Welcome to Vegas, Baby! The six remaining finalists are whisked away to Sin City this week, all ready to take on the newest challenge beset upon them by Alton and Giada.*
(*Sadly, Bobby is off in NYC to take care of much more important matters like opening a new restaurant. No big deal.)
If Bobby's absence wasn't enough to throw off the contestants, the "final six" quickly became the "final seven" when the winner of Star Salvation, Luca, re-entered the competition. Three cheers for this.
He shouldn't have been eliminated in Week Two anyway, as I pointed out in my previous Food Network Star review, Teaching Time.
With all the contestants now accounted for on Food Network Star Season 10 Episode 7, it's time for the mentor challenge. Giada takes the culitestants to Bacchanal Buffet, where she tasks the chefs to whet her appetite by describing three different dishes to her in 90 seconds. The only catch?
They can't move on to the next dish until they have successfully made her hungry enough for the one they are currently describing.
Seems easy enough, right? I mean, after all, to be a Food Network Star, you have to be able to describe food in an appetizing way. And you'd think the contestants, who...and I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say this...most likely watch Food Network, would've already known how important this crucial skill was and have honed it.
WRONG. The only person who was able to get through all three dishes in the allotted time was Emma, who surprisingly enough, was the only one to connect the dishes to not only taste, but also emotion. Bravo, Emma!
At this point, the rest of the group would have to step up their game if they planned on doing well in the elimination challenge, taking place at the Venus Pool in Caesar's Palace.
The culitestants had to prepare pool side treats for hungry party guests, who were only given three tokens to use on all seven of the chefs' potential dishes.
To sway guests to eat their dishes, each chef was given the chance to produce a salivating-worthy, one minute pitch on their food, all while partygoers were grading their pitches on the "dial of doom." To the right, yay! To the left, boo!
The pressure was on, but some of the chefs, and one in particular, was able to rise to the challenge.
Lenny, smart guy that he is, decided to make the quintessential pool party treat - burgers. He already had the audience's attention before he even described what his burger was - a coffee crusted lamb burger with curry ketchup and goat cheese. Yum!
Then again, it didn't hurt that he also offered to belly flop into the pool if people used their tokens on his dish....which they definitely did, ultimately helping him win both the the cooking challenge and the pitch challenge, where he got the highest star rating.
On the bottom this week were Sarah, Chris, and Emma. Personally, I don't know why Emma was even there. Yeah, she chose to make a customizable calamari and mango sautee station, which no party guest wanted to attend (who wants to do work at a party?), but she delivered in the mentor challenge and in the pitch challenge. Thankfully, she was the first off the chopping block.
With Sarah and Chris left, and the battle for the tenderloin still an issue, it was anyone's guess who would be sent home.
Sarah was delusional to think she would've won had Chris not taken all of the beef tenderloin from her, which didn't give her the chance to create the "Texas" themed dish she originally wanted.
But Chris wasn't able to take advantage of the tenderloin he did nab up, disappointing both Giada and Alton by first, overcooking the meat, and then being unable to effectively describe his dish to the mass audience. And therefore, was sent home this week.
Bye, Chris! I'm sorry there is no Star Salvation in your future like there was for Luca. But, good news! There is always the reunion special.