MasterChef is down to 11 out of 22 home cooks and the competition is getting tight. This is a huge week for MasterChef because everyone wants a spot in the Top 10. The cooks are doing all they can to stand out, but some end up doing a bit too much.

Mystery Box Choice Challenge

The cooks come in for their next mystery box challenge and find out that this week’s challenge actually has two mystery boxes because this week is all about choice. The cooks lift the boxes on their right and see everyday ingredients, while the boxes on their left have the luxury version of the same ingredients from the first box. Courtney says the second box is what she would want to buy if she could afford it. The cooks get to decide which box they want to cook with.

Victoria has a point when she says that the luxury box could be a trap because if you mess up with one of the ingredients, you could get in trouble, but Elizabeth says you should take advantage of the amazing ingredients you’re given.

The cooks pick their boxes and get started on their dishes, while the judges talk to some of the cooks. They say that Victoria’s dish sounds “almost good.” Gordon, meanwhile, asks Elizabeth who she doesn’t see in the Top 10, and she says, “Maybe Leslie.” Leslie’s actually having some trouble. He’s cooking with the fancy box, but Joe tells him that his truffles aren’t seasoned and he starts defending himself. Francis is also using the luxury box and is making a surf and turf chessboard. He says that traditional is boring to him.

The judges pick three stand-out dishes from the mystery box challenge. They pick Elizabeth, who used the high end box, first. She made a pan-roasted pork chop and they love it. Graham says that people should look at her for inspiration and that it’s the best dish she’s made so far.

They call Victoria up next and she says that her everyday ingredients dish is her on a plate. She made tilapia with ham steak. It even has nacho cheese sauce. Graham loves the pickles from the vinaigrette and says that she made it hip. This may be the night where she wins her first mystery box.

Lastly, they call Leslie up. He used the luxury box and made pork, beef and ahi tuna. He’s the only one who went with all three. Gordon says that it’s the best dish that he’s cooked all season. Joe even likes it.

In the end, Leslie wins the mystery box challenge and is getting a game-changing advantage for the elimination test.

Leslie’s Big Moment

Leslie has to choose between three types of stuffed pasta. He chooses between tortellini, caramelle, which Leslie has never heard of, and ravioli. He also doesn’t have to cook in the challenge, which makes him the first home cook to be in the Top 10. He chooses the caramelle stuffed with mozzarella. Big Willie doesn’t know what that is, either. It’s okay. I don’t, either.

The cooks rush to the pantry to get their ingredients. Cutter’s pretty nervous, and notices that it’s supposed to look like a candy. Francis is actually going to dye his pasta with beets and make it look like bubblegum. Suddenly, the chefs announce that Leslie’s getting another advantage. He gets to give a cook a rolling pin and take away his or her pasta machine. He makes the most of it, teasing people with the rolling pin, but ultimately gives it to Daniel. This is his big moment and he’s loving it. Daniel says he’s not surprised because “Leslie is a petty man who likes to hold grudges.”

The cooks rush to get started and Daniel starts rolling away. Leslie says that Daniel has been nothing but nasty to him and he wants to send him home, then Daniel starts talking about Leslie to the camera. He loves baseball and he’s swinging for Leslie. He says he likes when Daniel gets frazzled.

Stuffed Pasta Elimination Challenge

Courtney’s not worried. She’s a third generation Italian and is keeping it “classy and traditional, just like me.” Gordon goes up to Francis and asks him if he ever plays it safe. He calls him nuts, but I like his bubblegum idea. Graham talks to Big Willie, who’s making a dessert dish. He says, “Go big or go home,” but Graham says he shouldn’t want to go home. Hopefully, this will help him stand out.

Meanwhile, Joe goes up to Daniel to talk about his issues with Leslie. He also talks about his dish and says he’s worried about his wine reduction. Gordon goes up to Jaimee, who says that she’s channeling her dad with this dish. He says her dish looks good so far. I really want her to be in the Top 10. The judges don’t understand why so many people are taking such big risks with their dishes when they are trying to get into the final 10 on MasterChef.


Daniel’s called up to present his dish first and he’s pretty confident. He made a short rib caramelle. Graham doesn’t like the color, but he says that’s what he was going for. It doesn’t taste very good, either. Joe hates it and says that the biggest challenge for him wasn’t the lack of the pasta machine, but himself. Gordon makes him eat it too and congratulates him on “standing out tonight, possibly outside the door.” He went really far out with his dish and Gordon calls it disgusting.

Jaimee’s up next. She did a take on her dad Michael’s sauce. He works for the Department of Sanitation and makes a “killer” meat sauce. I love that they talk about her dad. Joe loves her dish and says she really captured the spirit of the challenge.

Scottish Francis is up next with his short rib caramelle. The chefs are not impressed with him using beets solely for the color because it reminds him of candy and it doesn’t taste good at all. 

Cutter’s up next with a short rib caramelle, and it tastes good. Gordon says he cooks “like an angel.” Courtney comes up and the chefs love her dish as well. Joe calls it a “super sexy, simple dish.”

Big Willie’s up last with a squash and apple caramelle and the chefs are really upset that he made a dessert. Gordon hates it and says it “sounds disgusting” and loos like “regurgitated dog vomit.” Gordon calls him Lazy Willie.

The two stand-out dishes are Courtney and Jaimee, who had the winning dish. They’ll be captains in the next team challenge. The three worst dishes are Daniel, Francis and Big Willie. They were all too desperate to stand out. Daniel and Willie are both called up and are both safe. In the end, Francis is sent home. He was just trying too hard to be different and is reminded that cooking shouldn’t be an art.

MasterChef airs Mondays at 8pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Robin Lempel

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV