MasterChef recap season 9 episode 6: Nice no more!


In this MasterChef recap, The MasterChef contestants face their first team challenge and it gets ugly. The warm support vanishes like foam when they are under pressure in a beer-themed challenge.

This week’s MasterChef recap has the home cooks are out of the kitchen for their first team challenge at the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Southern California. After Gordon drives in a forklift holding a MasterChef box, the cooks are introduced to their challenge. They will have seventy-five minutes to prep to feed 101 brewery workers.

They must use beer, of course. They can either make a fried chicken sandwich with beer battered onion rings and corn salad or beer battered fish and chips with coleslaw and tartar sauce. Chelsea, as the winner of last week’s crab skill test, is the captain of blue. Bowen, as the runner up, is the team captain of the red team.

MASTERCHEF: Contestant Lindsay in theÊÒGordon Ramsay MasterclassÓ episode of MASTERCHEF airing Wednesday, June 13 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting.

Chelsea is offered a choice. She can pick her team or she can pick her dish. This sets up the main rivalry for the episode, and boy does that rivalry escalate before the end! Shanika tells us she would pick fish because it is easy.

I don’t understand what is so easy about fish in her mind. The fish needs to be cooked more a la minute. If you cook it too early, it will sit and get soggy. The chicken can be fried and then kept in an oven to allow it to cook through and stay warm.

Chelsea decides to pick her team. Shanika thinks this was a poor choice and does not want to be on Chelsea’s team.

Chelsea proceeds to pick cooks that she thinks will support her. She is looking for a team that will listen to her and do whatever she asks. She picks Alecia, Lindsay, Taylor, Juni, Darrick, Farhan, Cesar, Emily, and of course, Shanika.

Why Chelsea felt these particular people would “just do the job I ask them to do,” I have no idea. As Shanika notes, “we have a team full of strong individuals. We need someone strong to lead us.” We haven’t seen much of the personalities of each home cook, but I would not have considered everyone in this group to be a great follower.

MASTERCHEF: Host / Judge Gordon Ramsay in theÊÒGordon Ramsay MasterclassÓ episode of MASTERCHEF airing Wednesday, June 13 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting.

Bowen now has Ashley, Gerron, Julia, Mark, Matt, Ralph, SJ, and Samantha. He elects the fish dish, not because it is easy but because SJ won his white apron with a perfectly cooked panko crusted cod. In fact, his cod was so good, he was offered an apron by Gordon and Aaron. The red team is excited about SJ’s fish cookery and Mark’s restaurant experience.

The 101 brewery workers have all been given a MasterChef ten-dollar bill. Whoever made that bill had some fun. It features Gordon’s face in the center and includes the MasterChef logo. The top reads “culinary reserve note” and even the serial numbers start with GR. I want one of those bills.

The brewers will taste both chicken and fish and will give their ten dollars to whichever one they liked best. The most lunch money adds up to the win for one team.

It’s time to start prep and Chelsea starts off strong, telling everyone to set up their station. Farhan, who won his white apron on fried chicken, takes lead on the chicken. Bowen starts off by exclaiming, “team work!” So initially it seems that Chelsea plans to lead and Bowen hopes to rally his team. Sadly, neither is successful.

Suddenly, Bowen’s demeanor changes. He demands that the fish be cooked early. Most of the team objects and he literally says he does not care. SJ knows this isn’t a good idea but says he will follow his captain.

On Chelsea’s team, the opposite has happened. Chelsea demands that Darrick cook all the corn and he flat-out refuses. He tells her he wants to test grill some first. On Chelsea’s team, each cook is doing what he or she thinks is best with no cooperation. Shanika pleads to Chelsea, “give us direction, baby. Make sure you’re on us. Lead us. Please.”

Time is winding down and Gordon checks on the red team. He sees they are trying to plate their fish and makes the team stop. If you are a fan of other Gordon Ramsay shows, then you can imagine what happens next. In classic Gordon fashion, he picks up some fish and breaks it open. He finds that it is cold in the middle, uncooked, and he throws the fish in disgust.

Gordon finds more raw fish, soggy batter, and too much grease. Gordon is disappointed in SJ for simply following an instruction that he knew was wrong.

Time is up and the hungry workers approach. Julia demands that Bowen expedite. In fact, Julia has become the de facto team captain. She has taken the lead and frankly, she seems to be doing a good job. The biggest issue the red team has is with fries.

Mark is on fries. He is literally no more than two feet from SJ, who is frying fish, and they are facing each other. Regardless, no one is telling Mark when to drop fries and he is not paying attention to SJ so they are behind with fries.

Mark says of Bowen, “if I put up something that’s underdone and you take may raw fries, that’s on you.” True, Bowen should be checking quality as expeditor, but have some pride in your work, Mark! Don’t pass the blame onto someone else for your poor performance.

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Gordon intervenes, calls Mark a donut, and gets SJ and Mark to talk to each other. The red team seems to have hit its stride with Julia making sure that everyone keeps up.

Meanwhile on blue, no one is expediting so Gordon tells Chelsea she needs to. Instead, Chelsea places Lindsay in charge of expediting and stays back to cook chicken. We haven’t met Lindsay formally until now. She is a forty-one-year-old trial attorney from Maine and her mentor is Aaron. She clearly has confidence that Chelsea lacks right now.

Gordon checks on Lindsay and notes that some chicken is raw. Though Farhan took an early lead on the chicken station, Darrick seems to have taken over at some point. The raw chicken is trashed, and some more chicken must go when Darrick accidentally cross-contaminates it.

The blue team has run out of chicken and won’t have enough for each brewer to sample. Chelsea has a full melt-down. Gordon has to step in to suggest they serve half portions. He tells her, “we may be down but we aren’t out.” Unfortunately, it seems that any time a judge has to step in to help a team this way, that team is destined for a loss.

As suspected, a whistle blows and red smoke billows out, signaling a red team win. Chelsea and her team are headed for an elimination challenge, but not before they have to clean both kitchens. Someone says, “do your best in the pressure test and we’ll find the weakest one.” Shanika responds and says they have found the weakest one, which seems a clear reference to Chelsea.

As the blue team enters the pressure test, Chelsea tells us she feels beaten. She says she hates making decisions and just wants being captain to be over. Sadly for her, she has to make one more decision and there is no way to do that without making enemies.

Chelsea gets to send three of her team to the balcony. She picks Cesar for doing what he was told. She picks Alecia for keeping her spirits up and supporting her. She picks Juni, again for doing what she asked. As she makes her selections, Shanika gets more and more upset.

After Alecia is selected, Shanika says to all that the thinks the decision was unfair. After Juni is selected, the explodes. “Oh my God! There are at least two other individuals here that worked their ass off.” Shanika clearly feels that Chelsea should have saved the hardest workers, of which she feels she is one.

Their pressure test is to make a banana cream pie. They need to master a crisp crust, perfectly whipped cream balanced with custard, and brûléed bananas for the top. As Shanika won her white apron with baking, I thought she would at least be relieved about the test, but she is livid.

Shanika tells the room, “First of all, my team captain, Chelsea, you’re the reason why we’re all here and then on top of that saving people because they’re nice to you. It is so not fair. You should have saved the people that worked hardest. I should not have to be down here baking this damn pie right now.”

It just gets worse from there. Shanika says, “she should have just took that bullet for the whole team. I ain’t going nowhere Chelsea, and after today, you gonna learn, sister.” From the balcony, Alecia tells Chelsea, “let your success make the noise, Chelsea. Block everything else out.” Shanika interrupts with “you and your little minions.” Shanika tells Chelsea, “I’m calling you out, sis. I only want one person to go home today and that is you.”

MASTERCHEF: L-R: Contestant, judge Aar—n S‡nchez and Joe Bastianich in the all-new ÒGordon Ramsay MasterclassÓ episode of MASTERCHEF airing Wednesday, June 13 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting.

I understand Shanika’s frustration. It sucks to head to elimination for things that were out of your control. However, this all went above and beyond. If she continues to let her anger control her, she will not succeed in this competition. She needs to, as Alecia said, let her success be the noise. She needs to focus on her own success rather than someone else’s failure.

I found the whole thing painful to watch. Chelsea is visibly shaken, literally shaking as she tries to brûlée her bananas. She says “it’s hard to be here right now” and Shanika smirks, “bye, Felicia!” Gordon tells Aaron, Chelsea’s mentor, that he is in danger of losing her.

Gordon then goes to Chelsea. Speaking softly, he gives her a pep talk. Many on the balcony call out encouragement to Chelsea. Aaron quietly says her name to himself while looking concerned. Come on, Aaron. Be a mentor here.

At last their sixty minutes are up and they all have pies to present. Emily bakes regularly and her pie is basically perfect. She wins the challenge. Lindsay and Taylor are safe, and Chelsea has managed to also perform well despite the taunting.

MASTERCHEF: Contestant in the all-new ÒGordon Ramsay MasterclassÓ episode of MASTERCHEF airing Wednesday, June 13 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting.

That leaves Farhan, Shanika, and Darrick. Farhan tells Gordon that he doesn’t bake and that pastry scares him. Gordon tells him, “you’ll never become America’s next MasterChef if you can’t bake.” Shanika’s whipped cream is overwhipped. She should have stayed focused on her own work. Darrick admits he forgot his vanilla bean and has never made whipped cream before.

Gordon is shocked. Previously, Lindsay confessed that she doesn’t bake at home but she practiced baking before coming to MasterChef. Gordon can’t believe that Darrick didn’t do the same.

Gordon announces, “tonight there was one home cook that has shown they are a little bit flustered, a little bit underprepared. I’d like that person to keep their integrity intact, untie their apron. They know who I’m talking about.” As he says “a lit bit flustered,” the camera pans to Shanika. As he says, “a little bit underprepared,” they pan to Farhan. I agree, camera-person. That could apply to all three.

Darrick unties his apron. He is going home. Shanika is sent to the balcony, and it appears there is no applause, no congratulations, and in fact, I see other contestants turned away from her on the balcony. Farhan is then sent upstairs to applause and hugs. I don’t know if those receptions were accurate, but it does seem that Shanika has made some enemies herself today.

Next: Happy Hour all day, everyday at TGI Fridays

Shanika gives us our current count: Gordon has five cooks, Aaron has eight, and Joe has six. Looks like Aaron is in the lead as far as picking the best raw talent. The next episode brings churros and Alexi Lalas. How will the next challenge test the allegiances formed today?