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Shay Carl Gives the Finalists a Tutorial in Viral Videos [Interview]

by in Interviews, June 24, 2014

Shay Carl, Alton Brown and Bobby FlayIn an age where everything seems to be available online, Food Network Stars also have to have a presence on the Web — it's a one-stop shop to talk with fans and share everyday activities, photos and Post-its.

This week's episode of Star challenged the finalists with two different social tasks: Create a behind-the-scenes video on the set of Food Star Kitchen, and film a viral marketing video at YouTube Space LA. No stranger to vlogging and creating viral videos, Shay Carl was brought in to help guide the contestants. Shay certainly had the resume for the job. He is undoubtedly a very popular and successful YouTube personality, with five channels of his own (two of them with more than 1 million subscribers each).

We caught up with Shay on location at YouTube Space LA to chat about his time on Star.

Star Talk: What's the one thing you really wanted to convey to the finalists?
Shay Carl: See, I had to be really careful because the director told me that they have to be responsible for their own videos. So I couldn't come in there and be like, "I think you guys should do this." And I don't want to do that (in case they get sent home and say, "Well that was Shay Carl's idea!" So it was tough because I'm a very opinionated guy. I just wanted to steer them in the path that they were already going down, without influencing their decisions too much. I was just there to give some tips and tricks, and help them with their training wheels. Imagine they're like a little child on a bike and this is their first YouTube round, and we're going down the cul-de-sac and I'm like: "Yup, that's good! You did it! Good job!"

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

by in Interviews, June 22, 2014

One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go HomeFirst the finalists are asked to "create a social media presence" in the Mentor Challenge by Bobby, then they are met with the toughest challenge of the competition yet. The contestants arrive at YouTube Space LA this week, where they'll have to create a buzz-worthy online marketing video for popular candy. Emma, coming off a win in the Mentor Challenge, gets to pick the three teams: Team PayDay (Aryen, Christopher and Lenny), Team Reese's (Emma, Nicole and Reuben), and Team Mounds and Almond Joy (Sarah, Loreal and Chris).

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.

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Star Salvation Finalists Reinvent Beloved Childhood Snacks

by in Interviews, June 18, 2014

Damaris, Geoffrey and Brandon on Star Salvation, Episode 3This week the Star Salvation finalists must put signature spins on childhood snacks before presenting them to the judges (in just 25 minutes). Here's the kicker: In addition to regular judges Geoffrey and Damaris, Star Salvation added one child who knows all about food competitions. Brandon Scawthorn, the winner of Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off, is no stranger to the network, and he's an ace at Web series, hosting his own, called Cooking in the Fast Lane. This challenge was an easy task for him: "For me growing up, crepes was one of my favorites," Brandon says of his go-to snack.

Star Talk caught up with Brandon on the set of Star Salvation to talk about his experience. Read below for his interview and click play on the video below to watch his episode.

Star Talk: What was it like being a part of Star Salvation?
Brandon Scawthorn: This is so exciting. First I won Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off, now I'm here as a judge — it's just amazing.

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“Two Worlds Collided Today.” — Jet Tila on Episode 3

by in Interviews, June 17, 2014

Jet Tila on Food Network Star, Season 10Sabotage. Evilicious. Cutthroat. All of these words describe Food Network's popular show Cutthroat Kitchen, where host Alton Brown auctions off one crazy antic after another every Sunday night. In the most-recent episode of Food Network Star, however, Alton's world of mini kitchens and missing ingredients was dished out to the remaining finalists. Bobby was on hand to taste the final plates, and so was Cutthroat Kitchen judge Jet Tila. In pure Cutthroat style, the judges had no prior knowledge of the sabotages that led the competitors' final dishes.

Star Talk caught up with Jet on the set of Star in between heats to break down the difference of the competitions and talk about Alton's evil side. Read on for the interview.

No one knows how to judge a Cutthroat Kitchen-style challenge like you. How did the two competitions differ?
Jet Tile: The worlds have collided on this episode. They differ in that we're judging them specifically on food on Cutthroat Kitchen, and here, I've got to see to their delivery and personality, which is a really refreshing change for me. It's a lot of fun, but it's very different.

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

by in Interviews, June 15, 2014

One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go HomeStar has seen many themed challenges over the seasons, including takes on Chopped, Burger Bash and even Thanksgiving Live. But for the first time in Star history, finalists faced off in a round of Cutthroat Kitchen-inspired competition. Alton brought all of his antics and even Cutthroat judge Jet Tila made a special appearance.

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.

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“This Challenge Was Like a 20-Layer Sandwich.” — An Interview with Alex Guarnaschelli

by in Interviews, June 10, 2014

An Interview with Alex Guarnaschelli, Season 10 Food Network StarAlex Guarnaschelli is no stranger to Food Network Star. We've seen her dish out her opinions on the judging panel of two Chopped-themed episodes during seasons 8 and 9. But this past Sunday, Alex took off her judge's hat and took to the kitchen. During the Star Challenge, the remaining finalists were tasked with taping a 15-minute demo explaining how to make a simple dish with pantry ingredients in a separate prep kitchen. So where's the twist? Iron Chef Guarnaschelli was in Star Kitchen watching their demos in real time, attempting to make the same dish, as Bobby, Giada and Alton looked on.

Star Talk caught up with the Iron Chef right after the show to talk about being in the kitchen versus being a judge, and what Bobby, Giada and Alton are really like.

This is your third time on Food Network Star, and this time they put you into the mix of cooking, and you even said that you feel like you’re a part of the cooking audition yourself!
Alex Guarnaschelli: It’s true. I’ve been through a number of shows and I’ve done a lot of this stuff before, so theoretically this is not my first or even my fifth rodeo, but it feels as nerve-racking and as fresh as the first time. And when you realize that, you catch a glimpse into what the stakes are like for these competitors. I mean, they’re standing in front of a trio of people that have enough producing and camera experience to catapult you all the way to the top. How much can you sort out? How much can you really hear them? How do you separate yourself from the pack? On top of being on camera, they have to cook for Bobby, Giada and Alton. I mean that — that’s some cherry and whipped cream on that sundae right there, right?

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

by in Interviews, June 8, 2014

One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go HomeWith the first challenges behind the them, the remaining 11 finalists took to Star Kitchen and were hit with two big surprises this week: teaching Alton how to prepare two of his favorite dishes (Green Bean Casserole and Chicken-Fried Steak) in the Mentor Challenge and having Alex Guarnaschelli follow along their live cooking demos in the Star Challenge.

Overcoming one of these challenges would be enough for anyone, but proving these hopefuls can communicate and cook (especially at the same time) is a requirement of the job.

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.

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Chatting with the First Eliminated Star Finalist

by in Food Network Star, Interviews, June 1, 2014

Food Network StarDespite Food Network Star finalists' highest hopes for success and their best attempts to at once craft top-quality dishes and present a winning personality on camera, week after week another rival will be sent home, unable to survive in the face of stardom. It's up to judge-mentors Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis to decide who should stay and whose journey has ended, and after every elimination, Star Talk will bring you the first interview with the ousted competitor.

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 premiere and reveal the first finalist sent home.

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Alton Explains What Not to Do, the Deal with POVs and the Hardest Part of Being a Judge

by in Interviews, Judges, May 27, 2014

Alton Explains What Not to Do, the Deal with POVs and MoreAs Food Network's resident food historian and overall respected voice of reason, Alton Brown has a lot to say when it comes to finalists vying for the ultimate job — the job that will allow one person to join the roster that he shares with fellow judges Giada and Bobby.

Star Talk: What are you excited about this season?
Alton Brown: I haven't participated in as many seasons of Food Network Star as the other judge-mentors. I've only really done three. But based on the seasons that I've done in the past, I'm excited to see if I can find that nugget — that diamond. You're walking down a riverbank, you reach down and you pull up a 10-carat diamond and go, "Hey, look what I found." So you're looking at each one of these finalists and you're hoping that one of them is going to be spectacular — amazing. And it could happen. That's the entire mission.

Star Talk: What is the biggest mistake that finalists constantly make?
AB: I'm not sure what it is in American culture that gives everyone the idea that if they simply convince you they want something badly, you'll give it to them. And every year, the first thing they'll start talking about passion. I don't care about your passion. I care about you making me feel passion. Everybody's got passion, everybody loves food, everybody loves people. OK? I don't care. Yet they do it every year. People tell you, "I want this so badly." Yes, good. Now do something to deserve it.

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Bobby Talks Pet Peeves, the Biggest Mistake Finalists Always Make and Cooking vs. On-Camera Skills

by in Interviews, Judges, May 23, 2014

Bobby Flay Talks Pet Peeves and the Biggest Mistake Finalists Always MakeEarlier this week Giada dished on her fellow judges and behind-the-scenes moments (read the interview here.) Now we're asking Bobby Flay about his time on Star, what it's like to be a judge, what mistakes he's tired of seeing and if he could have survived the show as a contestant.

Star Talk: What are you excited for this season on Star?
Bobby Flay: This is the 10th season of Food Network Star, and every season the most-exciting thing to me is meeting the new finalists — people who have a chance to be the next Star on Food Network. So as excited as they are, I'm excited to see who they are just as much.

Star Talk: From the first season until now, what has changed?
BF: I feel like every season the finalists get better and savvier than the last. A lot of it has to do with the fact that they get to watch the seasons prior and they become students of the sort. It's definitely a game. It's a game until you actually get the job. That's the way it works. I take my role of a judge very seriously. In a way, we're mentoring people, as well, we're not just saying yes or no. We're trying to give advice, but I want to add somebody to the roster of Food Network who is going to strengthen the network as a whole. I think of it as adding a new player to our team to make it better.

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