Food Network Star! Chef Damaris Phillips

Food Network Star! A straight-haired Chef Damaris Phillips before her victory.

What’s the sure tip off a contestant for a reality TV show is going to win?

The producers give him or her a new ‘do.

A freshly coiffed and curled Damaris Phillips won the Food Network Star title last night … and her own cooking show on The Food Network.

Phillips, a  Jefferson Community and Technical College grad with a degree in culinary arts, bested 11 other contestants including two finalists who had, well, less good ideas. Or at least ideas that didn’t resonate with the voting audience.

Phillips’s concept is a show called “Eat Date Love” where she teaches bachelors how to cook Southern food (“the food of love”) to impress their dates.

As you can see in her “best of” video, she plays up the Southern thing. At one point, a judge says he hears a bit of an accent, and asks, “Where are you from?”

Without missing a beat, Phillips says, “New York. I’m kidding … Ken-tuck-keeee.”

The next Paula Deen?

Phillips, 32, won out over Russell Jackson, from San Francisco, and Rodney Henry of Baltimore.

This is the show that made a star of spiky-haired Guy Fieri. Just when Phillips will commence shooting her concept is unclear.

Our takeaway: Reality show stars live to like 200 years old because everything is so drawn out ….

But, it is pretty amazing that someone can go from complete obscurity in Louisville, Kentucky to being a national reality TV show star within a few crazy weeks.