MASTERCHEF “Top 13 Compete” Review

MASTERCHEF “Top 13 Compete” Season 2, Episode 9 – I felt like I was missing out on some behind-the-scenes drama in tonight’s episode of MasterChef. Cabin fever appears to be setting in among the remaining thirteen contestants and a good portion of the interviews were about how much some of the contestants disliked the others. Since Max’s departure last week, I thought maybe we’d get one week of camaraderie, but it seems that without an individual to focus all their negative energy on, the home cooks have begun to see the obnoxious traits in everyone else.

This week’s MasterChef Mystery Box challenge was to create a vegetarian dish. It’s another one of those formidable challenges that seem relatively easy on the surface, but requires a technique and delicacy that often escapes many seasoned professionals. Again, I wish the judges would clarify that they are only tasting the top three best looking dishes, or the top three technically flawless dishes rather than calling them the “top three” dishes without actually tasting all of them.

It bothered me that they classified Christian’s dish as the worst without clarifying that the criteria for “best” and “worst” were based solely on appearance or technique. I didn’t like Christian’s attitude when he contested the judges’ decision, but the fact that his dish was untouched by the judges makes it difficult to completely agree with the judges’ opinions. Many times, on other cooking competitions, judges have mocked poor plating and technique only to admit that despite the unappetizing appearance, the taste was remarkable. The judges didn’t taste Christian’s food, so while it might have been the ugliest plate in the room, we’ll never actually know if it was the worst tasting dish in the room.

Jennifer, who had won the Mystery Box challenge, came out somewhere in the middle of the MasterChef elimination round. Unlike some of the previous Mystery Box advantages, this one gave her a huge edge over the competition and I’m surprised she didn’t do better given that all the ingredients were already laid out for her.

The other surprise was to see Adrien, Alejandra and Derrick perform so poorly in this elimination round. They’ve all been really strong performers throughout the MasterChef competition and I was pleased that they managed to pass this round despite some serious flubs. Although Jennie had put in a great effort over the course of the past few episodes, the home cooks that she was up against tonight were on a different playing field and I think the judges made the right decision to send her home.

Christian eventually got his justification in the MasterChef Elimination round when he managed to serve up a practically perfect replica of the crispy catfish dish conceptualized and prepared by the Season One MasterChef, Whitney Miller. Ben also drew top marks for his ability to replicate the dish so the two of them will be the team leaders in the next MasterChef team challenge. It will be an interesting episode pitting the loveable goof, Ben, up against the confident and aggressive Christian and I’m definitely looking forward to it.