In the last season of MasterChef Junior a team cupcake competition, where team members were literally connected to each other, produced no unified cupcake. Instead each member produced six cupcakes of their own resulting in two separate entries though being judged as a team challenge. This time around for the sausage competition, there was no wiggle room. Each team had to produce a stunning sausage and its accompaniments. And the only way to do this right was to work together. Most of the teams got it right but some did not resulting in another take your apron and leave the kitchen result.
Before we got to the sausage team competition, once again the producers decide we must have a comedy skit that involves the judges getting dunked, drenched, or covered in something unpleasant. Last season it was maple syrup and this season is the lemon meringue pie. Fortunately the three kids–Jimmy, Ryan Kate and Andrew–did not have to make the pies. There were twelve there and they had to make the meringue for the pie. I know many out there like to see the MasterChef judges get splattered but personally I think it is just filler for the show. And it is predictable that all of the judges will get splatted. So I would suggest they dump this skit and come up with something else for filler. After three seasons of seeing this, either call in professionals to do it or simply dump it.
Jimmy won the meringue challenge and gets to pick the teams. No exemption for him! He has to cook as well. Probably the one he was most clever about was pairing up Andrew with Cory. Andrew has one way of doing things and Cory another. And they cannot agree on much. Which means producing a unified sausage dish is going to be a challenge. Jenna hates sausage and it makes you wonder if pairing with Mia will work. But despite her dislike of sausage, their pork & chorizo with sauerkraut is delicious. Joe thinks it reminds him of a rustic German dish and even yodels when the girls ask. Gordon is pleased as well.
Jimmy and Kyler though have a split decision, which is rare to see on MasterChef. Joe likes their pork butt & kangaroo dish but Gordon has a totally different reaction. Not only did he disagree with Joe but said they ought to have left kangaroo to the Australians. Which means Graham would be tasting it to break the tie. But no, for some reason it is not shown. Huh? Here you have two judges with two completely different takes on a contestant’s food. Is it not worth it to put in what Graham thought as well?
On the other hand Ayla & Reilly got raves for their version of bangers and mash. Gordon’s only complaint was that the sausage was too small. But at least they got it right unlike Andrew & Cory and Alexis & Micah. Andrew & Cory was a sad dish to look at. The sausage was dry and bland which is not a good thing when it is supposed to be the star. Alexis & Micah had a promising dish with white bean and Swiss chard stew but both the sausage and stew were under seasoned. Meaning the sausage sat in a watery dish that gave it no help. Not good at all.
The winning team was Jenna and Micah, remarkable when you recall Jenna hated sausage. It was no surprise that Andrew & Cory and Alexis & Micah ended up on the bottom. After the usual drama, Alexis & Micah were sent home.
I liked the sausage challenge which took them out of their comfort zone. Most people do not make their own sausage. It is a lot of work to do but gives you control over the meat and spices being used.
Odds & Ends
*Andrew really has to learn that yelling at inanimate objects like stand mixers will do no good. Unless you are on The Muppet Show and only with the Swedish Chef.
*Always watch your flame on a gas burner. Once it goes out precious cooking time is lost.
*As always those who over salt their food will get zinged but those who under season their food will always end up on the bottom.
By The Numbers
TV By The Numbers final results for Tuesday night are in. For the 8:00 p.m. hour, NCIS (CBS) won 1st place with 19.87 million, SharkTank(ABC) came in second at 7.48 million, and in third place MasterChef Junior with 4.93 million viewers. MasterChef was 5.26 million last week so it lost viewers, which is not unexpected, after the premiere. Fox has renewed it already for a fourth season and replacing Joe is Christina Tosi, the owner of New York’s dessert-based restaurant Momofuku Milk Bar.
Next week: We see aged versions of the judges and there are some scary reptiles and snakes in the house. (Note: The U.S. State of the Union address will be shown at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT on that day. So it is likely the east and central timezones will have their showing pre-empted for its coverage).