Here we are, at the end of another season of Food Network Star, and fans are, for the most part, unsatisfied with the judges' choice of winner, Tregaye Fraser. I predicted last week that Damiano Carrara, master of wines and pastries (and attractiveness) and Giada De Laurentiis' rumored favorite, would win, but alas. When Carrara was eliminated on Sunday's finale, fans went bananas and decided that the show must be rigged.
There are a few schools of thought in regard to the rigging, but the main one is that Food Network Star has had it out for Italian contestants since Luca Della Casa, an Italian contestant in Season 10, was also eliminated in the finals. (Personally, I'm not sold on this being a pattern.) Fans were so mad that Carrara didn't win Season 12 that many threatened to boycott the network and start "#wewantdamiano" trending on Twitter. I'm not sure how we got to this Carrara obsession because people have been consistently complaining all season that they can't understand his accent (Bobby Flay agreed) and saying that they wouldn't watch his show because of it. And now the fact that he didn't win means the show was rigged? People. Collect yourselves, please.
The announcement of Season 12's winner also quickly commanded the ire of Twitter. Viewers claimed they wouldn't watch a show whose host used terms like "on fleek" (which they also didn't know the definition of) and predicted that Fraser's show would fail. Shockingly, especially after she didn't hesitate to make racist comments about her a few episodes ago, even eliminated contestant Ana Quincoces chose Fraser to win it all, calling her a natural.
So what was there to rig? How do you rig a show like this? I'm sure there's a way, but I don't understand why viewers are so convinced that it happened, especially since there was so much controversy about Carrara, his accent and his point of view. The skepticism and anger around Fraser and her concept, especially people who say they wouldn't watch a show that uses slang as a theme, reeks of racism to me. A white European person's accent is suddenly no longer an issue, but a term that's made it into the common vernacular is? All three finalists — Fraser, Carrara and Jernard Wells — have personality, but this is about what the judges deem would be the most watchable show. I get that if Carrara was your favorite, you'd be disappointed that he didn't win, but to decide that his losing means there's a conspiracy at work doesn't hold any water for me. It is possible that the best person won, even if the term "on fleek" makes you uncomfortable.
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