*It is week 5 of Masterchef (US). We have 17 aspiring cheftestants left after Kira departed last week.
*For reasons unclear, they have decided to do a wedding episode early in the season. Nor did the judges, as has been seen in previous seasons, provide their own dishes to the event. No dessert is on the menu either. Strange.
*Leslie and Francis pick their teams having won the elimination challenge. Team Leslie (Red) is Christian, Francis, Tyler, Daniel, Christine, Ahran, Jordan and Jaimee. Ahran did not want to be on this team! And when Leslie calls out her name (incorrectly), she fires back how her name is pronounced. Already this is not looking good for Team Red. Team Francis (Blue) is Willie, Courtney, Cutter, Victoria, Elizabeth, Dan and Elise.
*Team Blue gets quickly organized under Francis while Team Red goes to a beat of a different drummer. In most cases, a good leader can solicit advice and get consensus but provide needed leadership. None of that from Leslie. The team members throw out ideas and go off to do their own thing. Leslie has no real idea what is being cooked, which gets Gordon very upset. Francis easily rattled off what they were doing but Leslie stumbled on saying what they were doing while his astonished team looks on. Leslie walks around trying to look like he was being involved but mostly just gets in the way. He tries to tell Ahran what to do but she just gets angry at his interference.
*Mutiny On The Beach
Team Leslie is rudderless so Daniel becomes Fletcher Christian (who led the mutiny on HMS Bounty in 1789)and calls the team together and Francis B becomes team captain. At least Leslie is spared having to get in a small boat and sail for 48 days to Dutch East Indies as Captain Bligh had to do. Francis said he once was in a competitive sport so he knows how to lead. Okay. Meanwhile Leslie sulks. Jordan walks around not doing much either.
*Gourmet Dining On The Beach
Team Francis: Appetizer is seared scallops on a bed of arugula, papaya and jicama. The main course is lemongrass beurre blanc sea bass served with white asparagus over purple cauliflower puree. At one point Gordon touches a scallop and points out it is cold! Back to the pan!
Team Leslie: Appetizer is seared scallops and mango over an avocado-pea puree. The main course is Sea bass over spicy broccolini and an heirloom tomato and cucumber salad. Francis runs into two problems here. First is that original side for the sea bass was not able to be served. So Gordon made them come up quick with the heirloom tomato and cucumber salad. Second when they got down to the end, they were short 2 sea bass. Christian believes Tyler ate them. So they have to cut up the remaining bass into smaller portions to put on plates. Gordon is not pleased. And the missing two sea bass are never located.
*Bride & Groom Differ On Best Team
The bride and groom had a lovely wedding so now they are ready to eat! But the groom prefers Team Red while she likes Team Blue.
*While the diners and lucky couple can tell them who they liked, the final decision is up to the judges. So the bride has two flowers in her hands, one blue and the other red. With a toss she declares the blue team winners. Team Red now goes back to clean up both kitchens. Grumbling continues about Leslie’s lack of leadership. Ahran gets in Leslie’s face and he yells back as well telling her to get some cojones (I am paraphrasing here). Ahran ends up crying and the other team members try to calm Leslie down. He walks off. More on this later.
*Knives Come Out!
Well everyone is assembled for the pressure test. The team formerly known as Blue enjoys their win from above. Down below failed Team Red awaits its fate. Leslie half admits he was at fault. Gordon informs that only three have to take the pressure test. Leslie is asked who he would select to face it. His name is not one of them, but he puts up Christian, Daniel and Ahran (and again but not accidental mispronounces her name). There are shocked looks up in the balcony and Elizabeth calls Leslie a coward for not selecting himself. HEAD FAKE! Gordon announces they will decide which three will be saved. Leslie has been drawn and quartered metaphorically speaking. Gordon selects him, Graham selects Jordan and Joe selects Francis B.
*A perfect steak
Steak Frites. A delicious bistro steak served (usually) medium rare with thin frites as french fries. Delicious. And now the three have to prepare the same. Leslie is the only one that gets his steak perfectly medium rare. It looked delicious and the onlookers above are disappointed. His potatoes are dreadful though, says Gordon. Graham tastes Jordan’s steak but it is over medium rare to medium. Also he did not quite render the fat out. His fries are okay. Francis B had some help from above with others giving him tips, as Courtney did, on using compound butter. The other Francis did not like the advice. At any rate it looks good but it too is overcooked but, as Joe notes, still moist and very tasty. His fries are good too but there are a few mushy ones. In the end Leslie’s steak saves him and he is safe. It comes down between Jordan and Francis B and Jordan is sent home.
We now have sixteen left. And next week a double billing! Luca Manfe, winner of Season 4, stops by. And so does Alexander who won last year on Junior Masterchef. And someone presents a dish they did not make!
Leslie is a dope, plain and simple. I did not think this guy was going to be so feckless as a leader. He contributed nothing to his team but his voice and it was not pleasant. He was more of the child than Ahran! Getting into shouting matches to prove who is better at it never works. Ahran has a lot of anger so it does not take much to set her off. Leslie grates people in how he talks to them. It is not a friendly attitude or how can I help style, but a bark that puts you down. And it gets worse when you decide to challenge him. He does not like people challenging his authority. I could see if he ever owned a real kitchen a lot of people coming and going from him. Most would not want to work under such a person. And like Krissi last year, he has put the bullseye right on his back. Nobody is going to help him unless they have to. Sadly I suspect he will be around a little longer than most people wish. He has good cooking skills that probably will let him go further than others.
It will be interesting to see how he works at the next team challenge. Only Willy seems to like him. Courtney is now in the number 2 spot of the most disliked this season.
Tyler’s eating reminded me of an episode of Kitchen Nightmares–Lela’s–where one of the workers nicknamed “Buzzard” eats a lot of the food. There was one scene where they went to get brownies and someone (Buzzard)had likely eaten them all up. Tyler better watch it or face some wrath from the Culinary Trio