The Most-Unforgettable Moments of Food Network Star, Season 11

From oddball first impressions to unprecedented exits, relive memorable, shocking moments from the season.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matthew, Unfiltered

Even before Matthew took his place in the spotlight for his first-ever pitch to the judges, the rival made a lasting impression on both Bobby and Giada, as well as on his fellow rivals. He called Emilia "Stepford" after her presentation, and he was quick to poke fun at Dom's New York accent.

Watch: Season 11 Memorable Moments

Bakers, Beware

In what would ultimately go down as one of the most-trying challenges of the season, the Episode 2 Star Challenge asked the finalists to cook out of their comfort zones and bake — but savory dishes, not sweet treats. "I just freak out because I'm not a baker," Sita said.

From Serving to Flirting

The girls were set on delivering a sensual performance at the Week 3 dinner party, and indeed they delivered, presenting a themed menu of sultry dishes. Michelle took that idea one step further by not-so-subtle flirting with Geoffrey Zakarian, one of the day's guest judges. "Suddenly I'm telling Geoffrey Zakarian I'm on a yacht for two with him. I mean, I don't even know what I'm saying," she explained later.

Watch: Season 11 Memorable Moments

All-American Switcheroo

Just when the finalists thought they could get started on their all-American dishes for the July 4th cookout, the Committee introduced the first of what would ultimately be several switcheroos in the upcoming episodes. The three teams had to trade ingredients with one another, devastating Dom in the process. "The steak was so beautiful I picked out," he said, saddened to hand over his meaty rib eyes.

A Partnership Gone Wrong

Fusion, harmony and love — those were the goals of the day in the Week 5 Star challenge at Patina Restaurant, where the rivals worked in pairs to create a mash-up of flavors on the plate. But for Michelle and Dom, their impetus to work together was anything but lovely. She was frustrated that he commandeered the food, and he wasn't pleased she was outspoken in the presentation. "That was painful to watch," Giada admitted of their performance.

Watch: Season 11 Memorable Moments

Risk Not Rewarded

Emilia was set on taking a big risk in Episode 7 — and indeed she did, but it didn't have the results she hoped for. After Emilia mocked her fellow finalists on stage in front of a live audience and the whole Committee, Susie Fogelson said, "I felt slightly abused by her." Ultimately Emilia's actions, which Bob Tuschman found to be mean-spirited, cost her the competition.

Watch: Season 11 Memorable Moments

Putting the Slap in Slapstick

After screening the food truck teams' social media promo videos, the judges could hardly contain their laughter. "It's insanity, but it's a funny concept," Bobby said of Dom's and Alex's Hot Slap Tacos concept, which saw the guys unabashedly slap each other across the face and dig into whole, raw jalapenos.

This Has Never Happened Before

For the first time ever, one finalist chose to leave the competition early: Michelle quit after seven weeks in the contest, citing her family as a key reason why. "My head is with my kids. My head is with my family," Michelle revealed.

Watch: Season 11 Memorable Moments

Soup for Summer?

When Alex offered bowls of hot soup for his family-reunion dish on Summer Live, his fellow rivals and the judges alike were appalled by his seemingly oddball decision. "Nothing says summer like a hot bowl of bacon ramen," Katie Lee joked.

Look Who's Back

After being eliminated in Episode 8, Dom shocked fans when he returned to the competition in Episode 10 following a hard-fought victory on Star Salvation. He bested his fellow redemption rivals to prove to Salvation hosts Alex Guarnaschelli and Jeff Mauro that he was worthy of a second chance at Stardom.

Watch: Star Salvation

Food Network's Newest Star

On hand for the reveal at the finale was the president of Food Network, Brooke Johnson, and after telling the group, "This is the best day of the year at Food Network, when we get to welcome an exciting new talent to our Food Network family," she ultimately revealed the winner to be Eddie Jackson; he quickly dropped to his knees in emotion after seeing his photo on the screen.

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