Next Food Network Star - "Ultimate Vegas Buffet" (7/20)

Shows you how much we care about this show as I don’t think anyone bothered to start a thread last week.

Did anyone else wince when seeing the camera point at the food from Lisa’s cart on the floor in Whole Foods? If I’ve learned nothing else from these shows, it’s to double-check the food going into the bags at the checkout.

As much as Lisa really sparkled with her intro and her amazingly surprising voice, Aaron just bombed. Adam chose wisely (considering) by just picking a straightforward intro for his food.

I really think Lisa handled losing the fish well. It seems on many of these shows when something goes missing the contestants start yelling about “who stole my …” or blaming the store, etc - it’s everyone’s fault but their own. She just owned up to it right away and made the best with what she had. It reminded me of Stephanie from this past season of Top Chef, grace in the face of a big problem.

…and I don’t even really like Lisa all that much…

Unfortunately, of the three that are left, I think I’d like her to win. I was hoping for Kelsey, but I missed last week - what happened with her?

Um… damn. I’m trying to remember last week, and I deleted the show off my DVR.

OK, checking out the judge blogs, the others did their best at sparkling for the camera and making decent food, and Kelsey’s just wasn’t that special. Plus she didn’t do anything to look authoritative/experienced.

As for tonight’s show I guess I was surprised and not surprised at their choice. I was sure Aaron was getting the axe after that horrid intro - though his show “promo” was excellent now that I think of it - so I guess that promo and his food carried him through.

I agree, Lisa really did a great job of buckling down and coping with adversity this episode.

Yeah, I realized that we missed the thread last week, but I didn’t think there was really enough to say about last week’s show to start one. If ever there were a show that went to plan, that was one.

This week was interesting. Aaron was the most natural at the show promo, but just mad a seriously bad choice for the intro to the main challenge. He went safe on the food and it showed. I still think he’s got the best chance to have a big, successful show.

Lisa’s promo gave an idea for something that could make her show highly successful, albeit with what might not be the Food Network’s core demographic – Lisa’s Cooking in a Cat Suit. Otherwise, when the promo was edited, it seemed marginally acceptable, but awkward. She’s frenetic in the kitchen, but obviously misses details. I don’t think her running like crazy will make a good show, but if they can keep her at a normal pace, it could work. The singing was a neat trick, but so what on a cooking channel.

Adam had a really strong week. I think his promo suffered from the scripting and staging, and he did pretty well with what he had to work with. His food was good (though not necessarily knock their socks off) and his intro was straightforward, but successful. I’m just not sure that he has enough to bring to a regular cooking show.

I’m looking forward to next week. Any of them could win.

Aaron did great on the promo, but bombed his intro to the buffet. I like him the best, though. Lisa surprised everyone with her singing, and the final edit of her promo wasn’t too bad. And she did pretty well with the food except for dry pork. I just don’t like her! I can’t even say why. Adam is a big meh for me.

I guess I’m pulling for Aaron.

None of their dishes looked particularly interesting, creative or even all that edible to me this week. I am very underwhelmed with all of them this entire season. I really can’t see a true star emerging from this mediocre run. Aaron’s food looked bland and unimaginative. Adam has never seemed as if he can cook particularly well. Lisa has the cooking chops but even then her food was still mostly a yawner.

Top Chef does this sort of thing so much better.

They kept showing the preview where the Food Network exec says “We’ve never done this before in the history of Food Network,” or some such line. I thought they were going to bring back one of the three ousted contestants that were on this show as sous chefs.

That whole thing was wierd. Why would those three people have come back just to be Lisa, Aaron, and Adam’s kitchen bitches, without any chance for anything in return? They didn’t even say or do anything on the show.

I felt cheated that no one left. I want my hour back.

Clearly Aaron should have been sent home. The challenge was for an over-the-top- luxuriuous Vegas Buffet. His food did not fit the bill. He played it way too safe and totally bombed his intro to boot. I think Lisa will end up winning it.

Lisa made a good point during her interview with the Extra person–when she isn’t under the clock, she won’t have to act so frenetic. Presumably she will be able to relax and engage while cooking on her own show. She bugs me but I think she should probably be the winner.

And Aaron did well on his promo because Bobby Flay walked him through every little step. I was actually surprised at how generous Bobby was with that after Guy pretty much threw Lisa into hers and then told her how bad it was.

And looking back on all Adam’s screw-ups, I can’t believe he made it this far.

But they’ve done that before! :smiley: Remember the Hispanic guy that lied about his military service and culinary school graduation?

After he got to the top two spots, the next week they kicked him off and brought back in the ultimate winner, IIRC. The Bistro girl whose show is not on anymore.

You may be right, there. Lisa’s a total maniac control freak, and doesn’t do particularly well when she’s thrown into random situations like in this competition. (Not necessarily a bad thing – I think that Giada, Ina Garten and a lot of the rest of them swing pretty heavily that way, no matter how calm they come across in their shows.) She might be able to keep her shit together when it’s a production which she has the time to set up and prepare. On the other hand, there is an inherent chaos and time pressure in television production that may trip her up ultimately.

In a lot of the competition-type reality shows, they’ll bring back eliminated contestants to assist the remaining contestants in late-stage episodes. I’ve seen it on Top Chef, Project Runway, Hell’s Kitchen and some others. Even on American Idol, they bring back the losers for group numbers in the finale (not to mention the top ten going on tour). I don’t know what the contractual arrangements or compensation may be, but you’ll almost always have the eliminated players back for at least a reunion show, and often a lot more.

Exactly- Bobby walked Aaron through the promo, coaching him all the way into doing something half way decent. Guy just shouted at the folks. I think Adam would have done his promo better had he written it - he’s the only one of the three that seems to have any ability to talk off the cuff.

On the other hand, you have the unscripted shows like *Dinner Impossible * (Now with new Iron Chef Michael Symon) that thrive on barely managed mayhem where the host is plunged into some fairly high-pressure stuff like planning, procuring and making a sit-down dinner for 300 people only out of food found at a beach boardwalk in under eight hours.

How badly unglued would Lisa come in that scenario?

I was trying to recount this for my wife’s benefit last night, but never could remember anything about Bistro Girl. I do recall seeing one of her very few episodes and something about the family relationship that she drug into the show seemed…I’ll be nice and just say different.

She couldn’t have had more than a half dozen episodes and was gone…and quickly forgotten. In that case, I don’t think the judges chose wisely. I’m not a fan of Tuschman’s at all, and don’t care much for Fogelson either.

I think Food Network has greatly fallen in entertainment value since Tuschman joined the network and has gotten even worse since he was promoted to SVP over all production and shows in 2005.

I still think that they really can’t expect anybody to take NFNS seriously (that includes the contestants, the judges, the producers, or the viewers) when they’ve got Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee on the air. I know I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again, but how can they claim to care about quality food and quality entertainment when I can watch “Aunt Sandy” show me a cake recipe that starts with “Buy a cake at the store”?

I don’t think they created the show with any real intention of giving anybody a spot on the Food Network. They just wanted to capitalize on popular shows like Top Chef, and Guy is a complete, unexpected fluke. And that’s fine. They’ve got to make money and get ratings, I get that. But it makes me wonder if all of their comments are meant ironically.

Well, a lot of the shows on the Food Network are more about personalities and entertainment than the food. I think your expectations of who should be on the network would result in programming that would be unfulfilling to a great majority of their audience.

That’s one reason I think Adam, while not being the best cook, could have a good show. It could be kinda like a cooking show version of Extras or Curb Your Enthusiasm where he relates his recipes to all the awkward moments in his life, and the show follows him around as he deals with his newfound fame.

Not at all. I’ve tried cooking recipes by Paula Deen, Alton Brown, Giada, Tylar Florence and Sandra Lee. The first four personalities are hugely popular, and they are definite entertainment figures. All of their food turned out exactly as promised. In fact, Alton’s creamy mac and cheese is literally the best mac and cheese ever created. I’ve also tried out four of Sandy’s recipes, and the results ranged from “disgusting but edible” to “Oh my god, that looks like cat shit. Let’s put some in mom’s room to freak her out!” (We did, and it did. The funnel cakes, btw).

My point is, it’s possible to have personalities that are at once entertaining and knowledgeable. That’s what they’re looking for on NFNS, ostensibly, because what’s his face keeps insisting on everybody being “experts” while they tell them to “engage with the camera.” But their own mission is undermined with their promotion of somebody who once made mashed potatoes with 1)frozen cubed potatoes and 2)a packet of alfredo sauce.

I’m with you, girl. But surely the epitome of barfness from the Semi-Ho is this monstrosity.

It is possible to use some convenience foods to good effect. Rachel Ray has built an empire on it. Hell, even Lisa, the fine dining devotee, used canned beans in her cassoulet (due to time constraints if nothing else), and everyone loved it. It’s hard to imagine anyone loving a lot of Sandra’s “food.”

Hey, BTW, last week we finished watching the show, then switched to the Disney channel. Wizards of Waverly Place was on, and there was this guy who looked a lot like Shane. We said, “Is that? No, couldn’t be.” Then looked it up, and yeah, Shane is an actor too. Weird coincidence to see him like that!

My eyes. And my stomach. :eek:

This is why I like Alton Brown best, besides him being a wonderfully geeky and corny guy: they actually broadcast what ingredients to use so if you tape it, you can learn something. Emeril and his stupid personality crap–he’s not teaching me much about how to actually make the dish. Rachael Ray is somewhere in between–at least on 30-Minute Meals she demonstrates everything clearly enough that you could follow it.

I guess the idea is to buy their cookbooks after becoming inspired by personality.