Thursday, July 11, 2013

S4E14: Is Raw Raw?

The final ten Home Cooks are in Huntington Beach for the next Team Challenge. Joe and Gordon come riding into the beach on jet skis. “The judges look pretty badass on those Sea-Doos,” Savannah tells us. But where’s Graham? There he is, rising from the tide wearing a snorkel, a Speedo, and a flesh-colored wetsuit with muscles and a chest tattoo painted on it. He’s really relishing the role of comic relief this season.

101 surfers come running and rolling in as the chefs are told they’ll be cooking for them. “What do surfers eat? Aren’t they like unemployed weirdoes?” asks Land Crab Krissi. They eat fish tacos! Duh.

Jessie won the last Elimination Challenge, and she gets to pick both teams. She also gets to pick the captain of the other team. Her first pick is Lynn. Lynn? Where’s Lynn? Oh, yeah.

For her own Blue Team, she chooses James, Eddie, Bethy (who?), and Natasha. As captain for the Red Team, she picks Savannah of whom she says gets nervous and has a bad palate. How does that taste, Savannah? She says it tastes good.

Savannah is from San Diego, which makes her an expert on Mexican food and fish tacos. “I’m not scared,” she says with a hint of fear in her voice.

The Red Team chooses cod for their tacos. They’re not sure if they want to fry it or grill it, so Krissi volunteers to do a test batter. The camaraderie on this team is palpable, which on this show, usually spells disaster.

Jessie’s Blue Team goes with mahi mahi. “Tender ass pieces of fish?” James asks. The team likes the sound of that. Mmm. Ass tenders. He gets to work on a roasted pineapple and habanero hot sauce.

Savanna is slicing cabbage. Luca and Jordan are worried that she’s not seasoning the cabbage. I’d be more worried about that mandolin. Careful! I can’t handle another finger amputation. Jessie is slicing her cabbage with a knife instead of the mandolin, and I certainly can’t blame her.

“I’m making the sauce mild,” says James, and Graham and Joe each give it a taste. Steam shoots out of their ears as their eyeballs pop out and roll through the sand. It’s going to sting when they try to put those back in. “These are some pretty potent ass habaneros,” James says as he works to bring the heat down to a level that complements the tender ass fish.

Jordan is making a cilantro lime sauce, and Gordon digs it. Meanwhile, Krissi is ready for her fried cod to be tasted. “It tastes like shit,” Jordan says, only not to her face. Instead he says it to her tender ass. They go with the grilled cod and banish Krissi to tortilla purgatory.

Service starts, and it’s boring. The Blue Team has trouble getting food out. Then the Red Team has trouble getting food out. Oh, who cares?

By the way, those look like flour tortillas on the tacos. Is that how you’re supposed to do fish tacos? I don’t know. I don’t really like fish tacos. Maybe I don’t like them because they’re always made with flour tortillas.

It’s judgment time, and the surfers jump to either a red or blue surfboard to vote. The producers get a little heavy handed with their control and have the first 22 votes go to the Red Team. The team is ecstatic, because they’re a bunch of suckers. Sure enough, suddenly the Blue Team rattles off 51 votes while the Red Team only gets three more along the way. “Some would say a tidal wave of votes just kicked in,” James says. Graham feverishly makes a note in his joke journal.

Back in the MasterChef Kitchen, Savannah is prompted to name the weakest performer. She reluctantly says Krissi. Bri agrees.

They go into the wine room to pick one member to sit out the Pressure Test. While in there, Krissi flips out. She claims Savannah never instructed her on how to cook the tortillas, which she certainly did. Krissi begins dropping F-bombs on everyone’s head, and finally Bri has had enough. She comes right back at her, and Krissi shows her true colors by threatening to knock Bri the fuck out. It’s suddenly apparent to Krissi that she’s losing the war of words, so she shuts up in surrender. It’s a beautiful moment, possibly my favorite of the season so far.

Oh, and they pick Jordan to sit out the Pressure Test.

Chicken Challenge! Each of the four remaining Home Cooks will have to cook a chicken breast three ways: sautéed, fried, and stuffed. They only have 40 minutes to do it.

This challenge is right in Krissi’s comfort zone, you know, because it’s easy. But will it be easy for the rest of them? Savannah is a stress ball, Luca has never made fried chicken, and Bri is (supposedly) a vegetarian.

Luca tells Gordon that Krissi needs to go home, because they’re all sick and tired of her. I used to love Krissi, but now I kind of hate her, too, and that’s not even taking into account the racist Tweets her real-life persona made. It’s a pretty dramatic fall from what I consider to be the most emotional, heartwarming audition of the season. Hell, even Joe cried! Gordon asks everyone if they all agree with Luca, and they quickly confirm that they do. Krissi gobbles all of that hate up and licks her fingertips.

“What’s a vegetarian going to season fried chicken with? Tofu?” asks James, firmly wresting away the title of comedy king from Graham. Bri does not look comfortable at her station, but Savannah looks even worse. Both of them are waiting way too long to begin frying their chicken.

Time ends, and the tasting begins.

In separate interviews, Bri calls Krissi’s actions “unforgivable” while Krissi calls Bri “the epitome of the girls I used to beat up in high school.” She used to beat up girls in high school? Skinny, artsy girls like Bri? That is unforgivable.

Savannah goes first. Her sautéed chicken is fatty and poached. The batter on her fried chicken is soft and the chicken itself is way undercooked. “It’s bawking at me,” says Graham in a futile attempt to match James’s wit. Her stuffed chicken is ok, but the sauce is goopy.

Krissi’s sautéed chicken is a little under, but the seasoning is nails. Graham loves her fried chicken. Joe cuts into her stuffed chicken and is disappointed in the lack of stuffing. Overall, he likes it. She’s safe.

Next, Gordon tries Luca’s sautéed chicken. It’s overcooked and dry. Graham cuts into his fried chicken, which has a nice batter. It’s just barely under, but he likes it. Joe slices Luca’s stuffed chicken to reveal that it’s completely raw. “Che peccato,” Joe tells him, which translates to “You done fucked up.”

Bri goes last, and her sautéed chicken is four minutes undercooked. Next, Graham tries her fried chicken. The batter is good, but the inside is super raw and inedible. Joe cuts open the stuffed chicken, and amazingly, it’s cooked all the way through.

While the judges confer, Savannah, Luca, and Bri congregate and commiserate, leaving Krissi alone where she can’t hurt anyone. “Is raw raw? Or are there levels of rawness?” Bri wonders. #IsRawRaw

Krissi easily has the best chicken and joins her hated companions in the balcony. “I’m going to fight, and I will go down swinging,” she remarks. Jesus. Someone, get this girl a Xanax.

Luca is the next to be saved. Che fortuna!

It’s between Savannah and Bri. Gordon delivers the news “The person going home and leaving their MasterChef dream…” Graham presses a stem of his glasses to pursed lips. “…That person is – Bri – It’s not you. Make your way upstairs.” Gordon with the fakey elimination!

That leaves Savannah to get the boot. Tears well up in her eyes as she tells the judges how grateful she is just to make it this far. Up in the balcony, Natasha’s heart grows three sizes as she wipes her own tears from her face.

Somehow, the editors find some highlights of Savannah’s time on MasterChef to show us as she exits the kitchen, sadly yet proudly.

And so we say farewell to Savannah. May she enjoy the sunny beaches of San Diego for the rest of eternity and remember that even apparitions need sunscreen. Do they? They don’t? Never mind. 

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