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Master Chef 09/04/12 - Finale Part 1 (spoilers)

Well, now THAT was a very interesting turn of events! Could have sworn Becky would be in the finale. And I think she should have been based on past history (but as Ramsay said during deliberation, they have to judge on that night's dish only).

Becky's crappy fish-butchering skills puts her at the bottom of the final Mystery Box challenge - which was no mystery - they got to pick their OWN ingredients, and she picks something she cannot cut properly. MAJOR screw-up on her part. Her attempt to correct the painfully small pieces of fileted fish by making a loup de mer soup was a good idea, just not executed well.

Christine for the final Mystery Box win with her stir-fry. So she gets to choose between chicken legs, lamb leg, and the final leg choice (which I knew it would be), frog's legs. Christine chooses chicken legs, Josh chooses the lamb leg, and Becky gets the frog's legs, which she's never cooked with or tasted.

Based on visual alone, Josh won this hands down for presentation. Just a beautiful dish. And obviously it tasted very good, giving him the final EC win. I think Christine *would* have won the final EC had she cut way back on the creamy sauce she used in her creamed kale. That fried chicken looked amazing - and when she said she used blood orange in the coating mixture, I thought that was an interesting addition. Sounds like it worked.

Becky's frog's legs came out well - but her potatoes were too mushy and ended up being deemed worse than Christine's creamed kale. But she gets offered a job in any of Ramsay's restaurants - New York, Europe...and if she doesn't take him up on it, I'd be surprised. Kansas vs. Europe? Yeah, no contest. :-)

So it's Christine Ha and Josh Marks - the blind woman and the guy who was eliminated halfway through the contest for under-cooking a soft-boiled egg. Never would have seen that coming.

But I'm glad that Christine made it through - take THAT, Joe Bastianich, for all of your naysaying! And I'm rooting for her, although Josh will be tough competition.

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  1. So happy Christine made it! There is something about Josh that "turns me off" but he seems to be a great cook, so I'm rooting for Christine.

    1. Christine will win. I am not taking anything away from her obvious cooking chops and impeccable palate, but at the end of the day, the drama of the "blind cook" winning is too much for producers to resist no matter what Josh brings. He doesn't have a chance IMO.

      4 Replies
      1. re: shell22

        The producers have a say and not the judges? This would surprise me a great deal.

        1. re: dbrodbeck

          You are being sarcastic, aren't you?

          1. re: rockycat

            No I am not. Fixing game/competition shows is illegal. Now I have not read the rules, it may be the case that the producers are mentioned in the rules.

            1. re: dbrodbeck

              well since Gordon Ramsey is both a producer and judge, it's covered either way.

      2. Thanks for the update. The Labor Day holiday had me thinking it was Wednesday. Also, I'm actually surprised I've stuck with the show this season.

        Surprised that Becky (or Frank) are not in the top 2.

        If the finale involves the other contestants coming back to help, Josh may have the advantage since he can tell if the food prep and cooking is going the way he wants. Christine will have to rely on her helper's understanding what she wants.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dave_c

          Everyone came back for last night's cookoff, so I'm betting they won't have much place in the finale. IIRC the final challenge has been a long-form cookoff of the contestants' choice, but that can always change. What we haven't seen, unless I missed it, is a return of previous winners. Or family members, I don't think. Such a blur by this point.

        2. I was surprised Becky was 3rd as well only because anyone of them could have been third.

          Why she chose the fish, I have no clue.

          Josh seems to have a variety of inspiration - We've seen him use influences from Indian to creole.
          It might make a fun cook book.

          Christine's cook book would mirror her style and be inspirational. I think it would be a great seller.

          1. It seems pretty obvious at this point that Christine is being set up for the win. That's no swipe at Josh - I think he's proven he has a LOT of skill - but the editing just seems to be setting him up to be the fall guy/villain as best as they can at this point (emphasizing his confidence now, previously his "feud" with Frank.) I've been running a series of polls/blog entries about MC this season and Christine just kills everyone else in terms of popularity and there's not a lot of support for Josh out there from the comments I've received. From the standpoint of selling cookbooks, Christine has a lot more market appeal than anyone else in the top say, 5 or 6 contestants. So I'm pretty sure she's going to win it all.

            1. Josh's dish may have been beautiful but, as one judge remarked, he 'didn't like the lamb' which was the key ingredient. OTOH, Christine's main ingredient got raves; it was just her side dish that didn't go over well.

              12 Replies
              1. re: mucho gordo

                I agree with Sockii..

                And, I am still reeling over Franks elimination .......ugh......

                1. re: NellyNel

                  Christine will have the emotonal tug of heart win if she wins but Josh has been picking up steam like crazy. So Becky was offered a job as was David Hernandez..again I don't understand why Frank wasn't offered a job (despite the Rachael Ray thing..at the time he left empty handed) in any of the dozens and dozens and dozens of restaurants between the three chefs. What has happened to the previous winners..are they working in good restaurants?

                  1. re: shesallthat

                    I doubt most of them are in restaurants, as this is not the focus of the show. Working on a line is quite different from cooking at home, even for a dinner party or something. In Kitchen Confidential Bourdain mentions how he and his friends always knew a restaurant would fail if it was opened by people whose friends said 'you cook so well, you should open a restaurant'. I found this: http://www.zagat.com/buzz/reality-sho... which talks about Whitney from season 1 briefly.

                    I had no idea there is a 'Rachael Ray thing' can you elaborate?

                    These restaurant gigs don't seem to be prizes per se, so there is no requirement that these perks be given to high ranking finalists.

                    1. re: shesallthat

                      Whitney Miller did create her cookbook and she has a website. Looks like she does appearances at cooking events, and has a hand or feature in a master chef magazine. Not much else I could find.

                      Jennifer Behm - I don't believe they gave out the prize of a cookbook deal during her season but she does own her own catering company Pink Martini

                        1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                          If you follow Ben on facebook you will find quite a bit of stuff there. My wife is a big fan of his and always telling me about the stuff he posts.

                        2. re: shesallthat

                          Wasnt the Rachel Ray-Frank thing a joke?

                          1. re: C. Hamster

                            I thought so too, perhaps I am wrong.

                            1. re: C. Hamster

                              Yes yes, a joke! I am sorry I made that up :)

                              would be nice if it were true tho

                            2. re: shesallthat

                              I wonder if Frank wasn't offered a job because it's not quite what he wants to do. To me, it's clear that he has talent and skill. And his food looks delicious. When he was eliminated, I thought that Joe would offer him a job in one of his restaurants since they are both in NYC. But, I *think* when the judges said good bye to him, one of the judges said, you have to do make sure you do something in the food industry. Or something like that. My impression was that it was from an entrepreneurial standpoint and not from being a chef as a final goal. This was contrasted with Monti's goodbye where they stated go for that food truck or some such thing.

                              Or this could all be in my head.

                              1. re: beetlebug

                                Yes, Beetle, Frank is a stockbroker, so maybe he's quite successful and doesnt have an interest in a culinary career.

                            3. re: NellyNel

                              Frank way my guy as well, but I have also been cheering on Christine so I'm happy at least one of them made it to the end.

                          2. I certainly remember Joe saying she should be the 'coat check girl' because of her inability to see (in the restaurant takeover ep, where she would have to cook on a line). Beyond that, when has he been negative? As a blind person I was not offended by that, hell, I know there are things I will never do, and I knew this early, like say be an F1 driver or an NHL player (the latter is partially at least due to my lousy hockey sense and my poor skating, but that is another matter.....)

                            1. I really hope Christine wins. Part of that is personality, which I realize is heavily influenced by editing, but I also feel she's just more mature as a cook -- she has a clearer focus and is more consistent overall.

                              Sure, it's a golden storyline if she wins, given the whole blindness thing, but in this case it actually seems right rather than forced.

                              5 Replies
                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  Zoinks- I guess I am the only one around who wants Josh to win. I think Christine is a one trick pony- I don't mean in any way, shape or form to take anything away from her- but seriously- how hard is it for her to make a tasty stir-fry? And fried chicken isn't exactly a skill tester- and she failed at the side dish.

                                  Josh has been presenting a variety of dishes- Indian, Panamanian, creole... he just seems to have a much more elaborate palate and be a little more of an adventurous cook.

                                  Although I give high high praise to Christine for being in the final- earned because of her food chops (and hopefully not partially because of her sight impairment), I still think Josh, as a home chef (which in the end, is what this competition is about - finding the best home chef) is much more diverse, exciting and skilled.

                                  1. re: maisonbistro

                                    Regarding Rachael Ray..I heard comments here and that's it so that's all I know. What I like about Christine is the way she cooks..she measures with her hands, by how she feels, tastes..I don't know how she plates without being able to see. I love Ben Starr! Happy to hear he is doing well.

                                    1. re: shesallthat

                                      Again sorry I made that up in another thread-sounds like a great idea tho ;)

                                    2. re: maisonbistro

                                      I agree with you about Josh being more varied. His cook book would be fun and full of surprises.

                                      I think Christine's cookbook would be more focus on her style and her inspiring story.

                                      I think both are worthy for a win. I'm having a hard time deciding which one to root for.