There are 14 home cooks left on MasterChef. Elizabeth says that the top competitors are Courtney, Christine, Willie, Jaimee and Elizabeth, but she says that’s based on cooking skill alone, and we all know that cooking isn’t really the only thing that goes into this competition. Their challenge at the diner proves that.

Diner Challenge

The cooks come into Dinah’s Family Restaurant, “one of the most iconic and busiest all-American diners in Los Angeles.” It serves over 1,000 plates every day, and, of course, the cooks will be taking over for it. They’ll have to work together as a machine to get everything done at such a fast-paced diner. What can go wrong? They are split into two teams and will each cover half the diner during the busiest shifts of the day.

For a change, the judges get to choose the team captains. They say that there are people they want to see more of, so Christine is the captain of the red team while Big Willie is the team captain for the blue team. The judges say the teams are going to be boys versus girls, which they’re all very excited about, but Gordon Ramsay isn’t satisfied. He drops a huge bombshell: the teams have to pick someone to steal onto their team. The red team takes Christian who’s pretty happy about his new circumstances, while the blue team takes Victoria. Each customer will be given a MasterChef dollar and they can leave tips for the team they like, which is cute.

The teams head off and start planning, and the captains start assigning roles. The captains will be expediting. Soon enough, the open sign is put up and the cooks get to work. Courtney actually talks about how great of a leader Christine is, which was a nice change. Willie, on the other hand, is having some difficulties. He’s overwhelmed and isn’t announcing the orders correctly, but he does start to get himself together. 

Then things start to go downhill on the red team because Elise is having trouble with the club sandwiches, so Christine sends Elizabeth to help her. Leslie’s also messing up the eggs on the blue team, and he’s not taking the criticism well. Soon, a lot of customers are saying that they’re not going to tip the blue team, so Willie sends Victoria to do the eggs and fires Leslie from the egg station. Diners are getting antsy waiting for the blue team’s dishes, and their tables start leaving. Things are not going well for the blue team.

Soon, one of the red team’s customers shows Gordon Ramsay that she has raw chicken. That’s a huge deal. Both of these teams are really screwing up, so this could be anybody’s game. In the end, the red team made $87 in tips while the blue team made $82, which means the blue team will have to face the dreaded pressure test.

Big Willie: A Man of Integrity

Willie gets to save three members of the team as the captain. But he has another choice: he can also save himself. If he does, though, then everyone else on his team has to cook. He decides to save three people because “I am a man of integrity,” which was a really honorable decision. He saves Daniel, who has been saved twice. He says he hasn’t hurt anybody or made any enemies besides Leslie, “who’s a child”; Leslie just laughs at him. Willie also saves Scottish Francis and Victoria. 

Red Velvet Cake Pressure Test

Willie, Leslie, Dan and Cutter have to cook in the pressure test. They have to make red velvet cake with at least three layers of cake. The cooks head to their stations and get started. Gordon Ramsay says that the secret to the cake is the density.

Everyone talks about how slow and calm Willie is in the kitchen while everyone else is just running around. Leslie’s also pretty confident. The judges ask him about Daniel, and Leslie says that Daniel doesn’t help. Cutter has never made red velvet cake, but he’s eaten plenty, so he’s not too worried. Dan’s having some problems, though. His batter’s really thick and he’s behind.

The judges talk about how it’s important to trim the layers of the cake. They’re worried about Dan and Cutter. But they aren’t worried about Leslie. This is Leslie’s third pressure test and he keeps bouncing back “like an old dog that you can’t put down.”

Cutter’s Defensive Side

Willie’s cake is up first and it looks a little askew, but has a good ratio with the layers and tastes great. He put his “heart and soul on the plate.” Leslie’s is up next. It tastes good and his addition of the pistachios is surprisingly good. They talk about why people don’t like him and he says he doesn’t know, but Cutter jumps in and says he’s a “one-trick pony.” Joe Bastianich reminds Leslie that the judges are the ones who will decide who the MasterChef winner is. 

Dan’s up next. They talked about how he was struggling while he was cooking, and his cake doesn’t go over well. It tastes “wooly.” Joe Bastianich says that his cake seems homemade, but Cutter’s looks “child made.”

Cutter’s up next. He has a random American flag on top of it, and Gordon Ramsay says it looks like a hairy back on one part. There’s a lot of frosting on it and is too sweet. Gordon has him taste it. The sponge is great, though. Cutter says he thought it tasted good and starts getting really defensive. He shouldn’t have tried to explain and defend his cake. He starts arguing with the judges and says, “Don’t put words in my mouth,” to Joe Bastianich. He’s really digging his own grave. Joe asks who he thinks they should send home. He says Leslie, and Leslie starts laughing at him.


The judges deliberate and call Willie up. Joe Bastianich says that he didn’t have to be a part of the challenge, but he proved his integrity and ability. He’s safe. Leslie’s safe too. His cake was as good if not better than Big Willie’s. Ultimately, despite mouthing off to the judges, Cutter is safe and Dan is sent home. His cake was just too dry. He had impressed the judges in the beginning, but he just didn’t cut it.

MasterChef airs Monday nights at 8pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Robin Lempel

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV