'Food Network Star' Recap: Finalists Get Roasted
'Food Network Star' Recap: Finalists Get Roasted
Matt Click
Matt Click
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
Last week on Food Network Star, our final six contestants headed to New York, where they appeared on The Rachael Ray Show and baked cupcakes for Ina Garten. In the end, Jyll Everman was eliminated, leaving us with a final five consisting of Jeff Mauro, Mary Beth Albright, Susie Jimenez, Vic "Vegas" Moea and Whitney Chen.

If you missed it, don't sweat it. I recap this show every week, remember?

Oh, and we got to interview Jyll Everman too.

Tonight, our final five will have their souls and dreams dashed be roasted by a panel of comedians. What's the deal with the roast? What are they gaining by doing this? I suppose something can be said for developing a thick skin if you're working in the entertainment business. But I really don't get the point.

After tonight, we will have our final four, and end of season 7 of Food Network Star will be that much closer.

The Best Thing They Ever Ate

The finalists head to Chelsea Market. They each must experience the market, tasting different food items. Then they'll be filming a two-minute segment for the show The Best Thing I Ever Ate, which is a program in which food celebrities talk about their favorite foods. This challenge should prove interesting, because the interviews in The Best Thing I Ever Ate are very off-the-cuff, very casual. You can't get away with a scripted, rigid presentation. Methinks Jeff will excel at this challenge.

Whitney hits up some crepes. Vic is drawn to the Italian food like a moth to flame. Jeff sniffs out some sandwiches (obviously), and Mary Beth appeases her sweet tooth with chocolate and crepes (hey Whitney was already here). Susie just eats everything. Seriously, she's eating like she just got broken up with.

Now it's time to film! Susie is up first, and all she does it talk about the ingredients. Vic suffers from the same problem and neglects to talk about what his pick tastes like. As I surmised, Jeff is awesome at this, and does a great job talking about the food. Bobby Flay is pretty happy with him and says, "Just keep smiling, Jeff. You got it."

Mary Beth goes before Whitney, which means she's talking about crepes first. So Whitney tries to change up her presentation at the last minute and fumbles a bit. Bobby tells her to not be afraid to be herself, which Whitney appreciates.

Jeff and Mary Beth are the top contestants for this Camera Challenge, but Jeff is the winner. Go Jeff!

Roasts for the Roast

The Star Challenge this week is, as I mentioned, a roast. Each finalist will be responsible for preparing a protein for said roast, and Jeff, as the winner of the Camera Challenge, will assign the proteins.

Whitney: crown roast
Vic: prime rib
Mary Beth: duck
Jeff: rump roast
Susie: leg of lamb

The contestants get $300 to spend at a specialty butcher shop, and four hours with which to prepare their food. The finalists head to the butcher shop, where Jeff comically asks what vegan options they have. Mary Beth talks to the butcher for a long time because she's never roasted a duck before.

Comedians that will be roasting our finalists include Louie Anderson, Gilbert Gottfried, Aubrey Plaza, Judy Gold and Anthony Anderson.

Vic is up first. He's serving up huge cuts of meat, and the judges are a little intimidated. Bob Tuschman says it's like Medieval Times, and Anthony Anderson says he feels like a viking. Hey, if someone offered me a huge portion of prime rib roast, I wouldn't be complaining. I'd be too busy stuffing my face.

Vic actually stands his ground, though. And the comedians come around after some good-natured ribbing. (HA! RIBBING. GET IT? Man, they should hire me for these roasts!) Mary Beth is up next, and she's worried about the duck. The comedians love the food, but Mary Beth is coming off as way too academic.

My boy Jeff walks out, still rockin' the sweatband. He gets some heat from the comedians, but holds his ground. The panel loves him. Susie does pretty well too, and manages to laugh at herself. Then she brings up her dad again, which is always a good way to appease the panel.

Whitney is up last. The comedians ask about her parents, and Whitney cries. Then she talks about when the animal was slaughtered, and how old it was. Hm. Probably not the best information to supply as the panel is eating.

Judgement Time

At this point, it's really up-in-the-air who's leaving us. I don't hate anyone who's left, and that's saying something. Usually at this point in the competition, there's a few people I can't stand. Not this year, though. I'm thinking Susie and Jeff are definitely safe (and might even be our final two). Our top three for the challenge are Jeff, Susie and Vic.

Jeff wins his third challenge in a row!

Which means Whitney and Mary Beth are our bottom two. I'm thinking Mary Beth is going home, but I really just can't tell definitively at this point.

Oh, nevermind. Whitney is heading home.

Whitney is surprised. Mary Beth is surprised. I'm sort of surprised too. The finalist who I once pegged as a contender for final two (along with the also-eliminated Orchid Paulmeier), and who I immediately developed a crush on has been eliminated.

So we have our final four! Next week, Susie, Mary Beth, Jeff and Vic head to Kitchen Stadium! It's my favorite episode of the season as the finalists compete like Iron Chefs and try to impress Alton Brown. And what's this? Penny Davidi returns! And it looks like she's Mary Beth's sous chef...

(Image courtesy of Food Network)