Finally, the Finale! The Final Showdown.
Judges Giada De Laurentiis, Alton Brown, and The Annoying Bobby Flay™—just doin’ a riff on The Adorable Zac Posen™—have been trying to steer this ship for weeks now, and will listen as The Final Four pitch them two ideas for a show, and then whittle it down to one, and then pitch the one to Food Network bigwigs, Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson, where only three will actually film a pilot.
THE DOUBLE PITCH
Stacey, who has been on the Food network before, when Robert Irvine brought restaurant Impossible to her diner and basically saved it, says she wants to:
A] Visit restaurants and modernize their food, or
B] Visit people in their homes and modernize their food.
The judges suggest that she combine the two ideas, which I think means visiting people in restaurants and modernizing their food.
Russell, who has been in kind of two places with his POV—the Culinary Sinner, or the Culinary Revolutionary—wants to:
A] Visit restaurants and talk about Culinary Sins, or
B] Host a dinner party where he teaches his sins.
Bobby Flay hates Russell and sits stone-faced, or, perhaps in Flay’s case, Botox-faced, while Alton says his first idea has no teaching, and maybe he should teach his Sins to the restaurant owner.
Rodney is one-note, loud and out-of-key, about Pie Style, er, Pah Stahl, as he calls it, and he would like to:
A] Go to a restaurant and Pie Style one of their dishes, or
B] Go find a person and Pie Style their favorite food.
Flay likes the first idea, but Alton thinks he should make the show about a challenge; the restaurant dares Rodney to Pie Style. [Sidenote: Doesn’t Flay already have a show where he cooks someone’s best dish and tries to see if his is better? If so, Rodney’s show has already been done, though without the pah.
Damaris, that giddy oversexed Southerner wants to:
A] Take us on a tour of Modern Southern cooking, with a trip down History Lane, or
B] Teach guys how to cook Southern food to impress their girlfriends [Sidenote: I guess the guys with boyfriends are out.]
Alton likes the second idea but wonders how it will be Modern Southern …
THE SINGLE PITCH
Stacey: She wants to call her show Stacey’s Modern Magic—and I had no idea she was the female David Copperfield—and take dishes that have fallen into, as she said, ‘disrepair,’ and makes them Vintage Modern. Susie thought her idea, and her pitch, sounded sad, while Bob just said it sounded kinda bad.
Russell, the Culinary Sin Artist, will host Guilty Pleasures, and work with everyday foods to make them more sinful. Bob liked the idea but thought it sounded confusing, but Susie liked it.
Damaris will call he show Eat. Date. Love. and will teach a guy how to win a girl’s heart through cooking; she scored points for saying that southern food is the ‘food of love.’ Bob loves the idea, and Susie kinda likes it.
Rodney will call his show Cordon Bleu … I kid … Pie Style—he’s nothing if not consistent—and will let restaurateurs challenge him to turn their best dishes into pies. Bob thinks Rodney is fun, and Susie agrees.
Damaris and Rodney are picked first and then the choice between Russell and Stacy is by vote: Susie picks Russell, while Bob picks Stacey; Giada picks Russell while Bobby 'Horndog' Flay picks Stacey. Cutie Patootie Alton Brown gets the tie-breaker and picks … Russell.
Stacey is sent packing, and even in her tearful exit interview she comes across as phony and disconnected. I think she would have been hard to watch because she comes across as a Martha Stewart knock-off, and even Martha doesn't take herself so seriously any more.
Rodney: He heads to The Foundry in LA to turn their, ALLEGEDLY, award-winning Grilled Cheese into a pie. The mentor for the pilot is Guy Fieri, a previous winner of this show and one of the most obnoxious men on the planet.
Rodney mumbles and stumbles and says Pie Style every 2 seconds. He cannot describe the food except to say, ‘Ah, man.’
He’s too much, too loud, too frenetic. I couldn’t watch him.
Plus, when he presented his Short Rib-Apricot-Caper Pie it looked incredibly unappetizing.
Russell: He takes us to the historical Farmer’s Market in LA and tastes ice cream, specifically, Cabernet Sauvignon Sorbet.
He wants to Sin it up by making a Bacon-Bourbon Ice Cream.
After a rocky, too-prepared-and-rehearsed, a la Stacey, start, Russell calms down and, well, I liked it. I actually learned how to make, and flavor ice cream and, well, there was bacon.
I liked it.
Damaris: She goes to Eatz Cooking Class where she’ll teach some nerdy guy named Josh how to cook for his girlfriend so that she’ll be happy to bang him after dinner. Damaris reverts back to not looking at the camera, and coming across as too giddy and flirty and double entendre-y.
But, she does have fun cooking. And her dish for the pilot, Peppered Pork Loin on Sweet Potato Biscuits, sounded like a winner.
Rodney is too much; I got all kinds of anxious watching him.
Russell: He can make odd faces every now and again, but he won me over with the Secret Agent Briefcase filled with little jars of sin.
Damaris is no Paula Deen, thankfully, but she’s too giggly and giddy for my tastes. Plus, every week, showing a guy how to cook to impress a date seems like it would get old fast. I give her props for the title though, Eat.Date.Love.
You can go to Food Network [HERE] to vote for your favorite, until Wednesday morning. The results come in next week.
Who do YOU think deserves their own show?