Tonight was the night our six finalists were faced with their last challenge: to shoot a 30 second promo for the show they hope to have on Food Network. The promos would be screened for a panel of judges consisting of a very special panel of Food Network all stars: Aaron Sanchez, Melissa D'arabian, Anne Burrell, Sunny Anderson, Robert Irvine, and last season's Food Network Star winner Jeff Morrow, the Sandwich King.
The finalists with the most promising promos would be invited to shoot pilots for the network - with one catch - only three of the remaining six finalists, Michelle, Ippy, Nikki, Yvan, Martie, or Justin would be asked to continue, and I was struck by the friendships, not only between the finalists and the judges, but the finalists with each other. In an interview Justin said that he would honestly be heartbroken to see Martie go home, and I believed him.
Of course, it just made me want him to win all the more :-)
Our would be stars only had three takes to get their promos together, so the pressure was on as they each struggled past their nerves. Martie's promo featured Martie with the Party, Yvan was Family Style, Michelle featured New England, Ippy brought Hawaii, and Josh presented my favourite promo of the night, Rebel with a Culinary Cause.
In the end, they each did a great job, but a few really stood out: Michelle, Yvan, Justin, and *gulp* Martie. I know I've had my issues with her this season, but I also think she has a great idea for a show - and her tagline "Pretty soon your friends are going to think you've got a caterer, a decorator, and a bar tender on speed dial" was inspired and I have to admit, I would watch that.
It was also here that we finally found out why Alton was crying this season: he was going to have to say goodbye to one his finalists, and in a heartfelt pow wow prior to the results he told Justin and Martie that he felt like Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice.
The reckoning began.
The first person chosen to make a pilot was Michelle from Team Bobby. Yvan was chosen from Team Giada, and amongst many tears Justin was chosen from team Alton - except...
In a lovely twist that I have to admit I saw coming, Martie was also selected to shoot a pilot.
The remainder of the episode was spent on the pilots and I have to say, at this point it's anyone's game - and though voting is now closed in the US, I will be waiting with hopeful anticipation that my American neighbours chose right (say it with me: Justin, Justin, Justin Justin).
For all the latest action, stop by FoodNetwork.com to see what's what!
In the meantime, thanks to the beauty of Youtube anyone can be a star in their own kitchens!
Though I have gotten a lot better at putting videos together and making them shorter, this would be the kind of pilot I would make.
People, don't judge. It's just like when I was a little kid and I played school - no matter our age, we should still indulge in dreams... even if they are just in our own kitchens ;) Plus, I particularly love it when my mashed potatoes go flying while I'm trying to make the "ghosts."
The best of luck to all of the finalists!
And now, may I proudly present, my inaugural episode of CHARMED!
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