Sunday, July 12, 2015

Food Network Star - Emilia Goes Crazy ... Then Goes Home

Well, that was just weird.

When I saw the commercial last week with Bob Tushmann calling Emilia "mean spirited," I thought "What?" It just seemed so out of character, and I could't imagine how Emilia could be on the bottom in judging. She was the one who seemed to have solid command of cooking and talking to the camera. But reality TV will surprise you sometimes. Emilia Cirker  went home tonight after going off the rails in the live audience segment where she basically decided to "Go big or go home" by resorting to middle school mockery of her fellow contestants. It made everyone who saw it uncomfortable, and the strangest thing is that it seems so uncharacteristic. That is not the same woman who had been on the top for week after week and seemed so in control. But then again, maybe that is really who Emilia is. And, the sad thing for her is that by all other measures Dom or Alex should have gone home this week.

Actually, hold up a moment. A second hopeful — despite his boss-level cooking skills and general adorableness during confessionals — sweats like he’s midway through a triathlon, freezes up after only 60 seconds, then flees the scene like his face is on an FBI Most Wanted poster and his audience consists completely of law-enforcement agents. Perfect pick for the guillotine, yeah?
Think again. Lucky for Alex (aka Doomed Chef Walking) and Dom (The Little Staten Island Engine That Hasn’t Quite), icy-but-interesting Emilia decided the midway point of Season 11 was the perfect time to fling caca as indiscriminately as a caged zoo monkey — leaving poor Giada De Laurentiis covering her ears in an attempt to block out the meltdown that nobody wanted to see/hear/get within 50 feet of.
Maybe Emilia — whose Andouille sausage onion-rings looked pretty tasty — could’ve survived her misguided decision to spend half her demo mocking her rival chefs (though her mincing imitation of drag queen Albert was especially brutal, no?), but when she subsequently slipped on a sweater emblazoned with the words “Break the Rules” and declared that she was “really proud” of her performance as an “Alpha female,” the outcome was as pre-determined as a stick of butter in a Barefoot Contessa dessert. Don’t these contestants ever learn that likability/relatability is just as important as, say, one’s ability to julienne a carrot?
And, I will add that if Emilia had simply apologized to the judges and pleaded that she made a huge mistake, they would have kept her. Let's face it - Dom is never going to be able to bring it in front of the camera. And, that is where Bobby Flay is just flat out and uncharacteristically wrong. As Bob T. has noted, Dom seems to be "running from the camera." He just can't do it. And that's not a terrible thing. When Bob said, "My food was still a hit," he's right. Bobby thought it was one of "the best things he's tasted." And this means Dom should be a chef. He should run his food truck. He should open a restaurant. He should publish a cookbook. But he should develop a little self awareness and realize he is not a Food Network Star. Why does he think he should do this? I mean, seriously, who leaves three whole minutes on the clock during a camera test. That's just pathetic. And he should have gone home - except for Emilia's manic meltdown.

If we want to be honest, the two finalists - and the only two who will ever have a legitimate shot of starring in a watchable show on the Food Network - are Eddie and Jay. They can cook, and they have a schtick. Granted, Eddie got a heck of a boost from David Allen Grier this week - but that was fun. Who knew he was such a foodie. As for Arnold, Alex, and Michelle - they are all basically forgettable, though seemingly nice people. No star quality there. And Arnold should have gone home a week ago when, following the Alton Brown rule about being a food expert, Arnold knew nothing about "his favorite spice." Yet, Alton isn't around to diss, and dismiss, Arnold, so he survives another week.

Let's just get on with the Jay and Eddie show.


NancyRichard said...
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NancyRichard said...

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