Martie Duncan and I used to say, "When one door closes, it's time to get out the jackhammer."
Since her elimination from this contest, Lovely Jackson, with help from Robert Irvine, has been the architect of her own reconstruction — drilling through six other competitors to regain a cutting board in the Food Star Kitchen.
With pizza doughnuts well behind us, the gang, now including Lovely, is to make a pa-sta deesh, for Gee-ah-da and her Food Network fratelli. That's not all. After the competitors cook their dishes, they have to describe with edible eloquence the dishes of their rivals. It's about to get pazza in here.
Spoiler Alert: Keep reading
This Sunday, in a dramatic and shocking twist to the season, Chad or Lovely will re-enter Food Star Kitchen. For the past four weeks, previously eliminated contestants have been given a second chance in a Web series called Star Salvation
, presented by Buitoni.
Lovely's managed to out-perform five other talented contestants in the first three episodes. But will Chad finally put an end to her streak?
Before the winner is revealed Sunday night (9pm/8c), relive the journey to salvation, and share your predictions in Star Talk's poll.
From private chefs and culinary instructors to restaurant owners, underground chefs and James Beard Award semifinalists, this year's cast of Star finalists boasts a long and impressive kitchen resume. They're keenly aware of what it takes to turn out balanced and full-flavored dishes, but thanks to the pressure of cooking on camera and against the clock — for a panel of esteemed food stars, no less — some of the rivals' offerings have proven disappointing, some even inedible. While the Selection Committee has demanded culinary excellence from day one of the competition, now nearly two months into the contest, the judges are finally starting to see consistently stellar plates.
In the sneak-peek photo above from Sunday's all-new episode, it looks as if Alton's come across a dish he especially likes. No need for utensils or a tasting table here: He's gone hands first into a pot of one finalist's offering, picking at it while looking over his shoulder with a serious side-eye. What kind of food do you think is waiting for Alton in that pan, and who do you think made this sample-worthy meal?
Write your best captions
Now seven weeks into the competition, the remaining finalists are just now finding their footings in the Food Star Kitchen, and many are able to hold the attention of an audience on camera. They can turn out winning meals and garner high praises from focus groups, but their performances weren't always so star-worthy, and no one knows that better than the three people who've been face-to-face with the competitors' offerings from the very beginning: the judges, Alton, Bobby and Giada.
This Selection Committee has watched the contestants develop from day one, and in the last two months, the judges have experienced firsthand the exciting, disappointing, and simply odd plates and presentations shared with them. Given the surprises and sheer meltdowns they've seen from this year's competitors, then, it's no shock that the judges' faces through it all have been as wild and unpredictable as the antics they've witnessed. From Alton's furrowed brow and Bobby's cheeky grin to Giada's glaring side-eye, the judges don't hide what they're feeling well.
Browse this photo gallery to see the mentors' most memorable facial expressions, then tell Star Talk in the comments: What is your favorite moment from the season so far?
No matter who you're with or where you're watching Food Network Star from, you surely have on hand eats and drinks to last you through the episode, right? Here at Star Talk, we want to see what you're munching on. Every Wednesday, check back for recipes to get you ready for the episode ahead, and on Sunday nights, snap photos of your spread and share them with @FoodNetwork via Twitter and Instagram using #FoodNetworkStar.
This week is proving to be a doozy on the heat index, which means that after days of sticky humidity and all-around sweatiness, the last thing you'll want to do come Sunday night is turn on your oven to make dessert. But just because you won't be baking doesn't mean you can't enjoy deliciously sweet treats. For this weekend's all-new Star, cool off with a few no-bake desserts, like the indulgent-yet-refreshing recipes below.
Show us what you're making
Every Sunday, Bobby, Giada and Alton take on the difficult task of eliminating one finalist in the quest to help guide fans to vote for Food Network's next sensation. And this is no easy task. Check back here every week to read Star Talk's exclusive exit interview with the latest Star hopeful to leave Food Star Kitchen.
If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — Star Talk is about to chat with the latest finalist to go home.
Read Star Talk's exclusive interview
With half of the hopefuls left, the crew returns to the Food Star Kitchen and sees Bobby Flay in chef whites, cranking out what looks like the best food I've seen on Food Network Star all season. I guess that's why he’s Bobby Flay and the other six people in the room aren't — yet.
Wonderful, incredible, delicious, sexy: These words don't provide any actual description of what's going on in one's mouth. I adore this challenge.
- Rodney, the recovering rocker, has made it quite clear to us that he speaks in the parlance of his former profession. It's not a bad thing, necessarily, but the actual taste of a "boss," a "killer" or "dynamite" isn't very appealing. Poor Rodney got the cartoon music played on him. That happened to me on 24 Hour Restaurant Battle when I compared pancakes to modernist sculpture. I deserved it.
Read more »
For the first time in Star
history, one eliminated contestant will have a chance to re-enter the competition in a four-week Web series called Star Salvation
, presented by Buitoni.
The humble potato made a second appearance in the form of potato chips on last Sunday's episode, where host Robert Irvine tasked Chris and Lovely with making it the star of a dish. While Chris agreed with Robert's critiques of his dish, he disagreed that Lovely used enough potato chips to truly highlight the ingredient as a prominent feature. In the end, Chris left Food Star Kitchen for the final time.
Lovely's got her eye on the prize. She's managed to out-perform five other talented contestants at this point. Will Chad finally put an end to her streak? This week they'll have to cook their "hearts" out.
Click the play button above to watch the final episode and for the first time ever, one finalist will re-enter the competition next Sunday on an all new episode of Star.
VOTE: Who do you think deserves a second chance?
Chances are, seven weeks into the season, you have a favorite contestant. Maybe he's been eliminated, or maybe she's still fighting for the chance of a lifetime. Were you a fan of the infamous Danushka? Did Viet's dishes make you drool? Maybe you want to go along for the ride with Russell's culinary revolution. Whether your favorite contestant is still in the running or has said goodbye to Food Star Kitchen, fans have the chance to voice their opinions all season long in the Fan Poll.
Twelve hopeful finalists have dreams of stardom, but only one will earn the title. Vote for your favorites up to 10 times per day here.
Come evaluation, the Food Star Kitchen turns into a scary place week after week. As finalists stand wide-eyed awaiting judgment, three successful chefs and stars stare back them, ready to dole out several notebooks' worth of critiques about their food and performances. Sometimes the scene ends with tears and an emotional goodbye, but other times the atmosphere is far less tense — perhaps even happy — be it on account of one contestant's superstar presentation or particularly camera-worthy meal.
Check out the sneak-peek photo above from Sunday's all-new episode: Giada and Alton look out to the remaining finalists during evaluation and smile, while Giada points two fingers at them, doing so in a seemingly positive way. Do you think the mentors look particularly pleased because the group as a whole was successful this week, or did one competitor deliver an especially knockout performance? What kind of feedback do you imagine the judges are giving here?
Write your best captions