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July 31, 2014

Food Network Star runner-up gets a show, too!

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 18th 2009 1:01PM
Jeffrey_saad_Food_NetworkRemember how in Miss America, the emcee would always say that in the event that Miss America cannot fulfill her duties, the first runner up would step in? Apparently that's how it works with The Next Food Network Star, too. Just three weeks after Melissa D'Arabian was declared the winner, her number one challenger -- the guy who placed second -- Jeffrey Saad has been given his own show. It's not on the network, but it's a show nonetheless.

According to Food Network honcho Bob Tuschman's blog, Jeffrey Saad will be doing a mini-series on the web site -- exclusively for now -- called The Spice Smuggler. The premise is based on the Alton Brown directed pilot that Jeffrey presented in the finale of The Next Food Network Star.

According to Bob's blog, Jeffrey's show will be all about spice, kicking off with favorites like paprika, five spice, anise seed and garam masala. I have no idea about the last one of those, but presumably that's the reason to surf over and check out the program.

What Bob doesn't write, but might be implied, is that if the web series is impressive, it could be a springboard for something on the network. Since my bold prediction that Jeffrey would win -- yes, I'm quite a seer -- I've figured that Mr. Saad would find a job on Food Network.

The folks at FN might want to reconsider idea behind The Next Food Network Star. It's only a competition because it plays better on TV, but essentially this show is a focused audition. Previous winners haven't necessarily become stars -- where are The Hearty Boys? -- while contestants have cropped up in other shows as interesting personalities, including Kelsey Nixon, Reggie Sutherland, Nathan Lyon and Adam Gertler.

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