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Psychoanalysis of The Next Food Network Stars

I’m going on withdrawals now that the Biggest Loser, my favorite reality show, is over. So I had to find another fix. And I think that fix is The Next Food Network Star. It combines two of my favorite things: food TV and reality TV. I love good drama and so far the show has not disappointed.

Has anyone been watching? They started with 10 contestants – most of which are slightly unhinged – and are now down to 7. I can’t believe how juicy the last two episodes have been!

I have a tendency, probably stemming from my undergrad in Psychology that I haven’t flushed out of my system yet, to psychoanalyze everyone that I meet. And it’s more fun when I don’t know them – because my personal feelings about them would totally interfere with my caustic analysis. So doing this analysis on 7 contestants of a reality show is such fun. Ha! Psychoanalyze my need to psychoanalyze if you dare. . . .

Michael. MichaelWhere do I start. Michael is stuck in Freud’s Oral Phase, where he needs his mommy (or in his case, his “support group of friends” he can’t stop talking about) around to compensate for is insecurity. Michael suffers from derealization. Back home he is a self-acclaimed “diva” and has tons of friends that aren’t trying to beat him out of a reality game show. Since he can’t quite adjust to his new surroundings, he’s in this constant haze of confusion. Everything in this world Food Network reality seems bizarre to him – like “shopping at the grocery store on a budget? OMG are you serious???” He’s suffering from presque-vu where everything he wants to say is just getting stuck on the tip of his tongue. All this anxiety and inibility to express himself in this show is making him appear only half present in every episode. I can’t believe he’s hung on this long. Actually, I can. With as many head-cases as are on this show, it makes sense that he’s being overlooked. His day to be axed will come soon.

Melissa (AKA Mom). MelissaMelissa is a hypomaniac but so far it’s working for her. Some of the judges have said she’s too over-the-top happy, but her glowing, busy mommy persona is winning out. Despite this soft exterior, you don’t want to mess with this mom. Two episodes ago, she let two of her competitors (Brett and Teddy) help her finish plating her dishes. I truly think she is naiive enough to believe they wanted to help her. But no, they were being patronizing. None of the men on this show think she knows what she’s doing. Then in the judging room they turned on her. It was fantastically vicious. Her defense mechanism? Tears and sweet shock. It definitely made an impression on the judges. They sent Brett home.  Then last episode, she had to partner up with Eddie. He rolled his eyes at her, was curt and rude. She was the perfect victim again. They sent Eddie home. In short, don’t mess with mommy.

Eddie Eddie1got sent home, but he’s worth mentioning. Eddie suffers from persistent adolescence. I don’t know if there’s a special term for that. He’s a spoiled frat boy who such a schmoosy poser I couldn’t even stand to watch him. Two episodes ago he went on and on about this romantic night with his girlfriend – it got way to detailed. He’s a faker who makes my stomach turn. And he’s a food novice. He actually used Paula Dean’s recipe in the last show. He’s so unoriginal!

Teddy. TeddyPoor Teddy. He’s the most dysfunctional contestant on the show. The depth of his self-delusion and psychosis is so immense I think he must have been practicing it since childhood. Everyone thinks Teddy, because he’s so bi-polar, is coming completely unhinged. I think he’s always been this unhinged. Teddy reminds me of this adopted girl I knew growing up who was a compulsive liar. But she  did it for acceptance. She thought if she lied and made herself look better we’d all want to be her friends. This is Teddy. Teddy is a people pleaser in the worst way. He has no idea who he is. Everytime he thinks he’s going to get in trouble from the judges, he immediately changes his tune.

E.g., last episode, he claimed the dessert as his, then when the judges said it tasted nasty and store-bought, he immediately said he should get credit for the meatloaf (because they liked that one) – even though that was the combined dish he did with Debbie. Then the judges called him out on it and he immediately started crying and saying he’s sorry and they’re absolutely right. He’s scared. He’s insecure. His dysfunctional. I’m guessing he had abusive parents whom he constantly had to walk on eggshells around to please.

Katie. KatieOh Katie. When are you going to listen to the judges and stop trying to give them a nutrition lesson evertime you present food? It’s unappetizing, dear. And makes you look ridiculous. I don’t have any idea what she’s suffering from, other than dullness. She’s boring and will be kicked off soon.

Jamika, Debbie and Jeffrey are my top three choices for this show – I expect them all to go far. Am I the only one watching this show? Anybody else like it yet?

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5 thoughts on “Psychoanalysis of The Next Food Network Stars

  1. I love this post. I have watched NFNS a few times, but haven’t gotten into as much as Top Chef. Do you ever watch that? I will have to watch NFNS now to see if your diagnosis is correct.
    I just can’t wait for Project Runway to come back. Bravo has a show called The Fashion Show but it is pretty lame.
    Question- don’t all men suffer from persistent adolescence? Sure seems like it.

  2. I watch this show too and yes to everything you said. You hit the nail on the head! I really love this show!

  3. I watch this show, mostly for the fun of watching people who think they can cook screw up royally.

    Katie’s gotta go. If she feeds me one more nutritious meal, I’m gonna run out and buy chocolate.

  4. You won’t be the only one watching this for long! I hadn’t heard about it but I will sure tune in, now.

    My secret addiction is the Apprentice, when it’s not some weird twist like “Celebrity” or what have you. And yes, there’s also that vacuous “Bachelor/bachelorette” show I like to watch on occasion. I’ve no idea why . . . so shhhh! don’t tell anyone.

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