Next Food Network Star 3 debuts tonight

The Next Food Network Star 3 debuts tonight at 9 p.m. ET on, you guessed it, the Food Network.

This season has 11 contestants competing for their own show on, surprise, The Food Network. The winners from the first season went on to star in Party Line with the Hearty Boys, while last season’s winner, Guy Fieri, is on both Guy’s Big Bite and a new series, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Like Design Star on HGTV, which aired long before Bravo’s Top Design, the series predates the Bravo version of this format, Top Chef. While I didn’t see the first two seasons, the first episode of the third season also seems to one-up Bravo’s show.

The Next Food Network Star stands apart because it isn’t as frantically edited, and the contestants frequently talk about what they’re preparing as they’re doing it. More significantly, the contestants are constantly judged on criteria besides their food, and that’s criteria that we can judge, too. The judges talk about the contestants’ stage presence, attitudes, and presentation, and that makes sense since they’re competing to be on television.

And amid all of that, there’s plenty of reality TV drama, from one contestant’s failure to immediately recognize that vegetarians probably don’t eat chicken stock to another’s refusal to point out the error. But I think that guy deserves his own show anyway: Cooking with Animal Products for Vegetarians.

The Next Food Network Star [Food Network]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.