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Is Bobby Flay interested in more than Ana Quincoces' cooking skills?

Chanel Dubofsky is a fiction writer, journalist and editor based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work on gender, sexuality, religion and reproductive justice has been publishing in Cosmopolitan, RH Reality Check, The Billfold, The Toast, The ...

Apparently Giada De Laurentiis isn't the only one on Food Network Star who fans will accuse of favortism

Oh boy. So, as of this writing, Ana Quincoces is still a contestant on Food Network Star, despite outrage on Twitter from fans of the show. On tonight's new episode, baker Erin Campbell was sent packing after she defended her lackluster chocolate chip cookie to judge Bobby Flay. And yet Ana, easily the most polarizing contestant to come along on Food Network Star in a while, still has a solid chance at winning, even though she keeps ending up in the bottom. What, actually, is going on?

More: Bobby Flay's rumored new girlfriend is a fellow Food Network star

There are various schools of thought here. One is that regardless of what Ana's food is like, she has star quality. But isn't this show about finding the right person to be on a cooking show? Shouldn't food and that star quality both be important things to include? On the latest episode, Ana struggled with her presentation and, ultimately, guest judge Alex Guarnaschelli told her to calm down. So, I'm not totally convinced that Ana has this innate ability to be cool in front of a camera (although she did appear on a season of The Real Housewives of Miami, which might require a different skill set).

More: Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis finally disagreed on Food Network Star

The other school of thought is that Bobby is interested in Ana — and not for her culinary skills. How else do you explain the fact that she remains on the show in spite of undermining her competitors and making food that is just not that good? Last week, Bobby and Giada quarreled over Ana's place on the show, and yet here she is again.

If there's anything remotely refreshing about this ridiculousness, it's that Giada isn't alone in incurring the ire of Food Network Star fans for allegedly showing favoritism toward contestants. In her case, it's for Damiano Carrara, an Italian chef who had one of the judges' favorite dishes this week. But of course, Giada is targeted for more than possibly being into Damiano. People also make comments about the way she dresses and other things about Giada's appearance.

Whether or not Bobby has some special feelings for Ana can't be verified unless the show ends and we find out that they're dating. That doesn't seem likely because Bobby's apparently already dating someone — but can you imagine if that happened?

It remains a mystery as to why Ana hasn't been kicked off the show yet, especially when her competitors seem to be better appointed as both chefs and cooking show hosts. So much about Food Network Star resembles seasons of Top Chef in which the most annoying person was kept around a lot longer than they should have been (Phillip), and we know there are really only two options: the offending party gets kicked off and their exit is celebrated on Twitter as though it was a major holiday, or they win, in which case people vow never to watch the show again. What will it be, Food Network?

More: Top Chef's Phillip Frankland Lee's arrogance finally got the best of him

Do you think Ana Quincoces should still be on Food Network Star? Do you think Bobby Flay has a thing for her? Tell us in the comments!

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