This week on MasterChef, the cooks have to cook in pairs, which sounds like a terrible idea. These people do not get along at all. That said, there are some surprising teams that actually end up working well together. There are 15 cooks left and the pressure is on.

Leslie’s asked who he doesn’t want to work with and he says Ahran, obviously, and she agrees. Christian doesn’t want to work with Courtney, even though she had the best dish in the last challenge. It turns out he doesn’t have to because she’s picking the teams and doesn’t have to cook in the challenge because she won before. The two worst teams are going into the pressure test.

Can Surf and Turf Bring People Together?

Courtney picks Christian and Francis B. to work together because their personalities will clash, but they seem okay with their team. Jaimee and Elizabeth are next, then Victoria and Christine, Cutter and Dan, Willie and Daniel and, of course, Ahran and Leslie. Finally, Francis L. and Elise are cooking together. They go back to their stations and the chefs bring out some huge carts. They learn that they have to make something that starts as two components, but comes together in one dish just as these pairs will have to come together. They’re making surf and turf and they’re all really excited.

The cooks get started and the pressure’s on. They have to figure out what they’re going to make fast because they can’t go back to the pantry once they leave. The judges are all pretty sure that someone’s going to turn out to be the leader of each pair.

Cutter and Dan get off to a rocky start and they still haven’t figured out what they’re going to make by the time they have to leave the pantry. Cutter is pissed and tells the judges that this is basically a mystery box challenge because Dan wouldn’t cooperate and “went on a wild tangent” in the pantry and now they have a few random ingredients to cook with. Cutter’s losing it.

The judges go up to Elise and Francis and ask who the leader of the group is. Elise says it was her idea, and Joe Bastianich asks, “It was your idea to cut the onions 10 times larger than they should be?” They could be in danger because they’re just so different. The judges then go up to Christian and say that he was the prime target for Courtney today. He says that’s because his cooking and personality is intimidating. Leslie and Ahran are shockingly getting along, though, and Ahran’s in charge, but Leslie’s still messing up her name. It’s okay, though. “Right now, Leslie’s your b*tch,” Gordon Ramsay tells her.

Ahran and Leslie are up for the tasting first. They’re the oldest and youngest competitors and actually worked really well together despite how much they don’t get along. They have a pork belly tostada, which goes over really well, and Ahran says that she respects Leslie as a cook and as a person because of this challenge now, which is really sweet. They even hug. People are finally coming together on MasterChef

Dan and Cutter are up second, and things are not looking good for them. Gordon Ramsay is shocked. He says he’s “so embarrassed” by their dish. He asks them to explain themselves, and Cutter starts going off, then they bicker back and forth. Dan says he’ll take responsibility for how the dish tastes, and Cutter says that with everything that happened he thinks it came out decently.

The have a seared venison loin, and it does not go over well. “That is possibly one of the worst dishes in this competition so far,” Gordon says. Cutter then tells Joe Bastianich that he doesn’t have to eat it, which he does not appreciate. He says he knows how to do his job. He brings a trashcan to them and has Cutter throw the dish away. Things have gone horribly wrong. Dan and Cutter both blame each other, but Dan doesn’t want to dwell.

Francis and Elise are up next. They have a rack of lamb. The yogurt is on the fat and it doesn’t look good visually. Gordon Ramsay says he’s unimpressed with both of them. Jaimee and Elizabeth have lamb and red snapper, which goes over really well. It captures the spirit of the challenge. Willie and Daniel have a seared ahi tuna, which also really captures the spirit of the challenge, but has a little too much going on. Ultimately, they do well, though. Christine and Victoria come up and have pork belly and monkfish, which looks beautiful. Graham Elliot loves it and says that they haven’t been in the top individually, but together they’re shining. 

Christian and Francis B. are up last and Courtney is confident that their egos are going to get in the way of their dish. She has a huge grudge against Christian. Will her plan work? They have a Moroccan spiced rib-eye. Gordon says that they each could have done this dish on their own in 20 minutes, and Courtney nods along in agreement. Christian agrees that they could have been more creatively. Gordon is not impressed and tells Courtney that it was well played.

Victoria and Christine actually have the best dish and are safe from elimination. Jaimee and Elizabeth, Daniel and Big Willie, and Leslie and Ahran are also safe. The last three pairs come down and the judges deliberate. Meanwhile, on the balcony, Courtney whispers, “I sent him to his grave,” and talks about putting “two overly confident and cocky guys” together.

Elise is apologizing to Scottish Francis, which just makes me want them to be safe even more. Gordon comes back and talks about the last team that’s safe and says, “Christian and Francis B., it’s not you.” It’s actually Elise and Francis L., which I’m so happy about. Francis L. actually starts to cry.

The Fall of Francis B.

Christian, Francis B., Cutter and Dan now have to cook against each other. They have to make spring rolls and a dipping sauce. Christian love spring rolls, but has never made them before. Dan, on the other hand, has an advantage because he was born in China and has made them before, and Cutter is pissed. This is a really tough challenge, and there are so many things that can go wrong.

The cooks put on their black aprons and get started with their identical ingredients. Graham Elliot said, “Don’t be limited by anything but your imagination.” The cooks quickly get started. Cutter tells the judges he’s never made spring rolls before and that he thinks Dan should go home. Dan’s the clear frontrunner and actually starts using the pasta machine to roll his dough. Francis B. talks about how he’s not the same Francis he was before. He needs to bounce back, but at least he’s been in a pressure test before. Meanwhile, Christian’s doing well, but he gets stressed when he’s reminded that more than one person can go home. 

One of Cutter’s spring rolls actually breaks open, and now he doesn’t have enough. This could send him home and he starts muttering about Courtney. Plus, Francis B.’s spring rolls aren’t looking good because he had cold oil. He puts them in a frying pan to try to make them better, but the judges don’t like that.

Christian’s up first and his spring rolls taste great, but could have used some more herbs and more even rolling. Francis’ doesn’t go well. His filling is out of proportion and they’re really greasy. Dan’s goes well, but Gordon Ramsay expected better. Lastly, Cutter’s spring rolls don’t go over well at all. Joe Bastianich asks if he blamed Dan and he says that some people don’t work well together, but he says sometimes he doesn’t work well on his own.

Christian’s spring rolls were the best and he was safe. And he says that in “due time,” Courtney’s going to fall on his face. Dan is safe, but only because he had a great sauce. In the end, Cutter is safe and Francis B. is sent home. I really did not see that coming. He had done so well in the beginning, but nobody’s safe on MasterChef and the judges talk about the “fall of Francis.”

MasterChef airs Mondays at 8pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Robin Lempel

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV