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The Next Food Network Star

GabrielK

No puppet! No puppet!
Validated User
Anybody been watching? I catch it every now and then at my friend's place. The most recent one I saw was the episode where they let Brad go. Too bad, I was starting to like him. He could have called his show "Cooking with Justin Timberlake!" I was really hoping they would axe Aria. She annoys me greatly and I don't really get a genuine sense of warmth from her, despite her "family style" theme.


Of course it doesn't help that it seems like every time she opens her mouth, she's saying something along the lines of "I can't worry about _____, I need to think about myself." I can't help but think that if I was a member of the Food Network target demographic, I'd be thinking "I don't want to watch her show. She's such a selfish bitch."


Who else has been watching this season? Thoughts on the remaining four?
 

Gecko Phantom

as funny as real love
Validated User
I'm sort-of watching, mostly for the train wreck and the idle curiosity of what we can infer about Food Network's direction based on who they pick.

I agree about Brad. He seemed like a nice guy, and I was expecting him to maybe make it to the finals. That said, his angle was all wrong from the start—you can't walk into Food Network, a network with a few shows starring chefs whose careers span decades, and say "I'm the professional." You especially can't do that when you look 25. It's a pity, because he clearly was a talented chef, tho, which set him apart from a lot of his competition.

Of the remaining field, I like Tom the best, for many of the same reasons I liked Brad. This may be elitism, but I am usually more impressed with the food made by chefs on shows like this, and Tom is maintaining that tradition -- he actually has some real talent and skill underneath the shaggy-dog exterior, and I could see that making an effective show.

Aarti is probably second for me. Very personable, seems to usually make tasty food. I do worry that, cooking-wise, all she brings to the table is "I'll teach you Indian," given that I believe Food Network's new sister channel already has one or two "easy Indian"-type shows.

Aria and Herb don't do it for me. I agree with you about Aria's presence/personality, and Herb I just feel like hasn't really made impressive food even though he seems like a nice guy.

All that said, given that last year's winner is one of the most irritaing people on Food Network, in my opinion, I'm guessing that Aria wins it.
 

Stormraven

Mystical Atheist
Validated User
My Lady and I are currently rooting for Aarti, but have the same concerns - she has to branch out, or she'll fall.

Herb annoyed us at first, but once he got away from 'The Energy Chef' and back to his roots, he's come off a lot better, and I wouldn't object to seeing him win.

Tom's coming into his own quite nicely, and I could see watching him, too. Aria, I quite frankly hope gets axed next week.
 

Future Villain Band

Super Moderator
Moderator
Validated User
My wife and I watch every week as part of our Food Network rotation, alongside Chopped and 24-Hour Restaurant Showdown. (I have such a raging man-crush on Geoffrey Zakarian, it's not even funny.)

We're rooting for Aarti. We would have much rather seen Aria go than Brad -- Aria's kind of reached the limits of her potential, where we felt Brad had just kind of figured it out. Our second-pick is Herb, who we like but find a bit uneven.
 

GabrielK

No puppet! No puppet!
Validated User
That said, his angle was all wrong from the start—you can't walk into Food Network, a network with a few shows starring chefs whose careers span decades, and say "I'm the professional." You especially can't do that when you look 25.
That's definitely a good point, and I'm sure it didn't win him any points. But yeah, definite potential was there. Hopefully he'll get something valuable out of the entire experience and do something awesome down the line (and didn't Food Network actually give shows to 2 contestants a couple years ago? The Big Daddy guy and...umm Gurgler? I think that's his name. Kid in the Candy store guy.)


This may be elitism, but I am usually more impressed with the food made by chefs on shows like this, and Tom is maintaining that tradition -- he actually has some real talent and skill underneath the shaggy-dog exterior, and I could see that making an effective show.
I haven't been all that impressed with Tom up till then, but I have to say that dish where he had to incorporate the word Jealousy? Full on epic win! That was just by far the most awesome approach and presentation. I remember sitting there thinking, "how the hell is he going to put jealousy on a plate?" Then being blown away when he actually pulled it off. That was bad. ass.


Aria, I quite frankly hope gets axed next week.
As someone who sometimes feels that he's getting a much different vibe off people on TV than others are, I'm glad to see that in the case of Aria, it's not just me. Glad you guys agree! :D


Our second-pick is Herb, who we like but find a bit uneven.
"Uneven" is a very good word for Herb. When he's on, he's on. But man, he can flounder.


Anyway, some more thoughts on the finalists:

Aria - Heh. I think I've made my thoughts on her pretty clear. But beyond the unappealing personality and forced smiles, her food hasn't been all that appealing to me either. Even if she seemed genuinely nice (which I obviously don't find her), I'm not sure what she has to offer me as a viewer. Then again, I missed a bunch of episodes in the middle, so I'm not sure if she did any really awesome dishes at some point.

Tom - dude's got skills for sure. But he kind of fits into the "grease ball" category for lack of a better word, and Food Network already has Guy Fieri for that. :D But seriously, I don't find him all that engaging, and if had his own show, the subject matter better be damned interesting on its own if I'm gonna watch (kind of like I enjoy Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives despite Guy Fieri's presence because I find the concept interesting).

Herb - Hmmm...inoffensive, but ultimately bland. He doesn't actively annoy me, but he comes across as relatively uninteresting compared to some other people on the network. He sort of lacks the star "pizazz" I suppose.

Aarti - I love the name of her proposed show. Aarti Party is just damned cute, and the girl's got personality. But I agree with her having gone as far as she can go, and I have doubts about her ability to really step up her game. And someone on the panel mentioned having doubts about her from a production standpoint, and I'm sure they are weighing that aspect very heavily in their decision making.
 

Falke

From the Deep!
Validated User
I'm hoping Aarti wins it. She's the most personable of the group. Her smile is more infectious than Ebola.
 

coeli

Persisting, somehow
Validated User
I like Aarti, and Tom and Herb have both grown on me a lot. Aria seems to be taking the openly backstabby approach that works on some reality shows, and failing to realize that it's a bad strategy when you're hoping to build a long-term career as a likeable personality after the competition is over. I really wish she'd been dropped instead of Brad this week.
 

GabrielK

No puppet! No puppet!
Validated User
Aria seems to be taking the openly backstabby approach that works on some reality shows, and failing to realize that it's a bad strategy when you're hoping to build a long-term career as a likeable personality after the competition is over.
I find it interesting that none of the panel members ever make mention of her open backstabbiness. Either they don't watch the testimonials, or they do but don't care. Or the testimonials are done long after the contest is over.

You know who I'm glad did get the axe earlier in the season? Dzintra....I think that's her name. The slightly older blonde woman. She was a real bitch and even made Aria look genuine.
 

Robert A. Rodger

Aspiring Kermit
Validated User
I've watched a bit of this season... I'm finding it oddly compelling, mostly because it has a good mix of people I want to see succeed (Tom & Arti) and people I want to see fail horribly (Aria and a few who are already gone that I can't remember).

Unless someone makes a huge mistake this week Aria has to be next to go. It's long over due.
 

Armitage

Registered User
Validated User
You know who I'm glad did get the axe earlier in the season? Dzintra....I think that's her name. The slightly older blonde woman. She was a real bitch and even made Aria look genuine.
And if she had won, her show would have been something like "Cooking in the Asylum". Every time she opened her mouth, something insanely inappropriate came out.

You don't tell people eating your food to be careful not to choke, or compare your food to hairballs.

She reminds me of the one competitor on Challenge who treats cake decorating as performance art and seems to go out of her way to antagonize one of the judges with everything she says and does every time she's on the show.
 
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