Finale - The Next Food Network Star

Mouseover Spoiler Space*

Hooray! I was pulling for Melissa! I think she will have a great show. I loved her demo dish. So versatile! That’s what I need in my repertoire.

Jeffrey not so much. The “Ingredient Smuggler” was lame, Alton. I don’t think the average viewer is going to go looking for harissa anytime soon.

It was a fun finale, though!

Besides which he never bothered to explain to the viewer exactly what harissa is. Bad call, Alton.

Melissa I will watch.

Yeah - all he said was that it was an African condiment.

Where can you even buy harissa anyway? It would have been nice if he had said.

Trader Joe’s, most likely.

Exactly my complaint! Although I imagine that’s the kind of detail that’s worked out in production.

Yay, Melissa!

Wow, kind of surprised. I watched the first few episodes, and then stopped watching. In the beginning, it looked like Jeffrey was far and away the most polished and TV-ready of all the competitors. I’d expected him to coast to victory in this thing.

Wasn’t Melissa really close to elimination in one of the early episodes, or am I misremembering? Thought of her as kind of a weakish competitor and not one to last all that long. She must’ve really blossomed along the way.

I’m making 4 step chicken (except with fish, and white wine and shallots) tonight!

I thought both “pilots” were fairly capable though I had the exact complaints about Jeffrey’s that have been mentioned. If it turns out I have to go to France to get this North African condiment your show is useless to me.

Smuggling has illicit connotations to me and I would not find that title enticing.

I’ll watch Melissa’s show.

I was pulling for Melissa, but not as much as I was pushing for Debbie to go home. She was sneaky, selfish and a liar, and I’m glad she didn’t make it to the finale.

Harissa is basically chili peppers and garlic, with some added flavors. How hard would it have been to say that?

It also seemed to me that Jeffrey’s pilot was very limiting. Yes, he shows us a new ingredient. But he does exactly one thing with it. What else is harissa good for, Jeffrey? You never tell us. Melissa, OTOH, gives us “hundreds of dishes” from her technique. Easy call as to who wins.

Did AB intentionally sabotage Jeffrey, or did they come up with that “Ingredient Smuggler” idea and not put any thought to it?

Stupid idea - it sounds illegal to start with, and there’s the whole mess of not telling us what the stuff is or where to find it. Can I get it at Safeway, do I have to go into some sketchy neighborhood to find it at an “ethnic” grocery store, or do I have to go to Africa and smuggle it out in my dirty underwear?

Aside from that, while watching Jeffrey’s pilot, I kept wanting to wave and say “Yoo hoo! Look over here!” or at least “Hey! Look up!”

I wondered about the sabotage thing, too. Last year it seemed they groomed Aaron for the win…

Also, did anybody else think that Jeffrey’s hair looked greasy? Ick.

I don’t think it was sabotage. I think Alton was just very careful not to help any with the concept and demo. He was a director, not a creator. They lived and died by their own ideas.

Besides, both show names sucked. :smiley:

Yeah it would have been easy to call it something like investigator, or discovery or something that just works better on the ears than smuggler.

Although, I think the idea is a great one(and I’ve actually thought that for a while ;)). One of the great things about Ming Tsai’s shows are that he does focus on bringing in non-mainstream but findable Asian stuff, then shows how to use it. Oh well at least I can still see him on PBS.

I was also rooting for Melissa and am thrilled that she won. However, I not only liked Jeffrey’s show (with all criticisms aside), but want to make that recipe. Anyone fast enough to get it for those of us who were watching live?

I am SO glad Debbie got the boot, she was not trustworthy. She behaved very badly several times. I never liked Jeffrey, never understood the appeal. Melissa definitely grew on me…I hope she succeeds.

From what I can tell the only real major success to come out of this show has been Guy Fieri, who really has become a genuine Food Network Star. The Big Daddy guy is still on, but not expanding, the first year winners are long gone, and the woman who won two seasons ago seems to have vanished as well.

I was glad that they found a place for Adam Gertler, and I kinda enjoy his show, a foodie take off on Dirty Jobs. They were so thrilled with Jeffrey I bet they find a place for him as well.

Thank you. Her personal behavior really grated on me and I couldn’t believe they seemed to have gotten over it.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out that I called it several weeks back. Yeah me!

Okay, okay, so it wasn’t rocket science or anything. :smiley:

Yeah, Jeffrey had the more polished appearance, but he also had a “hardcore foodie” show concept and the network has moved away from those with a vengeance. Too limited a demo, I guess.

gotpasswords, I too wondered if AB had decided who he wanted to win and done some subtle sabotage. His speech to Melissa before the final take was spot-on advice, but he seemed to let Jeffrey run on his own.

Melissa was a good choice, but Jeffrey was strong too. How many times did he win a challenge and get his off-the-cuff creation onto a national menu? Twice? More?

Speaking of, I know that Bobby Flay sort of torpedoed Melissa’s chance in the Red Lobster challenge. No way RL is going to put a dish with that much habanero on their menu. Most local RL cooks couldn’t balance the heat the way Melissa did.

Jeffrey will will probably end up on the DISCOVERY channel. That’s where some past loserslanded.