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Live Blogging The Next Food Network Star – The Finale
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Live Blogging The Next Food Network Star – The Finale

8:50 – 10 Minutes to the finale! Tom is getting ripped a new one by the judges from the last show.

8:57 – My favorite part of this season so far coming up … Aria getting booted.

8:58 – It’s only an hour? Scripps, this is the best television you have, right? It’s your biggest draw of the year. Why is the season only ten episodes long? Why is the finale only one hour long? Thank God you figured out the NFNS After Party on the Cooking Channel.

9:03 – Whenever they start with someone, I always figure that guy is going home. Here’s the lineup tonight: first to talk, Tom, Second; Herb, Third, Artie. Damn.

9:05 – YUM-O. I can’t bear to watch Rachael Ray’s daytime shows, but her talk show is pretty good. I’m in the camp that daytime Food Network TV is pretty much unwatchable. Fat people cooking one thing for an entire episode … why did anyone greenlight these abominations to begin with?

9:06 – Artie is going to make a pizza with Naan and Rachael Ray says “That sounds really accessible!” Uhh, does she know what Naan is? Where are Americans going to get Naan? There are twenty places to get naan in a mile of me, but not the average American.

9:08 – I’ve been on the bottom floor of the building they’re filming this episode in. Gotta see if I can make it to the top floor one of these days …

9:08 – Either they cut these two pieces together or this is Rachael not really giving a fuck about Herb’s personal battles:

9:09 – Herb: We know what we’re going out there to do. He’s looking at Tom like he’s got it in the bag … I liked him, before, but now, I don’t know about this guy.

9:10 – Herb’s up first so I get to bust on him the hardest. JUST KIDDING ARTIE! You know I’m going to rip you a new one! So Herb went over time … How far over time?

Longer than he had before the take. This is pretty much expected for your first try

9:12 – Herb knocks it out of the park. Seriously, I’m impressed with everything but “Mom, you just sugared me up,” because I don’t know what that means. His snippets looked pretty awesome. Hard not to like this pilot if everything looks as good as that. I still think that none of these contestants are as polished as Jeffrey Saad.

9:19 – Damn. Artie’s pilot looked good, too -it looked great. Don’t care about her mom, though.

9:25 – I love Tom, but from the cuts they’re giving me, I don’t love his pilot. He definitely had the best outtakes:

9:32 – Herb’s pilot has got to be the best. I know I haven’t seen the other two yet, but it’s just damn awesome. They didn’t give me any indication that it wasn’t going to be the best. There’s not a lot to laugh about in this show – I hope these audience members are nasty to the contestants – I’m working with nothing here.

9:33 – They weren’t nasty with Herb.

9:35 – Artie’s show looks boring, but I don’t think it’s Artie’s best work. That’s probably the nicest thing I’ve ever said about her. Herb is still the clear favorite.

9:41 – Tom’s pilot is way better than Artie’s. They cut the audience reactions to give us the impression that they loved Tom’s pilot the most:

Of course, they love to misdirect … I liked Herb’s pilot a bit better, but I’m still pulling for the Big Chef victory. Still, no huge gaffes this episode, no big comedic blunders. The closest they’ve come to comedy so far is showing a picture of Guy Fieri.

9:50 – Bobby: We love everyone, everyone could be a star. You all have great qualities, it’s going to be tough to choose. We’re so sorry only one of you will be The Next Food Network Star … Saying that took five minutes.

9:56 – Bob says Herb’s pilot was the roughest. What does he mean by roughest? He needed to drop the “girlish figure” and “sugared up” comments and he’d be all set. Herb has the biggest upside. I feel like the Sports Guy (kinda).

9:57 – Susie brings up Artie’s psychotherapy bills again. If you want your health plan to drop you, pick Artie.

9:57 – If you only listened to what the editors gave us in the last three minutes, you’d think it was a two horse race between Tom and Herb. If you’ve been watching the whole season, you know they’re just dying to pick Artie. I’m thinking I might have picked the wrong person to hate on all year. If she can avoid the ukelele and saying crispydoodle, I might have to change my mind about her. Hopefully, I’ll never have to see her again in three minutes.

9:58 – Bobby: (to the focus group) You can rest assured that we will take your thoughts on these pilots into consideration. The focus groups like the other two people’s shows better, and you pick Artie. Lame.

9:59 – Bloomberg just downgraded Blue Cross to a hold. Do I have to call her Aarti now? Ugh. If her show lasts more than a season, I’m going to end up meeting her some day. That’s going to be an awkward conversation.

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Rob August 16, 2010, 1:09 am

    Blech!!! Cue weird flashback to last years TNFNS. I predict Aarti’s show will end up where last years winner is now, shoved between two semi-good thirty minute daytime shows. What a disappointment.

    I’ll miss ya big chef. The one very cool thing is that through the show I discovered this very cool blog called ‘The Wandering Foodie’. Can’t wait to see what you do next man!

  • Steve August 16, 2010, 1:48 pm

    FN blew it again… Brad and Tom were the cream of the crop and Herb was definatly an honrable mention. I am trying to think of the moment the triplets decided Aarti was their ‘man’ and I am thinking in week 3 or 4, because from then on she could do no wrong. They called her out on the obvious mess ups but still found flaws in the others to be worse.

    Jeffrey had the better show ideas and skills last year, along with being the front runner most of the time and it was all for naught…

    I also agree that there HAD to be better auditions out there and more worthy people then some of the contestants this year. This had to be the oddest mix ever…

    Briana = Bitch
    Sarena = Unintelligable
    Paul = Really?!?
    Alex = Absolutely unwatchable
    Aria = Grade school teacher
    Doreen = Forgettable

    If we are lucky maybe we will have the same thing happen as the “Gourmet Next Door” and her show won’t last…

    My wife thinks that Herb or Tom will wind up doing something for FN or Cooking (Adam Gertler?) but I don’t think so.

  • Steve August 16, 2010, 2:26 pm

    I forgot to add Dzintra as a complete nutjob…

  • Andy August 16, 2010, 5:59 pm

    Let me explain something in small words for you. Aarti NAILED every single thing she did. Any and all flubs or close calls were greatly exaggerated I assure you. She won because she was the most skilled chef, skilled speaker and most importantly the most accessible to the demographic The Food Network is shooting for for maximum viewership. If you guys disagree yer “bro-picks” didn’t make it you are being wildly naive as to what this show is, a buzz generator for the network. It’s a business, figure it out.
    Maybe pay attention to what her game plan was Wandering Foodie, might get you in the hosting business and out of the jaded armchair quarterback business. Just sayin.

    • Hagan August 16, 2010, 6:06 pm

      Andy, my friend. Go here watch the headline video all the way through, and tell me you wouldn’t have hated Artie all year long and been hoping for her to fail. If you’re catering to the demographic that watches that dreck, you’re in the wrong business.

  • Rob August 16, 2010, 10:11 pm

    Andy, I’m going to give you one and say that you are sort-of correct with regard to armchair quarterback. One thing to bear in mind that this is ENTERTAINMENT television, and serious foodies should probably NOT be watching TNFNS, much better stuff on the Cooking Channel anyway…sort of. The show is cut up like nobodies business to entertain people and that is mostly it, which is why you would have to defer somewhat to the idea of a ‘season long Aarti coronation’. Obviously the show is cut to make you fall in love with her.

    That being said, in that last challenge Tom nailed the hell out of it, and Aarti lost for sure, just judging by the sample audience. Other than that Hagan has it right, that ‘dreck’ is definitely not a demographic that has any sustainability at all. She will never be a Guy Fieri, Symon, or Cat Cora to say the least. She won’t even measure up to Giada, or Rachel Ray (whom I find somewhat dim with regard to food but tolerable) or last years forgettable winner. Sorry to bring your world down but she just won’t make it.

    But if you are right and the rest of us are so incredibly intellectually myopic and she get’s a regular prime time show on FN, then I will treat you to a ‘Beef Seven Ways’ at Ma Peche’s. ;) Actually, I’m not in NY, so I’ll get Hagan to take you and I’ll foot the bill. mmmmmmm can I smell beef consomme?

  • Andy August 17, 2010, 3:30 am

    Hagan, when I went to the link I watched some of the pieces. What I saw was a creative person expressing herself. She wasn’t doing it for a buck, she was doing it cuz she looked like she liked it! If you think for one second that FN would give her total creative license on her new show to sling her ‘dreck’, you must not work in television. Another thing I did was Youtube search both Mesa and Pizzica and found NOTHING prior to TNFNS. This tells me one thing. Aarti is a self made woman that was brave enough to put herself out there. Check out her good bites stuff prior to the show.,llcWJmMTp8VDJPmo7zT_03JUAdeEZyDQ
    She’s bold, unique and personable and that’s why she won.
    As for the “drama” of the focus group, come on dudes. Let me preface this with a couple of things to head you off at the pass. I’m a reality TV editor, I’ve cut on Iron Chef America to name drop a topical show per this conversation. My job is to fabricate the story in what ever direction the producer wants me to go in. If you have a contestant that is way out front, you ain’t sellin’ any tickets. You ever watch a horse race were one horse is way out front? Take a look at the audience. Not that interested (save the people who bet on speedy). Now put em neck to neck. Everyone’s on there feet. You got suckered into a storyline. Congratulations to Aarti for wanting it the most.

  • Barb in SC August 21, 2010, 3:56 pm

    One comment about using Naan. They sell in all our local grocery stores. We do have a diverse population in the Greenville, SC area but certainly any flat bread would work for this pizza. Aarti and Herb both made food from other cultures doable in the American kitchen, many of Tom’s seemed a little too nouveau.

    • Hagan August 23, 2010, 7:17 am

      I feel like “nouveau” and “ambitious” are two different things. I am all about trying new food and creation techniques.

  • Rob August 23, 2010, 12:14 am

    Ok, I know we are probably beating a dead horse here, but I just caught Aarti’s new show, and I have to admit it wasn’t painful. In fact there are a couple of things I want to try. However I do have to admit, I kept wondering the entire time, ‘I wonder what could Brad be doing?’ or ‘I wonder what Tom would be doing.’ In addition to this they already kind of have someone doing the ‘Indian’ thing over on the ‘Cooking Channel’ with the ‘Spice Goddess’. But so far I like Aarti more.

    I watched the ‘After Party’ as well and it was extremely a non-event, however it was nice to see Herb outside of the amped-up fitness freak P.O.V. I’m sure all three would have made decent enough show-hosts. As all of them were much more watchable than last years winner Melissa.

    • Hagan August 23, 2010, 7:16 am

      You didn’t get tired of toe-maaahhh-toe every thirty seconds or her telling you her friends were coming, and them not getting any stand ins to come and mill about the set at the end of the shoot? The food looked excellent, but that was because the food network has chefs on staff dreaming up these recipes. Do you think she really knew that you had to massage the Kale?

  • Rob August 25, 2010, 8:04 pm

    I did get tired of the incessant giggling. And, ya, the ‘my friends are coming over’ repetitively was a bit annoying. It definitely won’t fall into my list of ‘to DVR’, and will most likely be the last episode I watch. *heavy sigh* Oh well, ‘The Next Iron Chef’ is coming up and I have plenty to watch on ‘The Cooking Channel’ (I had to seriously upgrade my satellite package to get this channel!). Until then, I will be heading down to my local butcher to pick up some ‘fresh side’ for bacon making.

    Speaking of which, I will be butchering a fall lamb, and I want to use ALL of him, any suggestions for ‘out of the ordinary’ things I can do with parts most people throw away?

    • Hagan August 25, 2010, 10:10 pm

      Why don’t you make a lamb Head Cheese?

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