Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Next Food Network Star 2012 - Eric Goes Home

As much as I am enjoying the competition for who will be the Next Food Network Star 2012 on the Food Network, I have to think Bob and Susie made a big mistake in sending Napa executive chef Eric home this week after a producers challenge with Ippy.  While both of these great chefs have a camera problem right now, Eric is clearly the far superior chef, and Bobby Flay made this obvious argument in the final segment.  While Ippy from Team Giada is a good chef and a nice guy, he can not bring it on the camera in any meaningful way.  Ultimately, I think Bob and Susie just felt like the Hawaiian angle is more marketable for the network.  But it doesn't work for me, as neither of these two men was ever really going to be the Next Food Network Star.

Sadly, I would have liked to see Eric go farther in the competition simply because he is the superior chef.  That should count for something because we're all tuning in to see people who can work culinary magic.  And, while he has regularly struggled to finish his dishes, I always love what he's doing. Ippy, on the other hand, really doesn't have much of anything interesting going on.  Despite the claims that he is simply laid back, like his culture, I am unimpressed.  And, I can't figure out how Linkie didn't go home this week, and hasn't gone out yet.  She is completely forgettable - except when I can't forget how poorly she stumbles through her presentations.  The same goes for Yvan.  Bob and Susie should just send him home - despite how well he does next week - because he simply will not be the Next Food Network Star.  Ultimately, Eric and Ippy should go because it really is all about the camera presence and personality.  All these people can cook, and the world has many magical chefs; but being able to engage an audience is the key, and that's really the answer to who will be the Next Food Network Star.  It's like teaching - no matter how well you know your subject, you won't survive in the classroom if you can't bring it on the stage.

And, I have to again assert that I am not liking this celebrity chef team format at all.  For one, Alton and Giada are clearly helping out their people quite a bit - and that's not the point of the show.  Additionally, this format is really not flattering for Giada.  She continues to come across as petty and desperate for the affection of her team and the need to simply win.  It seems like she doesn't want to find the best Next Food Network Star, for she has had nothing positive to say about any other finalists.  She just wants to win and she is coming across, quite honestly, as a real bitch.  That's a shame because I never felt that way about her.  So, Bob and Susie should definitely nix this format for next season.

So, Eric's out.  Hopefully, Linkie or Yvan or Ippy go next.


Judson is another example of the problem with the team format.  As a reader recently pointed, he should have gone home last night as well.  In fact, he was every bit as bad as Eric and Ippy on camera, and he's a much worse cook.  Yet, he was protected because his team won.  And, this wasn't even a team competition.  It would almost be understandable if this - like last year - was an actual team event and his work somehow led to the team's win.  But it wasn't.  He was "safe" just by the default of having been picked by Alton.  Otherwise, he's a standard cook with absolutely no marketable "point of view," or POV, and he has no camera presence at all.  Everything he says sounds scripted - if not simply phony.  So, Judson needs to go home soon.

However, I must acknowledge the winner from Team Alton - Justin.  That kid just flat out rocks in the kitchen.  And, I think the quirky creativity is definitely going to be an asset.  My early favorite was Michelle.  But, if she doesn't get out of her own head, Justin is going to steal this competition.

** UPDATE - For the most current breakdown on Malcolm's exit this week, check out my latest:


Anonymous said...

You are giving Judson a free pass? He should probably be going home soon too.

mazenko said...

No, you're right. I meant to mention Judson as well. In fact, he should have gone last night more than even Linkie or Ippy.

That's another problem with the team format. I don't like that he was safe because his team did well. It's not like he contributed to a team effort and should be saved because of it.

Good point.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you : no good format! I think final will be Michelle versus Justin

Unknown Buddhist said...

In response to the Next Food Network Star, regardless of the product, if you cannot present it, you’re doomed to mediocrity. Can Mr. Allen or Ms. Ellyn draw thousands viewers over the next few seasons? No. Presentation is critical and it serves all of us who work in the public to stay at our best.