Tonight, MasterChef season 9 episode 3 introduced us to the top 24 for the first time this season and we have to say, overall, that this is a really good bunch! This is a fun, diverse, and really exciting crop, and we personally do really love the way in which the show went about its auditions this year!
For the first time really over the course of the series, we got a good chance to better understand the thought process of some of the judges individually. We learned more about what they are looking for and, to go along with that, the sort of food that appeals to them. We know that, down the road, there are going to be some more opportunities to get to know the contestants better. This episode did introduce the home cooks but didn’t rely on them to carry the show. At this point in the run, that is very much a good thing. We just don’t know them well enough yet.
There were some contestants who took some bold risks here, so kudos has to go to some of them for thinking outside the box and trying a few different things. For example, we love the fact that there were contestants bold enough to go in there making their own versions of Gordon Ramsay favorites. We also give anyone credit who goes in there and tries to bake something in a very short period of time.
The conclusion of the episode (the first of two that aired tonight) was pretty powerful — the judges went for people they had an emotional connection with. That means often as much as making great food — they can work together on their way to getting the title in the end.
If there’s one thing we’d change for this part of the competition next season, it would be to add more competition between the judges. They were a little too nice and matter-of-fact when competing against each other. Otherwise, we’ll go so far to say that introducing a mentorship component may be one of the best twists that MasterChef has done in years. It may not work with all shows but it really does here, given that it injects a little more conflict into a series that rarely has all that much.
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