Next Food Network Star shows just how hard being in (and staying in) the spotlight really is.
Food Network's popular reality show is a guilty pleasure for many fans of the network. It's also the most comprehensive anthology ever compiled detailing exactly what it takes to be a great on-air host. Hint: Little of it has to do with how good of a cook you may be. What's fascinating about this show is how acclaimed chefs who have had grand successes in the restaurant industry so often emerge as absolute failures when they have to deliver a 2-minute cooking segment facing a camera, while the boy next door who only knows how to make a great sandwich or grill up some steaks often emerges a winner.
Now in its ninth season, Food Network Star is still about the basics: Do you have what it takes to get your mug on T.V.? Is your story compelling, are you a good teacher, are you smooth and engaging and comfortable with the cameras? Do people like you and want you to cook in their kitchens? One by one the hosts cut the chefs until they decide on a winner, who gets their own pilot.
This season features an endearing Chicago native, Chef Lovely, whose "glam up the kitchen" style of cooking is sassy and fun. Rumor has it she stirs with jewel-encrusted spoons back home. Lovely has a passion for kids, and in her spare time can be found supporting Michelle Obama's initiative to bring better food to schools. "Sometimes we just have to step outside ourselves to make a difference," says Lovely. Go, Lovely!
Next Food Network Star airs Sunday nights. Watch full episodes online here.