‘MasterChef’ review: Why Natasha’s awfulness makes for great TV

MasterChefWe almost don’t want to spend any time at all focusing on the first hour of “MasterChef” tonight, mostly because it completely falls flat in comparison to the rest of the episode. We’re so happy that producers wasted no time in getting us to the part of the show that we really like: The mystery box challenges, and the elimination tasks straight from the show’s famous kitchen.

While we don’t know if we love every character on the show this season, mostly because we don’t know everyone yet, casting did a brilliant job for some of these people. For one, Natasha is brilliantly lawful: She’s basically the reality TV equivalent of Sadie from “Awkward,” someone ready to fire off snide remarks left and right. What makes this even more ridiculous / awesome is that her “rival,” Krissy, is not really that much better or likable. We are predicting it now that these two are going to spend so much time giving each other dirty looks that they will eventually lose focus on what they’re actually trying to do and get eliminated. Having Natasha win the first mystery box was really just icing on the entertainment cake.

We also enjoyed the first elimination task involving langoustine, mostly because it’s something that we’ve honestly never had once in our lives. (Then again, we don’t eat a ton of shellfish.) It was clear that most of the cooks had no clue what to do with it, since they took “langoustine” to mean “funny-looking lobster.” We had some contestants just basically give it lobster and shrimp dishes, whereas others at least tried to think creatively. We have no recollection as to who Jessie is, but she won the first task with tempura … so congrats!

As for the first elimination, the sad news is that we were going to be losing someone that was somewhat-memorable. Sasha the singer tried to make it into grits (bad choice), Howard served up a plate of practically nothing), and then we had Malcolm just overcook it to oblivion. While Natasha hovered over the three like a power-hungry warlord, it was singer Sasha who was sent home. It’s a shame, too, since she thought her dish was worth $55 bucks, and we needed a big personality like hers to last in the competition.

As for who we’re pulling for right now, Jessie does seem likable, but our #1 pick is “lobster crackerjack” Johnny, since he seems like the kind of guy we would want to hang out with in real life.

Photo: Fox

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