Every week, Alton Brown is joining the Star Talk roster to talk about the most-recent elimination and the thoughts behind each difficult decision from the judges' perspective.
As far as I'm concerned, this challenge got down to the nitty-gritty — the real skills required to do the actual job of being a Food Network Star. The finalists had an hour to concoct a crowd-pleasing dish based on a classic summer pairing. Then they had to demo that dish to a crowd of roughly 400 food fans. The food was as up and down as the rides at Knott's Berry Farm. When it came to the demo, two finalists were clearly on the bottom: Reuben and Christopher.
Reuben's dish wasn't great and his demo was messy, but he did manage to engage the audience. And I still think he's got something sticky about him that made me want to keep him in the competition. Christopher, on the other hand, failed to connect with the audience and his demonstration just didn't actually demonstrate anything. To me it was a complete fail despite the fact that his food was actually the best plate of the day. As far as I'm concerned, it's the demo that counts most, and this challenge proved to me that Christopher is just too "back of the house" for this job. Bobby remained staunchly in Christopher's corner because Christopher does have considerable cooking chops, but Giada and I agreed that despite his troubles, Reuben earned himself another week. It was two votes to one, and Christopher was eliminated.