Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich
Hello, MasterChef fans,
With only nine remaining home cooks left, the competition is intensifying, and things are getting personal! By now all contestants should be more than comfortable with our MasterChef mystery boxes -- they've had a lot of time and practice with this format. From here on in, Graham, Gordon, and I expect the bar to be raised with every task.
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.
Hello MasterChef fans!
Only 12 contestants left in the game and the pressure is mounting. Emotions are running high, bonds are forming, rivalries intensifying, and nearly everyone was on the verge of tears at some point during the night -- Gordon included!
Monday night our remaining home cooks faced their third team challenge -- to create three passed hors d'oeuvres for a rooftop cocktail party at an elite Hollywood Hotel. Passed hors d'oeuvres might seem simple -- but this format of conceptualizing, proportioning, and serving food is not what our hopefuls are accustomed to -- and the clientele might not have been either. Our invited guests are used to fine foods and have sophisticated palates. Well-heeled and well-traveled, they not only expect the best, they eat it every night. This food needed to be smart, sexy and savory, without any gimmicks.
Hello again, MasterChef fans! I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July.
Tuesday night we found ourselves down to just 13 amateur home cooks, a far cry from the thousands who lined up to audition across the country just a few short months ago. Observing this group as they focused tirelessly on the mystery box challenge of a vegetarian entrée, we judges felt we were finally seeing execution on a professional level. No panic-stricken looks and fewer last-minute scrambling runs to the MasterChef pantry -- it was evident that we were left with the most capable group thus far.
The Bachelorette is going steady again — that is, its ratings are.
Read our Bachelorette recap
ABC's dating show averaged 8.04 million viewers from 8 to 10 p.m. ET — 9 percent higher than last week, apparently boosted by Bentley's return. The show's ratings fell 23 percent in Week 2 after Season 7 premiered with 9.27 million viewers, but after six weeks it's roughly kept on an even keel. For the fifth straight week, it was Monday night's most-watched show.
Joe Bastianich, MasterChef
Hello again, MasterChef fans,
Monday night's episode proved true the old adage that there's nothing to fear but fear itself. So many poor decisions were made during both the mystery box challenge and the elimination test that were based out of fear and insecurity. From multiple uncooked dishes by Jennifer, Jennie and Alejandra, to that horrible skin-graft crepe cake concoction from Max, the night's mishaps were indeed the lowest of the low since the audition round and left us judges with something we too might have to fear -- the outcome of this competition!
Joe Bastianich, MasterChef
Hello, MasterChef fans,
Last night was the first real opportunity we judges had to closely critique and mentor our remaining hopefuls through the cooking process, and found our gut instincts from the audition round were indeed correct -- we've got some serious talent on our hands this year! However, this is a competition, and the weeding out must continue! Last night we saw two major mistakes that proved to be the undoing for contestants Marc and Angel.
Salmon I thought was a pretty fair choice for our first mystery box challenge. Likewise, French cuisine is something that most people in America are at least somewhat familiar with. If the contestants were to fail here, it would be as a result of their own lack of culinary know-how, and not due to any curve balls being thrown their way. During the French cuisine elimination challenge, it was Angel's lack of versatility that did her in after she failed to deliver on a basic French fruit tart. Angel is a perfect example of someone who cooks what they know and can cook it well. If I could give her any advice it would be to venture outside of her comfort zone and experiment with new cuisines, as she's past the point of perfecting her hometown favorites. The next MasterChef needs to be well versed enough to take it to the next level.
The Bachelorette iced Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals.
ABC's dating show averaged 7.82 million viewers from 8 to 10 ET against 5.23 million for the match on NBC between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins. Bachelorette also scored a 2.4 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds vs. hockey's 1.8 — down a chilling 38 percent against last year's Game 6 (which, admittedly, was between teams from two larger TV markets, Philadelphia and Chicago).
On Monday's auditions for MasterChef, several more home cooks tied one on -- tied on the white aprons that indicate they're advancing to the next level of competition that is. Overall, we're happy with the people who advanced to the Top 38, but sometimes, the melodramatic journey getting there can be rather painful. Will two of the chefs says "yes"? Is the dish salty enough? Will Joe Bastianich blink? Can we just skip to the competition rounds already?
Here are five moments that -- for one reason or another -- left a bad taste in our mouth from Day 3 of the auditions:
Game 4 of the National Basketball Association finals attracted 13.30 million fans in the last two hours of prime time Tuesday, helping ABC easily win the night, according to preliminary Nielsen figures.
It also scored a 5.5 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds — an increase of 17 percent against last year's Game 4 overnight numbers.