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food network star. episode 5. justin d's recipe, for relief.

This morning I'm elated to be writing about my experience on the show without the fear of week 5 looming in the distance. I get to put it all behind me, The Biltmore, Scarpetta, STK, camera challenges, and being judged publicly for not having a personality.. or too many of them.

I will never regret being on the show (I hope) it's a unique opportunity that helped me learn a lot about myself. Few moments will ever compare to the joy I felt walking away from that whole experience. I want to keep this short and sweet, so I won't be posting a recipe from the elimination. Instead I just want to express to everyone that's in my life, how much they all mean to me. This has been a really crazy ride and without the people I surround myself with, this would have been a much different experience.

I do want to expand on my saying I'm a private person. I'm a private person as far as being on reality shows go. I have no Real Housewife style desire to be the center of attention. I don't need or want to compete for attention and being on Food Star helped me understand that. I think there is much humor found in being told I have no personality and that I am clearly just a pair of glasses. If Food Network wants Penny's, Chris's and Jyll's, they can have them.

This is most definitely not the end, and here comes the cliché, it's just the beginning. Lo and I are going to get back to blogging about what matters to us, food, love and family. Subscribe to the RSS and follow us on twitter to stay on top of it all. Big things are coming and I can't wait to tell you all about it, soon.


Thanks for watching, 

Justin D.

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Reader Comments (20)

Just want to say, I love your authenticity, JD. And that I sertainly hope FN is not keeping the Penny's, Jyll's and Chris' around the world just for the drama. It is CRAZY! Personally, I hope they cut back on some of the drama in future seasons. We don't want "Housewives" type TV either!

It was great to watch you grow, Justin D. Keep up the great love you have with your family in the kitchen!

July 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrunedisc

I think you're just fabulous and more than a pair of glasses. Keep doing what you do.

July 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterM

Justin - obviously FN doesn't want originality. They want someone they can market to another audience, so clearly dollars drive their decisions. Because of editing, we didn't learn too much about you from your episodes. However, your exit interview left me with a profound respect for you. It was refreshing to see that obviously you valued those things that have true meaning much more than becoming the type of person who is willing to become someone they're not for their chance at the limelight. I wish you and your wife success. This IS an original venture that allows you to be who you are and make others happy at the same time. Good luck. Eric Aspegren, KS.

July 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEric Aspegren

I couldn't believe you got eliminated! You were definitely the best! I thought it was stupid how the judges told you that you needed a better personality, then yelled at you when did what they said. Your food always looked amazing and you were great in the camera challenges. Food network needs to reconsider their decision on eliminating you!

July 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Great post, Justin. I made screen shots of it in case the Network makes you take it down like they did Alicia's. I look forward to talking with you in the conference call tomorrow.

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStuart Reb Donald

You didn't come across to me as lacking in authenticity or personality. I think the judges had a lot of nerve saying you were not authentic. Who are they to determine that? I suspect your comment about being able to say the same for the show is spot on. Food Network Star has started to seem more and more like it is staged to achieve pre-determined results. It seems the producers and judges are manipulating both the contestants and the viewers. That became pretty clear when I read Alicia's blog (before FN made her take it down). I think you are smart enough to take the judges' words with a grain of salt and not as truth. You left with grace and dignity and should be proud of yourself. It sounds like good things are coming up in your future; best of luck to you.

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaryInSeattle

You're just "just" anything. You have obvious talent, passion and desire and the fact that you don't fit their mold just makes many of us adore you all the more. Thanks for being true to YOU.

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Nolan

My husband and I were sorry to see you go. Congratulations on surviving what seems to be a very trying experience! Clearly it takes courage to put yourself in such a competition. You seem to be a complex, sensitive, critical thinker. So often the people who win this competition can be boiled down to a single cliche. It's a shame the challenges focus more on a gladiator style of competition, where speed, instinct, and showmanship are deemed more important than thoughtfulness, sincerity, and food knowledge. I wonder how well the already inducted "stars" would do under such conditions that the contestants are made to endure?

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

I am glad you had fun and did not fall prey to the absurd corporate machine of reality tv. In general I find those shows offensive as they belittle the true beauty of peoples hearts. I think those tv personalities are mostly an act driven to gather viewers according to format. Personally I wanna watch people with Hearts on the inside, not hearts cut out! I am glad you are a fellow Minn. and look forward to you exploring life within your own creations.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMN Jason

My husband and I were disappointed to see you leave the show. We enjoyed your authenticity and the fact that you were true to yourself. We wish you the best!

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I'm glad that you enjoyed your time. If people are reading what you write on your blog, then it was worth it.
Good luck to you!

July 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike Barer

I wish you were still on and think you would have been had Guy not given you such bad advice. Your personality is exactly what FN needs. I understand that you are a private person, but ulitimately think that they are going to go with a lower key person, not Penny, et al. I enjoyed watching you and look forward to continuing to follow your work.

July 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Chapman

Hey Justin! I'm surprised you didn't make your Food Star gimmick LOVE:) But if you really think this way about food, love and family, you probably have a more difficult time recognizing that other people don't. You don't need some TV personality, your personality is very clear in your blog.

To do the show all over again I'd say focus on making foods that you can make with your family, that include ingredients you can grow with your family, that include many teachable moments about teamwork, science, price-shopping, health, etc. Like a lot of "Did you know" type of stuff.

But anyhoo- enjoyed the show. You did a great job! At this point in the game I'm rooting for the other food Blogger- though I can't think of her name. Or else Suzy because I think modern women need more strong female Mexican role-models. Best of luck to you. I'm proud of you . Have a happy summer!


July 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAdele

It was incredibly sad to see you go- as it was to see them beat you up- You were most definitely NOT simply a pair of glasses, so it was hard watching you go. At least you can leave with the experience. I'm sure you are grateful to have been given this chance- as I know all of your new followers are. :) So continue to blog, and enjoy it!

Your exit definitely resinated with me, as I'm sure it did other people. So continue to inspire us, Justin. :) (PS, I'm sure you're tired of hearing this, but I do l♥ve your look... ever heard of Ryan Adams? I'm a superfan, and am always glad to see glasses similar to the ones he wears...I'm pretty sure he started a trend... although I guess that could have been you too.) :)

July 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRmK

Enjoyed watching you on the show and looking forward to following your blog!

I think you are a class act, and was sad to see you go. But I enjoy your blog and look forward to seeing what the future holds for you.

It seems like the judges are giving contradictory messages to Whitney now, in regards to her personality. So frustrating.

Keep cooking and smiling!

July 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

I just want to say that, after watching last night’s show, I empathize with your plight even more. Clearly, the only “stars” they’re looking for are loud, obnoxious, egotistical people who would crush everyone and everything in their way for the win. Good on you for realizing you’re not that kind of person and isn’t willing to be just to get your own show.

Clearly, there’s no room for warm, low-key, poised knowledgeable people like you, Orchid, Whitney, Justin B. and Alicia. It seems their mantra is the louder the better, the harder you bounce of walls, the better. Who cares about food, right? After all, this is only the food network. They’re clearly looking for clowns. You’re not. And that’s why you’re not there anymore.

Good luck to you!

July 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterastrid

Justin - I enjoyed watching you on the show and if nothing else, other people (like me) found your blog. I was also thrilled to see a fellow Minnesotan on the show. I'm sure the experience will be a lifelong memory and maybe you even made a few new friends - there always seems to be more comaraderie on NFNS than other reality shows.

Keep doing what you're doing and I know that great things lie ahead for you. Cheers!!

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