Caption It: Cha-Ching

by in Food Network Star, July 18, 2014

Food Network Star, Season 10Last week Food Network Star finalists embraced one of the most-faced aspects of Las Vegas — an over-the-top party scene — as they hosted a poolside bash for hotel visitors, and this Sunday they'll indulge in the city's opulent food offerings when they experience one-of-a-kind meals. But to win big in Sin City's culinary scene, competitors will need more than just a bit of good fortune, as luck can change there as quickly as the spin of a roulette wheel.

Check out the sneak-peek photo above from Sunday's all-new episode. Looking elated, Nicole seems to have landed the jackpot as she stands next to her fellow rivals. Do you think she's cashing in on an advantage, or has a top performance warranted her hearty smile? How will Nicole and the other contestants fare in the face of Las Vegas' fancy food?

Before you tune in on Sunday at 9|8c to find out what's going on here, we’re challenging you, Star fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.

Tune in to a brand-new episode of Food Network Star on Sunday, July 20 at 9|8c.

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Comments (78)

  1. Judy says:

    "Congratulations, Nicole. You connected well with the audience and cooked the best dish of the evening. As Team Captain, you led your team to victory."

  2. Tongs says:

    Good to see her look happy. She cooks as good as Lenny without being obnoxious but has been kind of an unsung hero. Why aren't any of the other three looking at Nicole? They also don't appear to all be looking at the same thing.

  3. Spah Ghetti says:

    Food Network could be messing weigh us. Nicole may like an ingredient she was told she had to work with. She may have won some money or a prize. She may get to pick who else is on her team and be happy about that. It could be a dozen things.

  4. Wshnuwel says:

    I'm not invested in the contestants this season, however, I just caught the Las Vegas Pool Party episode and feel compelled to share my POV.

    It should NEVER, EVER, NEVER have been acceptable, under any circumstance, for a contestant to knowingly and willfully misrepresent a main component of a dish!!!! NEVER!!!

    People can have significant reactions to some foods, personal opinions about certain foods and spiritual beliefs about abstaining from some foods and while every ingredient is not disclosed - it should be a major cause of concern that a contestant would openly lie.

    If the reputations of the network's cast isn't of concern- in the open, I hate to think of what is acceptable - in private.


    • Buffy says:

      This type of behavior has happened before on the program. I start thinking about restaurants that may substitute ingredients, especially in stews. I am not sure if this is part of a skit written but I am not impressed when I think of the reality of the action as you have written.

    • msjs0315 says:

      While I agree to some extent, the major differences between Serrano and prosciutto are not likely to fall into any of the categories wshnuwel mentioned. Both are salt cured pig. The breeds and diets of the pigs differ, as does the length of the curing process, but that's about it.

      Contestants make mistakes. Had this one been properly mentored upfront, she wouldn't have made it in front of the pool party crowd. As errors go, this one was minor and not worth shouting about with all caps and exclamation points.

      • Wshnuwel says:

        Thanks for the clarification. It doesn't sound like it is likely to have that much of an impact.

        I guess that doesn't make her a liar after all, especially in this day and age.

        Thanks again.

        • Just Sayin says:

          Dont wimp out were right in your original comments.

          Thats one of the problems of this day and age. We dont want to offend someone so we minimize or compromise or excuse instead of just confronting and calling it as it is. Unapologetically.

          In any day and age when one doesnt tell the full truth, it is a lie.

          Half truths are lies as well as those nice statements made when we dont want to hurt someones feelings so we comment with the little bitty white lie but its still a lie.

          A lie was told and it wasnt the mentors fault that she chose to do so.

          Maybe she didnt know how to phrase the change of product to her audience about her substitution but a lie was told.

          I'm just sayin

          • Joan says:

            Why didn't Alton and Giada act more severely towards it? Perhaps we should be condemning them? Or, maybe it wasn't that severe of a "crime". By the way, she owned up to what she did at:

          • Wshnuwel says:

            If you're asking me, I can't speak for Alton or Giada.

            As far as condemnation, it was not my intention to condemn the contestant. If my blog sounded like a condemnation, then we have differing opinions on what that might be like.

            I wasn't suggesting the contestant be arrested, be put on trial or imprisoned. In fact, while she may be the person who misrepresented the fact, she is not responsible for what is aired, the responses received or the outcomes. Yet, it is not my intent to condemn the show either.

            Thanks for the link. It is very interesting and while I considered that this may have been an oversight, it appears that she is accustomed to and in this case feels as though she was instructed that it's okay to misrepresent facts. What I took away from the article is that It matters not if you lie, as long as you own up to it later and can justify the reasons.

            I just don't think it's necessary to lie, but if you're okay with it then I might reconsider.

          • Micah says:

            Lying is not good. People shouldn't lie. There are also consequences. Sometimes those are Major and quite harmful. Other times they can be very minor or inconsequential. "Honey, does this dress make me look fat?"

            Just how exact and literal do you want to be?

            Always and without fail ever? Perhaps this is what Abe had in mind when he talked about people acting like they "care" more than other people. It may gratify one's ego to feel we are "walking more uprightly" than another and ethics do matter, but unyielding literalness can be a hard life.

          • Wshnuwel says:

            Well, it's interesting that there is another entity making assumptions, incorrectly I will add, of my intentions.
            I wasn't intending to (and didn't) suggest that I cared more than other people or that other people didn't care. Additionally, my ego doesn't need gratifying nor do I feel that I am "walking more uprightly" than anyone else.
            If your opinion on the subject differs, so be it. But please try not to confuse my motives with yours - and I'll do the same.

            It is a sad commentary that the expression of concern for another is seen as a negative act, but I guess we shouldn't care about that.

          • Beth says:

            We are all responsible for how we express ourselves. Your first post looked intense.

          • Wshnuwel says:

            That's true and I accept that responsibility. I was mistaken about the potential adverse impact of the misrepresentation and appreciate that the level of concern that I felt was greater than necessary.

          • Wshnuwel says:

            I'm Just Sayin,

            I still stand by my original post. However, based on a response by msjs0315, the possible effects may not be as significant as I originally considered. I would think that there is some differences in the two meats, otherwise, I don't believe they would be referenced by different names - but it doesn't sound likely to represent a decision change for those who may not choose to partake.

            Other than that, I am at a loss to appreciate why this would be acceptable - especially considering my perceived point of the show. Misrepresentation of facts seems to be so common place, reserving the designation of 'a lie' for something of greater magnitude. We can ignore it, dress it up, defend it and condone it - but in the end, a lie is a lie.

          • Buffy says:

            Just sayin' Thank you for the comment. The reality of life is that a lie can sink your career and it takes years to re-gain the same recognition if ever.

  5. Abe says:

    My, my my. How emphatic can one get??

    Have you seen the side by side picture of the two meats? They are very, very close. Nearly identical. Alton and Giada did mention it but also quickly moved on. So should we. It's not as if she were trying to pass off sweet powdered white sugar on us as lemon juice. This is just people's big online chance to act as if they "care" more "integrity" than the next guy.

    And third paragraph above makes me roll my eyes and say ohhh brotthhherr. Next thing you know, we'll be hearing about how there should never be any show ever featuring any shellfish, even though there is more to it, just because someone in the audience has a spiritual belief about "unclean meats." Yeah, right. So much for "diversity & inclusion."

    • Buffy says:

      I don't read her post as you have concluded. I read it as having respect for whom you are serving. Chefs are supposed to know the cut and type of meat they are serving. There is something distinguishing about each cut.

      • Kelsey says:

        See Nicole's explanation at:

      • msjs0315 says:

        Lenny didn't tell the crowd what cuts of meat were used in his burgers. If there is something distinguishing about each cut as Buffy claims, shouldn't he have been corrected as well?

        Ditto for Luca and his seafood dish. Not all clams are created equal. Was Luca disrespectful of the audience because he wasn't specific?

        • Wshnuwel says:


          I understood Lenny to indicate that he had created a lambburger (or would it be a lamburger), so I received that information to indicate that he used lamb (ie meat that is classified as lamb). I wouldn't know if he misrepresented that fact. In fact, I wouldn't have noticed the difference with the other meat, if they hadn't pointed it out.

          I didn't even see Luca's entree, but would still consider whether or not he misrepresented the dish.

          I don't know much about foods and preparation, which is why I look to the various shows for information and ideas. Because of this, the two meats could represent a significant change. As an example (which hopefully indicates why I had a concern), let's say that Lenny indicated that he made a hamburger (which is funny, because it isn't made from ham - but I'll use this example anyway), when in reality it was from lamb. If someone had an allergy to lamb, they would not be aware that they were being given lamb and could suffer some significant health issues. As you have indicated, the difference was not that vast, however, I did not know that when I viewed the show and entered my post. That was my concern, which prompted me to blog.

          While I disagree with the misrepresentation aspect (aside from any potential complications), I wouldn't have bothered to express any opinion about it.

        • Buffy says:

          Yes.. The show chose not to highlight their fallacies. It is not my claim regarding the meats. There are books written to describe the meats and how to tell the types of meats. Cooking programs sometimes, will give a brief description. Are you willing to pay filet mignon price for ground beef wrapped in bacon? L0

    • Wshnuwel says:

      The way that the clips were edited, the show (who bears the responsibility for what airs) appeared to show that she knowingly misrepresented her item. If it was misrepresented by the show, then that makes me wonder how sincere the competition presentation is.
      If you choose to follow after Alton and Giada, more power to you. I don't feel the need to follow their lead and feel capable to form my own thoughts and opinion.
      I think it's interesting that you would consider this a 'big online chance' at anything. Apparently, we are have a different understanding on what a blog is - I certainly wouldn't characterize it as a means for anything more than to share a thought. Based on your logic, I guess you responded as a means to your big online chance to act as if you are the "ruler" of blogging protocol and "putting people in their place."
      Based on your last paragraph, it seems that you missed the point. That's all good too.
      I just posted a blog about a show, you on the other hand - with your apparent "diversity & inclusion" disappoint, might consider exercising it instead of quoting it.

      • Abe says:

        A Blog is a place to share views. You are welcome to share yours and people are free to agree or disagree and say so. Same with me. I'm not any sort of Ruler online, although I sometimes point out contradictions or double-standards. You were the one who brought up spiritual beliefs and meats, so Nicole doing shellfish as part of her POV could be a relevant issue in the minds of some and I feel that diversity and inclusion should be granted to her as well. Nothing more to add except that I feel my earlier post is holding up very intact and I'm not the one with all the CAPS and exclamation points. That isn't putting anyone in their place, I am simply noting what you did.

        • Wshnuwel says:

          Well I see we have some beliefs in common. If I have been perceived as having been contradictory or as establishing a double-standard, then I apologize - as it was not my intent to do so. I don't see it, but if that's how it appeared, it was unintended.
          My point didn't relate to spiritual beliefs, my point related to the misrepresentation of facts. The reference to spiritual beliefs was one of three considerations that might relate to a person choosing to avoid certain foods, nothing more.
          Based on my concerns about possible allergic reactions (which can be deadly), the CAPS and exclamation points were appropriate (since from my limited knowledge, I did not know the meats were essentially the same). I accept responsibility for the over reaction - based on the concerns for the health and welfare of the persons partaking of the entrees.

          But isn't that the point of the show? To find someone who is credible and personable, who can host a show, educate viewers and create scrumptious entrees?

          • msjs0315 says:

            If you want credible, you should know some recipe photos get altered to enhance appeal. And TV chefs' mistakes get edited out. It's not unheard of for the final product to have been cooked in advance of filming.

            And the point of the show is to win back lost FN viewers and make money. It is primarily a 'reality' entertainment show.

          • Wshnuwel says:


            The lack of reality, in any of the ill-referenced shows, is disappointing.

            The question now is: Is it working? (Winning back lost Food Network viewers. I'm sure they're making money).

          • chef anne watcher says:

            What happened to these replies that won't load???????

          • Monte says:

            Wshnuwel wrote: "But isn't that the point of the show? To find someone who is credible and personable, who can host a show, educate viewers and create scrumptious entrees?"

            No. That's what they want you to THINK it is. FN seems to be on a vector AWAY from instructional cooking.

            Host a show, maybe. But I don't think they'll be doing the other two.

    • Just Sayin says:

      Dear honest Abe: Oh sorry...its just Abe. She/he (wshnuwel) placed their comments just as you did and had every right to do so just as you do.

      Im just sayin

      • Sally says:

        Abe never said he/she didn't have the right. See his second response to Wshnuwel. He sounds in favor of free expression for all.

      • Vicki says:

        Good grief. You sound like another Shannon. Just because someone disagrees with who they are replying to does not automatically make it a vicious attack. Nor does it mean anyone is saying that the first person didn't have a right to post. You two sound like Den-mothers on the edge of tears that world peace hasn't been achieved and that any dis-unity of thought is mean to another.

        • shannon says:

          Dear Vicki, Hello this would be Shannon. The Shannon who has no idea why you would drag me into this conversation. I feel everyone has the right t o express their thoughts and opinions. I do it and I fully suggest everyone to do it. I enjoy reading other people's opinions and LOVE to hear other people's point of view, it can be enlightening and acts open ones mind to aspects you may have never thought of. What I do not believe in however is that a poster, any poster ,on open blog forums personally attacking any individual for expressing their opinions. Any one who does that is small minded and mean spirited and truly does not understand this format or just simply has a hard time understanding that the world is a complex place and differences of opinion are what make the world go 'round. I would strongly suggest YOU to rethink your phrasing of your statements before you submit. Your speaking about me in a negative manner in a situation where I have no relevance was rude. You my dear, are the perfect example of people who should not post on here if you can't be constructive. What exactly did you accomplish by mentioning me in this situation? Did it make you feel good?
          In the future do not hide behind mean petty comments about a poster under the guise of having a different view point. There is a difference. Perhaps you did not know that? If you did not I apologize. I assumed as a human you would know the not too subtle differences between being a bully utilizing personal attacks and voicing ones difference of opinion about a show.

          • grammyb says:

            Shannon, Shannon, deep breath, deep breath.... "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,," Stay with me girlfriend, we still have a few weeks left. Looking forward to your continued input. She was way off the mark and way out of line to single you out, but believe me, you have some fans out here who know better. I love reading your blogs.. I know you put a lot of thought into them. You give everyone the benefit of the doubt, you are so optimistic, you're the glass half full (to my glass half empty). Most of all, you have INTEGRITY!

          • Shannon says:

            Thanks grammyb, off topic...I wonder if Crouton is ok..I have not seen a post all week from him. Hope all s well and he pops on after the show.

          • Vicki says:

            Hasn't a comment anyone has made ever made reminded you of what someone else has said? You talk alot about everyone's right to post. No one said otherwise. You talk about being open-minded and alternative views, yet when a disagreeing view is presented you label it mean spirited and small-minded. grannyb may call it integrity. Some others may feel it's hypocrisy. I would also suggest as you did, that we all practice what we preach in realizing that when people don't agree with others or point out how some opinions are similar to other peoples that you remember your own advice that opinions also make the world go around as you say even when we don't like them and that those people have the same right to posts as you do and that you don't judge their motives, either. That could also be considered small-minded and mean-spirited. I'm done.

          • Shannon says:

            Listen Vicki, you must not read my posts because you are WAAAAAAY off base with what I write. I do not label opposing views as mean spirited. I label people who directly attack a poster on a personal level as mean spirited,. I label YOU as mean spirited. Don't be confused. As a matter of fact I have only once mentioned people being mean spirited and that was when I was in defense of another poster being called names and accused of being on drugs just for having an opinion.I can and will judge those motives. There really is no other way to look at it. That type of behavior is Heinous. Check your facts before you post. As you said...I am done. You are not worth my time or energy.Grow up. I hope you enjoy the show and have a GREAT day.

          • guest says:

            hmm..yor post sounded like a vicious attack on both shannon and just sayin. speak for yourself and not "some others".

          • Just Sayin. says:

            You are correct guest....and to the jabbers..they know who they are... I would borrow rodney kings words...cant we all just get along?

            Now lets all hug and kiss and make up and let bygones be bygones. Just like Lucy and Ricky and Fred and Ethel would.

            i'm just sayin.

  6. Psy chic says:

    Predictions for Sunday:
    Sarah does very good.
    The Cowboy takes a fall.
    Either Emma or Luca gets eliminated. Emma, for lack of growth or Luca for not enough "Sparks".

    • Big LB says:

      Why do you cowboy will take a fall since Mr. Brown said he is one to beat. Sara or Emma be gone. Sarah for being something like Chis. Emma has been in the bottom of for two straight weeks. FN places Luca to balance things so Lenny would not win this out right. Lenny got Mr. brown and Geida in his back pocket.

      • guest says:

        Replace Giada and Alton with Tyler Florence and Ina.

        • Big LB says:

          The best answer is use all mentors from Iron Chefs as they did on Americas Best cooks. At one of the three should be a James Beard winner.

        • Jen says:

          Ina is so boring. Who is Tyler Florence? The food truck guy?

          • Buffy says:

            Tyler is from The Food Truck Race and Tyler's Ultimate.
            Ina is slower paced, but her recipes work. There was a time when Ina only allowed her recipes to be posted for specific period and then removed. I don't think Ina will interested in hosting.

  7. FANGS says:

    Isn't it funny that the "reality" of reality tv is that more people get more irritated each year? Some gave switched over to the Cooking Channel although that, too, is becoming a letdown. Others have left altogether.

    I've heard it said FN is getting more new viewers than they are losing . Really? Where are they? Are they here posting in this Blog thanking food network for all of the "reality?" Not hardly.

    Aarti and her spices, I knew that would fizzle out.
    Being taught how to make a sandwich is nearly insulting.
    Justin Warner. Voting for him shows that the public can be terrible at picking a winner or at what they think is starpower.
    Damaris is a good one but they need to give her more airtime.

    So much for making money. Now, this year, people on here are writing that no one really excites them. The network seems out of touch.

    • Monte says:

      You make some good points, Fangs, but here's the deal with so-called "Reality TV": it's cheap to produce.

      I actually watch very, very little "reality" TV. Unless sports counts as "reality" TV. So many of these reality shows jumped the shark a long time ago, but as I said, they're cheap and they bring in LARGE amounts of money. Find someone who hasn't at least heard of Kim Kardashian or Snooki.

      I watched FN a LOT more when it was much more instructional-cooking based.

      "Hungry Girl"? Please. She started off with a blog. There's a REASON she's hungry...have you seen the food she makes?

      Ree Drummond is the same way. Fakey-fake. Look up her backstory. SHE started with a blog, too.

      Reality TV, I think, has a specific demographic. FN is, I think, trying to capture some of this demographic. I do agree with you that there are way too many "reality" shows on FN. And no one is thanking FN for that. MY understanding is that FN is actually losing money.

      They don't realize it's because of all of the "reality" programming.

      We don't want MORE "reality" programming on FN. We DON'T want another "drive around and shove food in your pie-hole" show!

      We want quality INSTRUCTIONAL COOKING!

      How hard of a concept is that for FN to grasp?

      • Monte says:

        Additionally, there once was a website at

        The girl who was running it took a "hiatus" for a while, then basically made a blog post saying that it was too much of a "chore" to actually watch the shows, and she'd rather use that time for something more productive. That's how boring FN got.

    • Linda says:

      DO NOT watch Damarius or Sandwich King - I agree that I can make a sandwich as good as he can! Have not and will not watch Aarti - Fangs is right "a Fizzle". Do WE really pick the winner? I have my doubts!
      And, while I am at it - I think you made your biggest mistake when you got rid of Paula Deen. I watched her all the time. She is very entertaining. The best show you have on is "Chopped" it is my favorite! Also, Love, love, love Bobby Flay - will watch him anytime (another favorite). Giada is alright - don't watch her all the time though. Like Restaurant Impossible and Iron Chef also. Ina's are all reruns. Pioneer Woman also lots of reruns.

      • Monte says:

        I tried ONE of Aarti's recipes, and said "never again". It was a HUGE disappointment.

      • chef anne watcher says:

        I used to like Giada's Everyday Italian (I think that's what it was called). I dislike her current show. I feel she 'lost her edge' when she started involving her family in all of the episodes and, especially, the over-the-top lavish parties for her daughter. In this day and age, parents should not be exposing their young children to the public the way Giada does with Jade. One loses the expectation of privacy when they make their lives too public, both on TV and on Facebook. JMHO

  8. Buffy says:

    I think it interesting how all the contestants completed the game show challenges. The reality is not every person play games well. if so, the person would have tried out for the game show, and only the most skilled chef will complete a gourmet meal in twenty minutes. The network is reaching. The network is reaching to a different audience who prefers to watch the act of cooking rather than cooking.

  9. Jelaza says:

    Looks like Bobby is absent again this week.

    • Just Sayin says:

      He got fed up and left.

      His peer judges weren't choosing real chefs and were choosing people based on looks and sparky personalities. Nah-- probably taping his new show.

      I'm just sayin

      I'm just sayin

  10. Jo Jo says:

    Why do they always show Lenny tipping his hat... it is so fake. his shtick is a little over the top. He might be a good cook, but I don't think I can watch 30 minutes of this guy on a new show if he wins.

    • Sue says:

      LOL, I can't stand Sara either. Two fake Texans.

      • Jen says:

        Lenny is funny but I could not watch his show. I would check the first show out but that is it. I will not even watch Sara's show. She is incredibly annoying and whiny. She does not take the judge's constructive criticism well at all.

        • Just Sayin says:

          Let me constructively criticize you Jen.

          Your whiny comments against Sara is annoying.

          I'm just sayin--

    • Buffy says:

      Lenny's mouth was open through most of the competition as if expecting an answer to fly in.
      As he told his story tonight, he could have sang 'Itsy Bitsy Spider" to match the movement of his hands.
      Or he could tell a horror story with his bugging eyes.