The Most Intense Episode. Ever. — Star Commentary

by in Food Network Star, July 18, 2012



Well, you can’t say that Food Network doesn’t know how to shake things up, right? This year, the network is leaving the decision of this year’s winner in your hands, fans. And while the opportunity to vote for your next Star ended last night at 5pm, you can relive the emotional and surprising episode that sent four hopefuls instead of three to the finale.

In an unprecedented moment during last Sunday’s elimination, both of Team Alton’s final two contenders, Justin and Martie, were given green lights to create show pilots and advanced to the finale to compete against Team Bobby’s Michele and Team Giada’s Yvan. Understandably, tension filled the air in Miami’s outdoor pitch room, as Alton, Justin and Martie waited to find out who would be sent home. And of course, that same angst found its way into many fans’ living rooms on Sunday, as they endured a doozy of a cliffhanger.

Sunny Anderson was among those watching the drama unfold from home. Though she sat on the guest panel that judged the six contestants’ promo videos, she and the other judges didn’t see the elimination, so this week’s shocking turn of events was just as stunning to her as it was to fans. Sunny Tweeted a spot-on reaction to the commercial break before the announcement. “IF YOU JUST YELLED AT YOUR TV RT!!!! I hate a cliffhanger!!! #star,” she wrote, earning our Fan Post of the Week. Many fellow Star fans echoed her feelings. Read more

Star Snacks: Viewing Party Treats From the Final Four

by in Food Network Star, July 17, 2012

Star Snack RecipesThe vote is now closed and it's just a waiting game until the newest Star winner — chosen by you! — is crowned in Sunday night's finale. In preparation for viewing parties across the country, Martie, Yvan, Michele and Justin each created an original snack recipe especially for their fans.

The final four learned a thing or two from Alton, Bobby and Giada during their successful Star runs — devoted fans could likely guess which POV-perfect snack belongs to each finalist just by looking at them. Martie goes with her twist on a party staple, chips and dip. Yvan parties family-style with a batch of empanadas. Michele serves up a New England spin on deviled eggs. And Justin creates a rebellious take on a favorite nacho cheese-flavored chip.

Check out our gallery of Star-worthy snacks and serve them at your viewing party to cheer on your favorite Food Network hopeful. And of course, don't miss the finale this Sunday at 9pm/8c!

 

Aarti’s After Party: It All Comes Down to You

by in Food Network Star, July 16, 2012

Final Four - Season 8 Food Network StarAarti Sequeira won Food 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.

Deep breath.

I imagine there are a lot of deep breaths happening in the homes of four particular people this week. As I type, four separate hearts are probably beating wildly. Four minds may be letting their imaginations run wild. Four souls might be praying for four particular outcomes.

An outcome that depends on a click of your index finger.

Oh, the drama of it all!

Sure, we’ve all seen our fair share of reality competition shows, so perhaps the novelty has worn off, perhaps we’ve grown jaded. But having had my own future held in the hands of others, I’d just like to remind you of what you have the power to do right now. Read more

Caption It: Do They Like What They See?

by in Food Network Star, July 13, 2012

Susie, Anne, Jeff and SunnyAfter nine weeks of Star Challenges, Producers’ Challenge face-offs, last-minute secret ingredients, celebrity chef appearances and Miami beach parties, the competition comes down to this Sunday’s penultimate episode. The top six Food Network Star finalists, Ippy, Justin, Martie, Michele, Nikki and Yvan, have just one chance to strut their stuff and prove themselves worthy of a chance at stardom in a promo for their own Food Network show.

Who better to judge the finalists’ performances than a group of food-television pros, including Anne Burrell, last season’s Star winner Jeff Mauro and Sunny Anderson. Take a look at the sneak-peek shot above and notice Jeff’s slight smile and Anne’s and Sunny’s questioning eyes — do you think they like what they see? For which finalists will the Star dream end on Sunday, and who will be able to film their very own pilot programs?

Check out a video preview of Sunday night’s episode to get more behind-the-scenes footage.

Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c, we’re challenging you, Star fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this telling moment in the comments below.

Then after Sunday's episode, the winner comes down to you, fans! Be sure to visit FoodNetwork.com/Star before Tuesday, July 17 at 5pm to cast your vote for our next Food Network Star. You can vote online up to 10 times per day.

The Sandwich King Hits South Beach

by in Food Network Star, July 12, 2012


In between parties, cooking demos and guest-judging the Star episode airing this Sunday, last year's winner, Jeff Mauro, found some time during the South Beach Wine & Food Festival to show FN Dish where to find the best sandwiches in Miami. Over French salami and Camembert at La Sandwicherie, the Sandwich King catches us up on the whirlwind year he's had since winning Star.

Just one year ago, Jeff stood in the finalists' shoes. "I've learned so much that I've applied to every aspect of this business so far," he says. "You learn a lot through taping your season. You know, small things like smiling all the time. I'm always learning. Most of all, I've learned that it's a fun business!"

Watch the exclusive video and don't miss this Sunday's episode, where Jeff joins an all-star panel of guest judges including Sunny Andersen, Anne Burrell, Aaron Sanchez, Robert Irvine and Melissa d'Arabian.

Poll: Who’s the Most Improved Star Finalist?

by in Food Network Star, July 11, 2012

Who's the Most Improved Star Finalist?Think back to almost 10 weeks ago when we first met this season’s 15 Food Network Star hopefuls. As a group, they were a bit timid, unsure of the whole cooking-in-front-of-a-camera-for-famous-people thing, but extremely eager to prove themselves and their cooking chops to their mentors and the network. Thanks to the mentoring of Alton, Bobby and Giada, each contestant had the opportunity to grow as a cook and potential television personality, though some finalists’ stays at Star were too short-lived to benefit from their advice. The remaining six finalists, however, have enjoyed a month and a half of constructive criticism and countless chances to show their progress toward stardom, and this Sunday, Ippy, Justin, Martie, Michele, Nikki and Yvan will have a final few moments to demonstrate their improvement and promising Star potential in a promo for their would-be Food Network show.

Tell us: Which of the remaining Star finalists is the most improved contender?

 

Expect the Unexpected — Star Commentary

by in Food Network Star, July 10, 2012

Nikki Martin

Sabotage was the name of the game this week, as the final seven Food Network Star contenders attempted to dodge unexpected hurdles during their live cooking demos. These obstacles ranged from a messed-up microphone during Yvan’s performance and a broken blender in Nikki’s presentation to a persistent audience heckler during Justin’s demo and everything in between. The idea was to play to the finalists’ weaknesses in an attempt to gauge how they instinctively react to unforeseen challenges and minor issues. “They’ve gotta roll with the punches and come out the other end,” Alton Brown explained.

Though some viewers were frustrated that the contestants were purposely messed with, others couldn’t help but laugh as they watched the finalists maneuver — some gracefully, some not so much — through their presentations. One Star fan, Holly Burtchaell @RandomCravings, Tweeted her reaction to this week’s challenge. “I hate to admit it…I love the episode when they mess with them! @FoodNetwork #Star,” she wrote, 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 day and tune in to this Sunday’s episode at 9pm/8c to see who from #TeamAlton#TeamBobby or #TeamGiada goes home next.

Aarti’s After Party: Thinking on Your Feet

by in Food Network Star, July 8, 2012

team giada

Aarti Sequeira won Food 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 was all smiles after watching Martie, Yvan and Michele do their demos this week.

In fact, after watching Michele stretch for an extra minute by talking about how looking for holes in the sand is a marker for good clams, I wrote this down on my notepad: “Joy. Joy. Joy. Joy. Joy!”

Let’s face it: There’s enough stuff on TV that leaves you with a sour puss on your face, or wringing your hands over the fate of the world.

Watching a show about food is a warm, happy place — somewhere to escape at the end of a long day.

There’s a direct connection between how much fun you’re having and how much fun your audience has as a result. Ask any actor, comedian, dancer, public speaker or now, the future Food Network star.

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Martita’s Exit Interview: Farewell to Team Giada

by in Food Network Star, July 8, 2012

Evaluation Team GiadaOn the latest episode of Star, Team Giada said a tearful goodbye to Martita Jara. The judges felt that after nine weeks, they’d seen glimmers of a star, but Martita just wasn’t quite ready for prime-time. The pitch room was emotional on all sides: “It has been such a pleasure knowing you, and your food is amazing,” Bob Tuschman told Martita.

Before leaving Miami, Martita sat down to share some parting words. Here’s a sneak peek at what she had to say:

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