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The Next Food Network Star: It’s The Season Finale With Rachael Ray, And We Have A Winner!

August 15, 2010 07:30 PM by Jennifer


As the final three arrive in New York City to compete for the title of The Next Food Network Star, it is now time for them to shoot pilots, with a little help from Rachael Ray! Keep reading to find out who won the competition!!

As Tom, Herb and Aarti arrive in New York City at the Food Network Studios, they are excited but scared to see what is on coming their way. As they are waiting, in walks Rachael Ray, who tell the three that they are going to each shoot a pilot of their own show. The trick here is that their show will not only be seen by the selection committee, but also by a focus group which will determine who they like the best. This adds extra pressure because the audience does not know their history, and this will be the first they see of them. Rachael sits down with each finalist and gives them some tips on what to do and what not to do.

As Herb starts taping, he first goes four minutes over the time limit. The second take is no better, he stumbles when he is talking. So he comes up with a brilliant idea, why not tape the pictures of his family to the camera so he is focused. That totally worked!! Not only was he comfortable by the camera, he totally forgot he was on television and was so hapy with his pilot. As Aarti is getting ready, she looks around at all of the cameras and people and realizes it is not going to be as easy as it looks. When she first starts off, she is a little flat and fumbles her words so Rachael Ray cuts the camera. Fo her second take, she told a personal story while cooking and she hit it out of the park! She was totally comfortable in front of the camera. Last but not least is Tom, and Rachael gives him a few pointers about how to prepare his dish, But when he starts to film, he starts to fumble his words like he cannot put a thought together. So she gives him a second try, and not only is he good in front of the camera, but she loved his food too!

After they are done filming, the three finalists get to sit down and they reminisce on all of the previous challenges where they made many mistakes, and it seems to light a fire under each of them to want to win the competition more and be The Next Food Network Star. But first they have a big hurdle to face, the focus group! The three finalists are able to watch the audiences reaction to their show. Herb’s plays first, and he is happy that Bobby Flay is smiling when watching, and Tom & Aarti are equally as impressed. The audience made some positive comments and one of the audience members said he would even go out and have a few beers with Herb.


Aarti was next, and as her pilot played, she saw some smiles in the audience, and she related to the audience really well with her pizza dish with a little Indian flavor added in. But both Aarti and Herb have realized that Tom has become a strong force in this competition, and is pilot is up next. His show, called Big Chef is a big hit with the audience. He totally makes people laugh, and they say they would love to see more! Great news for Tom, but a little disappointing for Herb and Aarti for how well he did.

As Bobby Flay lets the audience go, the selection committee has a tough job to do. They have to go by the audience’s reaction, plus this entire season of The Next Food Network Star to pick a winner. Aarti, Tom ad Herb wait patiently they see all of the photos of the stars of other Food Network Shows, and there is one blank, and one of them will be filling that spot. As they take their place in front of the selection committee of Bob Tuschman, Susie Fogelson and Bobby Flay, each finalist is told how they have all come so far in this competition, and that they are all stars in their own right. But instead of announcing the winner right away, they ask all three to leave the studio so they can chat and come up with a winner. How nerve-wracking! I don’t know how they stay so patient, I would be a wreck!! They are waiting for a decision that will change their lives, making them a household name and give them the opportunity for an empire like Rachael Ray!

As they walk in and face the judges for the final time ever, Bobby Flay introduces Brooke Johnson, President of the Food Network, who tells all three how impressed they are, and that the winner will start taping their own show the next day. As the tension builds, Bobby Flay slowly reveals the photo of The Next Food Network Star on the wall with the other stars. As the curtain falls, a huge picture is revealed… of Aarti! Congratulations to Aarti, who has become The Next Food Network Star!!

I can’t wait to see her new show, Aarti Party!!! What a grueling season it has been, but it sure was a great one!!

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Photo credit: Food Network

Topics: Food Network Reality TV Shows, The Next Food Network Star |

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