The teams must “Rise and Shine” to the challenge!
This week’s team challenge sees the MasterChef contestants awoken at 3am and taken down to their hotel’s kitchen. It turns out their challenge will be for each team to prepare breakfast room service for 130 hotel guests. They are given the room service tags to complete to order, dishes including standard fare: hot oatmeal, fruit salad, pancakes, an egg white omelet, eggs benedict or two eggs any style. If their food is deemed satisfactory, the hotel guest will place a blue or red tag on their door after eating. They will have 90 minutes to prep and then hotel staff will start arriving to pick up the orders for delivery.
Last week’s winning contestants, Christine and Josh, must first pick their teams. Christine (Red Team) picks Felix first, then Scott, Tanya, Mike, Stacey and finally Ryan. Josh (Blue Team) picks Becky, Frank, Anna, Monti, David and lastly Tali. It seems that best buddies Ryan and Tali are not near the top of anyone else’s favorites list, and Christine gets the added bonus that she can swap out anyone she doesn’t want for her team for someone from Josh’s. She unsurprisingly gets rid of Ryan and claims Becky in his place. Both team leaders need to pick an expediter as well, who will take charge of making sure orders are filled and sent out of the kitchen as needed: Josh picks Monti, Christine picks Felix based on Felix’s restaurant experience as a table runner.
Both teams seem to face challenges off the bat, as Monti is yelling and calling out demands loudly – and their food quality may be lacking – while the Red Team may not be prepping enough food, and Felix is not communicating well with Christine and the rest of her team. As food service begins, it appears that the Blue Team is getting it together and may ace the challenge. But then a dish is returned by a diner for having a hair on a plate, and Josh and Monti are butting heads over the food and who is in charge of the team. Gordon gives Felix a talking-to about how she needs to get it together and start communicating with her team, instead of trying to do too much herself. She and Christine begin to work things out, and surprisingly (or not, given how FOX loves to edit for “surprise” victories) the Red Team wins even if they didn’t get their final few breakfast plates out in time. Indeed, they win by a fair margin of 60% of the votes.
The Blue Team will have to face the Pressure Test, but the judges announce that three of them will be safe and not have to cook: David, Frank and Monti. That leaves Ryan, Tali, Josh and (the so far almost invisible in this competition) Anna to compete, and the Pressure Test challenge this time is a Molten Chocolate Cake. (That’s two Pressure Tests in a row on desserts, hmm.) They’ll have 45 minutes to bake a cake with the proper consistency: firm and fully baked on the outside, but still gooey and liquidy in the center. They can bake up to 4 cakes in that time to ensure that they get the timing in the oven and consistency/flavor right. But of course, the one they serve to the judges can’t be cut open and tested before serving, so it is still a gamble whether they get it right or not!
As the chefs cook, of course we get some smack-talk as the judges go around and Ryan says he thinks Monti didn’t deserve to be safe and should be in the kitchen cooking. Monti has no pleasant things to say about Ryan, either. Interestingly, Tanya seems very upset that Ryan is not doing well with his test cakes and seems to think people have the wrong idea about him, that he’s actually a nice guy. Tali is the first one to bring a cake to the judges for tasting, and while his does have a molten center, there’s talk in the balcony that it might not appear done enough. Anna is next, and while few comments are forthcoming from the judges, they seem pleased. Josh too presents a cake that appears properly “molten” inside, leaving Ryan the last struggling with his cakes until the very last of their 45 minutes of prep time is complete. When he brings his cake up to the judges, it has collapsed from not baking long enough.
The judges debate their decision, and from the choice “whispers” revealed to us, it appears the choice is between Tali and Ryan. While Tali’s cake stood up, it tasted “floury” – and while Ryan’s cake fell apart it had good flavor. The judges proclaim Anna and Josh safe, so they leave for the balcony. Either Ryan or Tali (who has now been in the bottom two three weeks in a row) will be going home – but instead of announcing their decision, Gordon asks that the chef who thinks he should go home step forward and remove their apron. After a pause, Ryan is the one to do so. And while I wondered if their would be a surprise save-or-switch by the judges, Ryan is indeed the one who leaves MasterChef that evening.
I actually was sad to see Ryan go as I feel like the editing was definitely portraying him to be a “villain” unfairly, and I’ll miss the tension between him and Monti (whom I still haven’t warmed up to as a contestant). I think Tali should have been the one sent home just as he has consistently performed poorly in the Elimination Challenges. Nearly “invisible” in this episode was Mike, who we’ve barely seen showcased at all yet, and Scott, who seems to have been lucky for a while after a poor start during the competition. Christine continues to shine and show great integrity and skill, and I think the chances of her making it at least to the final six if not taking the prize entirely at this point is increasingly possible. I do hope we’ll start to see more of Anna now, especially as her (previously eliminated) husband AJ has been posting about the experience of being on MasterChef over at ChowHound. Coming up next appears to be yet another dessert challenge of some kind, and plenty more tears and drama in the MasterChef kitchen!
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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