MasterChef, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot

Hello MasterChef fans,


What a night! Rounding out the Top 10 of this competition, we are left with some serious contenders, all getting closer to some serious prize money. This motley crew includes an architect, former beauty queen, neural engineer, and a Florida homemaker (with more affinity for the F-word than Gordon!), all of whom found themselves with another mystery box and elimination challenge, this time of much more intricate fare.
 
Preparing lobster and truffles requires a certain amount of sophistication, something that all of our remaining contestants should have in the kitchen, and as we'd hoped, everyone seemed reasonably comfortable -- enough to get right to work. With Christian clearly having the most experience with lobster, Gordon, Graham, and myself were especially looking forward to what he'd come up with. What we didn't want was more of the same nasty attitude that he's been increasingly throwing our way as we narrow things down.

At this point in the competition I don't know what to say about Christian -- he really had me fuming. I truly believe he has talent for this, but right now he's his own worst enemy. It's a shame watching someone start to implode. His disrespect for Jennifer while she presented her dish shows he also doesn't have respect for the show or us judges -- it was like watching a 6-year-old pout because he didn't get his ice cream -- pathetic. For me, he's becoming a real time-waster, but for some reason I'm still holding out hope he can turn himself around.
 
Working with lobster brought Derrick into the Top 3 for the first time, and once again Alejandra produced a wonderfully creative and perfectly cooked dish with her red curry lobster grilled in the shell (and for once didn't end up in the bottom three, thank you Alejandra!) Spicing things up with the elimination challenge, Jennifer chose wisely by picking truffles -- easily one of the most desired foods in the world, not to mention a potential intimidator for her fellow contestants.

We judges were hoping this challenge would give more insight as to who of our hopefuls is best able to conceptualize a dish -- cooking well is hard enough, but preparing a dish that is able to sway one's mood is on another level. Tracy's soup was everything it should have been -- sexy, aromatic, but light enough to not weigh you down, and Giuseppe's tagliolini was spot-on pasta perfection! Adrian, again, I'm worried about. He's a great cook who fails to listen time and time again. There was nothing sexy about that dish, and I think Gordon hit the nail on the head when he described that one.
 
Jennifer's choice to participate in the aphrodisiac elimination challenge quite honestly was a shock to me. Declining your own "get out of jail free" card is not an easy thing to do. Although she found herself in hot water with that severely undercooked coddled egg dish, it was the risk she was willing to take, and that in itself is commendable. I was quite nervous for her when I tasted her dish -- if that egg had ended her time on MasterChef I doubt she'd ever be able to forgive herself -- what a way to go! I admire her refusal to take the easy way out, and it certainly earned her respect in the eyes of us judges. Sadly, Erryn's moment to shine on MasterChef came on his way out the door. He really showed what he's made of by choosing the high road. He knew his time was up, and opted to bow out gracefully, and with integrity.
 
What's in store tomorrow?  Tune in Tuesday (9/8c on Fox) as the remaining contestants face, arguably, some of their toughest critics yet -- our mothers! This was by far one of my favorite days of Season 2, and one I won't soon forget so don't miss it!!

Thanks for reading,

Joe