Thoughts before watching the episode: I so hope Rory leaves. I really don’t like her. I hope that Amy and JAG get to stay. I also like Paul and Adrien. I’m still SO VERY GLAD Colombe is gone. She seemed so utterly insincere, and she didn’t teach me anything about cooking. I was horribly sad, however, to see Thomas Grella go, though…..WE WILL MISS YOU TOM!

First thoughts: Hello, bawlfest. The “What You Did Wrong” scene got really emotional at the end, when Amy started crying — she realized that the line between public and private doesn’t exist when you’re on TV. (Doesn’t she watch the box?!) This got Mike off crying, I think Rory teared up, Jag cried because of military memories – not a dry eye in the house!

So Paul and JAG had major troubles in the actual competition (which was to make homemade food for soldiers at Fort Dix). You see, they were making meatloaf covered in delicious bacon, but a half an hour before the end bell rang, they checked the oven to discover that NOTHING HAD HAPPENED. Their oven simply did not work. Obviously, this was hugely awful for them, but they really rocked it by DEEP FRYING the meatloaf. This, in my mind, sealed their winnings in my head absolutely. However, they rocked it even further by having this absolutely hilarious presentation in which stereotypically-gay-guy (possibly just metrosexual?) Paul does like, 10 of the hardest kind of pushup. JAG, the actual ex-military guy, just stands at the mic jamming it up. The people in this household were on the floor in stitches!

Rory and Amy made lasagna, and it did kind of look like your standard lasagna, but I really felt that Giada was a bit mean here. When you are cooking for army men, you don’t go into quality “riCOT-ta” and “parmeSAN”, you make them FOOD. Good food, that is hearty and sticks to your ribs! (especially when they’ve specifically requested home cooking. I don’t know about your grandma, but mine raised her nose at people who thought you had to buy the most expensive stuff at the store to eat right). I love watching Giada’s show for the camera action, and I’ve started to like Giada herself in the past months, but this Food Network Episode really took all that away. I think that, really, they did a great job. Though I have to say that their garlic bread DID look a little gross. The cookie, though……I’m with Paula, I want the recipe! Rory and Amy’s presentation was also tear-jerkingly hilarious. Amy comes out all, SIR YES SIR. I AM ARMY WOMAN! (And if you’re not watching the show….okay, Amy is small. Adorable. Sweet. Kinda quiet. Not mean, not hardened, not….anything, really, that is stereotypically army. Very sophisticated gourmet.) You’d expect this militant from super-country, super-loud Rory. So what does she do? Puts her hand on one hip and answers Amy in a hilariously, almost-flippant way. Much like the JAG-Paul thing, this switch of personality is so hilarious. I totally approve.

Adrian and Mike….oh, man. They didn’t make home cooking. Their pot pie was topped with “Crispy Deep-Fried Potatoes” (read: potato chips) instead of pie crust. This sounds good, this sounds tasty, this sounds like something I’d do, and also this sounds like home cooking. That was where it ended. They sided it with a tomato-pepper salad thing (this is a little vague in the memory, but it was definitely girly-food). And the dessert? It was billed as cobbler, but it was just mixed fruit in a little bowl with some whipped cream on top. Fruit was still frozen, too. Tsk tsk! And their presentation was an embarrassment. I stuck my head under a pillow and CRIED. CRIED, people. CRIED. It was just awful. They sounded insincere, they sounded unsure, they sounded unprofessional. JAG and Paul had to wing it, but these two actually sounded like J&P theoretically should have. Oh, it was awful.

I approve of 4 people being “safe” at the end, definitely. I approved of all of those four being safe, of course — well, okay, not Rory, but she can be safe, since her being safe means my beloved Amy is safe too. But really, I felt that Paul, JAG, Rory and Amy all deserved that safety when everyone could see that really, Adrian and Mike blew it. The worst part? Mike was talking about in the interviews about how he thought he did SO great and he thought he had this one in the bag. I felt so bad for him, especially when I felt that of the pair, Mike really had done the worst. In my opinion, this failure comes only in second to the embarrassment that was Colombe cooking Cheese Whiz and Tostitos and calling that her homemade nachos.

For a minute, though, I thought Adrien was going home. They started his review with “Why do you think you’re still even here?” As Steve said — Wow. That is like tossing someone a grenade, pin pulled, and saying, Here! Catch! Thankfully, the judges actually agreed with Josh, Steve, and I, and bye, bye, Mike! You can see his exit interview here (when they post it — likely sometime tomorrow)

I am so excited for next week! Alton Brown is running it, and they have to work with the food they like least! It’s going to be amazing, I am sure. A huge challenge for all of them — and from what they’ve shown, they all do pretty badly. It’ll definitely be intense.

So what did you think of this week’s episode? Discuss!