Wednesday, August 7, 2013

S4E18: Zombies!

We’re down to the Top 6, but only for a moment, because one of the previously eliminated Home Cooks will be coming back after this episode. Three corpses have been reanimated and will face off in a zombie cook-off for a chance to win another shot at the title of MasterChef and a bucket of brains.

Each judge has brought back one chef. Gordon brings back vegetarian Bri because she gives the best mini-interviews, Joe brings back Lynn because Joe has a taste for sweat, and Graham brings back “5’11” 295 lbs” Bime. 295 lbs? How heavy is that fedora? The MasterChef cameras must remove 60 lbs. {insert Graham fat joke here}

The three zombies are told that they have five minutes to grab whatever they need from the MasterChef Pantry, and they race in there to find only eggs. “What the cluck is this?” jokes Bime. “I don’t know what you’re cooking, but I think I’m cooking eggs,” jokes Lynn. Bri drops an egg, but fortunately the psychic cameraman had a perfectly framed shot of the floor where the egg fell to capture the splatter. Does he also know who’s going to win? He must.

They each carry two huge baskets filled with eggs back into the kitchen, and Luca remarks, “You look like a chicken!” Chickens don't carry baskets of eggs around, Luca. 

The zombies have 15 minutes to cook as many perfect sunny-side up eggs as they can. The two that complete the most will move on to a Head-to-Head Challenge. They each have 100 plates, 12 pans, and two stoves, but share one dream.

Time begins, and they begin running around like a chicken with a serious disregard for the unfertilized embryos of its species.

Bime is using butter in his pans instead of oil, and even I know that’s a bad idea. Bri has her burners too hot, but James helps her out from the balcony. Lynn starts off very well, but the sweat soon starts to pour, blinding him. This probably won’t work out for him like it did Christine Ha from last season or how it certainly would for Mister Magoo.

“I’ve experienced firsthand that Lynn definitely cracks under pressure,” says James as the psychic cameraman captures a shot of Lynn making a sunny-side floor egg.

Time ends and the judges judge Lynn first. They don’t take it easy on him and send many plates crashing into the trash. Fortunately, these plates are from Walmart and are very affordable. “There’s no other sound than my dreams dying one plate at a time,” says Lynn. Yikes. When the carnage ends, Lynn is left with only eight good eggs.

Bri goes next. She does much better and gets 13, moving on to the Head-to-Head Challenge.

Bime needs nine to move on. A lot of plates get tossed early and we go to commercial break, meaning Bime will be fine. He gets to eight with a few plates left and only needs one more perfect egg to make it. It’s in there, and Bime celebrates with an emphatic clap and spin, relieved that he never had to use the one egg he was hiding underneath his fedora.

Lynn says goodbye once more, shooting a giant torrent of sweat from his temples and surfing it out of the MasterChef Kitchen. Okay, he just gave an awkward wave and walked out.

For the Head-to-Head Challenge, Bri and Bime will be judged by the other Home Cooks and Joe Bastianich, and it will be blind as a salute to Lynn and Christine Ha…and Mister Magoo.

I like that they’re doing a blind taste test and feel that the show should do more of these. The show needs a boost of credibility and these challenges help.

Wait. I just noticed that the Top 6 is more dressed up than usual. The ever-radiant Jessie is wearing a beautiful pink dress, Jordan is sans hoodie, Natasha is wearing a tight mauve number, and Luca is wearing a suit! They obviously knew that they weren’t going to be cooking today. Krissi is even wearing her nicest gray sweater.

For their main ingredient, Bri and Bime will be cooking “this most incredible, this most beautiful, the freshest king salmon,” as elegantly described by Joe. Graham adds, “These beauties were caught while trolling off the coast of Alaska.” Good. Fuck the trolls.

They have to make seven dishes of pan-seared salmon with hollandaise sauce, asparagus and potatoes. Bime gets the blue apron and Bri, the red. They only have 60 minutes to filet their fish and prepare all of the dishes which is pretty daunting, particularly for Bri who also has to pen an apology poem to the remaining salmon in the world, reciting it while standing upon a cliff above crashing waves, before throwing herself onto the rocks below in atonement.
Time starts, and they begin to filet. Bime looks like he knows what he’s doing, but Bri does not. She’s carving the filets out of the salmon like slices of cake. Though, once she gets eight portions cut, they don’t look half bad.

Bime is making garlic mashed potatoes with cheese. “Cheese? With Salmon?” asks an incredulous Graham. Bime begins whipping eggs in a stupor while flashing back to his meringue pie disaster. “You know I believe in you,” whispers Graham. In the douchebag dating book, I think that’s called negging.

“I know Bri is gonna kick his ass just because Bime sucks at life,” says Krissi, winner at life.

Time ends, and Bri is unsure about the seasoning on her vegetables but feels good about her salmon. Bime thinks everything about his dish is perfect. They lounge in the MasterChef Lounge while the other Home Cooks taste their dishes.

During the tasting, compliments fly left and right, and it isn’t easy to tell who has the advantage. The chefs and Joe all vote, and he brings the envelopes on a silver platter back into the MasterChef Kitchen. Bri and Bime hop up out of the MasterChef Lounge having not even cracked a single book during their luxurious stay.

Whoever gets at least four votes will rejoin the competition. The first vote goes to Bime. The second to Bri. The third to Bime. The fourth to Bri. The fifth to Bri. The sixth to Bime. It’s a tie so far, and the next vote will declare the winner. We know what that means: commercial break!

Joe opens the final envelope. “Coming back into the MasterChef competition…is…”

The Top 6 are standing in the MasterChef Dining Room, evenly staggered in front of Graham and Gordon. They eagerly anticipate the news of the rebirth of one their formerly fallen comrades/enemies. Luca rubs his palms together, Gordon exhales deeply, Krissi rubs her lips together, Natasha…smells a fart maybe? Joe enters to announce the winner.

“Please, welcome back…” We see heels walk into frame. “…Bri!” Jessie beams. Luca claps. Natasha scowls. Krissi rubs her lips together even harder.

Bime exits the deserted MasterChef Kitchen to return to his daughters.

So the Top 6 is back to a Top 7. I couldn’t be happier to have Bri back, and I’m not just saying that because she follows me on Twitter. It’s because she’s a dynamic character who adds a lot of energy to MasterChef. She’s a vegetarian who constantly kicks carnivore ass, and she knows how to give a solid interview, which I really appreciate.

Also, she follows me on Twitter.


  1. Natasha's cooked in far more restrictive outfits than that. As she walked up to the judges in her audition her heels were higher than Jamaica per capita.

    You've worked on reality shows; doesn't it seem more likely the contestants were told to simply wear something nice sans explanation?

    1. There's a lot that happens before the taping. I imagine there were plenty of hints that this was the bring-back-an-old-contestant episode.

      There's a good chance they weren't straight up told this. There's a better chance that a crew member let it slip.