Headscratchers: The Next Food Network Star

  • AAAARGGH! Bob and Susie's obsession with "stories" as the driving force of what a "food star" should be is really becoming more and more egregious with every passing week. To be honest, Martita should probably have gone home for different reasons (i.e. leaving 30 seconds of silence at the end of her demo two weeks prior, etc), but the reasons why Bob and Susie ultimately eliminated her were nothing short of ridiculous. Susie literally stated that she disliked Martita's performance—where she had 60 seconds to talk about a surprise ingredient (oranges)—because "All she told me was about various alternate uses for oranges! She didn't tell me a story about her personal life!!!" Mind you, Martita had only 60 seconds to talk about the oranges and wasn't given prior notice what the ingredient was going to be. As she herself explains when Susie obnoxiously probes her about the lack of a personal story, "With 60 seconds on the clock, my mind went to the food." Y'know food: the thing cooking shows are SUPPOSED to be about.
    • Really, it is becoming beyond ridiculous with Bob and Susie's bullshit. I mean, I understand that during a cooking show personal anecdotes are important for preventing dead air between narrating the various cooking steps, but c'mon, Bob and Susie are literally elevating it to a higher level of importance than the food. I mean seriously, I honestly can't believe that judges on a supposedly cooking-based show are actually complaining "All she did was tell me how to use the ingredient!"
    • This is probably due to the Network Decay that the Food Network seems to be going through. I mean they don't even seem to care much about instructional cooking shows anymore, seeing as they shove them all into awkward time slots or on to their sister network. Maybe they just want to jump the human interest bandwagon like Animal Planet. But this story bullshit is getting quite annoying seeing how they like to use it to eliminate likeable contestants (such as Emily and — to this troper — Malcom,) and to keep the some what more one demensional contestants.
    • It's probably because the audience can not smell, taste, or touch the food prepared. That's the three most critical senses used to enjoy food eliminated just by the nature of the medium. With only sight and sound, how do you hold an audience's attention? By maximizing both. They can see the preparation, so that's covered. What about sound though? A dry recitation of ingredients and instructions gets boring, quick. Both Bob and Susie know that. By digging and digging at contestants about "personal stories", they are trying to find that part of their personalities that will engage an audience. The quickest and easiest is via personal stories and anecdotes. If the contestants can't engage an audience on a personal level and hold their attention, then the show will fail. Alton Brown, for example. Roughly half of every episode of Good Eats, particularly after the first few seasons, is taken up by animations, trivia, scientific explanations (with props), sock puppets, colorful "guests", and anything else they can do to hold an audiences attention.
      • People really seem to not get this. They just see Good Eats and think "Wow, that seems so smooth, so effortless, I'm engaged by this, why isn't every show like this?" They don't really think of how or why it works, they think it just does.
    • I believe it's because Bob and Suzie don't want just another boring and bland cooking show host to get on without engaging any of us in their personal lives. I mean, there's tons of methods of learning to prepare food (other cooking shows, cook books, etc.), but if you aren't engaged by the person who's making it, it's just going to be bland.
      • Exactly. If all you're doing is preparing food and telling someone how to prepare it, that's not a cooking show, that's a recipe with an audiovisual component.
  • This is really more of a general Food Network puzzle, but WHY does Penny Davidi keep on coming back even though she gets her butt whipped again and again in the competitions and neither her fellow contestants nor the viewers can stand her, and even though she's long since been shown up as an Alpha Bitch and Jerkass par excellence?