This is it! The last chance to impress and now we get to decide who the next Food Network Star is going to be.
I’ll be honest and tell you that I didn’t watch last week’s show (week 9). One, I wasn’t in the mood for some reason. Two, I really don’t like Rachel Ray and didn’t want to watch anything with her in it. I ended up watching the rerun this weekend though and it wasn’t too bad. Loreal went home. I totally agreed with the judges decision. She simply could not and can not speak about her POV. She was supposed to be the “Butcher Babe” but she couldn’t even explain why a hunk of pork butt was her favorite type to use and how she would use it. If you can’t do that then you’re not the expert you are trying to portray yourself to be. So bye-bye Loreal, leaving us with Luca, Lenny, Nicole and Sarah.
This week it was pilot time but first they had to conduct a live 30 second promo from one of the local shops in Gothem West Market (what I wouldn’t give to go visit that place). I will admit that I missed a few of the 30 second promos while off doing something or other for my daughter. So the only one I really caught was Lenny. He got a yogurt shop and got lost in translation somewhere. You could tell he was totally out of his element and didn’t even know where to begin with asking questions, etc. He was really befuddled by the ingredient sumac. I can understand his confusion because I grew up being told sumac was poisonous, not knowing that it was only a certain type of sumac that is poisonous, the other makes an excellent spice. This alone would make me not vote for Lenny. He’s never done well talking about something he’s not familiar with and I think it’s an important thing for a FN star. You have to be able to connect with your subject and your audience and he did neither.
One of the four had to be sent home because there are only three pilot slots available. Sarah finally went home. I’m sorry, I have never warmed to her and have never thought she could be the Texas cuisine expert. Not once did she ever demonstrate any expertise in Texas cooking and her food was mediocre at best and unimpressive most of the time. I’ve seen in the forums and such that she was getting a bad rap, that she’s really nice and warm and has some serious cooking chops. Well, this was it babe, you needed to prove it to America and you didn’t.
I won’t go into detail regarding the pilots. Each of the contestants had their issues getting started. Their pilot mentor was none other than Robert Irvine. I love Robert, but he would intimidate the hell out of me. In the end I thought all three pilots were pretty good. My favorite honestly was Lenny. He just seemed more natural going through everything. Yeah, he was a little showy, but I think there needs to be a little of that to keep people interested. It seems everyone has a severe case of ADD or ADHD and if you don’t keep them visually entertained they are going to move on. He’s getting a lot of heat as well lately but frankly I’m going with what I see. I would think FN would have done a bit of a background check (you know Google it) on their hopefuls before proclaiming their finalists. Is it all a gimmick? Yep, at this point I’ll agree it definitely is, but heck, what’s wrong with that? As long as he is teaching and cooking good food. Besides, if he does win I’m pretty sure the Food Network will tell him exactly what he can and can not do.
I thought Luca and Nicole did a great job as well. It just seemed they were a little more forced in their presentations and not quite as smooth and natural. I know this will come with more time and practice. I remember seeing Rachel, Bobby, Giada and even Paula in their early days. They weren’t comfortable nor very engaging either. If either of them win I would be happy to watch their show.
I’ve read forums and posts that think Nicole is boring, but she’s not any more boring than Giada or Ina. Both of them stand at a counter and simply cook, talking about the food a bit and giving tips. They don’t really entertain. So those who think Nicole is boring probably think the same thing about Ina and Giada.
Luca made a dish that I wouldn’t be interested in, but that’s no reason to dislike his pilot. I didn’t like the look of the “house special” of the Italian restaurant he was in either. I’m sorry but that burnt wheat pasta just looked gross and off putting. Doesn’t mean that Luca can’t provide some interesting recipes in his show.
So guess this is it until we find out next week who the winner will be. I’m honestly having a hard time deciding because each of them have their strengths and weaknesses. Guess it all depends on what and who I would enjoy watching and think would be able to teach me the most.