Tonight on MasterChef: The last person you’d think gets squeezed out of the top 10 like a spare macaron (look, I finally spelled it correctly, if we’re being all French about it) atop an overstuffed cookie box. Plus: Eva Longoria, the judges in wetsuits, a home cook who has NEVER PREPARED CHICKEN, and a bully ready to rumble. Spoilers ahead!
Eliminated: Sweat Rag Lynn and Surprise Real Contestant Savannah
“Tonight it’s an A-list Mystery Box.” Maybe it’s a big cow, offered Savannah, a random woman they’d found on the street. Not exactly — it was actress Eva Longoria, who recently opened up a STUNNING restaurant in Vegas with “a feminine take on life.” That’s great; I’ve been searching for one for all these years. Eva Longoria was so stressed out about the Mexican Freshness Challenge that she switched from delicately petting her hair to gently clasping it.
Bri won! She just had to poach and lightly grill some shrimp. I was dying for all of the corn salads here. Not just Bri’s. I wanted to gobble up most of the pork dishes. It’s always such a buzzkill when they barely mention or show the food beyond the chosen three.
No one was happier for Bri’s good fortune than Natasha.
Elimination Challenge: Bri assigned Natasha the steak dinner in 30 minutes while everyone else got a whole hour to bake something strawberry-and-banana-related in a STUNNING commercial for Walmart. No way did that baking box ring in under $5. Even if that’s true, I’ll just take a completed cake for $10, thanks. Well, unless it’s….
AGGGHHH! NO! WHAT IS IT? EVIL! The judges reacted with horror to whatever that mess was Lynn had on his plate, but first they threw some curveballs with a pronounced “That. Is incredible!” and quick cut to commercial. Had Lynn pulled it off after all despite his distaste for strawberry jam? What was on that freaking plate? Creepy head? Please be a creepy head.
Ewwwww, it was these. They kind of look like peanut butter birds who’d gotten caught in a storm of bird crap. (The other birds had probably been eating everyone else’s desserts.) “WHAT’S THE GREY BITS?” demanded an incredulous Gordon Ramsay. Banana puree, insisted Lynn. “It’s like eating a wall insulator. It’s rancid,” Ramsay continued. And then: “That is the worst dish I have seen on a plate in four years of MasterChef.” Whoa!
So Sweat Rag Lynn, who had persevered and perspired through so many challenges, had to go home despite a track record of visually refined and inventive dishes. Everyone was stunned; they thought he’d win it all. “Oh my gosh,” whimpered Bethy. (Who? Get out of here. That’s not a real person.)
Team Challenge: Feed 101 hungry Huntington Beach surfers the defining California cuisine. “What do surfers eat? Aren’t they, like, unemployed weirdos?” wondered Krissi. Easy: They eat fish tacos, or “tack-ohs” in British. Jessie, who’d won the five-dolla bake off, got to pick her own Blue Team of all-stars: James, Eddie, Bethy (her?), and for a little artistic flair and a whole lotta eye rolling, Natasha. “Holy advantage!” exclaimed Bri, who until this day had likely refused to even acknowledge the concept of the fish taco. Fish have feelings. They feel great in your tummy.
Jessie chose Savannah to head up the second string, and she delivered a fiery little “We’re gonna kick their asses!” motivational speech that was decidedly much more seasoned than the plain cabbage slaw she insisted on serving. Meanwhile on the all-star team, sauce master James’ first stab at a pineapple relish was a miss. “That’s not an evolving heat; that’s like a stab in the throat,” said Graham. The same could be said about his outfit.
Who won this Battle of the Bulge? I say Joe. I’m as surprised as you are.
The tack-oh challenge culminated in a wobbly jungle gym of surfboards and a ready-to-go sign: “Blue Team Shreds!” Ho hum: Mahi mahi won out over cod. And Krissi was about to beat up everybody.
Pressure Test: Cook a STUNNING chicken breast — eh, make it three, one for each of the judges in their preferred styles. In the most enviable scene of the episode, the losing Red Team convened in the *wine room* (more like whine room am I right?) for some good old-fashioned bitchery — stunningly not instigated by wine. Everyone ganged up on Krissi, most of all Bri, who declared “All you ever wanna do is hit everyone in the face” and then amusingly added “DAMN I hope you go home.” Fightin’ words from the vegetarian wallflower!
“You better hold onto your knives, cause this bitch is coming for you,” seethed Krissi before the pressure test. Bri thinks Krissi is just a bully who secretly knows Bri is better than her. I think Krissi is about to legitimately tackle someone atop a hot stove before the season’s out.
With Jordan exempt due to congeniality, Savannah, Luca, and Bri served up raw chicken, clinching Krissi’s place in the top 9. All the shots of pink chicken flesh were brutal, but especially Luca’s dish for Joe, which momentarily confused me as I was hoping, horrified, that maybe that stretchy pink stuff was simply part of the prosciutto stuffing!
OTHER GOOPY BITS:
Best few seconds: Bri seemingly dancing The Robot in her cooking station instead of dealing with the chicken.
Most cringe-inducing few seconds: “[Bri] is the epitome of the girls I used to beat up in high school. I hate her.” –Krissi
I really wanted to pound shots of: Jordan’s cilantro lime sauce.
‘Stunning’ count for the evening: 5
What Would Gordon Do? “I. Would make a beautiful strawberry and banana tart. Then. A delicious custard.”
Next week: A sausage-making challenge and more fistfight threats from Krissi. Sadly, I will be out of the office and not posting about MasterChef for the next two weeks. I’m sorry! If you happen to find me, you should definitely beat me up. Don’t forget your knives.
Are you all planning on watching Top Chef this summer, by the way? Just wondering. #DontStabMe