MASTERCHEF “Top 14 Compete” Review

MASTERCHEF Top 15 Compete Season 2 Episode 7

MASTERCHEF “Top 14 Compete” Season 2, Episode 8 – After the last episode, all I wanted to see was Max’s elimination from the competition. It finally happened in this episode of MasterChef and surprisingly I don’t feel as good about it as I would have expected. I assume part of it was that Christine was acting like such a raging maniac during the elimination challenge that she made Max seem somewhat likeable. Her language may have been bleeped out, but there was no way to hide her frightening wrath and if I was Esther, I’d be sleeping with one eye open.

Not that I blame Esther, of course. She was put in a tough situation when Chef Ramsay instructed her to pick two contestants from her losing team to be in the bottom and face elimination head to head. On one hand, she might have earned karma points by putting herself at the bottom, but on the other hand I’m not sure any of the other contestants would have risked their own necks had they been in the same position. The bottom line is that they’re all there to become MasterChef and Esther played to win.

I’m really liking the challenges that MasterChef has set up so far this season. It’s nice to see that they’re not really following a set formula for each of the segments with the only variables being the theme of each challenge. The risks and the rules of each segment are varied from week to week and it works well to maintain a feeling of tension and suspense in every episode. I wouldn’t have expected an elimination round to be a challenge between only two of the fourteen remaining cooks and I especially did not expect that the person to choose those two cooks would be one of their fellow competitors.

I’m also enjoying the simple challenges, like the elimination round tonight, that focus on basic techniques as the criteria for success rather than creativity or familiarity with unusual components. I loved the commentary the chef judges offered as the steaks were being prepared. They explained the techniques being used, the risks associated with those choices and offered detailed critiques as the steaks were being cut apart and tasted. Getting steak cooked to order is something that most of us take for granted so it was fascinating to see how difficult it actually was to get the meat cooked evenly to the correct temperature. A mere 50 seconds was the difference between an incorrectly cooked medium-well and a perfectly well done filet. I came away from this elimination round with an entirely new appreciation for properly cooked steak.

I think I would have liked that Max be eliminated due to a poorly conceived dish (like his crepe dessert) rather than a minor difference in temperature. He was able to leave on a high note and from his post-elimination interview it seems like his ego is perfectly in tact. I’m not too worried about him, but now I’m wondering who will end up playing the role of the villain in the MasterChef kitchen now that he’s gone.