Sunday, July 10, 2016

Food Network Star - Disappointed Erin Campbell Eliminated on Disappointing Season

OK, to be clear: none of the competitors on Season 12 of the Food Network's most popular show, Food Network Star, is ever going to be a Food Network Star. Seriously. Is there a Bobby Flay or Guy Fieri or Tyler Florence or even Jeff Mauro anywhere in this bunch? Not even close. And that's the problem with this show which remains mildly entertaining but long ago lost the ability to live up to its name. Tonight the bubbly, or rather goofy, pastry chef Erin Campbell went home, and she had quite a bit to say about that. Sadly, none of it mattered.

Erin, your promise of chocolate decadence was anything but. When given a chance to shine with a dessert you decided to try and jazz up a chocolate chip cookie. What? Really? And as for your snappy response to Bobby Flay that you literally "sell thousands of these cookies"?  What's that supposed to mean? Twinkies and Chips Ahoy cookies sell millions a year - that doesn't mean they are good. It means that Americans are pretty pedestrian eaters with almost no real taste for good food.

As far as the rest of them, I can't wait for this to be over. The star should probably be Ana because she is clearly the best cook. Granted, she would be impossible to work with for many people, but at least she knows food, knows her point of view, and knows who she is.

Jernard cannot go home fast enough. That guy just kind of weirds me out. Tonight, Bobby told him he took his creepy "love chef" schtick too far - but he's taken it too far every episode. And while he can cook, I cringe every time he starts talking. Amusingly, Bobby Flay wisely warned Jernard against the danger of "becoming a caricature of yourself." That is great insight that I've heard before. But, for the Food Network Stars? Hello! Alton Brown has become nothing but a caricature, and that is such a shame. While Alton was once a mild curmudgeon, he is now a crass, snarky, uncultured, snotty character who appears to revel in insults and sadism. That's a sad fall for the originator of one of the best cooking shows ever, Good Eats.

Tregaye is for some bizarre reason the apparent favorite of judge Bobby Flay, but she is way too over-the-top every minute with her hands flailing about and her endless slangy quips that don't really say anything. Tregaye is the first to admit that often she doesn't even know what words are coming out of her mouth. What was it about the food tonight - it was "slithering" on the plate? Tregaye just sort of babbles on with her social media vibe, and while that can be amusing on Snapchat, it's not really the quality we expect of prime time television. The Food Network already has two loud, crass personalities in Rachael Ray and Anne Burrell. Tregaye may be amusing in a six-second Vine spot, and she could probably do some mildly entertaining YouTube spots or commercials. But Food Netwok Star? Give me a break.

Damiano can certainly cook, and he is no doubt engaging and easy to look at. That quality, of course, qualifies him for being only the latest contestant that Giada is so gauchely crushing on. It's really become quite embarrassing to watch a cultured and classy woman like Giada slip into giddy school girl flirtations with young Italian men on the show. Giada, you are a major personality who has sadly let your relationship issues become tabloid gossip. Try to rise above that when you are actually working in front of the camera.

So, we're left with a show that continues to leak credibility like a Titanic cooking cruise.

Oh, and what's with the apparent sponsorship of the episode by Popeye's Fried Chicken? Eewhhh. That's just ... yuck. And, that's the first time I recall the Food Network promoting a fast food franchise. Perhaps another sign of how far we've fallen. The Food Network used to elevate standards, and now it's just lowering itself to the eating habits of far too many Americans. Oh, the pursuit of the almighty dollar. I expect more from people like Bob Tuschman and Dierdre O'Hearn. Come on, guys. It doesn't just have to be about ad revenue. Does it?

1 comment:

Schu said...

You took the words right out of my mouth!!! Spot on!!