Food Network Star, Season 11: Top Moments of Episode 7

Get an inside look at the finalists' challenges and relive memorable moments from the seventh episode of Food Network Star, Season 11.
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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

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

Mobile Eats

The name of the game this week is on-the-go eating, and what better way to kick off the day than with brunch? Bobby and Giada challenge the finalists to transform their favorite brunch dishes into portable meals — all in only 20 quick minutes, which will prove tricky for some who've said that their top plates are intricate.

Harsh on the Eyes

Inspired by his late father's go-to food, chipped beef, Alex dishes up a chorizo-studded mixture with toast on the side, but both his fellow rivals and the mentors aren't wowed by its unappealing presentation. Though Giada applauds his presentation, noting, "I love the story, and that is very endearing," she adds that the food is a flop. "It needs a little texture. It's like baby food."

Italian for Brunch

In his presentation, Dom delivers what Jay calls the "swagger," talking about how his "tunnel and bridge posse" would travel from Staten Island to downtown Manhattan for a meatball eggs Benedict. While Giada finds the poached egg difficult to eat, Bobby admits it is not a challenge.

Clouded Mind

"My head is just with my kids. I can't focus," Michelle says of how she's feeling in this presentation. Her quiches are "dull," according to Giada, who notices Michelle's different behavior today. "You seemed a little unsure of yourself."

Tailgate Ready

Since Jay's familiar with prepping taco breakfasts for tailgates, this Mentor Challenge doesn't hamper him. "You were comfortable," Bobby tells him of his delivery, and Giada deems his andouille-potato hash "quite tasty." His success in this challenge gains him in advantage in the upcoming test.

Trucking Along

In keeping with the mobile trend, the finalists head outside to take on a food truck throwdown, as guest judge Richard Blais explains that food trucks are "the epitome of food on the go." Richard groups the rivals into teams for taco-, burger- and grilled cheese-themed trucks. Because Jay won the last challenge, he's allowed to assign the teams' themes, ultimately selecting burgers for himself and Arnold.

Bringing the Moves

A food truck is only as successful as its customers are aware of it, so the teams must create social media videos to promote their concepts; based on those videos, guests will pick only one of the trucks to eat at during the throwdown. For their grilled cheese truck, Michelle and Eddie focus on the soulful aspect of the comfort food, which leads Michelle to start dancing — and not be able to stop. "What is that dance?" Eddie asks her.

Putting the Slap in Slapstick

Dom and Alex take their idea of Hot Slap Tacos quite literally when they repeatedly slap each other to demonstrate just how hot their offerings are. Between the intense spiciness of the food and the laughs stemming from frequent slapping, the guys can hardly keep it together during their takes. "I knew I was going to have to act a fool at least once while I was here," Dom says.

The Wait Game

While Jay and Arnold are quick to execute their individual burgers — Cajun and Asian ramen, respectively — when it comes time for service, their speed slows, creating a long line of customers. "Don't leave our line! Don't leave our line!" Arnold called out the truck's window.

Too Hot to Handle?

It's no secret that Dom and Alex have marketed their burgers as super-spiky, so it's no surprise that the guests weary of heat don't approach their food truck, ultimately causing dwindling lines. While the mentors appreciate the flavors of Dom's barbacoa taco, Alex's is a flop, Bobby calling it "completely burnt." The guys' video, however, is a roaring success, so much so that Bobby is brought to his feet from laughing so hard.

Craving More

Though Michelle maintains a calm demeanor in front of Eddie, she reveals later, "I'm freaking out" at the prospect of preparing both her Mediterranean-inspired grilled cheese and the team side dish, tomato soup. Despite the team's long line of customers, the mentors reveal that the food isn't wowing. "To me, the big fail was the tomato soup," Richard explains.

Burger Success

The Cajun Asian Burger Boys deliver both a strong video and solid food, as Richard says, "The people that spent their ticket on the burgers would be happy." Both Arnold and Jay are safe from elimination this week, but the rest of the finalists face potential elimination.

Unprecedented Unfoldings

Before the Selection Committee can name an eliminated finalist, Michelle tells the panel of her decision to quit the competition and return home to her family. Giada tells her: "You are so close. You are the last female standing here." But Michelle's decision remains. This is the first time in the history of Food Network Star that a rival has voluntary left the competition. "It's hard walking away from this, but my family comes first," Michelle says.

Photos: Star Scrapbook: Michelle Karam

One-on-One with Michelle

Hear from Michelle in her first exclusive exit interview to find out more about why she chose to leave the competition.

Safe, Barely

Much to the relief of Dom, Alex and Eddie, the mentors will not send home an additional rival this week. They're all spared from elimination, and Alex admits, "I dodged a bullet."

Go Behind the Scenes

Get an insider's look at the making of the show, and see how the cast spends its time between takes.

Photos: Behind the Scenes of Food Network Star, Season 11

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