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Masterchef U.S. season 2014 spoilers

So Masterchef U.S. started again Monday night. Compared to the N.Z. version that I watched on youtube over the spring, it is of course, a let down.

However, not to be totally negative, at least this year they did away with all the contestants in a herd like cows and rolling in their "signature dish" to cook before the judges in 5 minutes. Just started with 30 finalists, then knocked it down to 22 with 2 contests.

I must say Graham Elliott is completely unrecognizable. He's clearly made the most of his gastric surgery with exercise and diet, he looks great.

I was surprised at the first person they knocked out of the competition as he seemed pretty competent. Maybe just a plant. Don't really like or hate anyone yet, altho the plump pie baker could be a little less weepy.

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  1. You didn't hate the one who tossed all her scraps to the floor?

    6 Replies
    1. re: chefhound

      Okay, forgot about her. I was surprised they didn't kick her out the door right then and there. How disrespectful.

      1. re: Firegoat

        I really wanted them to boot her for that. The comment about "I thought they had people to clean up" was the nail in the coffin.

      2. re: chefhound

        She was a PIG. Mumble something about... don't they have "people" to clean up!?!

        1. re: kseiverd

          Keep in mind, it is a set not someone's home kitchen. Don't forget about how much crew is behind the camera.

          If she was in the weeds so to speak and really thought there was a person on set to deal with that kind of thing she was doing it for times sake. Yes It's a no no no but perhaps she really did think they had someone on set to clean up.

          I'm going to give her that pass. If she does it again that is inexcusable.

          1. re: Sandwich_Sister

            Of course there are people who clean up - that's how all these competitions work (Top Chef, Chopped, etc.) but that does not excuse the bad work ethic.

            Who throws scraps on the ground? What kind of person does that? Whether it's in your home, a restaurant kitchen or wherever, it's unacceptable. If you don't have time to put your scraps in the garbage, just push the scraps off your cutting board on to the counter. There's no excuse for flinging the scraps to the floor.

            And I don't think she'll do that again. Not after the warning Joe gave her.

            1. re: chefhound

              right but people who have never been on a large set in a sound stage surrounded by at least 100 crew members or more might make that mistake.

              It's a reality show not real life.

      3. Man I had sworn off this show for the artificial drama last time around, but now I have to stick around at least long enough to see the Richard Branson of Malibu booted off.

        But I do like this new introduction better than the cattle calls. No stunt dishes to suffer through and everyone in the cast so far seems kind of normal. The downside is that I'm realizing how much fun the play between the judges was during that.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ennuisans

          Was Richard the guy with the long flowing silvery locks?

          1. re: Firegoat

            Yes, the comfortably wealthy househusband. Looks like he'll be our trash talker for this flight.

            1. re: ennuisans

              That shot of him on the boat was vomit inducing. Way to flaunt your wealth.

          2. re: ennuisans

            I was thinking to myself "I thought they did that wheely thing to get picked". Glad to skip that part. Love the reference to "Richard Branson of Malibu"!

          3. I just saw this last night. A few thoughts.

            Richard Branson House Hubby is going to wear on me I think. I see him sticking around a bit for the possible drama and perhaps, maybe he'll learn something. He needs a good piece of humble pie.

            Astrid - the woman who was throwing things on the floor, I think she was doing it to save some time. but still disrespectful and I was surprised they let her through.

            Pie Baker is going to be the possible sweetheart possible crier of the bunch.

            Music Video MG guy is interesting to say the least. At first I thought I was going to hate him but after his explanation of his run away shrimp I quite enjoyed his quirkiness. I'm just not sure he has a big handle on MG like he thinks he does.

            Graham looks great. I'm so happy for him.

            1. Plump pie baker is also an actress, which perhaps explains the easily flowing tears. (http://elisemayfield.com/resume)

              13 Replies
                1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                  We're all suckers! I haven't done any research on this crop. I know last year many including quirky girl with crooked glasses were actresses.

                  Someone go find the wonderful Asian lady from The Taste that came in 2nd but should have won and plop her in the middle of this pile of dreck and let her sort them out.

                  1. re: Firegoat

                    I wasn't terribly impressed with most of them. Malibu Ken with those four little piles of carrots artfully placed at the four corners of the circle?

                    1. re: DGresh

                      Hahahah at first I thought they were little sausages. LOL

                2. re: sockii

                  And she has a small food blog:

                  http://elisemayfield.com/adventures-i...

                  The first two recipes are hand pies. :-P

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    It sounded like Gordon thought the pies were just okay. If hand pies are your specialty they should be fabulous.

                    I'm guessing her point of view is southern baking? I don't see much on her site really. I'm disappointed.

                    1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                      No, her blog was *just* started in mid-April 2014. Pehaps in anticipation of people Googling her and trying to establish her cooking cred?

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        She's my early pick for the season winner (not that I think she's the best by a long shot.) Just a lot of early clues in how they played up the drama surrounding her, the focus early on, and yeah, the blog that suddenly appears about food AFTER the show is done filming.

                        1. re: sockii

                          I think she might get the "Most Improved" edit. She could get far enough though.

                          1. re: sockii

                            Oh god - if SHE wins? Fix is in.

                          2. re: LindaWhit

                            Actually her website has been around since 2012 (I checked via whois) but if you look at a capture of the site from 2013, there is NOTHING about food there -- just her acting and arts resume. The food blog part was only added starting April of this year.

                            https://web.archive.org/web/201305052...

                            I really would be ready to place heavy bets on her as the winner. My Spidey-sense (or is that Editing Gremlins-sense?) is tingling.

                            1. re: sockii

                              unfortunately, i think you're right. I don't think I can take weeks of seeing her weep.

                              1. re: DGresh

                                No No No NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

                    2. Hah - I was wondering when I didn't see anything posted yesterday morning if anyone was going to chit-chat about MC-US 2014. I got a chance to watch it last night. My take (without reading anyone else):

                      1. I liked that they just brought in 30 possibles and had them cook vs. having 100 there to go through the 2-3 weeks of winnowing them down.

                      2. There are definite plants. I think the woman wearing the mega-high-heels who was one of the last to be picked is one. She just seems too actress-y to me - AND I think I recall seeing that they just had her name (Elizabeth?), her age, and her Twitter handle. No mention of her city/state where she lived, which they did with every other contestant.

                      3. Miss Toss-My-Scraps on the floor who challenged Chef Ramsay to join the group that initially didn't get aprons is also a plant. For her to mouth the comment "I thought they had people to clean!" as well as the scrap-throwing is a cannable offense in any real kitchen. I do believe she's there for draaaahmahhhh.

                      4. Miss "I Make Pies" from the south also has to be a plant. Or is there for the tears.

                      5. Househusband Malibu Ken is irritating. That's all about him - he can go sooner than later, thankyouverymuch.

                      6. Mr. Molecular Gastronomy will irritate.

                      7. The guy who made the amazing looking soup should last.

                      8. Graham Elliott looks great.

                      There's a list of names here of the original 30 contestants - so that Elizabeth is an "ad exec"?

                      http://heavy.com/entertainment/2014/0...

                      25 Replies
                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Thank you Linda.

                        I know there were several that we didn't even get names of yet. They will last longer I'm sure as the first quarter of the season focuses more on personalities and drama over the cooking.

                        let's see how this turns out.

                        1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                          I thought they would keep Astrid for the drama but I guess Cutter? was better than raw lemon tarts.

                          1. re: melpy

                            I wasn't sure how far they would take her. Masterchef judges usually do not forgive raw, or undercooked as much as they forgive over cooked or other technicalities./

                        2. re: LindaWhit

                          I've put together my main "hub" for this season (I do recaps and polls) and pulled together the links that I could find for all the contestants. http://sockii.squidoo.com/masterchef-...

                          Looks like Malibu Ken is a film producer and married to Melissa John Hart's mom. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0319128/

                          Astrid (the one with the messy floor) had a restaurant in New Orleans, seems it closed and there was a lawsuit involving ownership. http://louisianarecord.com/news/25534...

                          Courtney Lapresi I definitely think is a plant. She's an "aerial dancer" (besides Gentlemen's Club entertainer), seems to be most noteable for some Fringe Festival performances in Philly (done largely in the nude) and oh yeah--her "friend" Christina Williams, winner of Hells Kitchen Season 10, has already come out to cheer her on. https://www.facebook.com/chefchristin...

                          If I had to place early bets, I think we're going to be seeing Elise, Courtney, and Elizabeth in it for the long haul. I'm kind of hoping Tyler (the hunter) and Dan (quiet but darn that ramen looked good) are the real deal and make it far.

                          Sorry, I spend waaaaaaaaay too much time thinking about this darn show!

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              Thanks, Linda! MC is sort of my obsession every summer. I've done recaps for a few years and always get a ton of traffic for it, so I guess I'm hooked for another year ;)

                              BTW, I also just wanted to say I bought Luca Manfe's cookbook today and it actually DOES look very good. Very authentic and interesting Italian with a heavy Venetian influence which I love. (I am looking forward to putting his sarde en saor up against some of the other recipes I have which I haven't been fully satisfied with, for instance.)

                              I was so disappointed in Christine's cookbook after season three that I wasn't going to buy another MC cookbook without previewing it first. But there are actually a lot of recipes in Luca's book I can't wait to try and it looks to be nicely written. So I am pleased he won last year.

                              1. re: sockii

                                Your obsession about MC is like mine about Top Chef. :D

                                1. re: sockii

                                  Interesting, I will have to check out his book.

                                  1. re: melpy

                                    I really like it! I've made about 6-7 dishes from it now, including 2 risottos (dinner tonight was the beet & goat cheese risotto with pistachios, and roasted pepper crostini with gorgonzola and balsamic glaze). It's a nice collection of recipes to step up home cooking Italian with some restaurant-quality ideas that aren't difficult to implement.

                              2. re: sockii

                                sockii, I found your ageism blog post interesting, and I think it's been brought up in the past here on CH. Leslie (Malibu Ken) is probably the oldest in this season's MC group, but the others are all in their 20s and 30s - or so it seems.

                                http://www.spacial-anomaly.com/is-mas...

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  Astrid is just past 40, but yeah. I really just take issue with the show being promoted as "the best home cooks in America" when really they are looking for someone young to market. When I've gone to open calls twice now, a large majority of the people there were older--as you'd expect for people who have years of experience cooking at home and developing a love for food! But those are not the people getting picked to be on screen. Leslie, I would lay any money bet, is there just as a plant and because of his Hollywood connections. He certainly wasn't showing any serious finesse in the kitchen.

                                  1. re: sockii

                                    Of all the versions of MC that I have seen (UK, US, Italy, Australia, NZ, Sweden, Ireland, Canada, Spain, Romania, Greece), the UK version seems to be the closest one to a 'pure' meritocracy, i.e., food-based. (In a past season, I recall, some of the audition process was shown and it was done with the judges blind-tasting the audition dishes.)

                                    So just out of curiosity, I compiled some statistics similar to what sockii did in the referenced article, from the latest MC-UK season which just finished.

                                    Total number of contestants = 60 (but ages were shown for only 57, so sample size is 57)

                                    Avg age = 33.7
                                    Age range = 20 - 53
                                    Age distr: (20s = 33%, 30s = 46%, 40s = 12%, 50s = 9%)
                                    Final 8 contestants avg age = 33.6.
                                    Winner was 32.

                                    1. re: jimonyc

                                      My favorite is Master Chef Korea CELEBRITY!

                                2. re: sockii

                                  Victoria Scroggins ... "bartender" or Chopped production assistant and caterer?

                                  Kira Novak ... "medical recruiter" or personal chef?

                                  1. re: sockii

                                    I just (in the last 15 minutes) found out about Dan being on the show. We went to the same high school, but he was two grades ahead of me. Really nice, really funny guy.

                                    Never watched this show, but I will start tonight.

                                    1. re: sockii

                                      Does Courtney have to pee? She stands with her legs crossed in front of her everyone the camera pans to her. I hope some of these peeps take a note from last year's winner Luka. He was humble and nice to his fellow contestants. When you act nasty it comes out on your cooking.
                                      This guy from Malibu is a hater and elitist.
                                      I like Big Willie and the little baking assistant from Queens. She's an underdog, but the come behind kid.

                                      1. re: ToriTulip

                                        I thought big Willie showed a lot in terms of good nature, likability, lovablity, and food.

                                        That meatloaf dish he made would be my Nana's last meal, it was everything she loves. and now I wan't the recipe. ASAP.

                                        1. re: ToriTulip

                                          "Does Courtney have to pee? She stands with her legs crossed in front of her "

                                          Pretty feet- it is a pageant girl thing or a performer thing... ...finish pretty.. pull your body to a finished position... I noticed it too

                                          1. re: girloftheworld

                                            It's the third or fourth position ballet pose that I believe she used this past episode, but obviously not with her arm above her head. ;-)

                                            http://www.artofballet.com/allfivepos...

                                        2. re: sockii

                                          Leslie Gilliams was listed as a 'producer' for one of Melissa Joan Hart's films. His wife is apparently, legitimately, a TV and film producer.

                                          http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/...

                                          Leslie and Paula have two chidren together, so he might be a legitimate house husband. I think he was listed as a producer to feed his ego. I also think he might be a decent home cook who auditioned for this show to feed his ego.

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              yes,, he has five kids.... he has trained to adoooore him I am sure. IHe is out of his comfort zone. Staying at home being the be all and end all of your little minions existences gives you an artificial sense of your own grandness

                                              1. re: girloftheworld

                                                Nothing wrong with adoring your dad. If they adore him, he's probably earned it because you can't sustain it otherwise into their teenage years.

                                                I, on the other hand, do not adore him. I don't hate him. I just think he's hard to watch. But his cupcakes were beautiful!

                                                ~TDQ

                                          1. re: sockii

                                            Courtney Lapresi the Philly hoe, I must say. Good cooking skills, but can see some intense $h1t going on between Courtnry and Ahran. Funny how they never show Ahran until episode 4.

                                            1. re: WrinkleKrinkles

                                              They needed time to coach her on how to create and sustain drama

                                        3. -------------------

                                          However, not to be totally negative, at least this year they did away with all the contestants in a herd like cows and rolling in their "signature dish" to cook before the judges in 5 minutes.

                                          -----------------------

                                          Aww, c'mon firegoat, that's the best part.
                                          Or at least to me. LOLZ.
                                          "Cattle calls" are the best part of any show. If ya work in the biz, no. For TV, Hellz yes.

                                          I toggled back and forth between other shows and going 30 to 22 was an interesting twist.

                                          Graham and his even BIGGER white glasses? Uh--no.
                                          So "Elton John." And so, well, uh overly, uh ...nevermind.

                                          I'll follow but take it all in stride.
                                          In the end, it's laughable good "bad" TV. Mostly. LOLZ.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                            I miss the cattle call as well. Even when they would have clearly staged/fake contestants come in, it gave you SOME chance to learn a little bit about the contestants before jumping right into the competition. I had to watch this season's premier twice to really get a handle on who was who and even start to care about what they were doing.

                                            1. re: sockii

                                              I do think we got to know more about the contestants in the cattle call but I think the make your dish in 5 minutes business was cutesy and contrived. If they just brought dishes to the chefs it would make a little more sense.

                                          2. I know I've seen the Asian guy with orange tie (eliminated first) and denim girl on tv in other shows but I just cant place them. In fact, ramen guy seemed slightly familiar, too.

                                            Astrid and Malibu Ken have potential to become this year's Crissy, I think. I dislike them both, already.

                                            I like the Rickie Gervais molecular gastronomy guy! Bollocks!

                                            Graham looks great. I agree he needs to rethink those clownish glasses.

                                            The big Graham-wanna be contestant switches up his glasses, at least.

                                            I thought Malibu Ken's messy plate of chicken, potatoes and feeble bagged carrots topped with a sauce that looked like vomit was disgusting. But they obviously need him on the show to create drama.

                                            1. Astrid looks very familiar she must have been on some competition show before

                                              1. Is Big Willie duking it out with Grant for ridiculous glasses? How many different colors does he have?

                                                The baker with the mixer tattooed on her leg must be dedicated.

                                                Surprised to see the food tosser Astrid booted first.

                                                Malibu Ken went over the top. Gordon calmed him down for now but I'm sure he'll run his mouth again.

                                                Courtney - you can't call "check-mate" before you win - go back to pole dancing.

                                                22 Replies
                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                  Thank you MasterChef. It only took the 2nd episode for me to totally start hating some of these cooks and their "made for TV" attitudes. Why can't you give us more chefs and less actors padding their resumes? Courtney and dessert assistant girl can both take their weird little girl voices and go home now. Take malibu Ken with you. I probably would have preferred to eat Astrid's lemon bar than Cutter's mess. (altho I prefer Cutter). I couldn't quite get how one chef was saying her bar was raw, while another was banging down on it with a fork like it was overcooked.

                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                    That I can answer, as a veteran lemon bar baker. In the standard recipe, you make a shortbread crust and bake that, then top it with a lemon custardy filling and bake some more. So she must have over-baked the crust, then under-baked after she added the filling.

                                                    1. re: cookie monster

                                                      Aha... so perhaps he flipped it over and was banging on the crust. That makes sense. I would be uncomfortable making lemon bars in that time frame without a blast chiller.

                                                  2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                    Interesting to note that last season Natasha won the first Mystery Box challenge and was portrayed similarly arrogant and cocky about it and all the praise she was getting right off the bat from the judges. Sadly I think we'll be stuck with her for some time yet this year...

                                                    1. re: sockii

                                                      Natasha was a bitch but she can cook. Courtney make be a good cook too and she seems less bitchy but I can't get past her nose and voice...

                                                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                        I can't get past her pageant girl standing pose. I was half expecting her to do a pageant wave as she went up the stairs.

                                                        1. re: Firegoat

                                                          I don't know if she was ever a pageant girl, but she did apparently win Entertainer of the Year at Delilah's Den in Philly....twice. http://www.phillychitchat.com/2013/03...

                                                    2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                      OK, so what was Courtney's strategy for who she picked to go up to the balcony? The middlin' to worst cooks, so she'd have little competition? I'm thinking she's going to be one of the arrogant characters this season. Loved when Big Willie showed her up by having one of the top 2 dishes.

                                                      Was surprised at Dan's bottom 3 placement. But at least he knows what he did - let his ego get in front of him.

                                                      Big Willie seems to have some chops, but I don't think he'll make it all the way. His gingerbread dessert looked AMAZING, however.

                                                      I really dislike Malibu Ken. Elizabeth had it right - he (barely) worked to "get where he is by earning it" - by his own admittance, his wife makes more money, so he's a househusband.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        Courtney's basic strategy is giving the passes to the worst cooks - nothing novel there, no need to pat herself on the back and throw out chess terminologies. One interest thing is she gave a pass to Elizabeth but Elizabeth says in the confessional that she's just pretending to be "besties" with Courtney.

                                                        I'm not sure Dan's really a well rounded good cook. He obviously can do Asian but he mucked up the meat loaf by trying to make it Asian. He also professes to be a food snob because he's had better food than others. Maybe he's loaded and has traveled the world to all the 3 Michelin starred restaurants.....

                                                        I really like Big Willie - just seems like a nice guy.

                                                        1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                          I know Willie is a big guy... but it seemed like each of the judges had to reference his weight in some way during the show. Give the guy a break. He knows he's overweight, and all three of those judges have been overweight at some point in their life (some more than others).

                                                          1. re: Firegoat

                                                            I agree. I cringed everytime someone made a weight comments. I hope that he called himself Big Willie, I can't remember but if he didn't I'm sad about that too.

                                                            1. re: melpy

                                                              Even Graham did it, you'd think he'd be a little more sensitive that words can hurt even if they don't mean it that way.

                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                          I like Willie too. I hope he sticks around a while and isn't just a token or a caricature. Seems like he has what it takes after last night though.

                                                          1. re: melpy

                                                            I also like Willie, he comes across as genuine and a real home cook. I have the feeling he'll go pretty far - maybe the top 6 or 8...but I don't know that he has the finesse or experience to do some of the more restaurant-style dishes and challenges they'll face later on. Sure he can do a cake and meatloaf, but I thought his signature dish of chicken with apricots looked pretty pedestrian (like, it might taste good but it looked like something I'd end up getting at my local diner.)

                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                            I actually don't hate Malibu Ken yet because to me he shows what a joke the show actually is. It's clear he's just there as a plant to stir up drama and the others are totally playing into it (or, they're pissed off at having to compete against someone who has no need to be there.) I would love to be a fly on the wall and hear about what's been going on behind the scenes while these people are all cooped up with each other during filming.

                                                            Courtney is the one I have a major hate-b*ner for at the moment because she sets off all my fake/playing-it-for-media-attention bells like Monti did in season 3, and Jessi in season 4.

                                                          3. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                            Ahh, her "official bio" calls her an "aerial dancer". LOL! And this video says she's been a performer for 20 years? She's only 25 years old!

                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9NJCa...

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                              That means she has been dancing since she was five. Totally plausible if misleading.

                                                              1. re: melpy

                                                                Yes, I know. Just a little incongruous as an exotic dancer.

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  She said she'd be performing so she could have started dancing at five, although she seems older than 25. Her face doesn't move--it looks like she's been botoxed already! I'd love to know where she works as an aerialist rather than "gentlemen" dancer. I do silks--there aren't that many paying jobs for them!

                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                    See, I thought her "aerial dancing" might be that pole mentioned by WorldWide Diner. :-)

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      That makes more sense. I never think of poles as aerial but maybe...Much better living on the pole vs the silks!

                                                            2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                              Big Willie talked about his glasses in the first episode. and yes he does have more colors. LOL

                                                              I thought both desserts for the first leg looked good. If I was her I would have mixed and matched or made better speeches.

                                                            3. How was that guy thrown off early for undersalting one component before the dish was put together? Who knows if he could have fixed it along the line or the other components might have offset it? OTOH, there's the guy who made the chimichurri that tasted terrible and he was allowed to remake it. It was haphazard at best.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                Because it's not at all about finding the best home cooks in America; the show is about creating drama people will tune in for, people they will love or hate, and who they decide is the most marketable to push cookbook sales. No doubt they picked the Top 30 based on a combination of factors they thought would make for a volatile bunch for the season, but if some of them weren't panning out early, out they will go -- whether their food was any good or not. The judges can say anything they want about how it tastes, we aren't there tasting it for ourselves. As Whitney tweeted last night:

                                                                "Man... My meatloaf was not dry LOL! Oh well...'Reality' tv is Hollywood! Didn't bring good ratings :( It's ok. Good luck to the rest!"

                                                                https://twitter.com/MC5Whitney/status...

                                                                (Yes, I am beyond cynical about this show. And yet I still watch it obsessively and go to the casting calls. I have no shame...)

                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                  i also have a problem with that. Very arbitrary.

                                                                2. Well after I was cut from MCjr... and was told when you watch MC you'll understand a little more how casting decisions are made ... I have a big hunch who our focus chefs are going to be

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                    OMG, gotw, we have got to make a meet-up here. I'm becoming a real fan of yours.

                                                                    1. re: amysuehere

                                                                      Blushhhh -- I am off for summer( so is the parental unit who drives) we can do lunch.... Check out Scarlet Rabbit.

                                                                    2. re: girloftheworld

                                                                      Do tell ....

                                                                      You would have killed MCJr!

                                                                      1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                        Well .. first they told me I wasnt suited for Mc Jr I was not child like enough,,
                                                                        and..I was not physically not going to fit with what they were looking for... then when the guy realized the girl kind of freaked me out smiled and said When you watch Masterchef youll get what she means. Why are you wasting your time with shows like this anyway? Wait a few years years and hit the real competitions."
                                                                        So annnyway I am 5 foot long red hair blue eyes. Very spunky..even sarcastic at times... Told a kid in auditons that it wasnt "tMiss Tiny Chef Pageant" so just calm down the sparkle and watch her fingers. ..Hummm sound like a minutre verion of anyone who was cast two months earlier?

                                                                         
                                                                    3. Absolutely shocked that Malibu Ken was right so many times. Doing chicken is boring. Stephani's chickens were raw. Too bad it's so painful to listen to him.

                                                                      So Courtney wore high heels and Big Willie wore a scarf into the desert. The plump baker can't bake but the skinny one sure has a tattoo for everything.

                                                                      Stephani's purple lipstick and mid-riff baring outfit had to go!

                                                                      22 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                        Ha! Spot on assessment of the episode. Also there is a pretty younger lady on there named Ahran who, every time I see here I think "Who the hell is that?" I don't think she's spoken once. They're spending a bit too much time on a few people and ignoring the rest. I'm also growing weary of the Drew Barrymore girl (Liz?) reacting wildly to everything. Enough with the faces.

                                                                        1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                          Looks like Ahran will finally get to speak next week, by the previews, hoping that Courtney is going home.

                                                                          I have a feeling that's a sure bet Ahran will be going next!

                                                                          They always seem to concentrate on a few contestants per episode...and those are either the people who do the best or the worst. Both Ahran and Kira have been virtually invisible through three episodes, and yet they get picked for the first team challenge, seem to have sailed through several challenges fine without being focused on...I have a feeling both are decent enough chefs but no way are either of them going to get that far.

                                                                          It's the way the editing monkeys always work.

                                                                          1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                            I didn't know who Drew Barrymore girl was til I went to the masterchef site and looked at contestant pictures. Without even looking at the names ... Yep. I knew who you were talking about.
                                                                            I hate agreeing with Malibu Ken, but if steak was an option why in the world would they not have picked steak? It's not like they have to worry about food costs.
                                                                            Two foods I wouldn't have picked ... chicken (boring and it buries you if its underdone) and pork (while I don't mind it pink, a lot of people do.) I think more people would have appreciated steak and its a lot more forgiving because a good chunk of the population prefers very pink beef.
                                                                            Other thoughts I had ... both teams sides seemed like crap. Guess they pulled the Mac n Cheese, (must have been out of the room for that). I would get better food at a back yard bbq. Also surprising that out of 500 people to feed there was not a single vegetarian or some other food restriction.

                                                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                                                              The challenge wasn't described well or much and seemed poorly thought out. It seemed like they were to serve two dishes - chicken and slaw/pork and potato salad. If the mac & cheese had worked out, there wouldn't have been a veg at all. Plus the chicken seemed to be BSCB - after all the cooking shows rant about how flavorless and dry they are. Why even make that an option? Why choose it? I'd have gone for steak too.

                                                                              Malibu Ken is annoying in that he knows darn well what the producers are looking for and gives it to them every time he opens his mouth. There's a big difference between what producers think makes good TV and what I as a viewer want to see. He and Barrymore will probably have at least 3 more fake fights before the season ends.

                                                                              1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                Well I'm guessing Malibu Ken obviously isn't in it for the money... he's in it for the TV face time so he can market his flowing silver locks to more television opportunities.

                                                                              2. re: Firegoat

                                                                                I felt the same about steak...seemed like the no brainer choice to me. Why on earth anyone would willingly cook chicken for Gordon "IT'S RAW" Ramsey is beyond me! And those huge pork chops were of course going to be a problem to get done properly on a grill alone.

                                                                                They pulled the mac n cheese because the sauce was just a gloppy mess when they tried to combine the cheese and milk.

                                                                                They only make a big deal out of vegetarianism when there are vegetarian chefs in the competition.

                                                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                  The mac & cheese was HORRIBLY broken. The cheese went to string instead of melting. I think I heard that they used a couple of types, but can't recall which cheeses were used.

                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                    They dumped the shredded cheese into the pasta and added heavy cream and they expected that to work?

                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                        How can a person who makes a cheese sauce without a roux make it into a cooking competition?

                                                                                        1. re: chefhound

                                                                                          Because of stupeyheaded producers who pick drama-laden people over those who can actual cook?

                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                            Yeah. If you think getting on this show has anything to do with actual cooking knowledge and experience, well, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

                                                                              3. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                Leslie's voice is so annoying.

                                                                                Did anyone notice that they didn't show Joe (in his suit) hop 4 feet down out of the army truck the way they did Graham and Gordon?

                                                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                  The minute I saw how thick those pork chops were, I knew they'd be raw in the middle. Sounds like butterflying them would have been the way to go from the beginning.

                                                                                  And chicken? REALLY? Bad choice for that team. I did hate hearing Malibu Ken being right on a steak choice.

                                                                                  So they had to serve over 500 servicemen and women? That's big. Oh - and when the general showed up by helicopter towards the end of cooking - GREAT way to throw up dirt and sand into the cooking food!

                                                                                  Previews seem to show Courtney going home. But I won't be surprised when it's NOT her. They've done the tease baiting too many times.

                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                    I sure hope it doesn't cost the taxpayer money for our military to participate in these shows. That's a lot of military hardware being used as props - I sure hope Masterchef reimburses the gov't.

                                                                                    1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                      I had that thought as well. Who pays for all that fuel and time. How far did they have to haul out there, not the mention the cost of putting the birds up in the air.

                                                                                      If it was really to treat the troops, you'd hope they would have made a nicer meal. Maybe some dessert even.

                                                                                      1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                        I agree, but it may well be put down as "product placement"; that good will stuff the military does (Blue Angels, tours of the carrier during fleet week) etc.

                                                                                        1. re: DGresh

                                                                                          I had those thoughts as well 1. Not much of a treat and 2. How many of our tax dollars went into this episode?

                                                                                          That being said I'll add sailor outfits to the goodwill stuff. So darn cute.

                                                                                          1. re: DGresh

                                                                                            True. They do have money for advertising after all.

                                                                                  2. I've mentioned before that I went to high school with Dan Wu, so obviously I'm pulling for him. But here's kind of a nice story, even if I'm biased.

                                                                                    Dan, along with probably all the other contestants, hosts viewing parties every Monday night in our hometown. They are held at local breweries or restaurants, and they have him create a special dish for the evening. Then he will watch with the crowd and live-tweet the show. I assume this is something most of them do, and may even be in their contract.

                                                                                    Anyway, a local restaurant owner in my town suffered a serious accident last week - a fall in the kitchen resulted in a spill of 20 gallons of boiling peanut sauce and he ended up with burns over 50% of his body. He used to work 80 hours a week, doing all the cooking and half the serving in his small restaurant. He's been in intensive care ever since, and his family has been trying to keep the place afloat and operating in the meantime.

                                                                                    So Dan, and a lot of local chefs and restaurants came together and turned Dan's viewing party into a fundraiser for the family and business, raising over $10,000 in one night to put on extra staff, etc. until the owner is back on his feet.

                                                                                    Just wanted to share that.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                      I like Dan a lot and he is one of my top people for this season so far. Good to know this story!

                                                                                      1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                        Oh gosh, so sorry to hear about the restaurant owner's burns.

                                                                                        How wonderful, though, the way Dan and the community is pulling together for him.

                                                                                        At the moment, though, I can't remember which one Dan is! Will pay more attention next time. ETA: Just hit the google! Of course I remember Dan now!

                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                          Yes, it's been lovely seeing the community come together to support a small business owner. He will be out of work for at least one to two months. His wife owns a small retail shop herself, and his two kids (19 and 15) are doing what they can in the restaurant. At last count, the fundraising had topped $50K. I think it's great that Dan has leveraged his fame from the show to help this great cause. The owner is completely bewildered and overwhelmed by all the support. Awesome story.

                                                                                      2. Why did Ricky Gervais give the pole dancer the yeast?! At this point, I like to see the high schooler gone too. It's the pot calling the kettle black as far as I'm concerned.

                                                                                        That prosciutto donut does look good though.

                                                                                        Malibu Ken took a week off from being a douchebag, but it looks like he and the youngest but surely not the most innocent contestant will compete for top douche next week.

                                                                                        15 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                          Seriously... it is one thing to be the "youngest" but to act it is another. But then having been the baby in the kitchen i learned to keep my head down my mouth shut and let the drama pass by.

                                                                                          1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                            it sure shows with a statement like that...

                                                                                          2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                            Yeah, I'd be happy with both Courtney and the 18yo gone. I think Courtney was stunned she wasn't Top 3. But I was also surprised that salty doughnut didn't lose. Then again, the drama between Courtney and the others is what keeps this show going.

                                                                                            Several people we didn't hear from last night - the vegetarian (Jaimee), Dan, Big Willie, Elizabeth. Ahran really saved Francis B's butt. His donut holes would probably have sent him home over Kira's misshapen donuts.

                                                                                            And I wonder - while they're not as popular as yeast donuts, why not make a cake donut? I wonder if they were required to use yeast, to keep a relatively level playing field.

                                                                                            And what is with these filled donuts NOT having any filling? Cutter filled his donuts - you could see him squishing it in to one of them. So how do donuts end up with absolutely NO filling whatsoever?

                                                                                            And I wonder what they would have thought if someone had made something like a Polish Pączki, an Italian zeppole, a NOLA beignet, or a Spanish churro?

                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                              Every season there seems to be as many (if not more) sweets/dessert challenges as savory challenges. During the sweets/dessert challenges, it's more like who can execute given recipes than show some creativity/talent. It's so much more fun to watch the myster box challenges.

                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                And Malibu Ken WON with unfilled donuts If the others hadn't said theirs were supposed to be filled, it might have made a difference.

                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                  I think Courtney got major favoritism on getting through the donut challenge. The other gal's "looked better than they tasted" vs. salt instead of sugar?

                                                                                                  1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                    I agree. Courtney's texture was heavy and she used salt and Gordon spit her doughnut out. She's got the drama factor going for her to keep her in.

                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                      Sure seemed that way based on Gorden's uber-dramatic spitting out. And they want us to think so, which is why, in editing, they allowed the comment about favoritism and Joe's reaction. Just more tension to increase the drama.

                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                        Yeah, they're masters at the editing. I wonder if everyone really dislikes Courtney as much as they show. She hasn't done anything that seems obnoxious. Maybe it's just the perceived favoritism?

                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                          Lots of viewers dislike Courtney as well for her pageant/practiced persona, perceived snottiness and dubious commitment to cooking as a real livelihood and passion.

                                                                                                          I found it telling when she was not picked for the first team challenge, despite having been at/near the top in individual challenges up until then. Usually any team captain will pick whoever they think is really good and easy to work with.

                                                                                                    2. re: DGresh

                                                                                                      You didnt taste them ... you dont know how salty they really were.

                                                                                                      1. re: kpaxonite

                                                                                                        Ok, there should be an automatic phrase attached to the beginning of every opinion rendered on these threads.

                                                                                                        "It seems to me, based on the editing of the episode, that...."

                                                                                                        1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                          Thank you. We have no idea of anything but what we're shown so obviously we're going by that. We have no idea that she's even a woman if you want to play that card.

                                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                                            ... is mistaking salt for sugar as big a goof as messing up your entire process and producing a product that was inferior,, While each made "ickky" donuts in the minds of the "judges" rational which shows the bigger flaw in cooking talent?

                                                                                                2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                  Yes, Malibu Ken was less douchey reality show person, and more like an embarrssing corny uncle who cracks awful loud jokes at family holiday dinners. This made him a tiny bit more likeable. Or less hateable.

                                                                                                  And Drew Barrymore definitely made up for her non-presence on the episode by pulling faces constantly.

                                                                                                  I want more of the others though. Would it kill them to at least show what everyone else made?

                                                                                                3. grade school popularity contest - pfft

                                                                                                  I am rooting for the silver haired person, he doesn't seem to care at all (and by his own admission monetarily he doesn't need to)

                                                                                                  the blatant "girl fight" scenario is so obvious it is embarrassing

                                                                                                  eh it is what it is I suppose

                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: madeliner

                                                                                                    Girl fight? seems more a one-sided petty spoilt insecure pouty child jockeying for relevancy to me.

                                                                                                    " like chris with the gasses and the tattooed arm...he is just "normal" at this point. Strong cook mild mannered good looking.
                                                                                                    Sara- "if I had Yeast i wouldn't give it to her " can leave next"

                                                                                                    Ahran"getting mad at Francis for spoiling her plan for giving up yeast then saying she wants to win against the best was hypocritical after saving Francis B

                                                                                                    1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                      Saving Francis B was a weird move. I thought this episode was especially weak. Obvious outcomes for drama over food. Courtney totally deserves to go home.

                                                                                                      1. re: melpy

                                                                                                        That was the one thing that made me like her more--that she picked someone she thought would be a good competitor because she wanted to win against the best. Most eliminate their toughest competitor.

                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                          Yeah, but it was surprising after she mentioned she wanted to make her choices strategically and then later chose to save a strong competitor. I guess that's a strategy, too, though not the obvious one. Maybe he'll save her or help her down the road. He did say he owes her one.

                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                            I thought she meant strategically as in getting rid of Courtney. It makes no sense when they try to get rid of one person in a challenge like that. Making doughnuts is a tough challenge--who's to say Courtney would do the worst unless she's proclaimed that she can't made doughnuts.

                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                              yeah, unless you specifically know that a good cook has a very specific weakness, how can you "target" them?

                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                Thank you for saying this. I've always questioned the logic of something like this. In fact, if anything, Courtney has shown a strength in desserts. It seemed like a challenge biased in her favor!

                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                notice the "wanting to save someone good to win against the best" voice over was added in after the fact... most defiantly a spin job of editing

                                                                                                                1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                  Yeah, I don't even really care about stuff like that because, honestly, when someone says that, I think it's BS. She saved him for her own reasons.

                                                                                                                  But, excellent observation. ;-)

                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                      2. I know it's not a surprise, but this show does not choose to boot/keep contestants based on their food. If they did, the stripper would have gotten the boot because her doughnuts were too salty.

                                                                                                        26 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                          Ahran was spot on accusing the judges of playing favorites...of course they do. And Joe's defensiveness in response kind of drives home the point.

                                                                                                          I'm not looking forward to continued Courtney vs. Ahran battles, though.

                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                            I didn't have a problem with Ahran calling it like she sees it. Altho If I was calling out fake I'd probably be on the "geek" girl with the random tattoos. (What? No donut tattoo?) I think I would have used more tactful language in front of the judges, but...

                                                                                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                              What's fake about the geek girl? Is she just pretending to be awkward (I don't know her back story)?

                                                                                                              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                That is some awfully good pretending. She seems borderline on the spectrum.

                                                                                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                  Is the geek girl the one who works in the bakery? The one with pie and bake tattoos? If so, I think in the first episode, she talked about how she was very awkward and bullied as a kid. To me, she seems painfully shy and speaking to the camera (and to the judges) is a major effort for her.

                                                                                                                  1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                    That's the one - with a mixer tattoo and a blueberry pie tattoo. The question is whether that's all an act, that she really is an outgoing supermodel with legions of tattooed fans, and she can twerk with the best.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                      It could be an act but it would be a silly one to pick. Why would one choose to act awkward and nervous on camera?

                                                                                                                      Regardless, I don't see her lasting, mostly because she works in a bakery and I don't think she's won any of the baking contests yet.

                                                                                                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                        She seems to be a competent to excellent baker but I haven't seen her excel at anything savory yet.

                                                                                                                        BTW, if you go to the MasterChef facebook page, they've started putting up pictures from some of the challenges where we didn't see everyone's plates. The donuts are up right now:

                                                                                                                        https://www.facebook.com/Masterchef

                                                                                                                        Elise's look horrible. How the hell is she in this if not for sneaky editing and planning? I still feel like she's going to be pushed as an underdog eventual winner despite cooking (and baking) for crap. Jaimee's donuts did look pretty good. Elizabeth actually put fruit loops on some of hers...how was SHE not in the bottom?!

                                                                                                                        Willie's looked sad, too :(

                                                                                                                          1. re: sockii

                                                                                                                            From an appearance viewpoint, Kira's were WAY better looking than Elise's doughnuts!

                                                                                                                            And Elizabeth put Froot Loops on 6 of her doughnuts and parsley or chives on the other 6?

                                                                                                                            I'll be honest - Malibu Ken/Leslie's doughnuts looked the best. Scottish Francis's doughnuts wouldn't have appealed to me, on a visual viewpoint only.

                                                                                                                            1. re: sockii

                                                                                                                              She does seem to be a competent baker to excellent baker. But, she hasn't won any of the baking competitions and hasn't stood out for any savory dishes. Hence, my guess she'll end up middle of the pack.

                                                                                                                              There are some very odd donuts in those pictures.

                                                                                                                              1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                                She seems to march to the beat of her own drummer.

                                                                                                                              2. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                She's a dead ringer for one of the weirdo's on Worst Cooks in America

                                                                                                                        1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                          if I was calling out fake....hipster chick isnt the one that has dark roots growing out of hew palo alto valley girl speaking head..

                                                                                                                          1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                            LOL, you really don't like Ahran. She probably is a spoiled brat in real life.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                              I don't like what I am seeing on TV..... who knows in real life....

                                                                                                                              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                I think this is the first episode Ahran actually got to say anything.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                  Yeah, and the judges trapped her/egged her on regarding Courtney. I think it's pretty harsh to be so negative on an 18 year old kid who, as I recall, has never been in a bottom of a challenge so far, got picked/wasn't on the reject team for the first team challenge, and clearly has some good skills in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                  Was the "fake b---h" comment taking it too far? I don't know. None of us know unless we've been there ourselves...but too be honest that has exactly been my impression of Courtney to date so I kind of cheer Ahran on for being "immature" enough to say what a number of people are thinking (and, what fits the edit being given.)

                                                                                                                                  As far as Jaimee, I don't think she's faking it. Here's a picture from 2011 showing off that god awful blueberry pie tattoo, just a better haircut:

                                                                                                                                  http://brandonbaltzley.files.wordpres...

                                                                                                                                  I think they're trying to make her look less butchy-hipster girl and instead nerd girl, like Bri last year.

                                                                                                                                  Personally it's just her voice I can't stand hearing. (And honestly as a New Jersey resident I find that tattoo insulting to my entire state, LOL!)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: sockii

                                                                                                                                    Oh, but I will add my skepticism with Jaimee is the claim that she's just a "home chef" or "baker". I've been trying to find the details, but here's one article linking her to two restaurants back to 2011 (but not details of in what capacity, it certainly seems related to the food):

                                                                                                                                    http://rocknrollghost.com/2011/07/10/...

                                                                                                                                    Her linkedin profile just says "Independent Food Production Professional" and no other details (at least not publicly viewable).

                                                                                                                                    1. re: sockii

                                                                                                                                      All the photos of Jaimee I see pre-MC she is dressed much more stylish, clothes, hair, glasses etc. I do feel like she may have been encouraged to go all "bri" with the grandma clothes to get on.

                                                                                                                                      I don't really have a problem with Ahran. From what I've read on past seasons, at this point they've been penned up together for a lot longer than we realize, so she probably has a good idea if she thinks someone is being fake or overly favored. And again, no, I would have edited my vocabulary a lot more in front of the judges, but then again, I'm not 18.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                        It's not like Gordon Ramsay is a shining example of clean language...

                                                                                                                                        1. re: sockii

                                                                                                                                          No, I think to me it is just a respect thing. These 3 guys have achieved something in this field, and you are hopefully trying to impress them. Using respectful language would seem appropriate no matter what your age.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: sockii

                                                                                                                                        she's just a "home chef" or "baker"

                                                                                                                                        a tattoo is a pretty big commitment for "just" a home hobby in myyyy simple humble opinion. I mean I know an Olympic medal winner that waited a year to get her verrrry small Olympic rings on her ankle..even the chefs I know thought long and hard about each of theirs.

                                                                                                                                      3. re: sockii

                                                                                                                                        If it helps, close your eyes when Jaimee talks and picture Lily Tomlin as Edith Ann.

                                                                                                                            2. Everyone other than Willie seems to hate Malibu Ken (Leslie) but I didn't see him do anything wrong. He sucked as a leader and he admitted it, and he had no problem when Francis B took over the team. On the other hand, the Korean girl, whose name I can't spell, gets into a tizzy because MK didn't pronounce her name properly. She had been rolling her eyes all along so I think that's just her acting out. I can't fault MK at all for this episode.

                                                                                                                              And they really set MK up to look like an idiot by asking him who he would pick to compete in the elimination challenge. Here MK was a little harsh but I don't think there's any love lost.

                                                                                                                              I want to see A-ran and Courtney gone. Two psycho bitches.

                                                                                                                              35 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                As Gordon was slicing through the steak I realized that Walmart is not a sponsor this year.

                                                                                                                                1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                                                  Good point. Leslie's steak was cooked perfect medium rare (even though I prefer mine on the rare side of medium rare).

                                                                                                                                  I wonder why non of them twice fried their frites? There was no way they could get color or crispness any other way.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                      My guess is the fryers were already hot. It looked to me that they had time.

                                                                                                                                2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                  I was willing to cut Ahran slack last week (as I dislike Courtney so much), but this episode really did showcase her immaturity.

                                                                                                                                  Whether MK is real or a plant there to stir up trouble, at this point I don't care. He at least is an interesting foil/"villain" and actually does seem to know how to cook.

                                                                                                                                  Showcasing so many of the other chefs rooting against him and trying to help Francis B beat him in the steak competition was really nasty. Ugh. Finding anyone to actually cheer for this season (except Willie) is pretty difficult.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: sockii

                                                                                                                                    I was surprised there was only 1 year age difference between Jordan and Ahran. I know we just see what the monkeys show us, but even after being cut and being teary eyed, he showed so much more maturity than Ahran. It makes it hard for me to give her a pass for her bad behavior because she's so young, when someone almost her exact some age can act respectfully and appropriately in the same stressful environment.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: sockii

                                                                                                                                      All this backstabbing is why I don't like this show. I know the producers encourage it (teh drama!) but I can just go out into the real world and see that.
                                                                                                                                      It's why I like the Masterchef UK Pro series so much. People don't compete against each other, they compete against themselves to produce the best thing they can possibly make.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: joycebre

                                                                                                                                        http://benstarr.com/blog/

                                                                                                                                        seems to agree with you .. I am getting more and more of a dodged the bullet feeling

                                                                                                                                        1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                                          Haven't seen last night's episode yet (will watch tonight), but this from Ben Starr's blog says it all about what they can do/say about your "character" on a "reality show":

                                                                                                                                          “The rights granted to Producer also include, but are not limited to, the rights to edit, cut, rearrange, adapt, dub, revise, modify, fictionalize, or otherwise alter the Material, and I waive the exercise of any ‘moral rights.’

                                                                                                                                          I understand that my appearance, depiction, and portrayal in connection with the series may be disparaging, defamatory, embarrassing, or of an otherwise unfavorable nature, may expose me to public ridicule, humiliation, or condemnation, and may portray me in a false light.”

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            I always knew that Master Chef was a contrived show, but I didn't realize it was controlled by the producers as much as it is.

                                                                                                                                            I believe everything Ben Starr wrote in that blog. I suppose Courney's doughnuts were probably not over salted.

                                                                                                                                            I would have thought the three judges (well except for Bastianich) more integrity than they apparently have.

                                                                                                                                            I still believe Top Chef to be a real cooking competition.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                              I am actually surprised Ben was allowed to say as much as he did about the actual process, internal workings, and that the producers had final say on many things.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                I'm also surprised by how much they let him say. But I suspect they thought it was in their best interest to let him blog in the beginning. And perhaps, then he became too well-liked for them to go after him. And, in the meantime, many of us are still watching.

                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                  When Ben first started to disclose what was going on behind the scenes, the MC producers did contact him and tried to put pressure on him to stop, and did manage to get him to start each of his episode re-cap blogs with a disclaimer.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                      Sorry, that was rather cryptic.

                                                                                                                                                      This was the disclaimer:

                                                                                                                                                      "WARNING: This blog contains the crazed ravings of a MasterChef season 2 survivor who has no inside knowledge of how this season was produced. Everything in this blog should be considered opinion and nothing else."

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jimonyc

                                                                                                                                                        And if anyone knew Ben or had been reading his blog in the past, they'd know that was just crazy talk. :-)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                    I'm sure they make him sign a waiver saying he cannot speak ill about the show. But that waiver can't last forever. The same thing with Kitchen Nightmares. The restaurant owners sign a document saying they cannot talk about the inside workings of the program, but again, it has to have an end date.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                    top chef yes
                                                                                                                                                    iron chef they know what the ingredient is before hand
                                                                                                                                                    Chopped they are given a list what they are getting in the baskets but not what will be with what
                                                                                                                                                    Master chef Jr they are paired with a production chef and taught to cook their dish for each challenge and then practice what parts to do on TV....

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                                                      I read on more than one occassion that the Iron Chef contestants are given a list of three possible ingredients prior toproduction of the show.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                        It just *has* to be something like that. Like the time a local favorite (beat) B. Flay on a steak challenge and just happened to have cowboy bandanas on hand to tie to his cowboy steaks. It's pretty clear that they have a general idea what they are going to do and that little "huddle" they do is mostly for show.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                                                  he's right. And I'm not going to watch anymore. (lately I've only been watching cooking shows to see the plating and presentation anyway. I can see that in far more neutral setting on the net.)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                                                    Yes, you dodged a bullet for sure! I know a part of it that would be exciting, but I suspect the negatives would far outweigh the positives. Although it would be fun for US to cheer for you...

                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: joycebre

                                                                                                                                                    If you're interested in seeing an example of what the Masterchef format can look like without all the fabrications found in the U.S. version, check out this sample episode from MC UK.
                                                                                                                                                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFG3w...

                                                                                                                                                3. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                  I can fault Malibu Ken. He was a horrible leader. In fact, a complete non-leader. He let his kitchen be taken over. Then, when asked in the pressure test who should go, he deliberately chose people to "get back at" vs. looking at who did or didn't do anything in the kitchen. He didn't even consider himself - it was revenge. Sorry - I think he's as whiny a brat as Ahran is.

                                                                                                                                                  Figured it would be Jordan leaving. He was a deer in the headlights during the wedding service. Although I think Francis B. isn't long for the competition either.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                    I also thought that while Ayran was pushing his buttons, as teenagers tend to do, he was not "acting his age" in response to her. He's a parent for goodness sake. Everything he was saying to her was just bound to make matters worse.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                      What are you supposed to say to teenage punks? He has kids, and I think that's how he actually parents.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                        I can believe it's how he parents. Many people do. But I'm just saying it is less-than-effective.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                          I'll defer to you....I have no personal experience, yet.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                          I think he was between a rock and a hard place, really, although I agree he didn't handle her well. She was acting like an immature brat when he was in a situation where he should have been able to relate to her as a competitor, an equal, really. Seems just about anything he did to respond would have drawn criticism.

                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                            I agree. Age should not matter. At that point it is a competitor. You shouldn't have to molly coddle someone because the producers decided to bring in an emotionally insercure pup. I didn't get why people were saying... you're 54 she's 18... he wasn't that mean to her. She was a cunt to him.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, that's just what I mean. He speaking to her in an authoritarian "don't you ever...." way (which tends to push teenagers even more into a bratty behavior, because they are constantly trying to assert their place as an adult), rather than speaking in the same way he would have if a 30-year-old person had said the same things. I think he would have used different words. At least I hope so.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                                I don't know if a 30 year old talked that shitty to me I probably wouldn't have been half as nice.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                  well then we're different that way :)

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                                  The best way for him to have handled it with a person of any age would have been to try to inject a little humor into it, maybe of the self-deprecating variety. "Oh geeze, I'm sorry. Let's all hope I'm better at choosing a team than remembering names." Or something like that.

                                                                                                                                                                  ETA: I'm pretty sure Leslie isn't capable of self-deprecating anything!

                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                    I really couldn't hear much difference in how he pronounced her name than how she pronounced it. Frankly, with that many people I'd just be happy a person remembered my name at that point.

                                                                                                                                                      2. I think Ayran should go.She is an obnoxious teenager who has issues with her peers at her high school supposedly and the wedding seem to like the red as well as the blue..that was all set up..and what about Tyler who ate two pieces of fish.

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: calligal53

                                                                                                                                                          I know the red team was missing fish and they said Tyler was eating something....did he really eat two pieces of fish? That just seems absurd.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                            Did they portion the fish? Were they given *exactly* the right amount, or did they *cut* exactly the right amount. If the latter, that was just dumb.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Well Malibu Ken was a little less obnoxious than usual today. Ahran and Courtney can leave now please. (Which means they will be there til the end).

                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                            I think Ahran will eventually get too flustered and have a major meltdown. Courtney, unfortunately, I predict going to at least the top 4 :(

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                              Malibu Ken was, IMO, totally obnoxious. He didn't lead. He took no responsibility for the menu, the process or his team's failure. He was an excuse machine.

                                                                                                                                                              It is highly unlikely that Tyler or anyone else ate TWO WHOLE PIECES OF FISH. The attempt to make it look like he did was a pretty apparent piece of editing.

                                                                                                                                                              On the whole, silly, silly show.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                "On the whole, silly, silly show."

                                                                                                                                                                this is true

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                  But ya know he did step back and let somebody else lead...and that does take some humility...and he kept working..he didnt just say oh well I m not leading Not my circus not my monkeys and sit back and watch it play out... he still was a team player... I have to give him credit for that...That is a humbling thing to do.. we all sit in judgement of the ego he is being portrayed as BUT... you also have to remember he is use to being the captain of the ship at home with five kids... who probably did count on him and listen to him... I give him props for truly thinking of the team and not turning it into a power struggle...and just "getting it done"

                                                                                                                                                              2. Is it just me or did anyone have a problem with Courtney and the other girl helping Frances B. make a compote butter? That just seems wrong and should have been reprimanded by the judges.

                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: uneed2eat

                                                                                                                                                                  I thought that wasn't right either

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: uneed2eat

                                                                                                                                                                    And how could he never have made compound butter? I mean I've never made a doughnut or cleaned a fish, but compound butter's pretty easy and self-explanatory. I'm watching this show because I know a contestant, but it strikes me as pretty low on the competitive cooking show totem pole. The editing is just... So obvious?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: uneed2eat

                                                                                                                                                                      They've done that in other episodes. In other shows, like Aus and NZ, all the competitors seem to really like each other and they all should out ideas and encouragement. Didn't bother me.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: uneed2eat

                                                                                                                                                                        It seems unfair but this show really doesn't have alot of stated rules.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                          I have the feeling that just about anything goes if it makes for good television.

                                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: uneed2eat

                                                                                                                                                                          I am guessing that compound butter instruction thing was done because the producers told them to do it.

                                                                                                                                                                        3. My favorite right now is MK :D

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: madeliner

                                                                                                                                                                            well not really, but with the bunch that is there he is.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Does anyone think that the judges would have let Leslie's three choices for the pressure test stand had he chosen himself? That they only overrode him because they didn't like his choices and/or the producers didn't think it would be good drama?

                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                              Anything is possible. I think he was going to be in the challenge regardless of what happens.....they want to villain him.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                Every reality show must have a villain.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                  Would have been smart for him to pick himself. Make less enemies and frankly, Malibu Ken (so far at least) has shown he can cook.

                                                                                                                                                                                  BTW, read up to the link on the ben starr blog. I read him before on other seasons. Have very mixed feelings on his post. I really hated him in his season with his gimmicky hat. I've liked some of the things he's done since. But really feel like he's biting the hand that opened so many doors to him. And thousands of websitse hits.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                    Ben Starr is " biting the hand that opened so many doors to him. And thousands of websitse hits."

                                                                                                                                                                                    You could make the case that turnabout is fair play. Fox used him - and others - for its own commercial gain on the show. He obviously had little recourse for how he was used at the time. I say good for him.

                                                                                                                                                                                    He says more about it here. He is pretty disillusioned with "reality" TV and is no longer watching or blogging about Masterchef.
                                                                                                                                                                                    http://benstarr.com/blog/masterchef-a...

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                      Of course they did, but there were 25,000 other people that would have been more than happy to be used for that spot. And of course he had recourse, he could have looked at that contract and said no, the publicity isn't worth the risk to my integrity and walked out. But he didn't choose that.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes. There is far more time I'm sure between his choices and Ramsay's decision to override it. I think Joe was wrong to pick Francis B. If Francis hadn't stepped up, they would have served nothing. I think the guy who ate the last fish should have been there. Travis?

                                                                                                                                                                                3. Is it possible next week, to start a new thread on this, like there is for Top Chef? I think it'll be easier to follow than to have one long thread for the whole season.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I didn't want to start a new thread just for this, but the Masterchef Cruise 2014 has set sail. Luca, Christine and young Alexander will be joined by Bri, Becky and Courtney. Just passing that along because I know some of y'all are kicking yourselves for missing that boat.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Missing the boat. That's funny stuff.