MasterChef 31Jul 2013: Family, Sushi, and Luca Aims Wrong

Hiroshige Bowl of Sushi
Photo: Wikipedia

After last weeks adventure in the outdoors, it is back to the MasterChef kitchen for the next Mystery Box challenge. But under the giant box are family members waiting to see their loved ones. It actually was quite touching for our remaining cheftestants. Krissi’s son could not be there in person due to tests but did tape a message which broke Krissi into tears. The challenge was to make food that reminded you of family and of course make it special for MasterChef. From what we saw during the walk arounds, they all seemed to be doing some fine work. In the end it came down to Natasha, Jessi, and Luca. All three dishes were considered excellent but Luca got the edge so off to the pantry he goes.

Sushi Chefs

I have to think one of the most difficult challenges MasterChef throws is sushi. It looks simple but requires a lot of finesse and technique to get it right. There is not any room for error. Now the twist is that, like last year, it will be done by teams of two. Not at the same time, that would be too easy! Once again it is a tag team challenge where one member does work and the other stands by offering tips, advice, or begins planning their escape to a distant tropical island. Luca pairs Natasha and Krissi together since he does not like Natasha (and she not liking him much either). Surprisingly he puts James and Jordan together, two strong contenders you normally would not want paired up. I suspect he was recalling Eddie’s tactic of giving them both fresh mushrooms and how it really hurt them by being overconfident. Eddie and Jessi are paired.

Luca Shots Arrow, Misses Target

Luca wanted to get Natasha and he hoped pairing her with Krissi would lead to problems (neither likes the other). Instead the two work together rather than against the other. Krissi decides to listen to Natasha (the more skilled in this regard) and do the needed chopping and rice. So instead of friction, they work as a team likely to throw serious mud right back in Luca’s face. And it worked since they nearly recreated the original dish (though with just seconds to spare). The judges praised their dish.

Alas once again you see the overconfidence of James and Jordan. Jordan at one point starts washing the uni driving Gordon mad at seeing all that flavor being washed away. They present a dish that while has mostly good knife skills and is bland (no seasoning in the rice and much too little elsewhere). Worse the two laugh it off enraging Gordon who says they remind him of teenagers. Luca got it right here. Unfortunately his arrow did not get Natasha or this un-dynamic duo but hit Eddie squarely on the chest.

The dish Eddie and Jessi submit is not great, bad knife skills, and over seasoned with vinegar. Joe asks if they are 50-50 responsible. They say yes but Joe does not believe it. He challenges Eddie, who claimed to eat sushi twice a week, to eat something with him. Eddie declined and that pretty much sealed his fate. Natasha and Krissi are safe, the Un-Dynamic Duo is just saved by their knife skills, and Eddie and Jessi are on the bottom. Eddie is sent home ending a remarkable journey on MasterChef. He clearly has the chops to make it on his own and I hope he gets some mentoring in a real kitchen. I am really disappointed as I pegged him as being in the top four and possibly top two. His demise is once again a reminder how easy it is too trip up and go home.

The Final Six Or Not?
As this episode ends, the final six are James, Jessi, Jordan, Krissi, Luca, and Natasha. But the MasterChef promo for next week shows that last year was not a fluke. They plan to bring back several recent eliminations (last year they brought back all but the first two to be eliminated) so they can battle it out to regain the apron. Last year it brought back Josh (who had been eliminated in the egg pressure test)back into the competition and he made it into the finale against Christine. So it looks like the Final Six will be short lived as one of their competitors makes it back. And it could be someone that Krissi targeted could be back to haunt her. Personally it would be great to see Lynn or Eddie back.

Final Thoughts
This was a good episode and convinced me that Natasha is one of the top four. Krissi, who I am not a fan of, managed to hold her tongue and put her head down to work with Natasha for the win. Luca, who I thought was heading out the door, managed to show he still belongs on the show. I still doubt he will win the trophy but he is going to give it his all. It was sad to see Eddie go. I think this guy has tremendous talent and had he not fallen probably in the top four. Jordan and James really came off badly proving what Eddie surmised early on: both these guys try to complicate their dishes and end up looking foolish for it. Fortunately for them, Eddie and Jessi did far worse. It was close, I think, since neither Eddie/Jessi or James/Jordan really did well. Then again if Eddie wins back a spot in the competition next week, his exit might be short lived.

And Luca, when aiming arrow be sure to understand your target. You botched it when it came to Natasha. She is more stronger now. You did manage to send Eddie home but now the bullseye on your back from Krissi and Natasha make it likely you will go home soon.

Some Disturbing News About Josh Marks
Last night the news broke that MasterChef season 3 finalist Josh Marks had been arrested for assaulting a police officer and taking a weapon. According to TMZ:

As we reported, 26-year-old 7-foot-2 Marks was arrested by University of Chicago police Monday after allegedly punching a cop and trying to grab his gun. 3 officers tried to subdue Marks with batons and pepper spray, but he broke free and took off running.  It eventually took 5 officers to chase him down and handcuff him. Once in custody, cops claim Marks blamed Gordon Ramsay for his outburst, claiming the celeb chef had possessed him and turned him into God. We’re told there was no evidence of drug use.

His family issued a statement on the incident:

“We are working closely with medical professionals to determine if Josh’s behavior could be related to mental health symptoms. Our primary concern is Josh, his health, well being and getting him proper treatment. Josh is an amazing, gentle and talented young man. He comes from a very close knit family; is a cum laude college graduate and very involved in the community. His family is at his side to give him any support that he needs right now.”

This is a very disturbing turn of events for Josh. Obviously something is very wrong and possibly a mental breakdown or stress of some kind (one former contestant speculates he is bi-polar but I agree with Braiser, the guy is a idiot for saying it). What it is I have not a clue but this kind of behavior is not normal. I hope others join with me and giving Josh and his family all the support they need during this time. Hopefully whatever caused this can be treated and Josh will go on. Hopefully his attorney can work out a deal with prosecutors so he gets the treatment he likely needs rather than sitting out 14 years in jail.