Jillian takes Ashley on a trip to talk to her mom, so she can explain how she feels and tell Sherry how she can help. This is how Ashley will stop becoming a woman who facilitates the happiness of others. Ashley tells us that she doesn't want to hurt her mom's feelings, or to make her feel unwanted. She does want her mom there. But she feels pressure to make sure that Sherry's okay, everywhere, always. Ashley tells this to Sherry, and says she can't do it anymore. Sherry tells her that that's a good thing. If anything, she says, this experience has showed Ashley that Sherry can be a strong person. She hasn't always been a strong person, particularly after her husband died. Sherry is very gracious in not wanting Ashley to negatively affect her own life by taking care of her. She says that she's 51 and has to stand on her own two feet and figure out who she is. Ashley and Sherry both have the wings to fly. Sherry says that they came to campus as a team, but they'll leave as strong individuals. Jillian loves this, and says they have parallel lives, not intertwined lives. What a great, productive conversation. Hugs all around!
And then, product placement. Bob talks about avocados a lot. Use them instead of condiments! Guacamole for everyone!
Oh, and then tragedy strikes. Mike packs a bag at 3:20 a.m. He apparently got a message from his mother saying that his grandmother's health is not so good. Mike is very close to his grandmother, who was there a lot more than his mom was in his childhood. Things aren't looking good for her, and Mike leaves campus. The remaining contestants head to meet Sami and celebrity chef Curtis Stone. He really is fine. Ashley is particularly excited to see him. Lance has a rubberband on his chin, so his goatee hairs don't fall into whatever healthy food they're about to prepare. Yes, it's a cooking challenge. Koli is bummed, because Mike is the Blue Team's best cook. Sami tells the contestants that they're going to have to make an appetizer, entrée and dessert using only 12 ingredients. The ingredients that they can choose from are all on a big table, and they'll alternate picks. Once one team chooses an item, it's theirs exclusively. Curtis will judge the final meals, and he's looking for food that's both nutritious and great-tasting. And there's one more thing: the contestants will only have 30 minutes to complete their challenge. I can't make a turkey sandwich in 30 minutes. Yikes. The winning team will get a five-pound advantage at the weigh-in, which is a pretty great prize.
Sheri chooses first for the Black Team, and goes straight for the shrimp. Sunshine chooses tomatoes for the Blue Team. The Black Team wanted to make shrimp cevice, which featured tomato. They are screwed. Ultimately, the Black Team also ends up with: salmon, lemon, oranges, red pepper, pears, wild rice, and strawberries. Blue gets pork loin, chocolate, cauliflower, parsley, raspberries, pomegranate, and mushrooms. Curtis stone is going to go mad for his pear shrimp and chocolate-covered parsley.
The challenge begins, and the contestants have to scramble. The Black Team is sticking with the shrimp ceviche for an appetizer, salmon and wild rice for their entrée, and pear, goat cheese and strawberry dessert. When did they get goat cheese? Maybe I missed it. The Blue Team is doing a salad appetizer, pork with vegetables for the entrée, and chocolate-drizzled raspberries for dessert. Daris is confident in his ability to grill pork tenderloin. Curtis hovers over Daris and drops a lot of hints about how bad dry pork tenderloin is, which makes Koli nervous. Meanwhile, the Black Team may have made a blunder with the wild rice, which takes the longest of all the rices to cook, according to Curtis. Bad news, unless you want a little crunch with your salmon. Curtis asks Sam the question, "Is that creative genius, or is it just messy?" He seems dubious at Sam's claims of genius. The plates are finished as the timer rings.
Curtis tries his appetizers. Drea explains that the Black Team's appetizer is shrimp ceviche with red peppers, onion, lemon and chives. Curtis likes it, and notes that it only has 26 calories. The Blue Team offers up their spinach, feta and pomegranate salad. Curtis thinks it has fantastic flavors. O'Neal claims that the salad has 25 calories. Curtis corrects him and says that it's actually 136. The Black Team wins the battle of the appetizers. They get one point.