“Food Network” Crowns Its New Star

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HOLLYWOOD—Well after 10 weeks of intense competitions, we have a new Food Network star. The final three contestants Luca, Lenny and Nicole shot pilots last week that were then voted on by America and the winner is: Lenny McNab.

Yep, the good ole’ cowboy from the West edged out a win. Honestly, this was the most disappointing final three in my opinion. Some prior contestants who were sent packing way too early should have made it much further. For starters, Luca’s premise was nothing more than a knock-off of Giada’s popular show “Everyday Italian.” I kept thinking to myself, what can he do on a series that hasn’t already been done that would make me watch? Nothing!

Nicole’s concept of coastal cuisine was interesting, but I don’t think anyone was buying what she was selling. Be specific, exactly what is coastal cuisine? Seafood should have been her premise, incorporating seafood in more dishes as a healthier substitute to some meals. She was great on camera, had stellar cooking chops, but didn’t have that X-factor in my opinion to take her to the next level.

So in the end that leaves cowboy Lenny, who was a character from the very first week; this competition is all about character. Who can we bring to the TV screen that people will be interested in wanting to see week after week, it’s Lenny! He reminds the audience of Guy Fieri to a degree; outlandish, great with people and he can really cook.  Lenny’s biggest struggle in the competition was the camera; having to tone down that burst of energy that he utilizes with people in a live audience, is not always present when talking with the viewer.

My bigger question is rather Lenny’s series will last on the network. I’ll be honest there are not many winners of “Food Network Star” who have gone on to have super successful series on the network. Only one person comes to mind, and that’s Mr. Fieri himself. While everyone else have had shows, none last beyond a season or two in most cases. Can anyone else name a Food Network Star who has sustained a career on the network?

Interesting season, but I’m wondering what twists the producers will manifest for next season, how about an all-star version to allow some favorites who didn’t win the prize to compete for a second chance. Now that would be killer cuisine.

By LaDale Anderson