Web Exclusive Companion Series Star Salvation Also Returns to FoodNetwork.com
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NEW YORK - April 29, 2015 - Food Network competition series Food Network Star returns for an eleventh season this summer, with a cast of twelve talented hopefuls competing to become the next new face in food television. Food superstars Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay are back as mentors/judges, joined this season by a roster of top-notch special guests and judges. In the biggest audition of their lives, the finalists battle in a series of unique challenges designed to determine who has the personality, on-air charisma and cooking skills to win the ultimate prize - their own show on Food Network. Exclusive web series Star Salvation also returns, giving one eliminated contestant the opportunity to rejoin the competition. Food Network Star season eleven premieres on Sunday, June 7th at 9pm ET/PT and the winner will be crowned in the season finale on Sunday, August 16th at 9pm ET/PT.
"Each season, our viewers love following the journey of Food Network Star contestants as they develop from aspiring newcomer to confident pro," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President Food Network. "Having Giada and Bobby guide these finalists along is like watching a master class in food television."
The finalists are: Emilia Cirker (Reston, VA); Jay Ducote (Baton Rouge, LA); Christina Fitzgerald (St. Louis); Rosa Graziano (Los Angeles); Matthew Grunwald (Scottsdale, AZ); Eddie Jackson (Houston); Michelle Karam (Santa Barbara, CA); Sita Lewis (New York); Alex McCoy (Washington DC); Arnold Myint (Nashville); Rue Rusike (Brooklyn, NY) and Dominick Tesoriero (Staten Island, NY).
In the season premiere, the twelve hopefuls arrive in Los Angeles and are introduced to food icons Giada and Bobby. Each finalist must produce a 30-second introductory video and make their signature dish for a food festival to be held the next day. At the festival, attended by a crowd of Food Network fans, each video is screened and signature dish tasted by a judging panel including Giada, Bobby, Food Network executives Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman, and People Deputy Editor J.D. Heyman. For one finalist, their dream ends, while the remaining eleven continue on their journey. Upcoming episodes include a dazzling Fourth of July-themed celebration, intense food truck/social media challenge and do-or-die live television demo.
Special guests/judges this season include Food Network personalities Sunny Anderson, Richard Blais, Anne Burrell, Melissa d'Arabian, Bobby Deen, Duff Goldman, Alex Guarnaschelli, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro, Damaris Phillips, Rachael Ray, Geoffrey Zakarian and comedian David Alan Grier.
This season also features a fully-integrated, multi-platform partnership with Volkswagen, organically woven throughout the series and helping propel the competition. A Food Network Star contestant's success requires an uncompromised drive to stand out and shine, and having the right partners, tools and expert guidance allows this group to compete at the level they need to excel and, for one, to ultimately win.
Exclusive web series Star Salvation returns to FoodNetwork.com on Sunday, June 28th and goes live after Food Network Star east coast airing. Hosted by Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli and former Food Network Star winner Jeff Mauro, the six episode culinary competition gives eliminated finalists a chance to re-join the competition. The Star Salvation winner re-enters the competition on Sunday, August 9th.
Viewers wanting more can visit FoodNetwork.com/Star for exclusive interviews, photo galleries, blogs, behind-the-scenes footage, interactive quizzes and more. Fans can also connect with each other and the show's stars on Facebook at Facebook.com/FoodNetwork and on twitter with the hashtag #FoodNetworkStar.
Food Network Star is produced by LEG/Triage Entertainment.