Week after week, we see that for many Food Network Star finalists, the camera proves to be their toughest challenge. It forces them to look past the lens and make a connection with viewers, while, of course, remembering to speak clearly, explain their dishes, weave in personal stories, integrate their culinary points of view and more – all in a matter of seconds.
But one aspect of Star that’s rarely shown is what it takes to cook in the midst of cameras, to slice and dice ingredients, sauté on the stove, work kitchen appliances and more while multiple cameras are watching and recording every move. In this sneak-peek shot from Sunday night’s episode, we get a feel for the conditions in which Martie, Justin, Michele, Nikki and the others are working. Do these seemingly larger-than-life cameras distract the finalists, or are they just used to them by week nine? Heading into the final few weeks of the competition, will they be able to keep their cool on camera?
Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c, we’re challenging you, Starfans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this close-up moment in the comments below.
We’ve seen your Tweets, Facebook posts and blog comments, and we know that some viewers are frustrated, confused and downright angry about particular eliminations from the past eight episodes. One Food Network Star fan went so far as to write that the network “made the worst decision ever” in sending home Team Alton’s Emily.
It’s the nature of the Star beast that even in the very first week of the competition someone must be eliminated. Still, you can’t help but wonder if that first person and others sent home later could have improved, and proven themselves real contenders, if they stayed longer. After all, maybe they just needed a few extra days to adjust to the demands of shooting. Perhaps they would have benefitted from more time with their mentors.
If you could, which eliminated finalist would you bring back?
Who’s your favorite finalist still in the running? Don’t forget to cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per day.
As if the Miami sun wasn’t enough to heat up last week’s episode of Food Network Star, Paula Deen stopped by to attend the beach party the finalists threw for VIP guests at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. She and her son Bobby joined the mentors and network to taste and judge the remaining contestants’ dishes, and offer words of encouragement and constructive criticism to those who needed it.
No one had a better reaction to Paula’s arrival than Team Alton’s Martie. In one of the most endearing moments of the season, she became overcome with emotion and “is-this-real-life” thoughts, crying in the middle of the challenge, “This is a huge deal. I’m Martie Duncan from Birmingham, Alabama, and I’m cooking for Paula Deen!” Paula, too, became emotional during judging, saying that she “loved Martie the person” and “could identify with everything she said.” These two Southern gals were truly “birds of a feather,” as Martie put it.
Star viewer Arian @afgbruins21 couldn’t help but notice Martie’s over-the-top reaction to seeing and meeting the queen of Southern cuisine. “Dying Martie is fangirling over Paula Deen so hard I love it so cute #star,” she Tweeted, expressing the thoughts of the judges, mentors and fellow finalists, and earning our Fan Post of the Week.
Join the #Star conversation on Twitter and Facebook and your comments may be featured in our weekly roundup of Fan Chatter.
Who’s your favorite finalist still in the running? Don’t forget to cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per dayand tune in to this Sunday’s episode at 9pm/8c to see who from #TeamAlton, #TeamBobby or #TeamGiada goes home next.
This was a tough week for Team Bobby, with two finalists going head-to-head in a Producers' Challenge battle of cocktails. No matter how it shook out, Bobby would lose a member of his team. He was hesitant to say anything at all in the pitch room (or pitch beach, as it was this week): "I didn't want to sway the judges one way or the other based on my comments."
In the end, Bob and Susie decided to send Malcolm Mitchell home. Despite food that consistently impressed them, Malcolm was never fully able to hone his "soulful" POV. "Malcolm's POV was confusing," Susie says. "After eight weeks, we need to know who he is through his food."
Malcolm left the competition in good spirits: "I leave happy. I wanted to win it, but at the end of the day, I did everything that I could do. I was real."
Hear more from Susie and Malcolm in his exclusive exit interview. Did you think Malcolm should have gone home over Michele?
Justin Warner is holding strong in the weekly Fan Vote with 31% of your votes. Longtime leader Martita Jara is still a close second at 29%, and her teammateIppy Aiona has fallen to 17% but still hangs on to third place. With just two weeks to go until our Finale Vote — where you, the fans, will decide on our next Food Network Star — will Justin continue to impress the judges with his outside-the-box food and rebel-rousing ways?
The in-season Fan Vote resets each week, so make sure to cast your vote for your favorite finalist up to 10 times per day.
Check out the complete list of Week Seven Fan Vote results:
Aarti Sequeira wonFood Network Star season 6 and expanded her popular blog into a cooking show, Aarti Party (catch it on Food Network, Sundays at 7:30am/6:30c). As a Star veteran watching from her couch at home, Aarti shares her insider’s take on what went down each week.
I, for one, adore Paula Deen. I remember when she appeared on my season of Food Network Star — the first things I saw were her crystal blue eyes and that trademark silver shock of hair. I lost it.
“Paula DEEEEEEEEEN!” I yelled and collapsed in a fit of excited giggles.
And I see her have the same effect on the contestants every season. She manages to dismantle even Alton’s poker face with her signature warmth, drawl and feistiness. So what is it about Paula that future Food Network stars can learn from?
With just three weeks to go until a Starwinner is crowned, Boband Susiehave some big decisions ahead — but they also want to know what YOU think. After all, they want the new Star to be someone who you're eager to watch every week, someone whose stories draw you in and whose recipes you can't wait to give a try. That's why you, the fans, will be determining this year's Star winner in our Finale Vote.
In the comments, let Bob and Susie know what you think about who went home and who's still in. They're all ears.
On Sunday night the eight remaining finalists leave their home-away-from-home in the Big Apple and head south for the sunny skies of Miami. This trip, however, won’t exactly be a tropical vacation — they’re challenged to cook for and present in front of Food Network superstar Paula Deenand her son Bobby Deen.
Team Bobby’sNikki was among the bottom three last week, having failed to impress the press with her uncharacteristic “delicate and sophisticated” POV and dish of grilled scallops, which Bob Tuschman called “sour and bitter.” She did manage to redeem herself, though, in the Producers’ Challenge with a solid camera presentation and tasty classic burger. Will the “Grill Next Door” have what it takes to withstand the heat of South Beach, or will she melt under the pressure of paradise?
In this sneak-peek shot, Nikki’s patience seems to be tested as she indulges in a little retail therapy at Target. Is she ready to scream into a pillow or will she be able to keep her composure in the housewares aisle?
Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c, we’re challenging you, Starfans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this meltdown moment in the comments below.
See all three burgers up close, along with top burger recipes from mentors Bobby, Giada and Alton and past Star winners Guy, Jeff, Aarti and Melissa in our hunger-inducing burger gallery. The humble hamburger is a great vehicle for any POV: Each of these all-star recipes has one, from Giada's prosciutto-wrapped patties topped with tomato and basil to Aarti's Indian-spiced condiments.
Although someone had to go home last Sunday, all three ladies served up tasty burgers with a solid helping of POV. If you could order up a burger from the Producers' Challenge, whose would you pick?
We know he’s not exactly your average Star fan, but we just had to give the Fan Post of the Week to none other than Alton Brown himself. This weekend, the leader and namesake of Team Alton took to Twitter — with Post-it notes — to show his support and not-so-subtle competitive spirit for his top three contestants, Martie, Emily and Justin, as they prepared to meet the press. Pictured above is one of Alton’s many Star-related Twitter pictures. “One of these things is not like the others. #winner,” he scrawled on a Post-it which he stuck to his computer screen over an image of himself, Giada and Bobby.