'MasterChef' Recap: Judges Change Up Elimination Strategy

Yahoo Contributor Network

With the auditions over, the real "MasterChef" competition can finally begin. The final 18 chefs face their first Mystery Box Challenge, but things are different this season. Unlike years past, the judges announce that they can eliminate cooks whenever they feel like it. That means that the Mystery Box Challenge becomes an elimination test as well as a battle for the big advantage. The exciting twist set the tone for a strong episode. The competition looks like it is going to be more intense than last season. Here is a recap of the latest episode of "MasterChef."

The Mystery Box Challenge

The 18 cooks line up at their stations and see the usual wooden boxes. After lifting them up, they find a series of ingredients. The main component is a duck breast, while other ingredients include bananas and kale. After watching everyone cook for an hour, the three judges single out the three dishes that stood out the most. To everyone's shock, the three dishes stood out for the wrong reasons. Samantha, Ryan, and Scott are all called up because they had the worst food of the bunch. The judges announce that they will taste all three and eliminate the worst one. That turns out to be Samantha, whose raw duck proves to be the end of her "MasterChef" run.

The risotto battle

After pointing out the worst dishes, the judges announce that Felix had the best dish in the Mystery Box Challenge. That means that she is given an advantage of choosing what everyone will cook in the real test. She opts to cook risotto over clam chowder and beef wellington. Lucky for her, she is given a free pass to the next round. That leaves the remaining 16 cooks racing to prepare the best rice dishes they can imagine. After tasting everything, David and Frank are given the highest marks, and will be captains for the team challenge. Meanwhile, the bottom three cooks are Tali, Helene, and Dave Mack. Though the three dishes are all shredded by the judges, Dave Mack ends up getting the lowest marks. His run on "MasterChef" ends in disappointment.

What's next?

There are still a number of remaining cooks whose dishes weren't even shown in this episode. It's easy to assume that that means they did well, but you can't know for sure. The next episode should provide some clues as to how well everyone is doing. The first team challenge will involve feeding the military so that should be thrilling and touching. After that, the season's first pressure test will lead to at least one more elimination.

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