Auditions #1 and #2
So here we are again…the MasterChef auditions! Forgive me if this write-up is at all disjointed and not edited! Because I am leaving for a long Memorial Day trip to Michigan in the morning I decided to write this one up as my “live blogging” thoughts and comments while I am watching the episode, instead of in the morning after.
So, it begins with a dramatic opening sequence. It’s time for the tryouts and the drama factor in full effect (I can say this having now been through a casting call in NYC myself now)…you can read my story about it if you like.
Tonight we’re seeing the supposed “Top 100″ getting to cook their dishes for the judges: Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich. So of course the first gimmick begins with Joe scorching some moola in a pan, saying “If you’re just here for the cash, leave now.” Graham showcases a trophy as if that’s the main reason to win. We’ll see.
First up: Natasha, a stay-at-home mom from San Diego. She’s got on the red high heels and the short skirt to cook her empanadas. “Is that the best you can do?” Gordon says. Joe wants to know if she made her own pastry and she says yes. Gordon says yes, Joe says yes, Graham gives it a home run. Of course they’ll start out on an upnote, right?
Next up is also a San Diego native, 19-year old Christine. She’s making a Korean dish with duck and seems to think the scales are stacked against her because of her age. Gordon doesn’t like the duck fat; Graham likes the actual meat, Joe says nothing. Gordon says no because she’s lost the humbleness but Joe disagrees even if the dish is “ill conceived” and says yes. Graham seems indecisive and after her begging (commercial break!)…and after waffling he votes no. (Cue the heartbreak reaction shots.)
Next up, the MC truck is supposedly “on the road” with ostrich, rabbit, roaches, bear, and god knows what else in the stunt auditions. Are we surprised no one gets through? Did these people really make it to the top 100? I think not. At least I hope not. But now we’ve got Brian from Texas who brags about his roadkill cooking skills. He’s making “Stripped and Shaved Beaver Tail”. He’s got the crazy-eyes going while the judges taste and comment. Joe isn’t “turned on” by the beaver and says no. Gordon calls him a freak but says it’s tasty and votes yes. It’s up to Graham again, who again seems torn. The crazy eyes apparently win him a yes and he gets an apron! Somehow I doubt he’ll make it far, however.
Jordan, 29 from Minneapolis is up next (after being told several got “no” off screen). He’s making Ancho Chili Tostada with Cilantro Mint Aoli and he’s got the sob story of learning to cook from his mom but she passed away 5 years ago. He’s even wearing her apron (she died from brain cancer). Yeah, he’s making a show flaming up a pan and bragging that he’s not seeing a lot of technique in the rest of the competition. He paints as well as cooks, he tells Joe. Graham loves the plating. Gordon says nothing after asking how he’d rate his food and he says a 10. Graham is actually disappointed…that there’s not a plate for each judge! “So damn good!” he says as a huge yes. Gordon is a yes and Joe says that dish is one of the best opening dishes they’ve ever tasted. He’s in. The judges then descend on the plate to finish it off. He’s definitely looking to be one to watch…if it isn’t all a drama show for the cameras. We’ll have to wait and see.
There’s a bunch more horrible stunt tryouts and I have to agree with Joe about “How did you make it this far?” (Stunt casting? Of course).
Now we’ve for Adriana from New York, originally from Mexico. She’s wondering where her family are for the audition and we cut to some obviously staged footage of her parents in a car stuck in LA traffic. So of course they show up at just the last minute when she’s going out to cook for the judges. She’s making Prickly Pear Cactus Soup with Dried Shrimp Croutons. It does look good to me. No tomatoes, just chilies as Graham asks. Graham says it’s complex and showcasing the cactus and gives her a yes. Gordon says it’s good but she might be too sweet for the competition and says no. She begs to Joe and says she’s going to be “chewed up like a rag doll”. (Commercial break!) After the break, Joe finally apparently votes…yes!
This supposedly starts a run of “success” as several people get voted through with yeses without being seen on screen. Now it’s 33 year old George from Ohio making Greek Wedding Soup. He’s not married but his girlfriend is outside and he’s got a wedding ring in his pocket. Are we sensing drama building? I am. Gordon doesn’t seem sold, Graham likes the broth; Joe is put off by the butter in the broth. Joe says no just on the butter alone. Graham says yes, Gordon now wants the girlfriend to come in…are we sensing a proposal? Gordon says no to the apron in front of the girlfriend but now we get the proposal…I’m taking a bathroom break.
So now we’re supposedly at the last of the day, Krissi from Philadelphia, a 34 single mom with a sob story…and a son “just arrived” from Philly (cue the waterworks!) She says she’s made a Stuffed Meatloaf “Florentine” (in a thick YO PHILLY accent) … but seriously what does South Philly know about Florentine cooking (don’t get me started). Graham likes the color while Gordon has little to say. Gordon says it’s a “family style” dish…cue bringing in the kid…oh my god I could die from sugar overload at this point. Gordon gives her a yes, so does Graham. Me, as an Italian, Joe says nothing? That speaks to me as to her real talent as an Italian chef. I predict she won’t make it past the next cull.
And it’s time for part 2…after a brief teaser we’re back into it with “Day 2″ of the auditions. First we have Bime, 35, originally from Puerto Rico. He’s making Mofongo de Camarones. After a lot of bravado, Gordon tastes a taste and asks Bime if he’s tasted it. Joe wants to know if he’s got the “emotional stability” to stick with it. Graham says his dish had “great spirit” and votes yes. Joe wonders if it’s really Caribbean or fake Shrimp Scampi. He says no. So it’s up to Gordon who says it’s not perfect but there’s soul. Cue the drama about spending time away from his kids…but after a typical Gordon fakeout he gives Bime an apron. Joe calls it a “sucker-punch” decision. We’ll see soon enough.
Next up is Jessie from Georgia, a “small town southern belle” according to the narrator. She’s a blonde cutie, but can she cook? We’ll see. She’s making Sea bass en croute…let’s see if she an keep her bleach blonde (not tied back) hair out of the oven and frying pan. Gordon calls it a “dish from the 80s”. Graham says it’s “good” but that’s all. Joe says it looks “interesting”…a lot of things going on…but maybe too much? Joe says it’s too much and votes no. Graham disagrees and votes yes. It’s up to Gordon, will he give in to the blonde hair? He wanders off and now it’s time for another drama moment. Since she said she loves fish, Gordon brings in two fish and wants her to filet a fish. He wants “six stunning portions”. Can she do it, decked out in her gold jewelry and high heels? Apparently so. “Good tail,” Joe says, and that seems to be the reason of all.
Now it’s time for more drama and fakes, from bikers to magicians to farmers and carnival acts. Yeah, none of these people are real chefs. Can we move on, please?
Now we’ve got James, 26, from Texas. Lost both of his parents in the past few years…yadda yadda yadda. Let’s see if he can cook. He’s making Pork Belly and Lentil Hash. He wants to start a gastropub (maybe that’s still trendy in Texas?) Graham says it’s “good” but “simply”. Gordon says “interesting”. Joe doesn’t think he has a lot of fight in him. Graham is a yes, Joe is a no. Gordon says he’s “timid” and that’s what Gordon is worried about. “I will not break” James says, but does Gordon believe him? Well, he walks out with an apron so the answer is apparently yes.
Now we get more crazy pants that CAN’T have been the “Top 100″ chefs from around the country. This is all tv drama, pure and simple, and I’m bored (and especially frustrated after seeing so much superior cooking displayed at the casting call in NYC I went to). Do they even pick more than a dozen or so actual people from the casting call, and are the rest just casting picks from LA desperate actors? That’s the way I’m feeling at this point.
So now we’ve got Sascha coming in with a lot of attitude. She’s making fried chicken but with a cornish hen with french crepes. Is she cooking or is she singing? I don’t know. She’s making the judges laugh at least. Graham says it’s “foxy chicken”. Joe says “that’s a lot of chicken and you’re a lot of woman”. Gordon doesn’t like her crepes though he does like the chicken. “Setting the personality aside”, Gordon says she is a “talented girl” and says yes. Graham says yes also, and so does Joe, so she’s in. Now let’s see if she can make it past the next challenges coming.
After a commercial break, we’re told only 7 got an apron so far today, but now Rudy is up. He’s from San Diego and recovering from burn injuries from the 2003 San Diego fires. He’s a hero, but can he cook? We’ll find out. He lost an ear and a finger in the fires. He’s making a Fry Bread Taco with Buffalo Meat. Gordon says the buffalo is “slightly dry” but he “cooks with confidence”. Joe is the first to vote and says that his story was moving and compelling but still votes no. Graham says that’s “him on a plate” and votes yes. Joe has to get back into it at that point to argue but it’s up to Gordon, and (after a commercial break) he votes no.
So there are a bunch more no’s but we’ve from Eddie from Georgia, who has gone from profession football to cooking. He’s made a “Jerk Meatloaf” which Gordon says has “something intriguing” inside. Joe is first up to say it’s personal and he votes yes. Graham says it’s sloppy so he says no; Gordon is the final vote with a yes.
So it looks like we have one more up for tonight … someone who has tried before to make it past the judges. It’s Luca from New York…I remember him and I wanted to see if he actually WOULD come back, and he did! He’s making a ravioli with broccoli rabe that looks lovely to me…I would eat it. He made the pasta, Joe says it’s “not perfect” but he is a yes. Graham says the ravioli is perfect but he didn’t like the sauce and is a no for the second year in a row. Gordon now must give the final vote and says yes this time whereas last year he said no. He is actually the one I am watching out for at this point, but we shall all see once the real competition starts, won’t we?
Until next week…which looks like we might be skipping right ahead to the eliminations, instead of any more auditions? That would be interesting after last year’s three episodes of only auditions that got rather tiresome. Until then…
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.
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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.