MasterChef season 8 episode 15 was, at times, a hot mess. Yet, it was also very entertaining given that it showcased a lot of personality.
Whether you love Jeff or hate him, you can’t deny that the man’s fingerprints were all over this episode. He’s also got nine lives, given that you think one second that he’s almost sure to be eliminated only to somehow emerge from the other side still breathing. It’s amazing how he always figures out how to do just enough to stick around in the competition, even if he has to sweat it out until the closing seconds. Even when Jeff loses, sometimes the man still finds a way to win. This is what happened during the Pressure Test; interestingly enough, credit has to go to Eboni for encouraging him to actually get his head on straight halfway through making some of his chocolate truffles.
Let’s backtrack for a moment or two here to discuss how we first got to this point. All of it started back during the Team Challenge, which was set all the way up at Big Bear Lake and featured the remaining eight home cooks having to make the perfect dish using rainbow trout. It was Dino’s team versus Cate’s team, and almost the entirety of this challenge became about Dino picking the dish he conceptualized to give to the judges over the one Jeff did. Jeff’s was better, but it didn’t matter since the judges didn’t based their decision on that. Cate won, meaning that she’s still undefeated in team challenges. Meanwhile, Jeff has lost every single one he’s been a part of.
Following this, Jeff huffed and puffed for a while over it. To an extent, we get it — it’s hard when you feel you’ve done something great and nobody wants to listen to you. The thing that he has to work on is being able to bounce back from these mistakes and get his head back in the game. If he doesn’t do that, he could be going home soon. Time is running out and he’s already been in the bottom so many times. (For the record, Jeff produced one of the night’s best shots when he stormed off in the midst of cleanup during the team challenge. Where in the world did he go? We like to envisioned that he hitch-hiked back to the kitchen, but he probably just returned a minute or two later.)
Other odds and ends
Kudos to Dino for completely owning the Pressure Test, and it was there we got more of a sense of his love for desserts and admiration of Christina Tosi. He is probably one of the people we’d most like to see at the end of the show given that he’s both incredibly memorable and very good at what he does.
It’s odd that we’ve gone this far without even mentioning Daniel, which is a shame since he comes across as a cool dude and a good cook. We could take issue with him going home when he did, but this was a challenge about truffles and his didn’t have the proper consistency. At this point, that mattered more than Yachecia botching the white chocolate ones or Jeff missing an ingredient. Daniel didn’t necessarily have the big personality of some of the other people still in the competition, but he did have consistency, passion, and really great hair. That has to account for something.
For the second straight week the second episode in the back-to-back was probably better than the first, and we say that mostly as a fan of good character drama on reality shows. We’ve already gotten a sense online of people who are mad at the judges for sending Daniel home, but we think that they’re judging based solely on what they’re seeing on the day. There are a ton of interesting people left this season, and while we have some favorites (think Dino, Yachecia, and Jason a.k.a. Mr. Enthusiasm), we also do think that there’s still a sense of unpredictability to the proceedings. Grade: B+.
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Then be sure to head over here, given that this is where you can read our review from the first hour of the back-to-back. (Photo: Fox.)