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Season 9 runner-up Rodney owns a string of Dangerously Delicious Pies shops and is a former musician. He survived 10 weeks of competition to earn a spot among the final-three competitors, but ultimately he came up short behind eventual winner Damaris Phillips.
Rodney introduced his "Pie Style" point of view on the first day of filming, explaining in his pitch tape, "Pie style is synonymous with excellence, and that's what Rodney Henry is: excellent." His first take was so strong that he didn't need a second one. "You did it in your very own style, and that's the thing I like," Bobby said to him.
For the first time in Episode 2, Rodney learned that his pie focus may not the strongest route to take in this competition. Bobby told him at evaluation, "You have this thing about being the Pie Man. It doesn't mean that you have to make a pie every time you're asked to cook something." From then on, he weighed carefully whether or not a pie was an appropriate dish to make in each challenge.
Each finalist was given a journal to use during the show, and Rodney filled his with thoughts on past challenges and notes on upcoming presentations. Here he jotted down his feelings after Burger Bash, noting the Selection Committee "didn't care for my burger." But he added that he was "darn confident" he'd performed well enough to advance to week 3.
While Stacey, Lovely, Nikki and Chris tackled mystery baskets, Rodney took his seat at the judges' table next to Alton. Since Rodney won that week's Mentor Challenge, he was given immunity from elimination and was allowed to judge his rivals' dishes instead of cooking in the Star Challenge.
Rodney's a former rock 'n' roller, so when he was tasked with creating a musical-themed movie trailer, he admitted, "Pies and music are my life, so I really have to kick butt on this challenge." While the team's video was well-received by the Selection Committee, Rodney was critiqued on account of his indiscernible speech during their song. "I couldn't really understand what you were saying," Bobby told him.
In Episode 5, Giada tried to show the finalists that anything can happen on live television by surprising them with unexpected obstacles in the kitchen. When what should have been a three-minute presentation was cut drastically short, Rodney simply adapted to the change. Giada told him after, "I had such a good time watching you," and he ultimately earned an advantage in the 4th of July Live challenge.
Each finalist was to prepare one element of an Independence Day cookout feast during the 4th of July Live challenge, and thanks to his advantage, Rodney decided who would cook which dish. He chose dessert for himself, explaining in his journal: "I'm not doing pie. I'm trying something semi-original. Red, white and blue pots de crème ... If this sucker is pulled off, it will be a darned fine dessert."
As the finalists prepared their courses, Alton threw the live broadcast to each of them individually, and when the spotlight turned to Rodney, he unfortunately uttered "sucker" twice, much to the disappointment of the Selection Committee. "Two suckers, man, in two minutes is a lot of suckers," Rodney reflected afterward.
In Episode 6, finalists created products to pitch to brand executives, and in true Pie Man fashion, Rodney conceived kits complete with everything users would need to make pies and quiche at home. The mentors recommended that he lead with the quiche variety, as Alton explained, "If this quiche is an example of what it's going to taste like when I go home and make it, I think you're going to make most people very happy."
Before meeting with a graphic designer to plan the packaging of his pie kit, Rodney sketched an idea for what the final product would look like. "I already have a really clear vision of what I want," he said, explaining jars outfitted with handles. When the product was complete, it indeed resembled his original concept.
In a test of "culinary vocabulary," Bobby challenged the finalists' abilities to describe his salmon dish without using crutch words like "delicious," "awesome" or "wonderful." Unfortunately for Rodney, he delivered a performance Bobby deemed "a total disaster." Rodney admitted later, "I agree with him."
Rodney surprised the executives with an impromptu guitar performance to accompany his pie kit pitch, but he failed to adequately explain his product. "I think it's abundantly clear that you really believe in pie," one member of the panel told him. "I'm not totally sure I understand exactly what is in that product."
At a culinary auction showcasing finalists' signature dishes, Rodney offered his dessert-style pie to the focus group of Gastronauts, but instead of a traditional presentation of the dish, he began the performance with a joke about astronauts. "That was wild," fellow finalist Russell remarked after watching Rodney from the stew room.
Instead of describing his own offering of tomato-seafood pasta to the mentors in Episode 8, Rodney presented Stacey's pasta with chicken, thanks to the Selection Committee's last-minute twist in the challenge. "Nothing's coming to me," he explained. "I was ready to describe mine." He managed to talk about the flavors of her pasta, but he ended his performance too soon, with several seconds to spare.
Rodney interviewed Vito for a field piece he was working on with Lovely and Russell at Vito's Pizza, and as he made a cheese pie with the owner, Rodney kept their conversation casual and entertaining. "You can genuinely see that Rodney is enjoying his time with Vito. They're connecting," Lovely noted. While Giada found his performance "memorable," one critic from The Hollywood Reporter noted Rodney's apparent "shtick" on camera.
It was up to the finalists to reinvent pantry ingredients in Episode 9, and Rodney was tasked with making breakfast. Despite his "controlled" performance and a crab-egg-cheese breakfast pie that had "good flavors," according to Alton, Rodney was critiqued for not having included a tip in his presentation.
In a Restaurant: Impossible-style challenge at Phil Trani's, Rodney reinvented the chicken cacciatore on the restaurant's struggling menu, transforming this "old-school classic" into a pie. Although his initial attempts to deep-fry chicken-stuffed pies led to exploded pastries, Rodney tweaked his technique and was ultimately able to serve the dish to the judges.
Pitching his pilot ideas to the mentors, Rodney was sure he wanted his show to be focused on pies, and with Alton's help, Pie Style the pilot was born. The notion was that a restaurant would challenge Rodney to re-create its signature dish in pie form, an idea that Rodney deemed "dynamite."
Thanks to guest mentor Guy Fieri, Rodney learned the best way to talk with his mouth full on camera while filming a pilot at Chef Eric Greenspan's restaurant The Foundry on Melrose. Rodney turned the chef's classic grilled cheese into a pie, and the result was a success, according to both Chef Eric and his customers.