Fan Post of the Week — Star Commentary

by in Food Network Star, June 20, 2012


In cooking for this week’s Star Challenge, Team Bobby’s Michele Ragussis was not exactly happy as a clam. She decided to create New England clam chowder as part of her team’s American-inspired seafood spread, and was banking on picking up a few bags of chopped clams — those that have already been cleaned, shucked and diced. However, as Star luck would have it, the market only had fresh clams in stock, forcing Michele to accept the trouble and time of prepping them herself.

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Team Giada: Down to Three

by in Food Network Star, June 19, 2012

Team Giada thought they had last Sunday's food-court challenge in the bag. A Mexican-themed kiosk, with Martita on their side? No problem. But for South African dessert queen Linkie Marais, Mexican food was uncharted territory: "I don't even know what they serve for dessert in Mexico!" Stumped, she ran with Martita's suggestion of churros and hoped for the best, despite the fact that she'd never made them before.

Sure enough, the texture of the churros was off and Linkie tried to re-brand them as "biscotti." But her confidence was shaken, and it showed. She ended up in the Producers' Challenge, where she gave Bob and Susie a solid chicken dish, proving that she shouldn't be pigeonholed into pastry. Still, in the end, it was pitch room veteran Nikki who prevailed, sending Linkie home.

Throughout her Star run, Linkie struggled with confidence issues that caused her to stumble over presentations. "In the end, I realized that it's mostly because of the language barrier," Linkie explains in her exclusive exit interview. "That was where a lot of my confidence problem came from." Giada tried to coax her through this, sharing her own experience of moving to America as a child.

"I am so honored and humbled that I had the opportunity to work with Giada," Linkie says. "I don't think she realizes how much she's influenced my life. She made me realize that I don't have to change who I am."

Hear more from Giada, Bob, Susie and Linkie in her exit interview. Do you think she deserved to go home over Nikki?

Flip through Linkie’s Star Scrapbook and more behind-the-scenes photos from Episode Six.

 

Midterms: Mentors Weigh In

by in Food Network Star, June 19, 2012

The competition has reached its halfway point. Just five weeks from now, one of the nine remaining finalists will have his or her own Food Network show. In this exclusive video, we checked in with Giada, Bobby and Alton to see how they're feeling about their respective top three finalists. Are they surprised at who's made it this far, or were these their top contenders from day one?

They also size up the competition. Who's the team to beat at this juncture? And who's the most competitive mentor? Bob and Susie reveal which Food Network icon "does not want to lose, ever."

Do you agree with the mentors? Midway through the season, which team do you see as the front-runner?

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Justin Moves Up: Your Week 5 Fan Vote Picks Revealed

by in Food Network Star, June 18, 2012

Martita and  Ippy are still your #1 and #2 picks this week, Star fans. But Team Alton's "rebel with a culinary cause," Justin Warner, is making strides. He claims the #3 spot this week with 16% of the vote — up from 13% last week and 9% the week before.

This week, Justin impressed Bob and Susie once again with his unconventional Fritto Misto at the food court, contributing to Team Alton's victory in the challenge. Even when his entire team ended up on the bottom in Episode 5, Justin bounced back with his Spaghetti Midwestern and was immediately declared safe in the pitch room. Will his streak continue? Can he overtake Team Giada's Fan Vote stronghold?

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 Five Fan Vote results:

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Aarti’s After Party: Redemption and Defeat

by in Food Network Star, June 17, 2012

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.

Well, didn’t Martie redeem herself this week?

I was kind of amazed at how many of you wrote, with some vitriol, that sweet Martie didn’t deserve to stay last week. Well, she certainly proved herself this week, cooking a rather elaborate multi-step dish (Southern-style arancini, which I would never have attempted to make for 150 people) and bowling the judges over with her warmth and humor.

Just one thing though, Martie, my love: That moniker you’re using? Martie Party? It’s kinda taken. Ahem! Read more

Caption It: Put Up Your Dukes

by in Food Network Star, June 15, 2012

This week marks the midpoint of the competition and the remaining 10 finalists are under more pressure than ever as they look toward the second half of the season. On Sunday night’s episode, the newest Iron Chef, Geoffrey Zakarian, surprises the contestants with a doozy of a curveball, one that just might drive some to their breaking points. Is Team Alton’s retro and rad Star hopeful Emily Ellyn turning to physical blows to cope with the midterm stress? Is she preparing to fight – literally – to keep her place in the competition? Who is her Star rival in this culinary mashup?

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 dueling moment in the comments below.

 

Poll: Who’s On Thin Ice?

by in Food Network Star, June 14, 2012

Week after week Star hopefuls are sent to the pitch room, and one by one they are eliminated while others remain. The pardoned finalists have survived to cook another day, but how long will they remain safe? Whether it’s because the clock has been on their side, their teammates have brought them success or they've enjoyed simple luck, some lasting finalists may be just barely hanging on as the competition reaches its halfway point.

Of the remaining 10 finalists, who's on thin ice?

Who’s your favorite finalist still in the running? Don’t forget to cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per day.

 

Guy’s Words of Wisdom

by in Food Network Star, June 13, 2012

Last Sunday, Season 2 winner Guy Fieri stopped by the Star set and challenged the finalists to put on live specials before an audience. Many of them were less intimidated by the spectators than by Guy himself. Despite his warmth and friendliness, it's hard to stand beside that kind of mega star power and measure up.

In this exclusive video, Guy talks about how the show has changed since he competed back in its early days: "With Giada, Bobby and Alton giving them constant mentoring through the entire season? I would have loved to do this. I would love to be a mentor!" He reflects on his own Star mentor and shares words of advice for the finalists, who would be wise to listen up. This Guy knows what he's talking about.

 

Fan Post of the Week — Star Commentary

by in Food Network Star, June 13, 2012

Perhaps cooking for a wake would have been easier after all.

On Sunday night's episode, Team Bobby drew what was arguably the short straw of the live television themes. Guy gave them the challenge of Cooking for Kids, while Team Alton and Team Giada enjoyed Halloween and Game Day themes, respectively.

Team Bobby's Michele was a little irked: “Seriously? It’s Halloween every day with Team Alton. Have you seen them?” She adds of her other competition, “This is like a gift to Team Giada. Game Day — who can’t win? Cooking for Kids — now that’s a challenge.”

Nikki, Malcolm and Michele decided to present their dishes under the umbrella of “mindful meals," even though Bobby warned, "For the kids, it’s gotta be fun and playful. They have to be totally into it.” And while the team's live demo and individual dishes proved to be hits with the judges — and earned them immunity from this week’s elimination — Nikki’s kale-banana smoothie was a miss with the children. "I love the green smoothie," said Bob Tuschman, "but I'm not four years old."

During the episode, the fan chatter on Food Network’s Facebook and Twitter pages turned to Nikki’s green drink. Food Network Star viewers wondered if young eaters would buy into the healthful smoothie, made with potentially bitter raw kale. One fan, Debbie Bookstaber @buzzmommy, summed up much of the online conversation, which earns her 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.

Team Alton: Three Remain

by in Food Network Star, June 12, 2012

When Bob and Susie declared that Team Bobby and Team Giada were both winners of the Guy Fieri live show challenge, it was bad news for Team Alton. All four members faced the Producers' Challenge and the pitch room, where no matter what happened, one teammate would be going home. Alton went to bat for all of his finalists: "Every one of these people is going to make your brain tie up in knots. You're not going to be able to let one of them go," he told Bob and Susie.

But they had to pick someone, and in the end, Judson Allen bid farewell to the team. Judson had recently turned a corner with his new POV, focusing on healthy food and his personal weight-loss journey, but he continued to struggle with his authenticity on camera.

Before heading home, Judson reflected on the experience of working with Alton: "I don't think words can sum up how much I have valued his mentorship."

Bob and Susie also share their take on Alton as team leader: "He's getting so attached to his team. When they suffer, he suffers. I don't think people see that side of Alton," says Bob.

Hear more from Alton, Bob, Susie and Judson in his exclusive exit interview. Do you think it was his time to go home?

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