Monday, June 24, 2013
Lovely is not The Next Food Network Star
How can a person who wants to be the Next Food Network Star think it's acceptable to use "pre-packaged" pizza dough to make a doughnut? How? Who does that? Lovely Jackson went home Sunday night after that culinary debacle, especially as Alton Brown noted this is two "food fails in a row." The woman simply could not cook, had no real persona or camera presence, and just wasn't going anywhere as a contestant.
Next Food Network Star's A Food & Film Feature was an entertaining competition for this round, though I am still not a huge fan of team format's allowing some people to squeak out a win. Demaris is the perfect example, as I can't fathom how a Southern girl who doesn't know how to adequately salt grits is going to be a Food Network Star. And after this week in the news, I am wondering whether Demaris wants to rethink her plans to be the next Paula Deen. That's not a role model anyone should want to emulate.
Several finalists continue to disappoint despite notable food chops - Viet coming to mind immediately. He should be able to cook circles around anyone, but his dessert of berries and cream was weak, and he is never going to develop a camera presence that is engaging enough. Of course, the same can be said for Chad. Chad's food is clearly accomplished, but I don't see nearly enough personality to anchor a show. For a show that produced Guy Fierie and Jeff the Sandwich King, Chad is a shadow of a TV person. It doesn't seem in the cards.
Chris is fun and clearly a skilled chef, but what is his point of view? And the same goes for Stacy - what will she be able to bring to the line-up. There is some creativity there, as the smores with popcorn was truly innovative, and I want to see more. But Rodney's Pie Man schtick has worn thin. Both Rodney and Russell are short for the chopping block because one can't seem to cook and the other can't seem to engage any audience.
For my money, food blogger Nikki Dinki has the best shot at establishing her own show. She is finding her voice and camera presence, and she is truly the only finalist who actually has a marketable point of view. The "Meat on the Side" concept is truly unique and it's a show that Food Network does not yet have. As a viewer I would be interested in what Nikki has to offer, though I don't think she is by any means a truly accomplished chef - and that's a downside. Hopefully, she can continue to grow.