Food Network Star, Season 12: Top Moments of Episode 7

Get an inside look at the finalists' challenges and relive memorable moments from the seventh 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.

Ready, Set, Freeze

Week 7 kicks off with a baking challenge, but in true Food Network Star fashion, there's a game-changing twist that keeps the finalists on their toes. Instead of using fresh ingredients, the competitors must utilize only packaged frozen goods (plus baking staples such as flour and sugar, of course). Ice pops, milk, boxed enchiladas, butter and cake — it’s all waiting for the finalists in the freezer. "Basically we're testing your ingenuity. There's lots of flavor in there — somewhere," Bobby explains to them.

Noticeably Upset

Frustrated by the mandate of frozen ingredients, baker Damiano doesn't take kindly to the challenge at hand. "Baking is not freaking baking with frozen product," he declares. Nevertheless, he sets out to make cookies and gelato, but his dish isn't a hit with the judges. Damiano attempts to explain his struggles, but the panel isn't interested in his excuses.

Making Strides 

Though Erin is also annoyed by the challenge, she doesn't let it get to her, explaining, "This is going to test out our creativity." She combines chili from one frozen package with prepared chocolate cakes and cherry pie filling to create a spiced Black Forest-inspired dessert, which the judges are mostly pleased with. But ultimately it's her moving presentation, in which she tells the story of being bullied as a child, that resonates with the judges. "I think that was actually the best you've ever done," Bobby tells her.

TV Reruns

Joy admits to being unfamiliar with frozen TV dinners, but she uses bits and pieces of them to create a chicken pot pie. While her presentation is complete with her usual Southern charm, her pot pie is less successful. For the judges, the result is just "a TV dinner," according to Giada.

Better — Kind Of

After weeks of being told to showcase her personality, Ana begins to deliver on that with a presentation that talks about her dating life post-divorce. Though guest judge Lorraine Pascale calls for even more of an outgoing showing from her, Bobby admits, "Ana's demeanor is kind of relaxed and calm, and we have plenty of people who are stars on the network who have sort of that same level." In terms of Ana's food, "the inside is not moist enough," Giada notes of Ana's tres leches cake, made with just one milk.

Mixed Results

Jernard takes to making biscuits, his wife Keena's specialty, but Giada tells him, "It just wasn't a win today." His story about Keena, however, stuns the judges. "I could listen to you for hours. I love the delivery," Lorraine tells him.

The Queen Holds Her Own

Confident in her ability to work with frozen ingredients, Tregaye takes to putting seemingly every available frozen item in her bread pudding, so her fellow finalists expect the flavor to be off. But believe it or not, the judges are pleased with her dish. "I think it's quite balanced," Giada notes. The panel isn't wowed by her more subdued presentation, but no one else is able to dethrone her from the game Bobby calls "King of the Hill," and ultimately she earns the win.

The Makings of a Teammate

At a tiki party with guest judge Anne Burrell, Tregaye uses her advantage to swap teammates for the six-minute demo that each pair of finalists will have to give. She chooses to work with Damiano on account of his dessert prowess, which means that Joy will work with Ana — and that could have severe consequences. "Everybody that ends up partnered with Ana [goes] home," Damiano notes.

Sweet Struggles

"Erin's driving me crazy," Jernard admits of working alongside Erin. She's asking him questions about her dish, and he notes, "I ain't got time for that." When it comes to their team dish, a dessert, Jernard and Erin clash over the idea of glaze for their cake. While Erin lets a sugar mixture soak into the cake, Jernard wants the topping to be visible, so Erin simply creates yet another powdered sugar frosting to finish the cake. "This cake is going to be sweet," Erin notes.

Verbal Clashing

Despite Joy's initial concerns about working with Ana, the two end up syncing up naturally in their menu, with both finalists opting for the tropical flavors of guava and pineapple. Come the demo, however, the situation turns strange, as Ana drops suggestive innuendo and is hesitant to reveal too many of her ingredients. Soon they start fighting onstage, and Bobby admits, "It's just uncomfortable to watch because they're, like, talking over each other." Joy's chicken is deemed "bland," according to Giada, while Ana's pork is more successful.

Sharing Roles

"Come on, Tregaye. Don't make me mad," Damiano advises Tregaye. He takes charge — perhaps too much charge — when it comes to prepping his dessert with Tregaye, and she's not pleased about being bossed around the kitchen by him.

Finding Their Groove

After an uncomfortably slow start, Jernard and Erin manage to find their footing as a team as the minutes tick away, maintaining a natural flow between the chatting and cooking. Ultimately the judges are pleased with their performances, but just as Erin predicted, they found the cake to be sweet. "It's the glaze," declares Anne. Nevertheless, their demo is so strong that they earn the win this week.

Missing the Mark

Tregaye and Damiano are determined to give an entertaining demonstration, but ultimately they take that goal too far with an over-the-top "Tiki! Tiki!" chant and an impromptu bartending show from Damiano. "Well, I don't know what they made, but I laughed," Giada says. While Damiano's poke appetizer is weak, Tregaye's skewer is successful, as is the tart Damiano made for dessert, and those dishes are enough to keep them in the competition this week.

Joy's Goodbye

Ana and Joy are the bottom-two finalists this week, and while Giada is quick to admit that Ana ought to be eliminated, Bobby isn't so sure, noting: "Joy is not always good at selling it. ... Her food has never wowed us — at all." Ultimately, Joy says goodbye, much to the shock of the remaining finalists.

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 members are up to between takes by checking out insider photos from the set.

More: Behind the Scenes of Food Network Star, Season 12: Part 2

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.

More: Food Network Star

More from:

Food Network Star