Food Network Star returns on May 22, 2016 with Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay

Food Network Star returns on May 22, 2016
Food Network Star returns on May 22, 2016

Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay are back again this year to host season 12 of Food Network’s popular competition series Food Network Star.


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This season, Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay are looking to discover the next promising food television star among 13 talented culinary hopefuls participating in this season’s big competition. This season also features a twist – read on.

Also new this year, Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen. Co-hosted by Valerie Bertinelli and Tyler Florence, this new series features seven former Food Network Star finalists who return to compete over three episodes for a coveted spot as the 13th finalist on the season 12  premiere of Food Network Star.

Web-series Star Salvation, hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli and last season’s Food Network Star winner Eddie Jackson, return to give one eliminated finalist the opportunity to rejoin the competition during the season.

Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen premieres on Sunday, May 8th at 8 p.m. ET.

During the May 22 premiere of Food Network Star, the finalists must shoot a 30-second screen test to give viewers a quick culinary preview of what they are all about. The videos debut during a VIP event at a luxury theater in Los Angeles in front of a live audience. Bobby and Giada surprise the finalists with news that the Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen winner will also join the competition.

Comeback Kitchen hosts Valerie Bertinelli and Tyler Florence appear during the season 12 premiere to help Giada and Bobby decide who will be the first to be sent home.

Over the course of season 12, the finalists encounter challenges that not only test their culinary skills, but also their on-camera presence, from trying their hand at delivering food reports for Entertainment Tonight co-hosts Nancy O’Dell and Kevin Frazier, to shooting a promo for their own show, the finalists are challenged to not only create great food but great TV.

The Food Network Star season twelve winner will be crowned on Sunday, July 31st at 9 p.m. ET.

The finalists competing this season are:

  1. Rob Burmeister (Staten Island, NY)
  2. Erin Campbell (Woodbury, MN)
  3. Damiano Carrara (Moorpark, CA)
  4. Aaron Crumbaugh (Spokane, WA)
  5. Tregaye Fraser (Atlanta, GA)
  6. Yaku Moton-Spruill (San Francisco, CA)
  7. Melissa Pfeister (Los Angeles, CA)
  8. Ana Quincoces (Coral Gables, FL)
  9. Monterey Salka (Nashville, TN)
  10. Joy Thompson (Thomasville, NC)
  11. Havird Usry (Augusta, GA)
  12. Jernard Wells (Atlanta, GA)

Comeback Kitchen competitors battling it out to join the new season are:

  • Penny Davidi (season 7)
  • Matthew Grunwald (season 11)
  • Martita Jara (season 8)
  • Brianna Jenkins (season 6)
  • Chris Kyler (season 10)
  • Michele Ragussis (season 8)
  • Dominick Tesoriero (season 11).