This week… on MasterChef:
I have to admit that this week, I didn’t watch the entire show. Mostly because I was at a meeting, and didn’t get back until about half-way through. However, I bet I can pretty much tell you what happened:
- Contestants, many of them with sob heart-rending touching backstories, came up and cooked
- Some of them cook pretty appetizing, tasty, visually-appealing food; while others… serve up cr*p
- The 3 chefs take a taste, and offer up their opinions
- Some of those who get negative feedback will
beg for their livesurgently plea to be let through
- The judges will relent, at least in some instances
- In the end, will we really care? Will we have any reason to?
I will admit that I did see a few of the contestants. One of them prepared a Puerto Rican dish, but the judges (Chef Ramsay especially) were unimpressed by her attempt to make it a fancified, restaurant type of dish.
(Maybe I’m missing something here, but isn’t the show called “MasterChef“? Isn’t fancified restaurant-type food with all sorts of squiggly-line sauces on the plate the type of thing a chef would be expected to do, hmmm‽*)
Apparently, Chef sees something in this contestant, because he sends her home (after making sure she lives close enough) and gives her two hours to bring back some ingredients to make him a dish with “authentic flavor and passion.” This isn’t surprising, as “giving the contestant a second chance” is a formulaic twist we have seen in American Idol and other reality contests from FOX. And, of course, when she comes back and serves up her New Mexican chile relleno with a spicy red salsa (and no frou-frou sauce squiggles decorating the dish), the judges love love LOVE it – and send her through. As she runs out with her brand-new apron, screaming and crying, the judges show us just how much they love the dish, by polishing it off.
The other contestant I saw was a man with 3 fingers on each hand (due to a rare birth defect, we are told.) I’m guessing that the not-so-subtle message here is “with enough heart and passion, One Can Do Anything One Sets Ones Mind On.” And, sure enough, he decides to prepare baby back ribs and baked beans. With a pressure cooker. In only 60 minutes. Like the bouillabaisse from last week, Chef Ramsay states unequivocally that this dish can not be prepared properly in 60 minutes. (Nor, IMHO, can it be properly prepared in a pressure cooker.) However, on the basis of his awesome (bbq) sauce, Chef Ramsay votes to send him through.
And that, gentle reader, is the end of the Audition Round. At least FOX has learned something from American Idol, and kept the number of episodes where the theme is “This is the time on MasterChef when we see train wrecks” down to enough to satisfy our desire to see train wrecks, but not so many that we tire of them (and the whole show, to boot.)
Up next week: on MasterChef: we continue the cliche-laden theme, as the judges “turn up the heat in the kitchen.” Sort of like August in H-Town, I guess. They promise us that half the contestants won’t survive this round. So, who will rise to the challenge, and who will wilt like a wall-flower? Tune in and find out, as “the ultimate kitchen battle begins.”
Or so we’re promised.