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Well, if I hadn’t already used the title of “Motherboy,” I’d have used it here. Whoops. C’mon guys, throw me a bone here. Why? You’ll see soon enough, I guess. In case you forgot already, Errrrrym got eliminated last week. What does that mean for MasterChef? For starters, it means we’re back down to an even number of contestants, and that means TEAM CHALLENGE!! It also means that now we don’t have a straightforward way of determining which team will win the challenge, since, well, Errrrrrryn was 3-0.
On a side note, I was struggling to get this recap done because, coincidentally enough, my mom was visiting me in Chicago for the first time since I moved a year ago. She also brought my dog back to me (he’d been vacationing in Atlanta for the last couple of months…).
It’s funny, with these team challenges. You start to learn a lot about the captains really quickly every time. There are the captains who pick the people they like, and then the captains who pick the people that they think will help them the best. This time around, Tracy is the stone-cold killa, and uses her second pick on Born Again Christian. Yeah, the guy is a fuck, but he’s definitely a solid cook. I’m not sure why people haven’t learned that, with him, just give him a task and stick him in the corner. This, of course, comes after It’s-a Me, Mario tells us that he doesn’t want Christian on his team. Well, if you’re wondering, Christian is 3-0, as well…and unlike Errrrryn, has actually contributed to his team’s success. He’s also a giant fuck.
So the teams sort themselves out. Tracy picks YoAdrien, BAChristian, Cammy, and Hooch. Mario picks Alejandra, Ben, Suzy, and Deathmetal Derrick. And then, they’re told that today they’ll be cooking for three of the toughest critics IN ALL ZE VORLD!!!
Tracy starts jumping up and down, and then crying, over the sight of Lidia Bastianich (I’m happy and angry…). Everyone seems both nervous and excited to be cooking for the moms…
“This is a-gonna be a challenge. These are not-a normal moms. These-a are super moms! Ah ah ah ah.”
So the challenge is to create dishes that appeal to all three moms. Each captain gets two minutes to interview the moms to find out what they like vs don’t like. Ms Ramsay seems to be the biggest obstacle, because she just poos on what the other moms like. I’d hate to be one of the team captains for this challenge. The rest of their teams have to rely on them to figure out what to make, so really this time, more than ever, the captains are responsible for their team’s fate. No pressure or anything.
Now that they’ve gotten the interview, the teams get an hour to plan and prepare their meal. Tracy has decided that even though Ms Ramsay isn’t a fish lover. Her hope is that Christian can make a fish that’s good enough to win the other two mom’s votes, I guess. They’re doing a carrot soup for the appetizer, and poached pears for dessert.
On the red team, It’s-a Me, Mario is planning crispy polenta with arugula for the appetizer, pasta carbonara for the entree, and apple pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert.
One of these things is not like the others…
Ben seems to take issue with the fact that they’ve got an Italian app and an Italian entree, but apple pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Granted, the judges aren’t basing their voting on the cohesiveness of the 3 courses. But still, I see where Ben is coming from.
So the teams set off to cook the most mom-pleasing courses they can come up with. The blue team sets off to make their carrot soup, and Bastage swoops in and questions whether they really think the moms will be happy with something so…how do you say?…simple. The red team is trying to prepare crispy polenta, but Deathmetal Derrick has never made crispy polenta. Also, apparently preparing it in an hour would be a feat of record.
So while the polenta-debacle is going on for the red team, Born Again Christian is up to his usual shenanigans on the blue team. He can’t believe that Tracy would think that garnishing the soup with a swirl of topping was a good idea.
Christian, it’d be one thing if you weren’t always “giving suggestions.” But you are. Always. So no one cares. Ever.
THEN Christan decides to second-guess Tracy’s decision to sprinkle thyme on the soup. She tells us that he’s decided he’s going to fight her on everything, and while he may be a good cook, STFU Christian.
Bastage comes in and tells everyone to stop cooking, because it’s time to feed their mothers. We all know how moms get when they’re hungry, after all. Tracy and Alejandra bring the first round of dishes out to the moms. The both explain their dishes, and then each of them says something in Italian, but I don’t know what because all I know is “Molto Bella” and “Ay, Carramba!”
I kid, I kid…I know “Molto Bella” isn’t Italian…
Anyway, the moms dig in and bastage, like any waiter in any restaurant ever, interrupts their meal by asking how everything is.
Ya know, it’d be better if your mop-n-glo head wasn’t interrupting.
So, for the appetizer course, Lidia seems to speak for everyone. Bastage asks how the carrot soup was, and she says “I was looking for the carrot, but couldn’t find it.” Sounds like my last date…here I was thinking she was making fun of me, but really it must’ve just had something to do with less-than-flavorful carrot soup. Then Lidia also tells him she wished that the red team had used different greens for the salad. Can’t be pleased, I guess.
Back in the kitchen, the teams have 10 more minutes to finish their entrees. Tracy tells us that while she knows that Helen Ramsay isn’t really “in love” with fish (actually, I think what she said was “I don’t like fish”), if anyone can make her a believer, it’s BA Christian. That’s a pretty tall order, but Christian is confident that he can handle it.
On the red team, everyone is ganging up on It’s-a Me, Mario, because he’s using store-bought pasta to make the pasta carbonara. He insists that you use dried pasta to make-a this dish. I don’t know nearly enough about cooking, and while normally I’d be inclined to accept the true Italian’s expertise as rule, well…
Ben makes a strong case.
Ramsay comes in to tell the teams that their time is running out, and asks the red team where their energy has gone. Apparently it disappeared when the Italian used dried pasta.
Side note: is this reminding anyone else of the cooking-for-critics challenge last year, in which Whitney nearly got canned (and ended up sending Sharone packing) for using canned tomatoes in her dish?
So the dishes are served to the moms, and this time it’s Teddy Graham that comes out to interrupt their meal. Lidia actually really likes Mario’s pasta carbonara, but Helen Ramsay is less than impressed. She says she found it to be very dry. So, is Lidia favoring it because it’s an Italian dish, or is Helen just confused about what pasta carbonara should taste like? As for the blue team’s fish, well…Lidia wishes there was more acid, but the other two love it. Even Helen “I don’t love fish” Ramsay. Christian has earned his first convert. There’s a joke in there somewhere.
Back in the kitchen, the teams are racing to get their desserts plated. The red team is very pleased with their apple pie and vanilla ice cream, and the blue team, yet again, is trying to fight through Christian’s differing opinions. As I said…when you have an opinion about everything, people don’t care about your opinions on anything. Write that down.
So Christian has convinced the team that they need to slice their pears, rather than serving them whole.
Have any of you even seen a dessert?
So Tracy panics, and decides to add a whole poached pear to the dish as well, just to boost it a bit. The red team is all proud of how much better their dessert is than the blue team’s. The teams speculate which dessert the moms will like best. Suzy thinks it’ll clearly be the apple pie “because, hello, it’s apple pie!” Good insight, Joe Buck. The moms seem to love both desserts, so, as would be expected, this will probably come down to a VERY CLOSE tiebreaker.
So, it’s time for the judgement. Ben tells us he’s worried that his team has lost the appetizer course, because “there’s nothing in this world that old ladies love more than soup.” Wow, Ben…just, wow. The judges vote, and the red team’s salad and crispy polenta won the appetizer course.
Next is the entree. Suzy is convinced that, because Gordie’s mum doesn’t like fish, her team has this in the bag. She tells us that turbot reeks…
You know what’s gonna stink more than turbot? When the “I don’t like fish” judge tells everyone that she preferred the fish to your Italian’s pasta.
So, stunningly, we’re down to a dessert tiebreaker. Suzy has this giddy “we’ve already won” look on her face.
This look. She’s proud of her pie. There’s a joke in there…
She tells us that the pie showed a level of technique that the other team didn’t show with their dish. Because clearly “level of technique” is what they’re being judged on. Oh, wait, no it isn’t…they’re being judged on how much the judges personally like their dish. And, as such, Lidia tells everyone that they preferred the poached pears.
I love this look. I wish I had the chance to crush her spirits like this at least once a week.
Lidia tells them that the dough-to-filling ratio was just off…which is kind of a problem when you’re making single-serving pie. You have to increase the apparent ratio of the filling, because you’re not just serving a wedge.
So, the red team is facing a pressure test while the blue team is off to drink their bubbly or whatever the winning team does.
The next day, all 12 remaining contestants file into the MasterChef kitchen. The blue team gets to head up to the balcony to watch as the red team wilts under the pressure.
Bastage asks Mario why his team lost, and he says they lost because it’s about different palates.
This answer is not well-received.
I love how Suzy ALWAYS looks like she can’t believe she’s in the position to compete in a pressure test. Every single time. It’s like the look of a congressman getting caught receiving a BJ in the airport bathroom. “HOW COULD THIS BE HAPPENING TO ME?!?” Well, if you’d kept it in your pants…but I digress…
So the challenge is…EGGS BENEDICT!!! Ben literally jumps for joy. Apparently he makes eggs benedict on a weekly basis, entirely from scratch. The rest of the contestants are not so…how do you say…excited. They have 30 minutes, which leaves no time for error. Wuh-oh. I’m pretty sure Nazi Max has watched the last couple of pressure tests at home thinking “what the fucking fuck?! There’s no way I’d have been sent home in any of these!!!” I still think that head-to-head that sent him home was pretty fucking bogus.
Right after Ben squeals with joy…Bastage tells them “it is a completely level playing field now.” Well…except clearly Ben probably is at an advantage.
So the minis start cooking right away, and the judges start walking around asking them who they think is the weakest link. All signs point to Mario. Bastage walks up to Alejandra now that the judges know that Mario is probably the most at risk, and without even buying her dinner, he boldly fingerblasts her hollandaise.
Well, that’s a little forward…
He tells instills a little doubt in Alejandra, but then again, he’s trying to do that to everyone. In case Eggs Benedict isn’t challenging enough, adding fear and nervousness to the mix isn’t really making things any easier.
Time is running out, and Mario seems to not have given his eggs enough time to poach, and Deathmetal Derrick isn’t watching the clock so well, either, and doesn’t really get any of that hollandaise sauce on his plate. So I think we can narrow down who’s going home to one of these two. Everyone up top seems to realize that this is the issue, too.
That is one busted-ass Eggs Benedict.
So, it’s tasting time. Ben is first, and the judges don’t say anything at all in response to tasting his eggs. Except Gordie, who seems to disapprove of Ben’s method of making hollandaise. But he doesn’t say that it’s bad, so…who knows.
Second is Mario. As you saw above, that is not molto bella. More like molto gross. Gordie tells him it looks like his egg was embarassed, and tried to escape out the door. Not looking good for him.
Third is Suzy. Hers are visually pretty perfect. I HATE the way she says “thank you” every time the judges compliment her dish. It’s not that she’s thanking them for the compliment; I’m all about being polite. It’s that she just reminds me of a fucking puppy who LIVES to hear praise. Teacher’s pet, for sure. But even I couldn’t wish that hope that she is sent home. Again, the judges don’t really say anything, except Gordie’s compliment about how it looks, and they all give her this look like maybe there’s something wrong with her hollandaise.
Oh no…is it good? Is it good? Is it good? Is it good enough, at least? Is it good? Is it even ok? It’s bad, isn’t it? Shit, it’s bad. No? It’s terrible? It can’t be terr…it’s terrible, isn’t it? Wait, it isn’t? Or is it? Is it good? Please tell me it’s good. Please say something nice to me.
Fourth is Derrick. Gordie can’t believe that he didn’t get much sauce on there. I still can’t believe he tried to spoon it out onto the eggs instead of just upending the bowl over his dish. It wouldn’t have been pretty, but at least it would’ve gotten the job done. Basically, it seems that he cooked it all well, just forgot the sauce, which is a grievous error.
Last is Alejandra. She’s confident that her dish is well done. She tells Gordie (upon his asking) that she thinks her eggs are cooked perfectly. Gordie cuts into one…and the yolk is pretty solidified. That is not perfect. He then tells her that her sauce is basically congealed butter. So we have more competition for the worst dish than we initially thought.
So it’s that time of night where someone gets sent home. Ben is the first one sent up to the balcony to watch the proceedings. Bastage then goes down the line to Mario…and tells him to stay where he is. Teddy tells Suzy she’s safe, and to GTF upstairs. Gordie tells Derrick not to move, and Bastage tells Alejandra that she’s safe by virtue of the fact that there were two worse dishes.
It comes to this.
COMMERCIAL BREAK!!! Dramatic Music! A complete recap of the last 30 seconds of the show! And then, finally, a decision is finally reached, and announced. It was sink-or-swim, and Mario didn’t swim. Gordie tells him to not ever go back to selling granite. Everyone is sad to see him go.
I don’t like this lack of cutthroatness. There are 9 of you left, and you’re acting like you’re all going to win and everyone will be happy and there will be cookbooks galore, but that’s not going to happen. Maybe it’s like playing RISK, where you form alliances and beat up on other people…until the guy you’re allied with suffers some heavy losses in an attack and you turn on him. I just really miss the stabbity from last season. Because, in the end…