Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Next Food Network Star 2012 - Four Finalists Shoot Pilots?

The Food Network's Next Food Network Star wrapped up the competitive elements this week with the elimination of Ippy and Nikki while three finalists were supposed to shoot pilots to be judged and voted upon this week, leading to next week's finale.  Of course, in keeping with Bob and Susie's inexplicable obsession with Marti, the rules were broken and an exception was made to allow four finalists to shoot pilots - Justin, Michelle, Yvan, and ..... ugh .... Marti.  Alas, it's mystifying.

Of course, in the end with all the weeks of competition completed, the clear winner of Next Food Network Star is obvious - Justin is the only one truly ready to step in and headline a show.  And, I must acknowledge that his pilot paying homage to the style of Alton Brown was quite an insightful move, as Justin's quirky style/look/POV, along with his extensive culinary knowledge and skill make him an obvious heir apparent to Alton.  The pilot was clever, the dish was amazing, and his persona is ready for a time slot on the Food Network.  Thus, Justin is the obvious pick from throughout the competition.  Hell, he basically competed twice each week - once on his own and a second time as coach, teacher, surrogate, and savior to Marti.

NOTE - Hopefully, it's real time slot and he doesn't get stuck with a pathetic Sunday morning hour so Guy Fieri can continue to have basically his own channel in the evenings.

However, I would be equally comfortable sitting down in the evenings for a little Michelle and "My New England."  Michelle's pilot was top notch.  She had that flair and ease in front of the camera that was so evident when she "auditioned" for Bobby.  And, there is so much that could be done with a show about the New England that we don't know.  She could do a Guy-style show for NE.  (NOTE - Just like Jeff the Sandwich King could - if the producers had a brain - do a Guy-style show for sandwiches.  Anyway.  My gut tells me that if Justin wins, Michelle will still get her own show.  It only makes sense.  She has great presence and a great POV.

As far as, Yvan?  Well, I think we all like him, and his show would be interesting.  But I cannot agree with sending him to the finals when he completely changed his POV on the last night of competition. Where did this "Yvan's Family Style" stuff come from?  He was about cooking from the heart - but in small plates with stories from his youth.  Now, he's all about cooking family style.  As much as I like him and wish him well, that story doesn't work for me - and I won't watch the show.  Marti - enough said really.  Marti is not a chef.  She has no culinary POV or skill.  And the Food Network does not need a party planner.  Marti needs to go back to whatever little nell she left to visit the big city, and she needs to stop wasting our time.

Thus, it should be Justin.  And hopefully Michelle gets a shot, too.  Justin already has a thriving career as a restaurateur - at the age of twenty-six.  So, he's ready and can handle the pressure.  Here's to you rebel.  Hope the country agrees.

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