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'MasterChef' recap: An advantage turns into anything but

August 22, 2012|By Rene Lynch
  • "MasterChef" competitor Monti Carlo and chef Gordon Ramsay.
"MasterChef" competitor Monti Carlo and chef Gordon Ramsay. (Fox )

When is an advantage not an advantage? When you're a competitor or "MasterChef." Or "Hell's Kitchen."

Basically, anytime you are on a TV set with chef Gordon Ramsay, watch out.

To begin with, the final five competitors were asked to concoct their dream mystery box. Quite the advantage, no? Becky Reams was all about a dish centered around chicken thighs. Frank Mirando planned to impress with homemade sausages. Monti Carlo was going for the chocolate.

But Ramsay then pulled them all up short: You didn't think it was going to be that easy, did you? He made them all switch their ingredients with one of their competitors.

Cue the chaos! Actually, there was very little chaos. One chef after another proved their mettle by whipping up something delicious for the judges. Josh Marks won it hands down with a savory sausage bread pudding, as he pulled Frank's ingredients.

With the win, Josh earned what is arguably the best advantage of the season in the next challenge, which tasked the chefs with re-creating one of judge Graham Elliot's most famous dishes.

First, he could choose from among three of Graham's dishes -- and that would be the dish that all the chefs would have to re-create. Then, he was given ALL the ingredients necessary for the dish, while the rest of the chefs had to do their best to figure it out on their own.

Josh chose a white tuna sashimi dish that allegedly made President Obama swoon. But somehow, despite all those advantages, Josh mucked it all up. He barely made deadline. His plating was all off. And then he tried to improve on Graham's dish by adding mango. (Despite anything Graham said, it was obnoxious of Josh to think he could improve on one of Graham's signature dishes.)

And just like that, Josh -- who should have sailed to a win -- was in the bottom two along with Monti and Becky. Lucky for Josh, Monti's dish was worse than his.

Monti, it was a pleasure watching you gain renewed self confidence on the show. When the time is right, and you get back on the dating scene, some man out there is going to be very lucky to cross paths with you.

Monti predicts Christine Ha is going to win it all. And it's nothing short of remarkable the way she uses her remaining senses to make up for her lack of eyesight. Ramsay asked it, and I'm glad he did, because I'm thinking the same thing: "Am I being punked?"

"I wish," she responded, assuring him that she is, indeed, blind.

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rene.lynch@latimes.com

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