I admit I have a softer spot in my heart for Top Chef because it was one of my first guides, but I don't believe that view radically skews my opinions of this show, although the gentle reader may grow weary of the comparison. These comments relate to the recently completed season four.
While discussing the show with a friend, I said it was like watching Top Chef on Valium, but it's more accurately Top Chef on Valium and Prozac with a little Digoxin thrown in for good measure.
The Show Overall: These episodes move so slowly, but you still feel unsatisfied at the end of the hour. The editing is choppy, leaving no coherent story arc (or whatever it's called in the reality genre). There's so much detritus footage that makes no difference to the episode resolution, but it's there every week. I want to see more of the selection committee, I want to see more cooking, I want to understand the decisions better. I want, I want, I want. I shouldn't end each week with this feeling.
The Challenges: They devise ridiculous challenges that neither test the finalists' skills nor relate to any kind of studio work they'll film (The Digoxin part -- you know, psych drug, psych drug, cardiac drug. Which of these doesn't belong?). This season alone they had to cook on a moving train, a carrier at sea, perform different skills set demonstrations with no prep time, etc. None of that remotely represents what they'll find if they win the show, when culinary producers and crews create scripts, test recipes, basically eliminate the need for the cooking skills at all. Now I'll admit that Top Chef has had some stupid challenges, the gas station and vending machine ones come to mind, but they were at the QuickFire level (Mini-Challenge on NFNS), not the Elimination (Main Challenge on NFNS). What should have been a logical progression of introductory to proficient camera skills and basic to chef-level cooking technique demonstrations ended up a hodge-podge with no clear organization or rhythm.
The Editing: All due respect to my sister: I know that editors are sometimes limited by the whim of the producers and/or clients. The thing is, someone should have stood back and realized that the product was milquetoast. Crisper editing with a view to the story for the episode would have made a world of difference. Getting rid of a quarter of the inane comments by the finalists -- some of which were obviously scripted -- would have breathed life into the franchise. There's only so much illumination that can be cast on a scene by an off-set remark. Only Adam actually fulfilled the typical role these usually take: a funny or sarcastic reflection on what happened. Skillful editing includes the expression on faces as things happen, so the subtext isn't needed to understand what's going on.
The Finalists: A more boring batch of contestants I've yet to meet, with the exception of Kelsey who was the most annoying, plastic replicant ever to dull a show (Marcel from Top Chef is still no. 1, but Kelsey may edge out Richard Hatch for the no. 2 spot). I keep harping on the editing, but either no one had any personality, or any flares of realism were left on the hard drive (or cutting room floor, depending on your era). The weird thing is that Top Chef began with contestants like this their first season, but each year the talent pool gets better and higher up the culinary food chain. This is not a perfect analogy, because it's very clear that Food Network is no longer looking for skilled chefs, but that wouldn't prevent them from looking for more talented amateurs.
My disappointment in this show is not that it's failing to become a Top Chef clone (believe it or not), but that they've watered down the competition and created such a bland product that it's boring. Whether through editing or elimination decisions, it was pretty clear from the beginning who was being groomed. It's hard to invest in a finalist if you know his or her days are numbered. Obscure judging also didn't help things. In this season's final episode, the criteria cited by Susie or Bob was that the winner had to be able to start filming the next day. This could mean one of two things (well, it could mean more, but these are the two I came up with): Either two of the finalists had family obligations or only one needed the least work to become camera-ready. If it's the former, what a stupid way to make a decision, if it's the latter, I do not see how they chose the winner they did. But how would we know? Not one decision was ever explained on camera either to the contestants or to the viewer.
Even understanding that they are focusing on camera skills, rather than cooking ability -- a sad trend throughout the network -- I believe this show could be so much more than the rote entertainment it is.
This is one reality show I don't mind having a second helping of.
As someone who likes to cook and who, sometimes, pretends to be cooking in front of a live audience as she prepares dinner, I can totally relate to the contestants desire to show their stuff on the small screen.
Right off the bat, I didn't like a couple of the contestants and found myself actually chanting "send her home, send her home." Carissa drove me nuts with the way she said the same few phrases over and over. Yvette's "sofrito" obsession made me actually lose interest in Latino food.
I am happy to see that my first choice, Guy, is still in the running. There is something about him that would make me watch his show. He's fast-talking, funny, knowledgeable, sincere and lives outside the box. He's not like any other host on the Food Network and any man who can make a cupcake look like a double-decker cheeseburger has my vote.
I hope the Food Network keeps bringing us interesting shows like this one.
Who can be the next Bobby Flay or Emerill Lagasse so to speak. That's what this show is about, though in reality TV forum. Each week someone get's the perverbial "boot" and is asked to leave. As with all reality tv shows alliances, backstabbing, etc.
Each week we have someone from the Food Network pose a challenge, & each week they come to the chopping block to be sent home. We have a vegetarian who seems as saccharine as sugar, though she does a under-handed move at the supermarket to Paul, or our resident military man,or is he? Best yet is the last episode!!! Emerill Lagasse is there to announce the winner. Instead of coming out and shaking hands with both, he walked right up to the winner on live television, shook her hand and said "congratulations". That is unintentionally funny at it's best!
This has to be probably the most assanine decision you guys have ever made .. or at least since the JAG fiasco. You take the one guy ... the one true chef in the competition ... and you can him. Actually, you had two of the better ones on the chopping block while keeping the "butch" cook, who no one will watch (and you know that without any prejudice at all), and the "babbling blonde, who can't put together a whole line of thought. Both of those should already be gone, but they are still there and the real chefs are being cut. Talking about cutting your nose off to spite your face!!!! This is as bad as the time you canned JAG and then, a few weeks later, decided to keep Robert Irvine after finding out he lied (double standard). None of that worked out well. And to make the whole Irvine thing worse, you now have him entertaining Michelle Obama. What next??? Have you really stooped so far that you will sacrifice actual food artistry for political correctness??? Unbelievable!!! Why do politics have to pollute this area of our lives too????
I like cooking shows, and I didn't watch reality shows until the cooking ones came along. I think Food Network is a great channel, but the finale this season was ridiculous.
I liked Lisa because she was polished and focused, plus, she's a Texas girl, so I had to root for the home team. I'm not a big fan of pearls and high heels in the kitchen- but to each ones own. She definitely had a point of view, and the knowledge to back it up.
Aaron. Hmmm. What I found strange was that he was so personable when he was "off camera," but every time the challengers had to demonstrate on set-he froze, or flubbed, or just didn't seem comfortable.
Adam was a charmer, and even though I feel like a traitor to Lisa, I was really rooting for Adam. He had a built in gimmick for his show. He made the audience laugh, and he was pretty consistent in looking good on camera. I did wince a little when he sang to Martha Stewart, but I appreciated the fact that he just went for it. Because he didn't hold anything back, what could have been a train wreck actually turned in to a rather cute moment.
I would have been happy if either Lisa or Adam had won, and once I realized that-I knew that they would pick Aaron, so I can't say that I was very shocked when they announced. Just terribly disappointed.
What I think is very telling is the fact that they made it a point to say that the new show would air in one week. They've obviously learned from their past mistakes. The girl from last season-the one who wanted to bring French cuisine into the home? (remember? I barely do) I watched and watched for her, and somewhere around 6 months after she won, they put her show on at, I think, 8:30 in the morning. Some unholy hour, like that. I taped the first episode (yawn) and as far as I can recall, they only aired about 4 or 5 more, and then she was gone, gone, gone.
I like this show because natural cooks are as welcome as trained cooks, and I'll keep watching the show. But sometimes the network executives are not as in touch with their viewers as they could be.
I hope Bob reads the boards. Maybe next year we'll actually get a winner who deserves it.
Do we really need to watch until the end? Sarah's face and fakeness is shoved at us constantly. She is still the pageant queen and very very annoying. PLUS her dishes are not good. Are the 2 guys falling for her constant flirting. Really too much! I have a feeling that she will be favored to the end, regardless of her lack of talent. Too bad, I love this show.
With this new format, the Food Network has lost some of its integrity. The old stars and the judges are coming across badly. (And I mean not nice or happy to be there.) There has been no grooming of the incoming talent. (That the viewers have seen.) The group has had very little appeal. They all seem to be shaken and off balance. It appears the Food Network is not one big happy family anymore. The show is all stress and no joy. I'm voting for Amy. She seems to have the best presence and talent.
I would like to be on this show. I have one tape on you tube, but I don't have a camera crew so my progress hasn't been as great as I would like. But here is the link.....0UJ4NzHSyso. Or search Fancy Your Feast.
The television food network attempts to join the ranks of "Reality" programming. But wouldn't all cooking show's be real programming? I'll sit and ponder that one for awhile.
I watched the first offering of this short competition series. The tasks that the contestants were asked to perform were mostly interesting, if not entertaining.
The perplexing part of this show is the judges. I know they're some sort of big kahunas at the network, but do they really know what America wants to watch? They've lost some of their best talent and focused on what they think is glitz. And that glitz is starting to border on Schlock.
I was never able to figure out just how they made their decisions, it must have been based on personality clashes and meshes that we viewers never got to see. It's almost as if they're wearing blindfolds and pinning the tail on the loser of the hour.
The winners of the first competition, IMHO, should have been voted off near the beginning of the series. They were completely lacking in personality and didn't offer anything interesting or fresh to viewers. I've caught some of their series and it isn't any better.
There was a lady in the competition whom the 'celebrity' judge seemed to be pushing for throughout the competition. She was plucky and delightful and had a very excellent idea for a series. In fact, I've recently come across a new show on foodtv that is exactly what this woman had designed for her series during the competition, except it's with a different cook (one who has the personality of mildew). But I digress.
At the start of the 2nd competition I knew not to expect much at all since they had the same lame judges except this time they were joined by pseudo-celebrity chef Bobby Flay. He owns a couple eateries in New York, but owning eateries does not make you a good judge of cooking, otherwise Burger King and Ronald McDonald would be the only reasonable judges to have on board.
Once again, the judges systematically got rid of most of the strong competitors. And just like the first time around, they whittled them down to one of the stronger competitors and one of the weakest. There's no anticipation as to who is going to taste victory.
I do enjoy the other foodtv celebs they have on the show, giving the contestants pointers, except for maybe Dave Leiberman and Alton Brown, they weren't much help at all, unless being condescending is their twisted idea of instruction. (check out the faces Dave Leiberman makes at the contestants during the cupcake battle, it's pathetic!).
Should they decide to hold a 3rd competition, perhaps they'll get it right, but I probably won't be watching to find out.
This is a good show. I don't understand why Sue Fogelson is a judge. I suppose it doesn't matter that I've never seen her cook, and she has no personality. However, I enjoy the show mostly even though there has to be a Simon on every show I guess. I can't imagine I would ever watch a show if Rory were to win. I really like Amy and I could see myself watching a show she were to host.
This show has contestants that compete to become the next food network star. They all want to have their own food network show. They go through food-related challenges and get eliminated every episode. The show is overall entertaining. It's just like all of the other competition shows: American Idol, America's Next Top model, and all of the shows like them. It's pretty unorigonal, but still interesting. The challenges and judges are very entertaining and interesting also. Overall, it's a good summer fix but it can't compete against the regular year shows. The good thing is that we get a new food network host and show out of it. Guy won last year and he was really good and I can't wait to see who wins this year.
As a rule, I detest reality TV. It seems to have as its sole objective either pitting people against each other or making people behave like fools, always in a preposterously forced situation. It's a mindless, moronic form of entertainment, an opiate for the masses. The one and only notable exception has been Queer Eye, which at least has a heart and some very good intentions.
But I must confess, I've found a second exception in the third season of The Next Food Network Star. I blame my nephew. And maybe Guy Fieri. But somehow, I'm hooked. And I must confess, it has a lot going for it, including the participation of Duff Goldman, Guy Fieri, Robert Irvine and Alton Brown, all of whom outweigh its three main demerits: the stiff-as-a-board Susie Fogelson (lighten up, woman!), Giada's over-exposed girls, and the participation of Bobby Flay in any capacity.
The contestants are a nice mix of personalities and aside from the phoney Nikki and the obnoxious Jag, a likeable group, with Tommy and Paul best in small doses. One strength: the show is blessedly free of the usual sniping and back-biting that is generally the substance of a reality show. Oh, there's a bit of witchy talk, and the occasional conflict, but no more than we would expect in a high-stress, high stakes situation such as this. And at the end of the day, they go home and await the outcome of the latest round as a team.
But the fun really comes from the guest judges and the challenges they present: Duff's wedding cakes, Robert's catering for 100, Paula's home cookin' at Ft. Dix and soon, Alton with the camera. Its these that lift this show above the ordinary, using the individuality of the Food Network's ensemble. I could do with a bit less Giada, but hey, can't win 'em all.
But the burning question remains: do they have a Food Network Star among the contestants? I'm not so sure, especially now there are only five left. We've got some great cooks, some winning personalities, but do they have the one with the combination to strike lightning in a bottle? That remains to be seen.
The challanges are interesting and well done. I find it facinating to see the "inner workings" of producing a show.
This group of contestants seems interesting and up to the challange.
Of the three FOOD challange shows, Hells Kitchen, Top Chef, and Next Food Network Star, IMHO because this show has a specific achivable visable goal (fame & fortune), it is the most watchable of the three on a sustained basis.
I really enjoy this show, i pretty much love every show on food network. Even though i wanted Shane to win, it is still intence. At this point, its gonna be close, although, 1 thing is sure, lisa will not win, i dont know how she made it this far into the competition. She was terrible with the demonstration with Reachel Rae, she completely failed. The pressure is on for evry contestant. My personal opinion is that they r having too many new shows on the food network, some of the new shows suck, but hopefully the winner willl have a great show!
Really good show as it is very addicting. And that it is trying to find the next Food Network star. It is a tamer version of Top Chef and that it tries to be like that. Though it isn't like Top Chef and it is a good show both of them. They try to find stars with good cooking, charisma, personality, and working well with others. A lot of people became stars on here and that it is neat to see who will be the next star of their own show. Shows you they have to go through a lot and put up with a lot.
I was so pleased with the ending. Both Amy and Rory are great cooks and know their stuff. I just felt that Amy was more down to earth and deserved a show.
I know that it didn't seem fair since she wasn't the original choice for the final two. But I was so glad that Jag took himself out of the running. That was a smart choice on his part. I think they really didn't know who to choose between Jag and Amy - it was so close. So, bringing Amy back to be in the final two wasn't really an injustice. She deserved to be there. I can't wait to watch her show and see her grow. If I'm ever near Vega, TX, I will definitely stop by and eat at Rory's restaurant. It looked awesome. It will keep her busy. I thought she had enough going on without adding a network show to it. She will go far.
Lousy contestants. The last two people:
The woman did not qualify to be a contestant.
The man was a disaster with the risotti. He knew it would be and he did it anyway; and he spent $317! I was not impressed with 99% of these challengers.
Lousy contestants. The last two people:
The woman did not qualify to be a contestant.
The man was a disaster with the risotti. He knew it would be and he did it anyway; and he spent $317! I was not impressed with 99% of these challengers.
The looks on the faces of the judges throughout the week told it all; not necessarily the words that came out of their mouths; just their facial expressions.
I guess out of the last two, I would go for the man because he meets the criteria of the challenger.
I could never see any of them becoming Flay.
Giada said Stacy was guarded and not genuine. Really Giada? Love your show but I do not consider you to be genuine and real on tv at all!! Also, people I know who have seen your show feel the same. Yet, we love your recipes and that is why we watch you. Stacy is someone
Everyone could relate to. She is the real deal. Great concept for her show too. You voted her out unfairly from the beginning. Sad.
I am simply SICK 'n TiRED of seeing the same 3 judges, PERIOD!! I can't stand GIA Ms. Italian Chef, she thinks she's all that - and really she is SOOOO conceited. The only one, that knows anything about food, is BOBBY *** How about choosing someone else? Why always ALTON. HE needs to stay on Iron Chef - and, keep him there! Gia should just stay on her little cooking show, showing off her pearly whites - and Bobby, well Bobby - knows more, than the BOTH of them! HOW ABOUT PUTTING ALEX G & AARON SANCHEZ, W/ BOBBY. IF THEY HAVE THE SAME CRAP AGAIN - I WILL NO LONGER WATCH THIS CRAP! ALEX BEATS OUT GIADA ANYTIME, ANYWHERE ---
Idiot games that do not demonstrate an ability to make delicious food for real people. Give me a break, people! Not only have I given up on this season but am thinking about cancelling my tv satellite. I want interesting cooks who could teach me new techniques, not mean and sadistic behavior to "win" a show. How is this talent? Ho HUM! I give it a 1 out of 10. I still like Alton in spite of his idiot new show. Surely he will come up with something usefull one day.
I don't get why viewers don't vote throughout the whole season. Do the judges even know who watches their shows? Honestly there is no room for another Italian, Mexican, Southern or Indian food show. I don't want to watch a meal being cooked in 30 minutes, under 10 dollars or under some other premise that may or may not be possible. Ten dollars gets you a lot more in some places and heck, I can make a meal for 4 for under $5 and throw together a deli tray in 10 minutes. The only three I would watch from this years contestants are retro girl, the kid who's totally out of the box (he might even be in another box altogether) or Ippy- I don't know a whole lot about Hawaiian cuisine. I haven't watched a whole show from the last 2 winners but I'm hoping they get it right this year.
I can't believe they sent Emma home. Why do they always send home the nice calm people? Remember the Hawaiian guy a couple seasons ago ?? Emma is GREAT... she was a pleasure to watch. Obviously food network only likes loud, annoying, brash people on their channel. Alton, that white haired spikey Guy and the lady that looks just like him... don't remember her name.. that demaris from last season is just unwatchable! I'm done with this show!
I've gotten the impression that The Next Food Network Chef results are a foregone conclusion before the competition even begins. Like most of the food competition shows on Food Network these days, the judges seem to consider themselves so superior to the viewers that they make their choices without considering what the rest of us think or what we want to watch. It's symptomatic of the "new" Food Network. I'm beginning to appreciate all the reruns on The Cooking Channel. Give me The Barefoot Contessa anytime over the dingy, giggly new Food Network personalities, and I'd much rather watch Behind the Bash or even the good old Door Knock Dinners rather than seeing chefs trying to create dishes with the awful ingredients that they're offered on Chopped. I agree with the previous poster who commented on Food Network's new direction; that direction is definitely down.
Since the "viewers" became the deciding factor, the show is no longer about the culinary skills of the contestants. It's a popularity contest. Lenny is a nice enough guy, but the "routine" will get old pretty quick.
I guess this will be the last "Star" series I will waste my time watching.
I have watched several seasons of this show, often being disappointed with the obvious lack of professionalism displayed by the judges, but this season is the most obvious worship of a low talented con man being sold to us by a want to be sex symbol, and want to be comedian who would be more suited to the 1940s. No wonder the network has lost viewers and become just another network to attract the simple minded, who accept stereotyping as actual fact, sex starved losers who would let even a chicken legged, spoiled little rich girl who used money to make her a TV show host even though her talents are obviously small.
Then the clown who thinks he is funny but only if it were the 1940s not 2014. His real talent which he showed early on the network of being informative, well versed on his subject was replaced by silly, often caveman like humor that is embarrassing instead of funny. It is the way of the Food Network sadly.
Why 2 judges who can't even define themselves think they know a star or know what the people want are given the power they have is totally from the world of stupid. They aren't focused on anything other than what they think and that is a sex starved, chicken legged little spoiled rich girl, and clown from the 40s. So when they meet a phony, over stereotyped Lenny who has the intellect of a 10 year old, the results is obvious. They will fall in love with the fraud. The promos before the show started to air focused on this pathetic creature, and when it did air we see him getting all the camera time they can give him in an attempt to brainwash us into thinking there is something there, but normal thinking people see it is just propaganda.
Bobby Flay is not without his faults (he was crazy over Penny and kept her around way too long), but in spite of his over saturation on the network, and the doubt of his being able to recognized talent beyond the cooking part, he even seems to be ready to get up and walk out over the worship of the other 2 judges of the rhinestone Lenny.
FN needs to remember who they will get to watch and what their real viewers want, then get rid of the little rich girl, take the clown and turn him back into the knowledgeable professor like person he used to be. Flay needs to focus on cooking and not the personality of the star. Who should decide the winner? I don't know if anyone at the FN is really qualified to decide that.
I've watched this show since it's inception and I hate the turn it has taken. I want to see them cook not the ridiculous things they are having them do. And the drama every other frame? Really? So I say bye bye FNS.
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