Show Tracker

What you're watching

« Previous Post | Show Tracker Home | Next Post »

'MasterChef' recap: The naked truth

June 7, 2011 |  8:21 am


Again with the leg-pulling.

Season 2 of "MasterChef" opened Monday night with the first of a two-parter to winnow down the cast of 100 finalists on the way to choosing the best amateur home cook in America and rewarding him or her with a $250,000 payday.

But of course, the trio of judges can't just dole out the white aprons that signify entree into the next round. Nooooo, they have drag it out as long as possible, and punk their willing victims before -- "JUST JOKING! Here's your white apron." What do you think about this tactic, which was used to great effect in Season 1 and is back with a vengence? It's unusually cruel, gutwrenching, compelling ... and plenty entertaining, no?

Tracy appeared to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown after her white truffle oil debacle (who knew that stuff was considered such a joke in the food world?) and chef Gordon Ramsay and Graham Elliot were divided on whether she should pass to the next round. She was visibly shaking when her fate came to restaurateur Joe "Death Stare" Bastianich who said, "Unfortunately, you're going to have to ... KEEP COOKING!" and turned over a white apron.

And then there was the case of Pauline, a middle-age businesswoman from Calabasas who shares a Scottish heritage with Ramsay as well as an accent and an inexplicable affection for -- bleck! -- haggis. Ramsay appeared completely smitten, gobsmacked and charmed by Pauline, who showed up wearing a hideously unattractive black apron. Frankly, it was hard to make out all they were saying as they lapsed into brogue, but it appeared Ramsay paid her quite the compliment when he said, "You've got posh!" regarding her dish (salmon atop a layer of -- bleck! -- haggis prepared en croute, i.e., wrapped in homemade puff pastry.) Pauline all but blushed and fanned herself as she squirmed in delight and mock protested, "Oh, chef Ramsay! Really!"

Bastianich could barely stomach the dish. Eliott had some admiration for it, but Ramsay cooed: "That dish. It makes me homesick." Pauline cooed right back with a sing-song: "A touch of Scotland, just for yoouuuuuuuuuuuu!"

Then came the apron decision. This time, Bastianich and Eliott were divided on Sweet Pauline. Regrettably, Ramsay said, "It's a no ... TO THAT APRON! Put this one on .... C'mon, show these Yanks."

Two other noteable moments:

--Solace for the firefighter Mike who burned(!) his halibut. After dismissing him from the judges table, Ramsay tracked him down outside and told him that if he continued to cook and hone his craft, "I'll guarantee you a place this time next year." Good luck, Mike.

--The nut job who served the judges sushi off a naked woman, above. Leading to Ramsay's quip: "This is not the kind of place I want to find a hair in my food." And then Ramsay's judgment: "The naked truth: No." Period, and of story, no leg-pulling.


'The Bachelorette' recap: A bad joke and a bad boy break Ashley's heart

About (Late) Last Night: Colbert on Weiner scandal: 'Republican politicians are man enough to hit that' [Video]

'Nurse Jackie' recap: It's just for now

--Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: Fox