Food Network loves having chefs who aren’t famous compete against Bobby Flay. The Iron Chef America and former Throwdown! with Bobby Flay star now has a new show, Beat Bobby Flay, which is a combination of the former two shows. While Beat Bobby Flay feels derivative, so does everything that Food Network airs nowadays. Only, this time it doesn’t get boring because they took the some ideas from both Iron Chef and Throwdown! and left the unnecessary exposition on the cutting room floor.
Of course, every show begins with a segment that introduces the chefs to viewers. Since Beat Bobby Flay is only a half hour, each chef of the two chefs competing in the first round gets about a minute to describe themselves, which means no long, dramatic life stories. Life stories are limited to “this is my cooking style, this is how and why I chose it, and this is how I developed it.” It’s a cooking show. No less would be kind of odd. Any more would border on tedious and risk veering into uninteresting.
As this is a review of the finale, naturally, it contains the winner. If you have not seen the finale and want it to remain a surprise, please stop reading now.
The finale of Food Network Star brought all of the season 8 contestants, their mentors, and the judges together for one last time. In what amounted to a glorified talk show clip show, the contestants shared their thoughts and behind-the-scenes footage and flashbacks aired between the conversations.
Most of the show consisted of high school superlatives and gossip. Viewers found out that Team Alton liked being called the nerds, Giada didn’t mind that her team was called the cheerleaders, and Bobby felt that “the jocks” was an accurate term for his “take no prisoners” team. Then the show went into how annoying Michele and Nikki found retro-rad Emily because she would wake up the house with a shrill good morning, which was followed by Malcolm being voted cockiest and Nikki being voted the most competitive.
This season of Food Network Star has been underwhelming because many of the contestants were boring and the format did not work. Other than the handful of finalists, I do not remember anyone’s name because most of the constants were instantly forgettable. As for the format, it managed to make Giada DeLaurentiis, Bobby Flay, and Alton Brown unlikable because they had just as much at stake as the contestants: they would produce the pilot of the winner, if the winner is on their team.
Last night’s episode of Food Network Star seemed rushed. It could have easily been extended to 90 minutes or split over 2 weeks because it contained to distinct situations. Each situation could have made a complete episode, but for some reason neither one got the time it deserved and both were compressed down to a half hour. The first 30 minutes saw the remaining 6 contestants shoot 30 second promos for their potential Food Network show.