A week in Austin left me with a TiVo full of shows to try and catch up on. Fortunately, I did have Food Network in my hotel room, and I was able to see this week's installment of The Next Food Network Star a couple of times before coming home.
This week's episode revealed a lot about the contestants. I still don't like Jag, but I can respect him as a cook, and possibly as a chef. The man has proven that he's got the skills in the kitchen, and he's used to working fast and well. His self-serving attitude that was so prevalent in the first episode has softened, but not enough.
Amy seems to be a decent cook, and the camera loves her. I think that she has a great deal of potential, but she really needs to apply herself. With a time and effort, I think that she could have an excellent shot at being the next Sara Moulton. She could use a class in plating presentation though, even more than me.
Paul is a spaz. He needs to learn to get it together and stop being so nervous. His cooking is so-so, and his personality gets old. I'm ready to see him go home. Speaking of going home, why hasn't Colombe been sent home yet? I'm trying really hard to be nice about people that are into yoga and all of that other new age crap, and she's giving me a lot of openings to be really mean. She's easily the ditziest person that I have ever seen on Food Network.
I'm kind of liking Adrian. He could seriously be the next Tyler Florence. All he needs to do is learn how to smile, or learn how to make you think he's smiling when he's really not. Also, a lesson in garde manger wouldn't be wasted on him. If he can figure out how to just be himself instead of pushing vegetarian dishes that really don't suit him or his personality, then I think he'll have a really good shot.
I'm kind of tired of Tommy. He still seems like a nice guy, but not so much as he did before. I don't think I would notice much difference if he decided to walk around the kitchen blindfolded. I think he would have just as much direction as usual.
Rory and Salmon rocked the show. Salmon still seems to have this kind of easy-going personality that makes me want to like him instantly. His food is excellent, and he learns from the reviews. Rory has proven herself. She does have personality, and she can cook a mean rib, from what I can tell. I wouldn't mind seeing her win.
I believe that Nikki is the only reason that Columbe didn't go home this episode. Nikki seems like a great person, when she's not the focus of the camera. She's so tightly wound, it's almost painful to watch. Apparently, she also needs to work on her jerk. Sweet is okay, but it ain't jerk if it ain't got kick. But now that Nikki is gone, I wouldn't be surprised if Columbe is the next out the door.
Unfortunately, Murphy's Law suggests that Salmon will screw up in an upcoming episode, but I hope it's not too critical. He's still my favorite. Runners up in my head: Adrian, Rory, Amy.