Much as Gordon Ramsay may like to think of himself as a drill sergeant, he still pales in comparison to the real thing: for the season's first team challenge, the prospective MasterChefs are tasked with feeding 201 hungry marines. David and Frank captain the red and the blue teams, respectively, with blue preparing barbeque pork chops and red preparing chicken and pasta.
The blue team initially struggles with organization and seasoning, but it's absolutely nothing compared to the war zone on the red side. David has a hard time maintaining order, and his ambitious choice to serve two-inch pork chops leaves his entree undercooked at serving time. Ultimately, however, his selection wins the day: the marines favor his hearty pork chops over Frank's more nuanced pasta dish.
That leaves the blue team to compete in a pressure test bake-off, continuing the Americana with apple pie. Frank is allowed to pick a teammate for immunity: he eschews self-preservation and selects Felix, though she too is committed to staying behind to cook. Scott is next, but he doesn't accept safety, either; Stacey eventually takes the safe spot, though not without some lingering guilt.
Frank is the first to present his pastry, and it sets a high bar in spite of the fact that he's never baked apple pie before. Tanya and Tali offer far less impressive dishes, while Felix offers a good looking but underwhelming dessert flavored with caramel and ginger.
Michael makes the strange choice of topping his pie with baked cheddar, adding a bizarre, crunchy taco feel to his pastry; it draws nothing but criticism for him. Scott's dish is similarly panned for its disastrous crust, though he is at least redeemed by a spectacular filling.
The last to present is Christine, who faces intense scrutiny and limited presentation options because of her blindness. She's flustered by the time her pie makes it to Gordon, but he compliments her pastry's perfect texture and delicious filling.
Michael, Tanya and Scott are left in the bottom three, and Michael is selected for elimination. At age 19, he receives praise from the judges for the spectacular promise he's shown -- unfortunately, there's just no getting around the fact that he topped an apple pie with crispy cheese.
Ted KindigContributing Writer(Image courtesy of FOX)Tune In to MasterChef on the BuddyTV Guide App and chat with other fans about the episode, and you can also share your thoughts on the episode directly to Facebook and Twitter.