I may be off by an ep or two, but by my estimation we're about at the halfway mark with The Next Food Network Star. Last week we lost the divalicious Nipa. Based on how our remaining lovely contestants have been doing, this is my best guess at who is ripe for elimination, starting with the most likely:
I don't know. I just have this feeling she's less likely to go home than Shane. Call it a hunch.
Annoying, yes, but the judges have just gone apeshit over her lately!
Last week was a fluke. He's going to the finale.
Another aside: when you Google "next food network star 4" (not in quotes), this blog is the sixth webpage listed, specifically my analysis of the June 22 episode. Nifty!
10:00 It still makes me squeamish to see Nipa get so grossed out over touching raw seafood. Just kidding - it's hilarious!
10:01 And Adam works out for us. It's finally hit him like a rubber chicken that he needs to go ixnay on the apstickslay
10:03 And it's Cat Cora! Today's quickfire challenge: create an original dish from the ingredients in a pic-a-nic basket in front of you and describe it on camera.
I'm not going to begin describing what they're doing and what they're doing it with - too fast!
10:04 Was Kelsey's hand bleeding into the pan? That was weird.
Ah, so these guys have to find better, more literary ways to describe their food. Is this one of those "What does purple taste like?" exercises?
10:05 I see. They're describing somebody else's dish. Evil, Cat, evil. But they get to taste it and look at it first.
10:06 Kelsey: Mmmm! It's like roast beef and mashed potatoes and gravy and blueberry pie! And why am I turning blue, er, red? And sweating like this OH MY FUCKING GOD I'M ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!!! That's habanero flank steak for ya'. DRINK!
10:07 Shane has cod and fennel. Did anyone else think it looked mucous-y to them?
10:08 Adam and Aaron do each other's dishes. Adam goes first with Aaron's delicious cake. Beautiful was a good adjective to use. No, DON'T stuff half the cake in your mouth, dude! ***EYES ROLL*** Oh, and DRINK!
10:09 Aaron's not such a big fan of Adam's Dried Shit Ache Mushrooms.
10:10 Lisa's doing well with Jen's pork and mango. She really likes it. I actually think she did okay. This is something Lisa is working on, but she strikes Cat as a phony. Like, oh ma GO-od!
10:11 Like, I think this is linguine. What the hell is this thing on my plate? Mmmm.
Yup, Jen's goin' home tonight. DRINK for every thing she does to foreshadow it.
10:12 Wow, Shane won, because he best described the ingredients.
"But wait, you have yet another challenge" - No, Chef Cora, say it ain't so!
10:16 And now the elimination challenge. Adam channel his mom for the following:
Take a gourmet dish and translate it for the average home cook, from bag to table in 45 minutes
They have to choose one of the following to make in 45 minutes, with a separate side dish:
beef wellington, coq au vin, and turducken, each of which takes a very long time to make.
Shane and Kelsey are working together, as are Adam and Aaron, and Lisa and Jen. Shane gets to choose everybody's dishes since he won the first challenge. Oh, and the winners of this challenge get their creations in Bon Appétit Magazine! (Edited, conveniently, by Cat Cora)
10:19 Lisa curses the day Shane was born. Lisa (to Shane): Bitch, you goin' doooooooooown...
Good for Adam: he plans to listen this time.
10:20 Ouchie! Lisa does not want Jen around since she sucks. "NOBODY be walkin' all over JEN!"
10:21 Fun in the kitchen! Coq au vin takes two days to make (note to self: try to make it sometime). Aaron has a sick feeling about Adam's bad timing issues, so raw chicken breast on the bone?
10:22 Guess who got it right? Yep, Aaron. Smack that man, Aaron! But only after you deal with
10:23 Aaron: "The plates look disgusting" as if they've been plated by a three-year old. C'mon, Aaron, be generous! That's first-grader quality you're lookin' at.
10:27 Aaron: "Adam and I 'reinvented' coq au vin in 45 minutes." You could say that...
10:28 So for their coq au vin, Aaron describes it and Adam talks about how he feels about it. Aaron wants to tear his head off.
10:29 Kill him, Aaron, kill him. The guest judge said that Aaron looked nervous, and the polenta looked like scrambled eggs. Kinda snotty I think. Hey, the second thing tonight that looks like mucous. DRINK!!!
10:30 Turducken in 45 minutes? Yes, when you use chicken medallions for the outside and chicken sausage inside! Jen curses over gourd medallions. Oh shoot, did she just break that bottle over the food!?!? DRINK!!!
10:31 Lisa loves that glass-coated turkey! Mmmm! Say, what's that proteiny flavor in my mouth? Tastes like blood. Sadly that's the only flavor it has.
10:32 Lisa plates aaaaaaaall byyyyy heeeeer-er-er-er-er-seeeelf!
10:33 Now this wasn't what I was thinking about Leese, but they told her that she had to be less domineering and bossy. I know what y'all must be thinking. I didn't say it! I just think that's a rude thing for the judges to say.
10:34 Damnit I have to see Adam Roberts' FN Dish some time! It's probably better than this show.
10:35 Oh, looks like the Food Network has its own little quarterlife series with Ask Aida!
10:36 Why doesn't anyone just call a fucking green bean a green bean?
10:37 And the hour turducken with squash becomes a tur-cken with green beans. Dry and boring, but it's better than bleeding all over your food.
10:38 And the young'uns attack beef wellington. Shane wrings hands over his creamed pearl onions and Kelsey annoys some roasted veggies.
Love those plates, though. And these guys actually look to be the most on top of things of anyone. Guess lack of experience doesn't necessarily mean you suck after all!
10:40 Visually disgusting, though the fillet was tasty and cooked well. Long story short: it tastes better than it looks!
10:44 I have revised my list of who's most likely to go home tonight. Based on how things are going so far:
10:45 So how do the judges feel?
Shane & Kelsey - For the quickfire, Kelsey only discusses the taste (you nothing, you). Kelsey is too pixie-like to be authoritative. And shut up about culinary school! You still sound like a student! For Bon Appétit, again it was ugly but delicious.
10:47 Jen & Lisa - Jen doesn't seem to know her noodles, her anything about the food. Really, does anyone want a chef that has no idea what the hell her ingredients were? And they had to throw away the duck confit, again Jen's fault. Lisa has a moment, and the judges give her that pep talk. Presentation-wise: Jen exuded confidence.
10:49 Aaron & Adam - Aaron didn't do too well describing Adam's dish, apparently. As for the coq au vin, what the hell do you think they'll do in 45 minutes with a two-day dish? Adam is still here solely on the basis of his personality. Dude, your food sucks. As for Aaron, he is self-editing. Use words that the hoity toity chefs don't understand! Even if they have to replay them during that stupid Circle Back moment.
10:52 Hmmm, I'm starting to think they'll send Adam home instead, based on that "Your food just is not good" comment that Tuschie made. Still, losing half your dish because you broke a glass bottle of juice over it? That's knuckle-headed-ry in action for ya!
10:53 Can it be said again that Duff does in fact rock? He follows this episode.
10:55 Okay, I still stand by Jen being the one kicked out this week. But if I'm wrong then it will definitely be Adam. Jen or Adam, but more likely Jen - that's my prediction.
10:56 And now the moment of truth... First, Barbara Fairchild and Chef Cora choose Team Shane and Kelsey as the winners. Did anyone not see this coming?
10:57 Lisa is also safe, as is Aaron.
10:58 And it's down to Adam who has given them one good dish. One. And to Jen, who has no expertise at all!
10:59 Wow, I was right for a change! Adam is safe for just one more week, as for once Jen is the one receiving the apologies instead of giving them.
And it really sucks for the final five, as they have to spend airtime with Rachael Ray on her syndicated show. Seriously, I'd jump out a window. Okay.
11:00 And Duff talks about Guy Fieri (pronounced the Bawlamoronic way, Fi-air-ee, instead of Guy's way, Fi-Eddie) coming to Charm City for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, while Duff brings a massive guitar-shaped cake to Paula Deen and she... no, I'm tired of the frying jokes. She did not fry the cake. But I bet y'all could've seen that wisecrack coming! Question though: to get to Savannah's most famous chef, why does Duff have to go north?
POST-GAME ANALYSIS - I've read many a mean-spirited comment about Jen. I even got an anonymous comment that said some stuff I really didn't want to print about her (maybe if the post hadn't been anonymous, since some of you probably know my policy on negative anonymous comments*). But it was indeed time for her to go home. Her and Adam - in fact, I would've been fine with the judges kicking them both out tonight. I'm really wondering how Adam has stuck around for so long. Ah well - maybe he'll shape up by next week? Who knows?
*Negative comments are fine. Anonymous comments are fine. Negative anonymous comments are not fine - back up what you have to say with an identity!