So after that previous episode of Amy rising to the top in the most confident way possible and JAG, Rory and Paul falling all over themselves to suck hard, we get this episode with even more drama. Rory blearily opens her eyes and voice overs how bad she wants it. She recounts the ups and downs of her journey on the Food Network while Amy says she just wants to win. That's wasn't what you were saying two episodes ago. BABY! She realizes her biggest selling point is her Mom persona. JAG says he's gone through so much, from being beat up as a kid, to being a Marine, to being a chef. Boy is that ironic.
Bobby Flay joins them in the carriage house. He introduces the contestants to two PR folks form the Food Network. They give advice to the contestants to be positive (translation: don't talk smack about the other contestants) and plug the show. JAG says he's just focused on the food. They go to an XM radio station where they will be interviewed by some dudes named Ron and Fez. Rory's heard of these two and says they are sarcastic and quick witted and will grill their asses. I'd like to note she is wearing the tackiest vest combo that screams more about her Jersey roots than her Texas ones.
First up is Amy, who is pretty composed. She is given the task of coming up with a dish using crap and a microwave. Amy cannot stop talking about the damn French food while she makes a bagel with baloney and American cheese. She says the first of a zillion "fancy schmancys" this episode. She does hold her own, French talk nothwithstanding. She gets to sit a control booth to hear the rest of the contestants.
JAG is up next and is fairly focused at first. He avoids trash talking the ladies. He comes up with a donut with apple and orange for his load o' crap challenge. Then Fez and Ron trap JAG into saying that the Food Network ignores Latinos which really is the truth but the truth has nothing to do with the Food Network. Rory is the last one and really is dumb as a box of rocks. Rory says that Amy is easier to beat because JAG has a huge culture backing him up. Because Latinos love liars who can't pronounce the word Chipotle. Rory makes a huge plate of crap in the microwave. The radio hosts hate it.
The second test is to do a spread and interview with Star Magazine. JAG is interviewed first. The interviewer tries to get the trash talking going and JAG artfully dodges the question. In a voiceover, JAG says he doesn't want to the interviewer to dig too deep and reveal any crazy things about his life (LIKE THE TRUTH - J calls out to the tv). I will give him, that he's good in the interview. He eats up all of the photo stuff. Rory gets interviewed and says that she will bring a bolder female personality. She's pretty bland in the interview except in the photo shoot where she's all gums and boobs. In her interview Amy whines about being away from her family. And seriously she needs to shut it because noone put a gun to her head. Amy does answer the balance of life question by mentioning her Mom being a working Mom. She seemed fine in the photo shoot.
In judging Carrie and Lisa the pr people liked Amy the best, thought JAG was competent and Rory messed up the radio interview. The Star magazine interviewer says that Rory was the best interviewee and JAG was evasive (HMMMM....), and Amy was poised.
The next challenge is to do a cooking demonstration in front of a live audience on the Rachael Ray show. I do love that Bobby (who has been twelve kinds of classy up to this point) chokes on the sentence "it doesn't get any bigger than Rachael Ray." The contestants are excited. The contestants have 5 minutes to demonstrate their signature dish. They will be judged on their performance, engaging RR and promoting NFNS. Rachael stops by to give encouragement and advice. She tells them to storytell and put out their style and point of view. She's really focused and competent, much like her persona in the first year of her cooking show.
Amy - She seriously cannot stop with the French talk. God shut up about France already. She talks about her Gourmet Next Door concept and being all busy Mom. She is making eggs baked in a ramekin with sauteed tomatoes and peppers. Fancy Schmancy count goes up to four. She treat Rachael like an annoyance. As much as Rachael annoys me she's doing yeoman's work to keep things going and make the demonstration informational. You can tell the audience is being forced to clap. I don't know why Amy's French talk annoys me but it does. Rachael is just trying to stay out of the way. Fancy Schmancy count: Seven. To her credit she isn't manic or crazy.
Rory - Poor Rachael, Rory also is treating Rachael like an annoyance, as Rachael is saving her ass. Sadly Rachel gets even more shrill and crazy and the segment goes on. Rory makes a steak with grilled asparagus. She starts by talking about her whole real food for real people crap. I hate that. Who are you defining as real? Am I less real because I get my veggies in a CSA and live in a blue state? I'd like to point out that the person who lives in a big ass house in the Hamptons and is surrounded by rich divorcees and gay men, has the most approachable food in the Food Network. So shut it Rory. Whose father bankrolled her restaurant career. The only tip she gives is to put a cedar plank when grilled the steak. I will say that she does give some concrete tips. She makes roasted potatoes slathered in butter and RR goes nuts. When the dish is completely plated she throws like a cup of herb butter on top of her steak. It looks like a coronary.
JAG - He makes Emeril look like he's on Xanax. Even more than Amy, his cooking ingredients and techniques are esoteric. Not only that he is screaming the whole time. He starts by calling his annato flavored oil EVOO-RED. His screaming makes RR scream louder. He contradicts himself by saying the annato seed is a poor man's saffron but then uses LOBSTER. He sautees the lobster with cilantro and tomatoes. RR cant stop saying NIIIIIICE. It looks like he's totally ovecooked the lobster. In a seriously big of ridiculousness, he whips out some culantro (not a typo) and says anyone can find it in the supermarket. RR calls him out on that and says you can substitute cilantro. He adds brocolinni as as a side dish, making the dish messier. He is constantly calling Rachael "honey." Finally, he goes over the top by saying that the Italians say that it is taboo to put parmesan on seafood, BUUUUUT he's not Italians so he will. And that is so crazy since most seafood would be overpowered by the taste of parmesan. He seriously doesn't know what he is doing. His dish is a mess and his over the top demeanor is really irritating.
On Rachael Ray's talk show Bob, Suzy, and Bobby lie like dogs saying how great all of the contestants are. Rachael likes them all but thought JAG had the most energy. At judging, the judges criticize Rory's inconsistency and her trash talking. Amy is praised for her XM performance but is told she is snobby on Rachael Ray. Amy tries to backtrack from the snooty French girl. JAG is criticized for his honesty on the XM interview about Food Network being liy white. The judges LOVE JAG's crazy act on the Rachael Ray show. Suzy criticizes JAG for not revealing more of his past. JAG says he wants to focus on who he is now. So ironic!!!Sadly the chronically incompetent Rory is called up first. And in a complete surprise, JAG is asked to stay. Amy is gracious and supportive in defeat.
BUT IT'S NOT OVER!!!! The screen goes blank and says that JAG mislead the Food Network about his military experience and graduating from culinary school. HE DIDN'T! He also did not step up to the plate to set the record straight in a press interview.
So JAG walks down the halls of the Food Network to meet with Bob and Suzy. He's complain about the huge responsibility of being a Food Network Star and the press going into his personal life. DUM DUM DUM!!! In a clearly stage performance JAG comes clean to Bob and Suzy and steps down from the competition. Bob and Suzy clearly don't look surprised or shocked. Clearly a set up and additional videos of the talk on the Food Network website show JAG blaming the press about his lies.
Rory is called in to the studio and is told that JAG stepped down and she has a new competitor - AMY!