This week’s episode of MasterChef is so intense that Elise actually gets sick and has to call for a medic. With the judges showing the cooks how it’s really done in the Mystery Box challenge and a personal second challenge, the pressure is on this week.

Mystery Box Challenge

The Top 13 cooks on MasterChef walk into the kitchen to find a huge box in the front of the room. It’s time for another Mystery Box challenge. The cooks lift their boxes to find a single knife. “Things are about to get cutthroat in here,” Elise quips. They lift the huge box up to reveal some salmon. They each have to use one of the salmon to make a salmon dish. They all get up and grab a salmon, which are huge. Jaimee says hers is almost as big as she is.

There’s one salmon left, though, but it isn’t going to waste. Gordon’s going to fillet it, Graham’s going to cook it and Joe’s going to eat it. Something tells me that Joe has the easy job.

Gordon reminds the cooks that each fish is worth about $450 and says, “No pressure,” and the cooks get started. They start slicing into their fish and quickly see that they are no match for Gordon. Graham does have a point, though, when he says that they’re basically getting a free lesson from one of the best chefs in the world. Graham starts cooking while Gordon and Joe are checking out what’s going on with the cooks, and Graham finishes his dish in record time and it looks incredible.

Elise is in Trouble

All of a sudden, Elise starts calling for a medic. Her hand’s shaking and she’s passing out. There’s just so much pressure and it’s really intense. She actually has to leave the MasterChef kitchen. She just couldn’t take the heat. Meanwhile, Joe tastes and loves the judges’ dish. Elise comes back and is determined to keep going. She wants to keep cooking despite the loss of time and wants to get something on the plate. She’s really stepping up.

The King of the Kitchen

The judges go to take a look at the dishes to identify the three standout dishes. Christian’s called up first with a blackened salmon, which goes over really well. Blackening salmon is never done, so that makes it even more impressive. He’s just getting better and better. Courtney’s called up next with a seared salmon. The chefs love it. Elizabeth is called up last. She has a baked salmon and Joe says it’s really courageous to bake a salmon. However, she beats the odds and does really well.

They start to announce the winner, and Courtney has a great point when she says that they purposely drag it out. Then, of course, they go to commercial. Gordon comes back and says that tonight’s “king of the kitchen” is Christian. He had been a runner-up before, so he was really excited.

Christian’s Advantages

Christian goes back to the pantry with the chefs to learn about his huge advantage. He doesn’t have to cook and everyone has to cook whatever’s in Gordon, Graham or Joe’s basket. They’re going to choose things that they want to cook with and would have in their fridges at home, and Christian’s going to pick the basket he wants everyone to cook with. Joe has “the bounty of Italy,” Graham has everything he likes to get at the farmer’s market and Gordon has a taste of the UK. Gordon clearly thinks his basket is the best. Christian chooses Joe’s basket, which has a lot of wine in it.

The cooks grab their baskets and are about to get to work, but the chefs have one more surprise. Christian has one more advantage. He gets to choose one person to only have 30 minutes instead of an hour. Of course, he picks Courtney. Everyone saw that coming.

Basket Challenge

The cooks start going, while Courtney has to watch for the first half. The judges say they’re worried about Elise, Ahran and Courtney. This is only Elise’s second time making pasta dough. Gordon talks to Cutter, who says he’s making pizza because he likes pizza and Gordon says it’s all about what Cutter likes again instead of what the judges want to see. Cutter’s definitely in trouble. He’s screwed up too many times.

Ahran’s making a savory tiramisu, and the judges aren’t so sure about that. It could either be amazing or horrible.

Courtney’s finally able to start and rushes to get going. Elise, meanwhile, is having some trouble, but Christian’s cheering her on from the balcony. She’s having a hard time. Gordon goes up to her and she says she messed up her pasta dough. She says she knows it’s over for her and is thinking about giving up, but she perseveres. Gordon actually starts helping her and tells her she can’t give up. Leslie, meanwhile, starts drinking the wine. He says he’s 56 and all he does is get tanked. Big Willy, on the other hand, is ditching the Italian concept altogether.


Courtney’s dish is up first. She made spaghetti with mushroom ragu and artichokes in half the time. She says that being targeted was a compliment, and her dish goes over really well. Christian says she played it safe, and Joe says that he wasted his advantage. 

Cutter’s up next and Gordon takes one look at his dish and asks, “Is that it?” and has a huge problem with him calling it an “artisan pizza.” “My name’s Gordon Ramsay, not Stevie Wonder,” he says. Even the label on the screen calls it an “artisan” pizza. Joe also says that these ingredients are important to him and Cutter knows nothing about them. He spits the food out and says it was a waste of time. Leslie’s up next with artichoke ravioli and his plating doesn’t go over so well, while Big Willie has tomato soup, which he says he would rate an eight, but Gordon says that is seven points too high. 

Christine’s up next with a mushroom caramelle, and it tastes great. Ahran’s up next with her controversial savory tiramisu. Gordon asks her if she’s been drinking and she says she doesn’t even know how to open the bottle, which is adorable. It actually tastes delicious. Elizabeth’s up next with a breakfast lasagna, and Joe calls it amazing and says it’s like taking a trip to Italy.

Elise is in Trouble Again

Elise is up next and she looks so nervous. She says she feels like she failed in both challenges and starts crying. Gordon asks why she gave up so easily and she says that she lost her confidence and can’t get it back. She has a mushroom ravioli. It’s not a pie, but it’s a “sad ravioli.” Gordon has her taste it and says it’s bland. He leans in and asks her if she’s given up and she says she’s trying not to. He says it tastes like it, though.

The judges talk about the two standout dishes. They call up Ahran and announce that Elizabeth has the winning dish. They’re going to be team captains in the next challenge.

Gordon says they’ll usually call up the three worst dishes, but they say that there were two that were obviously the worst. Gordon asks them to put their hands up and Willie, Elise and Cutter all put their hands up. Then Cutter puts his hand down. It’s actually Elise and Cutter. They’re in a league of their own. Gordon says that Cutter’s stubbornness is getting in the way, but Elise is ultimately sent home. Gordon’s actually really nice about it and tells her to bounce back and he’ll always think of her when he has a pie, and he hugs her.

MasterChef airs Mondays at 8pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Robin Lempel

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV