Food Network Star, Season 11: Top Moments of Episode 9

Get an inside look at the finalists' challenges and relive memorable moments from the ninth 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

The Final Four

Alex, Eddie, Arnold and Jay are the only rivals standing with just three weeks remaining, and it's time to introduce them to a concept that will test their camera chops like none other: live television. "You need to be poised and flexible under pressure," Bobby warns them, before they start working with guest judge Catherine McCord. For their first challenge, each hopeful will work with Catherine in a two-minute live segment as Bobby watches their demos as a viewer.

Remember to Breathe, Please

Each rival's been tasked with showcasing a themed dish in his demo, and Arnold's doing breakfast — again. In his presentation of his egg-topped crostini, he deals with a hiccup over the food processor, but Catherine reminds him: "Breathe. It's the hardest part, but it's one of the most important."

A Major Problem

For the first time this week, Jay stumbles — and severely so. Tasked with making kid-friendly after-school snacks, he makes two everyday options: pigs in blankets and ants on a log. "We don't want to see things that we've seen a thousand times," Bobby tells him. "Pigs in a blanket doesn't give me any of the Jay flavor that we're used to."

Time Issues

"It's a disaster," Alex admits of his demo of a one-pot date-night dinner. As he's working on his dish alongside Catherine and focusing on his myriad bouillabaisse ingredients, he loses track of time and doesn't recover. "A couple of missed opportunities," Bobby tells Alex, reminding the finalist that it's important to let the show host — Catherine — have time to taste the finished dish. 

Touchdown: Eddie

It's up to Eddie to focus on burger toppings, and in keeping with his POV, he's added Caribbean and jerk flavors to the patty as well as the golden onion rings. Bobby finds him to be "comfortable" on camera, so much so that Eddie's deemed the winner of this challenge and earns an advantage in the upcoming Star Challenge.

Summer Live

In keeping with the theme of live television, Bobby and Giada welcome Jeff Mauro and Katie Lee, two co-hosts on the live-to-tape TV show The Kitchen. This duo will be on hand as the final four work on an ensemble live show, Summer Live, in which each rival will be in charge of manning a five-minute segment. Since he's won an advantage, Eddie assigns each finalist the theme of this segment.

Forgetting the Group

As the guys come together to brainstorm their dishes and the flow of the show, they can't help but notice that Arnold has grand plans for his segment — and they do not necessarily include the rest of the ensemble. "Arnold's just going a mile a minute," Jay explains, "but he really has no direction for the three of us."

No Time to Spare

After his fumble in the Mentor Challenge, Jay admits, "The pressure's really mounting now." He's been given the theme of summer sweets, and he sets off to prepare a two-part offering — a chocolate tart and a strawberry-bourbon cocktail — which he just barely finishes within the allotted time. "I don't have time to smooth [the ganache] out. I don't have time to make it pretty," Jay explains.

A Team Effort

With his self-chosen theme of summer vegetables, Eddie lets the zucchini be the star, showcasing it as the "pasta" in a lemony sauce. The judges appreciate that Eddie's involving his fellow co-hosts, and Giada notes, "I give him props for turning vegetables into something super fun and beautiful." After tasting Eddie's dish, Giada says, "It kind of feels like you're eating a noodle and it gives you sort of that al dente bite."

Summertime Is Soup Time?

Much to the judges' and the other hopefuls' confusion, Alex chooses to make ramen for his family-reunion dish and explains that soup is traditional summertime fare in Asia. "Nothing says summer like a hot bowl of bacon ramen," Katie jokes. "I don't even know what to say when there's a chance to say something," Jay explains, as there's hardly any time for the co-hosts to contribute to the conversation.

Room to Improve

"It seemed like a train wreck all the way through," Bobby says simply of Arnold's showing on Summer Live. Arnold's too-hurried demonstration leaves Katie feeling exhausted and unsure of what he prepared, which is a shrimp-and-corn platter to highlight the ease of indoor grilling. "I'm picking up a ton of grill flavor on the shrimp," Jeff says, pleased with Arnold's dish.

Potential Elimination

"It's so close, I can taste it," Arnold says through tears as he fears a possible exit. While Jay and Eddie are deemed safe, Alex and Arnold face potential elimination this week, as both guys' live presentations were weak. 

Alex's Goodbye

"This is hard for me to say to you, but we got bored," Bobby told him. "We weren't learning anything about you or we weren't learning anything about the dish. It just didn't have any rhyme or reason." In the end, Alex learns that it's his turn to leave the competition, though he admits, "I wanted this more than anything in the world. Being eliminated is like a shot to the heart."

Photos: Star Scrapbook: Alex McCoy

One-on-One with Alex

Hear from Alex in his first exclusive exit interview for his reflections on his performance.

A Second Chance at Stardom

Though Alex has been eliminated, there's a chance he could rejoin the competition. He and the other previously eliminated rivals are off to battle in Star Salvation, a six-week Web-exclusive contest hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli and Jeff Mauro. At the end of the journey, one finalist will be allowed back into the Food Network Star race.

Watch : Star Salvation

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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