Yes, we’re going with that terrible pun for this MasterChef season 8 episode 8 review title, because why not? Beef was a huge part of this hour, and it played a huge role in someone going home on the other side of it.
Sometimes, eliminations come as a surprise. This time around, it was as obvious as a giant slab of beef flying across the room and knocking you on the head. The moment that Necco started going on and on about how he had read about making hanger steaks and it’s not that challenging, it was clear the dude was going home. This is a show that will give you every now and then someone being overconfident, but when said overconfidence is shown to us in an aggressive way, it’s pretty darn clear that stuff’s going to be hitting the fan. Even when the judges were picking his dish apart, Necco still insisted it was great.
Losing him here isn’t a huge shock given the trajectory of the show’s edit so far. Necco hasn’t been a huge character, and that’s a shame since judging from this episode, he had a good bit of personality. He just struggled in this instance cooking his steak through and presenting it in a way that was interesting.
Undercooking the hanger steak seemed to be a struggle for some of the home cooks tonight, given that both Jason and Gabriel also had some problems with it; the latter really got lucky given that his steak was a step or two away from raw. Some other home cooks, such as Yachecia and Cate, were able to shine from this and earn some rave reviews.
How this all came about
Let’s backtrack for a moment and focus a little bit on what got us here, given that the Mystery Box gave the home cooks at the start of the episode a chance to make a wide array of different beef dishes. Newton won that, which makes sense given that if you put a picture of the dude up on a wall and ask what he was good at, everyone would probably yell “beef” back at you.
What was a little strange was how the show handled his advantage. They had him divide up the remaining home cooks in terms of who was the strongest/weakest, and then he picked one group to compete. He chose the weakest, which is understandable given that this is inherently a competition.
What we wonder, though, is whether or not he really thought the people he chose to be the weakest/strongest actually were. What we would’ve done in his shoes is put weak and strong contestants in both groups to prepare for anything. We also wish that the judges had just made him choose seven people to put into the elimination challenge and explain why — no need to divide anyone up. That way, we got more into his head rather than arbitrary labels — with the way that it was structured, a guy like Newton isn’t going to label someone as “weak” and then explain it by saying “they’re really strong; I’m just being strategic.” It felt like this was just done to tick off people he labeled “weak.”
A decent episode much in the way that most kitchen-based episodes are, but the boot was predictable and we think the twist needed a little more time in the oven so that it could’ve been cooked through a little more (metaphorically, of course). As of right now we know Newton’s arbitrary opinions, and since he’s not a judge, that doesn’t matter. We prefer strategy. Grade: B-.
What did you think about this MasterChef episode tonight? Be sure to share in the comments, and head over here for further news, including a preview for what’s ahead. (Photo: Fox.)