Food Network Star – Week 5

This week the finalists had to do a live demo at Knott’s Berry Farm. They had to create dishes that were usual 4th of July pairings. Like burgers and pasta salad, crab cakes and coleslaw, etc.

Nothing really stood out today other than half of the finalists can’t seem to cook. Hmmm, thought they were competing for a cooking show. My favorites were Lenny and Loreal. They are so natural and make you want to watch them. I think Lenny is about the only one that can entertain and actually cook.

Lenny did shoot himself in the foot for his demo. He cooked up all of his fish for his fish tacos and forgot to save enough for his demo. He ended up talking about making guacamole. Nothing special, no cool tips about changing it up. Fortunately the judges didn’t hold that against him and he was safe.

Loreal, the Butcher Babe, was definitely likable. However, the judges weren’t impressed with her not seasoning the meat prior to cooking it. During judging Alton told her she had no say, she will season her meat prior to cooking from here on out. But they love her and she was safe along with Lenny.

Sarah changed her POV from “date night” to “Texas cooking”. Once again she made a burger that was not impressive and I thought she was pretty arrogant in thinking that she knew more than Bobby about burgers. I admit that I add spices to my ground beef, but heck, I buy the cheap stuff. Really, I do want her gone. I can’t watch her. She is all over the place, she doesn’t present herself as an expert in cooking and she has a serious case of foot in mouth disease because some of things that come out of her mouth, you just look at her and wonder “did you really just say that?”.

Chris just annoys me. He was entertaining, did a pretty good impression of the president, but he did very little cooking once again. Is he an entertainer or a cook?

Emma and Nicole were pretty much in the middle of the pack this week. Both gave pretty good performances. Emma’s food wasn’t good and Nicole didn’t tie her POV to her dish.

Reuben really is lovable and I would probably watch his show. But honestly, I don’t know what his POV is. Is it supposed to be Cuban cooking? So far he hasn’t really delivered in the cooking department, but he is getting better and speaking slower with his presentations. His chicken wasn’t all that good or flavorful. Oh, and I have to say that I am enjoying his neater look. He trimmed his big, shaggy beard up after the first episode and he looks so much nicer.

Christopher can cook. He had a pairing that was absolutely perfect for him. He delivered on flavor but couldn’t deliver on his presentation. He pretty much just listed everything he did and never demonstrated a thing. In the end, even though he can cook, he was sent home. I’m not going to lie, I wanted him to be the next. He is B-O-R-I-N-G. I want to be taught how to cook new dishes, but I don’t want to be put to sleep in the process. It’s just unfortunate that he does need to entertain as well as cook. If he hadn’t been sent home I’m hoping he would have gotten better with the camera and demonstrating challenges, but I really have my doubts. Not everyone can be a TV personality.

The judges were torn between the two. Giada really doesn’t like Christopher and wants him gone. Bobby likes his food and thinks he’s been showing improvement in each challenge. In the end Alton agreed with Giada, the challenge was to cook AND demonstrate at the same time. I will also admit that I’m torn. Right now I’m not sure who can cook because they’ve had very few cooking challenges. Everything has been focusing on entertaining the audience. I would think that if the challenger can cook, everything else can be taught. But they must be able to speak intelligently about food. So far Sarah and Chris haven’t done that for me.

The thing that really annoys me about the judging is they can’t make up their minds. Are they supposed to be entertainers or cooks? One minute they complain about their screen presence and then the next they complain they can’t cook. I know they need to be able to do both but shouldn’t you find out if they can cook first and then worry if they are presentable on TV? Ok, I’m also going to mention Giada’s attitude. Holy cow the woman is one mean, obnoxious witch! Wow, she was really showing her true colors tonight. She has been pretty blunt all along about not liking Christopher because she didn’t think he was willing to change his way of thinking about connecting with the crowd. But tonight she was over the top. The comments she made about everyone’s food, some were downright mean. Bobby will admit when he doesn’t like something, but he is never rude about it. Not Giada. You always expect Alton to be blunt, but he’s never mean.

The one thing I am definitely enjoying this season is the lack of bitchiness and cattiness between the contestants. In earlier seasons there was so much back stabbing and nastiness, and there was that one person that you absolutely hated and really wanted to be gone. But there they were, week in and week out, hanging in there until the bitter end. So glad that has gone away, it’s not good entertainment. I know there are a lot of people who love that kind of drama, I don’t like it and don’t want to see it. I think that is one of the reasons I stopped watching for a while because I couldn’t stand the drama. Oh…maybe the producers decided because the contestants weren’t providing drama Giada needed to do it instead.

It seems like everyone honestly gets along. Yeah, they make a few smartass comments during the interviews and stuff, but that is expected. I like that they “seem” to like one another. I don’t know if they do, but at least on the screen they look like they do. It’s so much more enjoyable watching the show if you’re not distracted by drama.

My prediction for next week – Sarah or Chris.