by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 24, 2016
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 17, 2016
Food Network Star mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis expect the best from the finalists in terms of on-camera charm and culinary expertise. And the mentors know just how to deliver no-nonsense challenges that test both skills, as they are keenly aware of the traits needed to be successful onscreen and at the stove. Six weeks into the contest, the remaining competitors are halfway to the finish line, so the judges' expectations are getting only higher and more demanding. But that doesn't mean the judges don't know how to have a little fun on set too.
Check out the above photo from Sunday's all-new episode. Along with guest judge Duff Goldman, who's on hand for the Mentor Challenge, the mentors are simply cracking up at the scene unfolding before them. While Bobby leans over in grinning laughter, Giada covers her face and Duff looks on with a smile — all three enjoying themselves and letting loose at the judges' table. What do you think has them in stitches? Who could be making them laugh like that?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 10, 2016
Sure, the challenges on Food Network Star are a lot for any finalist to endure — they are downright difficult, actually — from the no-time-to-waste cooking blocks to the all-eyes-on-you presentations. But what's perhaps even more nerve-racking for the competitors is the time when the judges deliberate. During those few minutes, the finalists' fate hangs in the balance: Will they be spared one more week and advance to compete again, or will their journey end in a crushing elimination? Only time will tell, and it's that period of the unknown that we bet causes more anxiety than any one-minute video ever could.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 3, 2016
If Food Network Star finalists think their mentors, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, have particular requests when it comes to their presentations and offerings on the plate, just wait until this weekend when two special guests drop by unannounced. Hannah Hart, of YouTube's My Drunk Kitchen fame, and Modern Family sensation Jesse Tyler Ferguson show up and give the competitors game-changing calls just when they're least expected. If the rivals want to succeed, they'll have to think quickly and learn to embrace the unexpected amid contest pressure.
by Maria Russo in Community, Food Network Star, May 27, 2016
On the set of Food Network Star, the hours are long and the days are many. So when there's a break in filming and the mentors are left simply hanging out between takes, they do what anyone would likely do in their position: pose for the photographer and snap some candid shots, of course.
Take a peek at the photo above. It was taken behind the scenes of Sunday's all-new episode, in which finalists work in teams to film promos for a would-be Food Network show. While both mentors are smiling for the photographer, Bobby Flay has taken to doing a little dance. Or perhaps he's striking a pose. Or showing off his slick shoes. To be honest, we're not exactly sure what he's up to, but there's no doubt he and Giada De Laurentiis appear to be having fun.
by Maria Russo in Community, Food Network Star, May 20, 2016
It was only last week that the Food Network Star finalists, in the competition for all of a few minutes, received the first of many surprises when Martita, a former finalist and the winner of Comeback Kitchen, joined the cast. And this week they're about to receive yet another unexpected shock: a double elimination. But before two hopefuls will say goodbye, the contestants will endure their first team challenge and enjoy a mash-up rap battle at the hands of the mash-up master himself, Rev Run.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, May 13, 2016
While the Food Network Star competition is 11 weeks long, finalists have but one single opportunity to make a positive first impression on Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis. Recently both mentors told us the importance of these initial meetings, as Giada explained: "That first day, that first impression, we keep going back to. And sometimes it saves you and pushes you through." Bobby said, "I don’t think you ever forget the first impression of somebody," though he was quick to note that there's room to grow later if need be. "I’m very open in terms of making people evolve," he added.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, May 6, 2016
Let's be honest. The stress of Comeback Kitchen is real and likely all-consuming for the competitors. After all, finalists have just three weeks to prove themselves worthy of a second shot at Stardom — and one of those weeks is already behind them. The remaining six rivals have just two weeks left to demonstrate their growth, prove their culinary prowess on the plate, and convince mentors Tyler Florence and Valerie Bertinelli to choose them for the ranks of Food Network Star, Season 12. So when they finish a challenge — no matter the outcome — there's indeed reason to celebrate.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, August 14, 2015
Let's call this the calm before the storm. Comeback Kitchen premieres Sunday (at 8|7c), and for the seven returning hopefuls, that means there's just days left until they begin the winding road to redemption. Challenges, critiques and constant pressure — it's all waiting for them as they prepare to fight for the sole spot in the cast of Food Network Star, Season 12.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, August 7, 2015
Remember all of the trying challenges, the unexpected ingredient swaps, the timed camera tapings and the all-too-honest feedback from the mentors? The lessons the Food Network Star finalists learned from those tests and the judges paid off in the most-monumental way for the top-three hopefuls — Dom Tesoriero, Eddie Jackson and Jay Ducote — as they landed on the brink of Stardom and went on to film pilots for their would-be shows on Food Network.
On Sunday night, those three rivals, along with their previously eliminated fellow finalists and the Selection Committee, will come together to look back on the season and ultimately welcome the winning Star to the Food Network family. Take a sneak peek at the finale photo above. Dom, Eddie and Jay have assembled with the other competitors, ready with anticipation to find out who among them is Food Network's newest Star.
It was just 10 weeks ago when 12 hopeful finalists took their first steps into the culinary spotlight in Food Star Kitchen, full of dreams and anticipation — and anxiety over what the future held. Now, just one week before the finale, there are only three rivals remaining, and on Sunday, a fourth will join their ranks, as the champion of Star Salvation will return for a second chance to claim the coveted title. It will be up to these four finalists to pitch themselves to the Selection Committee before the panel must select the competitor most worthy of filming a pilot.
Take a peek at the first-look photo above from Sunday's brand-new episode. Rachael Ray will be on hand to guide the hopefuls through the pilot process, and surely no one could better serve as the lead director than her, a Food Network legend and the maker of numerous successful series. What kind of advice do you imagine Rachael is dishing out, and what key points do you think she's stressing to the finalists?