June 27, 2013 | Posted in EPISODE RECAPS, REALITY TV | By

The Top 12 face a team challenge

Now it’s time for the teams to cook for a wedding reception?! That’s what it looks like in the intro scenes for this episode. The contestants are introduced to the bride and groom who are supposed real “foodies”. But for a foodie, the bride sure has a lengthy list of dislikes and things she doesn’t want on her menu, everything from cilantro and dill to bell peppers and “Indian food”. But the contestants are going to get some help as Graham is going to cook the first course and Gordon is going to make dessert.

They have to serve over 100 guests but there are 15 vegetarians in attendance, so there has to be something great for everyone to eat. James gets first pick for his team and he picks Lynn as his number one teammate, knowing he should be able to put out something that looks beautiful on the plate. Natasha picks Eddie for her first. The teams end up being

Blue: James, Lynn, Jessie, Jonny, Bri and Luca
Red: Natasha, Eddie, Jordan, Bethy, Savannah, and Krissi (picked last)

But it turns out Natasha and James now have to each pick one person from their team to “jilt” – that is, sit out from cooking and to also be safe from elimination. Natasha sits out Krissi, and James sits out Bri. Bri thinks this is a dumb move because she would at least have known how to make a great vegetarian entree!

Before choosing their entree, Graham and Gordon present their dishes to the teams to taste and think about. Graham has made a spring pea essence soup with whipped creme freche and a lavender infusion. It’s very beautiful to look at, that’s for certain. Gordon is going with one of his trademark desserts: sticky toffee pudding with ice cream. So that’s what the MasterChef contestant need to measure up against and they have two hours to come up with an entree and get cooking.

Blue team comes to a quick decision to do rack of lamb and parsnip puree, along with a grilled mushroom dish for their vegetarian entree. Red team can’t seem to come to a decision until Natasha finally gets control of things and decides on halibut, despite objections from her teammates, and an eggplant tomato stack for the vegetarian choice. Blue team seems to have everything under control while Red is struggling – they’ve completely burned a batch of carrots, Natasha is falling apart.

But we know what’s going to happen next, right? There’s always a change of fortune in these challenges. Blue team is starting to have trouble with presentation even though that’s supposed to be Lynn’s specialty, and time is running out as the wedding guests all have their first courses and it’s almost time to send out dishes. Natasha is trying to do too much herself, and it’s time to serve the bride and groom.

It’s time to serve the rest of the guests and while the Blue team has plates ready to go out, they are a mess and need to be completely re-plated. It’s not looking good for them as Lynn is sweating so much, it’s getting into the food (ew). 40 minutes into the service and Red team is getting plates out and Blue team is woefully behind. To save them from assured disaster, Graham steps in to start expediting service. Things turn around for them and the go from being 5 tables behind to getting caught up.

While Gordon gets to work on the dessert, Joe starts asking the guests which dish they liked better. The bride and groom say the halibut, and that seems to be a strong consensus from the other guests as well. Three factors are going to determine which team won the contest: guest opinions, overall service and which dish worked best in between Graham and Gordon’s. The bride makes the announcement that the Red team was the winner with their halibut.

So, the Blue team is up for the elimination challenge, but the judges each get to save one person from elimination that they feel should be safe. Joe picks Jessie. Graham picks the one person who seemed to care about how the plates went out: Luca. Gordon has the last pick and he says Lynn is not safe but James is. Jonny and Lynn have to face off against each other in the elimination test. And it turns out they have to make macaroons (yep, ANOTHER baking/dessert challenge.)

They have a limited pantry and the same basic ingredients. In 60 minutes they must fill a box of a certain size with twelve macaroons, two different flavors. Everyone seems to want Lynn to go home. The real challenge seems to be making macaroons to fit precisely into the boxes they’re given. Lynn seems more in control then Jonny, who is shown with shaky hands as he’s trying to get things done. But Lynn has put fresh raspberry in the center of his that the judges are worried about. Jonny reaches the end of his patience and literally smashes shut his box to cram the last 2 inside…not a good move.

Lynn didin’t get 12 in the box but he made his two flavors: raspberry and vanilla bean. Gordon says it’s almost a little too sweet and he doesn’t like the fresh raspberries inside. Graham likes it but it’s a bit cloying. Joe thinks it looks pretty good but he doesn’t like the raspberries, either. Joe also doesn’t like the pre-made caramel Lynn used in his vanilla macaroons either.

Jonny is next and his flavors were a riff on peanut butter and jelly. Gordon opens his box and it just looks terrible with the smashed up macaroons and they were too soft so some are starting to fall apart. Yet visually the ratio of filling to cookie is right, and they “cut beautifully”. It tastes great, Gordon says, but the presentation? Definitely no. Graham likes the cookie and that it’s not overly sweet. Joe says it’s kind of a mess but it’s good. The peanut butter is kind of clunky and strong, however and it seems like his temper may have cost him the challenge.

The judges debate and it does seem as though it could go either way. Both Lynn and Jonny made errors…but at the end of the night it turns out Jonny’s time is up. His poor presentation cost him his place in the MasterChef kitchen, so Lynn is safe again for now. You have to wonder for how long, though, given how frequently Lynn seems to end up at the bottom!

Overall I thought this was an “okay” episode…at least lighter on the drama and hate-fests between contestants. Savannah and Bethy remain the completely invisible background competitors and this point, and Eddie was barely focused on as well. I can’t decide if it means they’re all soon due to be eliminated, or if one of them is going to suddenly come out of the back of the pack as a “surprise” competitor? I don’t really think so at this point; based on the editing focus (more so than their talents) I’m starting to feel like our top 6 are going to come down to James, Jessie, Natasha, Krissi, Luca and Bri (although instead of Bri, it might be Jordan. I’d rather prefer it to be that way, personally.)

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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