Food network Star is an American cooking themed reality television series that premiered its first season on June 5, 2005 on the cable channel Food Network. Prior to the seventh season this series was titled “The Next Food Network Star”. The series is produced by Diana J. Lewis (“The Rosanne Show” and “Made”) and airs exclusively on the Food Network.
The series begins each season with twelve contestants, eliminating them one by one, until the season ends with one remaining, to be crowned winner and given their very own show on the Food Network. The road traveled from beginning to end is not an easy one, as each participant is charged with proving they have what it takes to be the winner. Each entrant must prove their worth, exhibiting not only the culinary skills, but the personality and presence to host their very own show. The competition venues include festivals, television spots, as well as a multitude of one-on-one situations. Although the primary emphasis is on the skills in the kitchen, a screen presence is also a major requirement, as each contestant must prove they have what it takes to communicate and connect with a television audience. With guidance and tutelage by world renowned chefs Gaida De Laurentis and Bobby Flay, who also serve on the team of the series judges, the contestants are taken through a series of tests to find out who knows their stuff. The judges appointed for the season meet each week, talk over the results, and then eliminate one participant. In the end, after all the trials, tears, and tribulations, the one left standing will be awarded their one show on the Food Network.
The format of the series has changed several times over the years. With the recent season, which premiered on May 22, 2016, the series twelfth, the series decided to start with a featuring of thirteen contestants, rather than the traditional twelve as in previous seasons. The thirteenth contestant, Martita Jara, was a previous contestant in the eighth season of the series. Seven former contestants of Food Network Star were pitted against each other during a three-week spinoff series titled Comeback Kitchen. The former Food Network Star participants battled for a second chance at glory, appearing in the twelfth season of the main series. The judges with the final say, and holding the contestants future in their hands in were host chef Tyler Florence (“The Great Food Truck Race” and “Food Court Wars”) and chef/actress Valerie Bertinelli (“Hot In Cleveland” and “One Day At A Time”). Of note was the inclusion of the six-week web series, titled Star Salvation, hosted by Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli and season 11 Food Network winner Eddie Jackson, featured the most recently eliminated contestant of the series competing against previously eliminated fellow rivals for a coveted chance to reenter the main competition.
Food Network Star shows with a 6.4 out of 10 rating on the IMDB site. Considering the number of food and cooking related series available out there today, this is a pretty respectable rating. Most viewers cite the reason that this series appeals to them is not only the new and unique dishes presented in each challenge, but the actual challenge itself. They find as the episodes progress, they begin to root for a favorite, and really want to see that favorite make it all the way through to the end. Critics, on the other hand, have their problems and issues with the show. They will concede that the series is the Food Networks highest rated show, and has been for a while now. The critics will also admit that on the surface, it is a great series if you like to pick a favorite contestant and root for them. However, the series fails season after season to live up to its name. The only “star” that the Food Network Star has ever produced is Guy Fieri. That’s it, only the one, only him. Also noted by the critics is that other than the Food Network Star, the majority of the shows on the channel do feature this one “star”, but it seems to lack presenting his cooking abilities, which coincidentally is what earned him his success.
With the series getting ready to finish up its current and twelfth season on July 31, 2016, there is no information currently found confirming renewal or cancellation. Having done as well as it has, for twelve seasons, one would tend to believe that the format is working, and that there is a good chance of renewal.
If by chance you missed any of the previous seasons, you can catch them over at Amazon.com.
Will the Food Network Star be awarded a thirteenth season? Will the judges remain the same, or will someone new step up and take on the challenge? If given a new season what styles and types of dishes would you like to see the contestants challenged with?
Whatever your answer make sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on any news and updates for when a show is renewed or cancelled. You will receive an automatic email when the Food Network Star series thirteenth season release date is officially announced.