June 6, 2013 | Posted in EPISODE RECAPS, REALITY TV | By

The Top 18 Compete

After the first two weeks of auditions and mass eliminations, it’s time for the home chefs to really get down to serious business with their first team competition. They have an “early start” and our on their way on a school bus, and they arrive at a school just as the kids are piling in themselves. Can we guess where this must be heading?

Graham looks adorable, I must say, in his bus driver outfit. And what’s up with Joe’s shoes?!

Their challenge is announced: they must provide a healthy, nutritious lunch to over 300 school children (301 to be exact). The teams have 1 hour and 45 minutes to prepare an entree and dessert, and then 90 minute to serve all the kids. The losing team will have to face a pressure test.

Jessie and Jordan are the team leaders, so now they have to pick their teams from the rest. This is always fun, to see where forming alliances might be and who is considered valuable (or not). Jordan says his plan is to pick people who know how to cook for kids, knowing what fussy eaters they can be, but Jessie has first pick and goes for Lynn. Jordan goes for Savannah – she’s a schoolteacher so he figures she’ll know how to handle the childrens’ appetites..

Ends up that the Red Team is Jessie, Lynn, Bethy, Beth, Bri, Natasha, Bime, Luca and Blue Team is Jordan, James, Jonny, Savannah, Krissie, Eddie, Adriana, and Howard. The last two remaining to be picked are Malcolm and Kathy, so Jessie goes for Malcolm – that leaves Jordan with Kathy. (I haven’t seen much out of her yet to prove why she’s on MasterChef in the first place…)

They debate their menus, and Red Team is going to do chicken teriyaki with rice, corn and a strawberry crumble. Blue Team is doing pasta with turkey meatballs, green beans and apple crisp. At first it seems the judges think Team Blue have an edge – meatballs and pasta sounds like a winner with children, and Jessie’s team is having some trouble properly cooking their chicken. But then the judges are worried that Team Blue doesn’t have nearly enough meatballs ready to go for serving.

Who’s going to come out on top? We’ll have to wait until after a commercial break to find out!

Gordon tries to give Jordan some direction, and so he changes the menu and says they’re going to do a meat sauce, not meatballs, to make sure everything is cooked through properly in time. Red Team is struggling with their seasoning in the teriyaki sauce – it’s too watery, the judges think, because first it was too salty and they had to dilute it.

There’s one minute to service and the Blue Team seems to be struggling to get food out – their green beans are hardly coked, but the school bell rings and here comes the kids! So there’s nothing they can do now but plate it. “It’s gonna be painful,” Jessie says.

The teams just have to now serve 301 students with a plate each as they come out in a seemingly endless line. Krissi is freaking out because she doesn’t have plates. Joe wants to get feedback from the kids that had been served so far, and they like the chicken because it’s kind of BBQ-sauce/sweet tasting, but some also like pasta because, well, it’s pasta. But the green beans from Blue Team are really hard and the kids don’t like that. The Red Team starts falling behind on service, and if they can’t get a plate out that means a default vote for the Blue Team for that kid.

So as service draws to a close, it turns out Red Team has missed some services whereas the Blue Team has gotten something on every plate. That seems to bode well for them, but as James says their fate is in the kids’ little “creepy” hands now (I like James). At the end of the vote, Red Team wins with the chicken teriyaki and they’re all safe from elimination. And so Blue is up for the Pressure Test. Krissi is cheesed off and seems to blame it all on Jordan. Well, we’ll see who makes it out of the MC kitchen during elimination…

We’re back in the MasterChef kitchen now, and while the Red Team looks on from above, the Blue Team has to face the elimination challenge. “At least one” person will be going home. Krissi and Howard get praise from Joe for how they did during the team challenge, and the judges now have a twist: only 6 people from the team have to face elimination. Jordan gets to decide who is safe, and his first pick is Howard. Second is James. Joe throws in a caveat that Jordan can choose to save himself. Will he? Absolutely.

Krissi calls it a “b—h move”. Are we surprised? No. So now the remaining six home chefs learn that their elimination dish will be cheesecake. Gordon wants a balance between flavor and texture. Who can pull it off? They have the necessary basic ingredients, a limited pantry and 90 minutes to complete the challenge.

The judges think Savannah and Krissi have an edge with their baking experience, whereas Adriana has already cut herself in the first few minutes. They think Eddie and Jonny may be out of their league as well.

Savannah is going to make a salted caramel cheesecake. Adriana is doing a guava paste and mango topping which the judges are really worried about. Eddie’s oven is smoking and something is wrong…but it’s a commercial break first before we can find out what went wrong!

It turns out Eddie’s cake pan is dripping, so he puts aluminum foil under his pan to try to salvage his cake. Time’s up and now it’s the tasting. Who’s cooked their last dish?

Krissi is up first. Jordan thinks it looks clunky (it does)…she made cheesecake with “raspberry bombs” on top but her cheesecake fell. Joe says it’s a good looking cheesecake except for its falling, and says it’s got lightness and restraint. It’s delicious. “Very rich,” Graham says. “Great job.” As good as it gets, Gordon agrees: “It’s got class”. Krissi is certainly safe at this point.

Jonny is next and he’s made pineapple cheesecake with coconut and cream. Joe says it’s all crust, and the pineapple doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t look good for Jonny at this point.

Kathy has made cheesecake with mixed berry compote topping. Graham says the topping is great.

Eddie made a vanilla bean cheesecake with mixed berry compote as well. Gordon notices the berries are bleeding down and that’s a problem with it’s presentation. If the berries had been drained, his cake would be “10 out of 10″.

Savannah made salted caramel cheesecake with hazelnut almond brittle. Graham thinks it’s a poor execution and the flavor isn’t there…it’s almost half base, not cake. Joe is not impressed either. He wants her to taste it and she admits it’s too sweet and the crust is too thick.

Adriana’s mango guava cheesecake looks more like a “sponge” than a cake and Gordon hates her use of canned guava. Graham doesn’t think it has a huge tropical flavor like it should, and Joe says the crust is like sand and the topping has no relevance to the cake whatsoever.

So, who had the worst cheesecake? Adriana and Savannah seem to be in the most trouble. Eddie, Krissi and Kathy are asked to step forward and they are safe. That leaves Jonny, Savanna and Adriana at the bottom. Jonny is safe because he nailed the filling. Who will go home: Savannah or Adriana? Adriana is told her time is done and Savannah is safe…for now.

On to part two of tonight’s episode!

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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