MasterChef Junior season 5 episode 9 was probably the episode that felt the most like the flagship competition this season. You had a Team Challenge out in the field, but then losing team had to go back to the kitchen to do the “dreaded pressure test.” This was one of the more intense episodes of the season, and one that really challenged the young chefs when it comes to technique.
First, we had the team challenge. Having to cook for many hungry Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts was no easy task, and it was probably even more so when you consider the fact that you had to cook pork chops and sides in such difficult, hot conditions. Our sympathies really went out to both teams, but the Red Team emerged victorious despite having some early struggles when it came to serving burnt chops. They were able to get things together over time, and become more of a well-oiled machine.
The one part of the challenge that was strange was the fairly arbitrary way in which Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi went about picking the team captains, who then in turn had almost nothing to do with the rest of the task. Their leadership was never brought up on the show and it felt almost like it was done just for the sake of it.
The dreaded pressure test (we almost feel like we can’t say it without “dreaded” being thrown in there somewhere) ended up being a tad more interesting, mostly from the vantage point of how it ended up giving us a situation where the remaining cooks had to make macaroons. This once again qualifies as one of those situations where kids are doing something that we’ve got no idea how to do. Macaroons are serious business, and are incredibly challenge to pull off. They’re tasty, but we wouldn’t have a whole lot of confidence in our ability to pull them off. Some struggled more than others, but kudos to everyone for finding a way to get something in the box.
Sadly, this episode brought the end of the road for Gonzalo for the second time this season — he was only back for an episode, but we do still feel as though he was able to make the most of his return. Meanwhile, we also said goodbye to someone in Lila who we felt previously was a little bit of a darkhorse entering the season.
With this episode feeling a tad bit more traditional, we imagine that it will be to the delight of many fans of the original franchise out there. We wish there was a bit more creativity here and there, but another solid season 5 episode of MasterChef Junior overall. Grade: B+.
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