Posted By Aimee Wilson - Occasions To Savor

Well, the Next Food Network Star show ended its sixth season last Sunday.  I am just writing about the finale now because frankly, I was underwhelmed with the winner.  I understand the choice the Food Network made.  I just do not agree with it.  I am seriously not excited about it.

The two other contestants in the final three would have sparked more excitement from me.  I like the idea of cooking healthy with flavor.  That is actually how I got started cooking.  While in graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, I used Cooking Light magazines to cook healthy and as an affordable means of entertainment (not that I had much time on my hands for that).  Plus, cooking with big, bold flavors with my chosen winner would have made me jump and shout!

It appears that the Next Food Network Star, whose new show kicked off yesterday (needless to say, I missed it), had a unique perspective that was different than her fellow finalists and other Food Network stars, I never got excited about her food.  My view of her was clouded by week after week of her doubting herself.  That was the storyline I got from the winner, not food that "wowed" me. 

I do wish her well, though.

Savor life's best,

Aimee


 
Posted By Aimee Wilson - Occasions To Savor

Well, you know that the Next Food Network Star show is winding down with Sunday's episode featuring the final four finalists.  In this episode, the four of the Iron Chef America's judge the food of the Next Food Network Star finalists in Battle Shrimp and Battle Bacon.  I love Iron Chef America.  I especially like the cross-marketing when they bring in other Food Network stars.

The standards of the Iron Chefs were too much for this week's eliminated contestant.  I agree that it was time for her to go.  In a way, she peaked early and had limited growth.  Even though she expressed a consistent culinary viewpoint, I did not see anything special about her food.  You know what kept her around?  I believe it was her ease in front of the camera and during the camera challenges.  So many of the finalists had quirky personalities or seemed ill at ease when the camera came on.  The eliminated contestant's personality kept her afloat, so to speak.

I definitely am intrigued to find out who will be the Next Food Network Star.  If it is who I think will win, I am not so sure a confidence coach would not be needed on the sideline.  If it is who I would like to win, I cannot wait to see the new show.

Savor life's best,

Aimee


 
Posted By Aimee Wilson - Occasions To Savor

What a near impossible decision the judges on the Next Food Network Star had to make.  All three contestants in the bottom three have been inconsistent with a few moments of shining like a shooting star.

As a viewer, I have no idea how the final decision was made.  In my opinion, I think it came down to the camera challenges in which the two female contestants at least seem comfortable in front of the camera.  The eliminated male contestant typically turned off the charm when the camera was turned on.

However, I do not agree with this week's elimination.  Perhaps the coaching needed to help a contestant feel more comfortable in front of the camera is way beyond what the Next Food Network Star contest is about.  Helping the other two remaining contestants from the bottom three feel confident with their culinary perspective and worthiness will be much more difficult.  The next contestants to go will likely be one of the female contestants who dodged Sunday's bullet.

Savor life's best,

Aimee


 
Posted By Aimee Wilson - Occasions To Savor

My favorite part of Next Food Network Star is the dual approach to discover who will have their own show on the Food Network - camera presence along with versatile culinary expertise.  While some contestants are offering smooth presentations that make you crave more from them, there are still contestants who baffle you because they have difficulty explaining their own creation.


For the Star Challenges, I would love to meet the creative minds who develop those concepts.  Having the remaining contestants work together to execute a supper club experience was genius.  Not only did I learn from that aspect of the show, I also enjoyed the commentary from the various foodies who attended.  The professionals who participate in the Star Challenges as critics have that slice of time to critique the contestants without prior experience with the contestants.  I think their opinions, based on a live, brief food presentation, adds credibility  because of the limited experience with the contestants combined with their culinary expertise.  It makes their impressions rise to a higher level.  While viewers at home determine within moments whether they will continue to watch a show, food or cooking shows must pique your interest with that X factor, which typically is the personable host whose personality catches your eye and draws you in.


Now, it finally happened this episode.  This week's eliminated contestant was allowed to flounder for sometime in hopes of seeing a dynamic presentation match her magnetic personality while experiencing sophisticated food worthy of the Next Food Network Star.  Like one of the other contestants mentioned on this week's episode, the eliminated contestant created too many pasta dishes.  As discovered on a wrap-up show called NFNS After Party on Cooking Channel, the eliminated contestant had a fabulous dish that could have been the difference maker.
  In case you just learned about this after party like I did, NFNS After Party gives a "Monday Morning Quarterback" perspective from hosts who include two past season contestants.  At the end of the after party show, the hosts gave their predictions on who would eliminated next.  I disagree with the prediction for the next eliminated contestant.  While one of the contestants whose name starts with "A" is soaring to the top, the other contestant whose name starts with "A", in my opinion, will be eliminated next week.  We will have to wait to see who is correct.


Savor life's best,
Aimee


 
Posted By Aimee Wilson - Occasions To Savor

It finally happened.  The contestant from the Next Food Network Star who struggled more with sharing herself and showing her personality than her food was eliminated this week.  What a shame!  Feedback on her food seemed fairly consistent.  However, she sat in the bottom three just the other week and her presentation during the Star Challenge seemed negative (definitely not something you'd want shared on a television show).

I believe the other two bottom contestants this week survived because they have had fabulous Camera Challenge presentations in the past.  In a way, they have redeeming quality regarding their ease in front of the camera.  My take is - Food Network could coach someone on how to be more comfortable in front of the camera.  However, they cannot coach someone on being themselves.

I liked the eliminated contestant.  Unfortunately, I do not know much about her.  That's why I titled this "If you don't know me by now".  We will not ever know her (unless she pops up somewhere else).

Savor life's best,

Aimee


 


 
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