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'Food Network Star' recap: Who doesn't like a good catfight?

June 6, 2011 | 12:16 pm

FNS
Thank you, Food Network, for this food fight.

I've watched "Food Network Star" from the very beginning. And I liked the fact that the show tended to keep it all a little high-brow, sidestepping a lot of the down-and-dirty reality TV stuff.

But I lke this a whole lot better.

Season 7 is rebooting the franchise with a sleeker new name and a group that's ready to rumble. Exhibit A: The bickering and catfighting between Penny and Alicia — yes, I said catfighting! Let's hope that these two stick around for a lot longer because I'm pretty sure that Penny sucked up all the self-confidence that Alicia is missing, and it's gotta all end in a fiery showdown, dontcha think? I would like to know what Alicia thought after watching last night's epsiode. Do you think she said, "Hey! No one was making fun of my deep husky voice except me!" Or did it all go sailing right over her insecure head?

I know I am a bad person for saying this, but I laughed and reached for the remote when she had her meltown with Alton "The Exterminator" Brown. I was reaching for the remote because I had to relive it — and A.B.'s stone-faced reaction — again and again. This is clearly a woman who has largely gotten to this point in her life based upon her looks. That said, I like her style and I think her cooking concept has legs.

Another LOL reach-for-the remote moment: When Penny kept giving Alicia "The Buzzer." At first I thought, did she really do that? Yup, she really did do that.

The sniping aside, I find Penny absolutely fascinating. First, because, as I said, girl's got oodles of self-confidence to spare. But also because her Middle Eastern-meets-American is completely new to me, and, apparently, would be new to Food Network audiences. I could almost see the wheels turning in Susie Fogelson's head as a whole wide new world of marketing opportunities twinkled in her mind's eye.

Am I crazy to think that ... she could ... possibly end up on Food Network as an ambassador between that world and this?

I'm not sure I'm ready to pick a next "Food Network Star" out of this bunch. How about you? But I can say this much: There are several shows I'd gladly plug into the DVR right now, sight unseen, including Jyll's finger food extravaganza, Katy's (presumably) fit-yet-still-delicious fare, Jeff's Manwich-palooza. Orchid clearly skyrocketed to front-runner status, but we've seen in the past that that's not always a good thing.

Quote of the week, hands down, goes to Justin, who said Penny-versus-Alicia was like watching a "cougar" face off with a lion in a wrestling match, although, alas, "not even a sexy one I want to watch."

Missed opportunity of the week: Food Network should have employed a counter to tally up the number of times Penny used the word "sexy."

ALSO:

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The Killing' recap: Let's do something else for a while

— Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: The contestants on "Food Network Star." Photo credit: Food Network.

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