MasterChef Junior Season 3: The Kids Find Their Aprons

MasterChef-Junior-LogoHere we go again with another season of MasterChef Junior season 3. Are you ready? Too bad because here we go!

*The kids arrive and told they are the best kid cooks around. But they need one thing to complete the image, an apron. Treasure hunt! They race into the pantry to search food bins, containers, refrigerators and even large objects shaped like chocolate eggs for aprons with their name on it. Fortunately the clock is not ticking. Trust me if they do this again they will give them 5 minutes and then they wear the apron of shame (one that has a picture of Gordon laughing).

*The mystery box is chocked full of ingredients including a nice piece of salmon. So many ways to cook this nice bit of fish or something else. Ultimately Kayla, Jack, and Jenna are called up for their dishes to be sampled. And in a first for Masterchef, a tie. Seems the judges could not make up their minds who would win. So they all do! They go back to the pantry to select one of three pastas for their fellow cheftestants to cook. Joe likes ravioli, Graham lasagna, and Gordon pappardelle. Pappardelle is a wide pasta not unlike fettucine and is served with a hearty sauce. Delicious but complicated to get the pasta just right.

*While the three head up to the balcony with ice cream sundaes, someone hopes they get brain freeze. Perhaps said in jest or perhaps not!

*It really comes down to who made not only the best pasta but a flavorful sauce as well. Underdone noodles, too little sauce, missing salt are all things that the judges notice when they taste the results. However there are enough delicious ones to pass muster and keep them in the competition. Ryan Kate, Jimmy, and Andrew are the winners but sadly AJ, Philly, Quincy, Jianna, and Parker are sent home at the end. Wow that is a big chop sending five home the first night. This season is starting off fast and will go by quickly if the usual pace of about two per episode dropped is kept from this point on.

*First ever major kitchen incident. Up till now most injuries are simple nicks but unfortunately Kayla Mitchell (age 11) sliced two fingers during the mystery box challenge. Yikes! Medics are quickly dispatched and make sure the wounds are not serious. They quickly bandage her and and put a glove on the hand to protect it. She then resumes the competition and of course was in the top three winners of the challenge. It was pretty bloody reports Radar Online

All I remember seeing was, like, part of my nail was gone and there was just blood everywhere. It was horrible. Honestly, I didn’t really know what to do. You want to keep pushing and you want to keep going to cook and finish. I was just really nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to finish the challenge.

*Needless to say MasterChef immediately alerted the media that the set is well staffed with medics and a safety class is held so the kids know kitchen safety basics. Accidents are going to happen and thankfully this was not something requiring a trip to the hospital and requiring stitches.

*One writer out there said it is really hard to know what makes these kids tick. We get hardly any background about their lives at home. Just some bits and pieces dropped here and there. It is a valid point. How do these kids get this good? Be nice to see them at home to add more to their backstory.

*So how did the show fare in the ratings? According to TV By The Numbers, MasterChef Junior earned a 1.8 rating for adults 18-49, even with fall season premiere and up 6 percent from the last season finale. But NCIS was 2.7 with a 17 percent gain from its most original episode. ABC’s Marvel’s Agent Carter got a respectable 1.9 putting MasterChef in third place for the 8:00 hour. It means 19. 49 people watched NCIS, 6.88 million for Agent Carter, and 5.26 million for MasterChef Junior.

Next week we go vaudeville or old school comedy with the old fashioned pie-in-your-face skit.

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Today is Epiphany Day

Wise Men Adoration(Bartolomé Esteban Murillo,1618-1682)
Photo: Public Domain (Wikipedia)

Epiphany Day occurs on 6 January and marks the end of the Christmas season except for the Orthodox Christians who follow the Julian calendar. In England it is celebrated as the Twelfth Night (remember the song the Twelve Days of Christmas). Many cultures celebrate it with special foods and it is considered unlucky by many to leave Christmas decorations up after the Epiphany. The Roman Catholic Church celebrates it on 6 Jan but not as a day of obligation. Usually it is celebrated in a Sunday mass that falls before or just after the date (2-8 January).

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Farewell, 2014

640px-Pendleton_Sinking_Ship2014 was going to a be a big year for Titanic II. Clive Palmer wanted to bring back the glamor that was Titanic with a new ship based on the original design. He hired experts to do planning and testing. He set up a company called Blue Star Line that would be the new ship’s owner. And he made contact with a shipyard in China in the hopes it would be built there. And things seemed to hum along but things started going amiss along the way. The shipyard said no formal contract had been signed and even doubted they could do the job. Palmer started looking for investors in China to help shoulder the enormous construction cost. People in the cruise industry weighed in and wondered if such a ship could make money today. China began construction on its own Titanic, one that will be part of a theme park and designed to shake and rattle in the way the ship did during that fateful night when it sank. Clive Palmer got into a row with the Chinese over some business dealings. Unpleasant words were spoken and legal action began over royalties he claimed a Chinese company owed him. Despite assurances that ship construction would start late in 2014, nothing happened. And so it appears, unless things change, that Titanic II is kaput. If it gets resurrected, it likely will not be built in China. Perhaps an oil rich state in the Middle East?

Robert Ballard has moved on from Mystic Aquarium. His long term association with them has come to an end. Ballard decided to focus his energies on other projects. Mystic Aquarium has decided to open up a space by closing its Titanic exhibit which featured Ballard.

The Titanic Historical Society lost Ed Kamuda this year. A founder of that group and one of those who kept alive memory of the disaster. He lived to see Titanic get more widely known, its wreck found, and having annual get togethers with survivors and enthused amateurs. He and his wife Karen even got parts in Cameron’s Titanic as part of the many people walking on deck. His stance against salvage made him unpopular with some but no one ever said he did not like Titanic. He will be missed. RIP.

Titanic Belfast continues to grow strong. Visitors keep coming and recently exceeded 2 million. Quite a feat. Belfast, which had kind of downplayed Titanic, now embraces it. A whole commercial area called Titanic Quarter is getting shops, people, and businesses to live, work, and shop there. Aside from one snide comment from a television personality, most in Belfast seem happy with the tourism and new business.

Not one but two Titanic hotels are now in Liverpool. One is at the old White Star offices (Albion House) and the other at Stanley Dock.

The Silver Cup given to Captain Rostron of Carpathia was auctioned off  by his descendents.

A rare British Pathe film with Titanic footage and interviews was found quite by accident. A lucky one since it now has become a valuable part of Titanic history.

Titanic still gets used as a cliché for politicians, pundits, and news analysts. But it was Arianna Huffington who gets the top prize for using Emperor Nero, the burning of Rome, and Titanic all in one mashed up sentence. When you mix idioms and cliches together, no good ever comes of it.


Over at Undercover Boss, the owner of Bikinis Bar and Grill (a place I never heard of till I saw the episode), has gotten into some hot water over what happened during the reveal part of the show (where he reveals he is the boss). Now this guy, Doug Culler, is unabashed about what his restaurant chain is all about: breasts (and not chicken). At his place, women wear bikini tops, denim shorts, and cowboy boots. One gal decided not to wear her top for the camera, a major no-no for him. More serious is that she kept serving alcohol to a guy who was intoxicated. And where was the manager? Oh he eventually showed up to cut him off and safely home (strict liability these days means businesses can be held responsible if someone who gets intoxicated on your premises and causes damage or injury). The gal also said she was looking for other jobs. So at the reveal Doug canned her–in front of millions of viewers. While firing her may have been right, it ought not to have been done that way. And it might come back to haunt him. Trust me some attorney out there is going to make hay about it and perhaps a lawsuit. To make it more tacky, he offered another gal a boob job if she did her job well for the next couple of months. Sleazy? You bet it was. And it fired up lots of angry tweets as well. Congratulations Guller! You wanted attention and you got it. Considering that business has been mixed of late, this might turn off a lot more potential customers.

MasterChef Junior season 2 has ended with Logan, the bow-tied wonder winning it all. Congrats Logan! Now we are getting ready for season 3 on January 6. Not much of a break between seasons so the producers are wanting to strike hard and fast. But maybe they know something we do not: that the clock is ticking on this show so they want to maximize as much ratings and earnings potential as they can. They are up against both NCIS on CBS and it only loses ratings when in reruns. And it will be starting back up on the same night and time as Masterchef Junior. So which do you watch live or record? Kids making fancy dishes or an action series? If the previous numbers are an indication, NCIS will get more live eyeballs.

I like the movie The Santa Clause. I watched The Santa Clause 2 and about the only good thing about it are the home scenes and Elizabeth Mitchell. It was a really stunningly dumb idea to come up with a robot Santa. The elves are not little kids (most are older than Santa) and could easily understand why Santa had to be away for a while. So you have the ridiculous idea of a real bad Santa-one that reminds you of those leaders of an impoverished nation who wear spectacular military outfits to show who the boss is. In first movie Bernard could just materialize when he needed to visit Allen’s character back home. Which means he ought to have been able to quickly to do the same in this movie. Nope. Instead Curtis has to fly down (literally) using the jet pack from The Rocketeer to tell Santa what the bad Santa was up to. It gets worse so I will stop here. Stick with the original and skip part 2 and do not get me started on part 3. Yikes, now that is a really bad mess there and no amount of talent will save it.

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