Monday, July 2, 2012

Next Food Network Star 2012 - Malcolm Goes Home

Who will be the Next Food Network Star?  Not Malcolm.

Malcolm went home last night after an intra-team square-off against Michelle following the beach party competition.  Of course, it makes sense that Malcolm finally goes home because, while he is an exceptional executive chef and reasonably comfortable on camera, Malcolm never had a point of view.  POV is the key to success in this competition, and his idea of "cooking with soul" but not necessarily cooking "soul food" was just confusing and ultimately unmarketable.  Michelle survived, which makes sense because she was initially the one with the most star quality - great culinary skill, solid point of view with My New England, and completely comfortable on camera.  I disagree with Bob and Susie that New England is too narrow for a show, and Michelle opened that up this week.

As far as this week's show and competition?  Well, let's put it out there - Paula Deen is gross.

The idea of heading for Miami - with the goal of being there for the Miami Food and Wine Classic - and then bringing in Paula Deen is baffling to me.  For a network that is committed to culinary arts and high quality cuisine, the Paula Deen angle is depressing.  I realize she's popular - but so is McDonalds.  And Paula Deen brings nothing but crass personality and disgustingly unhealthy food to the table.  She certainly sells well among the Walmart and McD's crowd, but she has no business rubbing elbows with Bobby Flay, Alton Brown, and Giada.  And her fuzzy little connection with Marty was annoying at best.

So, about Marty.  I do not understand the judges'  fascination with this woman.  It's like the story of Herb from a couple seasons back - where they kept him around with some bizarre hope of a show for a new demographic.  But he could neither bring it in the kitchen nor handle himself on camera.  And with Marty, let's be clear:  this woman cannot cook.  Her offerings are so simple they could be done in an Easy-Bake Oven, and Justin has saved her butt countless times in this competition.  Additionally, she simply randoms along in her camera moments and apparently the only appealing quality is her accent and self-deprecating stories.  But intentionally mispronouncing the names of classic dishes and techniques is not impressive and it's not Food Network Star material.  My only explanation for this woman's "stickiness" is that the Food Network thinks they have the next PD in the making, and they don't want to lose the tater-tot casserole crowd.  For my part, cut her loose.

Clearly, Justin is still the only contestant who has consistently shown star quality - though I'd like to see Michelle come on.  Ippy won this week, and he certainly deserved it.  But he is not a Food Network Star.  Yvan was reasonably successful, but Martita has to go.  The only thing Martita has going for her is the way she says her name to open and blowing kisses at the end.  In between she is completely flat - and the Mexican food angle is already saturated.  She's nothing special there.  Finally, thank goodness Nikki finally pronounces the "grill-lll" next door. Other interesting points from the show that I liked were the comments from Ippy, Yvan, and Martita that when they grew up the kids ate what the adults did.  I really like that commentary.

So, Malcolm is not the Next Food Network Star, and hopefully next week we will finally learn that Marty will not be the Next Food Network Star.  And, regardless of who wins, I'd like to reiterate my hope that the Next Food Network Star starts getting some air time, so the Food Network can stop being the Guy Fieri Network.  Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives is nice, but Jeff the Sandwich King could do the same thing at least one night a week for Sandwiches.


Anonymous said...

Ok I still think the final should be Michelle and Justin! I do like Michelle even one member of The Press two Sundays or so ago said Michelle is a star! Justin is the innovator,creative guy! So I hope both will make it to the final! My gut feeling is Justin will win!

Anonymous said...

Just this: I agree with you: Martie does not know about parties!! Nope!! She is insecure,cannot cook well,and is shallow! I believe she may go home next! I don't see anything special in Martita either! I like Michelle,Justin and ivan:this is all!

Anonymous said...

Let's watch this Sunday! I still think Martie or Martita may go home this Sunday! Martita a couple of Sundays ago kept looking at the camera just smiling,wasting good 30 seconds of tv time: it was annoying! She said she 'd rather not talk about her sister(or some family members/something like this) because she would get emotional! After that she talked I believe about her sister-she realized her technical mistake- I mean,wasting 30 seconds smiling and saying nothing!!Nada!! Martie may go home this episode! No talented lady! I mean Martie!