Congratulations! You’ve reached the halfway point for this season’s Food Network Star. Go whip yourselves up a spinach-kale smoothie and some “rad and retro” apple sauce! You deserve it. And before we dive into the highlights from this week’s episode, let’s take a look at where each of our culinary hopefuls currently stands:
Martie with the Party – we love her down home charm, but we can’t trust someone who talks that much. We’d watch a show with her, but if she started chatting with us on a bus, we’d just assume she was leading up to asking if we’d accepted Jesus Christ as our lord and savior.
Michele with the Nose Ring – the judges say Michele is losing ground with each passing week. We’ve run that through our “Food Network-to-English” translator and discovered it means, “Your nose ring will scare off every viewer over 45.”
Linkie lacks confidence and can’t finish a sentence. When asked to comment, Linkie said “gerfloog!” and began chewing on her sneaker.
Justin – Carrying around the laxative prescription isn’t enough, dude. You need to get it filled and then take as directed.
Nikki we find over-polished, over-sunny, and desperate to make us believe she’s practically perfect in every way. We’re not sold on watching a show with her, though we wouldn’t mind if she led us to our table at Polly’s House of Pies, or pointed us towards the line for Dumbo.
Yvan is failing to impress us with his presentations. We just don’t feel a connection. We might feel a connection if he’d take off his shirt, but so far no one’s suggested it.
Emily is still waiting for us to insert another nickel so she put our call through.
If Ippy refers to his homeland of “Huh-why-eee” once more, we’ll be forced to pitch him into a volcano.
Martita – We believe Martita has been played down so far because the producers are planning to have her emerge as a true front-runner in the second half of the season. We feel we are looking at our winner.
Malcolm – we did a little research into Malcolm. Apparently, he’s a contestant on the show. How ’bout that?
Unfortunately, Jusdon is still coming off as about as authentic as a QVC host. The judges have pointed out repeatedly that his shedding 115 pounds would be a great angle to corner. But Judson refuses to take their advice, claiming the memories of his fatty, emotional-eating days are still too much for him to handle. Would you like to learn to cook from this man?
Hey look who’s back! It’s Guy Fieri, king of the double finger pistol gesture. “Bang bang, dudes! I’m here to present this week’s First Challenge – each team will host their own food special LIVE in front of a studio audience… KILLER!!”
And when Food Network brings in an audience, they mean business. No slackers here. We’re talking about a serious, scrutinizing crowd who really means to put these chefs through their paces. This audience is not messing around!
Well, most of them aren’t messing around. Forgive my sister. Her self-confidence has really taken a hit ever since I pointed out the mustache and my mom and dad started referring to her as their “Little Charlie Chan.”
Winner of the most inventive dish this week had to be Justin. His team, Team Alton, was assigned the theme of “Halloween” for their presentation, which I found appropriate since most of Team Alton regularly looks like they’re dressed up for some bizarre Saturday Night Live sketch anyway. I tell you, if one of them decides to go “full Smurf” next week, I won’t even blink.
Justin prepared sardine skeletons, which he referred to over and over again as “the potato chips of the sea,” which I’d do a lot too if I was trying to get someone to eat a sardine skeleton. Here’s the finished dish. Let me know when you’re finished trying to chew through your computer screen.
Elsewhere on Team Alton, Judson tried to get the judges excited about his vegetarian chili by shouting out, “I’m bringing the flavor, baby!”
Was it clear to you that not even Judson believed he was gonna bring the flavor? It was certainly clear to me. He used the exact same tone I used when I tried to convince my high school girlfriend the reason I didn’t want to have sex was because I was worried she’d find my penis too intimidating.
Team Giada fared much better this week. Yvan slam-dunked it with his chicken wings, and the judges loved the energy and the warmth of his presentation. Ippy and Martita also scored with, respectively, teriyaki sliders and vegetarian quesadilla.
The judges even had nice things to say about Linkie, South Africa’s answer to Barney Fife, and her little football cookies. I don’t know really how ambitious little football cookies actually are, but since Linkie hadn’t yet accidentally locked herself in the freezer or gotten her hair tangled in the food processor this week, the judges decided to leave well enough alone.
Meanwhile, Team Bobby was assigned the theme, “Cooking for Kids.” Nikki made a spinach, kale and Greek yogurt smoothie… because nothing puts a smile on a kid’s face like a belly full of kale!This little girl begged and pleaded Nikki to let her eat a whole plate of Justin’s sardine skeletons instead of the smoothie, but Nikki refused. Then the little girl offered to let Child Services place her back in the home of her real mother. Nikki was un-swayed:
Wiping out in the judging this week was Team Halloween, which meant Justin, Emily, Judson and Martie were forced to compete in this week’s Producer Challenge – each was forced to throw a dart at a map of the United States, then prepare a meal based on where the dart landed, with the fourth place finisher sent packing. The only one in the bunch we could have expected was in no danger of going home was Justin, not just because the judges are over the moon for his food, but also because he’s apparently in possession of the only surviving garments from Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 line of “Let’s Get Physical” activewear!
Though the judges swore it was a tough decision, I can’t imagine they actually found it too hard to single out the one competitor in this quartet who’d failed to bring the fun, the food, or the drama week after week after week since the premiere.
Yes, Judson finally got the sack. The judges were tired of leading him to a point of view each week, and were disappointed he wasn’t ready to incorporate the story of his dramatic weight loss into his on-camera persona.It couldn’t have been easy for Judson, stifling his personality while the rest of his team routinely did everything short of lighting their hair of fire to pull the spotlight back to themselves. Losing over 100 pounds may be an impressive feat in real life, but in reality television, unless you’re willing to cart it behind you in a wagon like Oprah Winfrey, it’ll get you about as far as losing your car keys.