Food Network Star, Season 7: Behind the Scenes of Episode 8

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and relive all the highlights of episode eight of Food Network Star , Season 7.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Leanna Creel/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Leanna Creel/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Top 10 Moments: 1. It's Ina Garten!

The finalists pack up in L.A., fly cross-country and arrive at Food Network's New York home, Chelsea Market. Who's there to welcome them? The Barefoot Contessa herself.

2. Happy Tears

When Whitney sees Ina, her culinary idol, she gets emotional. "You taught me how to cook!" she says, trying to keep it together.

3. You in a Cupcake

Ina challenges the finalists to create "you in a cupcake." Jyll makes a chocolate-citrus cupcake that is delicious, but her already-cloudy POV becomes even less clear.

4. Cupcake Sandwich

Jeff pulls out all the stops as he attempts to apply his sandwich POV to a cupcake. "Am I right that you prefer to cook rather than bake?" asks Ina. "I think that shows here."

5. Culinary Breakthrough

Mary Beth's Strawberry Cupcakes, made with roasted strawberries and balsamic-red wine icing, are the best thing the judges have tasted from her so far. "I'd download the recipe," says Ina.

6. The Rachael Ray Show

The Star Challenge brings a second dose of Food Network star power. The finalists head to the Rachael Ray show to present live demos of family dinners with the master of 30 Minute Meals.

7. Lachanga?

Vic's deep-fried lasagna dish — a cross between lasagna and chimichangas — turns out to be as confused as it sounds.

8. In His Element

Jeff is loving this challenge, and it shows. "The sandwich guy killed it for me. That was my home run," says Rachael after all of the presentations.

9. POV Confusion

Jyll's meatloaf was tasty, but her presentation fell flat. "I didn't tie it together with her concept," says Rachael. "Wasn't her concept entertaining?"

10. Highs and Lows

Jeff and Jyll are the top and bottom, respectively, this week. Jyll's heading home, while Jeff and the others are one week closer to their own show.

The Play-by-Play

We've covered the Top 10, but there were many more highlights of this star-studded episode, which began with the Barefoot Contessa herself judging the finalists' creative cupcakes.

Reaction to an Icon

When Ina walks into the Food Network kitchens, the finalists' reactions are priceless.

A Simple Success

Jyll's Chocolate Gran Marnier cupcakes are a big hit; her presentation, not so much. Ina's review: "It's well executed, well balanced. But she hasn't gotten real yet."

Get the Recipe: Orange Liqueur Cupcakes

Cupcake Overload

Jeff's Italian Cold Cut Cupcake stuffed with sopressata, pancetta and salami had just a bit too much going on. "The flavors are too overpowering," says Susie Fogelson.

Bobby's Take

Mary Beth's cupcake is a high point for Bobby: "If every dish is like that, you're going to be really hard on these guys," he tells her. Jeff's and Vic's cupcakes aren't as successful.

Vic in a Cupcake

"I wanted to make a cupcake that's hard on the outside, but soft on the inside, like me," says Vic. It ended up being very one-dimensional: "All I taste is chocolate," says Bob Tuschman.

Thumbs Up

After her presentation, Susie's feeling good. "She connected with the camera. I wanted to listen to her," says Ina.

Cupcake Fiesta

"I never had much of a sweet tooth," Susie admits, so she goes with a savory Spicy Corn Cupcake. The judges dig it, but wish she didn't decide to top it with metallic sparkles.

Inspired by Ina

Whitney decides to take a risk with a Barefoot Contessa-inspired trio of cupcakes: "It would be a disaster to serve Ina a cupcake that mirrors her own and have her not like it."

Trio of Flavor

Fortunately for Whitney, Ina calls her cupcakes "moist and delicious."

What's Next?

There's no time to waste before the Star Challenge. "The dreaded domes are back," says Bobby. Underneath, each finalist finds a traditional family dinner to put their own spin on.

The Rachael Ray Set

Where will the finalists be cooking these dishes? On the Rachael Ray show. Here, they anxiously make their way onto the set of Rachael's daytime talk show.

Welcome

Rachael chats with the finalists in the green room, trying to put their nerves at ease.

Under Pressure

One by one, they'll do an opener for their show, demo their dishes and take questions from the studio audience.

Mama's Boy Disappoints

"I was broken-hearted over Mama's boy," says Rachael. "I thought he would be strongest with the audience, had he remembered to talk to them."

Susie Struggles

Susie looks up to Rachael Ray, and her nerves get the better of her. "She's not having as much fun as she usually does," notes Bobby.

Shepherd's Pie Made Pretty

Mary Beth comes in fired up, but loses steam during her demo: "I'm not saying anything. I didn't plan out enough to say. I did well; I didn't do great," she reflects.

Four-Star Chili

For her chili presentation, Whitney sneaks in a story about her brother, a firefighter. Susie Fogelson is thrilled that she finally got personal: "Yay, Whitney! I can't know enough about you."

Who Are You?

Jyll is thrown for a loop when asked how her show would be different from others on Food Network. She mentions comfort food with a California twist: "Where did that come from?" asks a puzzled Bobby Flay.

Sandwich Guy

"This is the best possible opportunity to showcase the personality of the king of all sandwiches," says Jeff. He does a great job connecting with the camera, Rachael and the studio audience.

Get the Recipe: Apple Cider-Braised Pork Chop Sammy with Apple Slaw

Time for Judgment

"I'm in love with Mama's boy. That's such a great premise," says Susie. But this week, the judges are all wondering whether Vic can really bring it.

Making His Case

Vic explains that he forgot to mention that his dish was a way to use leftover lasagna. "I'm sorry that you didn't say that, Vic," says Bob. Without that explanation, his "lachanga" made no sense.

Stand Up For Your Food

"When you make a dish that says you, you’re flying. There's no reason to move away from it," Bobby tells Susie. Hopefully she takes it to heart.

Farewell, Jyll

"Entertaining can be approached from so many angles, but presentation-wise there's an artificiality to her that I can't get past," says Susie Fogelson. Thus, it's Jyll's turn to go home.

More from:

Food Network Star