Food Network Star, Season 11: Top Moments of Episode 5

Get an inside look at the finalists' challenges and relive memorable moments from the fifth episode of Food Network Star, Season 11.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Two Times the Swaps

Not only do the finalists start the week by being forced to cook with a rival's favorite ingredient instead of their own, but when it comes time to present to Bobby and Giada, they must taste and critique their partner's dish. "Not only did I grow up hunting; I grew up fishing too," Jay reveals after losing his venison loin and inheriting Rue's branzino.

Handling the Heat 

Eddie has warned Michelle about the power of heat in his habanero peppers, and she listens to him, being careful with just how many she uses in a shrimp marinade. It turns out that the spice level in her dish is pretty negligent, as Eddie calls out to the mentors. Giada tells him, "I agree with you. I don't taste much habanero."

Needing the Basics

Alex's five-spice powder ends up with Dom, but when the tables are turned on Alex to explain Dom's Asian noodle, he stumbles, unable to list the five ingredients in the spice powder. "You being able to talk to that is incredibly important," Bobby tells him.

Advantage: Rue

Though Jay undercooks Rue's branzino, she's delicate in her critique of it, which the mentors appreciate. "Your description was very eloquent," Bobby praisesher after she spoke of Jay's undercooked branzino. Giada adds, "She did a good job at saying what the fish should be: flaky." Rue's strong performance earns her an advantage come the Star Challenge.

Playing Matchmaker

At Los Angeles' Patina Restaurant, finalists are grouped into pairs to create entrees that fuse both of their culinary points of view into one single plate. Rue's been matched with Dom, but given her advantage, she's able to select someone else if she wants, and indeed she puts her previous win to work, choosing to pair with Arnold instead. "I know that we can really blend well together with our flavors," she says of Arnold. 

Meet the Bickersons

"OK. So it's The Dom Show, and Michelle is the dumb sidekick," Michelle complains of working with Dom, a bit peeved that he's decided that their team will make risotto and he'll work in her take on shrimp. "Just make the food and let's get this done," he tells her.

Watch: When Teammates Go Bad

Team Chicken Sandwich

No strangers to working together, Alex and Eddie are again paired up, and they're quick to decide on a jerk chicken banh mi to highlight both of their perspectives. "Eddie has a Caribbean POV, and the escovitch-style pickles from Jamaica are very similar to the daikon pickles they serve in Southeast Asia," Alex notes.

Last-Minute Prep

After the initial cook time, finalists have just 15 minute to prepare their meals for the dining room full of Match.com couples, plus the panel, which includes Anne Burrell and Patina's Joachim Splichal. Rue and Arnold decide to wait to cook their surf-and-turf plates until those last 15 minutes — and it shows. Anne goes so far as to say, "This carrots is like a crudite."

Tensions Flare

Unfortunately for them, Dom and Michelle let their troubles show to the crowd. Dom turns frustrated after Michelle introduces their dishes and gives what he thinks is too much description. "That was painful to watch," Giada notes, and Anne agrees, saying, "They definitely were not a match." Afterward, Michelle's so upset by the ordeal that she storms out of the room to take a break.

Strong Finish

"This is like a bromance banh mi, if you ask me," Anne says of Eddie's and Alex's sandwich offering, as the Committee is easily able to see their camaraderie. As for the guys' food, Bobby notes, "I like the chicken. It's very flavorful. It makes me want to keep eating it." They, too, are safe from elimination this week.

Better Together

If Dom and Michelle were a struggling pair, then Emilia and Jay are the dream team. "It did seem like they were having a good time," Anne says of the duo's presentation to the crowd, but she's not wowed by their pork. "I'm looking at everyone's piece of pork, and it's all cooked incredibly differently," she explains. Nevertheless, they're deemed safe from elimination this week.

Craving More

Along with Michelle and Dom, Rue and Arnold are among the bottom performers, as Giada tells them, "Beyond the beautiful presentation and plate, there was no south African, there was no Thai, there was no cooking." 

Rue's Downfall

After being told multiple times that she ought to explain the whats, whys and hows of her southern African point of view, Rue's ultimately sent home today as she once again failed to speak of her culture in her presentation. "She doesn't give us what we want, which is to really define what she's cooking and who she is," Bobby says of Rue at evaluation.

Photos: Star Scrapbook: Rue Rusike

One-on-One with Rue

Hear from Rue in her first exclusive exit interview for her thoughts on the contest, and find out what's next for her.

A Second Chance at Stardom

Though Rue been eliminated, there's a chance she could rejoin the competition. She and the other previously eliminated rivals are off to battle in Star Salvation, a six-week Web-exclusive contest hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli and Jeff Mauro. At the end of the journey, one finalist will be allowed back into the Food Network Star race.

Watch: Star Salvation

Go Behind the Scenes

Get an insider's look at the making of the show, and see how the cast spends its time between takes.

Photos: Behind the Scenes of Food Network Star, Season 11

Want More Food Network Star?

Check out Food Network Star headquarters for more photos, plus exclusive interviews, top video clips and insider coverage of the competition.

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