Food Network Star gets a makeover: adding mentors, tribes, viewer vote

Food Network’s usually strong competition Food Network Star is getting a makeover, which will hopefully help to pull it out of its increasingly familiar rut when it returns for an eighth season this summer.

Judges Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis will no longer judge, but instead will be joined by Alton Brown as mentors for teams of contestants that they choose. Thankfully, Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson will remain as judges, with guest judges joining them each week. But viewers will ultimately select the winner, Variety reports.

The series, which dropped the word “Next” from its title last season, is also moving back to New York City from Los Angeles.

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.