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Amy Wins Next Food Network Star!

Melissa's picture

Well, unless you've been living under a culinary rock, you should know that Amy Finley "Outwitted, Outplayed, and Outlasted" the other contestants in "Next Food Network Star".  And what a ride it was!


caption: The contestants show us their magical, invisible cuisine.

First of all, if you have the opportunity, I suggest you take a look at all of their audition videos on the Food Network's Myspace Page.  I say this, because during the contest, I kept thinking to myself, "Why are some of these people HERE?  Is the Food Network THAT blind?!?!"

But it turns out, the Food Network was as bamboozled as we were.  Even the dullest TV contestants (cough cough... Patrick and Salmon.. cough) had high energy, better-than-average audition tapes.  I ESPECIALLY recommend looking at Paul's.  If he had acted any more like a stereotypical homosexual man on the show, he would've stripped to his skivvies and jumped on a parade float while "It's Raining Men" was blasting through the loudspeakers.  But his audition tape was actually AWESOME.  It showed him, under pressure, cooking for a catering event that he was short-handed for, speaking to the camera in a matter-of-fact tone that made you think "Man, he knows what he's talking about".  Why he felt it necessary to do his best impression of Rip Taylor during the contest, I'll never know.

And if I have to watch that clip of him during the Iron Chef challenge telling Alton Brown that plum tomatoes come from "Plummy" ONE MORE TIME, I might need to destroy my TV.

Aaaaaanyway, onto the final - Rory vs. Amy.  All week long I had LITERALLY been dreading the show, because I was convinced that America was dumb and Rory was going to skate in on her highly conic, squeezed-together breasts.  But then something happened:

They showed Rory's mini-biography FIRST. 

All of a sudden I perked up.  Wouldn't the Food Network want to show the bio of the winner directly before announcing the winner?  And PLEASE tell me I'm not the only one that noticed her cowboy/boyfriend's highly-two-toned hat tan.  He looked like a before and after commercial for self-tanner.  Anyway, her bio was a mess.  They glossed over her fame-grubbing stint on "Popularity Contest", and for a woman planning a "Backyard Bistro", she suddenly seemed like she was gunning for a "cowboy cuisine" show.  Sorry, Nibbles.  If you had said that from the beginning, you might just have been the bride instead of the bridesmaid.  Again.  Grinning like a Cheshire Cat, though, and constantly moistening her teeth with her tongue, she was confident.

Then they played Amy's mini-biography, and I realized a serious flaw in the Food Netowrk's plan:  WHY DIDN'T THEY SHOW THESE BEFORE WE VOTED?!?!?!  Amy's huge polygamous-looking family (Attention Food Network Lawyers - that's a JOKE, not an accusation!) seemed like a fun group of folks, and to find out that Amy routinely cooks for all of them... she was a shoo-in.

And then... the final moment.  Emeril walks on stage with a "sealed" envelope, but walks right up to Amy and tells her "congratulations" before quickly stepping back and saying congratulations to both of them.  Look, I watched Emeril's failed sitcom.  I already KNOW the man can't act.  He gave up the winner 30-seconds before cue, and Rory started crying.  Amy was announced the winner, and Rory showed her back to the camera for the last couple of minutes, showing all of us how gracious a loser she is. 

So... all hail the next Guy Fieri, our own "Gourmet Next Door"...

AMY.  Anyone want to bet on whether or not she'll have visited the orthodontist before her show airs? 

Hee hee, I can be such a beyotch sometimes!

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CookingMyWay's picture
I love the caption under the photo... I think it's going to be a long time before they find another Guy Fieri - he's a natural infront of the camera... I don't know if her commune will survive that long without her while she's taping her shows - and didn't you think it odd that her husband wasn't in her bio video?
Melissa's picture
I know! Mike and I were saying the same thing about her husband (or lack thereof). Maybe she's a single mom? But why wouldn't she want to tell people that? I blame the cult she's been hijacked by! LOL
CookingMyWay's picture
She mentions him a few times durring the series... Maybe they split between the time it filmed and the time they aired the final show?
allesandra's picture
I saw the Emeril act too. It was so funny. I was like, Jeez! Is he even going to announce the winner but then he quickly regrouped. Anyway, I liked Amy, is was quite down to earth and most deserving (of the last four that made it). She was also missing her family so much, sob sob. I am happy for her.
Melissa's picture
Yeah, a friend of mine that has kids told me that when Amy tried to quit, the whole of America forgave her because she missed her children. She even went as far as to say that THAT was the moment where Amy won it!
Eric.P's picture
Melissa... Thanks so much for having a blog surrounding The Next Food Network Star! You're insights were dead on and you made me laugh numerous times (couldn't wait to read your next entry). I was very disappointed that the Food Network didn't have a blog for the show and was trying to keep it a "controlled environment", at least Bravo's Top Chef posts blogs with viewer comments. Many people on Rory's MySpace page were commenting that since Amy was eliminated and JAG was disqualified that Rory should have been the winner because she was the last one standing. I personally see all the prior challenges just as a means to narrowing it down to two contestants for the FINAL challenge: The viewer's vote (e.g. Popularity Contest). Do you agree with that assessment? Guess that makes two popularity losses in a row for Rory. There seems to be a lot of debate as to whether or not any of the contestants this time around had "star" quality. Guy Fieri definately is a rising star on the network... when they give you a prime time spot with a show like Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, you've made it. While Amy was my top choice from the get go (with Paul a close second from an entertainment standpoint), do you think she's got a future past the pilot run?
Melissa's picture
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to entertain you! You know, all anti-Rory feelings aside, it's unfair for those people to think Rory should've won by default. The concept is that AMERICA chooses the Next Food Network Star. So I'm with you on that one. FN does whatever they need to do to give us 2 choices, and we take it from there. As for Amy and her future, all I'm saying is - I hope she "graduates" to a regular series. Otherwise her family will have to learn to play musical instruments to compete on next year's America's Got Talent. I think Guy Fieri's definitely bringing an edge to the FN. But I gotta say, I kind of get lost during his shows because they're laid back, but HE's all over the place, and he contstantly has a stream of wacky-named pals that drop by (like, "Yo! Hey Stinky! Hey Knuckles! Whassup Chicken-Neck! Yo! Hey! Look who's here?! It's Candy-Apple-Face-Paulie!"). I'm ashamed to say it, but sometimes I wish he'd act his age, you know? I half-expect his armband to have a Thundercats logo on it. But mostly, I dig that the Food Network is expanding their programming to include those of us that like a little more funk in our Food TV.
shantihhh's picture
Guy Fieri is a local N. CA guy! He is opening another restaurant in his Tex Wasabi theme. Local chefs say he won on his personality not his cooking reputation *chuckle* but Food TV is about entertainment #1 not good food IMHO
Anonymous's picture
thank you "so" much Amy Finley for wasting the time of everyone by leaving food network after you won. I never supported your boring way of doing things and I wish Jag had been given the chance that was wasted on you.
Amy Wins Next Food Network Star!