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.

The first standout contender is a woman named Stacey, whose interest in cooking developed around the same time as her sobriety. While her dish nets a yes from only Graham, he convinces Joe to change his mind and passes her through as well — in an unprecedented reversal, she moves forward.

The second highlighted contestant is a car-salesman named Rami. He earns a no from Joe but yeses from the other two. Auditions are rounded out by a man named David, presenting a soulful dish reflective of his lower income upbringing on the south side of Chicago — he’s passed through to boot camp in tears.

The evening’s boot camp segment gives the remaining 36 contenders one hour to creatively prepare ground beef. As the judges note, ground beef is an exceptionally malleable ingredient found in the cuisine of nearly every culture; the result is a very wide variety of dishes.

With all of the entrees completed and judged, the prospective MasterChefs are sorted into three groups of 12: one is immediately passed through, one is immediately sent home and one is paraded in front of the cameras for maximum drama.

Here, the most TV-friendly contestants learn their fate: the husband and wife split as he goes home and she goes on. Bubba doesn’t quite make it, while the blind contestant is passed through. Chicago David beats out car salesman Rami.

When all is said and done, 18 cooks are left in the MasterChef kitchen. Regular competition begins Tuesday night, offering a better chance to get to know the remaining contestants in their quest to attain ChefMastery.

Ted Kindig
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of FOX)

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Ted Kindig

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV