Jul 15, 2007

So Who's The Next Food Network Star?

Rory a shoe-in? Amy a star? America's got two days to make the choice. Go to www.foodnetwork.com and vote, or click here, then tune in next Sunday to see who won.

A pall hangs over the final talley is that of JAG's resignation. He was. Dumb. Stupid. To have lied. How could he possibly have thought he could fool the viewers? Too bad. He was among the most talented chefs on this show and quite colorful, but he wanted fame so much that he was willing to fudge the facts. See my previous post on the subject.

Frankly, I was puzzled by the judge's decision to initially cut Amy. While Amy has the least star quality of the three contestants, she nailed the XM radio and Star magazine interviews, and she engaged Rachael Rae in her five minute on air cooking demonstration. Yeah, she's not glam. But few at Food Network are. I must admit those poached eggs didn't look appetizing. So I imagine she lost major points there.

Rory? She hasn't been my favorite but she performed well this week. The first challenges at XM and with Star magazine corroborated my feelings, but then she appeared on Rachael Rae's show fully confident and proceeded to demonstrate a dish that looked truly flavorful and delicious. The one fault I noticed the judges mentioned also: She did not engage Rachael, practically shoving her out of the way to place her tray of potatoes in the oven.

I didn't think Jag performed all that well. He seemed frantic. Yes, he pleased the audience but I couldn't follow his cooking directions. Knowing ahead of time that he'd lied about his background clouded my judgment of his abilities. His resignation seemed anticlimactic, since for weeks people have speculated if he would make it to the final two based on his lies.

Kudos go to the judging team of Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogellson. They struck just the right balance between critique and praise, and stern expressions and smiles. Even better, they didn't hog the limelight away from the contestants.


Charlie said...

I haven't seen last night's ep yet, but I can't believe they would have even considered giving Jag a "latino fusion" show since they JUST debuted the EXACT SAME SHOW.

ArtfulSub said...

Watch it again, and you'll see Rory DID engage with and had FUN with Rachael Ray. Whereas Amy was her usual stiff, unduly conceited, snooty self.

They made too big of a deal of sweet Rory pushing Rachael out-of-the-way once. That HAPPENS in a working kitchen.

Amy's disgusting eggs with what looked like manure-based lawn fertilizer was her "signature dish" that makes her the "Gourmet Next Door"? HA!

Rory's looked great and did fit her Backyard Bistro idea.

Methinks ONE of the reasons they dumped Amy was that "Backyard Bistro" and "Gourmet Next Door" are too similar.

Anyone notice that Jag changed his "culinary point-of-view" again?

"Latino Fusion" became Latin Caribe.

RVA Foodie said...

Tough job application? Just J.A.G. it up yall!!!

I just feel so silly for getting behind my favorite contestant during this frequenly lame show. Clearly, I was just charmed by his "cultural backing" as Rory put it. But seriously, he could cook. His prep skills were smooth. He had spirit and a vision for creating tasty entrees. However, he was insecure to such a degree that he could not relax, be-himself, and come across as an authentic person. Each week, this internal stumbling block almost sent him home and each week he was spared almost out of pitty. That's not he way of the warrior, dude. J.A.G., dishonesty got you to the finals. Honesty might have gotten you the victory and your own TV show.

Ms. Place said...

Ah, Art, several of us at work were discussing how well the chefs performed. One liked JAG and had been rooting for him, knowing how uneven he was and how he had lied in his resume. And two of us were rooting for Amy.

When I brought up that Rory was more natural in front of the camera, the argument just didn't win the others over. Having said that, we are convinced that Rory will probably win the popular vote. Compared to Amy's superior cooking skills and food knowledge, Rory doesn't compare. But you are right, Amy is stilted in front of the camera. She dropped her snootiness after the first episode, though, but she was nervous last night and chose a horrible dish to demonstrate, so she came across as stand-offish.

As for Rory, she is learning fast and she photographs spectacularly well. However, Amy came up with the Gourmet Next Door idea before Rory thought of her Backyard Bistro. The idea of making recipes for people who are too busy to go out and eat is odd as hell. If I am that busy, the last thing I am going to do is prepare my own food. I am going to have my food delivered, or pick up something to eat on my way home.

Good conclusion, RVA Foodie. Honesty would have gotten JAG his own food show. Had he been competing against Rory, he would have won.

I admit I was wrong in my prediction last week. I thought Amy would be a shoe in. Instead, she was wooden in front of the camera and lacked star quality, and for that the judges cut her. My new prediction? Rory for the win.