Left alone to confer, the judges revisit each of the low-scorers. Kahan, unimpressed that Nikki didn't make her own sausage, since it doesn't take long, is all, "she's a chef, she's not a purchaser at a supermarket." Uh, based on what I've been watching for the past hour, she's certainly not a chef. Gail was struck by the apparent lack of effort on Nikki's part, and Kahan, discussing the shrimp, says he understands "wanting to please the masses," but that it needs to be done thoughtfully. Colicchio calls Ryan's bread salad "one of the worst versions of bread salad I've had in a long, long time," and all of the judges lay into him because, as Gail puts it, "he didn't want to actually do tailgating at the tailgate party." Seconds Kahan: "Even if it's inappropriate, at least make it good and interesting." Ouch. Cut to the waiting room, where Nikki's talking to Stephanie about how Ryan never shuts up, while Ryan is, of course, still talking about he did it his way, to Richard. Richard responds with a series of beeps. Colicchio's stuck on the grittiness of Mark's chowder, but Kahan reveals that the killer, for him, was Mark's failure to make a mayonnaise for his slaw -- perhaps something infused with spice to punch up the salad. Gail faults Mark for an inability to adapt to the circumstance, and Colicchio again brings up just how "unsanitary" Mark's station was.
After calling food and sport two pillars of Chicago culture, Colicchio tells Nikki that here, "sausage is like a religion," and that if she wanted to impress, she should have made her own. He tells Ryan that his food was completely inappropriate for a tailgate party, a fact that Ryan actually seems to accept as a badge of honor, but then Colicchio adds that "if we were sitting in a fancy restaurant, the food just wasn't very good," which hits home harder. As for Mark, he needs to learn how to clean it up, since a sloppy station begets sloppy food. In the end, Ryan packs his ego and heads home (I actually thought it would be Nikki, since she's been consistently on the bottom, but Ryan won't be missed), but not before letting us know that he went down for cooking "Ryan Scott tailgate food" and delivering another nonsensical monologue about how awesome everything was and how proud he is. I think he could have removed "tailgate" from that last quote -- it would explain even more succinctly why he's going back to Cali.