Food Network Star Recap: Wolfgang Puck U.

Sunday night’s episode of Food Network Star concluded with a line that would spell doom for most reality shows: “All the drama is gone.” But Jeff’s observation about the ouster of overgrown frat boy Chris and wicked witch of the kitchen Penny was missing a critical adjective: All the unneccessary drama is gone — unless, of course, the show’s producers invite Wolfgang Puck back for another round of pitbull-style guest-judging.

In all seriousness, though, Food Network Star was beginning to lose credibility with every week Chris and Penny outlasted more viable competitors, and so it wasn’t really a surprise that the selection committee finally dropped the blade of the guillotine on the duo during Season 7’s “midterm” evaluations. To her credit, Penny seemed to be experiencing a budding realization that she’d been projecting about as much on-screen charm as the Kraken, which is perhaps why her final hour on the show didn’t involve her hunched over a bubbling cauldron, cackling as she tossed screaming woodland creatures into a stew. The fascinatingly awful Chris, on the other hand, remained unapologetically doltish to the bitter end.

You knew the dude was in trouble only seconds into the Star Challenge, in which the remaining finalists were asked to prepare an over-the-top, eight-course dinner party for Wolfgang Puck using only the ingredients in their pantry. Chris announced he’d be happy with any course except dessert — and so, naturally, Whitney (who got to assign the menu order after winning the Camera Challenge) picked Chris to go last, and naturally, Chris chose to make the very same chocolate ganache cake that he’d wisely hurled into the trash during a dessert-themed challenge in Week 3. The sound of sirens filled the air and red lights began flashing when Chris proudly boasted he wasn’t bothering to measure out his cake ingredients, then started accusing his opponents of sabotage when his 350-degree oven got turned down to 300, then up to 450. Dude tried to gussy up his confection with a fancy name — chocolate cake with Tahitian vanilla creme anglaise and caramel candy — but his repeated apologies about not being a dessert expert prompted this zinger from Mr. Puck: “I’ll get to the bad comments after.” Harsh, but at least old Wolfie didn’t drag Chris back to the kitchen for a mandatory cooking lesson.

That was the cruel fate that awaited Jyll, whose lukewarm, gloppy dish so offended the five-star chef that he leapt from the table and headed to the kitchen while gleefully asking, “Can I come and show you how to make a risotto?” Look, I understand that if Jyll is going to present herself as a culinary expert worthy of her own half-hour programming block on Food Network, she’s going to have to raise her cuisine game. But on the flip side, the woman was forced to work in a cramped home kitchen with limited ingredients and a two-hour deadline, so huffing about the unacceptable temperature of her plate seemed a tad egregious. I almost felt like Wolfgang’s teaching moment was designed by the producers to crack Jyll’s perky veneer and produce some delicious tears. (Note Susie Fogelson’s remarks: “I want to see realness, not just ‘Bummer!'”) Still, the most ironic moment of Jyll’s critique came when Giada De Laurentiis, whose on-air personality is as tightly controlled as a Russian gymnast’s training schedule, had the gall to tell Jyll that in order to have a successful career as an on-camera personality, “you’re gonna have to let go a little bit.” I don’t really see how Jyll can possibly recover from this takedown, especially when her idea of offering an on-camera surprise involves maniacally screaming into the camera “No, no, no! Don’t change the channel!” Maybe next week she can make toast, to represent the state of her Food Network Star ambitions.

A few other observations from this week:

* Did anyone else die a little over the judges talking about the importance of decor at the dinner party, which turned out to be a thinly veiled excuse for a sponsorship from Target and a crossover with HGTV Design Star Sabrina Soto?

* Why did Whitney need to roast four chickens for a dinner party of six, especially seeing how that left Mary Beth and Chris battling over a tiny warming oven to deal with their own dishes?

* If I hadn’t already been rooting for Chris’ exit, I certainly would have after he tried to turn Jyll’s embarrassment into his own opportunity by creepily telling Wolfgang, “I would die to make you a risoto!” Sorry, dude, nothing was going to divert the judges’ attention from your ghastly cake! Not even your lobster and cream cheese “wrap.”

* Most unintentionally funny moment? Whitney calling her boyfriend to lament the judges’ impression that she’s uptight, and having him respond, “You kind of are uptight.” Also, on the subject of Whitney, while she does seem to be a little less robotic on camera lately, I’m not convinced that a vague reference to her sorority sisters represents the type of unique and interesting storytelling around which Food Network can build an entire show.

* For the love of guacamole, if Susie wins this thing, please don’t let her show be titled “Spice It Up.”

* Every time the producers showed a clip of Jeff’s humor “going too far” — i.e. the bran joke, or the “balls” reference — I found myself chuckling. Are the judges making a mountain out of a panini just to divert us from the fact that the Chicago funnyman is an obvious front-runner for the Season 7 crown?

* Tell me I wasn’t the only one who found it disconcerting when Susie Fogelson pretty much demanded contestant Susie share every intimate detail of her hardscrabble upbringing if she wanted to have a chance at victory. Suddenly, I could picture my favorite Food Network Star judge seated at Satan’s right hand, her sensational hair accessorized with a crown of flames, ready to feast on poor Susie’s soul.

* I wish Penny no ill will, and heck, I’m guessing her restaurant serves up delicious food. But after she taught the selection committee how to say bon appetit in Farsi, I was praying Bobby Flay would ask, “And how do you say ‘good riddance’ in your native tongue?”

What did you think of this week’s FNS? Did the judges send home the right contestants, or did Jyll or Mary Beth deserve to get cut this week? Which contestant are you most likely to watch should their FNS run yield an actual series? Sound off below, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Stacie says:

    I’m glad Penny was sent packing. I would never watch her show based on her behavior behind the scenes (which is why it’s sometimes good not to know too much about TV talent off camera!). That said, I’d love to eat her food. I’d buy a Middle Eastern cookbook of hers, for sure.

  2. L says:

    SOOO glad that Penny is finally gone and, as a bonus, Chris. Loved your recap of her over a bubbling cauldron. I loved when she said that she’s found out that she’s apparently unlikeable. No kidding!

    I still like Vic and Jeff with Susie thrown in as a possible spoiler (although I think they already have too many shows on that would feature the same kind of cooking.)

    Great recap, as usual, Michael!

  3. Brooksanne says:

    I was cheering at Penny getting the boot, I haven’t liked her since day one. While I understand her position that it is a competition and that she wasn’t there to make friends, which I think is wise in general, I mean I have never understood these shows where you see the people rooting for, cheering for, giving advice and pep talks to the people that are the very people they are trying to beat. But with that all said, Penny took it too far, and as she was told last week, they are a family the food network chefs, and she would need to get along with others, which I am not convinced she is capable of doing.

    I am rooting for Vic, I picked him episode one, I always pick someone to root for from the start, and he was my pony this time, and after a very shaky start he has really shown flashes of a show I think I would watch, but along with your comments about not calling Susie’s show “Spice it up” I am not sure I would watch a show called Mama’s boy, but maybe it is just me.

    Other thoughts, I like Sandwiches but would not watch a whole show about them every week especially with Jeff hosting, I like Susie, Whitney is growing on me, Mary Beth I am not a fan of and think she should have been cut weeks ago, perhaps instead of Orchid, I really like Jyll… I think I would watch her show, so I am glad she is still there… for my money I still want Vic to win, with Jyll being my second choice, at least for now :)

  4. Bob says:

    Glad Penny is gone. She didn’t have the personality to host a TV show AND there can only be ONE “cleavage queen” on the Food Network – Giada!

    • darclyte says:

      Yeah, as much as I’d LOVE for FN to have a Middle Eastern Food series, and Penny does have some amazing boobage, I just can’t get past neither her personality nor her resemblance to Paul Stanley of KISS.

  5. darclyte says:

    I still think booting Orchid last week was a mistake. She has more potential to be a star on FN than Mary Bland, err, I mean Mary Beth, who has YET to produce a great dish, and I believe has only presented ONE decent dish. She says that she can write about food better than anyone? Really? Why haven’t I heard of her before this series then? She’s better than Michael Ruhlman, Andrew Knowlton, Jeffrey Steingarten, Gail Simmons, or Anthony Bourdain? Seriously? Also, I STILL think that she looks like the Guy Fawkes mask from “V For Vendetta.”

    Chris should have been gone long ago, so no loss there. While Penny also had no chance at winning, I thought that her food would keep her around one more week and Mary Beth would have (justly) gotten the boot. But, it really doesn’t matter as the clear front runners are Jeff and Vic with Susie the “dark horse.” Whitney is pretty, has a great smile, and is a solid cook, but her lack or personality should prevent her from winning. Likewise with Jyll who’s personality is just “generic plastic.” At least Whitney is trying to “be herself” while Jyll is trying to be an even stiffer Sandra Lee.

    BTW, I found out last week that Vic first tried out back in 2008, and in his audition video (which can be seen on youtube,) it starts with showing a clip of him as a competitor on an episode of Food Network Challenge. So, even if he doesn’t win, I can see them working with him in some capacity as they have with many other runner ups over the past few years because it seems that someone there likes him.

    • dan says:

      I must admit I was shocked that Penny got the boot instead of Mary Beth. The judges made a point of saying that Penny’s food was always good and Mary Beth’s was bland. Even though I had no expectation of Penny winning this thing, I thought she’d be the sixth person going to NYC next week. Glad Chris is finally gone. He should’ve left last week and Orchid should’ve stayed at least one or two more weeks (still can’t believe they got rid of her before Chris, Jyll and Penny…none of whom had/have a chance of winning).

    • tnsmoke says:

      I remembered Vic right away from seeing him on Food Network Challenge years ago. The twist was that after he planned this huge Italian meal they brought in his parents to do the cooking and all he was allowed to do was give them directions. It was painful. His Dad was taking trays of meatballs out and feeding the studio audience, food that was supposed to go the the Judges…lol. His Mother wouldn’t listen to anything he said. Vic was defeated and deflated. Glad to see him shining on this show.

      • Cheryl says:

        Ok, THAT’S where I remember Vic from! Thanks for jogging my memory. Now I’m gonna root for him doubly hard because he was such a genuine sweetheart on that show. When things started going wrong he took it with humor and it was clear how much he loved his family – even if he maybe wanted to hit them with grandma’s rolling pin at the time.

  6. Saracen Riggins says:

    Slezak, I completely agree with your assessment of Giada. She is very “Jyll” like in her own show, so I find it ironic that she points out the same flaws in Jyll.
    GOOD RIDDANCE to Penny and Chris. I think Chris made it WAY too far. Penny is awful, but her food seemed pretty incredible. So, at least she stuck around for that at least.
    I would watch Susie any day over FN’s current Mexican girl. I find her completely unwatchable. Maybe she’ll win and take over ;) But in actuality (even though I find her a possibility), the frontrunners truly are…
    Jeff and Vic. And I love them both. My personal slight edge goes to Jeff. I just find him extremely real and relatable. And I DO love sandwiches!

    • Sue says:

      If FN ever cancels “Mexican Made Easy” I’ll be very upset. I love the show and its host Marcella Valladolid. The show is very watchable and I make her show appointment television.

  7. Saracen Riggins says:

    Oh. And one more thing. I love the judging panel on this show. What a difference in comparison with the likes of something like American Idol. I love the intelligent way they talk about things and the looks of confusion they give the contestants when they’re whining about trivial things.
    I also LOVE it when Bobby Flay throws the smackdown (especially on Chris!). Normally, I find it a bit off-putting when someone whose so likable shows a side like this, but I find his authoritative side so appealing and so warrented. And even a bit attractive ;)

    • Cheryl says:

      I agree that these judges are a cut above most competition shows. However, I wish they would stick to giving practical tips and stop with the attempted personality makeovers. I really think they messed with Orchid’s head, telling her she needed to be more this and more that. It clearly made her more self-conscious and unsure of herself as time went on. People cannot – and SHOULD not – remake their personalities in a week or two. On the other hand, I remember how the excellent advice given to Melissa D. a few seasons back – to consciously calm herself down and slow her speaking pace – helped her to grow into a winner. Those same kind of specific, practical suggestions have helped Vic and Susie develop into contenders.

  8. Beth T says:

    Michael – as usual your recap gave me some much needed laughs. The Kraken – BWAH! :D
    I absolutely thought it was high time for both Chris and Penny to be gone. I’ve been hoping MaryBeth would step it up a bit, because I actually like her, but I haven’t seen any improvement in her cooking and I think she probably should be next to go.
    I know I’m in a minority – but I like Jyll quite a lot. I don’t find her “plastic” at all and her good temper doesn’t seem forced or fake to me. I’m glad Wolfgang Puck gave her props for not breaking down and not pleased with Susie F’s comment (though generally I like Susie F’s notes) becaue I thought it was an inaccurate portrayal of what happened and totally discounted Jyll’s explanation.
    That said, I do think Jeff and Vic are probably stronger contenders, and Susie had definitely grown on me.

  9. Gretchen says:

    Well, that was a happy ending. I thought for sure Jyll or Mary Beth would have been gone, as the judges seemed against letting the “drama duo” (Chris and Penny) go. I was hoping the judges would give Penny a harder time about her attitude, saying she “had no warmth” was too easy. She has a downright bitter, entitled attitude.
    I can see them giving the win to Susie or Jyll as they’d fit right in–both are rather bland and will toe the line, just like Melissa D’Arabian. Jeff and Vic would do better on the more cutting-edge, innovative Cooking Channel where the hosts have personality and do more than “harried mom on the go” shows.

  10. Buddy says:

    The whole “Balls On The Roll” thing was so blown out of proportion. Just the other day I was watching “Eat St.” on Cooking Channel and they did a profile on a food truck called “Great Balls On Tires” which served up international meatballs and made all the kinds of puns Jeff did. I’m not sure how it’s offensive exactly. It allowed both he and Susie to serve home style family recipes, even if Whitney couldn’t figure out her chickpea situation. That’s not his fault.

    • Gretchen says:

      I giggled when I saw the name of that truck on Eat Street. All the fuss did was make the selection committee seem like they were very uptight and want a very vanilla network.

      I watch Food Network Star because I enjoy cooking competitions like this, not like the ones FN has every night, but I barely TiVo any shows on Food Network. All the good food/cooking shows are on the Cooking Channel. Shows with opinions, different styles, interesting, non-pre-processed, non-uptight hosts. As a single woman in my mid-30s living in a big city, CC appeals to me more.

    • Stephanie says:

      I saw the epi of Eat St. right after NFNS and it was so obvious Jeff stole the idea from that truck. That completely turned me off of him, if he has to steal ideas he’s in the same boat as Michael on Top Chef All-Stars–originality is so important, especially in a competition like this. Vic is my favorite, and I didn’t like him much in the beginning. He’s the strongest contender.

      • Gretchen says:

        Is Jeff from LA? The Eat Street episode was a new one, and FNS filmed several months ago, so how, exactly, did he “steal” the idea?

        • Cheryl says:

          If Jeff did steal this idea he should learn to steal from better sources. I wasn’t “offended” by the concept – I just thought it was childish and cringingly unfunny. When you go for humour and miss, you’re gonna fall flat on your face – and they did.

  11. T alam says:

    To L – there is only one Mexican cooking show that I know of, I think it is fine to have two or three shows featuring Mexican cooking if it is okay that there are tons of cooking shows featuring Italian food.

    I didn’t like Penny but I thought Mary Beth should have went this week. I do not care if she is comfortable in front of the camera, she made way more misses than hits (maybe only two hits), I will never ever watch show from a cook who doesn’t know how to really cook. She is a lawyer turned food writer who probably took cooking as a hobby and is still a student. She cannot teach me anything. She shouldn’t not have been on the show in the first place let alone made it this far, her addition hurts the credibility of the show.

    Jyll feels fake, Whitney only a had a few good moments, Jeff is not really a sandwich king (his best dish being tofu lettuce cups) and he is definitely not the frontrunner, Mary Beth has no right to be there, in the end it will come down to Vic and Susie.

    Why can’t Food Network post all of the recipes except for the bad ones (Chris’ and Mary Beth’s) I really want to try Penny’s dolmas but all they have for this episode is Whitney’s food which is not appealing to me at all. Roast chicken and gazpacho soup, this is the first time I have seen recipes for those dishes…rolls eyes.

  12. Templar says:

    For starters: Mary Beth must go. She is irritating in the manner of a team leader who is in over her head. She can’t cook and has a schoolteacher attitude. That being said, Vic is my choice to win because he is relatable and apparently his food is good. Giada [Miss Priss] would probably point out to you, Michael, that there are two Ts in risotto. But, I won’t.

  13. T alam says:

    Ahh I made so many grammar mistakes, if only there was an edit option.

  14. Eddie says:

    I am getting very tired of the judges. I’d like to see Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman both removed. They really are tiresome. Bob is a cliche and Susie is overbearing. Giada just parrots Susie, out of fear I suppose.

    • darclyte says:

      Unfortunately Bob and Susie are the execs who are in charge of talent, so we’re stuck with them although I’d LOVE to see FN replace Bob & Susie with Al Roker and Gordon Elliott. Giada as a judge is a joke because her criticism of Jyll is similar to what people have criticized her for. BTW, there are some VERY funny screen caps from episodes of Giada’s first season where the food she made didn’t turn out correctly and she can’t hide it on her face. Also, if you look up “bitch face” there should be a photo of Giada. She practically has patented that look.

  15. C King says:

    Once again you made me laugh out loud at your description of Penny. I can just see her stirring that cauldron, throwing her head back and cackling “I’m going to get you my little pretties”. I was glad to see Chris go as well.
    Mary Beth and Jyll don’t seem to have the chops needed to do any kind of show when it comes to food. Vic and Susie are my favorites and have been since the start but Jeff keeps growing on me.
    I agree with T alam. I would love to have the recipe for Penny’s dolmas. I will have to check to see if Susie’s “ball” soup (I don’t know how to spell it) is on the site an where.

  16. Laura says:

    As much as I disliked Penny, her food did look amazing – and always got really good comments from the judges. I think that the food network was taking stock of people’s comments from columns like this and other blogs and getting rid of her because people hated her so much. Sad for her in a way b/c are there any good middle eastern cooking shows? I like Susie and Jeff for both their culinary points of view and their watchability.

    • dan says:

      Our comments about the show and contestants have nothing to do with the judges’ decision. This season is already done filming. In fact, the winner’s shows that will air have probably already been filmed (or are being filmed this summer).

    • Gretchen says:

      The show was filmed a few months ago, was it not? So I doubt if blogs like this had much to do with the judges’ choice.

    • edward says:

      I’m pretty sure all the episodes were filmed months ago. And they don’t really take a week, but a few days. Most of these weekly competition shows happen over a long month or so of taping, then edited up into episodes. The only ones that don’t do that are the “stage” competitions like American Idol, SYTYCD, etc.
      They have sometimes done the last episode / announcement live, but the others are pre-taped to generate the arc they know will happen at the end. So no, they were not responding to the internet hate-fest of Penny. My guess is that the judges do review the tapes, maybe rough cuts of the early episodes and such, like this time at the “mid-term” mark. It would quickly become apparent to anyone that Penny would turn the audience off.

    • H. Don Ewing says:

      It was so great to see Penny and Chris go. Penny has been so unlikable from the first episode, and Chris has been overbearingly immature from the beginning.

      I knew Chris was toast when he started trashing his own dessert when it was brought out. Anyone with any common sense–apparently Chris has none–would have described his own dish he prepared as great tasting, even though he knew it was bad. The judges might have said, as they have many times with Mary Beth, that the description is perfect but the taste, not so much.

      I’m rooting for Vic, Jeff and Whitney as the final three, with Vic being my favorite. Whitney was my favorite in the beginning, but she has stumbled several times; I was pleasantly surprised that when she won the TV challenge this week and is gong to New York. Jeff is such a nice guy; he certainly has more common sense in his little finger than Chris had in his entire body.

  17. Joe E in the IE says:

    This season has passed the point of no return, and, sad to say, it will be impossible to watch the winner’s show without seeing the face Food Network chose to personify Food Network Star and the network’s new “Food Fights EVERY Night!” philosophy.

    Move over, Hardy Boys and Amy Findlay. This season’s winner is already heading your way.

  18. dan says:

    I’ve been watching this show since the beginning when the audience used to vote for the winner. They stopped doing that after Amy won (she only lasted on season and then apparently decided not to be a chef or tv star) and now the judges pick the winner. Ever since then the selection committee seems to have a “type” that they’re going for. That is why Orchid wasn’t going to win this year (she is too much like last year’s winner Aarti as has been mentioned here many times before). For the same reason, I don’t see Jyll winning. She is too much like Melissa D’Arabian and even Sandra Lee. Many on this site have said Whitney is similar to Rachel Ray; I don’t think Whitney’s personality is anything close to Rachel’s personality, but she isn’t winning. Neither is Mary Beth. Too many reasons to mention, the most important of which is that she can’t seem to cook and that is apparently a requirement to have a show on the Food Network. It was clear from the beginning that Chris and Penny had no chance of winning (neither did the lisper who was the former model…I forgot her name). I think the judges (ie: “the network”) are looking for a guy to win and not for another Guy (Fieri) to win, so Vic is probably out. Jeff seems to be the front-runner although they are hedging their bets with Susie. In fact, I thought Suzie Fogelson’s inquiry with Susie about her family history may have been the network’s way of “warming” Susie up to the audience. I think the final three will clearly be Vic, Jeff and Susie with Jeff or Susie the most likely winner. I’d be fine with either of them winning and I’d be OK with Vic, but he is just too similar to Guy Fieri to have his own niche at the network.

    • Stephanie says:

      How on earth are Orchid and Aarti “exactly alike”? Orchid is Filipino and was raised in the South, so she does Asian/Southern fusion food. Aarti does Indian food. They are nice ethnic cooks? Uh, yeah. Makes total sense.

      • TV execs are notorious for being very limited in how they view people, and the “average” FN viewer hasn’t been shown to be much better. Both Aarti and Orchid have “exotic” names, both are bubbly, chubby, “ethnic” types who cook “non-American” food. So in the minds of tv network execs and perhaps “Middle-America” they are similar enough to be “confusing.”

  19. CA says:

    It was readily apparent that last night’s judging took more than just the evenings events into consideration. This was the first time when I feel that judges really looked the contestant as a whole and not just the days competition….and that is why Penny got the boot. The woman can cook — no doubt about it. But her attempts to “warm” to the camera were too little and way too late. Chris was going regardless — both for his crappy chocolate cake and his performance to date.

    Vic really does have a wonderful personality and can cook — he just freezes on camera. He has great potential — almost like a Guy Fieri that could do well on the network. Just needs to get past his camera issues.

    Susie also has that same potential. And I agree with MS in his recap — was it really necessary to reduce that poor girl to tears?

    Jeff is now the dark horse. If he can pull it together, be might just be the winner.

  20. ten says:

    I’m glad that Chris is gone and Bobby Flay was spot on about his food and immaturity. As for Penny, I would have prefered her to go to NYC than Mary Beth. Mary Beth’s food on TV did not look appealing. I would have loved Penny to win if she had a better personality because Americans need to be educated on different foods from different cultures and Middle Eastern food is pretty healthy and delicious!

  21. Barry says:

    I’m happy with the eliminations this week. Chris definitely needed to go – he was just a overgrown frat boy who couldn’t take criticism. Penny’s food was always good but you can’t taste over the TV and her personality would never translate into something that people would watch. She was just to hard and not really very genuine. I agree that Jeff/Susie/Vic will be the final 3.

    Best quote of the night – Bobby muttering “Oh Jesus” under his breath as Wolfgang led Jyll to the kitchen for her risotto lesson.

    • Gretchen says:

      Poor Bobby Flay. I think he realized in that moment having contestants who can’t really cook something as basic as risotto reflects very poorly on the selection committee.

      Can you see any of the line up this season handling Top Chef? I can’t. Well, maybe Penny. Likewise, I can’t imagine any of the Top Chef contestants being happy on FNS.

    • Vickie says:

      I totally agree with you Barry. I am also happy with this weeks eliminations, even though I think Penny should have been long gone. I agree that Vic/Susie/Jeff will be the final 3.

  22. Ru says:

    I’m sorry, but at season 7 for this and about the same for design star, I feel as though all the really unique talents have been mined. None of these contestants interest me, so much so that I stopped watching at week 3. I read the updates because I’m curious, but I can’t see myself watching any of these shows.

    Maybe they need to start doing the show every other year or something, in order to let some new and interesting ideas percolate to the top of the pile.

  23. topsyturvy says:

    True about Giada telling Jyll to “let go.” Pot, meet kettle.

    It’s almost as funny as the judges telling people the fact that the camera drains them of energy and personality is a stumbling block to getting a show on the network. Have the judges never seen The Barefoot Contezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzza?

    • H. Don Ewing says:

      Speaking of ‘Barefoot Contessa’, I have a love-hate relationship with Ina Garten. She drives me to distraction with her rhetorical questions–“How easy is that?” and “Who wouldn’t like that?”. She really needs to come up with some new ones. Her “Jeffery this and Jeffery that” is also very annoying and all of her fabulous friends, blah, blah, blah.

      With that said, her recipes are always good, and she does give some good tips on cooking.

      • Cathy says:

        I agree, can’t stand Ina! She always has this sanctimonious grin on her face, and just annoys me.

        I don’t think Penny should have gone home last night; having said that, though, I think she should have gone home earlier. Jyll or Mary Beth need to go, and I really thought they were both goners instead of Penny. I mean, if Wolfgang Puck has to show you how to make a risotto, then she should have been out of there. And I don’t get the impression that anyone really likes Mary Beth’s food, so if that’s the case, why is she still there?

        Would have liked to have seen Orchid stay; felt she was trying, and still was better in the kitchen than Mary Beth or Jyll, and could work on her on-screen presentation skills and was warmer and friendlier than Penny.

      • Templar says:

        I, too, have a problem with Ina Garten. Not with her Jeffrey this & that, and not with her collection of gay guys who are her closest friends. For me, it’s her phony “heh heh heh” laugh. She sounds very unsure of herself when she does that, as though she’s testing to see if anyone else laughs with her.

  24. DEB says:

    I am frequently puzzled when people go on a show to “audition” for a position on a television show and completely forget that part of the HGTV, FoodNetWork, or other brand is personality. Are they seriously trying out to be the next Insert-Network-STAR using the MTV Real World formula of being the most outrageous, unlikeable, “I’ll do anything for screen time” person in the group?
    HINT: If people don’t like you on the audition show, they’re not going to watch a show where you are featured.

  25. T alam says:

    While Giada is no Paula Deen, I think there is still a difference between her and Jyll in that she is herself, and she acts natural whereas Jyll conveys a fake persona. You are left wondering if she rehearsed and rehearsed her lines in her head. I felt more embarrassed for when she was screaming at the camera (and actually thought that is what Flay asked for) than when she got a cooking lesson from Puck. I didn’t find any of her dishes memorable either.

    • Piper says:

      To be fair, Giada grew up in a show biz family and was in front of cameras her whole life. Not in the public eye, but a center of attention in a large family. That makes a difference.

  26. Lacey says:

    As terrible as Penny is around the women in the house, she probably should have beaten Jyll. And, for that matter, RoboWhitney. Her food was great, her on-camera personality needed work, but at least she had some on-camera personality (so she shouldn’t have gone home a la Justin B.).

  27. JJ says:

    I’ve thought about this for a week. Puck’s taking Jyl into the kitchen to give her a cooking lesson really rubbed me the wrong way. If he was serious about helping her he would have done it off camera….if he was wanting to humiliate her he succeeded, bad manners and unthinking behavior…ugh.