LXTV.com’s online bartending competition for season two’s On the Rocks, takes off from where season one left off: bartender’s making a go at a $100,000 check (courtesy of Absolut Vodka) and the title of America’s Top Bartender at the two-time host city of Las Vegas.
Where season one was filmed at bars throughout the MGM Grand, season two will take place throughout Caesars Palace over eight days, starting at the end of October and airing as three 30-minute episodes on NBC following Saturday Night Live, beginning November 7. Up to three contestants may be voted off after each episode, making this both the shortest of the foodie reality television shows out there as well as that with the highest stakes for the competitors.
Open casting calls were held in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Chicago and Las Vegas.
Award-winning mixologist and Pernod Ricard brand ambassador Simon Ford will return on the show in the capacity as advisor on all things beverage.
Among those made famous during season one were Las Vegas bartenders James “Franchise” Hadhazy, BarMagic of Las Vegas’ Kristen Schaefer and Stripsteak’s Amanda Gager, who, after outlasting and outmixing her competition, took home the check and the coveted title. Gager is said to be returning this season as judge, as well as entertaining Italian playboy bartender Brienza.
Among those called back this season was First Food and Bar bartender Mariena Mercer, 26, and a rare second-generation Las Vegas native. Mercer has been bartending up to two jobs at once since she turned 21.
“I really want to experience every type of bartending,” she says. “I really would love to own my own bar some day.”