Initial Reactions To The Season Eight Premiere Of The Next Food Network Star

So, last night the new season of Next Food Network Star premiered. This eighth season of the popular competition series flipped the script by changing up the format of the series. This time around, Bobby Flay, Alton Brown and Giada De Laurentiis have each chosen five contestants to be part of their team. The teams do some kind of challenge and then the two teams that don’t win send one person into the Pitch Room along with the coach and they have to defend themselves. I’ll admit, I didn’t see all of the episode because Mad Men was on. I also wasn’t very impressed with how obvious they edited this overly long two hour episode to very clearly let you know that Cristie and Josh were going to be in the bottom. With so much run time, you’d think they’d do a little more to throw you off base, but they really laid it on heavy.

Anyway, I just wanted to run through the teams quickly and offer up my first impressions. I’ll be honest, looking at the list on Wikipedia, I don’t remember roughly half of them and only find myself wanting to watch a small handful teach me how to cook. I probably should not be writing this post based on only seeing half an episode, but isn’t the internet designed for sharing half-formed opinions?

Let’s start with Alton’s team. Cristie got sent home which was no surprise. The few times I flipped over after 9:00PM she was struggling with just about everything. That was more of a mercy elimination than anything. You keep people like this around too long and it gets painful to watch. Emily really wants you to know she likes the 50s, but you know what? I do not care about that schtick. Her theme is supposed to be cooking 50s style meals today which is somewhat interesting, but she’s just too much for now. Judson likes bow ties, seems okay, that’s all I got. I really liked Justin and he’s my current favorite. A young guy who likes really messing around with food? That’s right in my wheelhouse. Martie was entertaining enough, but I’m not sure if I want to watch her talk about cooking.

Team Giada came close to losing Josh which would have been amazing because that dude is just grating. Who says, “Rock and roll!” in a group of people? I bet his band sucks and do not care about what he has to say about anything. I don’t remember anything about Linkie aside from her name. Martita also got on my nerves with a quickness. How many ay dios mios can you throw in, editors? I’m also sick of people playing off the “fiery latino” thing. We get it already. Ippy’s my other favorite right now. I like his attitude, but also the fact that he’s Hawaiian and that’s an area of cooking I’m very unfamiliar with. Yvan was alright and could easily become a favorite or one of the over the top kind of people that just gets annoying.

We end with Team Bobby, which was an interesting group. I really like Eric’s point of view of making everything by hand and think the editors will as well, especially if he keeps pushing things to the very edge of time in order to make his food. I remember next to nothing about Kara and Malcom, but did find myself enjoying Michelle. The question here, though, is whether they’d pick someone who so clearly looks like the love child of Guy Fieri, Anne Burrell and Robert Irvine. Finally, Nikki feels like the Penny of this cast, she’s too conniving and too bitchy which makes her an interesting reality show contestant, but not the kind of person you’ll want teaching you to cook something.

What’d you guys think? Did I miss anything huge in the second hour? It seemed like they were really dragging out that tasting of the restaurant wars-style challenge, but I guess that make sense considering it’s the first episode. Hopefully next week, there won’t be such a big conflict.

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