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Food Network: Searching for Stars

I watched the recent The Next Food Network Star, and I thought, if nothing else, that it was entertaining.  I like food, I like stars, so what better thing to do then pair them.  When the series began what had happened was what I expected to happen.  While the candidates all seemed to be able to cook well, they bombed when they had to get in front of the camera.  Fair enough. 

Tthere is also this other food tv show called Throwdown with Bobby Flay starring, of course, Chef Bobby Flay, owner and executive chef of, among several others, the Mesa Grill, a restaurant that I've been wanting to visit just because the sign looks so cool and also because I love Southwestern cuisine, the kind of food he is noted for making.

In Bobby Flay's show the food network people go around looking for the greatest this or the best that--for example, the person who makes the best Sticky Buns.  When they find someone they tell them some story about how Food Tv is looking about for talent for a new series in which the selected person will get their own show.  So the cameras roll, the chef does her audition and out of nowhere comes  Bobby Flay who surprises and challenges them to a showdown--a theme on a variation of Candid Camera.

My question is this.  Why do the chef's or cooks picked for the Throwdown show do so well in front of the camera having not done any sort of television work, and those who are picked for the New Food Network Star show just suck.

So here is my thoughts on this thing.  Those who look for talent for Throwdown must comb through hundreds of applicants that not only have a local reputation for cooking something great, but who also has a personality and presence that would appeal to viewers.

On the other side we have Next Food Network Star.  So I imgine with this is that they pour over thousands of applicants and try to choose those with great ideas for new food network shows and who they think could grow into the role of a food network start, but that don't have a natural grasp of what to do in front of a camera.  In the most recent food network star, several of the candidates seemed to be natural in front of the camera, but others were terrible.  Perhaps the food network tries to find a lopsided mix.  But this is all supposition.  I have no idea how any of that stuff really works, and I don't really want to. I would rather sit in my comfy armchair and just think about such things.

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