The judges start with Nyesha, who wanted to keep her dish Tex-Mex. Emeril loves it, and Padma agrees that it was beautiful and tasty, so she's in. Next up is Heather. Tom thinks that the flavors were soulful and satisfying, and Emeril loved it too, so she's in. How about Simon? Emeril thought it was overcooked and dry, and Tom thinks there was too much going on, so they dismiss him. He's OUT. Richie is last, and he worries that his salty palate did him in. Tom admits that the food is on the verge of being salty, but it's well seasoned. Emeril thinks the food has tremendous depth and taste, so Richie is through. Richie needs to lose the goatee and the Mohawk and act normal for once and I might start to like him.
The people who are through for sure (Richie, Chris, Sarah, and Heather) all go check out their house. Hey, they're all from Chicago! That's weird.
It's time for Round Two of the Qualifying Challenge! The next nine potential cheftestants walk into the kitchen and find Gail, Tom, and Padma standing there. They also go down the line for introductions. We have: Ty-Lor With An UmLaut No Seriously, Nina From Seattle, Keith Who Looks Like Chef From South Park, Edward the Asian from Kentucky (maybe the only one?), Chris Hollywood Who Is a Culinary Artist (no, he really says that), Janine Who Rips on Chris For Saying He's a Culinary Artist and Becomes My Early Favorite, Chuy The Rick Bayless Protégé, Whitney The Brunette Cynthia Stevenson, and Dakota And That Can't Possibly Be Her Real Name.
Padma explains the challenge: they have a variety of ingredients from which to choose. They must all collectively agree on one ingredient and then each prepare a dish with that ingredient. Time starts, and they all clamor around the table and try to out-chef one another with their choice of ingredient, which includes things like sea urchin and sweetbreads. They finally all agree on rabbit, since it's probably the most versatile.