Star Scrapbook: Joy Thompson

Joy was the seventh finalist eliminated from Food Network Star, Season 12. Relive the most-memorable moments from her time in the competition. 

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Joy's Journey

Though Joy, a restaurant owner and mom of five from North Carolina, started the competition strong, she wavered week to week since then. Ultimately, after a Week 7 Star Challenge in which both her food and presentation were lacking, she was sent home.

Her Own Words

Each finalist was given a journal to use in the competition, and Joy filled hers with plans for her recipes. Here she penned her name on the inside cover to claim ownership over this scrapbook.

"I Loved It"

While other finalists struggled with nerves and stumbled over their words on Day One of the contest, Joy delivered an impressive first-take cold open, and Bobby proclaimed, "I loved it."

A Southern Dish

Here Joy jotted down the ingredients for her Week 1 dish, a scallop served with blue cheese and caramelized onions. Though the mentors weren't wowed by her dish, her video that played at the movie theater was a success, and Bobby deemed her to be "strong."

Fierce Competition

"Joy shocked the world," Bobby declared after she dropped a risqué rhyme and some dance moves during Rev Run's throwdown in Week 2. Though her dish "actually got some pretty good flavor to it," according to Bobby, her presentation didn't draw the crowds that Damiano's did. "All the girls are going to Damiano's table," Bobby noted.

Southern Masterpiece

Tasked with bringing the punny term "Batter Up" to the plate in the Week 3 Mentor Challenge, Joy was set to make what else but "something deep-fried," she said. Her chicken and waffles dish, a staple at her restaurant, was so good that Bobby told her, "I'm coming to your restaurant just to eat this."

On a Roll

Week 3 continued to be a strong one for Joy, when she and Jernard worked together on a Family Road Trip promo in the Star Challenge. "I kind of felt like you guys had a show," Bobby told them. Ultimately they were named the winners that week.

Jesse's Request

At a Los Angeles hotel in Week 4, Joy, Jernard and Rob worked on a menu for a VIP guest, but little did they know that the VIP — Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson — would be calling them with requests for their dishes. For Joy, Jesse's unexpected twist forced her to make two flavors of pound cake, and she wasn't pleased with the results. 

Mixed Results

"I kind of freak out when I see him," Joy admitted of walking in to find Jesse at the table. In her presentation in front of him and the mentors, she delivered a story that was particularly long — and the judges noticed. Her cake wasn't a runaway success either, as Bobby and Jesse found it to be "very sweet."

Needing More

Joy stumbled in the Week 5 Mentor Challenge, in which she used a smoothie maker to whip up crab dip. Not only did she list off a long roster of ingredients in her video, but she also showed off her nerves, according to guest judge Katie Lee. "Every single time you get up in front of us, teach us something new about your life," Bobby advised her.

Making Strides 

Determined to rebound after her earlier misstep, Joy was sure to showcase her Southern charm in the tailgating-themed Star Challenge, when she presented in front of guest judge Robert Irvine and the mentors. She succeeded in letting her personality shine, and Robert told her afterward, "You’re like a breath of fresh air because I found out a lot about you in a very short amount of time."

Missing the Mark

Come Week 6, Joy's roller coaster of high-and-low performances continued when she was dealt a "Will It" combination of kimchi and bread pudding in the Star Challenge. She wasn't shy about her aversion to kimchi, and ultimately that may have cost her, as she buried the strong ingredient in fried hushpuppy-like rounds. "You were so timid on the kimchi that we had to look for it," Bobby told her. Her segment with Rhett and Link was a flop as well, as she went on a tangent talking about unrelated travels.

Freezer Flop

In what would ultimately be Joy's last week in the contest, she settled on making a chicken pot pie with the frozen ingredients up for grabs — and ultimately it turned out like "a TV dinner," according to Giada. Her presentation was stronger than the week prior, however, it couldn't best her rival Tregaye's.

Fatal Pairing

Much to Joy's initial concern, she and Ana were paired together in the Star Challenge. "In this competition, every partner that Ana has had has immediately gone home," Joy noted. She was determined to end that elimination streak, but unfortunately for her, the worst happened. Not only was Joy's fried chicken offering lacking in bold flavor, but her presentation with Ana was a miss, as they resorted to arguing with each other onstage.

Joy's Goodbye

After seven weeks in the competition, Joy was ultimately sent home, after Bobby noted her up-and-down showings so far. Bobby explained, "Joy is not always good at selling it. ... Her food has never wowed us — at all."

One-on-One with Joy

We checked in with Joy following her elimination. Hear what she had to say about the competition and learn her thoughts on the remaining finalists in an exclusive exit interview.

Go Behind the Scenes

See what the mentors, finalists and crew are up to between takes by checking out insider photos from the set.

More: Behind the Scenes of Food Network Star, Season 12: Part 1

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