Masterchef Recap: Doughnuts, or an Emergency Medical Procedure?

Hi Trashies!

Has it been a month already? Ep 4 is on us and it’s time to consider what’s happened so far. Apart from the fact haven’t I lost a single damned pound in weight, we’ve seen a few of the mini’s culled, favorites are being called (not literally I don’t know her number) and there’s a few wounded gazelles that are being are being outpaced by the herd. I’m looking at you Elise.

Courtney is showing a real all-around skill level that has so far been unstoppable – unlike her skills at being evil which are mediocre at best. Its the thought that counts Courtney, I’m sure you’ll be a hated pariah that everyone calls ‘bitch’ soon if you keep up the practice.

We start up with the typical overly dramatic voice-over declaring that last week was ‘all out culinary war’. I’m sorry I missed that episode and recapped the one where they made food for the soldiers instead. No one really argued with anyone. Malibu didn’t really push his point about making beef, and I’m fairly certain he’dve been ignored anyway. Maybe there would have been more fuss on the other team about the woeful ‘mac and what-the-hell-is-that?’ but they won, so that tends to defuse the tension.

This episode we’re promised a front runner failing (Courtney by the editing) and Ahran speaks!

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I just wandered in last week to be honest. No one’s said anything so far.

Get used to this, she speaks a lot this week.

Its a mystery box! Courtney mouths off, in secret this time so at least she’s learning, and then a real surprise. The first appearance of the sinister blood-red ‘memory’ framing, of a picture of Little Gordy. Is he dead?

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Little Gordon has fallen!

Fallen sick that is. He’s fine, but he’s out. That has to be a crappy way to get eliminated from anything, let alone a competition for $250000. Poor sod.

So its 18 cooks now, and that likely means they’ll lose 2 before the next team challenge. Why they worry about having perfectly even teams is beyond me but they do. Perhaps Gordy is a little OCD.

There’s something alive in the mystery box, and it’s a net of live sea food, slowly dying on the bench. Its an unwelcome discovery for Elizabeth.

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I can’t believe my box has crabs.

Cheap shot. I’m not proud.

The more excitable mini’s start squealing so it seems some of them haven’t cooked with live seafood before. On the other hand, we see various shots of shrimps and crabs being dismembered so they have probably been taught how do this in one of the practice lessons they get in between episodes. I really can’t believe they’d risk a disaster like happened once before, when someone just pulled the seafood apart and lobbed it in a pot without killing it first.

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Tell little Jimmy I won’t be coming home tonight …glurk

There’s no ‘remember to kill your food in a nice way’ today though.

Is it just me or is Bastich phoning it in this week? He seems off his game somehow.

Francis B apparently works in a restaurant that is Southern, Low-country style with European influences. That’s just word-soup to me, I’ll be honest. He seems to know what he’s going to do though.

Christian comes from Nawlin’s and is going shrimp and grits. Could be anything from bland mush to most awesome thing ever, but he says the sauce is the main lynchpin of the dish. The grits hes putting cheddar in, with bell pepper and cream. Again it sounds like it could be great, depends how he does it.

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Christian, either awesome or really bland. Or sort of ok.

Ahran gets some air time! Shes making a spicy asian seafood stew. Unfortunately she puts her foot firmly in her mouth within two seconds. Bastich asks her who the best cook is, she says Willie, and not Courtney as ‘she gets favoritism’. She has it pointed out to her that this means she thinks the judges are playing favorites. It might be what a lot of the cooks are saying back in the dorms, as people often find it hard to admit someone they aren’t fond of is better than someone they like, but it goes over like a lead balloon with Bastich.

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You think those nude aerial dances have influenced my Judgement? How dare you!

I like her for walking into that and trying to wiggle out by saying she doesn’t know why Courtney would get favoritism. Self-preservation kicking in, better late than never.

Courtney, Francis B, Ahran and Christian are flagged as doing well. Elise is shown making what look like giant fries – what the Brits call chips, which for seafood is more pubfood than restaurant so she needs to be doing them really well. Which on past experience I don’t think is likely.

Evil-Courtney rears her head again as she tells us that her dish is perfect and everyone else’s is crap. Ok she didn’t say that, quite, but thats what she meant, look:

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I work hard to be this smug

Annoyingly she is usually right.

First up is Francis.

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So that’s what Southern low-country European influenced food looks like

It sounds pretty good. Chorizo oil to sear the scallops, yum yum. Gordy likes it, despite slipping in his dislike of fusion. (although he did have a restaurant that did Fusion). Bastich likes it too.

Next up, Ahran. She’s everywhere this week! It’s a spicy seafood stew with jasmine rice, and looks good, which as it’s in a bowl isn’t easy. She seems to be very nervous though.

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Yeah earlier I was speaking, and you can’t expect me to think and speak at the same time.

You just know someone is going to throw that favoritism crack back in her face one day, presumably when Courtney is listening. Gordy likes her stew too though.

Last up is Christian. Courtney is deffed out! He says that everyone now knows he’s someone that doesn’t need to be reckoned with. Either I misheard that, its some kind of new slang, or he doesn’t quite know what that means as he’s just said he’s not a threat to anyone.

Hungry hippos

Hungry Hungry Hippos! Er, Shrimp.

It’s the kind of big hearty food I like though so he is someone to be reckoned with. Unless he’s dead set against that. Gordy even pretends the grits look good on the plate. Lets not go overboard, Gordy.

So who is off to the pantry? Ahran. After weeks of silence, we can’t shut her up. But she’s off to the pantry with three middle-aged men, something I’d not recommend in general for High School Girls. That joke never gets old for me.

The elimination challenge is going to be ‘sweet treats’

Bastich has American Muffins. Otherwise known as a great excuse to eat cake at breakfast time – no I’m not being sarcastic, Blueberry American Muffins are the best. I can rarely stomach anything more than a coffee for breakfast though.

TG has cookies, which allegedly go well with milk. I don’t even have milk in my tea or coffee, let alone drink it so I’ll take that on good faith. Making big soft cookies isn’t that easy – or rather making them well so they aren’t too dry or too wet isn’t. Any fool can lob some in the oven and hope.

Gordy has ring-doughnuts. My main experience of them is fresh cooked ones by the seaside, which is not unusual as I live by the sea, but with only sugar sprinkled on not much more. I’d guess (and it would be a guess) that they’d be looking for some interesting toppings.

So we have yet another baking round. Of the three I’d take immunity. But if I had to, I’d go for Muffins, purely as they’re the easiest. But did someone sneak in and change this show to the ‘Big American Bake Off’? Are they just handing another easy pass to Elise and Jaimee? Well not Elise, as we’ve seen she can mess up stuff we know she’s good at, but you get my point. Maybe I’m wrong, but it does seem heavily weighted to baking so far this year.

Ahran has a pass. She wants Courtney out, and admits she doesn’t like her very much. Hmm, they ought to learn to keep things like this quiet.

She chose Doughnuts to cook. Interesting side note I just looked up, the earliest mention of them is in an 1809 English cookbook, but mentioned as specifically an American recipe. I may have over-sold that when I claimed it as ‘interesting’.

Making a dough is always fun, and prone to mishap, especially getting it to rise in a limited time. They need to make 12 and put them in a box, so consistency is a feature today.

Malibu admits he hasn’t made them before, and Magic Bollocks is deciding to go for 12 flavors. That could be a bit of a stretch, surely you’d want to do 2-3 to look nice? Gordy points out that once they’ve set the dough to rise, they can’t change it’s flavor.

The drama that was previewed begins. Courtney realizes she has to remake her dough as she forgot to put eggs in it. Of course, this means she needs more yeast as she didn’t grab enough for a second batch. Is this the traditional ‘will someone help her, yes they will’ drama?I did laugh as when she refers to Francis B, she says his whole surname. She says ‘no one will give me anything’. Or they don’t have any as like you they only got enough for one go.

Ahran is getting excited that her plan is working. Watching other people fuck up isn’t a plan Ahran, that’s dumb luck. Fine, enjoy it if you hate them, but don’t start thinking your genius brought them low – as your plan was ‘hope they forget a key ingredient’. That’s akin to the Allies hoping the Axis forces wouldn’t turn up on D-Day. It’s not a plan.

Anyway, I’d give Courtney the yeast, its plain mean not to. Magic Bollocks does the right thing and hands her over some. He doesn’t look too enthused about it though, even when she plants a smacker on him in relief, and he says ‘No kissing!’

Courtney kisses Francis

No Kissing Scottish Francis! Personal Space! Personal Space!

Well thats Brits for you. It doesn’t mean much about his gender preference, or even Courtney for that matter- I have the same ‘you can shake my hand, no hugs’ approach even if I think someone’s cute. Unless I’m so secretly gay that even I don’t know it. If I do shift the weight in time for summer, I’ll report back on that. Or not, come to think about it.

As for Courtney, again its the kind of slightly over-mannered behavior that probably makes Ahran think she’s ‘fake’, but I think she’s sincere enough as it goes. Ahran then jokily accuses Magic Bollocks of messing with her ‘plan’. At least I think he’s being good-humored about it, if not I’d have to remind her that Courtney forgetting the eggs was not her plan.

Francis B is having issues. As he splats in his unrisen dough onto a tray with careless abandon, he says ‘I hope these are going to work’. He seems to be cooking with denial today.

Doughnuts not working

Three guesses Francis and the first two don’t count

It doesn’t take a Masterchef to see they’re already hugely inconsistent in thickness and shape, so the cook might end up all over the place – there’s absolutely no way that they’re going to look similar. They don’t look risen either. Its not an auto-fail yet, but he’s drifting into the dangah zone. He’s cooking up the doughnut holes too, but that alone won’t save him.

Kira is not having a good day, she forgot an ingredient (shortening) too, but didn’t notice until too late. Or she isn’t as shameless as Courtney and didn’t ask, but sod shame when there’s a prize at stake. Gordy recommends she adapts her fillings to compensate and she keeps saying  ‘yeah I know’ over him.

Kiras mistake

 Ok Ok, I’ll take my well intentioned and much needed advice elsewhere.

It’s not like I’m judging – oh hang on.

Back in magic-land, one of his 12 flavors is prosciutto. I hate that kind of ‘hey, lets have bacon in our dessert, that’ll change things up’ approach. No I want fruit or sugar in it, I don’t like ‘new’. But my grumpiness aside, its a bold move that if it works will be very impressive. Or it’ll be rank and disgusting, there isn’t much middle ground here.

Francis B is trying to make his doughnut holes look pretty. With the same success that mad serial killers in horror films make the dessicated corpse of their mothers look pretty.

emergency doughnuts

Doughnuts, or emergency medical procedure?

Its not looking good.

Malibu is happy its all going well. He has a few filled, some rings. Three of each, which cunningly matches the number of judges and is a sensible move.

They’re boxing up and Magical Bollocks is pointed at as being in trouble with his 12 flavors. As is Francis B, for making whatever the hell it is he’s now making, I think the judges are scared to look.

Its hard, but he manages to make them look even worse.

now they're green

Green. I will decorate them with purest Green.

Ohh-kayyy.Whatever maniacal spirit has possessed him isn’t letting go.  If he doesn’t end up with that box wrapped round his head, Bastich is in a much better mood than I think he is.

The last twist is Ahran gets to save one cook – after seeing what they’ve done. Odds are, not Courtney.  Ahran goes round checking out the doughnuts before getting to the puppy dog eyes. Francis B has some awareness that the fucked up horror show in his box is not going to be a banker, and resorts to outright begging.

Nope, no chance

No, you don’t. Unless she thinks she does with you.

She does, and he’s in the clear. Gordy makes it clear that he just got very lucky.

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You were fucked

Now remember what I said earlier about it being easy to criticize people you don’t like? Not exactly insightful psychology I know, but Ahran has just saved Francis B as he’s ‘such a strong cook and she wants to beat the best’. Immediately she says someone like Courtney, who forgot an ingredient is stupid and should go home. But Francis B shouldn’t for his Franken-nuts?

Ahran is starting to grate on me. If you’re going to have unabashed favoritism based on hotness or friend status, fine, but don’t pretend its anything else than shameless bias. Courtney has proved she can cook – she’s also proved she’s a bitch at times, but its possible to be both.

Courtney’s are raspberry frosted and chai glazed (I think). They’re very salty, and they’re a big miss. Ahran is getting some quality Schadenfreude here as Courtney is in serious, serious trouble. She put too much salt in, or mistook it for sugar – its that bad. For the first time I’m starting to hope Evil-Courtney is ok as Ahran’s relentless wall of hostility towards her is annoying me.

Malibu brings up a box full of ‘Malibu sunshine’. He can’t stop himself, but fair play they look damn good. The judges love them. Malibu Ken is safe. His age is playing for him, I guess he has more experience to fall back on.

Kira is up.

heart attack in a box

Heart attack in a box for one.

They’re raspberry and dark chocolate, banana and milk chocolate, and lemon zest dusted. I think.
She’s the one who forgot the shortening, and it seems there’s no filling in her doughnuts. Its a miss.

Victoria is up. Hers all look like consistent, if a little dull, doughnuts. The flavor is simple but good.

Christine is up with a mixed bag of chocolate and hazlenut and doesn’t get a resounding result, but also not  a total miss.

Dan made 16 doughnuts, and they’re all good. If you’re going to break the rules, do it well.

Magic Bollocks is up. They look good.

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Steer clear of the snot colored one is my advice.

What do they taste like? He makes Gordy try the one with prosciutto, Guinness (Stout, or dark beer, as I discovered its sometimes called capping OITNB last week) and maple syrup. I can see those flavors working, in a mad way. Not that I’d like to eat them – its definitely gourmet doughnut, not sea-stand doughnut flavors, but it might work. Gordy loves it and that’s him safe.

Cutter is up, and is nervous. They don’t look wonderful, peanut butter and chocolate, but its irrelevant as the filling has slipped out during cooking. Bastich lays it on, and I’m feeling bitter that Cutter is falling foul of the constant baking.

No more tasting, so we haven’t seen Willie, Elise or Jaimee. So they must have done ok, which is no surprise for Willie and Jaimee, Elise must finally have got over her nerves. But all three are experienced bakers so its not a total surprise.

The two stand outs, Magical Bollocks and Malibu – who wins. They’re team captains in the next round, which ought to be entertaining if nothing else.

The three losers are Kira, with her good looking but tasteless doughnuts, Cutter, with somewhat similar issues, and Evil-Courtney.

I’m betting she’s the one saved first.

Wrong! Cutter steps forward, and is faked out, but saved. Ohhhh. Courtney is on the block with Kira. Kira bites it, and Evil-Courtney is safe. She’s shown more promise than Kira so it’s hard luck but she deserved to stay more.  Evil-Courtney has  a lot more mileage for the producers too.

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Bye Kira, should’ve taken the Judges advice when baking

Possibly she tried to. I can’t help thinking she deserved to stay more than Elise, who’s been living in the last chance saloon like a mad drunk that won’t go home.

I’ve fallen victim to the hype this week, as I’ve started rooting for Evil-Courtney. Ahran was on her ass all ep for no particularly good reason, I got sucked right in. Come to think of it, I now see that she wasn’t joking at all when she was having a go at Magic Bollocks for lending the yeast. Oh well.

Next ep is a wedding catering event, and it looks like Malibu freaks out. He’s kept the crazy under wraps for a while, I suppose its inevitable its going to creep out at some point. Comment up, and I’ll see you next week!

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