It’s always a bummer to see an elimination happen on “MasterChef.” It’s an even bigger one when there are two home cooks going home and you lose someone who had some potential in the competition.
In some ways, you could claim that both D’Andre and Diana’s eliminations were expected given that they’d both been in danger before, and when you look at the reviews from some of their food in the elimination challenge, they weren’t good. Yet, at the same time D’Andre in particular seemed to have a pretty positive reception to his pho dish in the mystery box (at least from what we saw), and we were really just starting to get to know him more as a character. As soon as you start to understand who someone is, they go home. It’s a standard rule of reality competitions sometimes.
Another reason we do wish that the producers had went a little easier tonight is because it was not exactly as though this was the easiest elimination challenge in the world. Shaun was tasked with picking unusual proteins for the remainder of the home cooks to tackle, which led to Diana tackling something she never made before in tripe while D’Andre had tongue. These are tricky sometimes for even professional chefs to nail when they aren’t making them often. Kudos to Katie (who has been largely invisible on the show as of late) and the surging Eric for their victories here, since that will probably play a big role in what happens next week.
The elimination was sad, but it was ballsy (no, this is not a joke about Dan’s dish) so we’ll credit producers for that. There were also a few other things that we appreciated, which may have helped to make this one of the best episodes this season.
1. Chef Edward Lee, who has a healthy amount of snark and apparently comes from the Chris Sacca school of unusual reality TV shirt fashion.
2. The amount of bragging in the Mystery Box when someone used only $19 of the $20 they had to spend. We don’t know why this made us laugh, but it did.
3. Full creativity! Other than some guidelines like a protein / a budget, there was no “you must replicate this dish” or “go cook the same thing 100 times for a massive group of people.”
As we said, we’re willing to overlook an undesirable episode outcome if it is wrapped in a neat enough package. This was. Episode Grade: A-.
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