Thursday, June 27, 2013

S4E11: The Curse of the First Interview

“I’m still here! I’m still here!” Beth exclaims to start off the episode. Not for long, I predict. Two reality rules are in play here. Rule number one is that the first contestant interview you see is either the winning or losing contestant for the episode. The second rule is the Opposites Rule: in order for a character to have an arc, he/she must either start low and end high, or as in this case I’m guessing, start high and end low. Am I ruining reality TV for you? I tend to ruin things.

Mystery Box time! Bri prays to the vegetable gods for a cornucopia of…corn? Luca is looking for some sexy shellfish, because he is a pervert. They open their mystery boxes to reveal…Paula Deen! No, wait. It’s a pig’s head. Paula Deen is scheduled for a later episode, and please god, let Eddie still be on.

The Home Cooks are mercifully given an already broken down head consisting of ears, tongue, cheek, and pork snout. Graham wants the Cooks to make him “squeal” with delight. The joke kills.

Beth has never cooked a pig’s head before, but she loves pork. This chick digs on swine, yo. James has seen a lot worse than a pig’s head before but doesn’t go into specifics. What could be worse? Ok. This, I guess.

A subplot in basically every episode is that Bri will struggle because she’s a vegetarian. She has a towel over her pig’s head because “You don’t want to look at someone’s face while you’re cooking him.” She’s making a farmer’s breakfast and rattles off a bunch of different things that she’s including in it. She’s still listing dishes when Gordon walks away.

Lynn is finally seasoning his food, and Graham squeals with delight. Jonny B is making some tacos, and Gordon is impressed with his flavor profiles of pork in pork stock. Fucking genius.

Graham wants to see the oink on the plate. He’s referring to the pig. Each plate must have some pig on it.

The top three:

Lynn finally has his moment to shine. Bri thinks Lynn is all presentation and no palate. She might have a point. The judges are into his braised tongue & cheek with parsnip puree, though. “How’d you make that puree so fine?” Gordon asks. “I worked it,” says Lynn. Mmm, that puree so fine! You gotta work it, Lynn!

Stunning Jessie glides forward, hair flowing beautifully over her delicate shoulder. She presents braised cheek & ear with black-eyed peas and roasted corn. The judges like it but are restrained in their praise compared to how they greeted Lynn’s dish.

Jonny B and his tacos get the call. Those look like flour tortillas to me, which is a severe taco no-no. The judges love them and are completely full of shit on this one. How can I trust anything they say now? Tacos get corn tortillas. Burritos get flour. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY.

Lynn wins and heads back to the pantry with the don’t-know-shit-about-tacos judges. A special guest will be presenting the theme for the Elimination Challenge, and it’s last season’s winner Christine Ha. Lynn is very excited to meet her and rushes forward to shake her hand, and Christine notes how tall he must be. Oh, yeah. She’s blind, by the way. I should mention that.

Graham hawks Christine’s horribly-titled cookbook “Recipes from my Home Kitchen: Asian and American Comfort Food.” As I noted before, I think she really missed the boat by not referencing her lack of sight in the book title. No, not “Recipes so Easy a Blind Woman Can Cook Them,” but something like “Flavor Rules.” Whatever. It’s not my book, and no one asked me.

Lynn will pick between three ingredients heavily featured in Christine’s cookbook: chicken (yawn), catfish (hello there, gorgeous), and a live Dungeness crab. Comedy superstar Graham Elliot meows at the reveal of the catfish. Lynn has immunity and can pick a Home Cook to prepare one of the options while everyone else will cook another that he chooses. He decides to give Krissi the catfish, guessing that she doesn’t know it well. He doesn’t fear her wrath, which will be substantial.

The judges present Christine Ha to the other cooks, and we get another Beth interview. She is so going down tonight. I’m very confident in this.

The Home Cooks rush to the pantry to see their ingredients. Krissi sees her catfish and feels that Lynn did this to her because Bime was his boy, and she sent Bime packing last episode. The other cooks will be dealing with the live crab, meaning Bri will have to take a life, condemning her to burn in hell for all eternity. However, eternal damnation is a small price to pay for the title of MasterChef and your very own cookbook.

Game Changer Alert! Christine announces to the Home Cooks that they will be blindfolded for the challenge. They’ll get to see (or won’t, rather) what it’s like for Christine to cook every day, only with more finger chopping.

They get to work and begin stumbling about. Graham does a silly pantomime of the blindfolded Home Cooks and locks up a sitcom on Comedy Central. It’s chaos, and I’m loving it. Unfortunately, Gordon tells them to stop. The blindfolding was just a joke. They remove them and start again.

Krissi is confident that Lynn wasted his advantage, calling him a dumbass. Luca reminds us that he’s Italian, and being Italian, he’s going to make a risotto. He adds fish stock to the sauce to make Christine happy. If Luca knows one thing, it’s how to make a woman (or a shellfish) happy.

James is shocking his tomatoes. He accomplishes this by telling them that Krissi is cooking mashed potatoes with her catfish.

At Beth’s station, Joe picks up the crab shell with meat still inside of it and asks Beth if she’s “going to leave all of this goodness behind?” Beth says she’s trying to do something fresh. That meat has been sitting there for a good 10 minutes, so it’s obviously not any good.

Natasha has fashioned her blindfold as a karate headband and is making crab cakes and salad. What happened to Evil Robot Natasha? This new Zen version is boring.

Joe and Graham stop by Krissi’s station and are unimpressed. Krissi immediately gets defensive, and Joe smells blood, coming right back at her and calling her a smartass. “Sunday night leftover dinner…super stupid move,” Joe tells Gordon.

Time ends, and Christine comes down to help judge.

Krissi’s fried catfish is first. “Looks like a TV dinner,” Gordon informs Christine. Krissi leaves the slimy catfish skin on the filets, because she doesn’t know any better. Christine thinks it tastes pedestrian. Graham piles on and calls it the $6.99 Blue Plate Special. Joe says it tastes like mud and spits it out. As Krissi heads back to her station she mutters her disagreement to the other Home Cooks, which Joe catches. He accuses her of not having any balls. I don’t know about that. She didn’t cry, at least. Luca doesn’t think she was honorable or respectful, but he definitely would have cried.

Natasha-san brings up her crab cakes and one-leaf salad. Christine, who can't see the headband and thusly isn’t offended by it, likes the dish. Joe agrees.

Bri makes a summer crab stack with pea and avocado mash, and Graham thinks it was a wise choice of ingredients. This vegetarian continues to have no problems cooking meat.

James presents his spicy crab creole. Christine likes the heat that James is putting out. Gordon loves it, as well.

Next is Beth’s mascarpone crab cake with grilled peach and avocado salsa. Christine puts a forkful in her mouth and makes a face like Beth just put her blindfold on as a karate headband. Joe spits it out. “It’s completely raw,” Joe says. “Untolerable,” he continues, because the dish is so bad that he has to invent a new word just to describe it. “It’s really pasty,” adds Graham. Hey, this is just another example of a Home Cook unwisely deciding to put herself on the plate.

Luca brings up his risotto soup disaster. Joe spits his food out for the third time this challenge. He makes Luca bring up the fish sauce he added to the risotto. He only wanted to make Christine happy, but instead he made all of Italy weep.

Beth, Krissi, and Luca all think they’re going home. They’re all definitely coming up for judgment at the very least. First though, is the top two. Natasha gets second place with James winning the challenge. They’ll be team captains next episode.

The three I mentioned before all come forward. Luca and his ridiculous fish sauce get the reprieve, and now it’s down to Beth and Krissi.

Beth really, really, really doesn’t want to go home. (She’s going home.) Gordon thinks Krissi has attitude but not the talent to back it up.

And the ax falls…on Beth. Boom. Nailed it.

I think Beth lost her energy soon after Natasha went after her a few episodes ago for calling the disgusting cauliflower puree disgusting. She’s too gentle of a spirit for these razor-toothed fame beasts and was sequentially chewed apart by them.

Farewell, Quirky Beth. 

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