On the second episode of Food Network Star, the finalists went head to head in a FNS-style Burger Bash competition, in which they were each tasked with creating and presenting their own unique burger recipes.
And those remaining 11 finalists are:
Andres Guillama – 26, Childhood obesity prevention coach from North Carolina.
Chad Rosenthal – 37, Restaurant owner and father from Pennsylvania.
Chris Hodgson – 27, Food truck and restaurant owner from Cleveland.
Damaris Phillips – 32, Chef instructor from Louisville, Kentucky.
Danushka Lysek – 37, Private chef from New York City.
Lovely Jackson – 27, Private chef from Los Angeles.
Nikki Dinki – 29, Food blogger from New York City.
Rodney Henry – 47, Owner of Dangerously Delicious Pies and father of two from Baltimore.
Russell Jackson – 47, Underground supper club owner from San Francisco.
Stacey Poon-Kinney – 34, Restaurant owner and mother from San Diego.
Viet Pham – 34, Chef and restaurant owner from Salt Lake City.
In this twist on the famed Burger Bash, the contestants had one hour to create a unique burger fitting with their culinary point-of-view, and two minutes to present that burger to 100 burger enthusiasts. The big twists?
Each audience member could only taste one burger and had to choose that burger based on the finalists’ presentations.
Last week, the mentors introduced what I have deemed the “popularity dials," allowing the audience to denote how much they “like” each finalist as they are presenting. Not surprisingly, those finalists who did not fare well last week were those who seemed most upset at the return of the dials this week.
Apparently these finalists forgot that TV is primarily a popularity contest and that you cannot get people to try your food if you can’t convince them to like you first.
While Stacy and Chad kept their places at the front of the pack and Russell and Viet found themselves astronomically improved from last Sunday, this week the finalists could primarily be grouped into one of three categories: those who could not practice what they were preaching (Lovely and Rodney), those who could not preach what they were practicing (Danushka, Damaris, and Chris), and those who could neither practice nor preach (Nikki and Andres).
After finding herself in the bottom three for the second week in a row, Danushka’s good burger helped her to miraculously beat out Andres to stay for another week. She should really be thanking her lucky stars that she can cook, because her personality – or lack thereof – is certainly not going to get her far with any audience.
Perhaps next week she will trip up in her cooking as well and we will finally be able to say goodbye to her unpleasant personality. There are far too many other people in this competition who can actually cook and relate to people – no need to keep around those who cannot.
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