Season 5 of MasterChef is finally here! The top 30 are ready to compete for the white apron in the MasterChef kitchen. They enter the kitchen with wonder. The game is on for the best home cook in America.

The first thing they have to do is earn a MasterChef apron. Then they’re on their way to the trophy. They’re pumped.

Mirror Challenge

The 30 contestants immediately begin their first challenge. They have one hour to conceive, create and plate a dish. They turn over their chopping boards to find a mirror. What does this mean? They need to put themselves on a plate — to tell their stories and show what makes them who they are in edible form. They need to make their signature dish — and have the best pantry ever to make it, though.

The Immediate Eliminations

But that’s not all. Not everyone will make it through the next hour. They’ll be watched and some will be sent home immediately. They’ll actually be kicked out as they’re cooking. 

So they all storm the pantry at once. It’s intense.

The chefs decide to eliminate someone immediately. They check up on all of the contestants to see what they are getting ready.

Gavin forgets the salt in his dish. He’s not tasting anything as he cooks. And Gavin is eliminated.

Netanya is also eliminated because her sauce isn’t good.

Who Got an Apron?

The chefs observe and sample throughout the challenge. Then they take one final taste.

Courtney gets the first apron. She made gnocchi. She worked in a Gentleman’s club in college. She can’t do that forever, though, and wants to cook.

Willie gets the second apron. He’s definitely my favorite so far.

They call more and more names — and things are getting tense. 

The last apron goes to Elizabeth. She’s so stressed out about it. She made a dessert, which was a bold choice. Elise thinks it was her name, but soon realizes it’s not.

The Second Chance

The other nine solemnly walk up in despair. It’s really emotional. They soon find out that it isn’t over quite yet. They all have one more chance.

They all have to cook with the same ingredients. They each have a refrigerator with identical (and common) ingredients. They could also use the MasterChef staple pantry box.

The contestants that already have aprons are calling out to the others throughout the entire challenge.

The Catch

There is one catch. One of the judges has to cook alongside them. They pick Gordon Ramsay.

Ramsay is the first to show his dish, which is minted dumplings, and it’s great.

The Eliminations

Corey, Leslie and Gordon are the next to show their dishes. Gordon did a seared chicken breast. He’s the “little” Gordon. Leslie made stuffed chicken breast. He’s a stay at home dad. It’s delicious, but there’s too much of it. Corey made fried chicken with potato souffle. You’re not supposed to play with the souffle, though. It won’t come out and they break the dish. His dish is not good. Ramsay says that he broke the plate, but “the dish was broken way before hand.” Corey is sent home while Gordon and Leslie get aprons.

Astrid, Amy and Michael are next. Astrid made seared chicken breast with potato hash. People are not happy with Astrid’s station. Her garbage is all over the floor. She even gets yelled at, but she’s only given a warning. Amy made shrimp and chicken tacos. Michael made roasted chicken. They have him try it, and it’s too salty. Astrid gets an apron, but the others are sent home.

Then the last three come up. Francis made spinach pasta. Francis breaks his syringe that he brought from home during the first challenge. He likes technology and his cooking is very technical. This is better, though. He proves that he knows the basics. Chandace made a potato rosti stack. The potatoes are raw. She has to try them. Elise made chicken pot pie. This is her second pie. They’re not happy with that, but she calls it redemption pie. It’s good, but she doesn’t come out of her comfort zone. She begs to be let in. Chandace is sent home, and Francis gets to stay.

Redemption Pie 

But the real question is Elise. It meant so much to her. She’s very emotional. Ramsey says that she’s not going up to the balcony; they’re coming down to congratulate her. She just has to say “no more pies.” She says this is the best day of her life. Thirty came and 22 are staying. Who will be America’s next MasterChef?

MasterChef airs Mondays at 8pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Robin Lempel

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV