Food Network Star, Season 8: Behind the Scenes of Episode 6

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and relive all the highlights of Food Network Star Season 8, Episode 6.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Food Court Cuisine ...

In Episode 6, the remaining finalists are challenged to elevate food-court cuisine at their own kiosks in Manhattan's South Street Seaport. "We want you to take one of America's most familiar dining experiences to another level," Bobby explains. Some finalists embrace the challenge better than others.

... With an Iron Chef Twist

Of course, there's a twist. After the teams have decided on their menus, Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian arrives in the Food Star kitchen to unveil a secret ingredient: chicken livers. Each team will have to incorporate the livers into one of their dishes.

Team Bobby: American

Team Bobby's assigned food-court cuisine is American, but they don't want to settle for hamburgers and hot dogs. They decide on regional seafood and name their kiosk American Sandbar. Michele gets stuck with the chicken livers — she'll use them on a crostini with her New England clam chowder.

Team Alton: Italian

At first, Justin isn't too jazzed about Team Alton's Italian kiosk, but then he gets an idea: "I'm making fritto misto. It's a recipe for me to fry whatever I want. I know that my tempura recipe is bangin' and I can work this into my POV." He's game to throw the chicken livers in the fryer, too.

Team Giada: Mexican

Team Giada is thrilled to get Mexican cuisine: "That's awesome. We have Mama Mexico with us!" says Yvan, referring, of course, to Martita. He's making tacos and decides to take on the chicken livers.

Pressure's On

Martita's team is relying heavily on her to bring home this win for them and it starts to psych her out. "The other teams are looking at us like we have some sort of advantage, but I am the only Mexican on my team. There is pressure. I can't carry my whole team and focus on my own dish," she says.

Bring the Personality

Bobby warns his team that they need to step it up this week: "Bring your personality. Especially you, Malcolm. To me, it is a miracle that you're still here." But Malcolm and Nikki are too busy putting together their complicated dishes to engage with the crowd, leaving most of that to Michele.

Fry Fest

Justin and Martie are both serving fried dishes, so when their oil doesn't heat up fast enough, it could be disastrous for the team. Fortunately, they excel at working the crowd and let their big personalities shine. "I'm not going to panic," says Martie. "There's a way to tap dance around this situation. There are a lot of hungry people, so I'm learning about them and making friends."

Churro Disaster

Linkie knows nothing about Mexican desserts, but decides to make churros and spicy hot chocolate. When the churros come out too crunchy, she improvises. She calls them "Linkie's churros" and explains that they're "kind of like biscotti. I can still work with this," Linkie says, trying her best to remain confident.

The Critics

Despite Martita's surprisingly weak performance, the judges love her tortilla soup as well as most of Team Giada's food. Linkie's dessert is the weak link: "The churro is tough. Not a lot of flavor. We didn't see our shining Linkie today," says Bob.

Mentor-Approved

Alton is proud of his team's food-court efforts, and so are the judges. Justin's fritto misto, Martie's arancini and Emily's dessert panini are all hits: "I couldn't wait to bite into each one," says Susie.

Team Alton Back on Top

Emily does a little victory dance upon hearing that Team Alton is this week's winner. For Bob and Susie, they knocked the challenge out of the park: "They were having such a good time together, telling stories but also telling the group story of their Italian kiosk."

Nikki vs. Linkie

That leaves Team Bobby and Team Giada on the losing end, with Nikki and Linkie battling it out in the Producers' Challenge. Nikki gets emotional when she hears she's in the bottom for the second time. "You'll crush this girl," Bobby tells her. "Don't even worry about it."

Chicken Dinner

The Producers' Challenge continues the theme of transforming the ordinary into something extraordinary. "The single most-searched ingredient on FoodNetwork.com is chicken," Susie explains. "We want you to make it extraordinary in 30 minutes." Nikki heads right for the grill.

Not Just Desserts

With her spiced rum chicken dish, Linkie is out to prove that she can excel in the savory department: "I need to tell the judges that I'm not just the pastry girl."

Get Loose

Team Bobby's Producers' Challenge tradition continues as Nikki takes a quick swig of wine before her camera presentation. "Just talk about what you're thinking," Bobby advises. "We want the warmer side of you." She delivers.

Feeling Good

Linkie's biggest problem has been her lack of confidence on camera. "Don't let the stumbles get to you," Giada says. "You can do it. Bring it on."

Pitch Room Veteran

Nikki's been here before and she knows what it takes to win: "I'm not ready to go home! The grill next door is going to have to put some grill marks on Linkie."

Making Her Case

When asked why she should stay, Linkie gives Bob and Susie her pitch: "I'm a fast learner. I've had a few stumbles, but I learn quickly and move on." Giada agrees: "She has come a long way in a short amount of time and I'm very proud of her. She has such warmth and she radiates beauty from within. She's doing something that took me several years to master."

Farewell to Linkie

Both women have impressed them, but Bob and Susie ultimately decide that Linkie is the one to go home. She maintains her warmth and composure as she bids farewell to the teammates she's bonded with over six episodes. "I've had a ball. I've learned more about myself in the past few weeks than I have in the past 10 years. I'm going to take my newfound confidence and run with it."

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