Thursday, August 1, 2013

S4E17: Crappy Sushi

The Home Cooks have been sliced down to seven. “It’s definitely a humbling experience to see so few people around me,” says James without a hint of humility. There’s another gigantic Mystery Box behind the judges, but it doesn’t mean anything for today’s challenge. That’s just where Eva Longoria lives now.

The box rises and inside are family members of the remaining chefs. They all tearfully reunite, and I can’t find it in me to makes jokes—not even about Natasha’s husband and his unbuttoned shirt and hairless chest. Not even about that.

Krissi gets shafted with no visitor. Instead she gets to watch a video of her son on an iPad. She cries. Natasha cries. Joe cries! Joe has cried twice this season, and both times have involved Krissi and her son. Is Joe the father? Get me Maury on the phone!

It’s finally time to start cooking. Where are the Mystery Boxes for this Mystery Box challenge? Dare I say it’s a mystery? I daren’t. Instead, the Home Cooks will be cooking dishes inspired by their loved ones. Krissi immediately begins breading an iPad.

Natasha forgot the chicken stock, so she’s making a vegetable stock for her curry. Luca is making a halibut risotto, and Joe thinks it’s intense. Jessie's helicopter parents feel very comfortable hovering over her in the balcony.

The top three are brought forward. First up is Natasha with her green curry. Joe calls it “intelligent.” Graham adds, “It’s beautifully balanced.” “Feisty,” says Gordon. “It’s a bit like you, really.”

Next is Jessie’s seared duck breast. Graham and Gordon feel that it’s a restaurant quality dish, and Jessie’s parents beam with pride. She’s definitely getting into a top school now.

“This third individual stuck to their roots,” says Gordon. It’s Luca and his redemption wrapped halibut risotto. His wife is just the cutest thing ever. Luca is the second cutest thing ever. The judges love the dish, particularly the exclusion of fish sauce.

Luca wins, because the judges deem his love of family to be the strongest. While he follows the judges to the MasterChef Pantry, Natasha tells the others that Luca is going to try and screw her. I guess they don’t like each other or something.

The chefs will have to cook Japanese food: tempura, rolls, and an assortment of sushi. Luca won’t have to cook, but he does get to pair the contestants into teams for the Elimination Challenge.

Krissi thinks sushi is disgusting because she’s an uncultured buffoon. Obviously, she is the one not to be partnered with. The first team is James & Jordan. “Booya,” declares Jordan. “I’m feeling good.”

Luca wants Natasha to go home, so he pairs her with Krissi. Natasha feels confident that Krissi can make rice and tempura batter well enough for this to not be a problem.

That leaves Eddie & Jessie, a very talented and photogenic pair.

Gordon reveals that it’s a tag team challenge. Only one cook can work at a time. Perhaps Natasha really is screwed.

Krissi, James, and Eddie start cooking, working on the rice and tempura batter. Joe thinks James & Jordan’s ego may get in the way. Gordon thinks Eddie is clueless about sushi and that Jessie doesn’t know much more than Eddie. Natasha is steely-eyed as she barks out orders for Krissi.


“The big elephant in the room are the live sea urchins,” Gordon tells the other judges. Unlike regular street urchins, you’re not supposed to wash them. Jordan washes his, and Gordon’s head explodes.


Natasha is trusting Krissi to cut the fish, which might not be a good idea seeing as how Krissi is looking at the tuna like she’s attempting to unravel its mysteries with her mind.


Joe likes the way Natasha is taking charge of her team. I like the way Natasha is running (and bouncing) around. James & Jordan aren’t looking like world beaters at this point, but they look better than Eddie who may have just taken a hit going over the middle.


James & Jordan are feeling awesome about their tempura. Elsewhere, chaos reigns. Natasha is screaming at Krissi to cut an avocado. Jessie & Eddie have forgotten the tuna. “It’s not looking good,” Gordon observes. No one is going to finish their trays.

Final switch!

James & Jordan are hustling and confident. Natasha is ignoring Krissi’s instructions and trying to fix everything herself. Eddie has forgotten what year it is.

With 60 seconds left, the excitement is boiling over. Graham begins running in place. Oh, why couldn’t it have been Natasha?!

Time ends and judgment begins. First is Natasha & Krissi. “Visually, it looks beautiful,” declares Gordon. Graham asks if they’re taking 50/50 ownership of the plate. They say they are even though Natasha obviously did most of it. Overall, it’s good. They’re safe. Luca’s strategy, like everyone’s strategies on this show, did not pan out.

James & Jordan are next. Their food is under salted, and their shrimp is raw. They laugh, and Gordon is having none of it, calling them embarrassing schoolboys. Their knife work is good, though, so that may save them.

Jessie & Eddie. “Walking up, I knew we were going to get chewed out,” says Jessie in an interview as they approach the judges for their chewing out. Their sea urchin has actual shit on it, their fish has been butchered, and the rice is vinegary. “This is gross,” Joe tells them. Yeah, Joe. That’s shit on the uni. Gross. He offers the uni for Eddie to eat, and he refuses.

Natasha & Krissi are safe. They join Luca upstairs.

The next safe team is James & Jordan. Their knife work was the reason. Also, there wasn’t shit on their tray.

Jessie & Eddie face the judges. Gordon delivers the news. “The person leaving MasterChef tonight is…” Graham presses the stem of his glasses to pursed lips. “…Eddie.”

So we have to say goodbye to the meat man, to the sausage machine. He proved that he was more than just a novelty in this competition, and I’m sad to see him leave.

Good game, Eddie. Now hit the showers.

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