After weeks of waiting, “MasterChef” is now at the part of the season we embrace and live for — the top 18 competing to stick around. It’s a pretty fine field this year, and even though our personal favorite in Joshua (or the 7-foot chef, as we like to call him) did not even get a single second of airtime during this episode.
Instead, we watched the home cooks panic, excel, and even on one occasion nearly burn the kitchen down while trying to handle two separate challenges.
The Mystery Box – The name of the game here was finding a way to effectively combine the ingredients given to you, while at the same time knowing just what sort of technique to use in a short amount of time.
The main ingredient here was duck, but some people became distracted by everything else. Ryan for some inexplicable reason decided to serve his meal with bananas as a side (wait … what?), but lucky for him someone else managed to do even worse. As a way to show to the cooks that no one is ever safe in this competition, Gordon Ramsay and the other two judges decided to send Samantha packing for a disaster of a dish. The duck wasn’t cooked all the way through, and her decision to mix rhubarb and sweet potatoes together was quite frankly bizarre
The Risotto Challenge – As per usual on this show, the winner of the first task (in Felix) got the opportunity to choose what she wanted the other contestants to cook from three choices — and she even got to sit out while she watched them do it.
This challenge was a tough one to watch from the standpoint of empathy. Risotto is not something (contrary to what Joe Bastianich thinks) that every person in America eats regularly, and a few contestants there were not even familiar enough with it to know what it really was. This led to what were a few car crash meals — most notably Tali, who really just threw everything he could onto a plate and hoped something work.
Luckily for him, someone was yet again done in during this challenge by a cooking 101 mistake — not cleaning the mushrooms before putting them in the food. Dave Mack literally served the judges rice and sand, and with that he punched his ticket out.
Overall, we’re thrilled to see the show back, and that the challenges have not been changed too much. Do we still despise pressure tests? Sure, and unfortunately the first of those is coming next week.
Who are you rooting for at the moment?