When the Cover Deceives

My daughter and I like to watch reality cooking shows on Netflix. This past summer we found The Next Food Network Star and started watching. There are only two seasons available through Netflix, 2013 and 2014. The first season was lots of fun and we were happy with Damaris as the winner. Alton Brown is one of our favorites and watching him mentor and judge is always fun. Bobby Flay and Giada make a nice balance and we manage to learn something about cooking in and amongst the fun and drama of the contestants. The second season proved to be just as entertaining and informative as the first. Last night we watched the finale and were pleasantly surprised when the contest we wanted to win did - Lenny McNab.

Just as we did with the first season, we immediately went to foodnetwork.com to see if his show was listed and my daughter said she couldn't find it. Another little bit of Internet research brought up some unpleasant news. The show has not materialized apparently because of his posts on social media. It appears plenty has been "scrubbed" from the Internet, but no show has come and it would appear unlikely to do so.

I'm sad and disappointed that he said what he said - not just the occasional slip up, but a LOT,which indicates to me that's really where his mouth and his head are.

On the other hand I am amazed that anyone who's going to put themselves out there for public scrutiny (the prize is a television show . . .) doesn't clean up their act beforehand. How hard would it have been, as soon as he knew he was selected to compete, to delete YouTube videos and postings? Did he really think saying all those derogatory things about people wouldn't come and bite him in the you know where?  Why would you jeopardize your dream? I can only imagine what the two runner-ups felt like - and the people who voted for him. Betrayed and cheated?

In this day of social media immersion, people need to realize that there's always a trail around you. I try to tell my children that what they post on social media makes a difference, someone, somewhere is watching, or will be looking. I think there's probably a certain amount of grace given to "youngsters" for poor grammar, bad language, and self-centered prattle. But the minute you want to start being taken seriously? Then I think all that needs to go by the wayside.

Lenny - you let me down. I didn't expect you to be perfect, and as the gourmet "cowboy" I gave some latitude. But the comments you made about other stars and what you'd do - never acceptable.

Food Network - you let me down too. You should have vetted a little better, or found a way to flush him out earlier in the show (he was in the bottom a few times). Please do better next time.

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