Monday, July 28, 2008

Seriously, the Outcome was Predetermined!

I'll be the first to admit it...I'm a cooking show junkie. It's like crack to my system! It should be no surprise then that last night I stayed up to watch the finale of The Next Food Network Star. I'm displeased with the outcome of the show but I'll also say that I'm not surprised. Let me say first off that Aaron (far right in the picture above) was chosen as the winner. My issue with him winning is that he was NOT the best candidate for the position. I'll tell you why....

So last week the show ended with 3 finalists instead of the normal 2. I couldn't understand why! When it came to the cooking Lisa was by far the best candidate! Her meals were spectacular. Overall she was the favorite with the judges who constantly raved about her food. Her flaw - she seemed unreal. She looks like she could step into a Star Trek episode with no makeup! She didn't connect with the camera as well as she could have. She seems uppity! But, even with all of that, this girl should have won! After the 4 1/2 minute episode she taped last night you could see that she was intelligent and could warm to the camera given a situation where she wasn't under the gun.

The next candidate, Adam, was a mess the whole time the show ran. Twice his food was not fully cooked. I'd have puked on my plate if I'd gotten some of the raw eggs (AKA liquid chickens) he served to the judges. But, during the Vegas week he blew the judges away with his smoked fare. The judges had "hoped" to get rid of him and leave the finale to Lisa and Aaron but Adam scored too high with the judges and the other chefs, performers, etc. in Vegas to be let go...hence the reason there were 3 in the finale. The judges simply couldn't justify letting him go.

Now Aaron, on the other hand, cooked crap food for that week in Vegas. He made three completely uninspired, pedantic pasta dishes! Good lord, even I can cook 3 pasta dishes and get them out on a buffet in 6 hours. His cooking history on the show was spotty. He simply wasn't a very good cook. And, there are issues with his speech and grammar. In my opinion, he's uneducated. When I'm watching the TV I want good food AND I want to be able to understand what you're talking about without having to decipher it. I am not a fan of slang. He SHOULD have gone home during the Vegas week and if the judging had been fair he would have. But...

The Food Network already had their sights set on Aaron as the winner. I think they are trying to bring in a new demographic. Look at two of the new shows...Down Home with the Neely's (I absolutely adore them!), and Sunny Anderson (who drives me nuts). Aaron fit the bew demographic...and I'll say it...he is black...and that's the new audience they are trying to hit up. Will I watch his show? Probably because his food seems accessible. But was he the best candidate for this position? Absolutely freeking NOT!

As much as I hate to admit it (because she grates on my nerves) Lisa SHOULD HAVE WON. Hands down. I watched her exit interview this morning. My heart broke for her. How she was able to maintain her composure is beyond me. I give her big kudos for that.

I had thought it might be fun to enter the contest at some point because I love to cook. But this season has really opened my eyes to see that it's not really who is the best but who the network wants on their channel. It's not a fair fight and my big ole plump self probably wouldn't fit their demographic (they already have Ina and Paula).

Sorry, but the Food Network really screwed this one up!! And the bigger issue is that I think it's totally transparent and folks will recognize this immediately.


Randy said...

I agree that Aaron wasn't the best choice.

I feel that none of them were a "good" choice and that when the episodes FN is committed to are up Aaron will fade away.

Roxanne said...

well look at last years winners. And if this is the way to get on the show, where are all these new shows coming from. Neeleys didn't have to go through this, there is another chic on there that is like secrets of a chef or something. Why don't all the new show leaders have to endure this kind of judging. In addition, if you look at some of the challenges, were they realistic? In order to provide me a good cooking show, the person doesn't have to be able to produce a product and market it. They don't have to do a dinner impossible UNLESS that is their show, etc. I could rant for hours on this because for some strange reason, Randy and I watched the whole season. I was disappointed with Aaron winning but didn't think I would watch a show with the other two either.

Rene said...

Oh I agree with you on the fact that none of them should have won. I thought all the contestants this year were crap. And that damn Nipa, she clearly didn't want to be on the show as soon as she was criticized once. Immediately her attitude turned shitty.

You're right about the other chefs not having to go through this whole process. That new one that you're talking about Roxanne, the Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, she is one of the most irritating hosts I've seen. She's a good cook but her persona in front of the camera and her delivery of the recipes absolutely sucks! How she ever got a show is beyond me.

The other reason I didn't think Adam would get the show is because of the new one, Ask Aida, that is staring soon. Isn't her hook that viewers write in emails to get her to "answer" them. The shows would have been too alike.

Just a note on last years winner, Amy. She refused to come back after her initial 6 shows and has moved from San Diego to France. She said that people were far too critical of her on the blogs, etc. and she didn't want to subject her family to it. I didn't much care for her show as it was too "faked" for me. But, that big-toothed Rory made me ill to look at.

Did you see auditions for Season 5 are up?

Anonymous said...

actually I didn't like Amy from last year either so it doesn't really bother me that she didn't return - I've missed some shows because of it being nice out and I'm outside more, so I guess I didn't realize I hadn't seen Amy! yikes..... I miss the ones that are on during the day or obscure times, like the Hearty Boys, or what is Dave does? and why did he leave his kitchen, I liked him also.
guess I better get up to speed on some of these new ones, but I agree I don't like that Aaron won, and I don't like the guy that cooks outside even though he's cute, Jaime at Home.....
even though its fun to watch them all, I who am not a kitchen wiz or cook, need something I can actually do.

Roxanne said...

That is it, we can start our own hook....Trailer Park Recipe Cooking Show

1. fried bologna and kraft mac n cheese
2. hot dogs and frozen french fries
3. Any caserole that has a crushed potatoe chip or crushed ritz cracker topping
4. tupperware popsicles made from kool ade
5. hamburger helper -any kind
6. chef boyardee pizza kit
7. pilsbury cinnamon rolls

Man, see there are already 7 episodes to keep our contract going

Rene said...

I have a recipe for "White Trash"...that's 8 episodes!! We're on a roll!!

Rene said... happy you missed this year. I swear they were the most pathetic bunch of whiners I've ever seen. Honestly, most of them should be ashamed of their behavior.

I agree with you on the Hearty Boys...they were fun! I read that they aren't making shows because they adopted a cool!

Anonymous said...

very cool on the Hearty Boys!

well usually when the weather is nasty outside, my favorite thing to do is sit and watch FN all day!

Anonymous said...

I think FN needs to do away with this show completely. It just is not working out for them or the viewer. For all the money they waste on this type of show, they could have one of their celebs travel the country giving cooking lessons.