Team Alton Cracks the Top Three: Your Week Two Picks Revealed

by in Food Network Star, May 29, 2012

Our week two Fan Vote tally is in, and Team Giada's Martita Jara and Ippy Aiona continue to duke it out for first place. Martita regained her preseason lead this week with 24% of your votes, while Ippy stayed strong at 21%. But this week, Team Giada's sweep of the top three was broken as Team Alton's Emily Ellyn claimed third place with 11% of the vote.

Will Team Alton keep gaining momentum after their "unofficial" win in the Chopped desserts challenge?

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 Two Fan Vote results:

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Aarti’s After Party: Go Bold or Go Home

by in Food Network Star, May 27, 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.

When I asked you guys what you thought of this new format a couple of weeks ago, some of you opined that it allowed the “weaker” contestants to hide behind the “stronger” ones. Well, this was the week for you.

For the first time, instead of competing as teams, it was every man for him (or her) self. And judging by the contestants’ performance this week, this paradigm shift did a number on them. Until now, these folks were teammates, brothers-in-arms if you will, cheering each other across the finish line, consoling one another when a fellow soldier didn’t think he or she could make it. In a blink of any eye, the brothers-in-arms were forced to opposite sides of the battlefield.

No wonder so many faltered. I was shocked at the ripple of insecurity toppling many of the Goliaths in this pack: Martita’s characteristic fieriness diminished to a very polite flicker. Emily’s Zooey Deschanel-like quirkiness lacked pop. And Martie? Oh how my heart broke for her, as we watched her insecurities threaten to drown her Southern charm.

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Caption It: Goofing Around

by in Food Network Star, May 25, 2012

This Sunday's new episode of Star is an intense one. Just when they're getting comfy in their teams, the finalists must compete against their own teammates in Chopped-style dessert battles. When the wacky mystery baskets are revealed, the finalists aren't the only ones who are stressed — their mentors are competitive, too! But no matter how heated the competition, with fun personalities like Alton, Giada and Bobby, there's always time for a lighthearted moment like this one. Alton's goofing around on the judges' panel has Giada in stitches.

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 silly moment in the comments below.

 

Star Poll: Pick Your Dish

by in Food Network Star, May 24, 2012

For the bus tour challenge, Team Giada ended up right in their mentor's comfort zone: Arthur Avenue, the Bronx's answer to Little Italy. Maybe this added a little pressure — as Team Giada, they couldn't mess up Italian food! They stepped it up, made some tasty food and won the challenge.

Three dishes really stood out for the judges. Martita's Italian-Inspired Ceviche (pictured above) won raves; Susie Fogelson said it was one of the best ceviches she's ever tasted. Read more

Fan Tweet of the Week — Star Commentary

by in Food Network Star, May 23, 2012

Last Sunday’s episode of Star brought the finalists out of the kitchen and onto the streets of New York City, tasked with creating and presenting in their own way a dish or product specific to their team’s neighborhood. While Team Giada found Italian comfort in the Bronx’s Little Italy on Arthur Avenue and Team Bobby discovered the soul food-heavy cuisine of Harlem, Team Alton headed downtown to explore the Lower East Side of Manhattan, a once predominantly Jewish neighborhood specializing in Eastern European cooking.

Judson was left to spearhead the presentation of pickles after his teammates chose pastrami sandwiches, bialys and matzo. How would he feature this salty-sour specialty that's usually eaten as a snack, a side, a burger topping or a condiment in a creative, unique dish that the judges would relish? "I'm not really feeling it," Judson admitted.

Many fans live-Tweeted with questions and comments about Judson’s potentially sour situation, which leads us to our Fan Tweet of the Week (pictured above) from @AlexisSykut.

Join the #Star conversation on Twitter and Facebook and your comments may be featured in our weekly roundup of Star Commentary. 

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 Bobby’s First Farewell

by in Food Network Star, May 22, 2012

Team Bobby was riding high after taking home the first win of the season, only to come crashing back to reality in Episode Two. On their food tour of Harlem, caterer and fitness guru Kara Sigle hoped a strong presentation would distract from her lifeless chicken and waffles. Unfortunately, she stumbled, lost focus and completely forgot to tell the crowd — and the judges — about her dish at all. She wasn't surprised to end up in the Producers' Challenge, going head-to-head against Judson to create the ultimate potato dish and make it memorable.

When Bob and Susie decided that Team Alton's Judson was the better gamble to keep around another week, he was the one who shed tears. Kara left the competition with her head held high and still hopes to see Team Bobby come out on top. "They become your family immediately," she said of her team. "I think they’re going to go all the way. That’s the final four right there."

Hear more from Bobby, Susie and Kara in her exclusive exit interview. Do you think she deserved to go home so soon? Read more

Team Giada Remains on Top: Your Week One Picks Revealed

by in Food Network Star, May 21, 2012

philip ippy aiona
The first week vote tally is in, and Team Giada has once again swept the top three spots of the Star Fan Vote. Laid-back Ippy Aiona took Martita Jara's first place spot this week with 21% of the vote. Still in the top three — but down 2% from last week was Martita — followed by Linkie Marais at 13%.

Team Giada had something to brag about this week as they took home their first win. Alton must be feeling the pressure, having been in the bottom two the first two weeks in a row. After coming off a win in the first episode, Team Bobby needs to regroup for week three as the finalists face one of their toughest challenges yet: a Chopped basket.

Why haven't we seen any members from Team Bobby or Team Alton in the top spots yet?

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.

 

Aarti’s After Party: 3 Secrets to Good Presenting

by in Food Network Star, May 20, 2012

Bobby and Kara

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.

Oh man, how I loved this challenge! Wasn’t it good? I think this might have been my favorite challenge in Food Network Star history.

Perhaps it’s because I’m a journalist by training — I worked at CNN, and I produced a documentary about the genocide in Darfur that aired on HBO. So the prospect of being thrown into an unfamiliar field to harvest stories and secrets from the locals, and then recount them to an audience? Hooray and huzzah! And while at first blush this week’s challenge seemed to favor one team in particular (I’m looking at you, Team Giada), this is something that every Food Network hopeful needs to master.

Food television is changing — not only must you be able to cook, be able to talk about what you’re cooking and relate to your viewers, but you must also be able to take viewers on a journey, pull them along with you as you experience food cooked by other hands, and make people feel like they’re sitting at the table with you. Look at the success of shows like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, United Tastes of America and Heat Seekers, and you’ll see what I mean.

So, future Food Network Stars, here are a few of tips on presenting like the star that you are.

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Caption It: Stay Out of Trouble

by in Food Network Star, May 18, 2012

Oh, Josh. In Episode One, this rock star/sushi chef was Team Giada's problem child. First, he somersaulted onto the stage to get Bob and Susie's attention — and it worked, but not in a good way. Then he ended up in the bottom two. With the help of "guardian angel" Giada, he made it safely out of the pitch room. But what's going on in this sneak peek from Episode Two? Will Josh cause more drama for Giada?

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 teaching moment in the comments below.

 

Poll: Who Should Go Home on Sunday?

by in Food Network Star, May 17, 2012

Fourteen finalists remain in contention to become the next Food Network Star. This Sunday night, when the three teams board buses to lead New York food tours, which two will end up on the bottom? Who will get a second chance after the Producers' Challenge, and who will pack their bags to head home?

Play our Who's Your Star? game to make all of these predictions and earn trophies (and bragging rights with your friends) for correct ones.

Over on the Fan Vote, you're picking your favorite finalist each week — and hopefully voting for him or her 10 times per day. But Star fans always have their least favorites, too. Who, in your opinion, doesn't have the chops to be a Food Network star? Which finalist do you want to see go home next?

Cast your vote here (and please keep the comments considerate).

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