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Putting the Fun in Fungial

I love Judy Greer, and have done from the first time I saw her on Arrested Development.

Unfortunately, however, you can always tell when a new series of The Next Food Network Star is being transmitted because things like this happen – a little something I stumbled across, as I do, as I searched for something else entirely – which made me sad that Judy Greer was involved in it. The two of you might recall that, back in August of 2011, Vic ‘Vegas’ Moea was crowned Not The Winner of series 7 of The Next Food Netwrok Star and shown to the Plain Brown Closet Door to Nowhere very early in Episode 11 (despite his departure being telegraphed much earlier in an editing faux pas at the end of Episode 10).


Some eight months later, in April 2012, just prior to the premiere of the catastrophic failure of the ‘New & Improved’ 8th series of The Next Food Network Star, Vic was then seen on Chopped All-Stars competing against three of his other losing cast mates from series 7, including the infamous Paul Stanley.

He lost on that too.

So how very convenient it is that now, just precisely at the very same time yet another ‘New & Improved Over the Last New & Improved’ series of The Next Food Network Star is beginning, Vic, as opposed to any legitimate celebrity chef or true culinary expert, should suddenly become the go-to authority – albeit on Yahoo! – on all things garlic.

And whilst most commentary for the video is focussed on what viewers consider to be ‘that annoying woman,’ I was more interested in knowing how much money Vic must have raked in from having been on Food Network to open his own shiny upscale restaurant in Las Vegas and just why he still clings tenaciously to being called by his gangster name, Vic ‘Vegas?’ In the staggeringly unfunny ‘Comedy Roast’ episode of series 7 (Episode 9 for those of you playing along at home), after serving a Flintstones-inspired sauropod-sized wad of prime rib to five ‘comedians’ and the chagrined Jedi Council, Vic renounced the ‘Vegas’ portion of his name after Dark Lord of the Sith, Bobby Flay suggested he become a ‘big picture’ teacher. It was a critical moment in the evolution of Padawan Moea.

Watching the video, I was struck by Mr Comin From an Italian Family’s horribly cringe-worthy attempt at an Italian accent, his assurance that garlic has some imaginary thing he calls ‘anti-fungial’ properties, and just how completely contrived and superficial he seems to be. I thought maybe it was just the blinding lights and 15 minutes of fame from being on The Next Food Network Star causing him to seem so hollow. Evidently I was wrong. I’ve know some people who act in a thoroughly factitious manner – as if they were on stage, acting out in broad strokes something that sort of resembles human interaction, and who are ultimately shallow and void of anything of actual substance – and they annoy the fuck out of me. I was getting that same feeling watching this video. And given the amount of times he referenced his gran, as though he was simply passing on knowledge he’d learnt from her as the preeminent garlic authority, I wonder why Judy didn’t just ask to interview her?

As I’m sure you both recall, though, I’d pretty well had my fill of Food Network last year when, in a shocking affront to everything logical and sensible, Emily Ellyn was wrongfully cast aside at the end of Episode 7 of the ‘New & Improved’ The Next Food Network Star even after her burger was considered one of the best ‘The Network’ had ever eaten. My rage was utterly incendiary and, as such, I haven’t watched Food Network since, with the exceptions of one episode of Chopped All-Stars which was transmitted in early April of this year when Nadia G participated and, about a week after when Emily appeared on Cupcake Wars. I follow Emily through her website and also on social media. That fact that she has responded directly to me on several occasions still seems quite surreal to me.

And it is only out of deference to her requests to fans that I have considered – considered, mind you – the possibility of subjecting myself to another wretched series of The Next Food Network Star. I haven’t yet decided if I can do it. During a programme on Cooking Channel I saw an advert for the new series and just wanted to weep at its horrifying ostentatiousness.

But with Emily, and now the not-so-subtle convenience of an appearance by Mr Vegas, there as a constant reminder that it’s that time of year again, I reckon I need to make a decision fairly soon…

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