Food Network Star, Season 12: Top Moments of Episode 10

Get an inside look at the finalists' challenges and relive memorable moments from the 10th episode of Food Network Star, Season 12.
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Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Look Who's Back

Just when Tregaye, Damiano and Jernard believe themselves to be the top three, Yaku, the winner of Star Salvation, rejoins the competition and settles in as part of the now final four. Yaku survived six weeks of both culinary and camera challenges designed to prepare him for this moment of redemption, and he's set to bring his all to this penultimate episode. "I'm back to rock it," he says, confident in his preparation for this challenge.

More: Star Salvation

The Dish of All Dishes

For the last Star Challenge, Giada tasks the hopefuls with making the dish of their lives. "[Leave] no doubt that you should be the next Food Network Star," she tells them. But the surprises don't end there: Other previously ousted finalists from this season show up, and they're all available to be sous chefs for the final four.

All the Flavors in the Pool

Unsure of working with his sous chef, Havird, Yaku gives him "basic prep work" to execute a Jamaican-inspired tortilla soup. "It has a lot of features and different ingredients in it — just like me," Yaku notes of the soup. But for Havird, the myriad flavors in the dish could be a problem. "There are a ton of ingredients in this soup, and they sort of fight against each other," Havird says.

Standing Tall

Just like his fellow rivals, Damiano takes this last challenge seriously, but his sous chef, Rob, has other ideas, playing rough with delicate ingredients and wasting time searching for essential tools. "Do it careful, careful. This is not cooking, OK?" Damiano reminds Rob while handling the puff pastry, which Damiano will use in his St. Honoré Cake. "I'm going to be able to showcase every single skill that I learned since I became a pastry chef," Damiano says. And among those skills is pulled sugar, which forces him atop the prep table for greater height.

A Meat Handoff

Jernard knows that sous chef Aaron has a passion and penchant for all things meat, so he hands him the responsibility of prepping the pork chops. The guys work well together, and their partnership is a success, as the mentors are downright floored by the chops as well as the gooey lobster-studded macaroni and cheese Jernard preps. "The pork's phenomenal," Giada declares. And the macaroni and cheese? It's so good that Bobby can't stop eating it.

Enlisting Trust

Given Monterey's high-and-low showings this season, Tregaye tries to keep a close eye on her sous chef as she works on the beef for surf and turf, which Tregaye wants to make into "a fleek-y brunch." But it turns out that Monterey notices something that Tregaye doesn't — the "dry" texture in Tregaye's corn pancakes — and the judges are able to discern it too.

Mixed Results 

"I just wanted to make sure that I'm not holding back," Yaku tells the mentors of his presentation, and indeed he succeeds in opening up about his past playing basketball and traveling. Guest judge Aarti Sequeira, however, notes that he ought to have explained the why of the soup components, and just as Havird predicted, the panel isn’t keen on how many ingredients landed in the soup. "I think there's a lot going on in this soup. ... I think that some of [the ingredients] didn't have to be there," Bobby says.

A Sweet Showing

After a stumble in the middle of his presentation, Damiano recovers quickly and manages to close his video with not only a clever line about his dessert, but also plenty of appeal, as Aarti finds him "so charming." His dish, too, is a runaway hit. "To me, this is the best dish you've given us. Period," Bobby tells him. Giada, too, is impressed, as she notes, "It does show a lot of technique." Come evaluations, Damiano earns the first pilot spot.

The Real Jernard

In his presentation, Jernard not only delivers now-signature dance moves, but he also offers strong imageries of his food, much to the mentors' delight. And Bobby tells Jernard, "I think that's why I like you so much: You paint a picture that you really live." With solid showings in both his food and personality this week, he earns the second finale spot — and celebrates with an impromptu backflip.

Crucial Missteps

"I cannot go home without this pilot," Tregaye declares, though the stress she's feeling may have ultimately led to her struggles this week, as she delivers a performance decidedly unlike her past presentations. "It felt forced almost," Giada notes. "Like, it wasn't the normal, easygoing Tregaye." In terms of her surf and turf, the corn cakes are indeed dry as Monterey predicted. But overall, Bobby notes, "I like a lot of these flavors."

Third and Final

With two of the three finale spots sealed by Jernard and Damiano, the third will be filled by Tregaye or her pal Yaku. Ultimately, though Bobby tells Yaku that his "development from Star Salvation was extraordinary," it's Tregaye who clinches the third pilot opportunity, and she's brought to tears by the news.

More: Star Scrapbook: Yaku Moton-Spruill

Always Move Forward

With his 10th anniversary of winning Food Network Star upon him, Guy Fieri is the ultimate director for this year's pilots, as he knows just what it takes to do the job well. He meets Damiano at downtown Los Angeles' Pitchoun, a French bakery, and gets to work on coaching Damiano. "We have a rule: continue," Guy tells Damiano after the finalist breaks character; Guy resorts to nontraditional means such as throwing props at Damiano to prove the importance of staying on track.

Getting the Hang of It

After powering through a few missteps in his introduction, Damiano settles into a routine on camera and moves into the kitchen to see how Pitchoun's beignets come to life. "This is where you're in your element where you feel really good," Guy tells Damiano. "This has been the opportunity of my lifetime," Damiano notes later, feeling accomplished in his pilot performance.

Strong Start

At L.A.'s Harold and Belle's, which specializes in Creole cuisine, Jernard isn't shy about showcasing his Star power. "The goal for me today is to make Guy feel like I'm coming after his job," Jernard jokes. And indeed his early takes on camera are strong.

Engaging the Audience

While chatting with the owner of the restaurant, Jernard struggles to maintain viewers on camera, and Guy tells him: "You forgot about us. We're all back here." After heeding what Jernard calls Guy's "million-dollar advice," he wraps up the pilot with a taste of gumbo from Harold and Belle's. "I really feel that I put out my best work," Jernard notes afterward, adding how pleased he is with the journey he's taken in the competition.

Mental To-Do List

"This place is literally the epitome of food and fun fused together," Tregaye says of Clifton's Cafeteria in Los Angeles. The joint cafeteria-nightclub isn't short on impressive features, such as taxidermy and a giant tree, but ultimately this means that she's forced to include a lot in her introduction. "It's just so many things that I have to cover," she says. She drops a cuss word in her speech after forgetting her next point, but Guy's there to teach her the importance of "you keep going."

An Important Lesson

When it comes time to experience the famed Thanksgiving dinner at Clifton's, Tregaye doesn't hold back from digging in — unfortunately. "There's a saying in television. It's called 'princess bite,'" Guy tells her, noting that it will allow her to get back to talking quickly. She catches on right away and succeeds in describing the turkey well. "I feel blessed because I had a great opportunity like this to do a pilot," Tregaye says later. "I had great advice from Guy."

Go Behind the Scenes

See what the mentors, finalists and crew are up to between takes by checking out insider photos from the set.

More: Behind the Scenes of Food Network Star, Season 12: Part 2

Want More Food Network Star?

Check out Food Network's official Star headquarters for more insider coverage of the competition, plus exclusive mentor interviews, behind-the-scenes photos and winning recipes.

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