Yesterday afternoon I headed down to Chelsea Markets and paid a visit to the Food Network offices. I was invited to meet Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson – judges from ‘The Next Food Network Star’ – and get a sneak peek at their first two episodes for this coming season.
I LOVE this show! Do you watch it? I really enjoy to cooking and this reality program is right up my alley. After 6 seasons, Bob and Susie had a lot to say about their involvement with the network’s highest rated show.
The room was filled with writers and we each had the opportunity to ask the pair a few questions. I asked for my own show… but nothing came out of it. Hey – you can’t say I didn’t try!! 🙂
Here’s a few things I learned from my trip:
- Evaluations take between 6 and 8 hours! Can you imagine? The judges actually sit that long and discuss the fate of the contestants until they each are satisfied with the result.
- Bob says at the beginning of the show each judge picks who they think will win before the season starts and he’s only been right ONCE!
- I asked if they ever thought about specializing the show so it focuses on a need the network has. For example, ‘The Next Food Network BBQ star’. Not going to happen. They like the show to decide what the network will get. If a BBQ guy wins, then a BBQ show is created.
- What defines a star? “You just know it when you see it. It’s an instinctual thing.” Their “energy and radiance comes through their eyes.” I was trying to make my eyes glow – it didn’t work.
- The group likes to “keep the challenges current” with what’s happening in the food industry. They also make sure that each of the 12 tasks are traits the winner needs to possess. If you can master them all, then you can be on the Food Network.
- This season was shot in LA and it really gave the show a chance to be sexier. New restaurants, backdrops, celebrity guests etc. The warmer weather also had the crew in a much better mood. 🙂 I can see that!
- Judges look at skill and personality at a 50/50 split. You need both to succeed and one does not weigh more than the other.
- This season consists of the best chefs to date. Bob and Susie said they’ve “never tasted better food”.
- DRAMA – expect it!! There’s fighting and conflict within the group and it is going to make for “good TV”.
- In the first season, about 10,000 people entered. The number has dwindled every season since. It’s HARD being on one of these shows and the audience now recognizes that.
Will you be tuning it this summer? The 2 hour premiere is June 6th on Food Network!