting with the audience. I can even see some arrogance over confidence in him, too.
        BUT---the idea is NOT- that by keeping Christopher we will crown him the Next Food Network Star. (We should have just kept him, this challenge).

        My point is that --by comparison to Rueben-- he had stronger ability and more to offer. It looks like many posters on here agree with me. Bobby felt the same way.
        I respect your opinion. We often agree more than we disagree.

      • MoHub says:

        I'm with you on this one, Shannon. In fact, I'm not even sure why Christopher entered a competition for which the prize is a television program in which one shares and demonstrates recipes for home cooks. He's be a much better candidate for Top Chef, where it's strictly about the cooking.

        Christopher may be the best cook there—at any rate, he certainly believes that—but he seems unwilling to share his knowledge with an audience. Rather, I get the impression that he's more about demonstrating his superiority without helping other attain a higher level of food preparation.

        • Crouton40 says:

          This was a tough decision. I can see both sides to it.
          I never said Christopher should win it all, only that compared to Rueben, he should have remained, this time. They could still send him home in some other challenge if no improvement. Bobby didn't think Rueben has gotten better.

          • MoHub says:

            Interestingly enough, in his interview, christopher said he felt Reuben shouldn't have been the one with him in the bottom two and pointed out Sarah as a more fitting candidate.

    • Guest234 says:

      Indeed, I LOVED Emily... and, along with Justin, she was looking like the one to beat in Season 8... until she suddenly had the rug pulled out from under her. So what if she was doing a sort of 'persona'? It was far more developed, polished and entertaining than any of last year's contestants combined. : P She and Season 4's Lisa should've been the Redemption contestants instead of boring Chad and Martie. : /

      • MoHub says:

        Chad is actually growing in Salvation—much to my surprise. Both his cooking and presentation get better each episode.

        However, I'm still on Team Luca as far as someone coming back into the main competition.

        • Monte says:

          I'm not sold on Luca. I'm not really sold on any of them.

        • Carmen says:

          What if Chris or Chad win over Luca?

        • Norm says:

          Chad often has almost a scowl. He hardly smiles or looks happy at all.

          It's so weird. When a cook is in Star, people write online that they like someone because they have personality. They do it too often at the expense of good cooking, although it takes both. But as soon as someone goes to star salvation, suddenly everybody pipes up about how good of a cook they supposedly are. Go figure.

      • Monte says:

        Emily Ellyn's "Retro Rad" (whether it was a "persona" or not) is a concept I probably would have checked out. She was definitely robbed in that particular challenge. I still don't see how Martita got a pass when she just stood there for 30 seconds.

        • Nina says:

          Emily was awesome. They should have, like, totally kept her. She rocked the kitchen. She was Rad.

  7. cam52 says:

    Like many of you, I'm stumped at the choice of voting Christopher off. This is a cooking network looking for a new cooking star, ergo, a good chef trumps over a personality. I still like Giada, although she has gotten more tough on her critiques. Maybe she is having personal problems. I just hope she can get back to the more personable Giada. I hope Luca comes back. He has both qualities they are looking for.

    • Guest says:

      I disagree with your statement that a good chef trumps personality. Quite frankly, if I don't like you, why would I watch your show, much less try your recipes? If you can't capture the audience's attention by being likable or personable, you don't get views & you lose your show.

      • Rachel says:

        Ok, you win. We get someone likeable. We give them a show. But they aren't nearly as good of a cook as two others who got sent home earlier in the challenges who were better cooks.

        Now, we tune in to watch our nice fun sweetie and their new show.
        We watch them 5 times, 10 times and the sinking realization creeps in that we have never really gotten beyond a salad out of the fridge or a gumbo soup.

        We get bored. The show gets cancelled, again! They should have thought long-term. Anne Burrell does not any personality that I wanna tune in too. But others do and - SHE IS STILL HERE. And there's no arguing the lady can cook. Much better than an engaging but lackluster friendly cook. This is what people keep overlooking.

  8. [...] Gavin top props. Christopher and his great plate of food were sent packing to New Orleans. Judge Bobby Flay did not vote for Christopher to go home; Giada De Laurentiis and Alton Brown [...]

  9. [...] babe”) Gavin top props. Christopher and his good image of food were sent make-up to New Orleans. Judge Bobby Flay did not opinion for Christopher to go home; Giada De Laurentiis and Alton Brown [...]

  10. shannon says:

    Pretty good episode I think they sent the right person home. While Christopher can cook like it's no body's business, he is surely lacking in the personality department. You can teach camera skills but you can not teach warmth. Outgoing warmth, teaching skills, and projecting positivity is what is needed along with cooking skills I don't think Christopher hit the mark.

    This is where my opinion wavers from that of the judges. How in the world was Loreal in the top 2? It has become clear to me the network is championing Lenny and Loreal.

    Loreal did not season her steak, they said it was bland. Season the heck out of your steak before you cook it, it's a cardinal rule, not a mistake that can be overlooked. It's a cooking 101 in my book. She's a butcher, really? Her cooking has not been very good this far. Yes her pound cake was great in the first round. Her spaghetti and meat balls were bad,too many ingredients and a convoluted flavor(bad texture was understandable), she made a cold lettuce salad in the next round that the judges did not even comment on. And am I the only one who notices how her voice wavers whenever she presents to a camera or live? In the premier it wavered she broke into tears, the called her real and honest. Ok maybe, but now I call it uncomfortable. She is uncomfortable obviously, and I am uncomfortable watching it.

    Nicole-did a bang up job, Her presentation was great. I want to try her pickled fried shallots. She is among the best in my book.
    Emma-also did a great job, she really connects with people, she's engaging and has good teaching skills. I am not sure why they question her cooking chops. Her breakfast dish was well received along with her penne pasta and shrimp dish. I think she has proven she can cook.
    Reuben-while he is doing better speaking I must agree, talking about using hospital rubber gloves really turned me off, yuck, Reuben. Raw chicken? He deserved to be in the bottom. If he does not do much better he should be done next week.
    Chris- while his chicken was underseasoned, I still just can't help myself, I honestly "like" him.
    Sarah- is easy to watch I think she presents well. I am glad she changed her POV. I don't know if this particular choice was any better. Sarah, quit making burgers, make something good, I know you can cook, you better show it or you are going to be sent home.
    Lenny-his presentation and food were good enough, nothing unique according to the judges. He was good but better than Nicole to take the top honors this episode? Of that I am not convinced. I even think Emma's presentation was better than Lennys, but I get it, they did not love her food.
    All in all a good episode, much better than last week I would say.

    • Crouton40 says:

      Yes, much better than last week. What struck me this time, was some of the cooking mistakes that people made, and shouldn't have made.
      Rueben's chicken.
      Emma's Crab Cakes sticking to the grill.
      Loreal using the bacon on the grill and not seasoning correctly.
      You would think they would know better.
      But at least they cooked this week.
      Lenny and Loreal had a good night but I think Nicole did an excellent job. They should have given her more credit.