June 5, 2012 | Posted in REALITY TV | By

Episode Recap & Review by sockii

MasterChef The Ultimate Cookbook.

The MasterChef Ultimate Cookbook, featuring recipes from the television series. Get it today at Amazon.

The premiere episode of MasterChef Season 3 aired on June 4, 2012. In it we were introduced to our first round of hopeful MasterChefs, some potentially memorable, others not so much.

There was 19-year old Michael Chen, determined to prove to his family that being a chef was a worthy career pursuit. Shades of Suzy Singh from Season 2? Nevertheless he seemed to blow the judges away with his perfectly prepared Chinese dumplings – they did look delicious. I believe he has the potential to last as he seems to have some good skills in the kitchen. In contrast, they sent away an 18 year old New Jersey girl after stringing her (and her parents) along over her multi-layered (but apparently icing-lacking) carrot cake – but with an invitation to come back next year when she’s got some more experience under her belt. This made me wonder if we’ll see a return, in these auditions, of a young man they said the same thing to last year?

“Monti Carlo”, the sob-story single mom to her equally bizarrely named son “Danger”, immediately pinged my annoying/fake-city bells, just like she apparently did to judge Joe. Why do I think we’ll see her dragged along through much of the competition as they know she’ll be a character some will love, and some will hate? Her food certainly didn’t look especially appetizing or MasterChef-worthy.

7-foot tall Josh Marks, a contract specialist for the U.S. Army in Vicksburg, was appealing, as was his shrimp etouffee. I like him but he seems like one of those “nice guy” contestants who might not last long under pressure in the MasterChef kitchen. I’d like to be proven wrong. I also wish they’d given Shami, the woman from Zimbabwe, a chance, as I thought her food looked delicious and I’d love to see African cuisine/homecooking point of view on the series. Oh well…

Ryan, the unemployed guy from NYC’s Upper East Side, reminded me (in unfortunate ways) of Max Kramer from Season 2 – a bit arrogant and over-finessed, thinking his years of dining in New York’s restaurants (and his obvious deep pockets if he can afford to live in the UES without a job for several years!) grants him a potential MasterChef title. Yet he does seem to have some skills…so the answer will be how long he sticks around. I doubt it will be that long at all.

There were of course a few brief moments of obvious “gag” contestants and try-outs, but at least none dwelled upon for too long during the episode. Of course the contestant everyone is talking about today is Christine Ha, who won a coveted MC apron at the end of the episode in a tearful – both for contestant and judges – presentation of her Vietnamese claypot catfish (here is Christine’s recipe, if you like!) As inspirational as her story was, one wonders how far she can realistically go in the competition unless given some allowances, or perhaps a non-cooking assistant, for her different ability – for instance, during the mad dashes to the MasterChef pantry for ingredients, during the high-pressure chopping and presentation challenges, etc. In any event, it will be interesting to see – and worth watching more – to find out!

For more on Season Three of MasterChef US including polls and background information on all contestants, check out my full season hub!

MasterChef US 2012: Season 3
MasterChef has been a hit television sensation all around the world. Learn about the contestants from Season Three, which aired in the summer/fall of 2013 on the FOX Network.

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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