When it comes to drama, MasterChef season 8 episode 19 delivered in terms of the biggest showdown of the season. The person who went home right before the final three had never been in the bottom before, and really only seemed to suffer as a result of it being a bad day for her. Yet, this is the nature of the best, and sometimes of this show these sort of difficult exits do happen.
Unfortunately for Cate, she probably leaves as one of the best home cooks in show history to not make it to the finale. She was strong almost the whole way through, but faltered ever so slightly at the very end. She first dessert was a little too small, her molten lava cake failed to come together completely, and in the end, her cheese soufflé was just a tiny fraction behind Dino’s. Dino also had a tougher day, given that pastries are often his specialty and he couldn’t get some of his previous ones perfectly.
Let’s just try to put this into some perspective here. These semifinalists had to make several super-intense items in a short period of time, knowing that they only had a small number of things standing in their way of winning the grand prize. We can’t even imagine the sort of pressure that all of them must have been feeling in some shape or form, given that doing all of this had to be no joke.
So was all of this entertaining? That’s more of a subject for debate given that these sort of pressure tests are not altogether our cup of tea. A good part of this episode was spent watching four home cooks throw things in an oven; there was no real creativity behind it, and it was more about precision and following the steps properly. This was paint by numbers, and we prefer the challenges, especially at the end of the season, where you are just given a canvas and told to run with it. The first episode of Wednesday’s two-episode block was more entertaining because of that, and because there were different creative challenges that all of the different home cooks faced in terms of the timing and whatever they wanted to make with the salmon.
It’s important for us at CarterMatt to give a round of applause to Cate not only for the way that she handled most of the challenges this season, but also the way that she ended up departing the kitchen. This was extremely classy and showed a great deal of respect for the other three home cooks. She wasn’t bitter or angry about the decision; if there is ever an All-Star season for this show, we do think that she could be an interesting candidate to return.
Sometimes, episodes at the end of the season for MasterChef just aren’t as dynamic because there are fewer personalities left, and we felt that to an extent here. However, we would argue that the bigger problem actually was the simple structure of the three challenges back to back, given that none of them afforded any culmination of the contestants’ journeys. There was plenty of tension, but we would’ve preferred right before the finish line giving these four home cooks a little more leeway to show themselves on a plate rather than three items that were more about the sensibilities of the judges.
Are you sad to see Cate leave in MasterChef season 8 episode 19? Be sure to share below!
Also, be sure to head over here to read our first review from Wednesday night. (Photo: Fox.)