On this week’s Food Network Star, the final four competed against each other on Food Network’s most challenging show, Iron Chef. This challenge promised to be a good gauge of each chefs cooking ability, as well as their ability to impart their culinary knowledge on viewers. With Alton Brown hosting the show, the contestants needed to be on their toes at all times. If that wasn’t enough, the episode also featured the return of the show’s biggest villain. Throw all that into the pot and let it simmer, and you end up with one of the most intense episodes of the season.
The show wasted no time this week, immediately putting the competitors in their makeshift kitchen stadium and explaining this week’s challenge. Since Jeff had won last week’s challenge, he had the opportunity to pick his opponent. For some reason, Jeff inexplicably picked Susie; the next strongest chef in the competition. Though Jeff realized his mistake almost immediately, it was too late.
The chefs were also told they would have some help during the competition; former contestants on the show would be coming back to assist each chef during the Iron Chef battle. Again, Jeff was given an opportunity to choose which former contestant he wanted as his sous chef. He made the right choice this time, going with Whitney. The other contestants had to draw names to determine which previously eliminated chef they would be working with.
Unfortunately for Mary Beth, she would once again be paired with Penny; who deliberately worked slowly in order to sabotage Mary Beth’s dishes. Mary Beth was able to pull things together, and completed her dishes in Battle Lamb. While both she and Vic had some hit or miss dishes, Vic was named the winner of the battle.
In the second battle, Jeff and Susie faced off in Battle Lobster. Jeff’s attempt to make three unique sandwiches was put on hold when he realized there was no avocado in the kitchen. With no other options at hand, Jeff decided to use mayonnaise and lobster in all three of his dishes. While Jeff’s dishes went over fairly well during judging, Giada wondered why Jeff didn’t make his own mayo. That may have been the difference in the battle, as all of Susie’s dishes scored rave reviews from the judges. In the end, Susie prevailed; leaving Jeff and Mary Beth at the bottom of the pile.
In the end, Mary Beth was eliminated. While she had a great way with words, her food never really seemed to hold up against the remaining chefs. There’s no doubt in my mind that she’ll have an opportunity to host a food show on Cooking Channel at some point. We’ll definitely see her again.
That leaves Vic, Jeff and Susie as our three finalists. While Jeff had looked like the favorite the past couple of weeks, Susie’s performance this past week definitely makes her a legitimate threat in this competition. Unfortunately for Vic, I just can’t see it. He doesn’t have the camera presence to be the next Food Network Star.
Next week, a winner is finally crowned. I’m putting my money on Jeff, but I think this one could really go either way.