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Master Chef is Christine really blind?

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Maybe it's just me but I'm finding it hard to believe she is totally blind. Can she see a little bit? How can she plate food that looks so perfect?

  1. She was born sighted; you can see more of her story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18...

    1. I agree. I don't think she is completly blind. Possibly only colours or light or shapes, but there have been many times in which she can be seen turning her and "looking" at an item. For example, when Ramsey raised a slice of her apple pie, she turned her head to (seemingly) focus her attention from Ramsey's face, who was speaking at the time, to the slice itself, which was NOT speaking at the time. :)
      I've noticed that a few times in the last coupel of weeks.

      1. Please keep in mind that "legally blind" does not mean complete blackness. There are varying degrees of blindness that are all considered legally blind.

        I'm not sure which is more unsettling -- accusing this contestant and the network of faking it, when it appears she is allowed to have a helper -- or actually faking it.

        5 Replies
        1. re: sunshine842

          No, no, no! Please, Sunshine, don't get me wrong! I'm not accusing AT ALL that she is faking it! My question was exactly what you mentioned in that what level or degee of blindness does she have.
          I simply mentioned that I didn't think she was COMPLETELY blind based on the observations I noted. It's more of a curiosity thing.

          1. re: Midknight

            Her experience as a sighted person would show her where to look at people. Her looking at something again would be a function of that. I am legally blind (10 percent acuity, which is right on the line in Canada and the US I think) and I don't use a cane, indeed, I (probably inadvisably and almost certainly illegally) ride a bike. She also had no reaction to the mystery box. She is, as I used to say 'starting team' blind....

            1. re: dbrodbeck

              Why the 'angel' music in the background every time she's spotlighted? I'm assuming she'll be thrown overboard eventually. Seems a bit cynical to me. What/who next? A guy with no arms? It's a cooking competition after all.

              1. re: Puffin3

                Most disabled people I know, me included, realize their limitations. I doubt an armless person would try out. That said, if the person was good, who knows. The music well, it is not unlike what one often hears in any 'reality' show. As I am not in any of the judges heads I do not know if they are cutting her slack, but I doubt it.

                1. re: Puffin3

                  I remember watching a '60 Minutes' segment as a kid about a woman who was born with no arms -- she cooked and shopped and raised her children -- all with her feet. (yes, I drove my mother bonkers for about a week trying to do things with my feet)

                  Each person is limited only by what they choose as their own limitations.

          2. She has a 'helper' who leads her everywhere. So why does she have to have the long white cane in her hands if not for the 'optics'. How in the world was she able to DEEP FRY! those calves brains or whatever they were to the absolute PERFECT color? If her 'helper' had to tell her when to take them out of the HOT oil how is that fair to the other contestants? I'm sure I heard her say she was "completely blind". Something isn't right/fair about this. What if a contestant had no arms so their 'helper' had to prep the veg and it so happened the 'helper' was a master at knife skills? Christine's 'helper' is, I'll bet, an expert chef in her own right.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Puffin3

              You are correct she did say she is completely blind. She said that 10 years ago she was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition that left her completely blind.

              Since she once had sight she has the ability to know where to focus her eyes. Every so often you'll see her get a little confused but it's very rare.

              She draws upon her memory of what food should look like on a plate. likes adding shapes to a canvas. It really wouldn't be that difficult if you had prior knowledge of what food shapes looks like.

              Sometimes she really just doesn't have a clue and doubts herself. Like the pie. but with her mastering other senses she is able to create wonderful dishes.

              1. re: Puffin3

                The cane is so she can walk and not run in to people. She has likely carried it for quite a while. I imagine not having it would be akin to someone not wearing shoes, it would just feel wrong.

                Her aide would tell her when the colour was correct, by describing it. There are people like this aide that do this for a living. We have seen no evidence of any wrongdoing, I do not understand your search for negatives in this, I honestly don't.

                Oh and the nor arms person is a hypothetical, so it is not worth commenting on your rant about that.

                1. re: Puffin3

                  Wow....here's someone who has what would be to most of us a seemingly insurmountable handicap who is doing something 'normal' better than most of us fully sighted folks can do, and all you can do is scream unfair?

                  I have always worn thick glasses, but cannot imagine how I would handle being told that the sight I have will be gone.

                  She has not only NOT retreated to huddling in her bedroom, curled into a fetal ball, crying about her lost eyesight and how her life has been ruined, but she has accepted it (I'm sure she had her days...) -- and learned how to cook extraordinarily well in spite of it.

                  Boy, hope karma never bites you in the ass.

                  1. re: Puffin3

                    We humans really do look for "what's wrong" instead of celebrating what's right with how it is.

                    1. re: Puffin3

                      From what I gather from the show, the helper only acts as her eyes and does not cook or prep the food. Christine will describe the color and the helper tells here when the is there. Christine is the one that supposed to pull the food. I think that's as fair as you can make it.

                      In regards to carrying the cane around, if those are you means of feeling around, I'd carry them everywhere I'd go. If I put them down, there's a chance the cane can get misplaced. It would be difficult to look around for them.

                      1. re: Puffin3

                        I really hope you arent serious if you are insinuating that the blind contestant has an unfair advantage in a cooking show.

                      2. I read this story about Christine today and found it very interesting http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/06/21/mas... I think she's pretty inspiring.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Boudleaux

                          Good story.

                          Looking for the negative in what is an amazingly positive thing is just wrong.

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            I agree completely!

                          2. re: Boudleaux

                            Nice link -- I'm willing to concede right now that I probably could not make a pie that attractive AND face down Gordon Ramsey over it....and I can see what I'm doing.

                          3. I like her attitude. She's realistic about her limitations and doesn't take it personally when arseholes *cough* Ryan *cough* pick on her.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: hal2010

                              How/when did Ryan pick on her (or did I miss something in the odd episode I missed)? Or do you mean the live crab situation?
                              In that case, I don't blame him. He outright admitted that she's a great cook and a threat so he purposely tried to screw her up. That seems like good, albeit possibly unfair, gameplay in order for him to win the grandprize at the end. Which admit it, IS the ultimately goal of the show.

                              1. re: Midknight

                                I did not take it as unfair either, and hell, as noted above, my vision is pretty horrible. I was in a conversation stream about this very thing on Getglue the night it aired, and all of us disabled folks thought it was fine.

                                1. re: dbrodbeck

                                  You're right. I guess I got caught up in the way the editors spun it. She shouldn't be given special consideration.

                                  1. re: hal2010

                                    She was given no extra time or was not given any special privilges. She was thrown into the fire exactly the same as everyone else

                            2. I'm not on a "rant".BTW my grandfather was blinded in the war. I was simply asking a couple of reasonable questions. Anyone think she's actually got a chance of becoming one of Ramsey's chef's? That's right she's got no chance. So why did the producers have her on the show as a legitimate contestant? That's what I'm questioning.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Puffin3

                                This isn't Hell's Kitchen, so she's not competing to become one of Ramsay's chefs. She's competing for a trophy and a cookbook deal.

                                1. re: Puffin3

                                  how about because she's obviously a talented chef and has great potential?

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    Substitute the word cook for chef and Im with you 100% !

                                  2. re: Puffin3

                                    Have.you seen the show? That is not the prize.

                                    1. re: Puffin3

                                      You're "reasonable questions" are not reasonable, however. They are accusations with no standing: "Something isn't right/fair about this."

                                      As AJ has said, she was given NO extra time. She was not given any special privileges (other than the assistant to help her find the pantry and tell her placement of items on her station). And if you think she shouldn't even have that assistant, than all of the other contestants should have blindfolds on so they are in the same boat as Christine.

                                      She's a legitimate contestant because her dish during tryouts was better than 80+ others. Oh - and she's not looking to be one of Ramsay's chefs - THAT is Hell's Kitchen, not MasterChef. She's competing to be one of the top amateur home cooks in the country.

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        Well, I guess they could have made her use a guide dog instead of a guide human... but it would have been a little difficult for it to bring her the ingredients from the pantry in its mouth.

                                        Seriously, I had major doubts about whether she'd even make the first cut, but she's brilliant! I admire her immensely and hope she goes far...

                                      2. re: Puffin3

                                        Dude, you're watching the wrong show! :-)

                                      3. I was on MasterChef Season 3, Christine IS blind and is as sweet as she comes across on camera.

                                        1. To be clear, MasterChef is for non professional home cooks. You compete for the title of Best Amatuer Home Cook in the country, prizes consist of the MasterChef trophy, a cookbook deal and
                                          250K prize. Hells Kitchen has executive chefs from restaurants competing to win a posiotion in one of Gordon Ramsays restaurants

                                          1. http://www.theblindcook.com/ is Christine Ha's web site. The "about" section goes into better detail as to what happened, how much vision she has remaining (or had at the time she wrote her "about" page).

                                            1. OKy doky. So when can we expect a FN show/competition where all the contestants are in some way handicapped? That would be of course scrapping the bottom of the preverbal barrel so naturally they are busy taping such a show right now. It was a stupid idea to have one blind contestant competing against sighted contestants IMO. The entire tenor of the show is no longer about your basic cooking contest. Instead every time Christine is shown we get to listen to 'angel music'. What a load!

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: Puffin3

                                                This show is about cooking, and she's clearly turning out better food than most of the other contestants consistently.

                                                Clearly, she belongs there.

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  One of the Top 18 contestants out of 100 that they auditioned.
                                                  4 episodes so far.
                                                  Competed in and passed Ep. 5's Pressure Test.
                                                  One of the top dishes in Ep. 6's Mystery Box challenge.
                                                  WON Ep. 6's Elimination Challenge.
                                                  Part of the WINNING Team on Ep. 7.

                                                  Not bad at all. Better than many who have left - AND some who are still there. She belongs there.

                                                  ETA: And humble. Lets her food speak for itself. Unlike blowhard Tali and Ryan, who thought he was a gift to all kitchens. Hmm.....funny where THAT got him, right?

                                                2. re: Puffin3

                                                  Yes, blind people should not be seen anywhere, let's keep them off of the streets as well. We should make sure none of them ever go to graduate school like Christine is doing, or, perish the thought, become university professors.....

                                                3. Folks, it really seems like this thread is going nowhere good, so we're going to lock it now.