Well, folks, that was the end of the road for me. I'm going to take some time to reflect before I post my thoughts here. But here's a short statement I posted on my Instagram:
Am I sad? Yes, I’m sad. But more than that, I’m filled with gratitude. #FoodNetworkStar was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done, and I learned a lot. . I’ve competed alongside fellow dreamers, people who know their childhood dreams aren’t silly fantasies, but are their truest guiding lights. I’ve gotten better at pushing through doubt and leaning into the unknown. I’ve learned that when you don’t see enough people who look like you on TV, that you can (and should!) step up yourself, and that will inspire others to do the same. I was scared to open myself to judgement and snark, but I’ve found that the vast majority of people are kind, and a few have made my heart swell with their love and support, even if I’ve never met them in person. I’ve learned how to quiet my mind when a TV crew is swirling around me, and when I’m alone in a hotel room away from my family. I’ve learned that failure can either weaken you or strengthen you for the next fight 💪. I’m down, but not out. It’s not over until @guarnaschelli and Star Salvation say it’s over. For one of us, re-entering the competition is just a couple cooks away… Check out the latest episode on foodnetwork.com/star and keep the dream alive!
In case you're unfamiliar, Star Salvation is a competition in which eliminated contestants compete to re-enter the show. Star Salvation can be viewed online here. New episodes are posted immediately after the East Coast airing of Food Network Star. All Star Salvation challenges will also be shown at 8pm on July 29th, leading up to Food Network Star (and the winner's re-entry to the competition) at 9pm.
Stay tuned for more thoughts! Going to take some time off for a bit :). I so appreciate all your words of encouragement and support. My heart is full.