In this week’s episode of The Next Food Network Star, someone gets whacked with a sheet tray, someone channels Something About Mary during judging, someone serves raw burgers, and someone TOTALLY DOMINATES. Jump for it.
This week we’ve got to give props right up front to Dallas/Keller Mel. She rocked. She’s confident, her burgers are cooked all the way, and she’s not trying to put lobsters and blueberries together in a pot pie. She’s doing us proud. Let’s start at the beginning. The first challenge is to create the ultimate burger, because just coincidentally, Bobby Flay has opened a burger joint called Bobby’s Burger Palace. The winner’s burg gets to be on the menu. Probably. Anyway, cooking begins. Mel comes up with a chili-covered Burlington Burger, because she went to college in Vermont, story story story etc. She’s great, totally natural, and they like her burger. Michael puts mozzarella in his burger and tops it with tomato and basil. It’s a hit. Jam/Tam goes with a New Orleans style burger and puts sausage on the bottom…Bobby hates the texture. Poor healthy Katie goes for a San Francisco market burger and ends up with raw-in-the-middle turkey. The bottom: Katie and Jam/Tam. Top: Mel and Michael. Michael takes it, and says he wants to make out with Bobby, he’s so excited. Bobby says okay and they mug down. No, they don’t. Anyway.
So, next up the contestants are driven over to the West Side Highway for a little trip to the Intrepid. Guy Fieri shows up wearing some sort of golden cowboy shirt and acid-washed jeans. Also, the Color Guard marches in. Guy tells them they are going to be doing a homecoming party for some soldiers. Immediately, our seven start to rack their brains to think of what aunt/mother/cousin’s sister’s daughter’s ex-husband is in the armed forces so they can reference them in their presentation. Guys says it will be an All-American, home-cooked dish, specific to a certain state. Then, the associate editor (hey, WTF? That guy has the same lowly title as me and he gets to be on tee-vee? No fair.) of USA Weekend bounces out to announce the winner of the challenge gets to have their dish on the cover of USA Weekend. Well, this causes a stir. Teddy and Jeffrey are first up. Teddy makes a DLT (duck, lettuce, and tomato), and forgets what he’s talking about half-way through his presentation. This is even sadder because he keeps referencing his palm for notes but still can’t figure out what he’s trying to say. “He really bummed me out,” says Susie in her patriotic red-and-white striped shirt. Jeff gets Maine for his state and is given lobster and blueberries. In a really strange move, he decides to throw it all together in a pot pie. Surprise! Everyone hates it. His presentation contains the phrase, “that’s my schpiel,” and everyone thinks he is booo-ring. Susie says it’s “disgusting.” Thank G Mel is next. She gets New Mexico, and is given a basket full of chilies. Now, she’s not a chile girl, but she chops up each of those darn things and tastes them anyway. Katie is cooking with her and she gets Georgia. Mel makes a honey/chile tostada with skirt steak and tells a cute story about her mom. Everyone loves her and Guy likes her dish the best so far (which isn’t saying much). Katie makes some sort of catfish dish and also invokes a touching story about her cousin in the Armed Forces. Next up, Michael slams Deb with a sheet tray, and they replay it about 1,000 times, which is awesome. Deb puts on a good show, but her California chicken and wine sauce is “bland,” says Bobby. Michael gets over how bad he feels and rocks his presentation. Jam/Tam makes a Wisconsin gluey mess. All in all, not a good showing. Judge’s table is next. Michael takes this opportunity to spike a middle part of his hair straight up in the air, a la Cameron Diaz in Something About Mary. He didnt need to peacock himself anymore to get through to the next round–he and Mel were the best of the night. Mel wins the cover of USA Weekend, and she’s looking like a real frontrunner, even though Bobby said no one is stepping up. BF, we can read between the lines by now. You mean everyone ELSE needs to step up. Got it. Mel keeps getting better and better every week. Katie, Teddy, Jam/Tam and Jeffrey are in the bottom. Katie cries for a second, Jeff runs his hands through his hair while telling us how embarrassed he is, but ultimately, Teddy is gone.
Best line of the night: After he is kicked off, Teddy goes back to break the news to the other contestants. “Time to go open some more restaurants,” he says.
Love her or hate her, next week we’ve got Rachael Ray.