One-on-One With the Latest Star Contestant to Go Home

By: Sarah De Heer

Finalists Danushka Lysek, Andres Guillama and Nikki Dinki in as seen on Food Network Star, Season 9.

Photo by: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Eddy Chen, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Every Sunday, Bobby, Giada and Alton take on the difficult task of eliminating one finalist in the quest to help guide fans to vote for Food Network's next sensation. And this is no easy task. Check back here every week to read Star Talk's exclusive exit interview with the latest Star hopeful to leave Star Kitchen.

If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — Star Talk is about to chat with the latest finalist to go home.

Finalist Andres Guillama cooking for the Star Challenge "Burger Bash" as seen on Food Network Star, Season 9.

Photo by: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Eddy Chen, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

A childhood obesity prevention coach, Andres Guillama, was the second finalist sent home from the competition. His inability to commit to what could have been a successful culinary viewpoint prevented his growth on camera and in front of the focus groups. His "bland food," according to Bobby, didn't help his case. Week one's potato omelet with chorizo lacked seasoning, and last night's burger wasn't much different. Despite being eliminated, he left the competition confident in his future.

Do you think he deserved to go home? Tell Star Talk in the comments below.

You really had two POVs: teaching men how to cook and then you had a weight-loss/healthy angle. Why did you seem to put more focus on teaching men how to cook?

AG: I fully embrace my weight loss and am dedicated to helping other people understand that they are more than capable of making the same changes I made for themselves, but I feel as though young guys have an uphill battle getting to know their way around the kitchen. They could really use someone to be there to answer the simple questions — or the questions that seem simple to someone who knows how to cook. My dad was always there for me, and I can be there for them.

The dial of doom really does show the group how each finalist is faring with fans. Do you think you used this to your advantage? How did you feel about the dial in general?

AG: It seems like a good idea at face value, but the fact of the matter is that the focus group was just a small sample of a huge audience. Additionally, I was going against the grain and hoping to draw a new audience to the network, so I didn’t feel like the audience I was trying to reach was there.

Finalists Danushka Lysek, Andres Guillama and Nikki Dinki in as seen on Food Network Star, Season 9.

Photo by: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Eddy Chen, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

For fans who were inspired by your story, what's the one piece of advice you'd share with them?

AG: Don't underestimate small changes. Something as small as to say you're going to drink diet cola instead of regular cola is the first step in the right direction. The road to your goal is a long one. I've been losing weight for a few years and still haven't reached my goal. As you reach your goals, you'll create new ones for yourself. If it takes you one baby step at a time, do it. Don't ever let anyone stand in your way or make you think it’s impossible. Anyone who says you can't do it is just jealous of your success.

How did you feel about the structure of the show this season, as in, no more teams?

AG: I was really hoping for the teams because it helps bring a sense of security, and I believe that brings about the best results in people. The solo act was kind of a thrown-to-the-wolves and fend-for-yourselves situation, which doesn't bring about the best results for me.

What were some of the biggest surprises you encountered?

AG: The biggest surprise I experienced was definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, the negative feedback on the meals I prepared. I was prepared for criticism, but it felt so overtly harsh. That said, I never argued with any of the criticism. When someone doesn't enjoy a meal I prepare, I take it back to the drawing board and work it out all over again because I refuse to make the same mistakes twice.

Who was the most-intimidating mentor: Bobby, Giada or Alton?

AG: Bobby was great and on point with everything he said. Alton was interesting, but Giada has the “I'm super-sweet, but I'll stare right through you" thing down. The Intimidation 2013 Award goes to Giada, in my opinion.

What's next for you?

AG: I'm going to keep doing what I do. I'll keep working on my personal goals, telling everyone my story so they ask questions, and I can help them answer their questions. I will never stop working towards a chance to be back in a position where I can make my voice heard to an audience larger than the one in my kitchen. I'm a pretty positive dude. I know something awesome will come my way.

More Food Network Star

Star Episode 2 Post-Show 02:17

Look at who improved and who fell flat on Episode 2 of Food Network Star.
Keep Reading

Next Up

One-on-One with the Latest Star Contestant to Go Home

Check back here every week to read Star Talk's exclusive exit interview with the latest Star hopeful to leave Food Star Kitchen.

One-on-One with the Latest Star Contestant to Go Home

If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — Star Talk is about to chat with the latest finalist to go home.

One-on-One with the Latest Star Contestant to Go Home

Chris delivered thoughtful dishes and presentations, but his lack of progress at the end of six weeks ultimately prevented his stay for more. Read his interview.

One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go Home

If you haven't yet watched the episode, don't read any further. Star Talk is about to break down the ins and outs of Episode 7 — and reveal who was sent home

One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go Home

Hear from Loreal Gavin, the ninth Food Network Star finalist eliminated from the competition.

One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go Home

Hear from the latest finalist eliminated from Season 10 of Food Network Star.

One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go Home

If you haven't yet watched the episode, don't read any further. Star Talk is about to break down the ins and outs of Episode 8 — and reveal who was sent home.

One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go Home

If you haven't yet watched the episode, don't read any further. Star Talk is about to break down the ins and outs of Episode 5 — and reveal who was sent home.

One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go Home

Hear from Sarah Penrod, the 10th Food Network Star finalist eliminated from the competition.