One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go Home

by in Interviews, July 6, 2014

One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go Home, Episode 6Being a Food Network Star means not just hosting a television show, but building a brand indicative of a unique point of view, and Episode 6 was all about honing that perspective and the products that would support it. The seven remaining finalists had to create products and package them in this episode, but then they also had to sell them in commercials that forced them into oddball places — thanks to a special green screen.

If you haven't yet watched the episode, don't read any further. Star Talk is about to break down the ins and outs of the episode — and reveal who was sent home.

In what would be Reuben's final week in the competition, he worked on developing and packaging his signature hot sauce, then selling it in a commercial — one that took place on the moon. The Selection Committee appreciated the taste and consistency of his dish — in fact, Bobby couldn't get enough of it. But they couldn't look past what Bobby called his "flat" commercial, which failed to acknowledge his lunar surroundings.

Read Reuben's exclusive interview below to hear more from him. Learn how he felt about his elimination, the trimming of his beard and who he would like to see win the competition.

Star Talk: What couple of words best describe how you're feeling right now?
Reuben Ruiz: To be honest with you right now, I'm actually happy I'm going to go home. I want to see my parents. I haven't seen them in such a long time. I'm a mama's boy and I really want to see her. Obviously, at the same time I wanted to win this competition. You don't come here just to go halfway — you want to win it. It kind of sucks I'm leaving. (Watch Reuben fight for his way back in on Star Salvation now).

How do you feel about the company you were with in the bottom three?
RR: You know, honestly, I thought it was right. We did do the worst this challenge. Emma's video: She didn't sell her product so well. Nicole: Her energy wasn't there, she was deflated like they told her. And the energy just wasn't there in my video. I wasn't myself — the me that they usually see — and I knew deep down I was going home. I even told the girls they were safe: "Don't worry, I know I'm going home."

Reuben RuizYou said you felt like you knew you were going home, but do you agree with the judges' decisions?
RR: Oh hell yeah. I completely agree with the judges this week. You know, I slacked on my energy and I know I felt bad, but that shouldn't be an excuse. Going forward, if given an opportunity, you always have to be professional and you have to put the best face forward at all times. I learned that the hard way today.

How was it without Alton, but with the addition of Bob and Susie?
RR: There wasn't that much of a difference. Alton always busts me in regards to my beard, which I shaved off for him. Dang it! I shaved my beard for that man! In all seriousness, Alton is a cool character — he's a cool cat, and I really like him. But it's nice being in front of Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson — they're the make-or-break people at Food Network, so I'm disappointed that they saw the bad performance. They never witnessed the good performances I've had along the way. I've been in the top a couple of times, and it's disappointing that they haven't seen that.

In keeping with the mentors, is there a piece of advice that you're going to take with you after this competition?
RR: Enunciating my words and speaking properly. And if I'm going to speak in Spanish, I need to translate that back to English, because there are many people who don't speak Spanish. But it's good that I know another language and it's authentic as well. I have to use that to my advantage.

You mentioned Alton busting you a little bit, but did you find any of the mentors intimidating at all?
RR: Oh! At first I found Alton very intimidating. He has this stare of death. And you really can't read that man too well. But after a while we started getting to know him, and at one point he actually played guitar outside with all of us. He sang and I really saw the true Alton Brown come out. So it's like he has a different facade in front of the camera, and off-camera he's just a really genuine guy.

Reuben RuizAre you going to grow your beard back now?
RR: Oh hell yeah! Within the next few months, I'll probably have a beard again.

What was your favorite and least favorite challenge?
RR: My favorite challenge was the YouTube challenge. I got to eat a lot of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (they're actually my favorite candy), and I was chosen to work with them. Plus, we were the winning team. Obviously, my least favorite challenge was this one (Episode 6). I was feeling terrible — and that damn astronaut suit. I don't know whose idea it was to have that astronaut suit, but I wish they were dressed in it so they could feel it too!

What do you want fans of the show to remember about you?
RR: What I would love for the fans to remember about me is just that ... well, not how loud I am, but just how energetic I am. I'm a very charismatic person, and I hope they saw that on the camera as well. I spoke about my family a lot; it's very endearing to do so. I really love my family. The best stories and the best times of my life are with my family, and I hope that showed on camera.

Who are you rooting for, going forward?
RR: You know, obviously — no, not obviously — the person who I honestly want to win this is Loreal. She doesn't think she can do it, but I want her to win. She always has such self-doubt, but she's such a genuine person. I really want her to win. But she needs to find who she is as a person. She's always quivering, and I think it's just a thing of nerves, but once she's able to embrace that, she'll do well.

Watch Reuben battle for a chance at redemption on Star Salvation. Click the play button on the video below to see the first part of the episode, then head over to Star headquarters to catch the second part.

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Comments (217)

  1. Martha says:

    I wish we could send the judges to the moon. What a ridiculous challenge, as if the Foodnetwork would ever do that to one of their 'stars' aside from Alton, who would actually enjoy it. This show gets more difficult to watch each week and will be removed from my DVR, I really don't care if I miss it. P.S. Giada should watch her own Chefography...she was a hot mess when she started out and seems to have forgotten what it's like to be a beginner.

    • Monte says:

      You make good points, Martha, but essentially FN wants "ready made", like a lot of other arenas. For instance, in music, it's rare to find someone by that person just walking into the record company, playing a few songs, and getting signed. Today it's about what sort of audience you already have, and how little money they have to spend on your to get you "ready".

      • Martha says:

        True Monte. I just want to see someone who can cook and inspire me to want to try their recipe. i don't care about their 'story' and I really don't want the over done personalities they tend to lean toward. I find I'm tuning into PBS for my food shows more an more these days. It's really too bad this network is becoming less about food and more about branding.

        • Monte says:

          I think this is too bad. I'm like you. I'd rather have someone who can actually be an instructional cook. I know a lot of people don't care for his style, but that's what I LOVED about Good Eats.

          I don't think an "over-the-top" personality is necessary. One does not have to be "over-the-top" to be engaging.

          I don't think they need a story, either. Just be a quality instructional cook!

          I tried one of Aarti's recipes, was HUGELY disappointed, and never made another.

          I don't think that FN really gets what viewers want...

          • the Owl says:

            Very well said! The whole reality-tv or larger than life aspects of the Food network have gone much too far. Over the edge.

            I feel that there are too many tv or production execs that are almost like religious fanatics in that they are in-the-business and because of that they just "know" they are right and know better than the viewers. That is a very mistaken view. Because more and more people are leaving for the Cooking Channel or leaving altogether and voicing their disgust online. Meanwhile, the network acts like they ignore the feedback, another pointless show or one with another over the top goes on the air, more people leave and the show gets cancelled. When will they learn?

            That does not mean we want an army of sleepy Ina Gartens, good cook that she is, but they need to return to what made them great. Cooking!

    • Lesley says:

      they sent home the wrong person.....I love watching because I like to cook, We eat out maybe 2x a year

    • Buffy says:

      I love your response. Perhaps, you can replace this removed show with episodes of the "Beverly Hillbillies".
      I am sure there are some episodes of "Green Acres" (Emma), city farmer.
      or episodes with schleprock (Loreal- butcher gal slamming crazy looking cut of meat on the grill and hit and miss marinade.

      FN is not presenting new characters, I have seen them before.

      • Buford says:

        What kind of new character would you like and what kind of food would you like them to cook?

    • Michelle says:

      Marha is right on. This is the silliest, least impressive challenge yet. It's as if the network is having them do this challenge because they can't think of anything else. And the judges were so nasty about the fact that these chefs are not marketers, writers, and actors. I'd like to see the judges try this challenge. Why does a chef have to be able to do everything? Isn't that what the network is for... leave the cooking to the chef, and the other stuff to the staff? I'm disappointed in the network for forcing these poor folks into that stupid challenge.

    • April says:

      So agree. This season is a circus. Cannot believe they sent Luca home for one mistake but kept the rest of these clowns. The pageant queen is annoying ...who could listen to her or lasso Lenny, she screams nothing intelligible and he is lost in some freaking twilight zone...Reuben's beard was gross, disgusting to think he would his personality though, and I lived most of my life in Miami...why dies Emma growl in a monotone? Can that even Eartha Kitt, but I think she is the most tolerable, this season talent cooks or personality. I am embarrassed at what clown will be last standing.

      • Jen says:

        1.The Pageant Queen hasn't been a pageant queen since the first show. She's confident and natural. She teaches clearly. Give her some credit.
        2.Lenny is entertaining but too loud and trying too hard.
        3. Emma's voice does sound too much like a growly monotone. I didn't like what she cooks.

    • April says:

      I forgot I will if she continues...that idiot lo real...who in this world would ever watch her and her ignorant whooooop whoooop! I absolutely deplore her DANG voice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate this season...I literally took the time to take the series off record...why I watch this instead of property brothers...people who can really MAKE something interesting!

      • Karen says:

        I'd watch her and I've been to College.

        Emma is too much yuppie-food. I don't want chocolate covered bacon. Or beets. I could care less that she has relatives in several countries or that she does yoga. It's a cooking show.
        Reuben hasn't made anything memorable that excites me.

  2. Lily Bell says:

    This show is a joke anymore. I will not watch any of these clowns. If you want to watch a true cooking show, watch MasterChef.

    • Buffy says:

      I agree with you.
      Actually, I think master chef has a contestant on now who has appeared on one of FN cooking challenge programs. I will check but this women is presented as a bumbling geek in the kitchen. I was not pleased when she won.

      • shannon says:

        Omg, is that the little bakery assistant? Is that the same person!!!!!!

        • Buffy says:

          I don't know her background. Now that I think about, she may have been in a couple of other shows. She does not pose a threat to the other contestants, so she passes to the final stages. Her face flashed before me after I watched last night episode.

  3. Jade says:

    I think Ruben deserved to stay. I am disappointed in the judges choice. They should have taken in greater consideration his past and that he can cook. His salsa was complex and they all liked it. I think Nicole has gotten this far because of her looks. She really hasn't made anything that great on the show culinary wise. That is the frustrating things sometimes about this show, it can be more about the star power rather than the culinary depth. I like Emma and she deserved to stay. I think it is so cool she took a non popular vegetable like beets and made them so delicious and fun. I would buy pickled beets like that. I liked her French least she was enthusiastic and took the assignment given to her and made a creative effort. I had no problem understanding her. I think the judges were being overly critical. I thought Nicole was harder to understand because she just rambled on and didn't make sense.

    • Robert says:

      Jade - I agree with most of what you said, but Reuben is in the same league as Christopher was - he can certainly cook but his camera skills simply were not the best every week, and this time, even Sarah, who hadn't succeeded in selling her POV, summarized it adequately - he wasn't his RRRR-Reuben self. Personally, I agree with Bobby on ONE thing - both Reuben and Nicole had significant performance problems. If both of them were allowed to go to Las Vegas next week, MAYBE Reuben would prevail. Then again, maybe not. My guess is that Nicole's time will run out next week.

      • Guest says:

        Is this the first time you have seen Nicole? Bobby Flay told Bob T. and Susie that Nicole has shown alot of growth. Giada agreed. Nicole is usually better.

    • Michelle says:

      I agree with Jade. Emma jumped into her challenge full force. I, too, had no problem understanding her, and I'm from Texas. Her accent was actually quite nicely done. Saying it was a poor impression was incorrect. As an American, she did very well. I did not "lose" Emma in that skit. She was adorable. I want the pickled beet recipe. I would make that. I want to make that. The way the female judge belittled Emma and looked at her was embarrassing for the Network. Emma's was by far the best performance.

      • sheila says:

        Beets. Yuucckk. You can have mine.

        • MoHub says:

          Your personal taste. I happen to dislike shellfish and mushrooms, but I'd never dismiss a chef's choice to cook or market them because of my own preferences.

          • Judy says:

            YOU don't, but truth be told, how many people writing online right now are doing exactly that? They don't eat meat or like barbecue so they don't for someone who makes that. Or, they are gung-ho for anything foreign at all. Doesn't matter what it is, just so it comes from OUT OF the USA. So they vote against those who cooks American food, even if they are good at it. Or, some people have a favorite food, ie. Italian, Mexican, could be anything. So, they vote for whoever makes that, even if they are NOT that good. People will likely never admit this but I have complete faith that it happens. Alot!

          • guest says:

            On the other hand, there are those who think that meat/barbecue is the only type of food worth cooking, and USA cooking, whatever that is, is the only food worth eating, and will only vote for those things. It truly works both ways. I feel the same as MoHub. I may not want or be able to eat certain foods, but that will not influence my Food Network Star preferences. What may matter in my choice is whether the recipes being presented are some that I would feel comfortable making and serving to my family and/or guests, so clear teaching skills, reasonably available ingredients, and recipes that are not overly complex matter to me. Everyone has some criteria for the choices they make and no two people are alike, so I think the voting balances out in the end.

          • guest432 says:

            I tend to agree more with Judy. If MoHub and guest can be more neutral about the types of dishes made, fine. I do feel that they are the exception, not the rule as many people find a way of dismissing someones POV if it's a food they don't like.

            If they don't like "X", just go online and say the ingredients are hard to find even if they aren't, it's already being done even though 90% of viewers wouldn't mind a bit, or that the focus is too narrow even if it isn't or the focus is too generic and on and on.

            On the other hand, what POV can possibly be safe anymore? If someone says they "take Classic dishes and jazz them up or make them modern" it sounds hopelessly cliche or canned and we've all heard that before. If they say I use the freshest ingredients to make the best dishes, whoopee, who doesn't? Why wouldn't we all, unless we're dirt-poor? If they cook Mexican, people will say we have Marcella, if they cook family style people will say we already have Melissa. If they say I cook restaurant quality dishes, people will say we already have Anne Burrell. So, maybe we need something ultra-unique and outside the box. They tried that with Justin and it was just too much, never went anywhere. Perhaps this is the last year of Food Network Star?

          • lisa says:

            Judy is more correct. I can see lots of people voting for whoever makes the genre of food they like. They might be bad on camera or not that good at the food but since it's the "right" kind of food....whatever they like, they vote for them, Every year we see the different "camps" of people gearing up. The Healthy Eating group, the World-Traveller's group, the Avant-Garde/Exotic/Unusual group. For some folks, it's all they care about. Can't stop them but it's too bad that teaching ability, or being good an exceptional cook gets sacrificed for a genre.

          • shannon says:

            I guess I am confused, what is wrong with wanting a new chef on the network that cooks the "genre" of food that you are interested in? If a competitor say, cooked nothing but seafood and I were allergic to seafood,no matter how well they cooked I would not vote for them,that would be insane. I watch this show and root for the person that I think will entertain me the most and teach me new recipes and techniques to USE. If a Chef on the network cooks a type of food I am not interested in I don't watch. I would rather have someone I like on. Not every recipe they make has to be my favorite thing, they can't please every person every time.

          • lisa says:

            There is nothing wrong with wanting a new chef that cooks a genre we like. What I do feel is "wrong", is when, just because they do, people vote for, and post like crazy for them -even though- other cooks are clearly and obviously outdoing them in performance.

            Maybe *you* watch for good cooking and who can teach and entertain and I applaud that. However, when they make what we like, but they either aren't that good at it or they are bad on camera and 2 or more other cooks are clearly outperforming them, then to dismiss another contenders superior dishes and more star-power performance over someone weaker who makes our favorite munchie is "wrong." IMO But, people will do what they will do.

          • guest says:

            Maybe that is why the judges are so focused on camera skills? Not that I think good camera skills equal good teaching skills, but so far they have eliminated at least two excellent cooks (Luca and Christopher) mainly because they were not able to teach well in their particular challenge. So even though both were clearly quite competent at cooking, one and possibly both are no longer an option for the voters. We are subtly being directed to vote for camera-ready and entertaining contestants by process of elimination. It really does no good to rally behind a particular genre of cooking if your personal favorite gets eliminated. When this happens those commenters tend to state they will never watch another episode, as they have no interest in any of the others, so obviously they will not be voting. That is why I avoid focusing on contestants who cook foods/cuisines I like or don't like and instead look at each one based on overall performance. By the time the finalists are selected, I can usually get behind at least one of them based on what information we are given over the course of the show.

          • lisa says:

            I wholeheartedly agree. Focusing on performance is better.

            But before someone does get eliminated, people online will really pound on someone else's POV if it's a genre of food they don't like and praise the heck out of someone's genre they do like. Because of the sheer amount of postings, and possibly thereby influencing public opinion, the wrong people may be eliminated, or stay. Just a thought.

          • speckles says:

            That is PRECISELY why I blow off anyone who makes some lame, vague post about anyone being "annoying", etc. when they give no reason at all. BACK IT UP!

            Anything else is just name-calling. I guess some people feel they can just insult/slam any contestant they don't like out of the kitchen if they say they annoying, immature, over the top or whatever. But unless they say HOW, I give it absolutely ZERO credibility!

          • Shannon says:

            Influencing public opinion? You are making it seem like mob mentality. I believe this is a posting board where ideas , nuances and opinions are posted shared and discussed. Yes, i would have to say, ones eyes can be opened to look at things differently by reading other peoples takes on the situation. Or maybe you will read someone else's point, acknowledge it but not agree.This is called being open and looking at things from others point of view. That is a great thing. Not a crime.
            To that point, you make a statement "the wrong person may be eliminated". Remember that is your OPINION, who is the right person for you may not be the right person for another. Nobody is wrong for posting the way they feel,

          • speckles says:

            That isn't what I am saying. We *are* here to post our views. We do see alternative viewpoints. Who we want or don't want *is* our opinion. Mine, too. But two things remain:
            First, without any reason for a view, calling someone annoying, etc. with no evidence means extremely little and I give it no credibility. I have that right. If it doesn't matter to you, you have the right for it not to matter. You can say that is MY opinion. You are right. It is. But to make an arbitrary claim.or to just SAY someone is this or that without any evidence, again, is little more than name calling without providing any foundation for it. If we were in court it would be called mere Hearsay. But we're not in court. True. But in or out of court I can still believe there is "no foundation."
            Secondly, about influencing public opinion, it's one thing to state one's views. That's good. It's why were here! Bravo!

            But, some people post and post and re-post how this one or that one has just GOT to go, etc. Over and over. Ok. Alright. I heard 'em the first time. It's as if they *are* driven to influence public opinion on these boards. So much repetition.

            Whatever happens, no matter who the winner is, life will happily go on for me. I've got 150 tv shows I can watch and a very happy life after tv, and offline. But it is truly amazing how vague some people are. If I said to you: the world will end tomorrow, and you asked me why, and I said I don't know just a feeling I get, you'd likely say I've gone off my rocker. Rightfully so. And yet, alot of people writing are no better. They can't put their finger on it, it's just a feeling they have. Some people would say that to the degree that anyone can't do that - that to that same degree they are out of touch with themselves. Or if it were a first date, alot of people would consider someone like that "inarticulate and boring." Oh well, Life still goes on. I feel I've made my point. ALL opinions ARE welcome! I, and you, have the right to ignore the ones we don't like. In my case, the vague ones. Carry on!

    • Disappointed in Cali says:

      I agree 1000%. No, that is not a typo :)

  4. Jelaza says:

    I literally could not watch either Emma's or Lenny's commercial. Emma's fake French accent and Lenny's amplified cowboy accent were painful to hear and I had to leave the room. (Lenny's accent has never been that grating before; it usually sounds much more natural - was he forcing it to be more pronounced for the commercial, or does he usually reign it in?)

    Reuben's and Nicole's commercials were lackluster and awkward, but I was able to watch them. I agree that Chris missed the chance to say something about the butter while he was buttering without speaking. I like Loreal's and also kinda liked Sarah's.

    • lcsa99 says:

      I agree with you completely, that at least Reuben and Nicole were watchable. And I don't think anyone has noted that both of them were given significantly harder locations than all of the others. Nicole wasn't in our decade, and Reuben wasn't on the silly planet! It's understandable that they would have more difficulty selling their products.

      • Buffy says:

        I thought the idea of this challenge was to sell yourself/POV. A person who believes in what they are selling can sell at a moment's notice. Yes, actors must sell the directors. TV chefs do not work always work in the most ideal situation and must continue with their POV at all times.

        My knowledge is limited for each area given to the contestants, however, I searched what I had learned in school and found some knowledge of each region given and I could link while presenting who I am for each region.

        Now, FN, my time is valuable also. There are nice re-runs on television that are more entertaining. Everyone cannot do improv, the people on this program need time to study their parts. It is clear, none are drawing on their elementary/Jr. High/ High school training. Do you have an acting coach on staff?

        • Rhonda says:

          Don't you just love when someone who claims to have a TV, production or media background comes online and acts like they are the only ones who truly understand how it all works as if the rest of us should just log-off now and let them completely handle the Blog discussion? Bleeaugh. We don't need to be producers to know what we like and don't like on TV. The viewers are the ratings.

          • Buffy says:

            My teachers taught these things to me in school. Much of what I have learned from teachers has served as a basis to accomplish some task that are new to me through-out my life. There are teachers who share more than others. Love the teacher, if my comment gives suggest that I can produce the show better than producers. Producing is not a job I have thought about doing.

            Note: Lenny has a skillet with different chile peppers. The chefs give him a suggestion, he then pretends the peppers are foreign, and then has a prop pen and tablet to take made-up notes. I think he licked the tip of the pen. I can only comment on what is presented.

          • Fluffy says:

            Huh!? Some of your answers online make me wonder if you meant to answer some different question. I think I'll move on.

    • Elizabeth says:

      The thing I think is funny is Giada complained about her fake french, stating that it was "Cheesy" it is no worse than listening to Giada with her "Italian" pronunciation. Or her fake stupid smile. Talk about "Cheesy".

  5. James says:

    What show are you watching? Nicole, very early on made a Tuna dish that was very well received. Last week, Bobby said he could just keep on eating her Kebobs. No one has been saying anything online about Nicole getting by on her looks. We are 6 challenges into this and I am only seeing you mention it now.

    Emma out-cooks Nicole and Rueben. She has all along. Rueben has been on the bottom at least twice. Emma has also been on the bottom at least twice. This Nicole's first time ever. This wasn't her best night but she has been doing far better than many. And she's got a good personality. Just last week Alton said Nicole engaged the audience very quickly.

    Others have been doing considerably worse. Nicole is already ahead of several. She will be back.

  6. James says:

    OOPS. One big error. Above should be NICOLE is outcooking Emma and Rueben.

    • Guest234 says:

      Emma's made only ONE item the judges haven't liked: last week's crab cakes. : /

      • James says:

        Nicole has had very good cooking. Judges like her dishes. I prefer the types of dishes Nicole has made. Emma made beets. I don't like beets. Rememember also last yr., when Stacey won several challenges by doing easy dishes. They are both informal warm people to be around but I feel Nicole has more skill.

  7. CommonSense says:

    Glad Nicole and Emma get to stay a little bit longer. I think Emma was having fun using the little accent even though it did sound cheesy, however, I understood all she said..peculiar that the judges were not able to hear and understand what she said? I dont think Giada likes Sarah so she'll probably be gone sooner or later too in addition to Nicole and maybe Emma too.
    Gotta be painful for the contestants to stand there and grin and be happy about their little video commercials only to be shot down by the judges.,just wipes that grin off their faces. Loreal looked better in that longer dress which wasn't so short. Hard to believe she has self doubt as Reuben says above. And oh yeah
    Reuben--please dont regrow the beard. Alton was right. It needed to go. You look much better without that 2nd head of hair on your chin.

    Pretty low class for Susie Fogelson to say "b_ _ _s" on tv ..or did I hear incorrectly?
    And Bobby Flay, you keep calling it as you see it even if it totally goes against the grain of Susie and Giada and Bob. Integrity man. Integrity.

    • Guest000 says:

      By getting rid of certain people they can pave the way for Luca. Imagine if he comes back and loses. Some folks will have 16 ulcers.

      • Guest234 says:

        Even if Sarah does make it to the finals, she won't win anyway because no one will vote for her -- just like with Rodney and Russell last year. ; ) Lenny and Loreal can go before she does, in that respect. : P

        • CVeraS says:

          I would vote for her.

          • shannon says:

            Me too. I am willing to wager if it is between Lenny,Loreal and Sarah it would be a pretty tight race, each one seems to have lots of fans.

          • Nancy says:

            Nicole, too. Not her night last night but she was the last one to hit bottom. As you said she's had more energy. She's been a reliable and knowledgeable finalist.

          • CommonSense says:

            Ever notice that Lenny has the smarts to accept whatever the judges say and not try to defend his dishes or disagree with their opinions..he just says 'Yes Chef' . And you know how much they like that kind of response. I dont have a fave of the remaining. (Sorry Chris but I'd like to see you leave..bit too much theatrics each time). Certainly dont want Chad to come back. Somehow he comes off as being ticked inside when on that salvation show..even tho he tries to smile more. None of them show any sparks for me yet to make me want to REALLY want a certain one to win. I like the competition but individually, no particular fave. BUT I would watch their show over Giada. Not because I dislike Giada, but her show is someone said about Luca's personality. they're quick to flash nice smiles though..and thats better than a grump anyday.

          • Buffy says:

            Typically, the food competition shows it is, Yes, Chef. I wondered why most were not acknowledging this fact. The reality of a restaurant kitchen is yes, chef. Perhaps, in some kitchens it is not required to use the words, however, the sous-chef does not decide the menu unless asked.
            Think about it: the large letter place has a chef that out rank the cooks in their restaurant. Have you tasted any special spices on their burgers in different locations outside of the decryptions given? :)

            A chef's job is not easy.

          • Guest234 says:

            Sarah has lots of fans?!? Could've fooled me. : P

          • Geri says:

            Who do you want to win?

            Of course, as usual, people who don't like Sarah never say. It's just all about getting rid of someone.

          • Guest234 says:

            Emma, Nicole and Chris are the three I find least objectionable, if you must know.

          • OMGWTH says:

            Honestly, it's hard to pick a favorite because I think they are all just so-so. Not any one of them stands out as a cook or personality in my opinion. I don't think I would watch any of their shows. NONE of them except for Reuben has a clear POV that has been demonstrated - food from Miami with Latin flavors. And if you're going to claim to be the "Butcher Babe" then you'd better start smacking up some meat chick!!

            Honestly, when Sara presented baby food I thought once again she'd changed her POV and I thought, good for her, there's not a single show like it & that would probably do well. Now THERE'S a real CLEAR POV! Instead she said I cook foods from the Republic of Texas. WTH?!?! Black bean & lime baby food is texan food? Maybe. I don't know, I've never been there, but I'm guessing, NOT.

          • shannon says:

            I don't buy Loreal as a butcher now and never will be able to. 2 reasons....a butcher knows how to cut meat and cook it, she did not season her meat..end of story...She failed steak 101. To add insult to injury when she cut those very same steaks thin...and they showed her flopping them on the grill...they looked mangled and unevenly cut.....hmmmm..I would find a new butcher. No joke.

          • guestABC says:

            OK, if you don't like her, you don't. But what will you say if Loreal does very good and brings it in this next challenge? If you were to say it doesn't help raise her standing that much then if for example Chris does much better this next time why should that help him anymore than Loreal? Neither one of them seems to do both cooking and and being on camera at same time.

            What do you think might happen if Rueben comes back instead of Luca?

          • shannon says:

            I have been watching the cooking they have been doing closely (no matter how very little it has been) through the whole competition, one dish does not make it or break it for me, I need consistency. Everyone can have a good day or a bad day. Chris has been doing pretty ok. I also happen to like Chris on camera, he's warm, fun and engaging. He does have time management issues with the camera but that can be taught. Loreal just makes me uncomfortable, I don't find her warm, engaging or real. Add to that list her lack of cooking chops and it's done for me. Now she may be a great person in "real life", I am not criticizing her as a human being (I don know her) but even if she would win she is not my cup of tea. I would never watch her show. Never.
            What do I think will happen if Reuben comes back instead of Luca??? I don't know, I personally think Luca will go farther than Reuben will.

        • Lynette says:

          Just another Blonde-basher. Happens every year. Sarah has star power and shows more leadership than several others. As is so typical with anyone not liking Sarah, they never say who they do want to win or why. They only say who they want to get rid of.

          • Buffy says:

            People are bashing blondes, however, are these natural blondes or hair-died blondes?
            I want Luca to win.
            Sarah is Sarah and I do not know why she is there, so I am not giving a lot of thought to her. She is presenting who she is each week. wait, I wrote her off after she spoke about her husband and then gushed to present a meal to Bobby. (Please do not give a reason, unless you have personally spoken to her.)

            I use Bobby's recipes the most. Yes, It was a 4th of July filled with Bobby's recipes, that were eaten without leftovers and request for plates to take home. I did not prepare enough for take-home plates.

          • Biffy says:

            Thank YOU for being definite and not disgustingly vague. Too bad you can't rub off on some others.

        • CommonSense says:


          He too was almost always on the bottom but never got booted out til the end.

          • Mulligan says:

            Too much theatrics with Chris. Didn't Alton always want to be an Actor? I wonder if he's living vicariously through "entertaining" finalists. Or maybe Giada is just wooing him into - never mind if they can do anything else. Just have personality.

            And Emma. If she had a show, what would I be watching? The newest veggie-girl? All kinds of endless salads? I still don't know. We already have farm to table.

          • Guest234 says:

            Rodney was clunky and obnoxious. If anyone, Chris is more like Adam Gertler.

          • MoHub says:

            Now you've gone and insulted Adam Gertler. I liked Adam a lot and would gladly have seen him win over Aaron McCargo.

          • helen says:

            He should have won over Aaron. NEVER watch his show. But I did watch the little shows Adam had on. Loved him.

          • Guest234 says:

            Lisa would've been a better choice over Aaron as well.

        • Yvonne says:

          Pfffft! I'd vote for her in a heartbeat. She has better Star Power. I bet you want either anything at all International or another granola girl. Whatever.

      • Guest234 says:

        Luca, on the other hand, is pretty much the Channing Tatum of cooking: nice to look at (for the girls, anyway) but bland as hell. : P

      • CommonSense says:

        You got that right Guest000...16 ulcers and a chronic migraine. But I'd be real surprised if he doesn't win. TV seems to like regular folks...but really LOVE those they consider "pretty people"..I'd think the network wants him to win. He seems like a nice enough guy..not arrogant...and can cook. I dont know at this point. When he left...Loreal commented.."he sure was nice to look at.." Bet a lot of women feel that way.

        • Melinda says:

          They do. But if men felt that way about Sarah or Nicole those same women would scream their heads off. Sigh...and people talk about "equality."

    • Erin says:

      If Luca comes back, it will be important to keep in mind that a good presentation is more than just having an accent.

  8. Psy chic says:

    As I predicted. Loreal did do better.

    • Buffy says:

      She was going to do better, because she is needed for the Beverly Hillbillies go to Las Vegas episode.

      Las Vegas has lots 'o shinin' things. The arms that pump money out. OOOOO Weeeeeee ahs kitchen with fire with that ther; turnin of the click knob. No needs to chop wood for the fir'

      • Brian Patterson says:

        wow. Bitter much? Or maybe you're too afraid she may actually do good and be a threat to Luca.

      • girloftheworld says:

        she has been living in Chicago for awhile now... dont let her new back in the swamp aw shucks my granmaw's knee is as high as ever i thought i would climb in this world act....fool you...

      • Marcia says:

        Beverly Hillbillies? Sounds like something a snobby east-coaster would say.

        Does anyone north of Maryland ever want anyone south of there or east of Pennsylvania to win? There is life after, and people beyond Washington DC and New York. The judges thought Loreal had best presentation.

  9. steve says:

    There are two things that are important - being able to cook well enough that folks will like your food well enough to want learn from you and want your recipes. The second is to be able to do that on camera. They don't have to be Brad Pitt; just be able to work on camera. And I don't care if they don't talk about their kids or personal lives or any of the other nonsense.

    Too bad about Ruben going home. He can cook and Cuban food is awesome. He could have filled a niche that no one else is doing just as Ippy could have with authentic Hawaiian cuisine a few years ago. Seems some of the others might cook well more consistently but I don't see myself yearning to see their shows given the other chefs who can teach me the same things they're doing... Bobby, Anne Burell, Alton, Ina Garten....

    • Carmen says:

      But Ippy was a far better cook than Rueben.
      Rueben didn't really wow us with anything spectacular.

      You sort of put your foot in your mouth when you admitted that others are cooking more consistently. They are. That's a good part of why they are still here. And why Rueben isn't. It matters.

    • Buffy says:

      I agree.

  10. C. Wilson says:

    Whatever happened to the challenge of cooking to allow the contestants to show off their cooking chops. I am disappointed with this years Food Network Star. Too many gimmicks. No complicated food preparation. Tonights show of showing off their point of view is repetitive (asked to do the same last week). If I'm going to vote for who I think will be the best next food network star there's got to be more food preparation and cooking going on. I need to see what they are made of. I'm sure each and every one of these young people can cook - I want to see for myself.