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.
The MasterChef contestants are given a tall order tonight, as they are recruited to deliver hundreds of hotel room service breakfasts. Christine and Joshua are team captains, with Felix and Monti as their respective expeditors. Ryan and Tali are the last two picked, and they both wind up on the blue team when Christine is allowed to swap one of her teammates.
While Josh autocratically assigns his blue team’s roles, Christine’s red team approaches the division of labor a little more democratically. While it’s not a very positive environment on the blue side — Monti, in particular, won’t stop yelling — they do get their food out promptly.
The red team has a much harder time getting into a groove, as Felix is initially overwhelmed by the demands of her role as expeditor. Though they eventually settle into a decent pace, they fail to fill a few of their orders and are nearly disqualified.
In spite of this, they still manage to win over 60% of the hotel guests, leaving the blue team to fight it out in the elimination round. This week, the judges allow themselves to pick one contestant each to save: Joe picks David, Graham picks Frankie and Gordon picks Monti. That leaves Tali, Ryan, Josh and Anna to attempt the enormously challenging Molten Lava cake.
Tali is first to serve, unveiling an asymmetrical but fundamentally sound dessert. Anna and Josh deliver far more assured cakes, while Ryan brings forward a plate of uncooked diarrhea at the very last second.
Anna and Josh receive perfect marks from the judges, leaving the self-appointed “dream team” of Tali and Ryan in the bottom two. In the naked hope of somehow keeping his newly crafted villain on the show, Gordon allows the pair to volunteer themselves for elimination according to their own conscience — after a few moments of hesitation, Ryan steps forward and out of the competition.
Last week, I incorrectly predicted that Ryan would be retained for his dramatic place in the show’s cast — a prediction that Gordon was visibly hoping would come true — simply because an easy good vs. evil narrative would have been good for the show’s ratings. Unfortunately, cooking got in the way of good television. While Ryan was visibly bummed about his disastrous Molten Lava cake, his semi-voluntary departure at least allows him to break with the show’s pre-planned win-at-all-costs characterization: though he probably won’t be remembered as a terribly classy guy, he at least gets to go out on a classy move.
(Image courtesy of FOX)
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