This post contains spoilers for the 6/23 episode of The Next Food Network Star
I've made it abundantly clear that I have a quasi-addiction to elimination-type shows. I've managed to get this disease into a state of remission, whereby I've limited my dalliances with the genre to a specific subset - mainly cooking shows. These include (but are not limited to) MasterChef, The Next Food Network Star, The Next Iron Chef, Top Chef, etc. I've already made it clear that I believe these "reality" shows are in some respects scripted - possibly including plants in the cast, so I will forgo the continued rant on that subject.
The Next Food Network Star adds another layer of intrigue to the cooking challenge existing in MasterChef, Top Chef, et. al. - that being the person must also display the qualities of a potential television host. Watching the other cooking challenges, my propensity continues to be to root for the person who I find aesthetically appealing and/or is ethnically diverse from the "normal" contestants (mostly because I find ethnic foods to be interesting and often delicious). The Next Food Network Star justifies my admittedly superficial inclinations by adding that "star" quality as a requisite.
That being said, I was happy to see Lovely go. I mentioned earlier that I typically root for the minority contestants - but the sassy attitude mixed with use of the pseudonym turned me off from day one.
Which brings about the question... why use the pseudonym to begin with? The answer is likely "the twist." There always needs to be a twist, something to isolate you from the other contestants. I frankly don't even remember the names of the pie guy or the barbecue guy, but I don't need to. They're The Pie Guy and The Barbecue Guy, and that makes sense on the FOOD NETWORK! Lovely? Not so much. So, rule number one for pseudonym use should be - Know Your Target Audience. Andres was already eliminated for failing to recognize who the Network is pandering to.
The odd part about any of this is the fact that I rarely follow the winners of the show afterwards. The Hearty Boys, Guy Fieri, Amy Finley, Aaron McCargo, Jr., Melissa d'Arabian, Aarti Sequeira, and Justin Warner; all the winners of their respective The Next Food Network Star season. I may have seen a few episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I was convinced I would follow Aarti Party when I was rooting for her to win, but alas, I have no real interest in those shows. So, why do I get invested in any of this? I don't have an answer, but I'm open to suggestion.