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'Food Network Star': Let's just cut to the final three, and Penny

August 1, 2011 | 12:52 pm

Whitney The "Food Network Star" judges should have done everyone a favor and sent Whitney AND Mary Beth home. But then, come to think of it, we wouldn't have a front-row seat to next week's presumed fireworks between Mary Beth and the returning Penny. As Penny might say: "ME-OW."

As we race toward the Aug. 14 finale you can sense the star power emerging. This week's guest roaster, comic Judy Gold, described it best in regards to Jeff: "He really is a TV personality. He has 'it.' " (And that includes some "subtle sexiness," according to judge Susie Fogelson.) Vic has it too. Isn't it amazing how he just lights up the screen when he's "Mama's boy," but sinks like lead when he's doing his Vegas lounge lizard act? The death of Vic Vegas indeed!

And as for the other Susie ... I don't see "star" power in her as much as I see an incredibly appealing personality ... and Food Network sees an opportunity to pull in an incredibly appealing demographic. She truly is the American Dream personified. All the rest of it can be learned. As the Flayman and Bob Tuschman put it to Susie: "Your raw talent, to me, is gold," and, "We can teach people how to cook ... we can't give people personalities. You have that."

I'm ready to lock in all three on the DVR.

Mary Beth and Whitney? No so much.

Mary Beth and Whitney both have warm, attractive looks, but both sorely lack a little something. Whitney can cook and speak with authority, but she's wooden and putoffish. Mary Beth doesn't always bring the cooking chops, and as we saw in this week's roast before the comedians, sometimes she comes off as an academic. Not really appetizing.

In the end, Whitney inspired confidence, but not much else, which is why she was sent home this week.

Do you think it even matters who wins the finale at the point? It's clear that Susie, Jeff and Vic will all be in the finale and I'm betting that we'll see them all among the Food Network ranks in the near future.

Random observation: Bob T. has the most telling grimaces, doesn't he?

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--Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: "Food Network Star" contestant Whitney Chen inspired confidence but not much else and was sent home. Credit: Food Network

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