On the latest episode of "The Next Food Network Star," right off the bat Bobby Flay
told the contestants that they would be doing a cooking demonstration for the Girl Scout Brownies. They had 30 minutes to talk with the Brownies, and immediately there were good and bad points. Shane couldn't get his Brownie to open up, and Adam's Brownie told him that she liked barbecue chicken, which was something he is used to from his restaurant.
After their discussion, they discovered that they would have 4 minutes to cook their recipes on Rachael Ray's
show. During their 4 minute time slots, Kelsey put Rachel and her Brownie to work, but she didn't do a whole lot. The judges thought that Aaron's heart was in it and that his pizza was delicious. Shane didn't engage his Brownie at all. Lisa stopped in the middle of her presentation and wasn't able to speak, and the judges felt that she was intimidated by Rachel Ray even though she started out strong. Adam was worried about his organizational skills, but even when Rachel gave him a hard time he handled it nicely and made the audience laugh. Adam and Aaron were the only contestants to engage their Brownies.
Rachel Ray announced that the four contestants that don't get eliminated would be going to Las Vegas. Bob Tuschmann wanted the contestants to know that they should be working on being a teacher on the Food Network. The judges didn't like that Aaron turned his back on the audience for the first 20 seconds but did like that he re-engaged the audience immediately and evenly involved Rachel and his Brownie.
The judges felt that Adam was really comfortable and a skilled entertainer, but they wanted to know how much he really knows about food. Kelsey gave Rachel the most cooking on her dish, but they are still looking for Kelsey's authority. Shane's food was delicious, but he ignored his Brownie throughout his segment. Shane said he loved the way the French live, but he had never been there and it doesn't make for a soulful show. Bobby felt that there wasn't a lot of whimsy in Lisa's dish, but that wasn't her point of view. The judges were also worried that Rachel took her show away from her, but Lisa didn't want to be dominating.
The first finalists that are safe were Aaron and Adam. Bob asked them to explain from their hearts why they were going to be the next food network star. Kelsey said she can grow with the audience for years. Lisa felt like she has made huge steps in showing the audience herself. Shane thought that creating good food comes from inspiration.
The judges sent them away and debated. Bob thought Kelsey would have a hard time with authority, but that she has more grounded passion. Shane showed he can cook well and that he has knowledge, but life experiences are important and he didn't show that. They get genuine passion from Lisa, but they didn't think she can tame her demons and she gets too tripped up by herself a lot. They brought back the contestants and told Lisa and Kelsey that they were both going to Vegas. Shane won't go back and think of what he could've done, but will explore where he should head now. As for the rest, they're going to Sin City to meet Paula Deen and face a Throwdown with Bobby Flay!
Story by Kristin M. Koltz
Starpulse contributing writer