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'Food Network Star' recap: Perfection is so overrated

July 09, 2012|By Rene Lynch
  • Martita Jara
Martita Jara (Food Network )

Viewers won't miss Martita Jara's overdone accent and her bottomless barrel of excuses for why she just couldn't break through on"Food Network Star."

But here's what we will miss. Her gorgeous smile. That food! Her rich family roots. And her poignant perspective on what it means to be a bridge generation between two cultures.

Why, Martita, why was it so hard for you to open up and act more like a home ec teacher than a culinary ambassador between the U.S. and Mexico??

Martita and Ippy Aiona seemed neck-and-neck as they both ended up on the bottom of this week's challenge, which was a live demo at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Their team leaders booby-trapped the demos in a variety of ways to force each competitor to come face-to-face with their weaknesses. Their reaction would help the network see just how far they've progressed.

Actually, Martita seemed like she might have an edge over Ippy.

After all, Giada De Laurentiis had beaten Martita over the head with the need to get personal and tell a story about a mystery ingredient. Surely, if Martita would do just that, she would shine brighter than Ippy, right? Wrong!

Ippy's showing in the producers' challenge was OK. Although, it began to fall apart on second viewing. Bug juice? Tangerines? What did it have to do with the mystery ingredient, which was an orange?

It became more confusing as he kept talking. The bug juice was a...dip? For tangerines?

It's still not clear.

But it just underscores how poorly Martita did that she couldn't beat Ippy. And then, if the judges had any doubt about their choice, Martita sealed her fate when she opened the door to her personal life just a bit and began talking about her father taking in citrus was enough to give Susie Fogelson chills.

But by then, it was too little too late. 'Bye, Martita!

Next week, the field gets chopped in half and then it will be up to viewers to decide who will be the next "Food Network Star." Thoughts on who will be among the last standing? I feel like Ippy and Nikki Martin are not long for this world...

You know who is totally growing on me? Martie Duncan. She was so sassy and charming in her demo. Meanwhile, Lipsticks, A.K.A. Justin Warner, came off a little standoffish and cocky. Oh no, Lipsticks! Reel it back in, you need to win over voters, remember?

Nikki was rattled by the crowd, but nonetheless slipped through. Yvan Lemoine was flawless and is beginning to show glimmers of just how bright he can shine. (His voice modulation is still a bit irritating. Just talk normally, dude!)

Michele Ragussis had what was arguably the hardest challenge of all -- she was purposely given bad timing cues. Nonetheless, she aced it.

It all proved yet once again that the network isn't looking for perfection. It's looking for a perfectly imperfect storyteller.


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