This week was what Food Network Star likes to call, “The Mid-Terms,” where each contestant is generously praised for their obvious worth and stunning contribution to the world of food… and then gently reminded of their endless, gut-churning shortcomings.
(Translation: “Hey Charlie Brown! What’s say I hold this football, and you run up as fast as you can and kick it?”)
To recap where our remaining contestants stand…
Little Susie Who? needs to focus more. (Translation: “You’re slightly less scattered than Olive Oyl.”)
Sandwich King Jeff needs to balance his manic energy with more warmth. (Translation: “Try cooking without referencing constipation or your genitalia.”)
Our Gal Jyll needs to “bring the surprise” to her presentation. (Translation: “Kill the ‘Sunny All The Time’ routine or prepare for a career leading Asian tourists through the line at ‘Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.’”)
Don’t-Forget-Me Whitney needs to demonstrate more personal warmth (Translation: “We’re developing a show hosted by an oyster fork and right now it’s testing better than you.”)
Not-Mediocre Mary Beth needs to “personalize her food” (Translation: “We don’t like your food.”)
Mediterranean Mama Penny needs to find a way to be “likeable on television” (Translation: “Are you opposed to cooking topless?”)
Vic Vegas needs to “play like an expert.” (Translation: “Guy Fieri is weird and he does well, so why not?”)
Frat Boy Chris needs to try and “not do too much.” (Translation: “You go ahead and sit this one out, Chris. Or didn’t you hear… we’re eliminating TWO CONTESTANTS this week!”
You gotta feel a little bit for Frat Boy. He’s tried so hard and he’s lasted so long, but he’s completely out of tricks. He’s like the kid who plays Monopoly for three hours and only ends up with a couple of pink fives and a house on Marvin Gardens.
And how about Not-Mediocre Mary Beth? I’m sure a lot of people felt she got was criticized a little harshly. Giada actually said to her, “You kinda cook like the someone who needs the tips that Food Network Stars give.”
I’m torn on my feelings for Giada as a judge on this show. I certainly love her on all her other Food Network shows… reminiscing about Northern Italy, going over the moon for rustic salamis she discovers in San Francisco, serving backyard berry parfaits to her gaggle of less-attractive, pajama-jean gal pals.
But when Giada makes a remark as downright snotty as that? I don’t know. I may just have to start openly snickering at her again whenever she blathers on about how everything in life can be made better with “ree-COH-TAH!”
NEXT: I HAVE THE NEXT HIT SHOW FOR FOOD NETWORK