First up today I haven’t had a chance to talk about this past week’s “The Next Food Network Star” and it definitely deserves a posting. I really think this year’s show is better than ever. That doesn’t mean the cast is better than ever, maybe it’s even the opposite. It’s just entertaining because there really isn’t a clear cut winner anymore. I was sure it was Jeffrey for the first few weeks, but now I feel like the winner could be Debbie. I personally wouldn’t pick her, but I kind of feel like the judges may like her best and actually want her to win. This week the first task the conestants were competing in was the “airport food” challenge. Jamika’s presentation kind of went off track with her giving “tmi” about how airplane food causes bathroom visits. Yeah we have to remember this show should actually be almost all about how the presentation goes. Sure the food has to be good, but this is about a TV star and I don’t think Jamika is one. Next up Debbie was bubbly and showed her ease on cam, but her food wasn’t what the judges were looking for. Still since it’s the presentation that matters Debbie was up at this point, but then Jeffrey came along and kicked butt in his delivery and food. Jeffrey was also tops here for me because he did a vegetarian egg dish that looked delish. Melissa was up next and I’m sorry to say this. I think the judges like her, but she comes off as fake to me. I just don’t think she’ll make it to the top two, but she could make it to top three. As for Michael I’m with the judges on him. I really like him, but he himself has said he isn’t comfortable on TV and again that is what this is about. Jeffrey ended up taking-off (get it??) with this challenge by a mile. The contestants then jetted off to my hometown Miami. I’m soooo jealous I would have loved to compete in Miami. I won’t dwell on what they all did in sunny South FLA, but here are the highlights and lowlights for me. They were catering a dinner party and luckily Melissa recognized that they needed to do a vegetarian dish. I have to give her props where props are due. I’ve been at dinner parties where there aren’t many veg options and that is just silly. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again “EVERYONE EATS VEGETARIAN FOOD”. Even if you are a meat eater I will bet you eat vegetarian food too. As for typical catered food if you eat meat do you also grab mozzarella sticks? Yes. Do you eat spinach feta bites? Yes. Do you eat stuffed mushrooms? Yes. Anyway do you get it? If you are catering a party you should have several veg options because they make everyone happy not just a few people. So yes Melissa did three dishes in order to do her roasted veg dish. This competition definitely seemed to be the hardest for everyone. It was a lot of food to make and they all seemed stressed. We can’t put ourselves in their shoes, but what I can say is no one seemed totally at ease. Well at some points Michael seemed too at ease actually but that worked against him because he was voted off. He just didn’t really get what his role on this show should be. Again though I really like him and hope he succeeds in the front of the house somewhere because he is entertaining. What really stood out at this party though was Debbie. She really didn’t seem to pull her weight and either she didn’t realize this or she just decided to take more credit than was due to her. In the judges luckily the judges saw Debbie’s true side, but since Michael basically admitted he wasn’t good on cam I don’t see how the judges could have kept him another week so yes Debbie will be back and I honestly think her and Jeffrey will eventually go head to head in the finals. After that I think Jeffrey should win. I know Debbie is different than anyone on the Food Network now, but I don’t see widespread appeal in a show about Korean food and that seems all she likes to do. I see Jeffrey maybe doing a travel type food show. Only time will tell if the Food Network feels the same way. Can’t wait to see this coming week’s episode!