Team Giada: Down to Three

by in Food Network Star, June 19, 2012

Team Giada thought they had last Sunday's food-court challenge in the bag. A Mexican-themed kiosk, with Martita on their side? No problem. But for South African dessert queen Linkie Marais, Mexican food was uncharted territory: "I don't even know what they serve for dessert in Mexico!" Stumped, she ran with Martita's suggestion of churros and hoped for the best, despite the fact that she'd never made them before.

Sure enough, the texture of the churros was off and Linkie tried to re-brand them as "biscotti." But her confidence was shaken, and it showed. She ended up in the Producers' Challenge, where she gave Bob and Susie a solid chicken dish, proving that she shouldn't be pigeonholed into pastry. Still, in the end, it was pitch room veteran Nikki who prevailed, sending Linkie home.

Throughout her Star run, Linkie struggled with confidence issues that caused her to stumble over presentations. "In the end, I realized that it's mostly because of the language barrier," Linkie explains in her exclusive exit interview. "That was where a lot of my confidence problem came from." Giada tried to coax her through this, sharing her own experience of moving to America as a child.

"I am so honored and humbled that I had the opportunity to work with Giada," Linkie says. "I don't think she realizes how much she's influenced my life. She made me realize that I don't have to change who I am."

Hear more from Giada, Bob, Susie and Linkie in her exit interview. Do you think she deserved to go home over Nikki?

Flip through Linkie’s Star Scrapbook and more behind-the-scenes photos from Episode Six.


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Comments (84)

  1. LHSSC says:

    Sorry, but I had the distinct impression that Martita sabotaged Linkie. She suggested the Churros but never gave Linkie any real idea how to prepare them or how they should look and taste or anything about the texture.
    She shrugged off the questions when all she had to do was tell LInkie that they were a form of donut and what the texture should be. With that information, Linkie probably could have done a much better job of it.
    I don't particularly like or dislike Martita,And I know it's a competition. Still, they are working as teams at this point and that just struck me as less than admirable. Oh, well. I didn't think she was going to last and this just keeps her from hanging onto false hope

    • Bristol says:

      I gotta disagree with you on "Martita sabotaging Linkie". I like Linkie alot and wish that the Network sent Nikki off instead, but.....Martita gave Linkie the help Linkie asked for. But nobody should be taking a recipe JUST learned about and make it to the TEE. Martita only meant to let Linkie put some spin in it. Martita felt bad about the whole situation, no doubt. But I guess Linkie wouldn't have lasted long. Also, I have a feeling that The Network sent Linkie home just to even out the teams.

      They kept that girl that was Medittaranian and she was the ONLY one in the competition to keep up the drama. That is 99.9% why the Network kept Nikki in the first place, she's dramatic and harsh.

    • Frank Demeo says:

      These are grown ups. They are competing for 1 spot. I like Linkie but, she didn't have to listen to anyone. She made her decisions and she dug her own grave.

  2. Hannah C says:

    I have to say that i truly believe Linkie got out this week because the Food Network wanted to even out the teams and i think they've done that a couple times now in the competition which makes me extremely annoyed and I'm glad they're going back to the old set up.
    As for who I think is in the lead, I personally like Team Alton, Justin especially, he is so different from anything on Food Network and I would watch his show in a heart beat. Emily is also great she as well has a different outlook and has a fun personality. I like Ippy as well he has a laid back style that makes him really cool and again nothing like what they already have.
    All in all, this is a really good year with lots of star potential:)

  3. IGYN says:

    Bob's infatuation with Justin is enough to want to make me puke. We all know he is a ringer, but please ease up on the love affair.

  4. cjcal says:

    What if judges Bob and Susie are looking at Ippy from way off-base? I mean, they are Type A personalities and perhaps Ippy's Hawaiian culture is (by comparison) more laid back. As a result, Ippy is a natural for a show on Hawaiian food. He's got the cooking skills, POV and personality. Can he "teach"? Will Team Giada leader Giada teach Ippy how to teach? Does Giada know how to teach?

    I think Michele can cook and teach, but is her POV really that strong. Her POV is fresh and local but she tried to get not-fresh (I don't know the correct term) clams for last wee's clam chowder. She totally stepped up to the plate to lead Team Bobby (she has a competitive spirit) and this is why I think she'll be his top contender.

    I am worried about what the show's producers have in store for Team Alton. Emily and Justin may be this team's finalists - how to decide on one team winner? I like both contestants and can't bear to watch one lose. Justin won me over when he auditioned for Team Alton and was very careful in warning Alton about the flambe flames. Remember that scene? Justin is genuinely sensitive to the welfare of others.

    • FanFare57 says:

      Susie, in particular, has seemed more impatient with the cooks than usual. When she declared Ippy was too laid back, she made it sound as though he was as dull as bread. She also made disparaging remarks toward Judson. Maybe, it's time for Susie and her special shoes to saunter and take a breaky-break. I like Ippy. I think he's cuddly cute and his POV is very interesting. Judson was just starting to find his way when the door was shut tight on him.

      • Wayne says:

        Agree that Susie does seem to be tired of doing this. Sometimes she looks annoyed. At least Bob remains consistent & not annoyed even if I dont always agree with what he says.

        And I too would really hate to see Emily or Justin lose. Yes I remember Justin warning Alton about the flames. I don't recall any other contestants of Alton doing that. Showed his alertness and concentration to not just laugh with Alton but also be aware of the cooking situation at hand. I think he told Alton when went out the door..., 'I won't let you down. ' I think he made good on that too. Even if he wouldn't win, he has not let Alton down..I think Alton is proud of him & Emily.

  5. cjcal says:

    Lol! Y'know, if FN ever does a "The Oddest Thing I Ever Ate", I bet Justin could come up with a dozen items. Or he could make them. I still am amazed by his version of beef stroganoff for the Fashion Week food challenge. And Emily's "hat" styled dish for the same challenge. Good, interesting duo, or trio if you include Alton.

  6. debbiet says:

    the network says that we the viewers will get the final vote. How can this be as we know these shows are taped well in advance of being aired? have they narrowed it down to two or three, or even one from each team, and will bring them back for a final competition?

    • Juli says:

      Most likely. That's how they do Survivor.

    • Gabbbbby says:

      I think maybe they filmed every show but they still never chose a winner and after we watch the last show and vote, then the contestants find out the winner.

  7. judy b says:

    I am a few days late but I just watched the last episode. This is what annoys me.... We have Linkie, from South Africa. She is charming, genuine, and a great accent. Does the food network have anyone from South Africa? I think that is a NO! Spiced rum on grilled chicken sounds wonderful. Vs. Nikki a girl with a grill. Not genuine, not sincere, not personable. Just more years in front of a camera. Does the food network have shows with people cooking on grills. YES! Oh boy grill a lemon. Have we seen that before...YES! If she wins will I watch her show? NO.

    • Nadia says:

      I agree 110% Linkie is charming and doesn't have the usual grilling/mexican/entertaining POV . NIcki is the last person I want to watch. Another grilling show, whoopee.

    • Violet says:

      Hang in there, Nikki's on her way out too. Angry attitudes won't cut it in front of FN's camera. No matter how many times she tried, Linkie just couldn't present herself comfortably in front of the camera and that's too bad for her.

    • Melinda says:

      Exactly! Nickie has nothing to offer. Linkie does. Food network, you suck. You think well, it's only 1 opinion, but we count, and we can take you down.

  8. Reuben says:

    Good luck Linkie! don't feel bad for messing up the churros. Last year's second runner-up, Susie Jimenez, didn't have any better luck with churros. She forgot the frying oil and made "churro" pancakes. I'm glad to see Justin has moved up in the Fan Vote. Not sure what happened to Martita. I thought Ippy was fabulous!

  9. guest says:

    Like Yvan & Emily to host a young, hip and happy entertainment food show. Each of these are equally talented and could easily bring forth surprises and drama with some scripting and direction. I do not believe that anyone on tv is anything but an actor and learns along the way to perfect the craft. Don't like the hystrionics and dry humor in a cooking show. Many of the audience would lose the subtleties and tire pretty POV

    • kathy says:

      Hey that is a good idea. Even young justin and emily would make a good team. Justin is a young Elton in the rough. Needs to be a bit more friendly to the camera but that would come with time.

  10. Lisa says:

    If I turned my channel onto any cooking show, I would at least want to learn something new from the chefs hosting the show. I used to think that personality was secondary but being a fan of the Next Foodnetwork Star, I can't help but watch some of the unpleasant personalities starting to stick its ugly head. Martita is a primary example this season -- so far, I think the show has done a pretty good job in eliminating contestants like her in the past. Hopefully, they will continue to grant a show to a skilled chef plus someone who has shown he or she is a team player and displays a sense of joy in his/her cooking-- I.e. maybe Justin, Michelle, or even ippy.