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'MasterChef' recap: Is Giuseppe really Italian?

June 22, 2011 |  1:34 pm

Tony Max, you might want to watch it. America's truck drivers have it in for you.

Max held off doing a victory dance or fist pump, but he engaged in a smirky grin when Tony the truck driver was sent packing this week on "MasterChef." True, Tony helped cause his own downfall, first by contributing to the blue team's failure in the cafeteria challenge (which took place in the Los Angeles Times' building in downtown L.A.) and by making raviolis that resembled sunny-side-up eggs, and not in a good way. But the elimination was doubly painful because it's exactly what smirky Max wanted to happen.

Speaking of smirky Max: He might have some company in the "too big for their britches" club in Suzy. "I am the best chef here by far," she said, and then later sniped at the judges for not agreeing. "I think my dish was a lot better. ... I am really disappinted, honestly, with the judging for this challenge."

Oh, brother.

At least we have to say this for Max. Dude can cook. Chef Gordan Ramsay has been heaping praise on his food, particularly his perfectly prepared cod, and all but declared him a front-runner: "You have just raised the bar even higher. ... It's just a restaurant-quality dish, no doubt about it."

And, as much as it kills me to admit, Max makes for pretty good TV.

We're starting to see some of the other competitors crumble under the pressure of challenges designed to expose the limits of their talents. Angel went home during the make-it-French challenge, delivering a tart that was a runny mess. Mark was probably happy when he learned that he was going home, because it meant that he wasn't facing death. (Joe "Death Stare" Bastianich made it sound like Mark should pay the ultimately penalty for -- yuck -- stirring raw flour into his runny mashed potatoes in a misguided attempt to tighten 'em up.)

But here is what I really want to know: How does a guy named Giuseppe, who speaks with a heavy Italian accent and claims he loves to cook, fail at making pizza and ravioli? Worse: He was bested in the pizza round by Ben, who apparently has an endless supply of silly hats. The motherland might not let Guiseppe in after that performance. 

Tony, here's wishing you find success in that chalkboard restaurant alongside your wife.


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-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: Tony going up in flames in the L.A. Times' cafeteria before going down in flames with the judges. Credit: Fox