Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Next Food Network Star - 7/20/08

The Top 3 are Lisa, Aaron, and Adam. I am rooting for Adam and maybe Aaron, because I don't want to see Lisa on my tv squinting at me anymore. We'll see if she changes my mind any this week.

Adam is feeling like he has made a lot of mistakes during the show, and his back is against the wall, and Aaron is just proud to be there. Lisa is trying to focus and get serious. Because getting more serious will absolutely endear her to viewers. Ugh.

They head towards their challenge and Bobby Flay shows up with previous NFNS winner, Guy Fieri. I really like Guy and I was so happy he won his season, because I never really saw the appeal of the guy he was up against in the end. I even forget his name, but I just did not get him. Anyway... Guy has done well for himself.

They are getting a pre-written 30 second promo that they will be shooting in Vegas and hopefully do a good job on.

Lisa's promo involves flying on cables as a wine angel, which is basically a giant tower of wine where people are wired up to retrieve wine. She is scared and nervous. The first cut of the promo was delivered with robotic cheeriness, and terrible timing, with missed lines left and right. She got flustered and was unable to really do a full shoot of it. I am so not sad.

Aaron's promo is from a casino floor. He did a really good job on the first cut, but the second part had a lot of lines and he flubbed in the beginning, but then hit his stride and really did a fantastic job. Good for him.

Adam's promo is at a Vegas theatre, complete with showgirls. He is a tux and he has to learn choreography. He seemed really stiff and uncomfortable and that was not good. He claims to have a passion for acting and performing, so I'd hate to see what it would have looked like if he wasn't comfortable on stage!

It's time for the second part of the challenge. There is a gorgeous hotel and Lisa is flipping out about how fantastic it is. They are going to create their own "lavish, over the top, monster buffet." Lisa is feeling squintily confident. They don't only have to cook the buffet, they have to entertain the entertainers! They have to cook at least 5 different things.

They get 6 hours and $1000, which is huge. Lisa gets her proteins first, and Adam wants to smoke some stuff and gets some smoking chips from the meat counter. Aaron is making a whole lot of different things.

Running around the grocery store with a big full cart, Lisa dropped a package from the meat counter. I'm so not sad. (I know, I have it out for her)

Back in the kitchen, the finalists get to choose between "sous chefs" - Shane, Jennifer, and Kelsey. Lisa picks Kelsey, Adam picks Shane, and Aaron gets Jennifer.

Adam's Planned Buffet is:
- Smoked Pork Chops
- Smoked Chicken Wings
- Smoked Mushroom Pizza
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Crab salad
- Banana Cream Pie

Aaron's Planned Buffet is:
- Sirloin Bruschetta
- Orzo Salad
- Chicken Bow-Tie Pasta
- Chicken Tortellini Salad
- Crab Cakes
- Chocolate Fondue

Lisa's Planned Buffet is:
- Monkfish Piccata
- Pork Roast
- Twice-Baked Potatoes
- Asparagus Vinaigrette
- Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
- Poached Pears

Lisa set Kelsey onto lots of prep of veggies, where Adam decided to build his own smoker with two woks, a rack, and aluminum foil. Hope that people like smoked food, because that is his central theme. Lisa realized that she lost half her fish, and she has to stretch. Guy was worried that Aaron is using three kinds of pasta, but Aaron says they are all different enough that hopefully people won't notice. Lisa's pork roast is burned on one side, and perfect on the other. She scraped off the burned bits and then plated it, so hopefully it doesn't taste burned. (Or, not, as the case may be).

A huge crowd of Vegas people (in costume) enter to try the food, and each chef has to entertain the entertainers. Lisa decided to sing, which worked, because she actually has a pretty good voice, and her song was decent (and of course she incorporated "beautifully basic" a couple of times). A few people in the audience looked stunned at her skills. I wish she was more likable as a person, because I liked her voice. Her necklace was ridiculous, with giant diamond-like pealish beads.

Aaron did a very strange performance, which no one seemed to get. Stunned faces of non-comprehension were all over the audience. The food looks yummy, but he came across as insane.

Adam came out full of personality, but mostly talked about his cooking and didn't do any sort of real performance. His food also looked great. I wish that he had done something. If only he had a song.

Lisa is trying to get around her lack of enough fish and her overcooked pork, so she was giving out tiny "tasting menus." Unfortunately, one of the judges got a piece of overcooked pork. Ha.

Aaron and Adam were a little intimidated by the chefs from the restaurant. The chefs seemed to enjoy Adam's presentation of his food, and his food himself, and one of them mentioned that Aaron's was too basic. People in the audience really seemed to like Adam's personality and his food, and Lisa ended up having enough food.

It's evaluation time!

Aaron's promo was fantastic. His performance at the buffet was ridiculous, and no one liked it. His food was disappointing, too. His crab cakes got good marks, but the multiple pastas, not so much.

Lisa's promo was really hard and came out better than it looked while they were making it. Her song was appreciated, and her buffet was called very elegant. Guy was sad that his pork was dry.

Adam's promo ended up looking pretty good. The Vegas Smoketacular presentation was called boring, and that's not good. His pork and pizza were very yummy according to be Bobby Flay. His pork chop won the favorite overall dish by the chefs. The committee was very pleased with his food this week, and said he finally settled the question of whether he can really cook.

The selection committee thinks that Lisa is a good chef and had a good luck, but Bob wonders if she is likable enough to make people want to tune in. Aaron stumbled this week, and that was a shame, and they don't know if he should be kicked out for that. They loved Adam's food this week, but no one was sure that they could trust him to run a show at this point. Guy suggested that they could have Adam open the show, have Aaron plan the menu, and have Lisa cook it.

In the end, they couldn't make a decision, and they decided to keep all three of them to compete in NYC next week for the win. I guess that's ok with me.

Who are you rooting for?


Anonymous said...

I like all three!

HerbyN said...

what a cop out... i think aaron should go because he has no personality or rapport with the camera despite his cooking chops. in the end, i like adam. he finally proved that he can cook just good enough to be taken seriously and he clearly is the most likable and charismatic. even if he doesn't do a traditional cooking show, he could emcee/host a diners, drive-ins and dives or unwrapped type show where he leans on his personability rather than his cooking. lisa... just creepy... am i wrong?

Anonymous said...

We are rooting for Aaron all the way! He is an awesome chef! I have eaten his food! He is learning from the judges comments and is so lovable!