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The finalists present their mise en place — the ingredients they'll use for the second big challenge. SLIDESHOW NEXT »

The finalists present their mise en place — the ingredients they'll use for the second big challenge.

One egg each in Sona's small kitchen made our finalists sweat SLIDESHOW NEXT »

One egg each in Sona's small kitchen made our finalists sweat

Following his boiled-egg fiasco, Billy Barlow becomes the first finalist to be 86'd. SLIDESHOW NEXT »

Following his boiled-egg fiasco, Billy Barlow becomes the first finalist to be 86'd.

THE FINALISTS' JOURNALS
Read more about this episode in the finalists' own words.
John Paul Abernathy
William "Billy" Barlow
Michael Duronslet
Katie Hagan-Whelchel
Blair King
Sara Lawson
Matthew Leeper
Autumn Maddox
Yannick Marchand
Jennifer McDermott
Russell Moore
Katsuji Tanabe

In the tight Los Angeles kitchen of Sona restaurant, the temperature rises exponentially as the first challenge gets underway. Six at a time, our finalists take to the kitchen to concoct their own exceptional egg dishes in just 10 minutes. Omelets and poached eggs stand the test of time. Katsuji thinks 'outside the box' and catches the judges' eyes by whipping up an egg custard with vanilla meringue. But the task's seeming simplicity is deceiving. Autumn accidentally moves Billy's pot, "sabotaging" his soft-boiled egg. The judges have no sympathy for Billy, who throws blame around instead of moving on.

The contestants are then given one hour to prepare their own mise en place, to include all ingredients the chefs will use in the next challenge. Judges are looking for thoughtful, concise, versatile and organized preparation. Straying from the assignment, some finalists prepare specific dishes — whereas their mise en place is meant to be all-encompassing. In the end, the "86 Pan" makes its ominous debut — after all, this is a fight-to-the-finish competition. Because Billy failed to take responsibility and rise above the boiled-egg fiasco, he's the first to fizzle out — he gets 86'd and heads home.