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The Next Food Network Star: VIP Party in Miami - open thread

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 27th 2009 8:04AM
EmerilSo we're down to two.

One thing that I was wondering while watching this episode was ... is Emeril Lagasse even on Food Network anymore? I know there are repeats of his shows still running, but I wasn't aware that he was still doing new things (his show now airs on Fine Living).

So did they make the right decision in getting rid of Debbie? She had her problems, often with fibbing about what she had done (or hadn't done) and she lost challenges, but she seemed to have a good personality. I thought Jeffrey was going to go when the chefs said that his risotto was the worst they had ever tasted. I knew Melissa would make it though to the final two.

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Just a thought . . . I didn't feel like Debbie actually fibbed about the capers. Under the stress of the situation, I felt like she really did forget, and just responded like most people would have. She had such grace under fire, and was so agreeable. I really wanted to see her show, and actually ended up here looking for information on whether she has a blog or website. I do hope one turns up. I really want to follow her cooking exploits. Hang in there, Debbie! HGTV, if you're listening, you should really consider some sort of a showcase for this talented and interesting woman.

August 02 2009 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't watch the show, but based on the 150 commercials I saw for the final showdown while watching some other stuff this afternoon, I can safely say I'd never watch anything Melissa did. She just sets my teeth on edge.

As far as comments I hear about Debbie fibbing, after FN hired back Robert Irvine, they have no room to be judging anyone's integrity.

July 28 2009 at 12:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love the show, but not so much the contestants left. Especially Melissa; I find her stories contrived for the moment - especially when she mentions her Mom. Over the course of this season's program, we've learned her mom was a single parent, in the armed forces (revealed when Melissa cooked for soldiers) and last night that her Mom killed herself (so Melissa needed to learn how to cook in college). A very sad story - but cmon - is there a Hallmark moment for each episode that involves Mom? We also learned last night that Melissa climbed the corporate ladder for 10 years - and in the meantime, taught herself to cook? Oh, I forgot, that she learned about food when she lived in Paris, like Julia Child. I don't know about you, but juggling 4 small children, as a stay at home Mom kind of strains the credibility when it comes to making fine pastry AND appetizers and chicken and pastry tart at the same time. What about all the apron tugging and whining from your kids while you're cooking? Enough about Melissa's Mom anyway - what about those kids? And what does she serve them? Salad with fine cheese for dessert? I think she used the Stay-at-home Mom as a niche to win the cooking show, but I am finding her increasingly difficult recipes as hard to believe they come from a non-schooled chef,as the stories she chooses to tell about Mom on nearly every episode. I'd like some story about her own home life as a Mom. Jeffrey's life, while sort of boring, is at least believable. Personally, if I want to cry, give me an onion to chop.

July 27 2009 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tsarkey's comment

I think the stories that Melissa are saying are mostly true. It was be pretty gutsy (and stupid) of her if they weren't. I'm sure she embellished here and there, because who wouldn't, but I don't think she's outright lying to the judges and America. Plus you don't think Food Network would fact check these stories?

July 27 2009 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The problem with Melissa and Jeffrey is that I've already seen their shows. So I don't care if they have the best personalities or whatever. I wanted to watch Seoul to Soul. Oh well. I hope they still do SOMETHING like that even if they don't involve Debbie (though yikes... legally gray there).

I suspect Melissa will win. They kept going back to her having a great story and how audiences would love her. I think they are right, at least relative to Jeffrey.

July 27 2009 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Melissa is caustic and annoying while Jeffrey is easier to watch. Jeffrey also appears to be a superior chef to Melissa's "super mom" personna.

July 27 2009 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I feel bad for Debbie, but there was a question of her integrity. I'm pulling for Jeffrey. We all have made bad risotto!

July 27 2009 at 11:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Debbie died a death of a thousand cuts.

The biggest one was probably her lack of integrity. One facet of the whole thing still includes whether people want to work with you. The lying. The lying about lying. The martyr complex. Unless you're showing the potential to be wildly popular with an audience, showing you have the potential to be difficult and unpleasant to work with might not sink you outright, but it doesn't help your chances.

She also sold the 'Seoul to Soul' premise hard, sometimes too hard, and was inconsistent at best on delivering on it. I'd also speculate that Debbie was just a little too far outside the acceptable bounds of being "telegenic". Brass tacks, just a little too overweight and a little too far outside the bounds of conventional 'beauty'. You can get away with a certain amount of each, a lot of hosts do, but I have a feeling Debbie had a little bit too much of each on the ledger; again not enough to sink her outright, but enough to add to her troubles.

And while she's performed well, she, like the other contestants, has had her share of stumbles along the way. She doesn't have a flawless performance as a saving grace.

They seem to be editing things to make it appear Melissa has it all but locked up; the gushing by the judges is almost embarrassing. But they've still left one or two pinholes here and there and have kept Jeffrey a solid dark horse. If he were to knock one out of the park next week and Melissa were to falter, they could still paint an entirely kosher picture of Jeffrey as a deserving winner. Of course even then, like Adam Gertler from last season, I'd still expect to see Melissa pop up on the air probably sooner rather than later.

July 27 2009 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Pascua

I take this show as a premise of what the contestant's show would be and I'm pretty sure I've seen Jeffrey's show millions of times (Latin Spices and men who cook them), but at least Melissa's could be the other half hour across from Half-Assed Cooking with Sandra Lee. (70% Store Bought, 30% Alcoholic beverages so no one notices).

I do hope that Food Network decides to pick up "Seoul to Soul" after Debbie learns to fully cook things and not forget essential ingredients. The show actually sounds like a good concept. How often do you see Asian and Southern/All-American cooking in one show?

July 27 2009 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked Debbie, but she was starting to irritate me with her attitude. Jeffrey IS boring. Melissa really gets under my skin with her perkiness. I think of the three though I really was hoping that Debbie would win. Now? I just don't know.

July 27 2009 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

FLN is owned by the folks that own Food Network (and HGTV and DIY).

It's about time they sent Debbie home - yes she had the personality and the presence for TV but the fact that she would outright lie about things (1st episode with the food, the episode with the capers), she should have been gone long ago.

July 27 2009 at 9:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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