Above you see our hero, Coley Gaffney, in a real screen cap from this week’s episode of The Next Food Network Star.  Coley wowed the judges with her dish and then fought the giant Statue of Liberty from New York, New York that came to life in the middle of the Vegas Strip.  She also was the only finalist in the end part where they get judged that looked nice.  Oh, but I guess I should say that only ONE of the things in that brief recap was true.  Why did i lie?  BECAUSE I EMULATE WHAT I SEE PEOPLE ON TV, DO.  THAT’S WHY!  See what you’ve done to me, Nicole?

I am not going to say much about the rest of the eppy.  Luca returned from the second floor (extra points if you get that) as the dub who got voted out so long ago I forgot he existed but then won the second chance thing and came back all handsome.  And the mini challenge was to sit in front of Giada and describe Vegas buffet food.  Coley did OK if you measure on a scale where “Not describing the stuff very well” is the highest and “smacked Giada in the face with a sweaty flip flop” was the lowest.  On that scale, she aced it.  But seriously everyone did crappy except Emma (who will lose if she doesn’t start taking my advice) so the first challenge was basically meaningless.

For the main challenge they had to cook something then explain it to a pool party full of pretty people.  If they did a good job the pretty people would come to their booth and buy their food with a little token, presumably wait 1/2 hour, and then go back swimming.  And that’s where sweet little Coley became Gaffneyavelli, the most devious chef in all the land.  How?  Well she wanted to keep with her Coastal Cuisine and do a Spanish scallop dish.  The Spanish part was wrapping it with Serrano ham.  Except she didn’t have that.  She had Prosciutto, from Italy.  So what did she do?  She said:  “these sun-tanned dopes won’t know the difference.  I’ll just use this one thing and tell them it is the other thing.  Big Whoop!”

And it really wasn’t a big whoop, because she was right.  Not one of the pool people said a thing.  And people liked it.  Who wouldn’t like a scallop?  I mean honestly, if you are at the pool you want something you can just shove in your mouth and go like a Coley scallop wrapped in mendacity or a mini corn dog.  You know how many people die in swimming pools every year from having a skewer jammed into their brain after eating a mango-shrimp kabob, EMMA?  Well it is probably a lot.  So I can’t be mad at Mrs. Gaffney because she knew her audience was dumb.  Which brings me to the “you better do this if you want to win” section of the recap.

Never Overestimate the Intelligence of the Viewer

Nicole.  Seriously.  You didn’t have to try to make the connection to Spain using Serrano ham.  I guarantee you that when 90% of the make viewers of the show heard the word Serrano they thought of this:

I love the fact that you lied, but I hate the fact that you didn’t think Alton would figure you out.  And Giada can’t even name Italian foods without adopting a ridiculous kind of Pepé Le Pew for Italians accent so you knew it wasn’t going to get by her, either.  If you are gonna lie, lie smarter.  Lick something you cook, then tell them you didn’t lick it.  They won’t know what to do.

Emma, I am not kidding, shut up about the places you have been.

I get that there is a segment of people who want to hear stories about how you dined on Great White Shark in Australia with your uncle and went ballooning in Switzerland with Ernest from Ernest Goes to Camp and that hot dogs remind you of that time you and your cousin Batman played baseball on a REAL DIAMOND.  But those people are not watching Food Network.  The people watching Food Network have kids coming home from school in an hour and they are tired and there is nothing in the fridge and they swear to god if that smelly kid Randy just shows up for dinner again they will call his parents because honestly does he only own one pair of pants?

You have a voice that can make people all calm.  Stop making their lives seem crappy because they don’t do all the fancy stuff you keep yapping about.  You are going to blow it.

All Finalists that Aren’t Coley, Lenny or Emma

Just quit.  You don’t have a chance unless Coley kills Bobby Flay, Emma kills Lenny because she thought he was a Nazi and Lenny was not a Nazi but is still dead (thanks, Emma).

Oh, and Coley, buy a map.

So you wanted to bring people to the Coast of Spain and you made up your big fat yummy lie by replacing Spanish meat with Italian meat.  Now I am not sure how much time you had to figure all of this stuff out but it seems to me that if you wanted to keep things to “Coastal Cuisine” that you might have been able to pull something together with the Italian Prosciutto.  I mean, it would be a stretch.  It isn’t like there is a ton of coastline in Italy…

Oh, wait, yes there is!


Finally, I do want to go back to the point I made earlier about Nicole looking nice during the final judging when everyone else looked like a total doofus.  I think you need to stick with that whole Grecian Statue / character from the old Star Trek look you had going, Coley.  And try to stand next to Lenny a lot because then you look even better by comparison.  And when you are standing next to him, please tell him that if he combs his beard in front of me one more time I will call Suzy what’s-her-name and get him kicked off the show.