Food Network Star, Season 8: Behind the Scenes of Episode 3

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and relive all the highlights of Food Network Star Season 8, Episode 3.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Chopped, Star-Style

Just when the teams were getting comfortable with each other, they're thrown a curve ball: A Chopped desserts challenge in which they will compete against their own teammates. The losing finalist from each team will be up for elimination in the Producers' Challenge. "This is the inverse of Christmas," says Justin. "Instead of a basket of joy, it's a basket of terror."

An Imposing Panel

To make things even more intimidating, Chopped judges Scott Conant, Alex Guarnaschelli and Marc Murphy are joining Bob, Susie and the team mentors to judge each round of desserts and presentations.

Moment of Truth: Team Alton

Team Alton is up first, and they open their baskets to find Hershey's Kisses, pancetta, graham crackers and kumquats. "That's a fantastic grocery list. You've got some salty, some fatty, some acidity," says Alton.

The Rebel

The entire panel is perplexed when Justin decides to melt his Hershey's Kisses with the foil wrappers on. It takes forever for him to finally extract the chocolate, but somehow he manages to turn out a dessert — no-bake cookies inspired by his lunch lady from high school — that completely wows the judges.

Solid Round

Team Alton has a strong showing, but someone still has to lose. The judges decide Martie should be the one to face the Producers' Challenge. They thought her s'more should have taken 15 minutes to make, and she kept apologizing about her "advanced" age in her presentation.

"Torture Basket": Team Giada

When it's Team Giada's turn, no one is excited by what's in their basket: Reese's Pieces, coconut, grape soda and popcorn. "That is just the worst combination ever!" says Giada. "I'm irritated."

Pressure's On

Despite the difficulty of the basket, Linkie knows she has to deliver on this dessert challenge: "The fact that I'm the 'dessert queen' puts on added pressure. I have to nail it." Fortunately for her, the judges are impressed by her chocolate mousse: "You are so charming and the mousse is so beautiful," says Alex.

Ambitious

Josh gets ambitious and decides to make Ebelskivers, a type of Danish doughnut: "I'm just going to wing it, make it Asian-inspired," he says. Unfortunately, Marc Murphy said you could chip a tooth on his unpopped popcorn kernels, and the panel decided he should face the Chopping Block (aka the Producers' Challenge).

Final Round: Team Bobby

In the final basket, Team Bobby finds Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars, pineapple, pasta sheets and black lava salt. Nikki isn't as worried about the basket as she is about simply making dessert: "I know my teammates and we can cook, but none of us really like this dessert thing."

Head Games

During cooking, Michelle can't focus because she's intimidated by one member of the judges' panel: "Giada is staring at me every time I look up. She's freaking me out!"

Bread Pudding Disaster

Nikki attempts to make a bread pudding, but there's not enough time for it to set. "This is not cooked. It's like soup," says Scott Conant. Her presentation "felt like an infomercial," according to Bob. She will represent Team Bobby in the Producers' Challenge.

Decisions

Scott, Alex and Marc loved some of the dishes, especially Justin's, Linkie's and Eric's. "If I saw this on my TV screen, I'd want to drag my spoon through all the sauces and eat it," says Alex of Eric's Hawaiian Napoleon.

Unofficial Win

Though there is no real winner of this challenge, Bob tells Team Alton that "the judges felt that your team excelled this week, kind of beating the other teams." After two weeks on the bottom, they're happy with the feedback, even if Martie still has to go to the Producers' Challenge.

How to Grill Indoors?

Martie, Josh and Nikki are asked to create a dish and a presentation that answers one of the most common questions on FoodNetwork.com during grilling season: If you don't have an outdoor grill, what can you make? Alton shows Martie a technique of using two hot grill pans for her tuna dish.

Been Here Before

"The advantage that you have is that you’ve been here before," Giada tells Josh. He plans to make a meatball that combines Asian flavors with the cuisine of his Scandinavian roots.

Girl on Grill

This challenge puts Nikki in her wheelhouse, as it fits right in to her "Girl on Grill" POV. She gets right to work making flank steak with grilled vegetables and adding smoky flavor from wood chips.

Killed It

Bobby gives Nikki a good luck drink before her presentation, and she nails it. "This Producers' Challenge is a huge wake-up call for me. I'm not ready to go home yet," she says.

Don't Apologize

"Repeat after me: I will not evoke my age again in a presentation," Alton advises Martie. She doesn't, and comes across as genuine and funny, even when her bracelet gets caught in the grill pan.

Feeling Comfortable

"I have to convince them that I can improve. It's do or die at this point," says Josh. He delivers his camera presentation and prepares to enter the pitch room for the second time.

Three Pitches

Bob and Susie await the three finalists and their mentors in the pitch room to watch the camera presentations. "It all rests on this," says Martie.

Clear Winner

"You went from forgettable to a contender in 60 seconds flat," Bob tells Nikki. "I think you've shown that you deserve to stay. You and Mr. Flay can leave the room."

Mentor's Pitch

Nikki's win leaves Josh and Martie up for elimination. Alton delivers his pitch for Martie: "The thing that she's got, it can't be taught. That's genuineness." Bob and Susie see it too, so Martie is safe to stay another week. "I love to watch her tell stories," says Susie. "We just need to see that she can cook."

Fighting Spirit

Despite Giada's efforts to fight for him, it's Josh who's going home this week. "I appreciate your fighting spirit. You were in here twice. I give you credit for the ambitiousness of the dish." says Bob.

Farewell, Josh

With Josh's departure, all three teams are now down to four members. He heads home with some new ideas: "I think this experience has clarified my direction, fusing Asian cuisine with European. I've presented it to some of the biggest chefs in the world and they did give me some positive feedback. I'm going to take those words and create something awesome."

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