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'MasterChef' recap: 'Maybe Gordon likes it rough!'

September 2, 2010 | 11:34 am


We've lost the mascot. And there's no longer a doctor in the house.

Two competitors got the ax on "MasterChef" this week, including roly-poly Jake, the construction worker who moved like a swan -- a "big" swan -- and embodied the essence of "MasterChef" in its search for a diamond in the rough. But Jake ultimately proved to be too rough around the edges and lost the pasta challenge. So did Tracy, the doctor who said she discovered in midlife that she was meant to heal through cooking, not doctoring.

That one shocked me: Do you remember the ramp-up to Tracy joining the competitors? There were tears all around as Tracy explained that she had turned to cooking to be closer to her late mother, and had all of her recipes as a last living link to that relationship. I think I'm about to start crying all over again as I type this. But Mom's divine guidance was not enough. There's no doubt Tracy can cook -- but she's not a "MasterChef." What also shocked me: She seems highly emotional for a doctor. I mean, if you can't handle the stress of "MasterChef," I'm not sure I want you to diagnose anything bigger than a boo-boo.

With those two out of the way, it's shaping up to be a high-noon showdown between Lee and Sharone ... unless Mike or Whitney have something to say about it.

Other highlights:

--Note to Sheetal: You do realize the show is not called "MasterVegetarianChef," right? Sheetal dissolved into tears when she was asked to cook a crab for the opening challenge. Now, I understand being squeamish about the whole thing, but she said she was troubled because taking a life went against her religion. OK, but cooking with meat that someone else butchered is OK? Well then, OK! Kudos, though, to Sheetal for rallying back like a champ and delivering a dish that both chef Gordon Ramsay and Joe Bastianich liked. Bastianich couldn't resist adding: "I'm sure that crab was very, very happy to give his life for that dish."

--What in the world was Slim thinking when she a) served up that slop in the romance round and then b) defended it, and added that she'd happily serve that slop up once more -- only with less ginger? She has a screw loose. (But man, did it seem harsh when Bastianich threw the contents into the trash bin, saying it was beneath him to even try it.)

--Did you notice that Ramsay took his shirt off in front of the camera (were those washboard abs?) but not chef Graham Elliot? I don't know whether that says more about Gordon or Graham.

--Ramsay and Elliot were swapping clothes to jump in to save the day during the wedding challenge: The competitors were divided into two teams and had to cook for more than 100 guests. It seems to me that the dinner went pretty darn well. So, why did the bride and groom seem so unhappy with it? They were saying all the right things, but their body language said something else. I hope we can attribute that to camera stage fright and not a sign of where that new union is headed.

--We give out two quotes of the night this week:

1) "Maybe Gordon likes it rough!" That was Jake, wondering why Ramsay didn't flip for his supposedly refined romance dish that included mashed potatoes formed into the shape of ... wait for it! ... a heart.

2) "If we were on a date and you cooked that for me, I'd go to the bathroom and you'd never see me again. I'd bolt out the door." That was Ramsay, apparently describing his back-in-the-day dating techniques in regards to Slim's inedible dish.

And, of course, we had more leg-pulling from Ramsay:

"The beef is raw! ... and absolutely delicious."

"Mike ... you will not ... be taking your apron off."
"Jake ... you will be ... taking you apron off."

--Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo credit: The hopefully happy couple along with chef Gordon Ramsay, restaurateur Joe Bastianich and chef Graham Elliot. Credit: Fox