Food Network Star, Season 9: Top Moments of Episode 4

Get an inside look at the finalists' challenges and relive the most memorable moments from the fourth episode of Food Network Star, Season 9.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Nathaniel Chadwick / Creel Films ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Nathaniel Chadwick/Creel Films ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Nathaniel Chadwick/Creel Films ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Nathaniel Chadwick/Creel Films ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Better Together: Dinner and a Movie

Working in three teams of three this week, the finalists must create Romance, Western and Musical movie trailers that detail their group's themed menu. These trailers will be shown at Cinépolis, a luxury cinema, to the Selection Committee as well as a focus group; viewers will decide which team's menu to order based solely on the performances.

Team Romance

Hoping to avoid a too-sexy story and script in their trailer, Chad, Damaris and Viet settle on a culinary-style take on The Dating Game in which Damaris, as an entree of shrimp and grits, must choose between Chad and Viet: an appetizer of Korean-style chicken wings or a dessert of macerated berries, respectively. "I think the mouthwatering words that we use to describe our food are really going to win over the moviegoers," Viet explains.

Team Musical

Taking the notion of a musical to heart, Rodney, Chris and Lovely sing the entirety of their movie, in which they detail their menu of "luxurious ingredients people love," according to Chris. Rodney, an experienced rock 'n' roller, has no trouble strumming the guitar, but his words become jumbled and difficult to make out.

Team Western

Russell, Stacey and Nikki rely on campfire classics like chili and coffee, plus a meaty pasta sauce, to be the stars of their Western-inspired fare. The group acts as cowboys at a mock shootout, which, while it lets Nikki's performance skills shine, poses a problem for Russell. "I've been struggling with presentations, and I'm nervous. I don't want to be the guy that's bad in the trailer," he admits.

Blushing Mr. Brown

"It's 50 Shades of Hot Sauce," Alton jokes after watching Team Romance's trailer, which, despite the group's best efforts, includes several blush-worthy words and phrases. The mentors appreciate Chad's spicy wings, but Damaris' under-seasoned grits are disappointing, and Viet's berries, dressed up with rum, honey and sparkling cream, fall short. "It's not very creative," Bobby says of Viet's dessert.

Pies, Finally

While Rodney has had to stretch the definition of a pie to fit past challenges, this opportunity allows him to prepare an authentic recipe. "This is the first time I get to make a real pie in the kitchen, so I'm really stoked." He sets off to prepare a savory steak-and-cheese pie, but the finished product is a flop with the mentors.

Mixed Reviews

Bobby commends Team Musical for singing on camera, but he, the other mentors and the focus group find several flaws in the group's menu items, especially Lovely's doughnut. One guest deems it "really hard and stale," while Giada explains that because Lovely uses prepared pizza dough, the dessert is "dense" and ultimately "unservable."

Problems with Pasta

"The pasta is disappointing for someone like Russell, who really is a good cook," Giada says of Russell's Spaghetti Western. The audience, too, isn't impressed with his dish, one diner claiming it to be simply "boring."

Savoring Success

"I'm smelling spankage, full-blown spankage," Russell says after his team's late-challenge success. Despite his issues with spaghetti, his group garners the most orders from the audience, and the Selection Committee is impressed with the presentation, so much so, in fact, that Team Western is deemed safe this week.

Slowing Sales

While Teams Musical and Western experience late-challenge surges in orders, Team Romance enjoys an onslaught of sales at the beginning of the challenge, although success quickly dwindles. In the end, the group serves only 10 dinners total. "We are just standing around watching the other teams make plate after plate after plate," Damaris says.

Inspired Fare

"I like the idea of the popcorn with a trailer and a movie. And s'mores on a campfire for a Western — I really like it," Giada notes of Stacey's casual but complex dessert.

Too Much

"My goal is to bring a lot of different flavors into this dish," Chris says, explaining that he's inspired by music's multiple components. For the judges, however, his plan proves questionable, as Giada notes that "the spicy chorizo with the lobster with the goat cheese doesn't work."

Showing Range

After requesting that Chad diversify his barbecue offerings, the Selection Committee is pleased he opted to prepare an Asian-inspired sauce this week instead of a traditional Memphis-style recipe. He touts the glaze as "spicy," and it indeed delivers, with Alton saying, "I think Chad finally shows that he can do something besides just sweet."

High Praises

"This is the cooking that I've been waiting to get from her that shows the whole body and depth of the flavor that she can bring with those vegetables," Alton tells Giada and Bobby of Nikki's chili. At evaluation, Alton also compliments her on her performance, explaining, "The you in that trailer is the you I want to see from now on: confident, in control."

Pulled It Off

Damaris explains that her competition-long struggle so far has been to "tone down the awkward sexy," so it's no surprise that she's apprehensive about portraying a suggestive role in the trailer. Luckily, however, Alton tells her, "I thought you were romantic in a fun way that was loveable," not "sleazy or sexy."

Questionable Progress

While Viet tells the Selection Committee, "I'm so much more comfortable and confident in front of people than I've ever been in my life," Alton doubts that he is "growing on camera." Viet's given the opportunity to continue in the competition. Afterward he reflects, "I have a lot of things to think about, and I have a lot of changes to make."

Chic Exit

"We haven't seen good food from her, and the food's got to be there," Bobby tells his fellow mentors of Lovely. This self-described "culinary chic" chef is ultimately sent home, but she's confident in what the future holds for her: "I will not allow this to defeat me in any way. I'm still going to be able to do all the things I want to do, just not with this opportunity."

Salvation Starts Now

For the first time in Food Network Star history, one previously eliminated finalist will be allowed to re-enter the competition if he or she can survive Star Salvation, an exclusive four-part Web series. This week, Lovely joins the first three contestants sent home, Daniela, Andres and Danushka. Watch the premiere episode to find out how they fared.

Go Behind the Scenes

Browse exclusive snapshots of the finalists and judge-mentors on set, plus get insider trivia about the show from Food Network's culinary team.

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