For this season's finale, Lisa, Adam and Aaron perform a short pilot, the ultimate audition for The Food Network panal of judges. We also catch a peak at the home lives of our finalists and why they dream of becoming the Next Food Network Star!
The show opens to the "live audience" set and Bobby Flay as announcer. I was surprised at the simplicity of the set. I expected a bit more pizazz. We get a quick glimps of the lives of the three finalists. First up was Lisa, a classy woman who is full of energy. She leads a very busy and successful life running her own business designing aprons, cooking, raising a family and being happily married. Lisa admits that people think she leads the perfect life, but she really seems to WANT the job as the Next Food Network Star. Lisa left me feeling that she would be more than capable of doing the job and she has all of the qualifications that would be needed....so why not Lisa?! Adam is from Camden, NJ and works as an Executive Chef in a hospital. He drives his car through a Camden neighborhood that is littered with graffiti and speaks about wanting to be an inspiration to the youth in his neighborhood. He wants to prove that nothing is impossible. Since I've lived in a surrounding city of Camden myself, his intro made me want him to win and hopefully take him and his family to a higher level and yes, be an inspiration to the youth. So, why not the underdog? Aaron, spoke about the restaurant he opened with his brother. He spoke about "waiting tables" after his restaurant failed and how food has always been his passion. He spoke of how he'd like to win the Next Food Network Star so he could prove something to himself and others. His sincerity at sharing that experience really touched me personally as I recently had to close my business and I know where he's coming from. So at that point, I really felt that I'd be happy to see Aaron win. At this point, no matter who won, I couldn't be disappointed. Onto the challenge...the three contenders had to audition by performing a short pilot using their own idea for a Food Network show. Lisa's idea was to cook a dish that could be served in a 5 star restaurant, but make it something easy for the everyday home cook. Her performance seemed flawless and she was very entertaining with little personal stories as she cooked. My mouth watered at her fish dish. I instantly felt like she had it in the bag! Until Aaron's pilot aired. He used an internet user interaction gimmick. With the laptop screen up and sitting on his counter top. With an online person chiming in with comments and questions, Aaron explained that internet users could write to him with an ordinary meal that needed a new spin and that was his deal. He did a new spin on a roasted chicken. Aaron connected really well with the audience and made them laugh. His chicken looked delicious and I felt like I could smell it in my house. So now I wasn't so sure Lisa was a shoe-in. I felt Aaron could just as easily had the win. After a commercial break it was Adam's turn. I really expected Adam's pilot to be mediocre. Mainly because he was so upset with himself after he taped it. He kept muttering that he felt something was missing with his performance. He looked completely deflated when he left the taping. But I guess I should have been used to Adam's lack of confidence. Then it aired. Adam cooked a london broil dish. He came on screen speaking loud and proud! His performance also looked flawless! He moved around the kitchen with ease and confidence. His food looked delicious and like Aaron, he made the people laugh. So...I was dumbfounded. I remember thinking...I'm glad I'm not one of the judges because I didn't feel I could have chosen. They all were amazing! Funny thing though, they named Adam the winner, He's the Next Food Network Star! I felt a little let down. Maybe it's just too soon for me to realize why I feel this way, but for some reason at that moment, I was surprised and a bit disappointed. I like Adam. I like what he stands for. But......hmmmm!
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