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

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

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.

Welcome to Miami

The finalists have arrived in Miami for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. "This is a huge event where chefs and food personalities gather. It's the place for upcoming Food Network stars to show off their talent and introduce themselves to the general public," Bobby explains. They've got a big job to do.

Beach Party

Their first stop is Nikki Beach, an outdoor restaurant where the mentors kick off the next challenge: "You'll throw a 'welcome to SoBe' beach party for VIP families — including one very special family," says Giada. She's referring to Paula Deen, her husband, Michael, and son Bobby. Each finalist has to make an adult dish and a kid-friendly dish for the party.

Game Plan

With only two finalists left standing, Team Alton has everything to lose. They're no longer competing as teams, but Justin and Martie still stick together. Alton gives them tips on their dishes and warns Martie, yet again, about her timing issues.

Shopping Trip

Martie, Martita and Nikki head to Target to shop for beach party decor. "It's three girls shopping. That's as chaotic as it gets!" says Nikki.

Birds of a Feather

Martie is beside herself when she hears about today's guest of honor. "This is a huge deal. I'm from Birmingham, Alabama, and I'm cooking for Paula Deen!" she says. "She is a huge influence on me." The two Southern gals hit it off right away.

In His Element

Ippy is happy to get out of the "concrete jungle" of New York City and into the Miami sunshine: "I always say, you bring a Hawaiian to the sun and he'll shine!" Giada hopes he'll thrive in this environment, and he delivers.

POV Problems

Malcolm is ready to bring the party with his Caribbean-style jerk chicken, but he's still not honing in on his POV. "To be truly honest, I don't think I need a POV," he says. "What they should see is a personality and great food. Now I've got to prove it to them."

Getting Crabby

Michele decides to embrace her seafood POV and use a Florida specialty, stone crabs. She doesn't anticipate how difficult they are to shell: "It's miserable. I'm in crab hell. I have to go through with it and hope there are no shells." When Bobby Deen takes a bite, he gets a piece of shell and Michele knows she's in trouble.

Elvis, With a Kick

Justin immediately reminds Paula of Elvis, and they share a good laugh. Despite his too-spicy soup, his presentation gets good reviews: "Thanks, Elvis! I loved him. He definitely thinks outside the box," Paula says. "I don t think he even knows the box is there, ma'am," replies Alton.

Gift of Gab

Once again, Martie runs into problems with her timing and gets cut off in her presentation. Fortunately, Paula understands: "It's hard for a Southern girl to do anything in 30 seconds! I totally get you."

Paula's Favorites

Paula calls Yvan "adorable and charming" and is also impressed with Ippy: "His fish was delicious and I loved his tip."

Big-Ticket Win

No one wants to lose, but there's extra incentive to come up #1 in this challenge: The winner gets a $20,000 gift card from Target. Ippy scores the big prize: "Right on, Ippy! Obviously this environment does nice things for you. We were very encouraged, and you had some of the favorite food of the day," says Susie.

Team Alton In the Safe Zone

Justin is declared safe: "This was a super-solid week for you. You're improving every week," says Bob. "Don't get cocky!" Alton warns his "rebel" finalist. Martie is also safe from elimination.

Team Bobby On the Bottom

Both of the bottom finalists this week come from Bobby's team. Michele and Malcolm will cook it out in the first Miami Producers' Challenge.

Battle at the Bar

Soon Michele and Malcolm learn they won't really be cooking, but making beach party cocktails. Bobby gives them a pre-challenge pep talk: "This is it. The most important cocktail of your life. Remember, why are YOU making this drink?"

Nantucket Inspiration

Being on the beach, Michele's mind immediately goes to Nantucket and she starts mixing up a local cocktail called the Manatec Mystery. "It's near to my heart. If they think I'm not connecting myself to New England, this is my chance to do it," she says. "It's weird going against my teammate, but I'm not really worrying about that. If I don't win, I go home."

Cobbler In a Cocktail

Malcolm wants to pay homage to his mom with an apple cobbler cocktail. Susie is impressed with his technique: "You actually cooked to make this drink. It's not just pouring things."

The Pitch "Beach"

The dreaded pitch room moves outside to the beach for this leg of the competition. Bobby is in an awkward situation with members of his team on either side of him: "I didn't want to sway the judges one way or the other based on my comments."

One Last Shot

"I'm confused by Malcolm still," says Bob. "Every time he tells us something different. But he has finally found a great presentation level. He's been a joy to watch, and he's one of the best cooks in the competition."

Farewell to a Teammate

In the end, Malcolm's lack of POV sends him home and Michele gets to stay. "If I have to lose to someone, I'd want to lose to you," Malcolm graciously tells his teammate. "I'm still a star, just not a Food Network star. This is a steppingstone, a catapult. It was a victory to be cast on this show and to hear all the great comments about my food from the network."

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