Star Scrapbook: Martita Jara

Martita was the third finalist eliminated in Season 12 of Food Network Star. 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.

Martita's Journey

Martita, a Season 8 finalist, shocked her Season 12 rivals when she suddenly joined the cast following her successful three-week journey on Comeback Kitchen. But despite her win in that earlier competition, Martita gave on-camera presentations that left much to be desired on Food Network Star, and Bobby and Giada worried about her range in the kitchen.

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Making an Entrance

Nothing could prepare Martita's fellow finalists when she joined the group in Week 1, and their thoughts on her presence were varied. "It sucks," Damiano said simply. Erin deemed Martita "a front-runner" by default on account of her past success.

From Her Point of View

All of the finalists were given journals to use during their time in the competition, and Martita filled hers with recipe notes and ingredient lists. Here she details a portion of the how-to for the first dish she made in this competition, a crisp topped with spiced black beans. 

Mixed Reviews

The mentors were pleased with Martita's Week 1 crisp; Bobby called the spicy flavor "balanced." Her cold open, however, left varying impressions on her former Comeback Kitchen mentors, Tyler Florence and Valerie Bertinelli, both of whom guest-judged that week. "Boom," Tyler said simply, while Valerie broke down Martita's performance more objectively. "It took forever to talk about what kind of food she made, why she made it," Valerie noted.

Strong Showing

In Week 2, Martita and Erin worked together to film a travelogue at Sticky Rice in Los Angeles' Grand Central Market. They did so well in their video that guest judge Haylie Duff said she "laughed out loud." Along with the team of Damiano and Joy, Martita and Erin earned the win in that Mentor Challenge.

A Win by Default

At Rev Run's throwdown in Week 2, Martita and Erin were on a team yet again, but this time they faced off against each other in a challenge to sell their meatloaf-pad thai mash-ups to the crowd. Though the judges admitted that Martita's dish of albondigas didn't showcase a pad thai element as expected, Martita was spared from the bottom that week, as her presentation drew more fans than Erin's.

Naming Woes

Challenged to make a dish inspired by the punny name "Meat Me Halfway," Martita failed to deliver a representative dish that guest judge Maile Carpenter, the editor-in-chief of Food Network Magazine, could discern. This ultimately meant that Martita's beef and peppers plates weren't tasted by the panel, much to her disappointment. "Nothing about it said 'half' to me," Maile noted.

The Trouble with Grandma

Once again working in pairs, finalists teamed up to make promo videos for their would-be Family Road Trip show, and Martita and Ana worked together to showcase Grandma's house as a destination. Despite their common love of abuela, they struggled to connect with each other on camera. "I've always thought that Martita is overly rehearsed," Ana admitted. But Martita continued with her plan for herself, and it may have cost her the competition.

Sope Style

Martita opted to make a sope topped with black beans for what would be her final challenge. Here she detailed the components of the dish, plus the fixings for the margarita that she and Ana worked on together.

Looking for More

According to the judges, Martita's sope offering was simply undercooked, and unfortunately for her, that wasn't the only issue they took with it. "It's the second similar dish you've made us in three weeks," Giada told Martita. "We need to know you can make more than just certain types of dishes."

Saying Another Goodbye

Martita's struggles this week were enough to land her among the bottom-four finalists. And after a three-week journey on Food Network Star, Martita ultimately said goodbye to the competition once again. "I didn't imagine myself going home," she reflected. "I imagined myself winning the whole damn thing, of course."

One-on-One with Martita

We checked in with Martita 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

Want More Food Network Star?

Check out Food Network's official Star headquarters for more insider coverage of the competition, plus exclusive mentor interviews, behind-the-scenes photos and winning recipes.

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