In her Food Network journal, Martie took challenge notes and kept track of feedback from Alton. In bold, she wrote down his most important tip for presenting: tell "WHAT I DID, HOW I DID IT." From the beginning, Martie's biggest struggle was timing she'd be the first to tell you that she had a tendency to ramble.
In Episode 3, Martie ended up in the Producers' Challenge against Nikki and Josh. They were 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 showed Martie a technique of using two hot grill pans for her tuna dish.
Early on in the competition, Martie constantly made self-deprecating remarks about her age. Alton knew he had to squash that: "Repeat after me: I will not evoke my age again in a presentation," he advised Martie. She didn't, and she came across as genuine and funny in her camera presentation, even when her bracelet got caught in the grill pan.
Martie's streak of successes continued and took her all the way to Miami for the second leg of the competition. In the first South Beach challenge, she got to realize one of her lifelong dreams: "This is a huge deal. I'm from Birmingham, Alabama, and I'm cooking for Paula Deen!" she said. "She is a huge influence on me." The two Southern gals hit it off right away.
In the penultimate episode, the final six were given just three takes to shoot 30-second promos for the shows they hope to have on Food Network. Despite her timing issues in the past, Martie nailed it and won raves from an all-star judging panel: "She was fun and told us exactly what her promise was," said Anne Burrell. "I loved her, that's all I can say."