Episode Recap & Review by sockii
And so the MasterChef tryouts continue in Los Angeles with another batch of hopeful contestants. First up is Felix, a spunky and cute waitress from Hollywood who shows up with traditional-looking Asian attire and a very non-traditional attitude. Unfortunately I missed most of her exchange with the judges and what she was cooking due to an Emergency Broadcast Interruption from my local Fox network (grrr!) But she clearly was charming Joe, Graham and Gordon and ended up winning an apron in a 2 out of 3 decision from the judges (Gordon said no).
Second up was Luca Manfe, an Italian restaurant manager. They set him up nicely for a heartwarming family moment, as his mother had flown in all the way from Italy to cheer on her son. Luca and Joe exchange friendly words in Italian while Luca prepares traditional Venetian calf’s liver with polenta…I was drooling (and not just at how pretty Luca was in his fancy suit). Unfortunately the liver is overdone and he gets sent home, crushed, with only an invitation to try again next year.
Drama follows when Raiza, a Brazilian artist who promises to wow the judges with her dessert offering, forgets her rolling pin necessary to complete her dish. But with an opportunity to dash and retrieve it, she manages to plate a stunning Chocolate Custard with a delicate sugar nest. She could definitely be one to watch out for in the competition, if she’s as skilled with her savory techniques as with her sweets.
For some reason it becomes cowboy theme night, with a number of hat wearin’ tough guys trying their hand in the kitchen. Some get the no, a few get a yes, including one who literally rides his horse in to the judging area. His venison looked overcooked to me, which was criticized by the judges as well, but he still gets an apron despite his horse relieving himself on the studio floor. There’s some boring stunt/gag contestants including a witch and a ventriloquist – honestly, why do they waste screen time and application spots on these people? It’s not even funny to watch, and it’s clear their food is horrible. I feel rather sorry for Joe, Graham and Gordon having to go through that nonsense. But when the MasterChef food truck “hits the road” and finds Bubba, a home cook with a long beard and some tasty-looking bacon-wrapped venison, they maybe found at least one worthy competitor.
Husband and wife team Anna and AJ compete separately, her with a white clam pizza (that honestly did not look especially good or unique to me) and he with a dish called “Dirty Lobster”. They both win aprons, so the question will be how far both – or either – end up making it. Neither seemed to have the finesse that other contestants showed, so my prediction is a quick exit for both once their novelty factor plays out.
The last big drama of the evening revolves around Joel, a Jamaican born soldier who wears his army uniform in for the competition. He’s sweet and charming and has one of the saddest stories of the auditions so far to tell: He lost his young son 5 years before in a drowning accident, and his remaining dream is to open a restaurant named after his lost child. He prepares a classic looking Jamaican dish of chicken, rice and peas and simple vegetables, served with a scotch bonnet pepper sauce. I LOVE Caribbean food and his rice did look as good as the judges proclaimed it, but I also agreed with Gordon that using a chicken breast instead of tastier, juicier thighs and wings was a mistake. Nevertheless in a tearful (if predictable) moment, Joel gets his apron in a 2 out of 3 decision. But I wonder if Joel will make it through the competition very far, now that his sob story has been played out for the cameras…
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.
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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.