On the other hand, Hugh thinks Lizzie should be in the bottom, because her dish was nothing new, and it wasn't executed well. None of them liked Stefan's dish because it was difficult to eat and the eel flavor didn't come through. And Sheldon screwed up the tempura. Curtis sums it up: he chose the worst ingredients and executed them poorly. Back in the kitchen, the cheftestants all agree that this was a rough challenge and they all went down to the last second for plating.
All five of them are brought back to face the judges at Judges' Table. Curtis explains that they were looking for creativity as well as the ability to integrate the two elements of surf and turf. Padma starts by asking Brooke if she's worked with frog legs, and Brooke says she's had them on her menu before. Curtis compliments her flavors, and Tom agrees, although he says that the poppadum was really greasy.
Padma moves on to talk to Sheldon, who says that he found the challenge kind of uninspiring because of the ingredients. Tom points out the obvious: Sheldon got to choose his own ingredients. Sheldon answers that he chose filet and lobster because he thought he could execute them. I don't get what's going on with Sheldon here. Fatigue? Nerves? He's normally pretty animated but he's not really making any sense. If he could just say that he chose poorly and regretted it but then did the best he could with his choices, I think the judges would respect that. But to blame the ingredients because they didn't "inspire" him? Lame. Curtis tells him that there were a few things on his plate that were inedible, like his cold and soggy tempura. Hugh adds that his surf and turf was very traditional, which wasn't what the challenge was about.
Moving on to Josh, Curtis admits that when he heard about and saw the scramble scallops, he was worried they would be awful, but they were actually really tasty. Hugh thought his pork belly was spot on. Tom and Hugh laugh over the scrambled scallop, but add seriously that his flavors were well integrated.
Padma tells Stefan that she was excited for him to cook eel because she remembered him cooking it well before. Curtis asks if he tasted the parsnip and eel together, and Stefan says he did, but Curtis says that they couldn't taste the eel. Tom points out that the sauce in the beaker had an inch of grease on top. Stefan says that he tried to skim the grease off, but he ran out of time. Tom brings up the biggest problem; the pork had such a hard skin that Tom thought he would break a tooth. Curtis tries to defend the idea of crispy pork, but adds that Tom was the first to bite into it, and they all heard it crunching. As a result, they were all scared to eat the food. That seems bad; I don't think you want the judges to be scared of your food.