Naomi presents her barbecue pork, prawn, and cucumber rice salad, accompanied by an iceberg wedge with tuna poke, plus panna cotta with caramelized pineapple and ginger tuile. The Air Force member she's serving admits that, as a Hawaiian, the one thing he missed most while serving was Spam. His taste in serious question, he says he likes the dish that Naomi cooked. Others think that she undercooked her shrimp.
Next up, Traci doles out her meat loaf with mashed potatoes and Caesar salad, as well as peach cobbler. The servicemen appreciate that they don't have to drown the meat loaf in ketchup to choke it down.
Floyd is the last cheftestant to go, offering up a tamarind margarita, roast tenderloin with mushroom jus and garlic smashed potatoes, plus a spinach salad with pomegranate, broccoli, walnuts, and bacon vinaigrette. The diners think that the dish is missing something, though the margarita is sufficiently potent.
With very little ado, Mary Sue is pronounced the winner. Floyd takes the loss especially hard. They convene in front of the critics, who acknowledge that they're splitting hairs. Ruth Reichl didn't appreciate Naomi's rice salad and mentions her undercooked shrimp. The critics also found Traci's plate unappealing and overly salty. They think Floyd could have done more and wasn't being himself, especially in regard to the confusing broccoli-pomegranate salad.
The critics dismiss the cheftestants and evaluate their dishes on the whole. The main question: Was tonight's dish worthy of the finale. They think Floyd may have played it too safe. On the other hand, Naomi's dishes weren't entirely cohesive, but Curtis appreciates that she doesn't play it safe. Meanwhile, they think Traci didn't add a level of sophistication to her dishes and, again, overseasoned. But it's Naomi who must pack her knives and go. She is happy to have made it this far and excited to reunite with her daughter.
Next week: Traci, Floyd, and Mary Sue face off in the finale!