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.
With the dishes completed, three contestants are singled out for their standout dishes Ryan, Samantha, and Scott. Unfortunately, their dishes stand out as the most catastrophic: Samantha is sent home on the spot, the point being that this year, the judges are angry gods or something.
Felix Fang is the first Mystery Box Challenge winner, and is therefore given the opportunity to pick the elimination challenge entrÃ©e. The judges allow her to choose from their “most intimidating dishes”: Joe picks Italian risotto, Graham picks clam chowder, and Gordon picks beef Wellington.
Felix opts for the Risotto, and is given a further bonus of sitting out the round. Some rise to the challenge, others not so much. Monti is up first, and having never even eaten Risotto before, she falls squarely in the latter category. Frank is far more assured, offering an experienced take on the classical Italian dish.
Chicago David is next to draw praise–Graham calls his risotto the tastiest thing he’s seen in a while–while accidental arsonist Helene’s scallops are deemed “a joke” by Joe. Praise comes few and far between for the other contestants as well, as even blind favorite Christine nets a sub-par verdict from Gordon.
Frank and Chicago David’s exemplary risottos earn them a place as team captains in the next round, while Dave Mack, Helene, and Tali are left in the bottom three. Tali and Helene escape with tongue lashings, while Dave Mack is sent home.
With the constant criticism and unscheduled eliminations, this looks to be one of the toughest seasons yet. And on that note, next week’s episode will be taking place in a warzone.
(Image courtesy of FOX)