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Food Network Star Finale: Who Won?

At the end of last week’s episode of Food Network Star, viewers were encouraged to vote for their favorite of the three finalists: bubbly Damaris, cool and collected Russell or over-the-top Rodney.

This week, during your typical drawn-out finale show, we found out which finalist America chose to be the Next Food Network Star.

FNS Finalists

For this final episode, everyone arrived all dolled up for the big reveal. Even Russell trimmed his Mohawk for his potential big moment – although apparently Alton couldn’t be bothered to shave for the occasion.

The mentors even brought back the eliminated finalists – including a very pregnant Nikki Dinky (surprise!) – for a solid 59 minutes of procrastination before announcing the winner.

After 25 minutes of recounting some of the show’s more memorable moments – including any moment in which Danushka gave someone the stink eye – we discovered that apparently America was not as enamored with Russell’s 7 sins as he is, as his votes brought him into third place.

Perhaps if he had shown the amount of emotion during the show that he demonstrated when discussing his experience tonight, he might have won over more fans. Sorry, Russell, guess you trimmed your beard and Mohawk for nothing.

Fast forward through another 25 minutes of bloopers and outtakes, and we finally got to see who America chose to have a new show on the Food Network, a feature in Food Network Magazine and to headline at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.

It’s… Damaris! And truly, thank you, America! As much as some people may have liked Rodney’s over-the-top personality, I truly believe that Damaris’s fun, quirky personality (and her occasional embarrassing/awkward moments) will connect with more viewers and bring something to the Food Network that they have been missing.

And, honestly, I cannot wait to watch her bring some fun, Southern-style romance to the network with her new show.

What did you think of the winning selection? Sound off now and check out our section of Food Network recipes!