Phew--the ante is up. A trio of famous chefs asked finalists to re-create the best thing they ever ate. A pile of hot, hot, hot peppers challenged Star wannabes. Chefs told tales of dads and moms and grandmothers. Dry eyes were scarce. Oh, Herb! A very judgy-judgmental Selection Committee was in the house. Big shoes, being worn (oh, Brianna) and hoping to be filled. Melissa d'Arabian talked live with Star fans about her out-of-this-world world nearly a year later. "I still get stressed watching this!!" she said. "NFNS was an amazing experience, even beside the winning, but phew...it was a tough one. Really showed you what you are made of." Some finalists are made of rock starness--Justin Timberlake (ish) took to the deep fryer. And tons of chatters bid on one finalist or another, guessing at winners and losers. I tear up at the drama. Who're you betting on? Take comfort--as in fried chicken or mac and cheese--as you revisit the pre-July 4 fireworks. Then tell us what you really think.
It's been an all-star Sunday: Bob Tuschman dazzled millions (overstatement is only slight) of chatting fans from Chelsea Market, our wee Mission Control, crackers and cheese complimentary. On the double big screens in the Boardroom and on single big screens in living rooms everywhere, there was bigger-than-life Guy Fieri guest-judging on Star--he was off-the-hook tough. The spectacle included a very long multitalentedish Tilt-a-Whirl dance down a very long red carpet. And then there was a handful (footful?) of drama between Serena and Brianna. Yes, a trip to a hospital was involved. Oh, and by the way how do you feel about glass with your slaw?
Bob answered burning questions: What are the most important star qualities? Where do you most like to travel? Exactly how tall is Susie? But Bob also couldn't help but jump into the fray as duets were, um, challenging in the challenge and solos way went off-key, too. Happily, there were, well, sexy moments logging as highlights. Just catching up with your DVR? Follow along with the chat play-by-play below. Saw the action? Enjoy it again, with commentary. To call it entertaining would be an understatement.
Grab all of tonight's recipes and tell us what you cook and how it turns out. Then vote -- up to ten times every day -- for your favorite finalist.
Take two. Second episode, another hopeful's dreams, dashed (no spoilers until you check out the transcript). The top ten remain. Quite the dramatic evening here at Food Network. Duff was in the house--or on the pier in Santa Monica, as it happens--and had the Finalists cooking up savory dishes inspired by the sweetest of carnival foods. Sweet, or not so much. Cotton candy for dinner? A candy apple side dish? Waffle cones as a main? Not quite. The fair fare ranged from fantastic to brow-furrowing (Doreen, why are you so mad?) and the Finalists stepped up with confidence. (Aarti, that means you.) Bob, Susie and Bobby all had tough words, and so did fans. Plenty of you wanted to see Dzintra, Paul or Doreen go home--and even all three. Lots of you wanted Aria and Herb to stay. Wishes, granted. Call me Zoltar, just back from the carnival. In coming weeks, we'll have special guests joining the chat, so be sure to stop by. You never know if you'll catch a star, ready to share secrets. Meantime, vote for your favorite finalist and get every recipe (plus Instant Re-Flays, Bobby's makeovers of Finalists' dishes). Plus, check out the Episode 2 video gallery and check back here throughout the week to hear from Bob, Susie and Giada with their spin on all the action.
Hey, hope you enjoyed the first show--we sure did. During the premiere, Susie Fogelson joined a few of us Food Network worker bees plus a whole bunch of Star fans in a live chat, talking about the finalists, the judging, Bobby's ties and Susie's hair. There were a few words, you can imagine, about injured eyes and underwhelming doughnuts and crazy props and flocks of raw chicken. We know the fans savored Susie's sage comments about shooting and the selection process (Brooklyn wi-fi hiccups not a worry!). Susie solicited their opinions, too: Yes, Bobby Flay looked snappy, in case you're wondering. You can look at who said what below. No extra charge for spoilers. Meantime, vote for your favorite finalist so far and get all the recipes.
Read every delicious bit, then stop by next week:
The premiere is on Sunday, but the there's already talk about The Next Food Network Star and its band of merry judges.
- TV Guide talks to Bobby about the finalists; he calls them "incredibly savvy."
- Reality Wanted has an exclusive interview with Selection Committee member Susie Fogelson.
- Variety has a quick hit on Bob Tuschman's rising star.
- Haveyouheart.net sits down with Bob and Susie to get their sneak-peek take on the upcoming season.
- Yumsugar does a who's who of the finalists.
- LAist interviews three finalists--Aarti, DAS and Doreen--who call Los Angeles home.