Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Next Food Network Star: 7/6/08

Looks like Squinty Lisa's going to end up crying again, from the episode preview. Let's see how that comes to pass, shall we?

The contestants get to do their first cooking demo on tv, 4 minutes each. It's for the Rachael Ray Show, in front of a studio audience. I know some people dislike her, but I still like her. She may be a little annoying, but her food is yummy. Their meals must be nutritious, satisfying, and the zinger is that they are cooking for girlscouts. Each contestant is paired with one girlscout, and the girls work as "consultants."

Aaron's girlscout wants lots and lots of chocolate. Aaron nixes that, because it's not healthy, and then she claims to like broccoli and pizza. Kelsey's girlscout is easily steered towards a fruit salad. Lisa schools her girlscout in haricot vert, because she has an obsession with it, and then convinces her that she'd probably like couscous (and I agree. I love couscous and think it is very kid friendly). Adam's girlscout loves barbecue chicken. Shane doesn't work so well with his girlscout. That's funny because he's so young. He just cannot talk to her.

The chefs say goodbye to their pint-sized consultants and get to cooking. They have 75 minutes to work it out.

The menus are as follows:

Kelsey - Breakfast Meatball Sandwich with sausage, eggs, and cheese, and a banana boat with strawberry yogurt, fresh fruit, and granola.

Shane - Puffed rice coated chicken cordon bleu, with vegetable ratatouille

Aaron - Broccoli and burger pizza

Adam - BBQ Chicken packed pita with spinach and a fruit kebab

Lisa - Flatiron steak with horseradish cream and herbed couscous with broccoli

(Lisa says that she doesn't want to dumb food down for kids, and I agree, but to a certain point. I cook a wide variety of food for my kids, but horseradish? Not sure about that one. We'll see.)

It's time to head over to the Rachael Ray Show! Rachael urges them to keep the story telling up, as they do their demo.

Aaron is up first. He starts up by having her wash her hands, and that wasted a lot of time, even if it was a good thing to do, and he had his back to the audience. He did a good job connecting with the girlscout and with the audience. He did an excellent job with the presentation, and Makayla (his girlscout) seemed to like it a lot, taking off with the whole pizza. I think it was the most free he has been, and it was great. The judges loved his pizza, and his personality. Good job to him!

Kelsey is up next, and she gets Racheal cooking eggs, and it was weird. She was dictating work, and not doing anything for herself. She was a little too familiar with Rachael, and she didn't really do any cooking, just using her pre-cooked stuff to go with it. The meal ended up looking good, but Kelsey was a little too much with Rachael Ray. The judges didn't think she was really interesting, and thought that she was acting more like the host than the guest on the show, and that's no good.

Shane is really nervous when his turn comes up. He did a good job with the cooking, but he wasn't connecting with his girlscout, and he seemed to forget her name! Not good. He also wasn't telling a story, he was just cooking. He also used the word "variation a whole lot." Rachael was talking to his girlscout a whole lot more than he was. I think he might have said two words to her directly the whole time. He blew that part of the challenge, and he almost ran into Rachael with the pan of hot glaze. Francesca didn't look so happy, but his food tasted good according to the committee.

Lisa squinted her demonstration pretty well. She was engaging the girlscout, but she also said that the girlscout "loved horseradish with her steak," and I thought that the girl said that she didn't love steak, and wasn't familiar with horseradish. Lisa was doing a really good job, and then she froze and kind of lost her place. Rachael was doing a lot of talking, and the judges said it seemed heartbreaking to see her lose it.

Adam brought his personality to the demonstration, and his girlscout was really cute. He was looking good and was comfortable and doing a great job. His food looked yummy, and his girlscout looked very pleased with it. I think Adam has won this challenge, and Rachael said that his recipe would be on her website. The judges were happy that his chicken was cooked.

After they were all done, Rachael lets them know that the final four are going to Vegas. They all flipped about that.

In my mind, Adam did perfectly in this challenge, which was important for him, because he was walking a fine line. Aaron and Lisa both did really well, but had issues. Kelsey and Shane were just this side of disastrous, for different reasons. What do the judges think?

Aaron was scolded for turning his back to the camera and talking to the wall, but they loved the food and loved the rest of his demonstration and were happy that he showed his personality. They said that he was masterful at playing between Rachael, his girlscout, and the audience.

Adam was given lots of praise for his presentation, but they said that they didn't feel like the food was the centerpoint.

Kelsey was chided for handing over all cooking, and didn't feel like she had enough authority still.

Shane was really scolded for ignoring his girlscout, and for being too technical. Bob says he seems joyless. They don't understand why he is so focused on French School. He has never been to France, but likes what he has read about it. Right. That answers a lot of questions right there.

Lisa squinted about how sophisticated her girlscout was, but Bobby thought she kind of steamrolled the poor girl into the menu. Lisa said that she was scared to dominate Rachael Ray, so she backed off. And the tears came. The judges said that she needed to show that she could be a star.

I don't think that Lisa deserves to go home this week (I think it will be Shane or Kelsey), but I still don't want her on a regular show on my tv, so I'm torn. Aaron was the first one safe, and Adam is also safe. Both deservedly. After some deliberation, Lisa is safe, and squinted her thanks and dedication to do her best. Kelsey is the last one safe, and she is heading to Vegas. Now, with Shane heading home, will he find a way to actually go to France and see if he liks the real France as much as he loves the France in books?

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