By this time next week, we’ll know the winner of Food Network Star Season 12. Either Jernard, Tregaye or Damiano will be the one anointed to film their own show for the network, and tonight’s episode made it seem like Damiano might be the lucky one.
Jernard, Tregaye and Damiano all had, of course, pros and cons to their food and presentations, and Wells and Damiano definitely came out in front. Finalist Yaku Moton-Spruill was also welcomed back after winning Star Salvation and then sent home. While comments on Twitter were heavy on racism in regard to Damiano’s accent, the judges agreed that his food was excellent, even the best he’d given them all season. Guest judge Aarti Sequeira called Damiano “charming,” and Giada said his food had depth and showed technique.
Speaking of Giada, the allegations that Damiano is her favorite have been flying all season, and things got sexist really quickly. At this point, though, with Damiano in the top three, it’s hard to argue that he isn’t good enough to be the winner — especially since his idea for a show about pastry and wine is unique. So, does it really matter whether Giada’s playing favorites if her favorite is really good at what he’s there to do? And isn’t the point of this show to have a favorite? Shouldn’t the judges know what they like?
Season 11 marked the end of viewers voting on the winner of Food Network Star, but let’s not pretend that viewers were entirely determining the winner. And it is the judges who keep people in the competition who are theoretically the best. Remember Ana? (Of course you do.) She was rumored to be Bobby Flay’s favorite for reasons that had nothing to do with food, and the judges finally voted her off the show last week. My point is that it doesn’t matter if Giada is into Damiano because he likes Italian food or because he’s really hot. He’s made it this far because he’s done well, and it looks like Giada isn’t the only one who thinks so.
I’m left with a really bad taste in my mouth (see what I did there?) about the whole “Giada totally hearts Damiano” situation, and I think it’s because of all the gross things people say about Giada in regard to her clothes, her body, her voice and so on. It’s one thing after another, and it’s not going to stop because she’s a woman on television who’s decided she doesn’t want to wear a turtleneck and a chastity belt. In other words, her professional decisions can’t be seen as professional because apparently women are innately incapable of making professional decisions, especially when men are involved.
Who should be the winner of Food Network Star Season 12? Tell us in the comments.
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