‘MasterChef’ season 4 premiere review: The softer side of Gordon Ramsay returns

MasterChef“MasterChef” is back, and to go along with that, we have a little bit of everything, whether we love it or not. The best part about the show is that it’s inspirational, and it shows home cooking in a way that nothing else on TV really does. As for the negative side of the coin, it’s often sappier than it needs to be, and it feels like there’s too much time wasted in these opening rounds on extraneous things that are not really necessary to the competition (such as wasting a few minutes on someone’s proposal who we will never see again).

So this is the “Facts of Life” of audition shows: You take the good with the bad. You want to get to know some of these people, but you also wish that it was a little more panoramic than just a few story notes meant to easily identify each one of them. Thankfully, we still had Gordon Ramsay showing off that he can be nicer than he is on “Hell’s Kitchen,” and we’re still sure that Joe Bastianich is secretly a villain from a James Bond movie.

Note: Our review is from the first hour of Wednesday’s two-part premiere.

Advancing cooks

Natasha – She looks almost like a secret Kardashian sister, though we’re not sure that this is what she wants to hear. This single mom was the first to enter the kitchen, and we’re consistently amazed at how quickly people can assemble their dishes in front of the judges. Our favorite part of the auditions is always Joe’s look of indignation before tasting, but he and the other judges were quickly believers. Expect to see Natasha around for a while.

Brian – This guy cooks roadkill. Such a wonderful representation of people from Texas (ugg). The guy’s “signature” was a beaver tail, which is at least creative. We actually want to see someone with a different sort of style like his in the next round, even if he is somewhere around grade-A annoying.

Jordan – Touching story about his mother, but we also don’t like how this burdens him for the rest of the season and puts him within a certain box. As for the dish … well, it looked like something straight out of “Top Chef.” There has yet to be a male winner of “MasterChef,” and this guy will have a shot to be the first.

Adriana – This is an emotional story that we can get behind! She comes from a tiny village in Mexico, and has moved to America in order to try and make some of her dreams come true. We’ve never had a cactus soap, but the dish really looked good. We would have tasted it, and at least two of the three judges agreed.

Eliminated cooks

George – This was by far the most ridiculous thing that we’ve ever seen. Was this really an audition, or just a reason for this guy to propose to his girlfriend on TV? Also, did Ramsay bait him into this? If she had said no, this would have been disaster city … and he didn’t get an apron! Why would you want to propose after just being rejected from the show? Maybe we’re just not romantics.

Christine – Hey, her name has a great legacy on this show, and going on this show at age 19 is pretty darn ambitious … maybe even too much so. You don’t want to go on this show before you’re ready, though there is always a concern that this sort of thing gets canceled, and you then have nowhere else to go. It’s a no for now, but the journey continues.

What did you think about the start of “MasterChef” this season? If you want to check out what Gordon had to say prior to the start of the episode, just be sure to visit the link here.

Photo: Fox

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