****And now, please welcome your newest recapper to the hizz, Dangerously!!
You know how you know you’ve made it big? When the lead-in to your brand new cooking reality show is ANOTHER ONE OF YOUR COOKING REALITY SHOWS! If I actually thought Ramsay had anything to do with this scheduling, I’d call him the world’s most arrogant douchebag, but seeing as I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time for that in the next hour of TV, I’ll just blame it on FOX and their stunning degree of laziness.
Sigh…they should have just renamed MasterChef “Hell’s Kitchen Nightmares” and sandwiched it in between Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares…
So that’s my initial beef with the show. Get it? Beef? It’s a cooking show? Bueller? Bueller? Right…so my second issue is that it’s called “Masterchef.” Every time I read the name of this show, however, I see “Master Chief.” MasterChef should be the next bastardization of Microsoft’s flagship video game franchise. Can you imagine Halo cooking? I’m a bit surprised the name wasn’t copyrighted.
MasterChef says “If you can’t stand the heat, GTFO of my kitchen! LMFAO!!!”
So we’re treated to an intro that’s about 3 minutes long before the show even starts. I guess since it’s the first episode, I can excuse that…There are repeated dramatic shots that involve rapid zoom-ins and whooshing noises, and Ramsay voicing over narrative about how this show is super huge everywhere else in the world. He then makes a pun about how the winner will not only get $250,000, but will also sear their name into culinary history by having their very own cookbook published. Lol see what they did there? Sear? No one? Wonder if Gordie slapped a writer after reading that…
All of this could be yours.
Now our 3 judges present themselves…according to Ramsay, they are “three of the toughest figures from the culinary world.” The first judge is Graham Elliot, and according to him, he “knows a thing or two about cooking…and eating.” Judge two introduces himself as Joe Bastianich. According to Joe, he owns “twenty of America’s best restaurants, and 3 award-winning Italian wineries.” Remember what I said about having plenty of time to call Gordon Ramsay the world’s most arrogant douchebag? Well, I take it back. Gordon Ramsay doesn’t hold a candle to this guy. Lastly, we’re introduced to Gordie, and I think they may have slipped in a few screens from his other shows for publicity’s sake.
Call it a hunch, but this guy doesn’t strike me as one of the three toughest figures in the culinary world. I’m betting he’s the softy judge. Randy Jackson, anyone?
This guy has all the smug arrogance of Simon Cowell and the vanity to use Mop & Glo on his head…he has upstaged Ramsay as the villain, and for that I hate him. From now on he will be known as Joe (or maybe Joey) Bastage.
“And of course, there’s me.” Neil Patrick Harris after 10 years of heavy drinking and cocaine use? Oh, sorry…Gordon Ramsay.
To wrap up the intro and get to the nitty gritty of the show, we’re taken on a dramatic ride into the future to see what challenges our heroic contestants will face. Those who survive this first round must then cook a dish using only an egg, feed an entire army, identify ingredients in a pot full of soup by taste alone, and finally cook for a wedding. Back in the present, we’re shown a montage of some of the 100 people selected out of 10,000 to be a part of the show. Cue the stereotypes:
Ex 1 – Hillbilly in overalls: “I goin be cookin’ for Gordon Ramsay in Los Angeleeeeez!”
Ex 2 – Captain Cliché: “I’m gonna be America’s first MasterChef because I believe in myself.” “There are people who cook to live…I live to cook.” Yeah, I hope I get to see this kid cry.
Ex 3 – Layer Downer of the Gauntlet: “I want to say to the other people in the competition to bring it, because I am fuckin’ for real, and it is on like Donkey Kong.”
Our three judges enter the room to a standing O and introduce themselves. Gordon Ramsay is talking super fast. Seriously, he’s talking like he’s nervous, but he’s no rookie, he’s a seasoned pro (get it? Seasoned? Guys…?), so I’m more apt to think he’s probably not nervous but quite hopped up on speed. I mean, he’s talking really fast, and is a little bouncy. They get to the part about the winner getting $250k, and there’s quite a reaction from the crowd.
Note the “unemployed.” Remember how Tony (see above) “lives to cook?” Well, I think our friend Chris here is hoping to “cook to live.”
Conveniently, Chris is our first contestant. His dish – the one he’s basing his culinary future on – is beer-cheese soup. Don’t get me wrong. Unlike our judges, I love beer-cheese soup. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it on a menu and not ordered it. But this…just looks wrong. It’s very brown. Like it maybe would be more at home in a baby’s diaper. Also, Chris’s shirt reads “Beer is food.” Yeah, one of those guys. Joey Bastage scoffs when he walks up, and asks “is this how it’s supposed to look?!?” Gordie runs up to taste it, hand shaking all the way from bowl to mouth.
Yeah, like the guy wearing the $7,000 suit is going to eat this…C’MON!!!
Graham proves me right, and is just as nice as he is fluffy. He says there’s room for improvement, but he’d not be opposed to eating an entire bowl. The others look at him like he’s crazy. Bastage comes out and states, “it’s a bad dish. You know it, I know it,” and Ramsay, not to be outdone, says “it’s the worst soup I’ve ever tasted.” As Chris walks out of the room, dejected and still unemployed, Graham realizes he was too nice, and commands Chris to leave the rest of the beer behind. Graham just stole from someone without a job. Maybe not so cuddly, after all.
We’re treated to another montage, this time of failed contestants. I guess the show’s director really wanted to drive home how tough these judges were before allowing them to be impressed by any dishes…a few excerpts:
Gordie, to the girl who’s love of cooking stems from dating chefs: “My advice to you – continue dating chefs, because you’re never gonna be one.”
Gordie, to the girl who played professional soccer in Brazil: *dumps out a stuffed bell pepper to spit the bite of tilapia taco into it* This, of course, is after she “challenged” him to 1-on-1 “soccer.” The fact that she’s still calling it “soccer” tells me she’s not ready…
As Gordie tries to keep up his premier villain status, he storms into the waiting area, tells everyone to sit down and shut the fuck up, and then tells everyone remaining how much the first contestants have sucked. He then storms out, letting the remaining contestants to marinate (snicker) in the tension.
Now we’re on to the contestants that make it through. Thank goodness. First up is Michael, cooking pan-seared duck breast with an orange miso sauce. This is the first thing since the ill-fated beer-cheese soup that I’ve wanted to try. You know this is going to go well, too, as the judges moon over how he moves as he prepares the dish. There are 3 resounding yes votes, and Mikey is on to the next round!!! I know it’s early in the episode, but I’m going to go ahead and picky my pony. This is the kid I want to see win it all. I mean, a Korean guy in a fedora! What’s not to love?!?
Gordie: “You move like a chef, and clearly you cook like a chef.”
Graham: “That is like sex in your mouth, in the best possible way.” Like the Kilo Ali sort of way?
Bastage: In an effort to regain the top villain spot, points out that he’s going to eat the dish the way God intended, subtly hinting that he’s better than the other two judges. “Beautiful balance, nicely done.”
Next, a montage of a few more success stories, and I’m stickin’ with Mikey.
Cue jubilant sorority girl screaming. This must stop now.
Gordie: “Joe, you can’t drink a 62-year-old lady’s wine and not give her an apron.” I think if Gordie hadn’t stepped in, though, Bastage would’ve done just that!
“I REALLY WANT THIS RAWR!!!!!” Apparently screaming that you want to move on is good enough…
Next up is Tracy, a doc from the ATL. We learn that her mom taught her everything she knows about cooking, and that her mom passed away suddenly three years ago. All I can think right now is how badly I don’t want to see them send her home right after that big emotional moment. Gordie tells her that people like her are the reason they created MasterChef.
“They better watch out for me, because I’m ready to bring it.” Well, after watching Mikey, I’d have to say it’s already been broughten.
We see a couple more quick shots of people who are going on to the next round (sadly including Captain Cliché himself), but then MasterChef decides to mix (lol) it up a bit and sprinkle on some grate failures (grate failures…c’mon, guys…these are gold!). Enter Teddy Graham (yep, that’s sticking) with the best line of the night:
“I could taste desperation in that dish”
Gordie: “I can’t think of a worse way of cooking a stunning piece of ahi tuna.”
Next up we get one of the stereotypecasts that was left off the intro. I mean, what would a cooking show be without the New England douchebag? Nothing, that’s what! Meet David, who speaks 1st year level French and thus feels inspired to pronounce certain words (province, for example) with a French accent, and even tries to speak French with Gordie. Tries, and gets laughed at. Gordie tells him that arrogant chefs are like blondes in Hollywood…but then forgets where he was going with that, and continues to tear just David down. Gordie votes no, Teddy Graham votes yes, and we have our first tiebreaker of the night. The DRAMA!!!
As he says, he’s like this all the time. Well, at least he starts out like this…
…but ends up like this, prior to totally ripping off a certain other gelled-hair crybaby’s post-failure speech. “I’m gonna bring it, I promise you…”
“I promise you will never see any player in the entire country who will play harder than I will play the rest of the season…”
Bastage puts his villainy aside long enough to show a soft spot for a crybaby, and passes the tie-breaking vote with a yes. Will David follow in Tebow’s steps to an undefeated rest of the season culminating in a championship? Only time will tell! The other thing that only time can tell…when will David stop crying? Seriously, dude, man up! You’re outcrying Tebow!!!
We’re treated to a few more success stories, prior to meeting Avis. I thought we’d met the southern black woman stereotype already, but I was wrong. She actually says “so good you’ll slap yo’ momma!” She’s serving a deliciously southern dish, which is basically fried catfish, but she’s screwing it up by serving it with pasta. The judges agree with me on this, so I feel validated as a southerner. Say “NO” to pasta with your fried catfish! Teddy Graham lives up to his name some more, stating that “one of the key ingredients in being a MasterChef is being selfless and having faith…of course, things also have to be delicious.” Yep, I have a favorite judge. Bastage goes straight for the cauliflower. Dude, really…there’s FRIED CATFISH, and you’re eating the cauliflower. Villain indeed!! Gordie hopes it tastes better than it looks.
Avis has a strong reaction to being presented with an apron. The screengrabs of her crushing Gordie with hugs were too painful to post.
Next up is Randy. His signature dish is a loaded baked potato casserole. So we all thought that, while delicious, beer-cheese soup may be too “low class” for a cooking competition, right? Well, Randy’s dish takes the cake. From watching the prep montage, it looks like it’s sliced potatoes, bacon, chives, sour cream, mayo, cheese, and about 19 sticks worth of melted butter. Saying this is a heart attack in a dish is like saying Jaws was a big fish. Gordie asks if Randy isn’t a bit too old to be wearing dungarees.
“They’re called “funeral potatoes.”
The story goes that they aren’t called “funeral potatoes” because they’d kill you if you ate them, but rather that this was the dish his mother prepared any time a neighbor passed away. It’s a pretty typical southern thing to bring food to a family who has lost someone, because the family has so much going on and this is just a way of helping out. Of course, if you’re helping out by skyrocketing the remaining relatives’ cholesterol, well…people start wondering if perhaps you’re standing to get a mule in their will. Anyways, he’s voted off with 3 very quick and emphatic “NO”s. Bastage refers to it as “caveman food,” and even Graham states that “he’s out to hurt people with that dish.”
Enter Faruq, our final contestant of the night. Faruq put his dream of cooking on hold while he and his wife raised their 4 year old. Another touching story of a selfless contestant…can my poor heart take it? Faruq comes in and tells the judges he’s making “chic macaroni and cheese.” Well…no, Randy’s potato casserole still wins.
Meet Faruq – his mac & cheese is “chic” because he’s made it more sexy. See, JT?? I told you. THIS is the kind of thing that happens when you bring sexy back. If you’d left it where it was, there’d be no such thing as “chic mac & cheese.”
Faruq comes in, explains his dish, and then shows the judges his skill by making butterfly-shaped parmesan crisps. No one can get over the fact that this big dude comes in sounding all James Earl Jones and is now making butterfly-shaped crisps. Neither can I. My childhood memories of Darth Vader are all but ruined…
This is the scene right before one of them is force-choked as Faruq calmly states “Parmesan crisps shaped like butterflies will soon be served in every restaurant…I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
Ramsay rambles on about how if one is going to cook Mac & Cheese, it has to be the best. Anything less would be…disappointing. He takes a bite! The laughter quickly fades, and a somber ambiance fills the room. Gordie no likey. Gordie makes Faruq taste his own dish. Faruq forgot the salt!!!! HE FORGOT THE SALT!!!! Any chef worth his salt (oh, no…I didn’t…yep, I did) would NEVER forget the something so simple!!! Gordie sends him out to fetch his family. Ok, it’s supervillain status-check time. Will Gordie dash this man’s hopes against the rocks in front of his wife and kid?!? Will Bastage?!? Will…well, we all know Teddy Graham won’t.
Faruq’s wife talks about everything he’s sacrificed for the family and how he deserves this. BASTAGE SHOOTS HIM DOWN!!!! IN FRONT OF HIS WIFE AND KID!!!! Teddy says he tasted love. Oh, how cheesy (really, a cheese pun for mac & cheese?)!! How do you taste love, anyways? Is this going back to the “sex in your mouth” thing from earlier?!?
The tiebreaker is Gordie, who sends him out with an apron! And the salt mill!! Asdfjkl;!!! Faruq is through!!!1!! BASTAGE IS THE VILLAIN! ZOMG SPOILARZ!!!
“‘Chef Faruq’ to me seems like a fairy-tale. ‘Once upon a time’ starts now.”
Well, my little make-believe chefs, I hope we’ve all learned some valuable lessons tonight. Arrogant chefs are like blondes in Hollywood, “sex in your mouth” is a good thing, and if ANY of you EVER FORGET THAT FUCKING SALT AGAIN , GORDON FUCKING RAMSAY WILL END YOU!!!
…and now that I’ve simmered (yeah had to toss one more in) down, I’ll set my DVR and see you back here next week, when the remaining contestants will battle it out for the last half of the aprons. Cooking and tears have never gone together so well!