Articles for MasterChef Season 3

Welcome back, MasterChef. This Gordon Ramsay series is all about amateur cooks: no experience required. For better or for worse, that means you get some amazing people and some who are amazingly unprepared to be thrust into the spotlight.  Read more »
Last night brought some pretty crazy auditions. How did tonight‘s group of MasterChef hopefuls fare? Well, as much as I am not a fan of giving yourself a nickname, that‘s still not as out there as cooking with a monkey.  Read more »
This week‘s MasterChef devotes half of its runtime to the third and final round of auditions, while the other half focuses on its herd-narrowing boot camp. Three new contestants are showcased, while Gordon, Graham and Joe judge their culinary offerings. Read more »
With auditions and boot camp out of the way, the MasterChef competition begins in earnest with the Mystery Box Challenge. Tonight‘s mystery box contents are delightfully random, featuring such staples as duck, sweet potatoes, kale, maple syrup, and bananas. Most contestants struggle to find a use for these ingredients--one contestant, Helene, starts a small fire. Read more »
There‘s no one more associated with food on television than Chef Gordon Ramsay. With Hell‘s Kitchen, MasterChef, Kitchen Nightmares and the upcoming Hotel Hell, Chef Ramsay has become FOX‘s face of its culinary programming - and polarized audiences with his public persona, that of an expert who‘s not to be trifled with. Read more »
FOX has just released its schedule for summer show finale dates. And it‘s... a little bit weird. Keep reading to find out when So You Think You Can Dance, MasterChef, Hell‘s Kitchen and more shows will have their season finales. Read more »
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. Read more »
Reality competitions occupy an interesting place in television: though everyone involved is going through real, unscripted experiences, they also tend to fall into established TV tropes. Competition becomes story, contestants become characters, etc. Tonight, MasterChef births a new villain. Read more »
As any food critic worth their salt knows, culinary mastery means sleep deprivation and grade school-level pettiness. That‘s the thinking behind tonight‘s hotel-themed MasterChef, in which the judges drag the contestants out of bed at 3:30am and, as is traditional, have them pick teams like kids playing dodgeball in gym. Read more »
Another week, another mystery box challenge. So far, the box contents have been almost exclusively strange. This week, however, the contestants are relieved to discover grocery store T-bone steaks and fresh produce.  Read more »
Though the MasterChef contestants are amateurs when they arrive on the show, they‘ll have an extensive resume of professional cooking experience by the end of the season. Tonight‘s episode finds the prospective MasterChefs working three separate food trucks in Venice Beach, California. The three teams are divided into regional cuisines and compete to make the most money. Read more »
For better or for worse, one of MasterChef‘s defining characteristics is its disorienting, ever-changing competition rules. This week‘s mystery box challenge brings two surprises: there‘s an added chef as Graham cooks alongside the contestants and a subtracted one as they face a surprise double elimination.  Read more »
The strangeness of the MasterChef Mystery Box is one of most captivating elements of the show: outside of one paid segment hocking big box steaks, the Mystery Box has consistently delivered some of the most compellingly atypical challenges of the series. This week‘s secret ingredient is sea urchin: Gordon demonstrates how to kill and gut the creature for its "uni," or creamy innards, then leaves the rest up to the contestants. Read more »
While MasterChef‘s elimination rounds have typically focused on dignified craft and culinary finesse, the location-based team challenges have skewed far more populist. Past assignments have included feeding marines, hotel guests and beach bums, and tonight‘s audience is in the same salt-of-earth tradition: the prospective MasterChefs must prepare steaks for 101 hungry cowboys. Read more »
Just when you think the Mystery Box can‘t possibly deliver any new surprises, a giant crate shows up with Paula Deen inside. The popular TV chef and legendary butter enthusiast is a guest judge tonight, and she personally selects the ingredients that the chefs must cook with. Deen opts to provide traditionally southern ingredients, with fresh chicken taking center stage. She also brings a bit of Southern hospitality: the contestants receive letters from their families and loved ones; much weeping ensues. Read more »
FOX opened its day at the Television Critics Association summer press tour with a flurry of announcements. The big stories include Glee casting two new actors for season 4 and American Idol‘s expansive new auditions strategy. But the network also revealed plans for another season of MasterChef, making its comedies available online and a new slate of high-profile actors lending their voices to animated shows.  Read more »
Though the pressure on the prospective MasterChefs has steadily increased over the past few weeks, tonight every one of them gets the night off: the eight most recently eliminated contestants return, and they are the ones competing for an open space in the MasterChef competition. Each rejected contestant gets to pick one ingredient for a special, custom mystery box. Read more »
MasterChef may be a pre-taped show, but tonight‘s mystery box ingredient is 100% live: the MasterChefs are forced to contend with fresh, living prawns. Some contestants rise to the promise of such a fresh ingredient, while others do not--Monti has even more trouble with wrangling her prawns than blind contestant Christine, splashing Chef Gordon multiple times. Read more »
After a three-week hiatus, MasterChef‘s third season finally seems to be entering the home stretch. With only six -- now five -- contestants left, this is no longer the judge-centric food mob show of its early episodes, but rather an intimate character drama about the remaining contestants. That makes tonight‘s centerpiece moments of betrayal and elimination all the more resonant, as MasterChef unwittingly ventures into the surprisingly nuanced territories of moral compromise and what "winning"actually means. Read more »
At this point in the season, the five remaining MasterChef hopefuls have pretty well-defined personal styles: Frank does Italian, Becky does cute, Monti does Wholesome, Christine does Vietnamese, and Josh does Southern. This week‘s MasterChef upends those conventions, however, as each contender is essentially forced to adopt the culinary personality of two other people: first, one of their competitors, and then one of their judges. Read more »
I‘ll say this for MasterChef: it certainly knows how to raise its fresh Wal-Mart stakes.Rather than artificially escalating the team challenge by making the contestants prepare dozens of plates -- I half expected to see our top four aboard a viking warship this time -- MasterChef wisely eschews spectacle for substance this week, inviting three guest judges to share a table with Gordon, Graham and Joe.These guests include Gordon‘s Parisian mentor Guy Savoy, New York icon Daniel Boulud, and the highly decorated Alain Ducasse. The judges are the only audience this week, ensuring that only the most skillful chefs survive. Read more »
After three months of charming profanity from Gordon, scowls from Joe, and generously donated steaks from Walmart, we‘ve at last arrived at the MasterChef finale -- I‘m not sure how a penultimate episode airing one week before the season‘s actual conclusion gets away with calling itself a finale, but whatever. Only Christine, Josh and Becky remain, and tonight they cook dishes that reflect their own personalities. Read more »
At long last, the time has come for MasterChef to decide its season 3 champion. The two remaining finalists are a hulking army contractor who fought his way back onto the show after elimination, and a small, blind creative writing grad student who kept cooking through her loss of vision: Josh Marks and Christine Ha. Tonight, their only task is to cook the perfect three course meal in two hours. Read more »