August 30, 2013 | Posted in EPISODE RECAPS, REALITY TV | By

The Top 5 Compete (again!)

The (still) five remaining contestants are now at a ranch outside of Los Angeles. They have to cook all of the food at the party. Whose party is it? None other than Paula Deen. Of course, none of this (including who is in the final five) is a surprise to those of us who caught FOX’s accidental spoiler of this (including who would make it to the final five) in the very opening of the season….

This challenge, they will each be cooking on their own, which seems to make everyone happy. They each have to cook and serve one table of 10 guests. They are cooking for 50 charity volunteers so the meal needs to be special. Paula has picked the five proteins they will be preparing. They have to cook one “southern style” protein each, plus two side dishes.

Their choices include Kentucky chicken, Alabama pork chops, Georgia shrimp, Mississippi catfish, and alligator (from Florida, if my memory serves me correctly.)

Luca, as the winner of the last elimination challenge, gets to assign the protein to each of the other contestants. Luca wants the pork chops for himself. Natasha gets the catfish. Jessie has alligator. Krissi has the shrimp. James has the chicken.

Paula is picking the top two dishes and those home cooks will be safe from elimination. They now have 90 minutes to cook their meals.

Did Luca make a mistake taking the pork chops, and giving the chicken to James? That seems to be the question. The judges check in and Luca wanted pork chop because he thinks shrimp and chicken are too easy. He’s making sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts for his sides. Natasha is making slaw, and has her catfish in buttermilk.

Krissi is doing fried green tomatoes with marinated shrimp and collard greens. Jessie is trying to fry the alligator – she’s testing a piece first to see how it comes out. Mac and cheese and green beans are her sides.

They have fifteen minutes to go as the guests arrive. James is doing Bourbon BBQ chicken, with black eyed peas and carrots. But is his chicken going to be cooked in time? James isn’t the only one having problems. Natasha’s fish is sticking to the grill so she has to come up with an alternative cooking plan.

With 5 minutes to go, James checks and his chicken breast is…still pink. This is not good.

Luca has his pork ready to go and he thinks it looks perfect. Krissi is pleased as well with her plate.

Everyone serves their dishes and now it’s up to the guests to decide who has done well. Time to get feedback, so the judges and Paula start going around to the tables. Jessie, Krissi and Luca are getting rave reviews. But James has an undercooked chicken breast that he needs to recook. Natasha’s fish was largely undercooked as well.

Once everyone has been served, it’s time for Paula to make her choice. Who will be safe from elimination and on a “fast track” to the final four? She decides it’s Luca and Jessie. Natasha, James and Krissi will have to face the elimination challenge.

It’s elimination time and it turns out that Luca and Jessie have another, extra advantage. They are going in to the pantry to jointly decide who has to cook which dish that the judges are presenting. Their choices are three of the judge’s “signature dishes” from their restaurants: seared scallop salad with truffle vinaigrette from Gordon; “Filet Rossini” on truffled polenta with seared foie gras from Joe; Greek yogurt panna cotta with stewed rhubarb and variations of honey from Graham.

All three dishes look pretty complicated in their own ways. Jessie and Luca want to target Natasha so they give her the scallops, thinking it’s going to be tough to get their cooking just right. They also think James will struggle with the panna cotta plating so they give him the dessert, and Krissi the filet.

They have only 45 minutes to recreate the judges’ signature dishes after tasting them.

The questions soon arise as the judges, Luca and Jessie observe the proceedings. Is Krissi overcooking her steak? James is putting his panna cotta in the fridge to set, but Luca thinks he should have used the blast chiller instead. Natasha, meanwhile, seems composed and in control. It’s down to the wire on the plating as they rush to get everything done in the final few seconds left.

Natasha is first up with Gordon’s appetizer. Half the sauce is missing from her plate, but from the standpoint of uniformity it looks good. Gordon says it’s not perfect but a “bloody good effort”. Graham says the scallops are cooked well but it needs more vinaigrette. Joe says it tastes good but doesn’t look the same as Gordon’s plate.

Krissi is next. It looks just like Joe’s presentation-wise, he thinks. Is the beef cooked properly? She was aiming for medium-rare, but it’s more medium. “Delicious restraint on the polenta”, Joe tells her, but she left the skin on the pear which is a mistake. Gordon says the polenta is delicious. The filet is overcooked to him.

James is last with his dessert. The rhubarb is cooked perfectly but the panna cotta hasn’t set. Gordon says it’s not a panna cotta. Truthfully it did not look that close to Graham’s plate at all, certainly not as well-decorated and pretty. It’s not a big surprise when we learn then that James is the one going home. Personally it wasn’t really a surprise to me at all as nine days ago I predicted he would likely be the next one to get eliminated. Will my prediction that Krissi will go next come true? I certainly hope so! But we’ll have to wait until the next episode to know one way or another, and it looks like things definitely take a turn for the nasty.

Looking for more on MasterChef Season 4? Then check out my season Hub Page:

MasterChef US 2013: Season 4
Who will be the next MasterChef? Find out in Season 4 of the intense cooking competition where talented “home cooks” compete for the ultimate title – and prize! Learn more about the contestants in my hub for the season, share your opinions in weekly polls, and check out video highlights as well.

sockii is just your typical Jane-of-All-Trades who never has enough time in her day for all of her projects. She has written for many websites online including Squidoo, Zujava, Yahoo! Contributors Network, HubPages and Wizzley. She has been attending and vending at science fiction and media conventions for over 15 years, and for several years ran an art gallery and jewelry store in Philadelphia. Today she is happy to be living in South Jersey with her partner David and their 6 cats. Sockii is a member of several affiliate sales programs including Amazon Associates and Viglink. Products from these services may be advertised on her posts and pages to generate sales commissions.

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