Third Episode Review of The Next Food Network Star's Sixth Season

Contestants were forced to work with each other in order to cater a party for recording artist Colbie Caillat. She and Guy Fieri served as guest judges this week while Bobby Flay was in New York.

Before the party, the contestants had to do a camera challenge, where they had forty-five minutes to prepare a dish based on their assigned movie genre. Some, like challenge winner Aarti, excelled in translating the genre to their dish, while others like Brianna couldn’t make the connection (how does shopping for seafood make her giggle?).

Then the contestants had to walk the red carpet at the party. While on TV it seems like fun, the contestants struggled to find a balance between cool and crazy. Some also struggled during their interview at the end of the carpet.

After their celebrity treatment, the contestants find out they have to cater the party. Paired up through their color-matched swag bags, some are disappointed with their partner. Paul looks down on partner Serena because she’s a home cook, but he’s put in his place when Guy Fieri reminds him that many Food Network stars aren’t professionally trained. Dzintra is annoyed that Aria won’t let her talk, even though everything Dzintra says makes people instantly uncomfortable.

Though Colbie Caillat guest judged this week, I felt like she wasn’t adding any valuable opinions to the panel other than her first impressions of the contestants. Guy Fieri judged both challenges.

The Best

Aarti Sequeira: Staying strong after her Santa Monica Pier victory last week. She won the camera challenge through her creativity, and the judges were impressed by her party dish.

Aria Kagan: She won the judges over with both her camera and party challenge dishes. Side note, I was also impressed that she didn’t bad-mouth Dzintra during evaluation. When judges asked her about the “shushing” incident, Aria simply said, “Yeah, she did.”

Herb Mesa: His personality shined at the party, and his dish was “fantastic.”

The Worst

Paul Young: Unless someone else messes up really badly, there’s no question that he’s going home next week. He can’t figure out how his personality should be, and comes off as a jerk most of the time. Plus his food hasn’t been backing him up.

Tom Pizzica: Though his personality is getting better, one more screw-up in the kitchen might send him home.

Brad Sorenson: The fastest-declining contestant. Chef Wolfgang Puck’s high praise put him at the top of the pack in the first week. But his dishes in both last week and this week’s star challenges failed to impress. And he has no energy in front of the camera.

The Rest

Brianna Jenkins: Her consistently good food is the only reason she’s still around. If this cold diva doesn’t warm up quick, her attitude will be her downfall.

Serena Palumbo: While the judges love most of her dishes, and her warm personality, she can’t seem to talk at a normal speed.

Darrell “DAS” Smith: A Mexican dish doesn’t scream “inspired by foreign films.” Daz definitely failed the first challenge, though his ease with crowds and his cooking skills might save him.

Who Went Home:

Dzintra Dzenis: The clear choice to go home. So painfully awkward that I fast-forwarded through all of her parts when I re-watched the episode on DVR. Her okay at best dishes definitely weren’t enough to justify keeping her around. And really, who spins around when they walk down a red carpet?


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