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LiveBlog: The Next Food Network Star Finale
Sunday, July 27, 2008 | posted by Mike

Well, this is it, kids!  Will it be Lisa Garza, Adam Gertler or Aaron McCargo?

I'll be providing a running commentary of wise-ass remarks below.  Just keep hitting refresh every now and then for the lates.  Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts in the comments or via e-mail to mike@tvfoodfan.com.

Now, as soon as Mrs. TVFF finishes watching Bridezillas, we'll be ready to go...

10:01 - Bobby Flay says it may be the best cassoulet he's ever had.  Somewhere, Tony Bourdain throws something at the TV.

10:04 - It may not be Eagles vs. Cowboys, but the Philly/Camden vs. Dallas dynamic between Adam and Aaron on one side and Lisa on the other, I guess that's a sales point.

10:05 - GORDON!!!!!  I miss his Campbell's soup commercials.

10:06 - "Show in a Box."  Hehe.  Damn you, Saturday Night Live...you've ruined "in a box" for me forever!

10:09 - Lisa's fuchsia dress kinda clashes with the orange set.  (Yes, I had to check with Mrs. TVFF on both the spelling of "fuchsia" and whether they, indeed, clashed.)

10:12 - First commercial.  I'm glad this is the last episode, as it means it will also be the last time that Mrs. TVFF comments on the green blouse that Lisa wears in every interview.  Mrs. TVFF is convinced that she either owns the same blouse or one that looks remarkably similar.  Regardless her point is that either they're doing the interviews all at the same time, or she wears the same outfit for all of the interviews.  Me...I'm just looking forward to a day when this is no longer a topic of conversation in the TVFF house.

10:17 - I'm not bothered by the beer can shoved up the chicken's ass, but the jalapeno sticking out the top is weird.

10:18 - "A little bump."  Perhaps a terrorist fist jab?

10:23 - Gordon really captured the issue with Aaron, which is that he's really fine if/when he doesn't try too hard and "seize up" or ramble to the point of incoherence.  Of course, that's true of all of the contestants, too.  But this gets to the problem of judging the folks on this show, which is that being on camera, and doing something complicated on camera while trying to talk eloquently, is a decidedly unnatural thing.  That's why it's a good thing that the judges are people who are accustomed to looking at raw talent and seeing the diamond in the rough.

10:31 - Lisa's got a good connection to the camera, although you do feel like you have to "keep up" with her.

10:35 - The above was a pacing comment rather than a comment on her knowledge or, as Mrs. TVFF would say, her pretentious tone.

10:36 - Feasting coming soon!!!!  (September 7th)

10:38 - Hungry in Philadelphia:  also known as me at approximately 11:45 a.m.  Terrible name, espeically since the show has no real Philly connection and makes no reference to the main hook, the interactivity.

10:41 - Anyone else who would like to point out supposed liberal leanings in tonight's liveblog should feel free to do so in the comments!

10:46  - If I put a steak in a pan like that, we'd be taking the batteries out of the smoke detector to stop the beeping.  Must be nice to have a ventilation hood.

10:48 -That is one animated set of former contestants.

10:50 - That Alltel Circle Back feature gets to me.  Really...my attention span isn't that short.  I remember all the way back to the beginning of the hour.  And is it really necessary for those tuning in late?  Nothing has been decided, and I'm sure they get the gist of it.  Whatever.  It's getting late and I'm getting crotchety.

10:52 - The Chef Jeff Project apparently involves a lot of yelling.

10:57 - Brooke Johnson gets to make the big announcement?

10:58 - Nope...Bobby announces that Aaron McCargo Jr. is the winner.

10:59 - I think the discussion between Aaron and Bobby hit the nail on the head in terms of why Aaron won.  He got notes from the judges, he responded to them and provided to them a show that included the exact things that they were looking for from him.  There's something to be said for having your vision and sticking to it, but the thing that gets you ahead on these shows is to incorporate the judges' suggestions.  Simple as that.

Recap:  Well, if you went looking to find the winner when you heard about the leak the other day, you would have known who the winner was.  Unfortunatly, I was trying to preserve the suspense.  Oh well.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't happy to see Aaron, the Camden resident, come out on top.  I'm still not certain that his show will be a must-see for me, but he was certainly my home-town rooting interest.  And if you knew anything about Camden, you'd be happy that someone from there was getting a chance to make the city proud.

Thanks for tuning in, everyone!  Hope you had a good time!



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