Monday, June 14, 2010

The Next Food Network Star 6 Episode 2 Recap


This episode was rife with funny faces. Funnier than usual. You'll see what I mean as we go along.

First the Wanna-bes meet up with Crest Spokesmodel and Food Star Mentor Giada DeLaurentiis in the Star Kitchen to learn the fundamentals:


I didn't notice this last week, but the first challenge of the episode has a name now too, "Camera Challenge." Just think of it as the Quickfire, but with even more cameras. And less talent.

Giada gives the Wanna-bes a recipe for an 11-step vegetable lasagna dish. Each of them are to take one step and present it on camera in one minute. Hilarity ensues.

Aarti says one line and then goes blank for the next 50 seconds. Serena makes up for Aarti's lack of words by speaking so fast she could demo the entire recipe in her minute. Here, let Aria demonstrate the speed at which Serena delivered her lines:


Crazy fast.

Dzintra takes her turn and tells us, confidentially, that she feels like she can't prove herself. Oh, I think she's doing that fine - she's proving that she's not FN material. She's forced. She's ditzy. Make that Dzitzy. DAS tells us he needs to get the "access" water out of the spinach while squeezing it to death. Last week he was making punching motions at the camera, this week he's rough on his vegetables. Is there an anger management problem we need to know about? Or is he just trying to out-douchebag Guy Fieri?


When it's Aria's turn, she talks to the camera like it's a two-year-old. Doreen makes angry faces. Boring Brad says the word "nice" about four times. He's nice. And boring.

After all 11 are done, Giada politely rips them all a new one and sends them home to bed without any supper. Once there, Aarti boos and hoos over her faarti performance. That girl has quite the serious case of low self-esteem.

The next day, the Wanna-bes enter the Food Star Kitchen to find it chock-a-block full of lollipops, candy apples, cotton candy, etc. One expects an Oompa Loompa to jump out at any minute.


Instead, Ace of Cakes' Duff Goldman emerges to give the Wanna-bes their next challenge.


A fortune-telling machine with creepy side-glancing eyes chooses candies for each of the contestants. They must use these tooth-rotting treats as inspiration for savory "bites" for the party.


Oh, why not? I'll betcha he knows at least as much about food as Sandra Lee. And he's only half as creepy.

The Wanna-bes scurry to start their dishes. The low-lights:

Serena, who got "a-chocolate covered a-waffle" or something like that, is making marinara sauce, which of course evokes waffles in my mind. Suuuuure. She tells us her grandmother is the patron saint of Marinara and she starts praying to her.


Dzintra is assigned cotton candy, which she thinks is the toughest material to work with. Honey, it's just sugar. The possibilities are endless, and she chooses to use all of them in three course mess of berries, duck, and meringues. Last week she was lame, but this week she's from outer space.


Doreen decides to transform her root beer float into root beer sauced pulled pork. A great idea, on paper, but proper pulled pork takes many hours to achieve perfect tenderness. Brad also has a great porcine idea - he's smoking pork with peanut shells, to mimic at least the shape of the sweet he got stuck with: circus peanuts. Now that's an abomination of a candy if there ever was one. The fortune telling machine assigns  "banana split" to Aria and she's making her interpretation with meatballs and garlic bread. Huh? Anyway, she's using every available oven in order to make 300 meatballs.

After prep work is done, the contestants pack their stuff and head off to the party, which is held at the Santa Monica Pier. There's an hour left to finish dishes and start serving but Aria realizes she's fifty meatballs short. (There's a joke in there somewhere.) She somehow manages to have several pounds of ground beef handy and is able to produce more, without ovens, in an amusement park. She's got to get points for that, no?

The guests arrive and we find that Paul has sucky people skills. Dzintra's personality is so off-putting, a guest says it makes you want to walk away. Brianna hands out dishes like an automaton and all but refuses to engage her audience. Then there's Doreen. Doreen. Ah. Her pulled pork is of course tough, and to make matters worse for her, she has yet to voice her point-of-view in an intelligible manner. She "baffles" Bride of Fogelstein.


Blurry, too.

And while Brad's peanut-smoked pork seems a good idea, the peanut shells got scorched and imparted an unpleasant burnt flavor to the meat.


On the positive side, Aarti makes people happy with both her personality and her food. But...when the judges come over to taste her creative interpretation of funnel cakes, her lack of self-esteem makes her say stupid things like, "I can't do anything." A shame, because she's a really likable person - she's adorable, has a sweet British accent, and seems bubbly and fun without being obnoxious. And she's a full-figured gal - we need more of us on TV!


The judges also love Serena - surprise! Despite her rapid-fire delivery, the gal can cook and Saint Nonna really delivered with the marinara.

Back at the studio, in front of the Selection Committee, the Wanna-bes are properly excoriated by the law firm of Tushface, Fogelstein, and Flay. Serena, Aarti, DAS, and Aria end up on top of the heap, with a very surprised Aarti taking the win. On the bottom are Doreen, Paul, and Dzintra, with Doreen being asked to leave. No surprise there - I thought she would be out last week.


Next week: more douchebags! More fun!