We begin with a Jordan interview saying he’s hoping to get rid of one of the top competitors: James, Natasha, or Lynn. Will it be one of those four (Jordan included) going home tonight? Or will it be Savannah, who gives the second interview, in which she utters the first words we’ve heard her speak in weeks? Will we see or hear much from Krissi, who apologized (?) for being racist this week? And what could possibly be in the giant Mystery Box resting behind the judges?
The box slowly rises. “The first thing I see is high heels. I get excited,” says Eddie, eagerly rubbing his hands together. “It rises a little bit more. I see some hips. I get extremely excited,” he continues; drool beginning to soak his apron. The box rises the rest of the way to reveal beautiful Eva Longoria, and Eddie requests a bathroom break.
In a morbid wrinkle this week, the Home Cooks will be cooking Eva Longoria for this Mystery Box challenge. Wait. Nope. It’s Mexican food.
Savannah grew up in San Diego, and she feels that that makes her an authority on Mexican food. So much Savannah already! Where did she come from? And where did Bethy go again? Savannah and Bethy are kindred spirits, and by that, I mean that they are actual ghosts, materializing every few episodes or so to haunt us with their bland interviews and incredible cupcakes.
All of the cooks are excited to see pork, shrimp, and an assortment of vegetables and spices – except for Luca who unsurprisingly never eats Mexican.
They begin to cook. Eddie is rubbing his pork as Eva approaches his station. She wants to know if he felt underestimated, being an ex-NFL player. He says he did before, but now he’s shown that he belongs. Eva smiles at him, and he creams his corn.
On to Savannah’s station where she explains that she’s been haunting the beaches of San Diego for over a century and thusly has been very immersed in Mexican culture. Eva purses her lips, raises her eyebrows, and nods in a way that screams, “Sure you have, bitch.”
James is from Texas. “Yee haw!” proclaims Eva. He’s making a ceviche and a gastrique, and it all sounds very fancy. Is no one making a burrito?
Bri is poaching her shrimp and doing a play on Mexican street corn. Oh man, Mexican street corn is the best thing ever. If you ever find yourself on the streets of Mexico, try the corn.
We get our first shot of Krissi seven minutes in. Zero words said so far.
As the clock winds down, a stressed out Eva rubs her hands across her chest. MasterChef has never been so sexy. I take a bathroom break.
Time for the top three. First dish is Vegetarian Bri’s shrimp. Natasha is “so sick and tired of hearing Bri’s name being called…I just don’t get it.” I get it. Bri became a vegetarian a week before the show. Gordon is mock-miffed that Bri’s great dish was put together by someone who didn’t even taste the protein. Natasha serves up a healthy portion of stink-eye.
Eddie’s chili pork loin is next. Graham doesn’t want to stop eating it. Eva takes a bite of the corn and says that it’s “by far the best cooked pork.”
Lastly, Savannah is summoned from the grave. “I’ve been waiting so long for this,” she says. And now that she has made the top three in this Mystery Box Challenge, her tortured soul can finally rest.
Bri wins, and Natasha’s eyes do a full 360-degree rotation in their sockets. They say goodbye to Eva, who tells everyone that they all have what it takes to be a great Master Shi- Chef.
In the MasterChef Pantry, Bri is given immunity from the Elimination Challenge. She gets to choose between two baskets from Walmart. One basket will go to one Home Cook, and the rest will cook from the other. Dessert materials are in one with an hour cooking time limit. A steak and vegetables are in the other with only a 30-minute time limit. The dessert basket only costs $5 at Walmart and the steak basket costs $25 and can feed a family of four, but only one of those four will be eating steak.
Bri’s strategy is to give the most cooks the more difficult basket, which is the dessert basket. It’s a good strategy, since no Home Cook ever given a singular disadvantage has ever gone home on MasterChef. Natasha is given the steak basket by herself, so she’ll be fine. Everyone else gets the dessert basket.
All of the Home Cooks, sans Natasha, start cooking. The judges try to pretend that Natasha is at a disadvantage somehow. She’ll be cooking a Walmart steak; the greatest steak money can buy! How could she possibly go wrong? Natasha looks to the ceiling, mentally preparing her dish, while Joe wants us to believe that she’s sending eye daggers at Bri in the balcony.
Savannah is making a banana cream pie with an Italian meringue. Gordon thinks it’s very sweet, implying that it’s too sweet, but she ignores him. No one ever seems to pick up on the judges’ criticisms while they’re cooking in this show.
Luca is making a banana cake, but he’s not too into baking. He’s a “do-it-right-away guy.” He’s less of a tart guy, more of a Poptart guy.
It’s a disaster over on Lynn’s station. He’s thrown by only having whole milk and no heavy cream. His milk jelly (geli?) is broken along with his fighting spirit, and he’s sweating like he was just shown Paul Allen’s business card.
30 minutes pass, and Natasha starts cooking. When she thinks of Walmart, she thinks of crap food like the rest of us, but she declares this steak “The Bomb.” Boom. Take that, small steak business owners.
At 36 minutes in (with commercial breaks), we finally hear from Krissi for the first time. She’s making strawberry muffins using gelatin as an ingredient, and they’re not rising due to God’s will – I mean, science.
Time ends, and we move on to the tasting.
Luca goes first, and his confidence is low. He thinks his cake didn’t cook. Joe slices it open, and…it’s cooked. Luca’s face brightens up as the judges each taste and like it. He jogs back to his station and gives the most incredible, single fist pump. Happy Luca is the best Luca.
Now for the bad news. Lynn, King of Plating, brings up his dessert which looks so abysmal that Ramsay calls the other judges up to gawk at his dish. “Did you drive over it?” Joe asks. I mean this thing is damn near indescribable; bloody baby bird fetuses are as close as I can come. Gordon does a better job with “It looks like you slipped in cow shit and baked it!” and “It’s like eating wall insulator with some strawberry and banana that your granddad left under his bed before he passed,” and finishing off with “It’s rancid…That is the worst dish I’ve seen on a plate in four years of MasterChef.” So to sum up, it didn’t go well.
Savannah brings up her banana cream pie with broken meringue. Graham hates it, and his criticism makes Savannah long for her days of haunting the beaches of San Diego, whispering faint beeps into the ears of the old men who canvas the sands with their metal detectors.
Next are Jessie and her shortbread tart with caramelized banana. This woman can do no wrong. Her food looks good. Her food tastes good. She looks good. She probably smells good. I might be in love with her. I possibly send her fan mail with self-addressed stamped envelopes and notes requesting a lock of her hair… Where am I? What just happened?
James offers up deep fried bananas with macerated strawberries and a thin custard. It looks pretty good, but Joe macerates the dish, giving his best Mr. Horse impression.
Up comes Krissi with what were supposed to be strawberry muffins but are instead chunks of paste. Joe says that out of everyone he expected her to nail the $5 bake sale, so basically he calls her poor. Gordon says it’s her “worst performance in MasterChef.” This time around, Krissi seems to agree.
Natasha presents her rib eye steak with sweet potato fries. She has made 3 different sauces, and her dish does look pretty fucking sweet. Please excuse me for a moment while I run to Walmart. … Ok, I’m back. I bought so much steak and a couple pairs of jorts.
The judges confer while Luca attempts to give Lynn a pep talk. Savannah tells James that he’s not going home to which he responds, “Well, I know THAT. Are you kidding me?” It’s a little dickish sounding but also correct and hilarious.
Jessie wins. Blah blah blah.
The 3 losers come forward: James, Lynn, and Krissi. These are all front-runners of the competition, and Gordon calls it a major shock.
He brings Lynn forward first. “You’ve put forward to us some of the most refined and some of the most amazing looking dishes ever in the history of this competition...” Graham removes his glasses. “...You have amazing talent. You’ve shown us so much up until tonight. You went from hero to zero. Lynn – you are not – in the top ten.”
The other Home Cooks are in disbelief. The Chosen One has fallen. Mr. Finesse is Mr. Finished. Lynn takes it like a man and leaves the kitchen to a chorus of applause.
So one of the favorites falls as we move on to the top ten Home Cooks. Goodbye, Lynn. I’m certain you’ll do well in life. Don’t sweat it.