Tag: judges

Guest Star Spotlight: Impress the Press

by in Behind the Scenes, June 6, 2011
Mario Lopez
The first Star Challenge brought members of the press to the table, including Mario Lopez from Extra.

"One of the most important aspects of a star's life is the press," said tough-guy Vic Vegas, sounding not-so-tough after learning who would be judging the first elimination challenge. "They make you or they break you."

Alton Brown, Hal Rubenstein and Jess Cagle
Alton discusses the promos with media honchos Hal Rubenstein from InStyle (center) and Jess Cagle from Entertainment Weekly (right).

When our finalists entered the dining room of STK to present for their Star Challenge, they faced an intimidating group of diners. Along with the heavy-hitters of the regular judges' panel (Bob, Bobby, Susie and Giada), they stood before Good Eats superstar Alton Brown and three influential members of the press: Mario Lopez from Extra (some finalists might have gotten a little weak in the knees at the thought of presenting to AC Slater), Jess Cagle from Entertainment Weekly and Hal Rubenstein from InStyle.

Check out this exclusive behind-the-scenes video to hear our guest judges' advice for the finalists, plus their favorite comfort foods. It's too bad the Star contenders didn't have this inside scoop before the challenge — they could've won over Jess Cagle with carbs and Mario Lopez with Mexican food.

Check out Bobby's Instant Re-Flay, Giada's Take and more behind-the-scenes videos from the Food Network Star season premiere.

 

 

About Last Night

by in Behind the Scenes, June 6, 2011
Food Network Star Judges My fellow judges agreeing with everything I say.

What did you think? Pretty good premiere, right? Let’s dive right in to the deep end and talk about my impressions of the finalists. Then, I want to hear yours. Let me warn you – I reveal last night’s eliminated finalist in this post. If you don’t want to know who went home, then you shouldn’t read.

Vic. His tattoos make him look tough, but there’s a sweetness to him that jumps off the screen. He’s likable and when Bobby commented that he makes you, “want to know more about him” – well, I couldn’t have said it any better.

Alicia. When we questioned her on her accent, we had no idea that she would take it the way she did. She sounded like a Valley Girl -- I didn’t think saying so was insulting. Were we wrong? And by the way, I was taken completely by surprise by the immense disdain between her and Penny – more to come there, later.

Orchid. Warm, engaging and the camera loves her. Her food was to die for. It may sound cliché, but I can’t wait to see how this orchid blossoms. I know – that was a bit cringe-worthy.

Whitney. I like her confidence. Camera loves her. She has a slight edge to her which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We’ll see how it shakes out.

Jeff. Funny guy. Can be a bit over the top. Warm. Love the sandwich POV – accessible, everybody loves him (if he can bring something new to the game). Sandwich King? We’ll see.

Mary Beth. Food Writer + Former Attorney = Smart. Love that. But can she bring warmth and humor to the screen? Can the food writer be a food star? Jury is way out.

Chris. Loud and a bit “frat boyish.” He has a lot of work to do. Right now, I’m having trouble coming up with something more to say about him. That’s not good.

Susie. She’s a spitfire. Love her personality (and what a story). But I’m confused about by her POV. I need to see more of HER in it.

Katy. Boy am I confused. She wants to be a thousand things. This may work in her life, but not on TV. All those props illustrated the problem. I need a simpler, clearer, stronger POV and persona.

Justin D. Seems nice and smart, but so far hasn’t left a big impression.

The Other Justin. Memorable – for good and bad reasons. Anybody else thinking Avatar? Confident cook. There’s an expert, passionate guy there – but NOT on camera. Flat.

Juba. Such a likeable guy with an interesting POV – until he gets on camera. Like ‘The Other Justin,’ persona is not translating on camera. Lots of work needed here.

Penny. She’s a tough personality, but she cooks great food. I wouldn’t want to get caught in her cross-hairs (Alicia), but I could eat her food all day. Just stop with all that “sexy” talk.

Jyll. Something I really like here. Funny, down to earth, warm. But her promo? Ouch. Teleprompters are evil. I’m withholding judgment because overall I see promise.

Howie. I always feel bad for the first to go. I really thought his success in radio would have translated into an advantage to get him further. Oh well.