NFNS: After the Fall Out

August 22, 2008 at 3:19 am 9 comments

UPDATE: Big Daddy’s Kitchen has been renewed for 13 more episodes.  Read HERE.

It’s been roughly a month since the controversial ending of The Next Food Network Star.  The fall out was tremendous and everyone (self included) has their own opinion.  A few facts:  Aaron McCargo Jr. was named the winner and his new show Big Daddy’s House premiered a few weeks ago to less than steller reviews.  Adam Gertler has been given his own show, Will Cook For Food which premieres in September in one of the coveted primetime slots with Ted Allen’s Food Detectives as a lead in.  Lisa Garza, who remains the most seached for NFNS contestant on Google, was last seen doing personal apperances for Texas-based Whole Foods Markets.  Kelsey Nixon was the overwhelming winner of the fan poll on Food Network’s own web site and has since married Robby Egan – Aaron went to the wedding.  Kelsey has also retooled her web site, for those wanting catering and cooking classes.  Shane “Cheesey Mac” Lyons, a former child star is currently working as a private chef.  The others have enjoyed their 15 minutes.

FN giving Adam his own show, in primetime no less, is a clear indication that they know they made a mistake.  I’m waiting to see if Lisa also ends up with a deal.  Likely it would be on sister network Fine Living where it appears she is a star in waiting but there are rumors of a possible deal with Bravo and oddly enough HGTV.  Kelsey and Shane are the two that really got shafted in this whole deal.  The final should have been between them.  Despite the fact that they were head and shoulders better than anyone else on the show they were both sent packing for the same reason – they were too young.  If Bob Tuschman had such a problem with their age then why have them on the show to begin with?  And if age is such a factor why give 26-year-old Mary Nolan a series without even making her compete?

Aaron’s show is mediocre at best and at times is just flat out hard to watch.  Clearly my tastes are different from many in the country; Barfefoot Contessa remains popular and I have absolutley no idea why?  The same can be said for Semi-Homemade Cooking.  But from what I have read most viewers feel the same as I do about Big Daddy’s House.  Now, I will watch Big Daddy before either Ina or Sandra, but I’m not setting a reminder for any of the three.

I think they found the perfect vehicle for Adam.  He loves food and has a talent when it comes to BBQ, but I am not convinced he can actually cook, at least not on a level to justify having a cooking show.  Not yet, any way.  If I’m Adam, I spend my spare time hanging out in Hyde Park.  A travel show will be great for Adam, it will give him a chance to show off his talents.

My guess is that ten years from now Lisa and Kelsey are both stars, Adam too.  Aaron will make the move to public television and open a highly succesful restaurant in Jersey that assures his family of a comfortable life.  I would not be surprised if Shane washes his hands of television all together.


Entry filed under: Food News. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Table 8 For Sale? ICA Epic Battles Week


  • 1. Beverly  |  September 2, 2008 at 5:15 pm


  • 2. Darlisha  |  October 25, 2008 at 11:40 am

    At times, Aaron came off as being very confused and scared during the competition but none the less, he knew how to cook. When it came down to each contestant having to make a short version of thier t.v. show, for the final competition, yes Aaron did flop alot and he did have many takes but he pulled himself together to make the best show. Their where no mistakes made in picking the winner. Aaron was the best choice because has all the qualities that it takes to have his own Food Network show.

  • 3. Bob Carmichael  |  October 25, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Your post is contradictory. Although you, yourself point out that “Aaron came off as being very confused and scared” and that “Aaron did flop alot” and that “he did have many takes” you also say that he was “the best choice.” Based on what? It certainly wasn’t diction or on-camera presence. Aaron was clearly not the worst contestant in the competition – Kevin Roberts was, but Aaron was also far from the best. He was middle of the road. The top five were Kelsey, Shane, Lisa, Adam, and Aaron – in that order. Kelsey and Shane were so much better than all of the others combined that it was crazy when they were booted.

    Aaron’s new show is terrible – almost unwatchable because he is so hard to understand and spends so much of the time with his back to the camera. That being said, Aaron’s show is much, much better than Barefoot Contessa which has been boring viewers for years.

  • 4. Rachel  |  October 26, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    I like Aarons show, I find it to be funny and entertaining. Now if I was looking for something to make for my husband for dinner I may not turn to this, but if I was looking for something quick and simple for kids or myself, he has my vote. I did love Lisa but she is much to good for Food Network IMO. They best thing could did was let her go so that the best she may pursue higher things. As far Aaron he inspires my children to cook and get involved. What could be better than that!

    Adam IMO can capture a audience and there is no doubting that, however I am not sure that he can cook. Lets remember when Martha Stewart and Paula Dean came even Bobby Flay, Aaron and Lisa got stellar remarks about their food and taste. Adam on the other hand his comments weren’t as good.

  • 5. slarue  |  November 1, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    has anyone gotten a call back for season 5 after a live interview???

  • 6. Napanan  |  November 11, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    I originally got a call back after my initial interview in LA. I was video taped cooking, talking, etc the very next day. Got a call a few days later for extra pictures of myself but nothing since. The extended the video apps to this Friday the 14th so I’m hoping for the best.

  • […] was one of three contestants who were consistantly better than McCargo during the competition yet were mysteriously ousted.  Shane brought a natural energy to the set and McCargo instantly […]

  • 8. Mistica  |  June 5, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    I totally agree with you about Semi-Homemade and Sandra Lee. I am amazed that show has lasted as long as it has. Her cooking is a joke (LOL…I recently saw her in a print ad as Chef Sandra Lee!) and her decorating is even worse, i.e. table setting, etc. I like Ina, but her show has outlived it usefulness or enjoyment. Time for both shows to go. I don’t think this is the first mistake for NFNS. Amy Finley was terrible. After she made baked eggs (are you kidding me???) on the Rachael Ray show along with a terrible presentation/performance, she should have been booted out the door never to return. Dory (I think that was her name) would probably have a hit show. The FN people should scout for talent for this show rather than sit and wait for applicants. There are just tooooo many bad contestants.

  • 9. NFNS 5: Why Should I Watch? « Wannabe TV Chef  |  June 7, 2009 at 9:12 am

    […] swirled about the controversial outcome.  Many allege that recent complaints about the Lilly white line-up of the Food Network had led […]


  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Stuart Reb Donald

Stuart is a celebrity chef and award winning food writer. Donald performs live cooking demonstrations and penned the cookbook Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor."


Watch me on!

%d bloggers like this: