by Sarah De Heer in Food Network Star, July 17, 2014
by Sarah De Heer in Behind the Scenes, June 4, 2013
This week the remaining finalists and fans of Food Network Star saw the return of a Season 9 regular: the Dial of Doom. At a pool party on the deck at Caesar's Palace, finalists were tasked with making their best bites and tempting guests to try them with an engaging presentation. To help gauge the crowd's interest in each presentation, Alton introduced the Dial of Doom.
Star Talk caught up with Mr. Brown on set and asked him about this gadget. "I would like to have the Dial of Doom in personal life every day. It would make everything so much easier to dial up or dial down, and we’d all be done," he joked. "Honestly, I think that it’s good because it means that a bunch of people that really don’t know the finalists get to immediately react — immediately respond in a way that a TV audience would respond if they were just happening upon their show. So I think that it gives us a piece of information that we don’t ordinarily get, which is an immediate, raw, visceral response to somebody’s presence."
The newest season of Star kicked off this past Sunday night, and along with 12 new contestants, there are a couple of new features added to the show that may be unfamiliar to fans. This handy little guide should help navigate you through the next 10 weeks of competition.
Challenges: This season there are two different challenges that can occur in each episode. If an episode includes a Mentor Challenge, that means Alton, Bobby and/or Giada will help guide the finalists through that day's events. The mentors will share their advice and raise any possible concerns they may have. After the Mentor Challenge, finalists will be faced with a Star Challenge. This can consist of cooking demonstrations or presenting to a focus group.
Finalists: This year the mentors are tasking 12 hopefuls with weekly challenges in the ultimate multi-month interview for the chance to earn their dream television job. The contestants bring with them a mix of backgrounds, including culinary school, restaurant management, private chef and food blogging.