I don’t even know what to say this week. Would I like to think that this eppy of The Next Food Network Star ended with Emma going home because of her deciding to tell the judges about how people invented barns before they invented eating pigs? Yes, I would. But I can’t because that isn’t why. The REAL reason is less awesome. Because this week they pretended that the Food Network is about food.
But before I go into that, let me report to everyone that Coley is safe. I will make fun of her a little further down but my heart won’t be in it because she is too hard on herself as it is. Overall she did well and I found out/realized that her husband’s name is Chaser. I know I read it on her site but I don’t think it registered. I thought I was over being jealous of people’s names but HIS name is the answer to the question: “What do you do if she starts to run?” so his is my new favorite name to covet until the court decides if I can finally be Rufus Lee King.
Also, for once I have a personal story to relate to the episode. I was in Vegas in June and I went to the the restaurant in the Paris Hotel that burger chick went to. <– please note that I was not consciously trying to be a doof and call Loreal the “burger chick” but I didn’t remember “Butcher Babe” until just now and I am still not sure if I just spelled her name right so she needs some help with branding. I saw the $777.00 burger on the menu and since I was with a client I tried to entice one of them to buy it for me (no luck) and I found it very interesting that the place was empty when Loreal went in. It is not too big of a place and it is like, stuck on the side of the casino so they definitely had to work to make it look fancier than it is. That furthers the idea of the episode being about showmanship over quality. I mean, technically I could make you a burger worth $777.00 if I garnished it with $774.00.
Coley got to eat a $1,000.00 sundae with a 24 carat gold spoon. I hope she got to keep it (the spoon I mean). And I hope that at some point someone said what I say every time someone says Lenny’s name.
So they tried to make this week about showmanship and the “total experience” of dining which the judges then made completely impossible by making the contestants present to them sitting at a long table at the end of a room. Ridiculous. Then again why would I expect more from them since they also can’t seem to keep all three hosts of the show ON the show at the same time. And I didn’t realize it until way after the episode ended that Bobby Flay isn’t even in it anymore. I think he died. And if anything is going to strike fear into the contestants it should be the fact that the networks biggest “star” has been completely absent and nobody even noticed! Seriously, how much of a “star” can you possibly be if they don’t need you for weeks? Ever see them do an eppy of Chopped without Ted? No you have not. Because Ted is a GD star. Eff you, Bobby Flay.
So the team challenge gave the some of the fanciest ingredients in the world to cook with because what better cooking challenge than to give someone something that tastes good all by itself. And that, my friends, is where the whole show started to go off the rails for me. Walk with me for a minute. *takes your hand*
We are talking about people who cook food on TV. So what skills do they need? Well, they need to be telegenic and they need to be able to read a teleprompter. And before you tell me about all the great chefs they have and blah blah I will tell you this: shut up. Nobody cares. Alton Brown is smart and funny. Guy Fieri is whatever he is. Giada didn’t even have a restaurant until like, last week. None of that has anything to do with food. They are good cooks because the Food Network told us they are. I mean honestly, if I ever tried one of their recipes I would screw it up and if someone asked me why I would say: “because I am an idiot.” I wouldn’t blame the person who gave me the recipe. Nobody is going to question them.
Food Network people are like wrestlers where cooking is wrestling and talking is….talking. If someone is a really good wrestler but can’t talk, they stay in the background and are respected but not a huge star (the Japanese Iron Chef). But if someone is a great talker but can’t wrestle (like Hulk Hogan) then they just do their three moves and keep talking and they are a huge star even though they can’t cook (Guy Fieri). That then makes Alton Brown the Food Network equivalent of Bobby the Brain Heenan.
And I am not saying that they are bad chefs. How the hell would I even know? How would YOU know? Unless they come to your house and cook for you, you have no idea. You just know what they tell you. So them sacrificing Emma because her food was not the best for the past few challenges is a bunch of crap but the network HAD to do it because they need to make sure people think they care about how good of a cook you are. The guy who won two years ago made sandwiches. SANDWICHES. Who is his audience? Joey?
Now, don’t get me wrong, Emma sucked and so did Burger Chick and Lenny. They were weird and the whole thing was freaky (and I hope Emma will come on here and explain how it all got so terrible) and their team deserved to lose. But out of the three of them, it was not Emma who should have gotten the boot. It should have been Loreal; she has nowhere to go on this network. Unless she goes whole hog and says the name of her show is going to be: “Whole Hog” then she won’t win. Emma wouldn’t have, either (I still genuinely believe Coley will win) but I could see people pretending to care about her food more than they will pretend to care about Loreal’s. But after careful reflection and creeping on her site I have come to the realization that Emma is doing all right and I doubt like hell she is too busted up about not getting a free TV show. In fact, I am sort of hoping she gets pissed and makes her own network just so she can have a show of her own. I also think I still have an outside shot of her adopting me so let’s keep our fingers crossed for that. And in case you didn’t watch, Emma told everyone a story about how nobody knew pigs were yummy until a barn full of suckling pigs burned down. They made a big deal out of it on the show (in a negative way) but I loved it. Like, how else would you find out if something was good? You would obviously build a barn, fill it with animals and then not try to eat them until the barn catches fire and accidentally cooks them.
So this whole episode WASN’T about Coley but I am still going to do the bullet points because I want to prove I pay attention while the show is on.
- Coley never comments on these recaps. It makes me sad.
- Alton was super snarky about Lenny and how he might have reached the end of the trail. Really? I can’t imagine a guy with a giant belt buckle making sure he never shows ANYTHING other than the giant belt buckle won’t really shine in the “people who like to watch giant belt buckles” demographic. Take your hat off, Lenny. Show them your pony has at least two tricks or you will be out before Luca.
- I was kidding, Luca will definitely be out before Lenny. And I hate to say this, but he really needs to stop riding his grandmother so hard. Actually, I loved saying that and will say it every week until he is out.
- Texas has to go. I am sorry, Ms. Penrod. I am sure you are super nice and I feel terrible for saying it but your face is big. I guess that is not necessarily a bad thing. People who think your face is pretty are super happy because there is such a heapin’ helpin’ of it on your head. But honestly I hate Texas and I wish you would secede so that the rest of America could conquer you, take your oil and then sell the rest of your stupid state to Mexico. And I felt that way before you even were a thing, Sarah so it isn’t you. But whatever your POV was before it was Texas was better. Hell, “let’s burn the suckling pigs” is a better POV than Texas.
- Coley is too hard on herself. She was all thinking she wasn’t going to do well in the challenge and blah blah and she needs to get over it. You are gonna win so stahp.
- And while I am bossing you around, it doesn’t all have to be Coastal Cuisine. You trying to drag that poor frog to Thailand was terrible. You got frog legs. Deal with it. And if someone actually asks you about the coastal part you can say: “did you know all salt is sea salt?” and push them down some stairs. See? All tied together. Seriously if you need to cook corn on the cob you don’t need to tell a story about how your aunt made a raft out of corn to escape the British patrolling off the coast of Maine.
- The whole gang is going to New York which means they will be at the studios which means they will be making shows. That is one of my fave parts of the season so I am looking forward to it.
- I have to redo my brackets since Emma was sacrificed to the food gods so I am going to say the final three is Nicole, Lenny and Sarah. Why not? Has to be someone and it isn’t going to be Burger Chick or Luca’s granny.
I wonder if somehow Alton Brown will actually read this and then decide that I “know too much” (which would be a first) and decide I need to be eliminated. That would rule. I also have decided that this batch of contestants is really fun and I am glad I have gotten to Internet-know the ones I have so far. Of course it would have probably gone smoother had I gotten to know everyone before I started making fun of them but hey, I don’t have a time machine. *pours a 40 for Emma and goes to bed*.
A raft made of corn sounds genius. I’m totally going to try that this week
If it works you owe me nine dollars.
Starting my own network … check! 🙂
The story I told is from Michael Pollan’s book, “Cooked.” It’s an awesome journey through the four most primal elements of cooking: fire (bbq), water (boiling), air (baking), and earth (fermentation, like pickles). The “Garden of the Gods” feast was embraced by all of us, wholeheartedly.
I also prepared almost the entire dessert. If you look closely, those are my hands chopping all the fruit (not burning the marshies). I’m a campfire cook after all: http://www.firelightcamps.com.
Anyhoo, you’re right. I want to keep the perspective that life is good and this is a stepping stone. I know that’s classic “positive” Emma, but heck, we all have great things going for us and one door closing means I can choose any of the next portals to walk through.
I’m sad, yes, because any time you try hard as hell and do your best, it’s disappointing to be burned down. But it was an incredible opportunity to learn, build friendships and meet a whole lot of people, including the most bold and rowdy Food Network Star recapper I know… :).
You have a good attitude and I am glad I got to meet you before Alton Brown comes to kill me. Also, the channel should be called “Right Coast Network” which gives you everything from Maine to Florida. That should keep you going for a year at least!
I love that Emma is reading these! Acadia, an excellent recap as always. I also always feel tricked by editors of shows… you know they edit the hell out of things to make us think what they want about everybody.
Follow them on Twitter – they are super fun!
That’s what I do when I talk to you guys.