In July 2011, I drove through the night from Alabama to Chicago to audition for Season 8 of Food Network Star. Our season was the first and only time the series employed a team format.  Three teams were headed by Food Network icons Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, and Giada De Laurentiis who each selected five contestants. I was honored to have been chosen by Alton Brown for his team. After twelve weeks of competition, I made it all the way to the final four; America voted for the winner and I was the runner-up. My best friend and teammate Justin Warner was declared the winner. Was I disappointed? Absolutely. But I was also very happy for Justin. I trust and respect Justin and he makes me crack up. We remain the best of friends.

UPDATE: The 10th anniversary of Food Network Star premiered Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 9pm. I was invited back as an all-time "Fan Favorite" to compete for my own show once again in Star Salvation. I made it through the first episode. In the second episode, one little tomato, Damaris Phillips, and Geoffrey Zakarain came between me and my dream for a show on Food Network. While the results were not what I'd hoped, I was more than honored to be invited back because the fans wanted me there. Thanks to all of you for your continued support and your belief in me. We will get that show one of these days.

Martie Duncan, you are fearless. If you had a t-shirt, it would read Martie Duncan on the front and fearless on the back.
— Alton Brown, Food Network Star Mentor

This is the original "look back" video that was aired during the final telecast of Season 8. This one is much better than the one that is posted on the Food Network site now.