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The Next Food Network Star


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#31

travelerkaty

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Posted Jun 5, 2005 @ 11:57 PM

Aaaaakk! I'm here watching the show and reading through the thread at the same time, and I discover from you all that they canned Brook at the end of the second hour? God, where is the justice in this world? Damn, I'm thinking about just turning this off right now. What kind of idiots are these Food network people? Oh yeah, the kind of idiots that inflict Bobby Flay and Sandra Lee and that Bam guy on innocent viewers.
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#32

doctorwu

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Posted Jun 5, 2005 @ 11:57 PM

I thought it was interesting and am also in the camp of those who were suprised Brook got cut before Harmony, but since they're auditioning for a visual medium, perhaps the producers are looking for someone with improvable cooking skills, but who has an onscreen personality, which you can't really teach someone. That said, I'm not really surprised that Brook and Hans were the two most in danger, because they really didn't come across that great from a personality standpoint. Harmony may seem like a ditz, but she was one of the best at handling the breakdown of her equipment during the one audition segment and she was always perky and animated, even when she faltered a bit with the food.

Michael has the opposite problem from Brook and Hans, namely he has too much personality and that could come back to bite him if the producers feel they'll have a hard time reigning him in. Here again, Harmony hits a better balance, being hyper, but not so manic on camera to distract from the food. I wonder how long it will be before someone mentions her whistling. Maybe that's what they're looking for, though.

Eric was great until things started to go wrong. It would have been fun to see how he handled the lights going out.

I'm disappointed they didn't bring in the guy who did the egg twirling in the audition tapes. I thought that was a neat trick to twirl the egg around, then flip it up and crack it on the side of the spatula. Wonder how Flay would have reacted to that? I also thought the organic chef had better screen presence and thought she'd be the one they picked until I saw she was up against Harmony. If Food Network was planning on building any suspense with the semi-finalists, it's probably not a good idea to include all the finalists in the promos, since we'll all know ahead of time who made the cut.
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#33

jhlipton

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 1:07 AM

I like the idea that 2 of the people who have the most at risk with the new show are two of the three judges. We're not there to see all that goes on (I think, for instance, that each contestant had to do a swap-out and a commercial break and a strecth and so on). I was dreading that this would be a vote-by-phone show, because talent gets beaten by looks or personality (as in American Idol, for example).

I want the contestants that define themselves as something that matters not a whit in the kitchen (Dan & Steve -- they're gay, you know... There's never been a gay couple on TV -- except for nearly every season of the Amazing Race; and Susannah -- she lost 89 pounds... whoop). If they shut up about that and tell me who they really are, they might replace Michael in my heart, but I doubt it.

Looking forward to the next ep!
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#34

Mint Tea

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 2:16 AM

I LIKED Harmony. There are so many shows with other host 'types' like the other contestants, (oh GOD was I sick of hearing about Susannah and her fibrous greens and her FAT-FREE everything!) I think she is a breath of fresh air. Besides she seems really nice and I don't think she is dumb at all. And I am a hetero (brunette) chick, so it is not my hormones talking. I DO tend to root for underdogs though. Maybe this is the first time a seriously pretty chick is the underdog!
Other than her I liked Hans. Who is named Hans anyway? (In the US that is!) That is SO COOL! :) Seriously, I did admire his knowledge of food the most, and his kind of quiet, brooding personality (even if it's not "Food TV"-genic!) - it was sexy. He is my dream-husband.
I can see Eric being a fan favorite, and I do like him, but if he gets too schtick-y with the cutesy rhymes and performing and the 'help people' and positive messages I think I may OD on that too. Yeah, I am kinda evil.
HOw's this for another unpopular opinion: I like Bobby Flay! (I liked him on Wickedly Perfect and I like him here, and if he ever offers to cook for me anywhere I AM SO THERE!)

Edited to sound less inflammatory!

Edited by Mint Tea, Jun 6, 2005 @ 12:58 PM.

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#35

ElectricBoogalo

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 4:08 AM

I, too, was surprised that Brook was eliminated so quickly, but given the choice between Brook and Hans, I'm glad that Hans got to stay. Brook didn't do it for me. I don't find him attractive (I'm a heterosexual female, for the record), although I can see how other people would like his face. He just seemed too generically bland, looks-wise, and his rushed talking seemed to be his normal pattern, not nerves. I've already had it up to here with Rachael Ray's "I'm on crack so I'll talk a mile a minute" gimmick, so the last thing I wanted was another speed talker. I hate how the judges think that "showing personality" means telling people "I'm a wild and crazy guy!" I'd rather hear Hans talk about being from Georgia while he's stretching out the Vidalia onion section than watch Michael shove his pan into the camera lens.

Maybe it's the RR hate talking here (and how sick I am of hearing Emeril scream at his audience), but over the top personalities like Michael get on my last nerve. He is so convinced that he's quirky and hilarious and unique, and unfortunately the selection panel not only validated that but told him to keep acting that way.

Harmony bothered me mostly because she seemed so unprepared and unprofessional. And on a superficial level, I hated her eyebrows. I think that she deserved to go before Brook.
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#36

boilergal

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 6:44 AM

This was one of the coolest reality shows I've watched in a long time.

Word. After the trainwreck that was Wickedly Perfect, I was expecting bad things, but I liked the challenges, the way the judging was set up, and the fact that it seems to be more about necessary talents like personality and cooking skill than about inter-contestant drama. The first hour was an uneven combo of good stuff (loved the early Mario clips) and pointless stuff (hmm... which of these three people will be chosen? Maybe the one we've seen 1,000 times in the commercials?), but once the actual competition got rolling, I loved it.

Susannah seriously bugs. I think it is a hard thing to do a health-focused show, because you end up looking smug and preachy (like that awful low-carb guy on FN - HATE!). She would be my pick for next to leave, but the promos make it look like she is going next week, so the Reality Show Rules state that she is not in any danger of going home at all. Sigh. I liked Hans the best, but he does appear to have a pole planted firmly up his ass, so he is probably next. Is it that hard to smile, Hans?

Edited by boilergal, Jun 6, 2005 @ 8:27 AM.

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#37

PlayItGeorge

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 7:54 AM

I also don't see the hotness in Brook. Give me Hans and quietness any day. YUMMO!

Harmony annoys me because she has shades of SLop in her--into the hokey ass themes, at least she's not using Cheez-Whiz. But who knows what she'd use if she got her own show. Hey, I guess if she replaces SL maybe she can't be that bad.

Susannah seemed like she had a good presentation to me. Better than Deborah and Eric. And I thought the gay guys had a lot of potential. FN doesn't have a duo, other than Jack and Tyler, right?
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#38

KateDebate

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 8:08 AM

I'm disappointed they didn't bring in the guy who did the egg twirling in the audition tapes. I thought that was a neat trick to twirl the egg around, then flip it up and crack it on the side of the spatula


He might have done better if he had not filmed at a Benihana. Personally, I wanted the kid who walked through the kitchen making devil horns to get a show.

Also, Michael, buddy, mentioning how wacky and off-the-wall you are in fact makes you neither. And commenting on your crazy hair makes it less "crazy" and more a "desperate cry for attention". Shut up, Michael's JewFro. As my husband said, "Why does he think a Carrot Top schtick will get him a job?"

And, my apologies to Bobby Flay who I assumed would be his normal asshat self. I thought he actually had some good critiques. Although he was definitely jealous of Brook's pepper skillz.
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#39

UncleJemima

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 8:10 AM

Now that Survivor is over and I no longer have Tom Westman on my screen to drool over, I thought I would never find the courage to find TV love again, but then there was Hans. Sigh. The onion of questionable origin bit was comedy gold. Oh, Hans, you had me at "Vidalia."

I have a suspicion that Hans is being pimped as the winner of this. He's the finalist who was the product of the internet vote, so I think the producers have already been testing viewer reaction to him.

Brook, pretty and confident, was a surprising first elimination, given some of the dead weight there, but no surprise that Flay gave him hard time. There's only one cocky asshole in a Bobby Flay production and that's Bobby Flay! And that's him, remember?

Steve and Dan, could they be gay?
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#40

thingamajig

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 8:13 AM

I, too, was surprised that Brook was eliminated so quickly, but given the choice between Brook and Hans, I'm glad that Hans got to stay.

Same here. Brook is definitely pretty, but I liked Hans a lot more.

Mostly, I don't really care who wins or even who's on the show in the first place; I just like the behind-the-scenes aspect of the show. That's very cool.
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#41

Elphaba

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 8:22 AM

Not to sound jaded, but I totally expected to come here and hear how awful Harmony and her boobs were. I LIKED her. What is wrong with 'pretty'?

So, are you saying that you decided that people would dislike Harmony for her looks? Quite an assumption, there. You may base your feelings on her looks, unlike most of us), but she was just too twitchy and incompetent for me to like her. I was predisposed to like her, because she was one of my favorites from the videos (which show what she looks like and she looks prettier than she did on the show). I liked her early in the first episode, when...shock!...I knew what she looked like and didn't think much about her looks or her boobs. She flubbed everything and I didn't see the personality that the producers seem to see or wanted us to see. They seemed to be pushing her as the one to watch, and so she's one of the contestants getting the most comments. Not that anyone has to defend their opinion of her.

If I didn't like "pretty," I'd have issues with Deborah and Susannah, both of whom are attractive and look less sloppy than Harmony and are much more competent.
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#42

jhlipton

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 8:43 AM

A couple more points for Michael, Hans and (possibly) Deborah:

When Michael went to wash his hands and there wasn't any water (and this wasn't part of the "snafu challenge", either), he carried on (saying something about how clear NY water was).

Simularly, Hans popped a piece of what he had every reason to believe (it was in his prep work) was a Vidilia in his mouth and quickly found out the awful truth. . But, again, he made the best of it and carried on.

When the lights went out on Deborah, I think she did the right thing. The audience (at the studio and at home) aren't going to see what you're doing, so you might as well stop, and pick up when the lights come back on.
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#43

Elphaba

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 9:10 AM

When the lights went out on Deborah, I think she did the right thing. The audience (at the studio and at home) aren't going to see what you're doing, so you might as well stop, and pick up when the lights come back on.

I agree, to a point. But for goodness sake, fill! Ad lib! There's a studio audience to entertain and she might even toss out a one-liner they'd leave in. But most importantly, she should have ad libbed to show she could. This is an audition, a job interview.
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#44

Aunt Nette

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 9:17 AM

Not to sound jaded, but I totally expected to come here and hear how awful Harmony and her boobs were.


It wasn't the boobs so much as those annoying sounds she made every time she tossed in a new ingredient. "Zweet!" "Bzzzt!" Imagine listening to that for an entire half-hour show.

Steve and Dan, could they be gay?


UncleJemima, it's cruel and dangerous to make assumptions like that. I believe an apology is in order.
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#45

msfurious1

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 9:16 AM

I was surprised at how Alton Brown found his way to the Food Network. It was said that he sent in his own unsolicited tape and the rest is history.
I didn't know that.

It wasn't the boobs so much as those annoying sounds she made every time she tossed in a new ingredient. "Zweet!" "Bzzzt!" Imagine listening to that for an entire half-hour show.

Kinda like Bam!? It gets old real fast.

Edited by msfurious1, Jun 6, 2005 @ 9:18 AM.

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#46

Pepper Mostly

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 9:27 AM

I get the feeling they're editing Harmony to be a comeback kid and I hope not. I can't watch her for two seconds.


As I watched, and as she received no real criticism (even though she SUCKED at every challenge, too giddy, too nervous, and oh yeah, couldn't even cook an egg!), I said out loud "Omigod, this chick's going to win it all". She's getting the underdog edit. I feel kind of queasy. She's just awful.

I liked Brook a lot and I liked his backstory. He's a young good looking guy though, and they have several already. But a lot of the contestants seem to have Food TV corollaries--Michael is Emeril, Harmony is Sandra Lee, Susannah is the low carb guy, Dan and Steve are the Two Fat Ladies. And hey, are they gay? I kinda got a ping.

For now I don't think the casting was wonderful. How far did they have to search for a team of two gay guys who are so boring? And while I appreciate that they tried to bring some diversity to the table, I was surprised that not a single Asian or Latino cook made the cut. Hated Michael and his "I'm a wildly exuberant guy!" schtick. Harmony I loathe with a visceral gut level loathing. I actually liked Susannah, though. I thought she had a good angle and was related to the camera well. It will be interesting to see if she can stretch out of her comfort zone some.
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#47

kscatlvr2001

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 9:29 AM

As they were introducing all the FN executives, I wondered which one of those brainchildren was the one who decided that people coming home from work don't like to watch cooking shows. Because of that little lightbulb moment, FN airs complete fluff after Good Eats is over.
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#48

UncleJemima

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 9:50 AM

Steve and Dan, could they be gay?

UncleJemima, it's cruel and dangerous to make assumptions like that. I believe an apology is in order.


BWAH, Aunt Nette! And yes, you're absolutely right. I felt so much trepidation even broaching the subject. They both seemed so reluctant to discuss it. I mean, sure, they're two neatly dressed men living in a one-bedroom apartment and they both have good bodies, but what does that really mean? Why must I label that?

Meanwhile Hans, that bitch, is married and does Clive Barker card games in his spare time.
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#49

MHSWeb79

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 10:01 AM

I liked this show - it was amazing to see all that goes on behind the camera. When they were showing the clips of 3 finalists, I picked every single one of them except for Big Eric - I liked him but I didn't think he had the TV presence of the others.

My early fav, from the audition tapes was Deborah, but she really slipped for me in the second hour. Especially:

Deborah acting like a solar powered stepford wife during the trick cake icing segment was hilarious. It was like cooking with Disney's Hall of Presidents.



BWAH!
Harmony, when she isn't looking like a deer caught in headlights, reminds me too too much of Survivor "I-have-a-genius-IQ-do-you-want-me-to-take-my-shirt-off-and-show-you"Heidi. I was truly baffled at how much the judges liked her, unless there was a lot of sneaky editing going on.
Did anyone catch that Alton Brown, who I like, was chosen from an unsolicited tape? Go Alton!
And finally, I checked out all the contestant profiles on the Food Channel website, which was highly annoying - too many typos and errors. Someone should tell them that "palette" is not the same as "palate." Come on - it's the Food Channel! (I guess I should be thankful they didn't say "pallet.")
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#50

lotusbear

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 10:07 AM

As they were introducing all the FN executives, I wondered which one of those brainchildren was the one who decided that people coming home from work don't like to watch cooking shows.

I was wondering how much they had to spend on CGI-ing out the exec's horns and pitch forks. These are the same idiots who think that Al Roker needs more air time and that there are people out there who actually watch Recipe for Success.
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#51

Arabesque

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 10:54 AM

She flubbed everything and I didn't see the personality that the producers seem to see or wanted us to see. They seemed to be pushing her as the one to watch, and so she's one of the contestants getting the most comments.

Exactly. I do think Harmony is attractive and there's nothing wrong with that; what's not cool is that - IMO - she doesn't appear to have the television cooking appeal and/or skills I look for when I watch FN, and I was puzzled that the judges enjoyed her so much.

All of the contestants flopped on tasks at one point or another, so I know they have to base some things on finalist potential. But with Harmony, I wasn't seeing the positives they were seeing (which is completely understandable since everyone's different).

I expected her to go home, or at least be hanging by a thread in the judges's eyes (except Bobby. I knew Bobby would love her no matter what).
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#52

Mint Tea

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 10:57 AM

So, are you saying that you decided that people would dislike Harmony for her looks? Quite an assumption, there. You may base your feelings on her looks, unlike most of us)

I think my point was I DIDN'T base my feelings on her looks, and that possibly I was rooting for the underdog as I am prone to doing.
ETA: I apologize if I sounded rude! It was kinda late when I wrote that initial post and I tried to sound tongue-in-cheek, but I will edit it to sound less accusatory.
-Also edited this post to not mention the b-----s!

Edited by Mint Tea, Jun 6, 2005 @ 1:12 PM.

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#53

JessKay

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 11:06 AM

Is it sad that I didn't mind the Food Network informercial qualities of Next BlahBlah Star? Have I been brainwashed by the uber-catchy "Come taste life" jingle? Or was it seeing the three faces of Alton that seduced me (Alton the Wacky Porcupine Head, Alton the Director/Writer, and Alton the Talking Head in His Snazzy Sexy Business Suit)? Either way, I enjoy it more than Cooking Under Fire for the simple reason that I can ignore Bobby Flay, while Todd English makes me want to boil myself in Clorox and antibiotic salve.

I admit I'm going to cheer for the Are They Gay? team because they're local boys, but I might settle for Deborah or Eric. Michael: take your magic bus back to Surferville now, please. Oy with the spazzing. If they were going to go with a kah-razzzzzzzy personality, why not the Food Train guy? He wore a cool hat!
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#54

Elphaba

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 11:07 AM

Really, Elphaba that was a bit rude. My feelings stem from experience on how these people on these shows are seen on the boards, so I was simply readying my 'unpopular opinion' for the masses. I think my point was I DIDN'T base my feelings on her looks, and that possibly I was rooting for the underdog as I am prone to doing.

Actually, the "unlike most of us" was something I thought I deleted. For that, I apologize. Take that out and there's my post as it was meant to be. I don't feel it's rude at all. You said, "Not to sound jaded, but I totally expected to come here and hear how awful Harmony and her boobs were. I LIKED her. What is wrong with 'pretty'?"

If you can explain to me how that is not an assumption that those of us are criticizing Harmony are doing so because we are predisposed to dislike the "pretty" girl, please do. I don't want to argue, but you said you expected to see negative comments based on her looks and then asked us what is wrong with pretty. I think my comments were justified. I don't wish to talk about the boards on the boards, so, I'm leaving it there. If you want to take it to PM so it doesn't disrupt the board, I'm cool with that too.
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#55

doctorwu

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 11:09 AM

FN doesn't have a duo, other than Jack and Tyler, right?


Well, Tyler and his ego. I think Jack's part of the audience now.

I thought the two gay guys did well. Also Hans did display a lot of cooking knowledge. His background bio stated he was the head chef for his family's restaurant in Georgia, so he's probably not had a lot of experience performing in front of crowds or with cameras a few inches away from his face. I could imagine it would be tough having to cook, plus read the teleprompter, plus watch the producer for time cues while being careful not to take off a finger while chopping stuff.

Deborah missed a chance when the lights went out. She should have told the audience that the recipe worked well for lunch or a late-night snack.
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#56

TakoPops

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 11:59 AM

I was absolutely shocked when I tuned in to this show last night and saw Dan and Steve... they catered our wedding in Chicago last year! We never really talked to Dan, but Steve was totally wonderful... a really nice guy. Here's their website if anyone's interested.
So glad to see they did well yesterday... I guess Mr. Pops and I will have to be rooting for them.
And I suppose this means I'll have to watch the rest of the show... at least it's only got 3 more 'sodes.
Three more weeks, actually; who knows how many episodes they'll cram in there?

Edited by TakoPops, Jun 6, 2005 @ 11:59 AM.

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#57

lgrant2001

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 12:09 PM

I don't get it. TPTB told us that an effective TV chef makes you want to lick the screen. Then they eliminated Brook? Make up your minds, you fickle bastards!
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#58

Bungalow Joy

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 12:18 PM

I like the idea that 2 of the people who have the most at risk with the new show are two of the three judges.

I really liked the show. Whether I agree or disagree or like or dislike the standards by which the contestants are judged, at least they're definite audition standards. The success/failure on the challenges is clear. The judging is reasonable. Unlike, say, The Apprentice, Wickedly Perfect, etc., etc., even American Idol. So far I like Hans and the duo. I can even agree that Eric, Harmony and Michael have some personality, but please, FN, no more amateur cooks la Sandra Lee and Rachael Ray. The return diminishes steeply after a season. I see what you're looking for, I get it. It's show business, wider audience, yadda. There are still fundamentals to consider.
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#59

Mowgli

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 12:33 PM

What an interesting show! I'm new to the FN and really enjoyed the old clips of Emeril and Mario. Loved the Alton Brown-discovery story. (And, note to Michael, that's what quirky and funny really look like!)

I thought I'd be alone in my Hans-love, but apparently not here! That's my type, too. And I felt Harmony should have gone first (not for her looks, though living in LA that look bores me to death), but because...what could she do? She seemed nice and perky, but I just didn't feel she could actually -teach- me anything about cooking. Maybe she'll do better in the future.

Brook was good looking, but I think they made a good choice to let him go. It'd be too hard to teach him to talk slower (and enunciate better) for television, especially when there were better people to choose from.

Susannah--I like her calm manner and her weight loss story (but why not "lie" and make it an even 90 lbs)? Unfortunately, she looks like RR's mature, sedated older sister so I think she won't be staying.

Gay guys were okay. (And TakoPops, how/what was their food for your wedding? How cool that you know them.)

Eric was endearing, but it's uncomfortable watching someone cooking who is clearly at risk for a heart attack and should cut waaayyyy back on whatever he's doing food-wise.

Deborah was fine and would help their demographic, but is she a good cook? So far, I can't tell.

Love the cooking challenges and the producers/GE making the choices. I normally hate Bobby Flay, so why does he make me think he's so likeable when he's on shows like this? His comments were good and helpful, (except I really don't understand why he's encouraging Michael).

Next week with Mario should be fun! (But...he should really get off that scooter, leave himself more time, and walk).
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#60

GypsyBaby

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Posted Jun 6, 2005 @ 1:26 PM

Deborah acting like a solar powered stepford wife during the trick cake icing segment was hilarious. It was like cooking with Disney's Hall of Presidents.


I know it's been said before, but BWAH!

I really dug the show, except for Brook's elimination. I really liked his personality -- he seemed very natural and unflappable. I thought Harmony's frittata demo was hilarious ("And then I did this, and after that, I did that."). Eric seems like a good soul, but he really blew in two of his challenges. I would not have been a bit surprised if he left.

Susannah bugged. Totally. As did Deborah. I kind of liked Michael, though. The gay dudes -- if indeed they are gay (and I am suspicious of their whole story) -- were just meh. I'm looking forward to next week.

-- Karen
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