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Summer heats up as a new crop of culinary contenders face off in return of 'Food Network Star'

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Wed, Apr 12th 2017 06:10 pm
`Food Network Star` hosts Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay. (Food Network photo)
"Food Network Star" hosts Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay. (Food Network photo)

Giada De Laurentiis & Bobby Flay return as mentors/judges for new season

Companion series, 'Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen,' and exclusive web series, 'Star Salvation,' give past & current finalists chance at redemption

Culinary icons Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis return as mentors and judges on Food Network's elite competition series "Food Network Star," premiering Sunday, June 4 (9 p.m. ET/PT). Thirteen fresh competitors enter the kitchen to showcase their cooking and on-camera skills over 11 episodes, to prove to Giada and Bobby they have what it takes to join the Food Network family.

Ramping up the stakes, co-hosts Valerie Bertinelli and Tyler Florence return to co-host a second season of "Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen" on Sunday, May 21 (8 p.m. ET/PT), as seven former "Food Network Star" finalists battle it out against each other through three episodes to earn the 13th and final spot in the new season of "Star."

Exclusive web-series "Star Salvation," hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli and Jeff Mauro, also returns to give one finalist eliminated during the season a second chance to rejoin the competition.

The "Food Network Star" season 13 winner will be crowned on Sunday, Aug. 13.

"To become a 'Food Network Star' requires top-tier culinary skills, an impressive television presence and the utmost dedication," said Allison Page, general manager, U.S. programming and development, Scripps Networks Interactive. "Each season our viewers are inspired by the journey these talented hopefuls take to go from novice to pro, and Bobby and Giada are the perfect pair to cultivate and determine the next 'Star.' "

On the May 21 premiere of "Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen," seven former finalists return for a second shot at stardom. Valerie and Tyler kick off the proceedings by identifying what kept each of the alumni from prevailing in their previous season. Then, the competitors must each take on a retro dessert in desperate need of a comeback and shoot an Instagram video about their updated version.

Duff Goldman joins Valerie and Tyler to help judge the results. One contestant will be eliminated.

In the season premiere of "Star" on June 4, 12 potential Food Network stars arrive at the historic Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles, hoping for their big break. Bobby and Giada greet the anxious competitors with some troubling news: They have to pass one more big audition before they will officially be considered finalists. But that's not all, there is one more person joining the competition, and that's the winner of "Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen."

Special guests Robert Irvine and Monti Carlo help Giada and Bobby decide who will be the first competitor sent home. Throughout the season, Bobby and Giada will be joined by a roster of special guests to present the finalists with challenges that test their culinary and on-camera prowess, including a special game day challenge featuring ESPN anchors Jemele Hill and Jaymee Sire. Additional special guests joining the action this season both in and out of the studio include: Sunny Anderson, Melissa d'Arabian, Anne Burrell, Josh Denny, Guy Fieri, Hannah Hart, Eddie Jackson, Sandra Lee, Sabin Lomac, Tiffani Thiessen and Andrew Zimmern.

The finalists this season are: Blake Baldwin (Flemington, New Jersey); Trace Barnett (Brilliant, Alabama); Toya Boudy (New Orleans); Addie Gundry (Lake Forrest, Illinois); Rusty Hamlin (Atlanta); Suzanne Lossia (Detroit); Nancy Manlove (Texas City, Texas); Amy Pottinger (Honolulu); David Rose (Atlanta); Jason Smith (Grayson, Kentucky); Caodan Tran (Dallas), and the winner of "Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen." The returning "Comeback Kitchen" alumni battling it out to join the new season are: Rob Burmeister (season 12), Emilia Cirker (season 11), Matthew Grunwald (season 11), Josh Lyons (season 8), Danushka Lysek (season 9), Jamika Pessoa (season 5) and Joy Thompson (season 12).

Exclusive web series "Star Salvation" returns on Sunday, June 25, and goes live just after "Star's" East Coast airing. Available on FoodNetwork.com/Salvation and hosted by Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli and "Food Network Star" season seven winner Jeff Mauro, the six-episode culinary contest gives one eliminated finalist a chance to re-enter the competition. The winner will re-enter "Food Network Star" on Sunday, Aug. 6.

Volkswagen also returns as a sponsor within the series this season, featured in a comprehensive and organic integrated execution, aiding the finalists in their bid for stardom and helping to elevate and drive the action as the competition proceeds to its heart-pounding conclusion.

For more "Food Network Star," fans can visit FoodNetwork.com/Star all season long for exclusive interviews, video, blogs, quizzes, behind-the-scenes photo galleries 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.

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