MasterChef season 8 episode 12 one of two different installments that aired over the course of Wednesday night, and it may be most notable thanks to who wasn’t there more so than who is.
The way the producers handled Newton’s exit is probably one of the most disappointing things we’ve seen all season long. This is a recognizable guy and a big character in the kitchen who didn’t get a proper chance to say goodbye. He didn’t get an exit package on the show, and no time to talk about being on it meant to him. We are going to get a chance to discuss this more with him in our exit interview in the coming days, but still, not getting to say goodbye to him on the air was depressing and a bit of a distraction from the remainder of the action.
As for the remainder of the episode, this one turned out to be one of the formulaic ones of the season, and it was hurt largely by airing before a second hour that was infinitely better and more dramatic. It didn’t help that the first part of the challenge had to do with killing crawfish and removing the meat, which is probably our least favorite type of competition on the show. We know that killing proteins is a part of cooking, especially when it comes to crustaceans. Nonetheless, it’s never that fun to see this sort of competition featured on the show, especially since it makes us queasy as one of those people who tries not to think about how the protein died while I’m eating it.
The same also goes to a certain extent for the one at the end, since it was in the category of “replicate the dish.” There’s no doubt that the creation at the end, the dumplings that we got to see with the crawfish, was rather beautiful. It’s just harder to cultivate entertainment after recreations of something that is already out there.
The second elimination of the hour (including Newton) was Jenny, who left after her she ran into significant problems with her broth. This was a tough exit since she was probably the last of the contestants this season we didn’t get to see that much of in terms of air time. She seemed perfectly nice most of the season and did a good job during most challenges. One of the themes for this two-hour episode in general is one mistake dooming contestants. Here, that mistake was simply taking too much time reducing the broth to the point where it was overly salty. It’s hard to blame her for struggling with breaking down the crawfish given that we would’ve sprinted off from the kitchen as far as possible if we were told to do that.
This first hour, if we were to describe it in general terms, was fine. Other than Newton’s omission nothing was terrible about it, but it’s going to go down as one of the more forgettable ones this season. It’s a good thing that there was another episode following it right after. Grade: B-.
What did you think about episode 12? Be sure to share in the comments below! (Photo: Fox.)
Meanwhile, click here to read our review of the second episode.