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:
1. Gossip Guy gets pre-judged. We understand that 18-year-old Max Kramer looks like a Chuck Bass wannabe, but he mentioned that he's been cooking since age 10 despite the fact that he was born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth and that this is his passion. So although we're happy he got an apron, we're not thrilled with the judges' comments or voiceovers that demand humility or proof that he's more than a trust-fund baby. Did you eat the dish? Great. Who cares about his background if he can deliver the goods?
2. Graham Elliot loves puppies. While some amateur kitchen practices are anathema, we'd like Graham's expressions of horror to refrain from references to cute, furry animals. "Every time someone uses a set of tongs on a delicate piece of fish, God kills a puppy," he said. Let's just leave all discussion of pets out of the kitchen altogether, yes?
3. Just say no to "Sweetballs." What was Joe smoking? Kristen from Tampa tried to mix it up by using pound cake in place of breadcrumbs in her Italian meatballs, and thankfully, Graham and Gordon Ramsay gave her the thumbs down. As much as we'd like to try unique flavors, cake with garlicky marinara sounds like it's screaming for antacid ... or a tongue transplant.
4. Got crabs? Apparently, no. Joe redeemed himself by appreciating what 46-year-old Burbank schoolteacher Edgardo was trying to do. Sadly, neither Graham nor Gordon could see the artistry in really bringing out the delicate purity of fresh Dungeness crab. It's not about plating, and everyone agreed it tasted great. We think that this is one of the instances that the dish choice didn't show off his technique, but others with less have been put through to prove themselves worthy. He at least deserved that same chance.
5. Starrs don't need to be blinding. The biggest trial of audition rounds on any reality show are the people who feel they need to create a scene, wear something loud or be wacky in order to draw attention. You know what? It usually makes us tune out. So when Dallas travel writer Ben Starr arrived with a pumpkin-print matching apron and toque and clichéd Julia Child impression, we were leery. Luckily, Ben had skills, including making his own tortillas and pumpkin IPA. We're down with getting wowed by your skills. Just don't pull the Bikini Girl card before you can prove yourself.
What did you think of the third day of auditions? Who are your favorites so far?