Well, guys…here we are. Did you miss me? I sure missed you. I guess that’s the issue with these summer shows…they’re on for a couple of months, and then off for 9! I was worried I’d have totally fallen out of my rhythm over the last 9 months, but as I slipped into something a little more comfortable (fleece stretchy pants, to be exact) and locked into my ass-print on the couch, I realized something: my dinner, on the season premier of a much lauded cooking show, was cold pizza. And not the good Chicago deep-dish stuff that I could get from any number of places within a 10 minute walk of me…cold Papa John’s pizza. I clearly have the refined palate of the 10 year old boy that I am at heart, and have no business recapping this show. Lucky for me, I came in at the right time, and Flipit just didn’t know better. There was no entrance exam question of “would you prefer cold, shitty pizza over something with truffles?” So here I am, enjoying a bottle of beer that cost more than my dinner, recapping a show that’s out of my league, and laughing to myself because somehow this all seems so, so right.
Welcome to the season premier of…
Strap on your lollerskates and let’s go watch Ramsay pwn some n00bs!
So how do you think they’ll kick off the second season of MasterChef? If you said “dramatic montage lasting over two minutes that will contain a plethora of spoilers, absolutely zero clips of my beloved Whitney winning it all last year, and an introduction to our three judges featuring them saying their exact same self-intros from last season (just wearing different clothes and shot on a different background),” you’d be absolutely correct!!!
So is season 2 of MasterChef going to be The Hangover 2, or Rush Hour 2? That is…will they use the EXACT same jokes again with a slightly different backdrop? Or will they REVERSE the exact same jokes on a slightly different backdrop? Time will tell.
Well…at least one thing’s new. Seriously, guys…a helicopter?
There’s no mention, at least in the intro, of a cookbook deal…only the $250k prize. What a disappointment, right?
Alright, so, as I said, the montage contains our three judges returning from last year, and yes…they actually re-shot the introductions, but recited almost exactly the same words. I think the attempt is to make them seem that much more intimidating than last year. Teddy Graham whips off his glasses and fixes the camera with a stare so intense it could only be compared to that of a Koala.
I mean, this guy has a restaurant right down the street from me called “Grahamwich.” Intimidating, he is not.
Bastage tells us, again, that he owns 24 of the world’s best Italian restaurants, and 3 award-winning wineries. More like “whineries,” amiright?
And seriously, who stuck him in this pose. It’s like the kind of pose I would’ve expected them to prop FDR in when they took him out of his wheelchair, hoping the public wouldn’t notice that, thanks to Polio, his legs didn’t work.
I hope Bastage’s legs work. It’s really tough to kick ass and take names without legs. But Lieutenant Dan!!! You ain’t got no legs!!
Wait…where am I?
Last, but not least, is Gordie. Gordon Fucking Ramsay. The reason people are watching the show. And how does he introduce himself?
I believe the call this “filleting the fish.”
Wow, “filleting the fish” just sounds dirty. And I don’t mean in a bacteria & parasites kinda way. I’m not really sure what that little maneuver would be…wait, yes. Yes, I think I’ve got an image now. Ew.
Alright, so we know the judges. Now what we learn, still thanks to the intro, is that there can be only one MasterChef, but more importantly, right now we’re in the audition round, and they’ve got 38 aprons to hand out to 100 people. I’m no mathlete, but I’m pretty sure that’s less than half.
After they take turns explaining the rules, Gordie takes a moment to explain that “nob’dy ever talks about the second best dish they’ve ever tasted.” Wait, what? Yeah they do…all the time…and third best, and fourth best, and so on. Either that, or I’m stuck in some kind of Groundhog Day routine with my friends, and just so happen to talk to every fucking one of them RIGHT after they’ve eaten the best dish they ever tasted. He also says “there’s no award for the second best chef anywhere…”
I’m pretty sure they all mentioned something about an award while introducing themselves…
He asks if anyone there thinks they’re the next MasterChef, and the room erupts in applause. Also, there’s one douche that’s whistling shrilly instead of clapping. Man, I hate those people. Anyways, they all think they’ll be the next MasterChef, and Ramsay tells them that the 3 guys in the front of the room will be the ultimate judge of that.
I smell apprehension…also, this reminds me…I need to replace Whitney. She seems nice…
So, we’re off to the races. Man, that asshole won’t stop whistling!! FUCK!
Our first contestant contestant is Jennifer. I know what you’re all thinking…but, no…this is not Whit2.0. In fact, she barely has time to open her mouth before I find myself hoping she gets voted off…
Not that I have anything against girls who laugh obnoxiously every time they say something they think is funny, and snort while they’re laughing because it’s “dorky,” and they think that makes them cute, but…wait, yes…yes I do.
She’s a former beauty queen, who describes herself as a “boy with boobs, that likes to wear high heels and put makeup on? I’m a competitive person by nature? I was Ms Deleware, USA? I end every sentence with an upward inflection? Like I’m asking a question?” JENNIFER, STOP ASKING ME SO MANY FUCKING QUESTIONS!
And good grief, she laughs after every sentence. And, seriously…a boy with boobs, who likes to wear high heels and put makeup on? That’s called a drag queen. I’m pretty sure they have pageants, too. She tells us not to “let the blonde hair, nice smile, and high heels fool [us],” but then seems to immediately forget where she’s going with that. Also, what’s with her outfit? Someone’s been playing too much Street Fighter…
Wtf, Cammy…a cooking competition? You’ve gone domestic…
Gordie tells her to take her granddad’s hat off. She makes a curried coconut and lentil soup with spicy meatball shrimp. She made the curry from scratch, which impresses everyone until Gordie notices that she put carrots in it. Gordie swears for the first time in the episode. TG is more impressed than Gordie, and Bastage helps himself to two spoonfuls, and then makes a funny face.
They all sit back down. TG gives the first vote, and it’s a yes. Bastage chimes in right after, and she interrupts him to tell him she can do this, and to just give her a chance. I fear that everyone watched last year’s show, and knows that begging works. Bastage says “no,” and I laugh. It’s down to Gordie, and he’s got a chance to flex his villain chops right here, but he declines! DAMMIT! Gordie votes yes, and the first contestant is through!!! Bastage does not look so pleased…
This is why we can’t have nice things…
He tells Gordie and TG that he thought the dish was rehearsed, and that she fooled both of them. Ramsay counters with “snob.” Despite agreeing with Bastage in the whole “not wanting Cammy to get through” thing, I have to lol @ Ramsay’s retort.
Anyways, now’s the fun part. We get the failures. And there are some good ones.
“I think I’m a peacock and I need to fly.”
Wait, what? That raises an interesting question for me, as I’ve always assumed peacocks don’t fly very well. So, after a little research, well…it appears I wasn’t entirely wrong. Also, sorry, but we had an Indian chick in the competition last year…you had no chance.
Oh, crap! It’s Robert Pattinson! Quick, someone call Buffy!! Maybe she can explain to him why fucking Vampires DON’T GLITTER IN THE SUN!!!! And then stab him in the fucking heart!
RobPat prepares “fiesta lime…er…it’s like chicken fajitas…or it could be a burrito” for the judges. It’s not surprising he didn’t use steak (get it? steak? stake? Bueller?). They ask what he brings to the competition…“drive and energy,” he says. And an undying love for underage girls coupled with a Mormon set of morals and virtues, I’d guess? Well, they make him run laps and do push-ups…Como se dice “no” en Espanol? Ah, right. “NO!”
“It’s like you’re wearing the wrong clothes and putting lipstick on your big toe.” What, Gordie? What the fuck does that mean?
Alright, next up, we get another story. It’s Albert, a truck driver from Mississippi, and ironically (considering his name), he’s cookin’ ‘gator. Why is that ironic, you ask? Oh, just look it up! Why aren’t more of you college football fans?!?!?
Albert tells us the “closest thing that tastes like alligator would be toad.” That sentence is missing something…
…like maybe a front tooth….
He tells the judges he’s cookin’ “triple tail gator,” also known as “alligator three-ways.” I guess if you were cold-blooded, that’d sound pretty fucking hot. Hell, maybe even if you were lukewarm blooded. Gordie asks if he’s a big fan of gator, and he gives a Palin-esque reply that he’s not afraid of anything with two legs, four legs, or no legs, and he’ll cook it all. Gordie asks what he won’t eat…
Then Gordie notices his chest tattoo. An “eagle with a Harley Davidson banner on it.” He then tells them he’s got one on his butt, and asks if they’d like to see it.
I can’t tell if FOX blurring this out makes it look better or worse.
Bastage asks him to please wash his hands before touching the food again. He obliges. Gordie asks if he “lives in the bush.” He’s like oh hell yeah…oh, wait…by “bush” you mean forest. Well, the answer is still yes, just not as emphatically.
Anyways, he presents his gator three-way to the judges. Gordie steps up first, tries a piece, sighs heavily, and goes back to his seat. TG is next, and as TG is like to do, digs the fuck in, and returns to his seat. Bastage, in true Bastage fashion, tells a story as he approaches. This time, it’s that this is the first time he’s ever eaten reptile.
He then begins the ritual “sniffing” of the food. I’m surprised he doesn’t find a peasant boy in the crowd to taste it first, just to be certain it won’t kill him.
He takes a bite!!! He chews slowly. He then gives Albert a glare, and returns to his seat. Review time! Bastage says he thought this was a a joke…but then he tasted it, and it’s delicious! Gordie seconds and TG thirds (TG always has thirds), and Albert is through!! Gordie tells him “see you later, alligator!”
Albert, in his post-review interview, tells us that Gordie “is a sonofabitch, but he’s an honest sonofabitch because he’ll shoot you like it is, and he won’t fuck you.” That statement, too, is missing teeth.
Next up is another round of failures. These are so bad that they take up about 30 seconds of screen time, give me NO opportunity for funny screen caps or witticisms, and the only thing I remember is Ramsay calling one dish “dehydrated dog’s turd.” Hm.
So next up is Boston Rob…er…Mike. He’s not really from Boston…but apparently close enough that the show tells us he’s from Boston even though he says some other town that’s not Boston. Then again, I always said I was from Atlanta even though I was actually from Duluth, GA, about 30 minutes north. So whatever. Sometimes lying is just easier.
Mike is a firefighter. He loves to cook. He cooks for his fellow firemen. I can only imagine the ribbing he gets. I’m sure they call him things that I will not even write here, and you guys know by now I’m not shy with words. They probably also love him, because they don’t have to have Donovan McNabb’s mom feed them Campbell’s Chunky Fucking Soup every day.
Gordie tells him he couldn’t have picked a worse person to feed risotto than Bastage. Bastage clenches his jaw and glares.
I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
Well, things start off badly when Gordie notices that Mike burned the piece of halibut. He can’t believe the irony…a firefighter BURNED something?!? Clearly Gordie isn’t a Ray Bradbury fan…
TG tries the food, he thinks it’s “yummy.” I’m already tired of hearing a nationally-renowned culinary master say “yummy.” Bastage tries it, then asks if Mike is a Red Sox fan. Well, of course he is. Bastage shakes his head. Bastage, what are you? A Yankees fan? Born and raised in Queens, which is METS territory!! And went to college in BOSTON. Oh, wait. I get it. You picked the team that wins more. And then shake your head at the guy who stuck with his home town team. GROAN! Suck it, Bastage.
So, unsurprisingly, Bastage gives him a no. TG gives him a yes, because he’s the softie. Gordie says he’s frustrated. Mike tells him that he’s a good learner (ugh, more of this). Gordie says no…but that Mike should continue cooking. Mike goes out and greets his family. Gordie is annoyed, and goes out into the lobby! It’s gonna be like TG last year, giving that girl an apron after telling her no!!!
Oh, wait. Nevermind. He tells Mike that if he keeps working at it, he’ll guarantee him a spot in next year’s show! Well, almost as good. Then Mike’s kid gets some face time…and tells Gordie that his dad will be back next year!
…and I think he has more teeth than Albert.
Welp, next up…Monica Chung. And whaddaya know…she’s Korean, and also a very talented musician. WHEN WILL THE SURPRISES END?!?!? I’m actually halfway shocked that they didn’t show her doing advanced calculus on one of those fancy glass boards you see in the movies.
The only thing missing is her overbearing parents standing behind her with a cane.
Oh, wait…while she’s prepping her food, her mom tastes it and tells her it’s too salty. Poor, typical asian kid, can never do anything good enough for her parents…
Well, the judges all try her dish, and they all agree it’s great, and with 3 yes votes, she’s in! I feel like, in my second viewing of this episode, I’ve started to develop a soft spot for this one here. But her segment was too short, so I’m sure she’ll get knocked out early. We’ll see how I feel next week.
Wait, no, fuck it. That would be breaking with tradition from last year. Pony #1, here we go. I guess you guys may not know that I’m an ex-band nerd (if you can ever be an EX-band nerd), and her piano playing kinda gives her an unfair advantage.
She runs outside, and mom hugs her! ASIAN MOTHER APPROVES!!!!
Remember this face. Can I pick it two years in a row?!?
Alright, now it’s FINALLY time for a flurry of yesses. Well, three or four.
Including this one…who could’ve had a shot at Whit2.0, if it weren’t for the fact that she was part of a montage. Oh, also, she brought her boyfriend with her. Nope, not Whit2.0.
The judges confer, and decide that this year’s auditioneers are SO MUCH BETTER than last year’s. Gordie goes out to tell everyone…the bar is raised. Now everyone is like “fuck, who blew the curve?!? Oh, clearly, the Asian girl!”
Next up is Tracy. She’s always wanted to be a cook, but chose a different career path. She starts crying just talking to the camera, and tells us she’s just like everyone in America who’s had a dream…
Seriously, people, step it the fuck up. You watched last year, right? You might have to say something to the camera. Maybe think about it for two seconds? Or don’t…you’re just making my job easier.
So, Tracy, who looks like a mix between Sarah Chalke and Maggie Gyllanhaal (which should be a good thing because I love them both eversomuch, but for some reason just isn’t quite working for me) heads into the room. They start asking her questions, and…oh, man…now I realize why I don’t like her so much. Someone just woke up Sarah fucking Palin. I mean, this is bad. Like the Katie Couric interviews bad. Like where is Terry Tate to go all “YOU’RE TALKIN’ SO MUCH GOBBLEDYGOOK TERRY TATE HAD TO REAR HIS HEAD!” bad…
DOSVEDONYA, BABY! WHOOOO!!!!
Well, they’re not impressed by her gobbledygook, and then she pours truffle oil on the dish. So Bastage tells her that truffle oils are made by perfumists, not chefs, and don’t actually have truffles in them, and that it’s a sure sign she doesn’t know what she’s doing. And Gordie tells her he’s in complete disbelief that she’s just done that.
What’s that (w)ringing? Oh, it’s your hands.
And this one’s a crier, too. Gordie says no. TG, of course, since he’s ALWAYS the second one to choose, has it easy. All he has to do is say “yes,” and the bad guy onus is shifted to Bastage. TG says yes. Bastage calls her over. Bastage tells her that unfortunately she’s going to have to…
…keep cooking! She’s through! First Steve Perry psych-out of the season! SHOULDA BEEN GOOOOONE!!
And, now, for another montage of failures. First, there’s “Gladys Knight.” Wow, a slightly larger black lady who sings. She fails. Gordie tells her that she must’ve gotten this confused with the X Factor. Clever plug, FOX!! Next is a white girl who raps. She’s cute, which is just a waste, since she thinks she can rap. TG tells her to “bust-a-move that way.” LOL TG, <3.
The last of the trio is another black lady, who describes herself as a “bad mutha fucka in the kitchen.” WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!? Because we’re in montage mode, I have no idea what she cooked. It looked like soup of some sort, with raw meat in it? Whatever. Bastage says “aw hellz naw” or something like that. Teddy Graham goes the other way and gives her a yes, and Bastage actually says “really?!?” out loud. Gordie asks her what this means to her.
Among the things no one should ever say when on their knees…and I quote: “Give it to me right now! PLEASE GIVE IT TO ME!!”
I should rephrase. There’s a time and place for everything, including that. Just this is not the time nor place.
Gordie tells her to stand the fuck up, and gives her an apron. Ugh. Bastage tells him “you’re gonna lose that bet.” I die!
Welp, next up is Christian. A fitting name, considering he’s dressing some smokin’ redhead (who I am assuming is not his wife/girlfriend/mistress…just because…it can’t be, dammit…) up like Eve. Which is to say he’s undressing her, and covering her with (in)conveniently placed leaves. And he’s serving our judges body sushi. The judges point out that “sushi” isn’t exactly “cooking,” and tell him “goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.”
No, actually, they didn’t. Gordie made a play with “the naked truth.” Because they’re assholes. But they should have said that, and I would have, so Mr. Adams, please rest in peace knowing at at least one person would have done you proud in this situation.
And, as would be expected, a detailed failure just leads to a montage of failures. One of the failures is a police officer. So we’ve got a cop and a firefighter, and both got shot down. No pun intended.
After that disaster, we have a surprise! A Scottish woman! Gordie flips a fuckin’ switch…suddenly he’s Scottish! I mean, he’s clearly always been Scottish, but seriously, he never sounds Scottish to me. Ever. He just sounds English. Except now.
Chef R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-(that’s a tongue-rolling “R”)-R-R-R-R-R-Ramsay!!
Well, anyways, she’s made Scottish salmon and haggis en croute. Honestly I’m not sure if that should be “en” or “on,” but I’ve only ever seen it “en croute,” so even though it seems weird for a Scottish dish…whatever. Euro-fusion?
Anyways, Gordie is super pumped, and TG also enjoys Haggis. Bastage, again, is about to experience a first. Worst. World. Renowned. Chef. Evar. So Gordie asks her to tell Bastage what haggis is. Lamb’s heart and kidneys boiled inside a sheep’s stomach. And somehow she makes it sound so delicious. Though, the fucking thing is, regardless of how vile it sounds to some of us, I’m sure Bastage has been to Scotland. And, assuming I’m right in that…haggis is kind of well-known as a signature dish. Which means…if you visit fucking Scotland, you eat fucking haggis.
Well, Bastage goes first, and he does not like haggis. He can’t believe he had to eat it. TG and Gordie laugh at him. TG loves it. Gordie says it makes him homesick.
They vote. Bastage says no. Gordie can’t fuckin’ believe it. Bastage defends himself by pronouncing his love for the Scottish people, but he just doesn’t like that dish. TG loves it, votes yes. Gordie…he says “no”….
…“to that apron!”
GORDIE! He’s giggling! WHAT THE HELL IS THIS, OPPOSITE DAY?!?! Gordon Fucking Ramsay is giddy as a schoolboy. He gives her the apron!
And then she goes outside, and her husband drops a very Austin Powers “YEAH, BABY, YEAH!”
Ramsay still can’t believe Bastage didn’t like it.
“Put some olive oil on it…FUCK!”
Man, I laughed so hard at the olive oil bit. And it was fun seeing Gordie in this light, I won’t lie. It was touching. I mean, like…oh, fuck it, what am I talking about? Moving on.
Our last contestant of the day is your typical story. He lost his way as a teenager, made a kid, lost custody of him at some point due to rampant drug use…wait, what? Is this 16 and pregnant? No? Oh, right, the story continues. He turned his life around, got custody of his kid again, now has another, and one more bun in the oven, and realized he loved to cook when he stopped baking (see what I did there?).
Well, he’s another fucking person from Massachusetts. And this is a BFD for the guy, because, well, I think he’s still recovering from turning his life around.
He makes Shipwreck Stew, which is basically shellfish on tomato juice or something. It looks delicious, but my oversimplified explanation made it sound disgusting, or at least weak. Bastage tells him that he hopes “Shipwreck Stew” isn’t his Culinary Titanic. Oh, Joey, you sly dog.
Bastage tries it first, makes a face, and sits down. TG tries it next and, wordlessly, returns to his seat. Gordie is third. He points out that Christian (wtf, ANOTHER guy named Christian?!?) looks very nervous.
Pale…clammy…withdrawal? We’re hoping not.
Gordie is super impressed. Bastage says it’s the kind of dish that wins competitions like this one. He gets 3 yes votes! The judges polish off the dish! There’s a celebration, bitches!
And, now, we’re at the “next episode on…” part. So this is where I leave you.
Well, except…I have mixed feelings about this time around. I like a few of the people that got through, but at the same time, everything felt more “rehearsed” this year. I don’t feel like we got the genuine characters we had last year. I mean…Whitney <3<3<3, Sharone, DK, Faruq, Tebow…Lee…even Slim Shady…that was a good bunch. I’m just afraid of a sophomore slump. But we’ll see.
In the meantime, goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.