The Next Food Network Star: Season 4, Episode One

Next_Food_Network_Star_4_GrYou’re allowed to call me a hypocrite, a phony, and a two face because: I saw the entire season three of “The Next Food Network Star.” And I watched it religiously. And I liked it. And voted for the finalists after that obnoxious Hispanic dude bowed out. Go ahead, chuck your insults at me. I’ll wait. I deserve, but damn I love the Food Network. And, in my defense, there was one contestant named Rory Schepisi who was hot as bloody hell, and lost out to a less talented and charismatic woman, but whaddya gonna do? No offense to Amy, of course. “The Next Food Network Star” season four now begins, and I’m hooked yet again. For those interested, yes, episode one begins with a bang a la artificial melodrama. Yes, I’m one of you now, the people I judge and look down on.

You just know on this episode, someone eventually cries. And yes, someone gets kicked off. But there are some interesting moments and your typical cast of characters that promise to make this season interesting. The down side of the series is that the pilot really kicks off someone I thought could have added some flavor to the season, while the person who I fear will add nothing but irritation stays on. There’s a comedian, and in spite of her horrible approach to the contest with zero comedy, I think she’ll lay it on thick in the next episode and ensure some nausea from the audience. This premiere really isn’t the exciting launch that the season is promising to be, but I guess we’ll have to see what eventually pops up.

There is however a good challenge where Alton Brown allows the individual contestants to pitch their cooking techniques in one sentence, and there’s the inevitable crunch challenge where teams of two have to cook for a slew of network hosts like Giada and Bobby Flay. As usual Flay doesn’t make for much charisma, but I guess the producers are leaving that up to the contestants, all pre-packaged presences. There’s a single mom, a business woman, a man boasting about his urban background constantly, and a few interchangeable folks guaranteed to make for some entertaining moments in our competitions and the premiere.

My favorite of the bunch is Kelsey, who is a petite, cheery, and fast paced blond with an automatic foot forward in the contest, and will likely win over fellow cheery sugary megastar (and future wife) Rachel Ray. And hey, Martha Stewart is also set to pop up! That should please… someone. Rachel Ray is hot. So I’ll be there this season to laugh at the bad auditions, marvel at the self-important chefs, and roll my eyes at the blubbery contestants who always whimper “Cooking… is my life!” at some point.

Sure it is. Stop being a wussy and… cook!