Wednesday, September 19, 2012

MasterChef Season 3 Recap

Season 3 Recap


I entered this season with low expectations for MasterChef and high expectations for Hell's Kitchen.  When the winners were crowned, my opinions did a complete 360 and it was actually MasterChef delivering the goods while HK lay in a gutter.

One of the problems I had last season was that the show was really slow paced.  Unnecessary slow tension, commercial breaks at stupid times, and constant cuts from shot-to-shot when a judge was about to say whether or not he liked a particular dish.  It seems they cut down on that a little bit this season but there's still stuff that MasterChef does that's really, really annoying.  First off, Joe Bastianich's Douche Alarm act gets really old really fast.  I realize that Fox is telling him to be the mean judge, but at times it feels like he's trying too hard to troll people and it just comes off painfully annoying to us, the viewers, at home.  Or how about the constant pessimism?  When the chefs are cooking the judges will go around to see who's doing what and if something is said that's slightly out of the realm of normalcy, the judges (specifically Joe and Gordon) freak out LIKE OOMGGZZZZ HOW CAN U DOOOO THAAAAT????

Unofficial spokeswoman of Greg's Gourmet

Another thing that bugs me about MasterChef is that the judges will be talking a lot and giving a lot of commentary but not actually delivering any new information.  "Now this challenge is extremely important because someone is going home."  WHOA, REALLY??? I DIDN'T KNOW THAT DURING AN ELIMINATION TEST SOMEONE WAS GOING HOME.  "This is a tough challenge.  They have to make sure the steak is cooked right."  WHOA, REALLY???  I THOUGHT THE WHOLE POINT WAS TO COOK YOU A RAW STEAK THANKS FOR TELLING ME.  "There can only be one MasterChef."  WHOA, REALLY??? I THOUGHT THERE WERE 17 MASTERCHEFS, GOOD THING YOU FILLED ME IN ON THAT MYSTERY.

Or how about the piss poor product placement?  "Today you will be cooking with steaks purchased from Walmart" with the corporate logo at the bottom of the screen.  I mean, really, guys?  Can you put a little effort into it?  Watch a couple Seinfeld episodes to learn how to properly place products.  "Snapple?""No, too fruity." 

The transparency of this makes me want to also makes me hungry for steak

The good thing about MasterChef as opposed to HK is that this season's batch of chefs were actually pretty interesting which made for good entertainment.  

WINNER: Christine - Naturally Christine had the most intriguing story line of the season with her being a blind chef and I kept waiting for her handicap to interfere but it never did.  Really amazing performance and she has a terrific attitude to back it up.

RUNNER-UP: Josh - This is where things get a little messed up because Josh had no right to be in the finals.  The truth is this should have probably been Frank's spot since Becky was free-falling for a few episodes.  Josh has a lot of talent - that's obvious - but he lacks consistency and makes some really strange errors that come off as pretty amateurish which made it all the more ridiculous that he beat out Frank during their challenge.  He was also kind of a hypocrite, i.e. if David Martinez had asked him for rice he wouldn't have given it to him, yet when Frank elected to save himself from elimination in the one of the final challenges, Josh got all upset.  It's a competition, dude.

3) Bitchin' Becky: Becky looked like the chef to beat for a long time but really caved in under the pressure in the final episodes, making silly errors that she wasn't making early on.  Her food always looks beautiful and she performed surprisingly well as a team captain.  She's the girl who kinda gets on your nerves yet if she won you wouldn't really be bothered all that much.

4) Frank: He was robbed.  Consistently solid all season long, no gaffes in his game, yet somehow Josh beats him out on the tail-end of a chocolate soufle√©.  Should have been Christine vs. Frank in the finals.  May have even had a different outcome.

The turning point of the series.  For once the "shocking elimination" actually lived up to the hype

5) Monti: She's so hot and her attitude just makes her hotter.  Really utilized her skill set well throughout the competition.

6) David: How the hell did this guy finish so high?  Dude was a total whipping boy for the other chefs as well as the judges and the funny thing about this guy is that he was practically emotionless.  Whether he was happy, mad, fighting, disappointed, or getting grilled by the judges, the dude had the same exact expression.  And for some reason I laughed every time.

You can never tell if David is being complimented or grilled

7) Felix: Definitely skilled, but lacked the balls to be a real force.

8) Stacey: Has some skills but they topped out where others exceeded.

9) Tali: What a douche.  How did this goofball finish 9th?  It seemed like every time he was featured he was getting his ass grilled.  And all the "I'm such a genius" bullshit got old after the fifth time he was serving horseshit on a plate.

10) Tanya: She cooks steak out of her ass.  That was the highlight of her season.

11) Mike: He wears a cowboy hat.  That was the highlight of his season.

12) Anna: Just kind of hung in there.  

13) Scott: I was rooting for this guy early.  Had trouble really performing in the kitchen.

14) Flavor Elevator Ryan: Easily the most entertaining contestant of the season.  Where his buddy Tali came off as a douche, the Flavor Elevator actually seemed pretty harmless.  He's just a dude looking to have some fun.


15) Helene: She tried hard but just couldn't really find a comfort zone.

16) Michael: Dude got absolutely annihilated.

17) Dave: Who was this again?

18) Samantha: Who was this again?

Overall a colorful bunch.  Made for some entertaining moments. 

There's one thing that's still unanswered in an otherwise complete season: Why was Joe wearing red shoes for a couple episodes?

They were running late for the photo shoot after an extended day of bowling

I went on a huge rant about why Hell's Kitchen failed this season.  But MasterChef?  It did a good job.  Obviously Gordon Ramsay was putting more of his attention here and the product turned out really nice.  Yeah, it's got its quirks and annoyances like any other reality TV show, but it was entertaining to watch and they brought together a solid group of contestants.  

Looking forward to next season!