Monday, July 14, 2008

Reality recap

Yeah, I'm still watching "Next Food Network Star," even without Shane. Force of habit now. Plus, it's getting interesting. I'm really disagreeing with where the judges are coming from.

First off, how many Food Network shows are actually straight-up cooking shows? Sure, they exist, but most of the shows are cooking as entertainment. Bobby Flay isn't demonstrating how to cook stuff on "Throwdown," he's showcasing regional specialties and interesting characters. You certainly won't learn much about cooking from "Iron Chef."

But for some reason, in the judge's minds the winner of this reality show has to be a better chef than they are a host. In terms of this show, that makes sense because it's a clearer standard to judge contestants on. But in terms of whatever show the network puts together with the winner, it makes much less sense.

And so we have Lisa, who could turn giving a bowl of milk to hungry kittens into a perfectionist ego fest, advancing while Kelsey gets sent home and Adam compromises his hosting ability in a misguided attempt to impress the judges with his cooking. Actually, Kelsey's downfall was also that she was trying to give the judges what they said they wanted.

I dunno. It seems like a mess to me. Aaron's probably the frontrunner now. Sure, he's terrible on camera, but he's charismatic, he's likeable and he can obviously cook. He'll just have to take a remedial class on hosting and he'll be good to go.

Meanwhile, over on "Design Star" things started to shake out fer reels. Sending two people home at this late date seems wacko, but it will create a cleaner competition in the last two weeks.

My wife hit the nail on the head with the project - she said the kitchen looked like something out of a model home. I mean, I'd love to have it in my house, but in terms of the show, it needed something splashy to impress the judges. That tile for the backsplash Tracee picked out would have actually helped quite a bit - if she had made it back in time instead of picking out placemats for six hours.


It strikes me that this show heavily favors contestants with carpentry skills, like Matt and Mikey, over pure designers, like Trish and Tracee and... pretty much everyone else. You can't just rearrange the furniture and call it a day. You'd think some of the less tool-oriented designers would have taken a class or something to give them the basics.

Anyhoo, Matt is still the one to beat. His little hosting sample was TV ready, whatever the judges said. I think they just didn't want to put both men through at this point.


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