Food Network Star, Season 12: 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 12.

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.

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.

Focus On: Food Hacks

You know those supposedly single-use kitchen gadgets, such as waffle makers and turkey basters? This week the finalists have to be clever and put those items to work "in an unexpected way," according to Bobby. And each finalist must demo his or her technique to an audience on Snapchat in a one-minute video.

Smashing Success

"I like Snapchat," says Tregaye, who feels comfortable with the app and is confident in her ability to pull off a strong video. She's working with a skillet as her tool, and in her video she jokes that it's a good way to "relieve a little aggression" while using the pan as a makeshift meat mallet. Though Giada finds Tregaye's steak sandwich to be "a little too heavy," the judges are impressed with her performance. Guest judge Katie Lee tells Tregaye, "You were so authentic, and in one minute, I feel like I know you."

Raw Talent

"I feel like you had a show on Food Network," Bobby tells Monterey after he streams her video. She's beside herself with the high praise, but soon disaster strikes when the chicken she serves the judges — which was marinated in a mixture made in a French press — is raw. "Simplify your dish," Giada urges her.

The Real Jernard

After last week's reserved performance, Jernard says he wants to "make up for it" with a true-to-him video. He uses a martini shaker to mix up a barbecue sauce, and he jokes in his video, "Liquor goes good with love." Bobby tells him, "You have that Jernard swagger." Bobby recommends that Jernard push the limit of his own personality. "Get uncivilized!" Bobby advises.

Looking for More

The mentors note that Ana has taken steps in the right direction to amp up her performances, but they still wish she'd give them more. "Go for it," Bobby tells her. Her Natilla Custard that she shook up in a Mason jar is deemed successful, which leaves the judges questioning her more. "I don't understand," Giada notes. "You cook so well. Why can't you, like, get more excited about it?"

Making Strides

"Last week we asked you to entertain us, and that is exactly what you did," Giada tells Damiano, who fills a turkey baster to squirt fruit sauce onto the plate with his Frittelle (aka Italian cream puffs). His video is so strong and his dessert is so impressive — Bobby declares, "I'll take 10" — that Damiano wins the Mentor Challenge this week.

Race for Ingredients

In a racing tailgate-themed Star Challenge with guest judge Robert Irvine, the finalists have to race for the best proteins they'll be cooking. They take to a virtual racing game and face off against each other, and the fastest driver will have first pick of ingredients, such as bratwursts, skirt steaks and pork chops — and tofu and turkey dogs. Little do the competitors know, though, that yet another surprise is waiting for them. In the middle of their cooking round, Robert will rip 10 minutes from their prep time.

Back at It

"I better bring the Southern belle that I normally am," Joy says, noting the importance of wowing the mentors with her trademark charm. She succeeds in impressing the panel, as guest Robert says, "You're drawn towards her personality." Her po' boy is a hit as well, so much so that Joy scores a spot among the top-three finalists this week.

Missing the Mark

"I'm feeling really confident," Rob declares. "This dish is the ultimate tailgating food on the wild side." Though he's left with turkey dogs as his protein of choice, he wraps them in bacon and blankets them in a soda-based sauce, something that's indeed unique to him. Though the mentors are pleased with the dish, they're disappointed that he didn't make a bigger deal about such an original idea. "His thing is cooking on a wild side," Bobby says. "That root beer glaze is really his wild side."

Strong Showing

Damiano admits, "'Tailgate' — it's a new word to me," but he pulls inspiration for his Skirt Steak Sandwich from a food truck offering he tasted in Italy. He keeps up the appeal he put forth in the Mentor Challenge, and Bobby says, "I thought he was having fun." Though Bobby finds the panini to be "a little lacking in flavor," Giada notes that it is in fact keeping with Italian traditions of seasoning.

Important Omission

"That was awkward," Erin admits of her giddy interaction with Robert, whom the finalist says is "like my favorite person ever." Her brats wow the panel; Robert explains, "That's tailgate food, but it's a level above." But the judges wish she'd give more information about herself. "This was her opportunity to present her expertise as a baker. She didn't mention that," Giada notes.

Well-Done

Just as Bobby has asked for, Jernard sets out to be uncivilized and says, "I'm going to lay it all out." When presenting his tequila-scented chicken wings to the judges, he talks about taking shots of the liquor with his wife and later says, "I help motivate her, outside of rubbing her feet." His speech makes an impact — a positive one — on the mentors, as Giada says, "You feel happiness pouring out of him." And as for his wings, they're "finger-lickin' good," according to Bobby. Jernard's strong showing lands him among the top-three finalists this week.

When Food Isn't Enough

Monterey is out to offer a stellar dish after her Mentor Challenge plate featured raw chicken. She opts for pork tacos, which Bobby calls "well-seasoned," but it's her presentation that causes concern. "Focusing for her is really hard," Giada explains. Monterey admits that she made missteps, as she declares, "That was a train wreck."

Mixed Results

As Ana lands in last place in the race, she's saddled with tofu, but she makes the best of it in her fried rice, which she preps in a wok on the grill. The judges are impressed by the taste and texture of Ana's fried rice, but yet again "she'll just give negatives," according to Giada. "You need to work on your self-esteem a little bit," Bobby tells Ana, who lands among the bottom this week.

Bringing the Fleek

"She's on fire," Bobby says simply of Tregaye, who doesn't hold back in her over-the-top description of her cheese-stuffed burger offering. "Tregaye grabs your attention," Giada adds. Her dish, too, is successful, and she rounds out the top three this week.  

On the Edge

Given their combined struggles with food and presentations, Rob, Monterey and Ana make up the bottom three this week, and Giada admits that the process of picking a finalist to oust isn't easy. "You guys made it tough on us this week," she says.

Monterey's Goodbye

After five weeks in the competition, Monterey is sent home, not because of a lack of cooking chops, but because of her struggles on camera. "Your energy is contagious. We just need more-focused thoughts," Giada tells Monterey, who leaves in tears. "This was my childhood dream," she says before leaving, "but this is not happening right now — 'cause I'm not ready for it."

One-on-One with Monterey

We checked in with Monterey 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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