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Master Chef 08/21/12 - Spoilers

Well, I think the Final 4 are the correct Final 4. Before that, however, they had to compete in a "make your own mystery box" challenge - of course, there's a twist. The 15 ingredients they chose to use themselves had to be passed to the person at the station in front of them. So Monti got Vietnamese-related ingredients from Christine, Frank got dessert-related ingredients from Becky, etc. Surprisingly, Frank and Becky were in the bottom, while Josh, Christine, and Monti were in the top, with Josh finally winning a Mystery Box Challenge.

His advantage? To see three dishes that Graham Eliot had made for Oprah, Jay-Z, and the President (:::name drop, name drop, name drop:::), choose what everyone would make (the dish made for the President), AND get a full basket of ingredients. Everyone else had to look at a plated dish and taste it and come up with their own recreation of the same dish. If they wanted, they could add to the dish, but only Josh chooses to do so.

I am beyond pleased that Christina nailed Graham Eliot's dish to win the Elimination Challenge. To the point where Chef Ramsay asked Christine if he was being punked. How the hell she could visualize everything with her fingers and get a perfect plating of Graham's dish is beyond me. Even Joe said he was a convert. It's ABOUT TIME, Joe!

And no surprise, it's Monti who goes home. As I said - the Final Four are the correct Final Four based on how they've done throughout - Christine, Becky, Josh, and Frank.

I'm rooting for Christine or Becky. I'd really love it for Christine to take it, as Becky was a bit full of herself in tonight's episode when she was called out for one of the worst Mystery Box challenge dishes.

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  1. Becky was called out for the elimination challenge. In the mystery box challenge, she left out the best part of her dish, crispy chicken skin? Otherwise she was praised during the cooking process.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Worldwide Diner

      Ahh, thanks. Couldn't remember which it was. I knew the crispy chicken skin had been left off the Mystery Box challenge. But I thought that's where she got all pissy.

      1. re: LindaWhit

        She got pissy in the elimination challenge - she thinks that due to her past near perfection, they judge her on a higher standard. I think they were a bit harsh on her, especially since Josh and Monti's renditions were quite a bit worse then hers. But that's TV, Gordo has to call out the bottom 3, and probably made Becky's sound worse that it was.

        1. re: LindaWhit

          Funny how Becky praised herself for providing the mystery box that made it into the top three.

          1. re: dave_c

            Oh damn - I meant to include that in my OP. Yes, I noticed that too. Ingredients alone do not make a winning dish. And yet she seems to think so.

            And WWDiner, I do think they were a bit harsh, but she *did* have way more passionfruit on her tuna. I thought they looked like a mess of fish eggs.

      2. Joe's comparison of Christine's ability to taste different flavors with a wine enthusiast's sense of taste impressed me (although it came out a bit self-promoting, but well Joe).

        It's funny to me that on my show information via U-Verse, Christine and Becky are the only cooks mentioned as cast members. Joe is not :D

        ETA: loved the shot of Josh, Marti and Christine standing together. Like gymnasium bleacher steps.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ennuisans

          That shot of the three of them was funny wasn't it. Christine looked to be half the height of Josh, with Marti exactly in between!

        2. I think Josh should have gone home instead of Monti. He had a huge advantage and decided to tinker with the dish in an attempt to improve it, but ended up ruining it.

          I find it funny that Josh bashes Becky for "thinking she's already won it," considering he regularly makes overly confident proclamations about his own skills. Not to mention that Becky has consistently been on top, so she had a legitimate reason to believe in herself.

          Side note: It's interesting how they're all excited to make the same dish that Obama ate. I mean, the man also ate at Five Guys, so are they going to get all excited about making burgers? Presumably the president eats three times a day, should we get worked up about what kind of cereal he had for breakfast? :)

          6 Replies
          1. re: piccola

            Had the same thought about Obama. But I think they are supposed to get excited about *everything* (even Paula Deen) right?

            1. re: piccola

              People are always fascinated with famous people. There was that show, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous".

              I saw the show as Graham's chance to name drop and show his creativity when it comes to cooking for people with money (Oprah) , power (Obama) and fame (Jay-Z).

              1. re: dave_c

                I was under the impression that they ate this in his restaurant, which means that anyone could order it. I'm not saying chefs shouldn't be proud that the rich and famous chose their restaurant, just that hundreds of others have probably also eaten that particular dish. The fact that Obama ate it doesn't give it magical powers.

                1. re: piccola

                  I sort of figured that these were all custom designed for each person. This does happen. That said, it was, at best, ambiguous.

                  1. re: piccola

                    I thought Graham mentioned that he created each of those dishes for the individuals.

                    1. re: dave_c

                      I must have missed that part. That makes a bit more sense, but still -- it's not like the dish can bestow some kind of Obama superpowers.

              2. I think it's great that on presentation, blind Christine beat the pants off of Becky the food photographer.

                1. I can forgive Graham's name dropping, three times in seventeen episodes is OK and he does not seem like that kinda guy. We both know Art gets those out of the way before the first commercial break:)

                  Agree that the top four are probably who they should have been.

                  I hope they stay with cook what you want going forward or create a dish around "X". I can't recall the last seasons finals but most of the MC shows tend to be one free for all round VS one recreation challenge. I'll be disappointed if any of the remaining challenges are catering, team, or God for bid dessert.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chris2269

                    Good lord, not another catering challenge. They shouldn't be teams at this point. Just let them cook around one central ingredient and let them have at it.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      I agree, just give them things to cook. They aren't competing to be a caterer.

                  2. The editors are clowns. I'm getting tired of the cuts to Christine when someone mentions something that has to do with vision. For example, Monti stated she was cooking blind. The next shot is a 3 to 5 second cut to Christine before fading back to Monti.

                    1. I thought Christine was AMAZING last night.

                      I want her to have her own show when this whole thig is over.

                      1. If I had know Monti's last name before now I would have eliminated her for that alone. (By the way, her last name is Carlo).

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: John E.

                          Monte Carlo, and her son's name is Danger lol

                          1. re: saeyedoc

                            Believe it or not, her son having an unusual noun for a name bugs me less than her name. I was going to name one of our kids Seven ala George Costanza but my wife would not let me.

                          2. re: John E.

                            Her real name is Mairym.

                            I think Monte is her stage name.

                            1. re: C. Hamster

                              I think she spells it Monti, but Mairym isn't any better. How about Miriam? (Stage name?)

                              1. re: John E.

                                I think she was in radio before, which is how she lost her hearing. (Wearing earphones that were too loud...)


                          3. Christina is a great chef
                            I hope she wins

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: jpr54_1

                              I liked Monti and I found her little comments more than amusing. Though I was sorry to see her eliminated I do think the 4 that are left are the 4 that should be. What did bug me was that last week David Martinez, finishing sixth, was given an opportunity to work at one of Graham's restaurants. Monti on the other hand, finishing fifth, was sent away with a hug and a pat on the back. What's up with that?

                              1. re: LiveRock

                                Monti doesn't live in Chicago, where Graham's restaurants are, as David does.

                                1. re: LiveRock

                                  Monti is also apparently working at a radio station in AZ from what I have heard.

                                  1. re: LiveRock

                                    I liked Monti and I found her little comments more than amusing.
                                    That reminds me of what might have been her best comment all season which came in this episode, "What the heck is fish sauce and why does it taste like death?" The look on her face when she tasted it was pretty funny too.

                                    And I'm with you, I liked Monti.

                                    1. re: kmcarr

                                      Hahaha, I loved that comment as well!

                                      1. re: yummfood

                                        I was frankly quite surprised that she did not know what fish sauce is. It just seemed weird to me. How could you not know?

                                      2. re: kmcarr

                                        What was also funny is that she appeared to taste the fish sauce by sipping a spoonful. No dainty pinky dip for her.

                                        1. re: kmcarr

                                          I didn't really like Monti, but I didn't dislike her either. They kept her around, I think, because always has something odd to say. Few of the others get much confessional camera time.