Can you believe we’ve made it to the top 10? Tonight, our kid chefs enter the kitchen and find only Gordon and Christina awaiting their arrival. Graham is waiting to make his big entrance – in a chicken suit, of course.
The kids correctly guess that their first challenge of the night will be egg related. Only four lucky kids will get to compete for immunity in the Elimination Test. To decide who gets a spot, each cheftestant grabs an egg and cracks it over Graham’s head – he is the top chicken after all – if the yolk is red or blue, they’re moving on to compete.
In the end, Zac and Kamilly grab spots on the red team, while Kya and Amaya don blue aprons. They’ll be working in teams to see who can make the most correctly cooked deviled eggs in 12 minutes.
You didn’t think it would be that simple did you? Tonight’s twist might be my favorite one this season: There will be a third team competing, and it’s Gordon and Graham. To keep things fair, this yellow team will only have six minutes to peel their eggs, blend their filling, and season their eggs to perfection.
Obviously, they won’t let Gordon and Graham win the challenge, but it is fun to watch the two chefs grab their MasterChef Junior aprons and do their thing. After 12 minutes, Christina inspects each team’s plates and deems Zac and Kamilly the winners. They’re sent to the Great Safety Zone in the Sky, and their fellow eight competitors settle in to hear what their Elimination Test will entail.
THE ELIMINATION TEST
Tonight’s test is all about dreams! Graham admits that his childhood dream of publishing a cookbook just came true — plug, plug — and the kiddos were asked to begin writing their own. Tonight, they’ll pull one signature recipe from those adorable handmade books — Kya named hers Kya’s Culinary Kaleidoscope, you guys! — and attempt to show the judges who they are as chefs and people. This show is real deep, y’all.
After 60 minutes of cooking, the judges select two dishes for best of the night:
Avery, 9, Baton Rouge, LA
Crawfish Étouffée (with rice)
The judges are blown away by how perfectly this dish sums up who Avery is. She eats, lives, and breathes the bayou, and it really shows. Gordon finds it visually stunning, and Christina thinks the flavors are bold and the amount of crawfish is spot on. They all agree that Avery made her papa proud.
Amaya, 10, Bergenfield, NJ
Shrimp Asopao (with fried plantains)
Amaya’s dish also stands out because of how connected it is to her. She chose a Dominican stew that had been cooked by her grandmother and mother. Christina is wowed by the depth and complexity of the flavors, and Graham thinks Amaya did a great job of letting the star ingredient – the shrimp – really shine.
Not everyone was able to present a plate with personality as well as those two ladies, though. The judges found three dishes to be sub-par in this signature dish challenge:
Kaitlyn, 11, Yorktown Heights, NY
Black Forest Cupcake (with raspberries)
Poor Kaitlyn knew she was in trouble from the get-go. When Gordon found out all she was presenting was one cupcake with simple frosting, he warned that she better make the best cupcake of her life. That’s a lot of pressure for an 11-year old, and we all know how well Kaitlyn copes with pressure. Well, the cupcake looks great, but the frosting is so buttery it’s almost inedible, and Gordon once again calls her out for only making a cupcake, instead of a fully realized dish.
Addison, 9, River Forest, IL
Apple Danish (with orange and passion fruit cream)
This is not a typo – Addison is in the bottom three. Though dessert is definitely her thing, and Christina applauds her creative flavor combinations, all the judges agree our girl Addy can do better than a Danish. It tastes fine, but the presentation is underwhelming and it doesn’t really represent the spunky, technically skilled kid chef we know and love.
Corey, 12, Surprise, AZ
Jerk Chicken (with red rice and carrots)
Corey’s homage to his Caribbean roots suffers from a big case of the I-forgot-to-turn-the-oven-ons. It’s cool, Corey, we’ve all been there. He swears he actually baked his chicken for 35 minutes, but his completely raw meat tells a different story. Gordon can’t taste the main ingredient, and the sides are all undercooked as well. He was a fan of the idea, but the execution is a complete misfire.
It’s no surprise that the judges send Kaitlyn and Corey home. There’s lots of tears with this one, mainly from Kaitlyn, but also from me when Gordon tells her, “head up high, my darling.” SWOON. Don’t worry, Kait, you’ll totally appreciate that more in, like, six years.
We should all stop our crying though – there’s another full hour of MasterChef Junior to go! Our top 8 find a dreaded Mystery Box awaiting each of them at their stations. To fill us in on what ingredients await, we have a special guest: Christina’s BFF and mom, Greta! She’s so excited to be here, probably because she’s ready to crush some kids’ dreams. I’m just guessing!
NEXT: A Mystery Box Challenge puts Christina Tosi in the spotlight