The Next Food Network Star – Is it scripted?

Filed in Gather Food Essential by on July 20, 2007 0 Comments

I caught Sunday's episode 8 of this season's The Next Food Network Star last night on On Demand.  I saw the first season, skipped the second and I have been enjoying watching this season.  If you have not yet seen the most recent episode, you probably do not want to read any further because I'm about to post spoilers.

First, I have to say that I liked JAG just because I feel like he was such the underdog… no real experience or understanding of how to be on TV, but a fantastic cook!  That said, I was ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED when they sent Amy home and kept JAG.  I really did not expect Rory to win it and they seem to really like Amy, plus Amy aced every task on that episode.  I couldn't believe that they kept JAG and sent her home.  Well, as it turned out, JAG was out and Amy was back in by the end of the episode.

Apparently JAG did some fibbing when he applied to be a contestant on The Next Food Network Star.  He said he graduated from culinary school and he apparently also either said or implied that he had been deployed to Afghanistan when he was in the Marines.  However, it was discovered that neither of these things were true.  JAG attended culinary school but did not graduate.  He also was a Marine, but was never deployed to Afghanistan.

At the end of the episode, he was called in and in what was clearly a scripted discussion, he admitted that he lied and then he resigned from the competition.  You know, I truly believe with all my heart that before they allow these folks into this competition that they research their backgrounds.  Would they REALLY not check with their culinary schools?  Would they really not check out their references, etc?  I highly doubt it.  If this is true, than it would mean that they knew all along that he had misrepresented himself.  If they did know this, then they kept him there for one reason… drama.  I admit that I could be completely off base, but watching that all unfold it just felt like a slap in the face.  I felt insulted that they expect their viewers to just buy what happened. 

I believe that they knew these things about JAG, at least about the culinary school part, from the beginning and that Amy was only sent home for the specific reason of keeping JAG and boosting ratings from the drama that this situation would cause – knowing that Amy would be back.  If that's what they did, I think it really sucks.  We'll never know… we never really do when it comes to "reality" tv, but it feels really fishy to me.  Did anyone else feel this way?  What did you think of what happened?

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