All Posts By Grant Dudley

Keepin’ It Real: Episode 2

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Star, Recap, June 14, 2010

Alrighty! Let me dig in on some of my standout moments – and then I want to hear yours!

NFNS6_Dzintra-Kneading-Dough_s3x4_tzI must admit, I was expecting (and hoping for) a little Dzintra Drama. From the comments I’ve read, she has clearly rubbed some of you the wrong way, but as I explained last week, I enjoy her! If there was a Team Dzintra t-shirt, I would buy it. As a matter of fact, I’m going to make one and wear it around the office.

0137548_Giada-With-A-Smirk_s4x3_tzIn the first challenge, Giada told the finalists that if they couldn’t “cook and talk at the same time,” that they didn’t need to be in the competition. This is where I would make my exit. Think about it – some of the tasks you do (and do well), can you clearly explain what you are actually doing while you’re working on that task? I’m talking out loud now as I type this and all I can come up with to explain my action is, “Writing. Typing.”

Poor Aarti was called out on the “dead air” she left while on camera. I felt badly for her. You know she just wanted to hide behind her hair flower. And Serena? She was criticized for speaking waaaay too fast. Sure, I couldn’t understand a word she said, but really, isn’t having too much to say and speaking super fast to get it all out better than silence?

0137547_Duff-Goldman-With-Hand-Up_s4x3_tzDuff was a guest in this episode and introduced the second challenge. Who doesn’t love this man? Am I the only who thinks Duff’s cakes shouldn’t be eaten, but preserved? They are true pieces of art – they shouldn’t be cut into like savages! Hmm – I’ll save this topic for another day.

NF0602_Feature-Aarti_s4x3_tzThe Santa Monica Pier Challenge was CRAZY! The finalists had to create a savory party plate inspired by carnival food. Can you even imagine? Aarti’s inspiration was funnel cake – and she had never even eaten one before (which is just a travesty – someone get this girl a funnel cake, ASAP)!

NFNS6_Brianna_s4x3_tzBrianna seemed to shut down a bit in this competition. I think she was overly tired. You know how it is when you’re exhausted – you reach that point where you’re simply DONE. Brianna needed a nap to put that pep back in her step. If Bob and Susie had only provided her with an air mattress out there on the pier, she would have been fine.

NFNS6_Doreen_s3x4_tzElimination time. As you saw, Doreen was the second finalist to depart the show. I did understand the judges’ decision to send her home. Giada had said earlier in the show that her facial expressions “made her not want to watch.” Well, that’s clearly not good. But in her defense, in the pier challenge, Doreen was given a “Root Beer Float” to inspire her savory dish. Merciful days, a Root. Beer. Float? My facial expression would have been far from cute, too. So long, Doreen. I’ll miss you.

NF0602-BTS14_Tom_s4x3_tzThat’s my take, what’s yours? Any standout moments for you? Oh, I’m thinking of devoting an entire blog entry to nothing but Tom’s hair. Thoughts?

Two Things: Elimination & Dzintra Drama

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Star, Recap, June 8, 2010

NFNS6_Alexis-Brushing-Off-Hands-02_s4x3_leadSomeone had to go – that’s how the show works! And, as you saw Sunday night, Alexis Hernandez was the first to bite the dust. Did you agree with the judges' decision to send him home? He seemed a bit shaky, but honestly, I liked the guy. What's your take?

NFNS6_Dzintra_s4x3_leadThe premiere became a bit dramatic with Dzintra’s eye situation. I like offbeat people – I find them interesting and they keep you on your toes. Dzintra definitely is one of those people! What did you make of her whole eye debacle? The other finalists seemed to think she was being super dramatic. Do you agree? I, mean, I go into a full blown, eye-watering, red-faced tizzy if a small speck of dust gets on my contact. So, perhaps she shouldn’t be judged too harshly?

Tell me what you thought of the premiere!

A Quick Look Back

by in Behind the Scenes, Recap, June 4, 2010

Season 6 HopefulsWe're at the jumping off point for the all-new season of The Next Food Network Star. A new season means new finalists, new challenges, new recipes and ultimately, a new Food Network star. Everyone at the Food Network offices loves this time of year. It’s such an exciting time for everyone involved with the show.

But before we leap forward, let’s take a quick look back at the summer of 2009.

Jeffrey and MelissaOur Season 5 Star winner was none other than Melissa d'Arabian. She and Jeffrey Saad were the last two remaining finalists in the nail-biting season finale. As you well know, Melissa has gone on to host the hugely successful Ten Dollar Dinners and is shooting yet another season of the hit show as I type this. Jeffrey hasn't exactly left the Food family, himself. He has contributed heavily to our Cooking From the Pantry series on FoodNetwork.com.

Debbie LeeRemember Debbie Lee? Wow, she was quite the attention-getter. Some of you loved her, some of you loved to hate on her, but no matter your feelings, you couldn't help but talk about Debbie. If you want to catch up with her and all the other finalists from last season (and all the other seasons), check out our Where Are They Now? feature.

Who will be The Next Food Network Star for 2010 and have their life changed forever? I don’t know, but I'm excited to move forward and see!