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Eight people (or seven people and one team) hit up the Food Network for a pilot of their own show. But who'll beat the heat and who'll get out of the kitchen?

Recaps by Jason Block, GSNN


FACT FILE:

Host:
Marc Summers
Judges: Bob Tischman, Susie Fogelson, Gordon Elliott
EP: Tom Seligson
Packager: CBS EYEtoo Productions for Food Network
Airs: Sundays at 9pm ET on Food Network


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"Part 3" - June 12

We are back and we are down to 7 potential Food Network chefs...

This week it is all about culinary philosophy. And to explain his philosophy is Mario Batali. Batali's philosophy is "simplicity mixed with classicism." And he shows his philosophy by making a pizza. Batali says pizza is not a gavonne (gluttonous thing)...so we are going to see how your philosophy is shown through pizza...

CHALLENGE #1: Create and make your own pizza. You have 30 minutes to make the pizza and be ready to demo it.

The team is shown to a table with every known topping...and some unknown topping. Deborah wants to make it Caribbean. Hans said the tentacles are his. Mario Batali is there to supervise. The committee is watching. Midway through the challenge, Susannah suffers a nasty cut on her index finger. She chose to plug away and not be a whiner. Eric's dough wouldn't roll out...and time is up.

Now we demo the pizza in front of Marc and Mario...and Mario tastes each pizza. Hans does a Calamari pizza. Susan Fogelson said he talked about it in an unappetizing way. Batali said it was extra cheesy and there was a clam shell on it.

Michael Thomas is next. His pizza came out wrong with one side to thin and one side too thick. So his demo explained that it would satisfy different crust styles. He called it the "crumbling colosseum pizza." The demo was clean, and no one caught his screw up. He felt "lucky".

Next is Deborah Fewell who did a Caribbean Pizza. Bob Tischman: "That's not who she is. I don't think she can keep that up."

Steve and Dan due a caramelized onion pizza with duck comfit. Susan said they gelled and were moving together. She thought they nailed the demo. Mario called it one of the top 2 pizzas.

Harmony did an "all-inclusive" pizza. She called it "an adventure of the senses." Mario called it beautiful and perfect.

Eric poured way too much flour. He said he looked like Casper the Friendly Ghost. He made a submarine shaped pizza that "touches the human heart".

Susannah did a simplistic pizza but her demo was not one of the best. Tischman said she was pretending to have fun and when the cameras went off the air, her expression changed. We see her going to the hospital. She hates needles, but she needs so stitches. They gave her some pain medication.

CHALLENGE #2: Pitch your show idea based on your philosophy to the Food Network Committee.

Everyone was working all night on their pitches.

Harmony goes first. She called her show "Cooking with your senses." She felt "underprepared." The committee gets to ask questions of the pitchees. Fogelson said she had a unique point of view, but her pitch was a disaster.

Deborah pitches a show called "Eating with Deborah." It was a hybrid celebrity, variety and cooking show. After her pitch she felt happy and thrilled. Gordon Elliott felt she was too ambitious. Tischman felt Deborah was invented and not real.

Hans is next. His called "Inhibition Kitchen"--face your fear and cook it. Fogelson said the pitch wasn't doing anything for him.

Eric was up. He pitched a show called "Mean Cuisine". It would be filled with traditional entrees to touch the human heart. "Who couldn't love a face like this?" Tischman said he was a nice person...what is "mean cuisine?" He said it was just a tagline. He felt happy after the demo. Fogelson said the pitch was great and off the chain.

Steve and Dan pitch a show called "Soup to Nuts". Dan would be the cook and Steve the sous chef. It would be a party/menu planning show.

Susannah's show is "Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Thinner". Tischman asked her about the uniqueness of her diet show. Gordon Elliott called it well thought out...and "that's a show".

Michael was last and did "Where on Earth's My Dinner?" Food is an experience...and I will travel the world to get it. Tischman called his pitch a revelation. Fogelson called it outstanding.

CHALLENGE #3: Cook a dish based on the theme, "Summer Celebration". You will have 35 minutes to cook the dish, have it ready for prep and when the dish is demoed the committee will taste it and judge it. The committee will also judge you on how you read the recipe breakdown on the teleprompter.

After 35 minutes, and a lot of chaos...the time is up.

Deborah is first. She has a grilled corn, edamame and blackeyed peas salad. Some of her corn and edamame were not on the demo plate and when the committee tastes it, Elliott said, "If I were in the restaurant I would be calling the waiter."

#2 is Hans who did a pan-seared rack of lamb with a chipotle barbeque sauce. He took the notes the committee gave him last time and showed more personality. Elliott: "That is talent".

#3 is Eric who did a potato salad. Tischman saw that he dies in the live environment. His demo was horrible. The committee did like the potato salad.

#4 is Susannah who did her Greek Goddess Shrimp Salad. "I want to win this." But she forgot some seasoning and the committee found it bland.

#5 is Harmony did a seafood bruschetta. She concentrated on the talking parts. And Tischman said this recipe showed signs of life.

#6 are Dan and Steve who did Middle Eastern Beef Kabobs. Their sauce was so thick that it started a fire in the kitchen. Even so, they told Marc... "WE DIDN'T STOP THE SHOW!"

#7 and last is Michael who did a Chocolate Tofu Mousse Pie with Raspberry Sauce. He was there to entertain and inform. And the committee loved the pie.

Elimination time. Tischman--some are recoiling in front of the camera. First is Eric. Gordon says he is his TV Friend, but you need to get the technical down. We want you to stay. He is SAFE.

Dan and Steve (by Tischman)--you are playful and informative, but you need to balance your team better. You are not equal. But they are staying. They are SAFE.

Michael (by Susan) You are funny and entertaining. We want you to stay.

Susannah thinks her injury might hurt her. Gordon says she has a camera presence but we need to crack you open to see the personality and real you. She is SAFE and staying.

Hans (by Bob) you were on the cusp last week, but he was smooth and confident this week, but you need to step it up evern further. He is SAFE and staying.

It's down to Harmony and Deborah. Susan says off camera Harmony is charming, but on camera we didn't see it. Deborah has a 10,000 watt smile, but her demos feel apart. However, Deborah is staying and Harmony Marceau from NYC is out. Harmony cries and we end the show with the 6 left eating their summer selections.

My opinion at this point: Deborah is in serious trouble. So is Eric and Michael. The favorites at this point are Dan and Steve, Hans and Susannah. But we will see what challenges are next in episode IV of "The Next Food Network Star!"

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