Sunday, August 15, 2010

Join the Paarti

On this season of "The Next Food Network Star" by former co-worker Aarti Sequeira is one of the contestants vying for the title and with it the prestigious show on the Food Network.
Before the season started I was unsure of how Aarti's cooking would be (I never knew her to be a foodie) but thought for certain she would shine in the "camera challenges" because of her TV background.

Aarti is dominating The Next Food Network Star

Turns out just the opposite was true. Aarti's food has consistently impressed the judges, including the obnoxious Bobby Flay, the love Giada De Laurentiis and the elderly homosexual who talks out of the side of his mouth, Bob Tushman.
But things Aarti should have been great at (timing, ease in front of the camera) turned out to be her bugaboos.
Despite her occassional hiccups Aarti has clearly dominated the competition winning more than anyone else, and failing far less often.
To keep things interesting Food Network created a story arc for Aarti -- she lacks confidence. True they did find moments of weakness where Aarti engaged in self-deprecating, apologetic behavior. But I think this wasn't due to a lack of confidence, simply more of a subconscious bar-lowering.
But I noticed a turning point in the penultimate episode. While Aarti was tearing up poor Herb in the Iron Chef Challenge Bobby Flay plainly asked her if she was happy with a certain dish.
In the split second it took her to answer, I could almost feel her thinking of all the excuses she could make for why the dish was substandard. But she rejected those doubts and answered "yes." Bobby Flay said "good, it's delicious."
I think in that moment Aarti clinched the show in the eyes of the judges who know she's the best and were just waiting for her to figure it out or at least show it.
In tonight's finale I'm sure she'll be crowned "The Next Food Network Star."

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