‘MasterChef’ review: Military man Joel brings the tears

Did you tear up?

After the whole controversy going on right now surrounding “America’s Got Talent” contestant Tim Poe — and whether or not his story about being hit by a grenade in Afghanistan is authentic — now is not the easiest time to be a military veteran with a sad story on reality TV.

With that being said, seeing aspiring chef Joel on Tuesday night’s “MasterChef” may rank as one of the more heartbreaking auditions the show has brought in three seasons. While he has certainly given a great deal in service to his country, the biggest tragedy to befall him happened while he was on his way to training — his son Jermaine drowned. His dream now is to open his own Jamaican restaurant in his son’s name, and he brought to Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Elliott to tears with his story.

When it came to his food, all three judges loved the rice and peas portion — but Joe (being the “tough judge” in the minds of many) thought that the rest of the dish lacked flavor. Thankfully, the other two judges disagreed and he is on to the next round.

Just how long will Joel last? Sometimes the emotional stories end up falling by the wayside quickly in these sort of competitions, but we are rooting for him. He certainly wasn’t the only standout home cook during the episode, though — we also saw a man with a crazy “I am an extra on ‘Swamp People'” sort of beard, a married couple who both advanced, a guy who for some reason decided to ride in on a horse to impress the judges (though they probably weren’t too impressed when the horse urinated near the food), and a woman who sounded like Sarah Palin trapped in someone else’s body. With the audition rounds being so engaging this year, there is admittedly a big part of us that is sad there is only one left.

Who is your favorite contestant from the first two episodes?

Photo: Fox

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