Food Network Star
Meet the Press-Ure
Original Air Date: Jun 24, 2012
Melanie – TwoCents Reviewer
Things are heating up as the teams dismantle, for judging purposes, and those who were sliding by on the good work of their team mates must now stand on their own work alone. Finally! Now we can watch as those who don’t have it are picked off one by one and the cream of the crop can rise!
I started watching this episode completely convinced that finally Malcolm would be gone, and stop getting in the way of others who had more to offer. Let’s just say, I was shocked at who ended up on the bottom, and missed out on their chance to attend the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
Not only did they say good-bye to working as a team but also to having their producer/mentor by their side for the challenge. Wow. Now that is the way to separate the hopefuls with potential from the hopeless! They challenged the hopefuls to make a bite, one single bite, that clearly communicated who they are. They would present this bite in a 90 second EPK – electronic press kit – before the judges and some representatives of the media.
Right away, I’m thinking Malcolm, Ippy, Yvan, and Nikki will be bombing this challenge. They are the ones I most question having the personality for the job. They have the cooking chops, no doubt they make great food, but the concerns for how they come across on camera don’t seem to be finding a resolution.
In the end, it was Martita and Emily who ended up having the most trouble with this challenge. Focus was put on the story, on their sharing something about themselves that would tell the media why they take an interest in them. Food Network Stars, for the most part, are people who let us a little bit into their lives as well as their kitchens. If you can’t share stories and parts of yourself with the viewer, you can’t do the job!
Martita always talks about how she’s a great storyteller, how she has all these stories, but she’s concerned about sharing because she’ll get emotional and want to go fly home. She presents a perfectly delicious flauta with butternut squash, corn, black beans, and chile poblano but she makes the major faux pas of leaving 30 seconds of dead air! Definitely tops for the most uncomfortable moments, as she finishes and then gets the cue that 30 seconds remain. Not knowing what to do, she stands there and smiles uncomfortably while they wait for the time to run out. Mortifying!
Emily, on the other hand, is determined not to talk about her family, for reasons unknown. She also can’t express comfortably or satisfactorily WHY she has the POV she does. Why retro dishes and fashion? What makes her tick? She won’t share, opting instead to discuss her Perfect Bite of Thanksgiving’s ingredients. Very uncharacteristic for her, there is a lot of stumbling and discomfort. It was a mess.
The final bottom was Nikki. It wasn’t so much her presentation as her dish. In an attempt to answer the question of her aggressiveness she tried to show another side, her soft side, with flower garnishes on the plate and by grilling a scallop over red meat. This made her look like she was suffering from an identity crisis! Not good!
Standouts this week were Yvan, who presented arepas like his Grandma would make. When pinned down to reveal why food was important to him, he talked about growing up without enough and dumpster diving behind grocery stores to get food for the table. Needless to say, there were tears!
Marty also managed to do her presentation in the time limit, without going on and on, and presenting a succinct and pointed story about why she throws parties – so she won’t be left out again! As a lover of dessert, I desperately wanted to eat her chocolate cake roulade.
Unfortunately, Malcolm managed to somehow pull an energetic performance out of his hat (darn it!) and Justin charmed again (with a peanut butter stuffed date that included fish and duck like he made with his Dad – YUCK!) even though he did not charm me! I was also disappointed that they like Michelle as much as they did, even though she let the fear of the time constraint dampen her personality.
So Emily, Nikki, and Martita faced off with the challenge of making the perfect burger to represent who they are. Emily went for a classic diner burger, using several meats to make it delicious and moist. Nikki also made a classic burger, like she would make for her Dad (who she invoked in her video). Martita made a torta, which is a Mexican style sandwich, gearing the flavors towards what her youngest sister would like.
In the end, and much to my (and my husbands!) shock, Emily’s desire not to reveal anything about her family, and thus herself, sent her home. I really liked her point of view, and felt like she had a lot to teach, but if she wouldn’t bring us in to her world she couldn’t stand a chance.
Who will be the next to go? For me it’s still Malcolm, it’s only a matter of time!