As the newest 2-hour episode of “Masterchef” begins (originally airing July 10, 2013) the judges kick up the star power for the eleven remaining hopeful home cooks. Right out the gate the cooks receive their next mystery box challenge that comes with a special celebrity guest judge. The judge is actress Eva Longoria and the mystery box features items handpicked by her including a variety of Spanish ingredients as well as shrimp, pork tenderloin, avocado, and corn. She wants them to make her some delicious Mexican food.
All of the home cooks seem a little star struck. The guys seem especially impressed by her. With 60 minutes on the clock they get to work. Much to everyone’s surprise it is the vegetarian Bri that wins the challenge with her delicious shrimp dish.
As Eva leaves, Bri is taken to the pantry to decide on the next elimination challenge. Since she won the mystery box challenge she is automatically safe and is the first cook to make it into the Top 10. She is given a choice of two baskets to hand out. One basket has about $5 worth of items that would be used to make a dessert including a banana and some strawberries. This basket comes with 60 minutes of cooking time. The second basket has a rib eye steak and about $20 worth of other veggies and ingredients. This basket comes with 30 minutes of cooking time. She gets to pick one cook to give one of the baskets to and the rest of the cooks will get the other basket. Bri decides that Natasha is very good at desserts so she gives her the steak basket with the 30 minute time limit and everyone else gets the dessert basket and has 60 minutes to come up with something great.
The pressure is on as many of the cooks clearly are not practiced bakers or people who make many desserts. Natasha remains calm, but spends half her time giving Bri the evil eye.
When the time expires Natasha has done well, but it is Jessie who blows the judges away with her dessert and wins the challenge. The bottom three end up being Krissi, Lynn and James. Lynn made a dish that was so terrible looking Chef Ramsay actually said it looked like, “Cow s#@! stepped on with strawberries.” Krissi tried adding gelatin mix to her cupcakes which made them come out like concrete and James tried a deep fried banana. None of them are good, but the judges are so taken aback by Lynn’s dish that they eliminate him.
It is a shock to everyone in the room when Lynn is sent home. He is always picked first for challenges and assumed to be a front runner to win the show. Clearly the judges are sending a message. Nobody is safe.
As the second hour gets underway we find out the next challenge will be a team challenge on the beach. The teams will make fish tacos for 101 hungry surfers. Since Jessie won the elimination competition she is the only team captain. Of the remaining nine contestants she gets to pick four to join her on the blue team. Basically, she gets to assemble her dream team. She chooses James, Natasha, Bethy and Eddie. That leaves Lucca, Krissi, Bri, Jordan and Savannah on the red team. Jessie also gets to choose the red team’s captain. She chooses Savannah to lead them.
Both teams must choose what kind of fish they wish to use, make a sauce and prepare enough tacos to give each surfer two tacos. After they have eaten the surfers will vote. The first team to get 51 votes will win.
Both teams start strong and run into some bumps. On the red team Krissi tries to deep fry the fish, but nobody likes it so they decide to grill the fish and leave Krissi to cook the tortillas which she is very unhappy about. At this point it is clear that most of the remaining cooks hate her.
When it comes time for service both teams struggle a little keeping up, but get all the surfers fed. As the voting comes down the red team jumps out to a huge lead with 21 votes while the blue team has one vote. It looks like a landslide is in the works, but the blue team mounts a comeback and wins easily. As a reward for winning the challenge all of the members of the blue team will join Graham in New York and be his guest to the MLB All Star game next week.
The judges then tell the red team that they must go into the pantry and decide on one of their members to save from participating in the pressure challenge. Krissi is angry and screaming at everyone because she is sick of being on the losing teams. Bri fights back and tells her to be quiet. When Krissi threatens to punch her Bri tells her go for it. Bri calls her out as a bully which just makes her angrier. Even Luca tells Krissi to calm down and stop swearing. Krissi does herself no favors when she says that Bri is the kind of girl she used to beat up all the time in school. At first Krissi’s tough act was funny and she had some funny lines, but now she is coming off exactly like a bully who is clearly used to getting her way no matter how she has to do it.
After the fighting is over, Jordan is saved from the challenge. Luca, Krissi, Bri and Savannah must now compete to save themselves. The challenge is to cook three chicken breasts. One will be sautéed, one will be deep fried, and one will be stuffed Italian style. Bri, having never cooked chicken, struggles and undercooks her chicken. Luckily for her, she is not alone. Savannah messes up her batter on the fried chicken and serves the chicken mostly raw. Even Luca messes the chicken up. Krissi cooks all three versions well and is safe. Luca is then announced as safe. Gordon then announces that it is Savannah who will be going home. With her departure we are down to the Top 9 in “Masterchef.” From here it will only get harder.