Watching Fox’s new series “MasterChef” is an interesting combination of “Top Chef”, “Hell’s Kitchen”, and one of those sports movies where the underdog always seems to come out on top. These contestants are people you want to root for more than just about anyone else, since they are really the ones putting everything (including their past jobs) on the line to try and be a professional cook.
Now that we are down to the top 14, we really get the opportunity to see these people in action. Unfortunately, the first part of tonight’s double-dose did not go well for many of the judges. They first had to do something a la “Chopped” where their dishes could only be based on a select set of ingredients, and Whitney is the one who came out on top for making a fried pork chop that anyone with a right mind would want to eat. As a reward, she got to choose the main ingredient for the Chinese-themed challenge, and picked oranges.
From there, we were all witness to one of the biggest cooking disasters known to man. Only Tracy, Mike, and Sharone actually seemed to understand how to make great Chinese food (Slim might have, but she didn’t include the broth). Meanwhile, Avis and Sheena (who had actually excelled earlier in the day) were sent home.
From there, the show actually decided to take a page straight out of the “Top Chef” book — forcing these contestants to cook for an enormous amount of people in two teams (in this case, Marines). While a number of them had great ideas (and David had on a tuxedo shirt almost like mine from “Beauty and the Geek”), the red team (which began as the underdog gang since Mike, the winner of the Chinese challenge, got to pick the blue team first) ultimately forgot to check how many people they were cooking for. They would have likely won if they had actually made enough food, but it just didn’t happen.
With that in mind, the red team was placed into an elimination challenge which was a taste test — they each had to take a spoonful of Chef Graham Elliot’s Texas-style chili, and guess what was in it. First, a bone to pick with Graham — as a Texas native, I was brought up learning that beans in chili is blasphemy. That being said, this was a strange way to get rid of people because one mistake could doom someone who was fantastic the rest of the time. Why not keep it about cooking?
In the end, Jenna messed up for incorrectly sensing chili powder in the dish (which is an understandable mistake), and in guessing the fewest number of ingredients she was sent home.
Are you enjoying “MasterChef”, where Chef Gordon Ramsay actually encourages all the contestants as they leave? Check back soon for an exclusive interview with the eliminated contestants.
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Other TV recaps: “Big Brother”, “America’s Got Talent”, and “Covert Affairs”