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Masterchef Junior 11/8/2013 finale ** spoilers **

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Well I guess it says something about this show that it hasn't merited weekly write ups and that no one has said a thing about the finale, yet.

I was working last night, but watched it this morning online.
The finalists are Alexander and Dara (of the inflatable annoying hair bow).
There is the usual build up with family and previously eliminated contestants. Luca from Masterchef season 4 gives lots and lots of commentary/talking heads. The final competition is to cook a 3 course meal in 90 minutes. They cook all courses at once, not staggered like in some competitions. They present one plate, not 3 for the 3 judges. Typical cooking drama, Dara needs powdered sugar, Alexander shares. Alexander is worried his meal is too complicated. Dara feels faint and needs water, etc.
First course: Dara does a duo of seared tuna and poke on a rice cake. Looks beautiful and gets good reviews across the board. Alexander does a marinated tomato dish, also beautiful. Gordon thinks it is too simple and doesn't show enough technique. Others think it features the beauty of the ingredient.
Second course: Dara does a spot prawn and shimp curry with wontons. Gordon likes it but thinks the prawn could have used a minute less cooking. Graham thinks the curry is too thick. The bald guy says it is delicious and he would pay $45 for the dish.
Alexander does potato gnocchi with sage and shallot butter sauce and a seared veal chop. There is drama because Alexander didn't start his gigantic veal chop until 20 minutes left. But of course it is cooked perfectly and amazing. Gordon gushes. The other two judges gush. Now they say it is tied up with Dara having the better appetizer and Alexander the better entree.
Dessert: Dara presents first again. Dara made a poached pear in lemon/ginger/miso sauce with a tuille and meyer lemon cream. Graham says it is creative, light and balanced.
Alexander: Says he thinks Dara's dessert wasn't ambitious enough. He makes a deconstructed Cannoli with marscapone cream and mascerated berries on the side. Graham thinks the cream is a little too sweet. Gordon loves it.
We hear a lot of gushing about their age and abilities, congratulations etc.
Results: Alexander wins $100k.
And this mess is finally over.

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  1. The bald guy? rofl...Joe can't get a break..anywhere on tv.

    Masterchef Jr entertained me up to a point. When the show began to truly feel fake, I left it behind. But, I also wasn't comfortable reading or contributing to the CH thread on it just to tear down a group of tv chef/kids. It didn't wear well for me. I don't want to tear down young people.

    I hope the show is not picked up for a 2nd season...but with Fox you never know.

    11 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      LOL I went blank on Joe's name and typing Lidia's son or Mr. Bastianich was too much work.

      It was nice to see Luca again. No real update on what he's done since the show, (which makes sense since this is obviously filmed about the same time as Masterchef since it is before Graham's surgery) however, and his wife wasn't with him that I could see.

      I didn't taste the food, and of course no one knows how much time passes before the judges taste the food since all the dishes come up at the same time, but I was more impressed with Dara's cohesive Asian-inspired menu. I big hunk of protein for an entree seemed like a little easier way out to me. But who knows. We all know it isn't real, and hopefully the kids aren't too scarred or disillusioned by the experience.

      1. re: Firegoat

        That veal chop did not look medium rare to me. It looked medium well.

        1. re: Worldwide Diner

          EXACTLY my thought. No way was that medium rare. On the other hand, that's closer to the way I would prefer to eat a veal chop, as opposed to beef. But man, how can they do that with a straight face?

          1. re: DGresh

            There was a good bit of pink, and I called it "medium" when I saw it, but I also agree it wasn't medium-rare.

      2. re: HillJ

        They were handing out flyers for season 2 auditions at the MC casting call in Philly last weekend...so yes, expect more of the same in the future.

        Personally I found it more enjoyable to watch than the adult version of the show this season, but it was so obviously from the start that Alexander was going to win, that began to really annoy me.

        1. re: sockii

          That's FOX TV for ya! Well should we be optimistic that Season 2 will iron out a few kinks and mature or should we anticipate more kiddie drama and dare I say pleasant smiling judges? Either way, I'm probably passing because the challenges didn't ring true enough for my tastes.

          Since the taping is done in advance, has anyone found intel about Alexander online? I found this link and got a good giggle out of it:

          http://www.thebraiser.com/and-the-win...

          1. re: HillJ

            Here's an interview with the two of them. Doesn't say much other than what they plan to do now.
            http://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/tv-news/mas...

            1. re: Firegoat

              Thanks, this is what I was looking for. Imagine going through the rest of your years with MCJr on your resume. A decade from now, who knows...$100K is a nice nest egg @ 13.

              1. re: HillJ

                I was surprised that we didn't have a disadvantaged kid storyline with how they really needed/deserved the money. Altho I suppose it is hard to get experience cooking veal chops on AFDC money. The only time I recall money being mentioned was Alexander's dad saying that he (alex) didn't care about the money, he just cared about being junior masterchef.

                1. re: Firegoat

                  You don't 'care' about the money until you win. Everyone auditioning knew what was at stake. Doesn't matter if you 'need' the money or not in a competition. And I'm very glad the minors back story was kept to a minimum. There was enough story that kids could compete at an unexpected level for the tv audience, don't you think?

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Oh I completely agree. I get so sick of competitions where every competitor has a sob story and if someone has money and does well everyone else is saying "they don't need the money so they don't deserve it" while going on and on about how they deserve to be there.
                    I'm pretty much sick of the sob stories on "Chopped" to the point I rarely if ever bother to watch any more.

      3. in every Masterchef they show snippets of the audition tape or the audition process.. did anyone not find it strange that we saw nothing of that for this?

        3 Replies
        1. re: girloftheworld

          Audition tapes are all over YouTube if you want to see them. I didn't think about the lack of audition tapes or the process during the time. The MC Jr. show went a lot faster than the MC competition over all.. didn't you find that?

          1. re: HillJ

            It went a lot faster -- most weeks at least 2 contestants were eliminated. Maybe it was done over the summer and the kids had to go back to school.

            1. re: CindyJ

              Taped in april

        2. Actually enjoyed this competition. No snarky kids & "human" hosts... probably what they're more like iin real life?? Even if coached, these KIDS made some amazing stuff!

          1. Here's a link to a follow up story which indicates that the judges expected the food on the show to suck.
            http://www.thebraiser.com/masterchef-...

            1. I only caught two episodes. One was the finale. I was rooting for the big bowed girl, because I found the boy's mother to be cloying in a very bad elite helicopter way.

              Hopefully he banks the prize money, so he can use it for per diem while apprenticing in kitchens around the world before opening his own place in about 10 years.

              No matter how doctored the editors made the show, those two both had talent.

              1. Just finished watching it, as I completely forgot last Friday night.

                Have to say I love your "the bald guy says he would pay $45 for the dish in NYC." LOL

                5 Replies
                1. re: LindaWhit

                  And that's why no one begs me to do recaps... altho rumor has it they filmed at Amy's Bakery and Kitchen Nightmares is going to open the season with a return visit.

                  1. re: Firegoat

                    I liked your recap. :-)

                    And I forgot to say last night this show went as I expected.

                    Rush, rush, rush; hurry, hurry, hurry.
                    Comments from the peanut gallery (including an obnoxious face from Sarah, the little over-the-top actress).
                    Someone forgets something from the pantry and the other gives it to him/her.
                    The veal needs to get into the searing pan NOW!
                    OMG, they're running out of time; they're not going to complete the dishes!
                    Clock goes off and hands go up and they've completed everything.
                    One mini-cheftestant wins the app (course), one mini-cheftestant wins the entree, both desserts are wonderful.
                    Judges judge.
                    Judges declare it was the "closest contest ever."
                    Judges switch places with the two mini-cheftestants, and expected frontrunner wins.

                  2. re: LindaWhit

                    yeah, and really, $45? I know NYC is expensive, but is that really the going rate for a nice entree at that many restaurants? If he said $35 I'd go along.....

                    1. re: DGresh

                      yeah, I thought the $45 price was a bit over the top.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        I took a look at Babbo and Esca, two of Joe's restaurants, and by and large the entrees were in the $20's and $30's.

                  3. All I can really add is that this show made an already food-loving 7 year old (my daughter) into a sort of food obsessed girl who *insisted* that she be allowed to make a layer cake. And she did it! Minimal help from me and lots of pride on her part. Can't be all bad.

                    1. where can i get the rice cake recipe i cant find it anywhere