Padma wants to know why Ashley decided to do two dishes. She claims that they had the time and money, so they decided to go for it. Padma doesn't understand why she didn't do one amazing dish. Hey, isn't that what Jennifer tried to tell her when she came up with the half-assed dessert idea to begin with? Ashley's really got no defense. Todd says she did do one amazing dish, and Ashley says she gets why she was called out. To her credit, she doesn't bring up the fact that she's gay and took issue with the challenge. She just focuses on her lame dessert; she admits that her panna cotta had a bunch of problems, but she chose that because it was "ninety million degrees out" so she didn't want to do something hot. Padma liked the bay leaves, but thought it came across a little too woodsy, and Ashley says she got a bit overzealous in toasting the bay leaves. At least she knows what she did wrong. That's my favorite kind of chef on this show. Instead of the ones who argue that their dish was good, when it clearly wasn't. Todd asks if the leaves were fresh or dry, and she says she used both. Tom wants to know why she would have used dry leaves if she had fresh ones available. Ashley says it was a mistake and she isn't a "dessert technician." Clearly, it seems that the judges appreciate her honesty and get that she's actually a good chef, so they are giving her a rough time so she doesn't screw up again next week.
The contestants head back to the stew room. Jesse's convinced she's going home. Eve just looks sad. The judges' all agree that Ashley's watermelon was good enough to get her another week, even though her panna cotta was a mistake. Todd again talks about how much he loved that watermelon dish. Tom says that Jesse's lettuce cup was sloppy and watery. Padma says that she thinks Jesse understood what she did wrong. Gail wants to know how long Jesse can keep making mistakes -- this is the second time and it is only the second week. She had a good idea, but she's got no follow through. Go Gail! Gail says that Eve's dish had flavor, but it was off-balance. Todd says that with those classic flavors, when you put them together she has to have a clue what she's doing. Tom doesn't think that Eve understands, and he thinks she's throwing everything against the wall and hoping that something sticks. Which is sort of how I cook, but I'm not a chef by any stretch of the imagination. Gail says that Preeti's dish felt flat. Tom reminds them that there was amazing food at the party, and that her tuna just isn't the kind of food that is going to stand out. He also complains that tuna shouldn't have been marinated for that long, and she should have known better, but she thought it was good. We flip to see Preeti in the stew room defending her dish and talking about how it was such a crowd pleaser.