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"Stage 4: Sharing The Stage/Multitasking" - April 3
 
We start this episode with some early memories of the contestants. Guy had a pretzel stand in 6th grade. Andy's first memory of food was lamb at his grandmother's house. Reggie is an amateur photographer. Carissa was going to be an attorney. Nathan was a hand, print and runway model with flowing blond hair. Evette got pregnant at 15, but was proud to finish night school.
 
The remaining 6 finalists enter Studio B. Reggie has no clue whats happening next. They are introduced to Dan and Steve, winners of the first "Next Food Network Star". They explain that along with their show "Party Line with the Hearty Boys", they continue to run a restaurant and a successful catering business. They explain that being a successful duo means that neither one's ego gets in the way. They have been looking forward to this challenge for weeks. They joke they are not "ready to give of up their crown."
 
Reggie is ready for this. Other Food Network stars like Alton Brown, Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay and others explain that the Food Network stars are like family. Going on another show is fun, relaxing and a lot of times inspirational. They like to go on each other's show.
 
Evette says that teamwork is a good thing to learn. Dan and Steve call this "TV Boot Camp." To be a great duo you have to interact. It makes better TV. You have to know when to be with the person or go away. They demo two dishes, a grilled flank steak and a corn, jicama and mango salad. Reggie says they were very good showing information and complementing each other. Guy also noted they work well together. Carissa saw that if you dont work well together, it doesn't come across well. This leads into the "Share The Spotlight" challenge:
 
CHALLENGE: TEAMS OF TWO WILL HAVE 20 MINUTES TO REHEARSE IN THE GREEN ROOM WHERE THEY WILL HAVE TO DEMO 2 RECIPES IN 7 MINUTES. YOU WILL DEMO IT IN FRONT OF THE SELECTION COMMITTEE. THIS CHALLENGE WILL SHOW HOW YOU WORK TOGETHER.
 
Guy and Nathan are team #1. Nathan says Guy's energy is off the chain. They did a demo of Smothered Chicken and Cornbread. Guy had to taste baked eggs, which he despises.
 
Dan and Steve's critique: You were talking over each other.
 
Flay said that the different personalities together was interesting.
 
Reggie and Andy are team #2. They did a Thai Shrimp and Rice Soup with Pork Satay. Reggie said that Andy took over when he didn't know about the Lemongrass. They were the "laid back" and chill team. But they didn't finish the demo in time.
 
Flay said the ending was rough. Dan and Steve thought the Lemon Grass bit was fun to watch.
 
Evette and Carissa were the final team. Nathan was nervous for them because their styles(French vs. Home) clashed. They really didn't want to work with each other, but wanted to work with Guy.
 
They did a Tiramisu Rapido and Salmon w/Orange and Fennel. In the demo, the only thing they did together was sprinkle the salt on the fish. It was disorganized from the beginning. Carissa said she was more of an "individual" chef. They didn't finish the demo. Flay--"I couldn't believe the comments they were making. " He wanted to see more generosity. He told Carissa you cant be negative about other chef's dishes...and Evette should not have told she used mascarpone cheese once. Dan and Steve felt the demo was too separate.
 
The next demo was in the Food Network Kitchen. They were in their kitchen whites, so they knew it was competition time. One of the keys to any successful kitchen chef is multitasking. And to explain this is the host of "Everyday Italian", the smoking hot Giada De Laurentiis. She explains her keys to success, her flavors and her simple dishes with less than 10 ingredients. Evette says she is even more cute in person. Giada demos two dishes, gives lessons in multitasking and takes questions from the finalists. Which leads into the "Multitasking" challenge:
 
CHALLENGE: THE FOOD NETWORK STAFF HAS BROKEN DOWN TWO OF YOUR APPETIZER RECIPES INTO 1 DEMO. YOU WILL HAVE 45 MINUTES TO PREP AND 7 MINUTES TO DEMO THE DISHES. GIADA WILL BE THE SPECIAL GUEST JUDGE IN PLACE OF BOBBY FLAY.
 
We see the craziness of the 45 minute prep with Mark and Giada asking questions of different finalists...and the prep and demo is done.
 
Nathan goes first. His dishes are Salmon Tartare and Roast Robacha Squash. He didn't plate anything in the 7 minutes. Giada said you needed to time out better. Bob liked the natural reaction of when the squash was "hot". But Nathan's first mistake was to tell the camera "My reaction was fake--the squash was ice cold.It's acting baby!" He then goes back to the green room and tells the other finalists, "My only way of getting through elimination is if f**king sofrito f*cks up!" Reggie says "You are on your own on that one." Memo to Nathan...you have just kissed your show goodbye.
 
Evette is rattled by this--didn't get all the prep done in time. She did Alcaparia and Beef Cocktail Franks. Her dishes were too complex for time allotted. Giada comments under her breath--"Is she going to cook?" Her critique was brutal. She didn't multitask or cook. She needs to streamline. Giada comments that the root vegetable was raw and doesn't stick to your teeth when coooked.
 
Andy was next. His energy was low. He did a Beggar's Purse with Mesclan Greens with Artichokes. He felt he was too focused on the technical. He did finish on time, but didn't think he was going to. His critique was that he lost the fun he had in the duo demo. Bob said he went into teacher mode. He needs to show more of himself.
 
Reggie is up. He did a Salmon Salad with a tomato jam with Crostini. He was more worried about the food processor. His critique was that he "didn't cook", but Susan he was very open to sharing information. Bob under his breath said, "He made a couple of mistakes, but I didn't mind." Giada: "Me neither, and when I tasted the food I was happier."
 
Guy does his Waka Waka Salad and Rhode Island Calamari. He loves being high energy. He uses his restaurant terms, and he is going to his product out...restaurant terms or not. His critique is that the food was really delicious, but this time you were talking to the home viewer. Susie says you have to think about who you are talking to.
 
Carissa is last. She does a Shut Your Pie Hole Clams and Dill Dip in a bread bowl. The words and the mouth didn't go together. She was trying not to rely on her catch phrases. She wasn't sure how she was coming across. The 7 minutes flew by. Giada said she worked clean and the jewelry was a big turn off. Susie thought Carissa was at her most nervous.
 
Elimination time. Reggie was nervous. Giada was excited about being a judge. Carissa is hoping it isn't her. But we have evaluations first:
 
Carissa(by Bob): "The grains of sand are flowing fast. It's now or never. The duo was like watching 2 separate shows. There wasn't any passion. Carissa comments with tears in her eyes, "I am kind of on the way out."
 
Reggie(by Susie): You were kind with Andy your duo partner, but your expertise has to be higher. Reggie says he is scared of being the joke guy when he doesn't have the skill.
 
Andy(by Giada): The duo with Reggie was kind and generous, but your multitask demo you closed up. You weren't excited. Andy said he "Needs to bring more of Andy."
 
Evette(by Susie) There wasn't much integration in the duo with Carissa. She cooked one dish instead of two. And she didn't show how to cook them. Evette:"I didn't do what they wanted to me to do."
 
Nathan(by Bob): You had the ideal partner in Guy, but looked annoyed. You didn't multitask and you didn't plate the food. They wanted to taste it, because it looked good. They didn't. Nathan is upset that he was the only one who didn't plate ANYTHING.
 
Guy(by Giada): You are still talking to chefs, not consumers. You need to tone it down. Guy is going to change his mode from professional to domestic.
 
Ok..who stays and who goes?
 
Giada keeps ANDY. Susie keeps REGGIE.  Bob keeps GUY. Giada keeps NATHAN.
 
Susie says she's all about the girl power. It was tough, but CARISSA stays and EVETTE RODRIGUEZ  of Port St. Lucie, FL is the third woman and third contestant to be eliminated. She jokes no one will forget Sofrito. The rest of the final 5 toast "Sofrito" as we end this episode.
 
Next week, the final 5 do a demo in front of a live crowd and Dave Lieberman.And with the help of Alton Brown they pitch their show in front of the selection committee. Tune in to see who makes the final 4!
 

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