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'Hell's Kitchen' and 'MasterChef' recap: Nice doesn't count

July 27, 2011 | 11:37 am

Chef_Gordon_Ramsay_300 So much for my theory that Alejandra Schrader of Playa del Rey would be among the last three standing on "MasterChef." Instead, her "friend" Adrian submarined her in the pork challenge. Adrian won the right to choose which cut of pork the rest of his competitors would cook with. He gave Alejandra pork loin -- arguably the easiest of the cuts, underscoring perhaps that he really didn't consider her a threat -- and gave nemesis Christian the most challenging cut: pork cheeks.

Christian rose to the occassion, and of course bragged every step of the way, and delivered a dish that had the judges swooning. It should have been a no-brainer for Alejandra. She didn't need to win, she just needed to serve up a serviceable dish, to pass on through to the next round. Instead, she blew it, and served up raw pork -- big no-no. She said she did not know if was raw, but it's kind of hard to believe that's true. She might -- might -- have had a chance if she had recognized the error and refused to serve it to the judges. Even Bob the pig was hanging his head in embarassment for her.

So in the end we lost one of the most likeable competitors. (There's just no way the judges could allow someone who serves raw pork to move forward in a compeition aimed at inspiring a home-cooking revolution.) And we're watching the rise of Christian. Clearly, this guy is a terrific cook. He's also a terrific jerk. I'm not sure I can stomach his win, particularly after he aimed and mock shot his competitors -- or maybe he was just "shooting" at Adrian, it was hard to tell, but it was nonetheless out of bounds.    

And speaking of competitors who are hard to stomach:

Over on "Hell's Kitchen" we have Elise of the persistantly pursed mouth and raised eyebrows. (You know the casting folks were high-fiving and slapping each other on the backs when she was discovered amongst the season's candidates.)

Crafty editing made us think that Carrie was the real problem on the women's team, which finds itself in shambles after Natalie departed to the men's team and promptly helped revitalize them. And Carrie does have her issues. But, Elise, SHUT UP ALREADY. I would love to put her on the couch for a few years and figure out where she gets that attitude. Was she the product of a henpecking mother? Or a henpecking father?

The most memorable moment so far: When Elise challenged chef Gordon Ramsay to ask all her teammates how they felt about her, so sure was she that they would come rushing to her defense. Um, not so much. But oh does it make for good TV. And good training: If one of the competitors could find a way to make her a cohesive part of the team they should be hired on the spot.

I would like to see chef Ramsay swap Elise with Natalie. If Natalie could return to the red team and help them win, it would solidify her position as the front-runner. And if Elise went to the men's team and it all went to hell once more, we'd know that Elise is the problem child wherever she roams.

Also sent packing this week: Amanda, for being wimpy and not fighting back when dinner service began to flounder, and Chino, just because he seems hard-pressed to make a bowl of cereal.

Another priceless moment: When the blue team was play-acting a dinner service to better improve their communication skills. Chino fell behind in that service, too. But how can you fall behind when you are putting out invisible dishes?

-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch 

Photo: I could be wrong, but I think chef Gordon Ramsay is unhappy about something. Credit: Fox

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