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'MasterChef,' 'Hell's Kitchen' recaps: Paula Deen forgets the butter

July 18, 2012|By Rene Lynch
  • Stacey Amagrande of Apple Valley.
Stacey Amagrande of Apple Valley. (Fox )

Paula Deen, welcome back. The Queen of Southern Cooking who made a guest appearance on "MasterChef" has had a rough go of it as late, battered and deep fried by the media after she revealed that she had diabetes, hid it from the public, and oh, by the way, is now touting a new diabetes drug.

But here's the reality: Everyone outside the media? They don't care. Leave Paula Deen alone already. She reminds everyone of their momma -- either the momma they had, or the momma they have, or the momma they wish they had -- so just get off her back and let her do her thing. Change the channel if you don't like it.

Deen had the competitors weeping with joy when she showed up this week -- literally popping out of a mystery box -- to challenge the "MasterChef" competitors to put some South in the judges' mouth. She also brought pictures and letters from home for the competitors. In short, she charmed everyone, even sassed back at Chef Gordon Ramsay when he dared to bad-mouth grits, and proved that there is simply no one like Paula Deen. There is one complaint about the Southern-inspired ingredients she gave the competitors, though: Really, no butter? At least Deen gave them cream cheese.

Those ingredients allowed David Martinez (!) to briefly shine, and let us think that perhaps we had seriously underestimated his cooking prowess. Until the sushi elimination challenge when we realized, nope, he's not a "MasterChef," and he needs to go. The sushi challenge (with a little tag team thrown in for added drama) sent Christine Ha and hometown favorite Stacey Amagrande plummeting to last place. It seemed the only difference between the two was that Stacey was running around in a panicked state, while Christine kept her wits about her. Bye-bye, Stacey, we wish you all the best.

The sushi challenge also underscored something else: I do not want Becky Reams to win. She is just a sour know-it-all who really doesn't know it all. Ugh.

Over on "Hell's Kitchen," we ditched some dead weight. I mean some dirty weight. Tiffany Johnson, who has just been so gross in the kitchen, went home. Let's not forget the moment that Ramsay caught her sticking knives into meat to test doneness, and then touching the knife to her lips to feel out the temperature, and then moving on to the next piece of meat with the...same knife.

This week, she was caught using a dirty pan to make a new dish, even though she was literally surrounded by clean pans at her disposal. Seriously, how lazy do you have to be? But she wasn't just lazy, she was stupid: There are cameras everywhere, Tiffany, and Ramsay lives for such moments.

"When a chef can't be bothered to get a clean pan and saute fresh vegetables, trust me, it tells me something," Ramsay said.

At least Tiffany can go home to her family for comfort. Oh, wait. Maybe not. They might not be pleased with the way she argued that, in fact, despite her actions, she did indeed care about winning the competition.

"I care more about food than I care about my family," she said.

Finally: I need a flow chart to figure out who hates who now: Robyn Almodovar and Kimmie Willis are back being best buds (at least it seemed that way from the way Robyn was consoling Kimmie at the end), and now everyone on the blue team hates Robyn and everyone in the joint hates Barbie Marshall...because she makes faces?

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Join Rene Lynch on Google+ and Twitter. Email: rene.lynch@latimes.com

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