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.
In the July/August issue of Food Network Magazine, television exec and Food Network Star judge Bob Tuschman answers viewers' most-asked questions about life as a cooking show judge.
Do you have an idea of who will win the show from the beginning?
I usually have a good sense of who the front-runners will be. The first time the judges meet the finalists face-to-face is on day one of filming. While the crew adjusts lighting and cameras, we have about 20 minutes to silently stare at the finalists. During this time, I gain a good sense of their confidence and charisma. But that doesn't mean their food or personality will hold up through 11 weeks of challenges. Front-runners often stumble.
Are you a cook?
I'm a type A executive, but I'm a type B-minus cook. I would never be on Iron Chef America, but I wouldn't be on Worst Cooks in America, either. I cook to relax, so I like things slow, easy and uncomplicated in my kitchen.
How do you eat all that food when you're judging?
Happily! And then I still eat three square meals on top of that. I don't think I've missed a sit-down meal since I was a first-grader in Cleveland. It's a comforting ritual I can't seem to give up, even when I'm judging and eating huge amounts of food. Luckily, I swim every day and my metabolism is fast. But not as fast as it was in first grade. Those were the days.
You're the head of programming, so did you cast yourself on the show?
No, I was asked to audition — along with a bunch of other Food Network execs — for producers from CBS Eye Productions, who make the show for us.Susie [Fogelson] and I were cast. I love being on the show, but I'm glad I kept my day job. Read more
With Judson's departure this week, Team Alton and Team Bobby are both down to three members. Team Giada is holding the lead with four finalists still standing — two of whom continue to dominate our weekly Fan Vote. This week, Martita Jara and Ippy Aiona are tied for the lead, each claiming 19% of your votes. That means nearly 40% of you are rooting for either Martita or Ippy.
Aarti Sequeira wonFood 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.
We’re five weeks in, and there are only 10 contestants left. With this large a group, it’s hard to get to know anyone on a deeper level, and that seems to have been the theme of this week’s episode. Cue the show tunes! "Getting to know you, getting to know all about yooooooooou … "!
When asked, "who are you?" it seemed that most everyone’s inclination was to talk about his or her family. Whether it was Michele’s mom’s meatball recipe or Judsontalking about his family’s struggle with weight, there’s something about talking about your family that instantly connects you with people, perhaps because, for the most part, everyone has one.
Don’t adjust your screen; you’re not seeing double. That’s Food Network Star alum Guy Fieri chatting with look-alike finalist Michele Ragussis, who is boasting her own collection of arm ink, sports a short ‘do of spiky blonde locks and is rocking a black collared shirt much like Guy’s. Are his and Michele’s matching looks part of a planned Star skit or are they a recipe for double trouble?
Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c, we’re challenging you, Starfans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this doppelganger moment in the comments below.
Food Network Star isn't usually much of a fashion show — in fact, finalists often sport chef's jackets or aprons over their own attire. But this season, we've got three stylish mentors, two sharp-dressed judges and many finalists with unique fashion POVs. During the Fashion Week episode, the styles of Star were even more evident.
Of the remaining 11 finalists, who's the most fashionable?
Who’s your favorite finalist still in the running? Don’t forget to cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per day.
Every year, we get to know the signature styles of Starfinalists – think Guy’s bowling shirts, Aarti’s flower in her hair and Jeff Mauro’s lucky red headband. But season after season, one fashion detail never fails to catch our eye: Susie Fogelson’s shoes.
Last Sunday's Fashion Week episode was a perfect excuse to ask Susie for a glimpse into her dressing room on the Star set, where we captured some photos of her fabulous footwear and sat down to talk fashion.
Face-palms, inquisitive glances, grimaces and giddy laughs. Food Network’s favorite food-science guru, Alton Brown, is chock-full of facial expressions that seem to communicate exactly what he is feeling, whether it’s confusion, frustration or excitement.
Nowhere is Alton’s individuality more apparent than in his mentoring role onFood Network Star. Because of their position coaching five Star hopefuls, Alton, Bobby and Giada are bound to experience moments of awkwardness, dissatisfaction and pride as they sit on the sidelines and observe their finalists in action week after week. But Alton’s body language reached new levels of awesome last Sunday as he watched his remaining four team members strut their stuff on the culinary catwalk.
Noticing Alton’s changing demeanor between presentations, attentive Star viewer Matthew Love @luv-mat Tweeted what is perhaps the ultimate show pitch, earning himself the Fan Post of the Week (pictured above).
Join the #Star conversation on Twitter and Facebook and your comments may be featured in our weekly roundup of Fan Chatter.
When it came down to Eric Lee and Ippy Aiona in the Producers' Challenge, Bob and Susie said it was one of the toughest decisions they'd ever faced in eight seasons of Star. Both talented chefs consistently impressed everyone with their food, but struggled to find a sweet spot on camera. In the end, Team Bobby's Eric was the one to say goodbye.
Eric left the pitch room with the same humble, gracious attitude he maintained throughout the competition. "I just want to thank you for the opportunity to work with Bobby," he told the judges. "It is just incredible how great of a mentor he is." Bobby, in turn, had high praise for his mentee: "Eric may be the best cook in the entire competition."
Our week threeFan Vote results are in, and it seems that fans are staying loyal to their favorite finalists. Team Giada’s Martita Jara and Ippy Aiona hold tight to first and second place, with Ippy (18%) closing in on Martita’s (19%) lead this week. In third place, Emily Ellyn scored 13% of your votes, up from 11% last week.
Team Giada is still holding strong — Linkie Marais is just behind Emily with 12% of the vote — but a couple of new Fan Vote contenders from Team Alton and Team Bobby are inching toward the top.Justin Warner is up this week (9%), followed byMichele Ragussis (8%).
Will we see a push from Team Alton and Team Bobby fans next week?
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 Three Fan Vote results: