Threat of the Week: The Mentors — Justin’s Rebel Recap

by in Recap, June 30, 2014

Justin's Rebel Recap, Episode 5Remember that time the Food Network Star hopefuls had to make viral-marketing videos? I bet you are LOL-ing right now. That was last week, and with that episode we saw the elimination of Aryen, who could almost cut the mustard on camera, but had a dull blade in the culinary department.

After that so-bad-it's-good challenge, the gang heads to Knott's Berry Farm. Where there was once a patch of beautiful berries, there are now roller coasters and funnel cakes. With eight left, the once many-sided dice of elimination rolls closer to doom for the gang. Read on to see who got jammed and who was preserved in the Knott's Berry Farm Corral.

Mentor Challenge: The finalists are to cook some real American dishes for the 4th of July.

Sarah: I totes called it. POV swap time. Instead of "cooking for date night," we are given a taste of Texas from Sarah. If you ask me, I think the previous POV was a sham. I think she's watched a couple of seasons of this show and has seen how powerful a POV switch can be. Shoot, when I rolled up I wanted to make a food/comedy/variety show. Anyhow, she's assigned burgers and pasta salad, which, as a Texan, she should be able to execute. Unfortunately, her pasta salad is Giada-phobic during the cook time, requiring more seasoning.

Lenny: Although he looks like a Knott's hired hand, Lenny is just a little out of his wheelhouse this week. "Being in the bottom three changes your perspective," Lenny reminds us. Indeed, the bronco has lost much of his buck as he solemnly cooks fish tacos with chips and guacamole. He shellacs his grouper in cumin and sugar, which is a pretty sweet maneuver in my book. Murphy's Law takes over, and the second the judges sing his culinary praises and warn him to be focused, Lenny realizes he has cooked every last fish in the chuck wagon and doesn't have a protein to demo.

Emma: Cooking crab cakes is not an art or a science, but a birthright of those of us whose state sport is jousting. Emma seems not to be among this group, and her use of Old Bay (the Md. state scent) is not enough to mask the smell of inexperience. Hon, you gotta pan-fry or "brol" them suckers. Come down to Maryland and we'll learn you right. Aside from that, the judges are worried she'll coo the audience into a slumber.

Chris: Upgrading grilled chicken to the napkin-less lollipop is a great idea. To boot, Chris has a real association with Independence Day, having served the country that gives us our culinary freedom. Alton says it best: "Say what you're going to say and make sure it's on the plate." By that I believe that his Chicken Lolli and Mac better correlate to the second chances Chris has been given in life.

Christopher: The problem with geocentric POVs is that all you have to do is say the predominant ingredient (shrimp) or flavor profile (spicy), the location (New Orleans) and the word "inspired." Generally this does not make inspirational cuisine. Christopher, on the other hand, seems to make this formula work every time. Could he really, truly, be the 2014 remake of Emeril: the Movie? His food says yes, but Giada encourages him to be "known, (and) step out." In other words, quit hiding behind the guise of a pro chef and be a weird human being like the rest of us.

Loreal GavinLoreal: Having prayed to the Creator of Carne, the butcher babe is blessed with steak and potato salad. Of course, she's got a quirky way of getting it on the grill. The problem is, her antennas aren't picking up Loreal Satellite Radio and we're getting a lot of wonk as she fiddles with dials. She knows it, and the judges do too.

Reuben: I understand entirely when Reuben says, "We don't get to celebrate holidays; we just work." It might be hard, in Reuben's case, to put your head entirely into this game and come up with the patriotica that's going on over in Camp Chris. That doesn't mean you should overload a fryer, though. That's un-American no matter where you live.

Nicole: I knew someone was going to get sacked with a barbecue dish. Could you imagine someone competing on Star if their POV was "Slow and Low"? Forget it. Now Nicole has to figure out how to tie a cheatin' version of barbecue to a cuisine of the coast. How does she do it? Mexico! I don’t understand either, but if you've been paying attention, you'll realize that Nicole has pushed this season into a new realm, and I like it, regardless of what her resting face is like. We're all over the age of PG here, and I'm glad Nicole can speak to us as such.

The Live Show (Star Challenge): "How can I compete with a roller coaster?"

Reuben: Someone call the doctor. The panic attack that Reuben was sure to find in his envelope is delivered to the stage via Certified Mail. He's clear and enunciating, but he's enunciating the idea that the gloves he's using might as well be from the hospital. The biggest "que lastima" moment is his apologizing for speaking Spanish. Dude, that's your salt and pepper! Season our lives.

Nicole: I get that she doesn’t actually link al pastor to coastal cuisine, but you know what? That was pleasant, pleasing and looked perfectly palatable. Isn't part of relaxing a subtle disregard for the rules and regulations of the things we have to cook? Wait, isn't that my POV? I have my eye on you, Nicole.

Chris: Forget updating classics. Chris' POV should be "Charisma is my salt." Sure, his chicken was under-seasoned and the mac was more Fredo than John Cazale, but that impersonation? Nailed it.

Loreal: As she's crushing the presentation and sticking that Butcher Babe flag in the stage, we see a real performer in Loreal. The problem is, her technique isn't delightfully weird, it's just plain wrong. It's not creative if it doesn't work. Thankfully, this is just a recap and you missed that portion of the show wherein you were almost encouraged to not season a steak before cooking it.

Lenny McNabLenny: Managing to pull a spoon-shaped rabbit out of his sizable hat, the culinary cowboy gives us a remedial course in making guacamole. Sarah points out that this is kindergarten stuff down in Texas, but I'll tell you what Lenny got right: If you use an avocado, everyone will listen. The rest of America is freaking starving for avocado recipes.

Christopher: "I've done live demos before ... you want people to know who you are and where you are from, and the rest is telling them how I put this salad together." You've truly figured it out. Nothing in between those things, chef.

Emma: Having somehow stolen Sarah's old playbook, Emma delivers a romantic and remarkably sharp performance. Emma is once again tight-roping. Romantic but sharp, enthusiastic but calm, witty but welcoming. Slightly out of her farm-fresh comfort zone, her food is still off-kilter.

Sarah: She's born again as TexaSarah, and we watch as she crafts a believable tale of concocting the best green-chile cheeseburger in Texas. It's a tall tale, and the burger does marginally better than her last effort. The crowd digs her, but Reuben doesn't: "She's annoying." Sarah gets the big picture and thinks she's going to take a hike.

Cue the Scary Music: Giada, Bobby and Alton steamroll, level and repave the road to stardom for the hopefuls. Every single contestant gets a swift kick to their culinary buttocks. Seriously, I've never seen a more excellent display of how much ass those three kick.

Reuben and Christopher are singled out as the least comfortable live. Reuben was awkward, and Christopher threw his dish together like the expediter yelled "Pick it up." For this, he is shown the door.

Christopher and ReubenThe Moral of the Story: Being calm and collected has its time and place. In the midst of a chaotic brunch shift is one of them. In Food Network Star, it just doesn't work. Guy Fieri once told me that the camera steals 20 percent of who you are, so even 110 percent just isn't slamma-jamma. I think Chris made some delicious food, but his defeatist attitude of "I'm never gonna be a Lenny or Loreal" is what put him on the bottom and them on the top.

Threat of the Week: The mentors. That evaluation was so spot-on and so slam-bang. It made me love this show all over again, and reminded us all just why they are the ones behind the scary illuminated table. Bravo Giada, Bobby and Alton. You drop the tenderizing mallet like nobody else can.

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Comments (155)

  1. earalybirdguest says:

    We finally get an episode where actual cooking is featured, and so many contestants were so disappointing. It looked like all of the food was at least edible, if just barely in some cases, but the contestants were cooking classic favorites and should have been able to do a lot better, even allowing for the time crunch and daunting demo challenge they faced. I guess I understand why the judges decided to send Christopher home if their job was to consider mainly the presentation rather than the food, but since only three of the finalists (Christopher, Lenny, and Nicole) made food that excelled I think I would have been inclined to eliminate Reuben instead.

    I am surprised that Nicole was not one of the ones chosen as the best in this challenge. Her presentation was great and her food won praises from the judges. I think I would have selected her over Loreal. While Loreal was fun to watch, she gave such wrong information on grilling a steak (and this from the "Butcher Babe" who should know better) that I would have considered hers a more grievous fault than failing to connect a dish with a POV as Nicole did. Everyone else, in my opinion, suffered from the same problem -- great focus on presentation, but not enough attention to the food. This is not surprising, however, as the main goal of the show seems to have become entertainment rather than cooking and this point is hammered into them in every episode so far. I hope far more attention is given to the food in future episodes, although I have my doubts for next week's product pitch challenge.

    BTW, is there any way to get Lenny's recipe for his fish? The description he gave when talking to the judges sounded so tasty, and the final product really seemed to deliver (I so wish he hadn't forgotten to save some fish for the demo!).

    • kathy says:

      AGREED- If they cannot cook I don't want to watch even if they are superstars.

    • Lori says:

      A writer named Shannon disagrees with you about Rueben and Christopher. I think she is mistaken and that you are right.

      Nicole needs more recognition for her good work.

      • shannon says:

        Thanks for the shout out Lori. Differences of opinion are what makes the world go around. We can vary in opinion on some points and agree on others. No one's opinion is "right" or "wrong" because it is just that, an opinion. If you are interested in my reasoning behind my feelings read my breakdown of the entire episode on the other thread, you will find that earlybirdguest and I feel very similar about a few things.

        • Lori says:

          Opinions make the world go around. We can agree on some and disagree on others. Those who agree with us are right. Those who disagree are wrong. Not really, because after all, they are only opinions.

          But we never say that anyone who agrees with us is wrong. We would say they are right. We never say that someone we disagree with is right, even though they might be, but we may say we think they are wrong, opinion or not. Feeling they are wrong is yet another opinion. So none of this bothers me and I'm willing to have it used back on myself.

          We may very well agree with the same person on a different something else. It is good that you are providing reasoning behind your feelings. I wish more people would. Thank you.

    • Crouton40 says:

      Next week, a product-pitch challenge. Reminds me of last year when Damaris went to "the Auction." I would expect this next challenge to be a good one for the finalists and a good one for us to see. However, once that is done, I'm hoping we can really focus much more on the cooking aspect of things.

      Speaking of food, Christopher, Lenny & Nicole made food that excelled. They were some of the very few that really did. I also thought, that Nicole did better than Loreal.
      As we move forward, I think authority and professional expertise will matter even more. " A Food Network authority" Being a nice person is good, but it won't be enough. We all have our favorite and we all think they're nice. More finalists are being eliminated, competition is getting hotter and I'm asking: Who can do it ALL? Who can bring "the Total Package?" Incredible cooking, warm smile/unpretentious, simple/encouraging teaching. And who does it better than the rest, and most consistently? The pressure is on.

      • shannon says:

        Funny you say that" we all have our favorites". I was just thinking about that same thing. In past years about this time I would have one maybe two people I was pulling hard for. This year not so much. I find myself still at the stage of having one or two that I don't like so much and think they need to go home. Is it because there has been a serious lack of cooking and of that little amount of cooking that we have seen, it has been completely pre selected items? I think so, I still feel like I don't really know what these individuals are bringing to the table (pun intended). As an example, if I were to look at say Sarah,one would say her show must be about burgers,I am sure it's not, but I have no idea what she can cook. Emma is the same way, I honestly can not guess what her style of cooking is,can you? Nicole, coastal cuisine, I think I am starting to see the picture she may have in mind, I think it is more "laid back days on the beach,easy breezy dishes" not necessarily fish centric, but again I am not sure. Not sure this season is evolving all that clearly.

        • Crouton40 says:

          I agree. This year it's harder to decide who's best. Or, it's taking longer. Normally, I would have my 3 or 4 faves picked out about now. Harder this year because we haven't seen enough cooking.

          What is their Point-of-View? What do people make? I'm glad we have their audition videos for that. But I still want to see much more--in the challenges. I wish the challenges would let everyone DO their own POV, too, instead of so much assigned-stuff. I don't really have a clear idea of what Emma makes. Using fresh ingredients to make the best dishes? But, wouldn't everyone want to do that anyway? Sarah is now Texas food, but they need to let her make it, not just burgers. I'm unsure what Chris K's type of food is. Reuben has talked about "the Flavors of Miami" but looking back on what he's already done, nothing strongly Miami comes to memory. Lenny's POV is more clear. Gourmet Cowboy. At least it gives me an idea what to expect. Nicole's POV, Coastal Cuisine, is even better (I think the best so far), as: 1. It's clear yet it offers alot (more than just fish), 2. it's tasty, no one else is really quite doing it alread, and it's new. I still need to see more OF it, but what Nicole has done so far, has been very good. After 5 challenges, she has still never yet been in the bottom three. (I'm still thinking about that earlier,.. was it a crusted Tuna, that she made? Sounds yummy.) With Coastal Cuisine, there's Crab, Clams, Shrimp, Lobster, seared Scallops and relaxed beach cooking. Then, add her Italian background & think of all the things she could do with noodles, meatballs, linguine and more. You could also combine them in some dishes.I really like this POV. It's clear, new, can do alot with it, and it gives things I'd definitely want to eat.
          So, unless something drastic were to happen to change things, Nicole is a definite fave of mine for those reasons. I find her easy to listen to. No one has ever called her fake. Lenny is the other strong one.But that's only 2 people. Like we said, it's harder to decide this year.
          Side Note: isn't it interesting? (coincidence?) that the people with the clearest POV's (Lenny and Nicole) also seem to be *Doing* the best?
          I'm also thinking about (but still unsure of): Sarah, Emma and Loreal, to round-out-the-top 5...but, that's more uncertain/changeable. We'll see. I think I'll enjoy this next challenge.

          • shannon says:

            Crouton, Being from South Eastern PA I am a hop skip and a jump from New Jersey, New York and Maryland. We are considered the Tri State area. I am interested in seeing where Nicole goes with her POV, there is absolutely nothing on the network from this region. It's either South eastern cuisine or North Eastern cuisine. Both extremely different from what goes on in NJ and the Tri State area. I hope they let Nicole spread her wings and show what it's really about, yes we have seafood but also some of the best produce in the country. Our dairy farms and potato farms are some of the best in the country, I guess we are really spoiled around here with the availability of good fresh products from the land and the sea.

          • MoHub says:

            Silver Queen corn!

          • Crouton40 says:

            (smile). Never been to New Jersey...but I can believe it about the produce. (There must be SOME reason they call it The Garden State).

          • MoHub says:

            Been all up and down the East Coast, but I live in the MD/DC suburbs. For a small state, Maryland has a lot of variety in both topography and culture, with both strong urban areas and beautiful farmland, hills and mountains, and even ski country in the panhandle.

            It's a great state to call home.

          • shannon says:

            Exactly like It is in SE PA, we are basically neighbors, it is beautiful. We are spoiled in our accesibility to both culture and natures bounty. (Sounds corny I know, but it is true).

          • Crouton40 says:

            Maryland. How neat, that you can get all of that topography and scenery without having to drive all that far. Nice!

            As for wash. state (think sort-of in vertical columns, north and south)--we have: 1.the coast...2. the "I-5 corridor"(Seattle to L.A.) and then a bit more inland is "the Cascades mountain range" north n south thru wash/oregon. 3.once you get inland on the other side of Cascades, (in Or. or Wash.) less trees/more desert-y but also more sunny days and clear blues skies. Bend, oregon area/3 sisters mtns. (central oregon) has great skiing but Bend can get 102 in summer. Oregon Beaches prettier than Washington beaches. Hood River/The Dalles, Oregon has good cherries and apples. Spokane, Washington a good metropolitan inland city is hot in summer cold in winter. In Skagit county, wash. north of seattle they have a well-known Tulip festival each year. From Bandon, oregon to crescent city, california, the beaches are Fabulous!! Cannon Beach, (very small town, northern Oregon) is much visited. (my little tour-guide crash course, grin)

          • Shannon says:

            Awesome, you have it all as well, beaches to mountains to desert!

          • shannon says:

            Ahh, the best.

          • Crouton40 says:

            Aha! We agree again. In talking about Nicole's POV, I had mentioned that no one else is really doing what she is doing and that it offers alot, and something new. Now, you are saying:..." there is absolutely nothing on the network from this region." Looks like this area of the country would do good at filling a need and giving us something new. Being out here in SW Washington state, I haven't been to your part of the country. But i think it must be pretty in Jersey. (they call it The Garden State, don't they?) and Nicole herself has said they have the BEST tomatoes. (jives with what you say about good produce). Again, alot to offer.

            If they can just Let Nicole be Nicole, I think she will impress us with the whole area. We haven't seen that much cooking, but everything Nicole has done, has been good quality. I'm gonna go look again, for a different youtube video that I found weks ago of Nicole (not her audition video). You'll like it. It starts with her, on location, standing on the beach/shore (in a place called Bridgentine, i think). For those in the audience that may wonder about Nicole's presentation (which I think have been clear and warm) she is even more casual/at-home in this video. i.e...Relateable. I'll find it and post/add the link to this conversation. Back soon.

          • Crouton40 says:

            Here it is! Nicole, live in Bridgentine. I think she's relaxed. She looks into the camera. I don't have any hard time following along with her.

          • Crouton40 says:

            If it doesn't work, be sure to also highlight/paste the http:// part, too.

          • Shannon says:

            Ok, Nicole just scored another point for me. She can obviously do a great job of explaining. It is a shame that the show this year is doing such a poor job of showing us who these folks really are. Score another point for Inspector Crouton.

          • Crouton40 says:

            Thanks. :)

    • Statsgod says:

      It is sad to see that the contest is less and less about cooking good food. FN has reached the MTV stage of a music video network that has no music videos. We are fast approaching an era in which FN has no shows that show us how to cook. Who is the last Food Network Star to get and keep an actual instructional cooking show?

  2. CommonSense says:

    You know what Justin? I'd really like to see that 'rebel side" of you come out and see you write something like " I TOTALLY disagree with the judges this time...or even I agree with giada or whomever--but please dont just mirror their opinions ALL the time and conform to whatever they decide and back it up with how they were correct. But I guess you got a piece of bread buttered by them so you try not to step on anybody's toes. I'd hope the Networks ego is not so huge that they can accept one of their own publicly yet respectfully disagreeing with them.

    This is where the non-conformist Bobby Flay shines.

    • Claire says:

      Yes! Thank you for saying this!
      For example, when Chris was kicked out of the army for doing drugs, and that's painted as patriotic?! I know people make mistakes, but the whole network was really quiet about how it's patriotism to love the military because it gave you an honorable discharge where there was no honor.

      I, too, wish that Justin would say something that hadn't already been said on the show. Say something to make me want to read these things, Justin, because I'm starting to wonder why I do!

    • EvenMoreSense says:

      Justin should keep his opinions out of here altogether. Any previous winner should. They should not be biased for or against anyone. You don't see Sarah de Heer or Maria Russo rooting for or against anyone. They write very well and are more objective. They do a better job.

    • Sheri says:

      God Bless Bobby Flay.

      If you cant cook, entertainment won't matter much. Giada was wrong. They could still eliminate Christopher later. But he was better than Rueben.

    • Statsgod says:

      I have always liked Giada and Alton. I though Bobby was a little full of himself. It seems that Bobby has developed a softer touch. Giada and Alton are just downright mean and nasty at times. Neither has had a redeeming human moment. They are out of touch self absorbed superstars.

  3. Buffy says:

    I do not understand the comment "America is starving for avocados." The comment reads as if American audiences are simpletons. That is the reason Lenny presented the side dish over the main dish. He could not describe the dish in the time given and avocado dip is simple and left time for the rodeo clown act.

    • CommonSense says:

      Well said and great insight Buffy!

      Lenny WAS slick and it paid explanation on his dish probably purposely so he wouldn't be out there stammering thru it--- he picked a comfortable easy tip so no brain power necessary there either--nevertheless he wow-ed the judges and Alton was charmed by it.

    • BeerCantChicken says:

      Probably better for the rest of the contestants to have Lenny just talk about guacamole because he is obviously one of the top 3 in this competition. If he would of talked about his spice mix for the fish he would of knocked it out of the amusement park!

  4. Liz Cantu says:

    It's an all new week of #FoodNetworkStar Fourth of July combos... hmmm, somehow I doubt it will be as easy as it sounds :)

    Chris K- Grilled Chicken & Mac/Cheese- Let's see if the time factor gives Chris any problems this week. His Chipotle/Beer BBQ sauce sounds good. Haha, great Obama impersonation. He got his demo done in time and was very clear. The food didn't go over well for him,

    Emma- Crab Cakes & Cole Slaw- Her demo was amazing! Her energy was great, she demoed both parts of her dish, and she tied it in to her life and memories so well....... but..... the execution did not please the judges.

    Reuben- Fried Chicken and Bean Salad- Going first is never easy...His pacing is better, but the food didn't go over well. He should have checked on the chicken to make sure it was cooking evenly. He lost everyone on the bean salad, he needs to get the presentation part down so he has time to explain everything.

    Nicole- BBQ Pork & Onion Rings- Food looked great, energy was really good. I get what she was saying with the whole easy-going beach feel and the kabob, but she could have tied it in to the beach just a bit better.

    Christopher- Shrimp, Corn & Tomato Salad-- He seems pretty awkward while explaining his food, didn't demo anything except how to plate. While the judges liked the food and how pretty the plating was, he still has yet to break out of that shell and wow me with energy and character.

    Sarah- Hamburgers & Pasta Salad-- She actually did really well with her presentation, she was natural and tied the food into her life. I live in San Antonio, and that burger sounds like something I could get around town. Did the judges like her food? No. I think I see a trend here this week.

    Lenny- Fish Tacos & Guacamole-- He looked the part, his energy is always good. He didn't have any fish to demo, but the fish was seasoned well for the judges. Guacamole is pretty standard in Texas like Sarah said, however people in other parts of the country can be pretty clueless as to how it's done. Everyone makes their's differently, and while it didn't blow the judges away it was still good.

    Loreal- Steak & Potato Salad-- Her energy was so much better this time, the closing was fun, but if you're going to label yourself the "Butcher Babe" you have to make sure the meat is perfect. Even I know to season before cooking meat. The steak wasn't up to par for the judges either. The potato salad looked great, I'm sure I would use that recipe, but a side dish can't make up for boring steak.

    Ok, so this week there was cooking. Something all the fans were crying for last week.... and sadly it doesn't look like the judges were too happy with anyone. There were good parts to a couple people's food, but nothing to really wow the judges. They named Lenny and Loreal as this week's winners. I think given their presentations it was an ok choice. To me, everyone else that was safe seemed on par with these two. Everyone had some issues this week, so I can't point to one specific person for the whole package.
    Christopher and Reuben in the bottom two..... Christopher is totally understandable. His presentation was awkward, his food looked good, but I can't watch him. He still seems cold and detached. Bobby is lobbying hard for him, but I don't see why. Reuben has so much more personality and energy. Yes he needs to slow it down a bit, yes his food was inconsistent, but I agree with Alton and Giada that there is something there worth keeping an eye on.
    In the end Christopher went home and I'm totally fine with that. To me, if I'm going to take time out of my busy day to watch your show, you need to give me a really great reason as to why I should. Watching an awkward detached person try to talk their way through a recipe is not how I want to spend 30 minutes. When doing a show, the chef's practice the recipes beforehand to make sure they are right. You can teach cooking and consistency, you can't teach personality and camera presence.
    Let's see how next week goes :) The editors did a great job on the promo spot bringing out the tension and drama :)

    • Crouton40 says:

      Nice review. Enjoyed reading it.
      I could never watch Christopher (unless he got MUCH better in the warmth & better explanations depts.) do a show. But, he could teach me more than what Rueben has done so far. Personally, as they both are now....I would look to someone else altogether to take time out of my day to watch. Maybe Rueben will get better. But things appear to be *too much* of a personality contest this year.

      I DO want a winner with personality! But I would look elsewhere for it than either Rueben or Christopher. I liked Loreal's "Butcher Babe" comment and I think Nicole was the real "unsung hero" tonight.

      • Liz Cantu says:

        Thanks Crouton. I think this week really got the best of everyone when it came to food. I'm hoping next week is much better and gives us a really good look at their culinary skills. I will say though that as someone in the film industry and as someone who is still learning to cook, it's a lot easier (or rather takes less time) to teach someone a recipe than it is to teach them camera presence. So having at least a spark of personality will help and sadly Christopher did not have any. It's a lot easier to get someone to tone it down than to try and draw out what isn't there. :) Again, all my opinion based on personal experience. I always dig your reviews and commentary :)

        • Kit says:

          Gee, I thought being a chef was about more than just learning a recipe. Chris didn't scream reality tv star which appears to be a requirement now, but I found him to be sincere and likable. He was the only one of the bunch I would care to watch. The network is already rife with over the top personalities. Do they really need more of that? I miss the cooking.

          • MoHub says:

            Being a chef may be just about cooking, but being a television chef requires and ability and willingness to demonstrate and teach, neither of which is Christopher's strong suit. I would eat his food anytime, but I'm not sure I'd get anything out of a program he was helming.

    • shannon says:

      Nice review Liz.

  5. Millie Jackson says:

    I disagree with Alton & Giada. There were quite a few of others that should have went home. I dont' like Giada attitude - she doesn't dress appropriately for the show. Christopher had the best dish but went home - something wrong with this picture.

    • Buffy says:

      How should Giada dress?
      I like her dresses.
      Loreal will need help her dresses. Now, I remember where I saw the band around her head. Jane Jetson ties a band/rag around her head like Loreal when she cleans the house.

      • shannon says:

        Buffy,you made me Lol, choke and swallow my gum when I read your Jane Jetson coment. Awesomely humorous.

        • Buffy says:

          I do not understand how the southern people are accepting Lenny and Loreal as representative of the South. People think Giada is jealous of these women, really there is no comparison.

          • Dinner For One says:

            Lenny ain't Southern. He's coming off as redneck cowboy but he is to high faluting to pull it off. Redneck cowboys want beef or pork and potatoes. They don't eat anything green unless it's green chili sauce.

            Also, Loreal has me confused she says she is from Louisiana but I thought she grew up in Indiana. If she grew up in Indiana she ain't Southern. Also, Southern girls can cook a steak and they know how to season it.

            I don't know I'm just confused. I like your Jane Jetson comment. I thought that head thing looked like Mammie in Gone With The Wind.

          • CommonSense says:

   down south ain't all accepting them as our representative.

          • CommonSense says:

            Sorry. Computer button sticking tonight. Didn't mean to post comment 100 times.

          • CVeraS says:

            I live in South Carolina. This is not South Carolina southern cooking. We can agree to disagree on all things Giada. Thats what makes the blogs so fun. I watched Jane Jetson, faithfully every Saturday morning growing up!

          • BeerCantChicken says:

            Who said Lenny is representing the South? His POV is gourmet cowboy, there are cowboys in Montana to Arizona. Geography 101 Duffy

          • MoHub says:

            I'm not a Lenny fan, but I think what a lot of posters here are missing is that Lenny's POV isn't literally cowboy food. Rather, it's about elevating traditional cowboy fare to more refined, gourmet levels. Hence, the quiche—a.k.a. "egg pie"—with the unfortunately misnamed sopapilla.

            If anything, Lenny is attempting to take chuck-wagon cooking beyond the narrow scope of beef, beans, and potatoes.

          • Shannon says:

            MoHub, I get that concept but then it still leaves me lost as to exactly what he is going to be cooking. If he is cooking the "foods" of a chuck wagon but "opening it up" with the addition of other ingredients, aren't we really just talking a cuisine very similar to tex-mex? Let me just be a little snarky here ..or is he just a guy who dresses like a Cowboy who cooks good food? Perhaps his POV should be Cuisine Cooked by A Cowboy. I like Lenny, but I am truly just trying to figure out what kinds of foods these folks are going to cook since the network has so far only shown them cooking what the network has picked.

        • CommonSense says:

          Yeah Buffy is funny. She brings necessary humour to this post!

      • MoHub says:

        Loreal's kerchief took me straight to the mascot on a can of Luzianne coffee. Or maybe Aunt Jemima. Either way, it bugs.

        • shannon says:

          MoHub, Me too. Glad you and others feel the same way. I thought it was just me with the Aunt Jemima, gone with the wind "mammy" vibe. I doubt that is the image she contrived to present. Backfire. Her costume comes across borderline mockery to me at times.

          • Pat says:

            She's a bit on the chunky side and may not have as many choices as some more slender ones. The kerchief keeps her hair back and out of her face, so that's good.

  6. Tinochka says:

    I will admit that I thought it was time Christopher went home. He has never captured my attention, I can get the same information from a cookbook. He can cook but can he hold an audience's attention? In the end that is why he was sent home.

    I also will admit to being torn about it because on one hand you have to be able to cook in order to have a show, but then on the other you need to be able to keep the viewer's attention.

    Were there others who should have been sent home before Christopher? Probably all of those who haven't been able to cook a decent dish yet. But in all fairness how much real "cooking" have they had a chance to do so far?

    I think the network has it a little backwards. First you need someone who can cook, someone who knows about seasonings, someone who knows how to teach others and impart knowledge. That can't be taught in a few weeks. That is something that is instinctive in some and in others has been gained by years of experience. You can teach someone how to connect with the camera. They should start figuring out who can and can not cook first and then move on to the "can they entertain" part.

    Maybe Christopher could have been taught how to engage with his audience. But he even said it himself "I'll never be a Lenny or Loreal". We don't need or want everyone to be Lenny or Loreal, but at least make me want to watch your show. Guess it was a self-fulfilling prophecy because it ended up being his downfall.

    • Crouton40 says:

      When you say: ..."I think the network has it a little backwards. First you need someone who can cook, someone who knows about seasonings, someone who knows how to teach others and impart knowledge."....and....
      ...."You can teach someone how to connect with the camera. They should start figuring out who can and can not cook first and then move on to the "can they entertain" part.----I think you are absolutely right.

      I have always said it takes FOUR characteristics, not just one.
      1. Top-notch Cooking
      2. Clear teaching
      3. Warm personality
      4. Not being a turn-OFF
      But cooking first.

      I would rather have a superior Chef (like say, Bobby), elevate my knowledge and cooking ability by watching him, than to have a fun-to-be-with-pal who never gets me beyond Mac-n-cheese, burgers or soup. I want: Likeability. But if the cooking isn't there then maybe I should just go have a beer with that person and get someone else for cooking.
      I like what you said.

  7. Kit says:

    Christopher was the only person who can cook. I think they should have held into him, but a reality tv Personality he isn't and I think that's what they're looking for.

  8. Kelli says:

    Look at the handshake pic above. Chris doesn't seem to mind one bit that he lost. Maybe he's grateful to be away from so much silliness like the youtube videos and get back to making quality dishes where he cooks. Read his exit interview.

    • CommonSense says:

      Yeah but he still subjected himself to that silly star salvtn show after being booted from FNS. He should have declined it. So now he got kicked off 2 shows like a glutton for punishment. Chad & Luca are still in the running together. And they'll surely dump Chad and bring Luca back.

    • Kit says:

      I think he soon realized that's not what he signed up for. They wouldn't have brought him on if he didn't have camera presence. It was the gimmicks that he didn't buy into.

  9. Bill O says:

    I would have sent Reuben home yesterday. I think Reuben, Chris and Sarah are the weak links at this point. IMO, Lenny is alone at the top. I think the 3 other girls still need to define themselves and prove that they can cook. Loreal has a lot of personality, but it's a personality that doesn't really resonate with me. And if the "meat" girl can't cook a ribeye, then Houston, we have a problem. I like the other 2 girls a lot, Emma and Nicole, and I can still see either winning, but they need to get themselves to the next level. Watch out for the sleeper, Luca, who has been gaining experience against easy competition. When if jumps back in, assuming he does, he can be a force. I think Chad has run his course for me. I don't see him as this year's FNS. He just doesn't seem to have grown..

    • Crouton40 says:

      Alot of truth to that, Bill. Thanks!
      As things are right now, I'd say Lenny & Nicole are the two best.

    • Mary says:

      you are spot on with Luca.. At least he can cook and give a good story! Everyone else does either one or the other. Yes, I can imagine watching his show all year!

  10. Dillon says:

    I hope the "Rebel with a Culinary Cause" is the fourth judge next season....keep up the great work and get your own show please!!!!!

    • Louise says:

      What a disaster that would be!

      • Buffy says:

        Here everyone: here are some fresh fried bones, let's see I have two types of fish fried bones. I also have fried lobster tail without the meat. Not crunchy enough, not a problem I will use fried ants and place everything on sautéed grass from the yard.
        The Rebel's food is not new there is another program that shows the same type of food. .