Bobby Reveals His Own On-Camera Nerves and Gives Advice to Nervous Finalists

Believe it or not, even Bobby gets nervous when on TV.
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Mentor Bobby Flay during deliberation for the Star Challenge, Summer Live, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 11.

Photo by: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Eddy Chen, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Picture this: Multiple cameras are mere inches from your face. You're learning your way around an unfamiliar kitchen. Your dreams are riding on the success of your next move. Oh, and two of the biggest names of the food world are watching your every move. Nervous yet? So are many Food Network Star finalists as they endure these everyday competition pressures. But it turns out even Bobby Flay, an Iron Chef and one of the two mentors overseeing the finalists this year, feels those anxieties when he's working.

"I get nervous all the time." he told us recently. "Once I stop getting nervous, I’m just quitting, because it’s a camera." Bobby may have decades of television experience behind him, and he even signs himself up for a series in which people are constantly trying to beat him in the kitchen, but that doesn't mean he's reached the point of true comfort on camera — and that's the way he wants it. "You’re talking to lots of people [and] people are looking for you to be an authoritative voice in their kitchens or in their heads or whatever it is," he explained. "And so it’s a lot of responsibility. I always take my responsibilities really seriously, so when it comes to cooking in front of a camera or talking in front of the camera, I get nervous every time."

He said that to mentor Food Network Star finalists through their nerves, he simply tells them, "Be yourself." And, he noted, the competitors' success depends on their individuality, so their own triumph lies in their hands. "We don’t need the next Giada De Laurentiis, or we don’t need the next Guy Fieri. We already have those people," Bobby said. "So, we’re looking for the next person and personality and maybe solid cook that they happen to be. So, it’s really important for them to stay the course, be themselves and not get gimmicky."

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