Season Three of The Next Food Network Star concluded filming in late February, 2007 with Jag and Rory as the finalists. On June 1, Jag gave an interview to the magazine Army Times, where he discussed his background, including his culinary training and military service. Inconsistencies in his story lead the magazine to investigate his military service. Following their investigation, it was determined Jag had not served in the infantry nor had he deployed to Afghanistan with the Marines, as claimed, but rather was asked to leave the Corps eight months early due to his involvement in a hazing scandal. Upon further investigaion, the AT also learned Jag attended, but did not graduate from culinary school as claimed. Given an opportunity to address these revelations in a June 11 follow-up interview, Jag failed to provide any explanation, and offered to reveal the second finalist, in violation of his confidentiality agreement, if the magazine withheld what it knew.
Upon publication of the story later in June, Jag was recalled to New York, where he explained his remarks and was allowed to withdraw from the competition. That same day, Rory, who had also been brought to New York as well, learned she would be competing against Amy in the US vote. Although Jag appeared to withdraw that day, Amy and Rory's presence in New York the same day indicates Jag's fate was determined in advance.