'MasterChef' Recap: Under Pressure
'MasterChef' Recap: Under Pressure
Robin Lempel
Robin Lempel
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Tonight's a vey exciting episode of MasterChef with the first team challenge and pressure test. Plus, the cooks will have to serve the most people in MasterChef history. Things are about to get crazy.

Cooking for More than Ever Before

"It's an all-out culinary war, in the biggest, most explosive team challenge in MasterChef history" tonight. The chefs find themselves 200 miles away in the Mojave desert. This is the first team challenge, and they're unhappy and uncomfortable in the desert; they're whining pretty hard. That all stops, though, when they see helicopters and trucks coming towards them: "Some serious stuff is about to go down." 

The judges jump out of the truck. Francis B. gets to be a team captain because he won a challenge. He gets to pick his entire team right away. He chooses Cutter, Tyler, Victoria, Francis, Willie, Christine, Elizabeth, Ahran, and Kira. They're the Red team, and the rest is the Blue team. The Blue team is doomed: they choose Daniel to be the captain. The two teams get into the trucks and have to wear army helmets. They're going to a national training center. It's roughly the size of Rhode Island. They're going to have to cook in a field kitchen and feed 500 soldiers. That's crazy! This is actually more people than they've had the cooks serve before. How are they going to be able to do it? They'll have to make one grilled meat, one side, and a sauce. They'll have two hours to prep and two hours to serve.

Don't Serve 500 Soldiers Raw Meat

They have to choose between beef, chicken, and pork. The Red team chooses pork, "which is like the Cadillac of meat." They pick a menu of pork chops and bacon mac and cheese rather quickly, but the poor Blue team is having no such luck. Leslie feels left out. They need to work on their teamwork. They eventually choose chicken, which Leslie disagrees with. He starts complaining to Gordon Ramsay about what they choose, and he seems to complain to the judges a lot. 

The judges aren't so sure about the Red team's mac and cheese choice. If they do it right, they'll win, though. The blue team is making barbecue chicken with potato salad. The judges think that chicken was the wrong choice. It looks like Leslie's vindicated. 

They start grilling and the judges criticize the Red team for having the meat too far from the grill. Meanwhile, Leslie's still upset about the chicken. He doesn't think it's cooked enough, and Stephani is getting pissed. The judges take notice. Are they cooking the chicken enough? Are they about to get all of the soldiers sick? Gordon Ramsay eventually tells them that the chicken is raw. They're in trouble! That's a huge deal. Stephani is in trouble. I think she'll be eliminated. Ramsay says that the chicken is more dangerous than the enemy, which is hilarious. Leslie's feeling pretty great right about now. Daniel's ending up to be a good captain for the Blue team though.

Meanwhile, the Red team's mac and cheese isn't looking too good. They didn't even make a cheese sauce. Plus, they're going way too slowly. Their rub's good though. They switch to coleslaw.

The soldiers arrive in style in their tanks and helicopters. It's terrifying. The Red team's in serious danger. This is kind of a disaster. They start serving the soldiers. Each soldier will taste both dishes and will cast a vote. The Red team serves a double cut pork chip with apple chutney and coleslaw, while the Blue team is serving grilled chicken with BBQ sauce and potato salad. Once the serving starts, things start to disintegrate and fall apart for the red team.  This is such a bummer. They were the A team. The judges ask the soldiers about what they like better. They all say that they're liking the Blue's better. Their pork chops are raw. Gordon Ramsay's pissed. He shows them the raw meat. They're pretty screwed. Especially team captain Francis. He went so far last week, but has fallen since then. The Blue team uses this to its advantage and gives the soldiers their food and is having the soldiers skip the Red line. However, the Red team's making a comeback. They're getting rave reviews about their pork chops now with their new technique.

The Soldiers Get in Line

The judges finally ask those in charge at Fort Irwin. The general goes with the Red team. Three vote for Red and three vote for Blue. It's a dead tie, obviously. The soldiers are thanked for their service and now it's time for the soldiers to decide. They line up by the team they prefer. It's chaos! It looks really close. It would be really cool if it were a tie, but the Red team ultimately wins with 329 votes and is safe from elimination. They're so happy! They run to shake the soldiers hands, and the Blue team's pissed. Leslie's the angriest of all. None of this would have happened if they had listened to him!

First Pressure Test

The Blue team has to go into the pressure test now and they are not happy. The Red team lords over them on the balcony. The Blue team isn't a team anymore. The members are going against each other hard as individuals now. At least one of them is going to leave tonight. This is the first pressure test. Not all of them are competing though! That's a huge shock. Three of them don't have to compete. Daniel, as team captain, gets to decide who's safe. Can he pick himself? He picks Christian and Gordon. He can save himself, but he says a captain has to go down with his ship. Leslie thinks he deserves it, but Daniel picks Dan. Leslie's pissed. 

The remaining contestants will have to make blueberry pie. Elise, the pie lady, is beyond thrilled. She better not get sent home tonight. Daniel's not happy though. After hearing this news, Daniel says he would have saved himself. Jamie's also rather pleased with the pressure test. She has a tattoo of blueberry pie on her neck! She has to win this one. She's one of my favorites. They have 75 minutes to make the blueberry pie. They have the same ingredients and a limited pantry. They start cooking and the judges start talking about the contestants and the pie.

Elise actually already made blueberry pie for the judges before, so she has to redeem herself. Plus, she's running behind and isn't doing a lattice crust. Staphani is adding pecans to her crust, and she's never even made this before. Daniel, meanwhile, who didn't save himself, is not doing so well. He keeps having to start over. 

Did Daniel Make the Wrong Choice?

Everyone has their pies in the oven, but Daniel. Even the contestants on the balcony are telling him to hurry up. He finally does, and all he can do is sit and watch it. It's so sad. Leslie's super happy that Daniel's in trouble. He's being really mean. I hope he goes home after his comments.

Blueberry Pie Judging

Jamie's the first up. She uses an orange liqueur in her pie. She's a baker who loves blueberry pie, so she has a lot to live up to. The pressure's on. It turns out awesome! That's such a relief. Elise is next. The pressure's on for her too. She's a baker and has made two pies before and got in trouble for them. Is it lucky number three for her? Nope. The pastry's raw. Ramsay says that the pie's her nemesis. It is not good. Poor Elise! She just can't get these pies right. Her only chance is someone being worse than her. Jordan's next. His isn't cooked through either. It tastes good, but it's sloppy. Courtney's pie is great Ramsay asks if there's anything she can't do. She says, "I guess when we find it, we'll know." Elizabeth is clutching and shaking her head and rolling her eyes, and I agree that she's pretty terrible. Leslie's up next. It's great. Daniels not surprised. "He's been around for a while, so he probably knew Betty Crocker," he says in exasperation. It is hilarious. Staphani's pecan, blueberry pie creation doesn't go over very well. It's undercooked and too sweet. Ramsay says that the only person who would like that pie would be Elise. It was pretty mean. It's really down to the two of them now, but Daniel's up now. 

Daniel's Honor

Leslie wants Daniel to lose so badly. He's smirking the entire time. Will he get his wish? It doesn't look good visually, but how does it taste? It tastes pretty good! The filling is delicious! The crust isn't good, but it looks like he's safe. Take that Leslie! Gordon Ramsay calls it a fluke. The judges have him turn around and ask if the other contestants would have made the same decisions as he did. He says that he has to look himself in the mirror and be happy with the decisions he's made. I'm loving this guy. Joe Bastianich says that his honor is better than his pie though. That's not a good sign.


All seven of the cooks come up front. Jamie, Courtney, and Leslie step up. They're safe. Daniel and Jordan step up and they're safe too even though they weren't very good. It's down to Elise and Stephani. Elise is really upset. I really don't want her to leave. She steps up. Ramsay says her pie was bad, but Stephani's was worse. Elise is safe and Stephani has to go home. Elise is happy to stay, but is sad to see Stepahani go. They were friends, apparently, but Stephani was badmouthing her a little bit.

Find out what happens next time! 

MasterChef airs Monday nights at 8 PM on Fox.

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(Image courtesy of Fox)