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'MasterChef' recap: Boys vs. girls diner challenge

Season 5 | Episode 8 | “Top 14 Compete” | Aired July 14, 2014

Last week we saw the reconciliation of Ahran and Leslie, a dish that went straight into the trash, and a fan-favorite contestant go home. This week the chefs go from the MasterChef kitchen to a classic American diner. It’s an all-out “boys vs. girls” war for the best diner dishes. Read more to find out who goes home this week on MasterChef  “Top 14.”

Team Challenge: A Taste of America

After last week’s pairs and pressure-test challenges, we are back this week with a team challenge. The chefs board a bus and find themselves outside a Culver City favorite: Dinah’s Diner.

The top 14 will be split into two teams and will share service during the diner’s busiest shift of the day. They will be tested on their ability to call out orders, cook everything quickly and prepare every dish to the standards of the restaurant. Today’s menu: club sandwiches, an egg-plate breakfast, fried chicken and pancakes.


Gordon Ramsay picks Willie to lead the Blue Team and Christine to lead the Red Team. The Blue Team gets all the remaining guys: Leslie, Dan, Daniel, Cutter, Francis and Christian. The Red Team gets all the remaining girls: Victoria, Courtney, Elise, Jaimee, Ahran and Elizabeth. Then, each team swaps one player. The girls pick Christian and the guys pick Victoria.

ladies team top 14How Each Team Will Be Judged

The dining room is split in half and each guest is given a “tip.” One “tip” represents one point. At the end of the meal, the guests will have the choice to cast their “tip” as their vote on whether or not they liked their team’s dish. Whichever team has the most points at the end of service wins.

The teams take to their kitchens. Willie and Christine quickly get organized and assign everyone their roles. Joe Bastianich states that in this challenge, he is looking for “Flavor, consistency, speed and technique.” Gordon says he is worried about kitchen expediting. If you have ever seen an episode of Hell’s Kitchen, you know expediting is one of the most important things you can do as a chef in your kitchen. Both team captains, Willie and Christine, are assigned to be expediters.

Problems and Victories

In Courtney’s Red Kitchen, she is calling out orders with confidence and consistency. Her team is thriving because they are concentrating on only what it in front of them at their stations. In Willie’s Blue Kitchen, Willie is getting overwhelmed very fast. He has never expedited before and starts to freeze a bit when orders come in.

When Leslie’s team got stuck in the Wedding Challenge a few weeks ago, Daniel nominated a new team captain to replace Leslie. Likewise, in this challenge, Daniel offers to replace Willie if Willie does not want to continue leading. This time, Willie stands his ground and does not abnegate his place of leadership. Graham steps in to help organize the counter, Willie jumps back into expediting and his kitchen gets on track. Good job, Willie!

Back in Christine’s kitchen, orders are getting out slowly because of a hold-up at the club sandwich station. Elise is having a hard time precisely toasting and layering her club sandwiches. Courtney goes back to help Elise, and things are up and running smoothly again.

Willie’s team is doing well, but gets behind once more when Leslie has difficulty making his egg breakfast consistent. Leslie’s eggs are cooked all the way, but some come out too oily or looking different. Willie takes Leslie off the egg station and puts Victoria on it. Unfortunately, Willie’s team loses eight diners and eight possible votes because the eggs never made it out of the kitchen.

Both teams finish the lunch service and many customers are very satisfied with their dishes. All of the tips are counted up and Christine’s Red Team wins, 87 to 82. Valuable lessons are learned today as the chefs return to the MasterChef kitchen.

guys team top 14Elimination Pressure Test

Since Christine’s team won, they are safe from elimination. That leaves Willie’s team to cook in the pressure test. But Gordon throws Willie a curveball: Not everyone on his team will have to cook. Willie can choose to save himself OR save three of his teammates. Willie chooses to save Daniel, Francis L. and Victoria. That leaves Willie, Dan, Cutter and Leslie to cook in the pressure test.

What are they cooking?

Red velvet cake that is “Elegant, delicious, beautiful—a slice of magic …” according to judge Gordon Ramsay.

Right away I feel that Willie and Leslie are going to win this challenge, because they both have great experience and skills for cooking desserts. Cutter and Dan seem to be weaker in this area, but Cutter did have a beautiful panna cotta, so my guess would be that Dan will be sent home this week.

“The secret behind a great sponge [cake] is the density.”—Gordon Ramsay

Red Velvet Results

Willie: Dusted with toasted pecans. Perfect color, layers and taste.

Leslie: Dusted with pistachio and vanilla. Good construction, great flavor.

Dan: Decorated. Wooly texture, not velvety.

Cutter: American flag–decorated. Moist, delicious, overly sweet.

At the end of this challenge, it would seem that Dan has made the weakest cake and Cutter is safe, but only by a small margin. Unfortunately, Cutter begins to argue with the judges and his fate is quickly moved from safe to unsafe. Will his verbal backfiring cost him this pressure test? After deliberating, Gordon, Graham and Joe come back with their answer. They will not be judging attitude, but cakes.


Willie, Leslie and Cutter

Eliminated: Dan

Dan returns his apron and shakes hands with the judges, who encouraged him to keep on cooking.

Despite some drama in the kitchen, with some unpleasant words flying between Daniel and Leslie, all and all this was a really great episode. I love seeing the chefs rise to the challenges they were given. They definitely handled their diner challenge this week with poise and precision!

gordon gifNext Week

See the top 13 battle it out against Chef Ramsay in a Giant Mystery Box challenge. Bring your knives to this cooking challenge—because it will be a fight to fillet a giant fish!

MasterChef airs Mondays at 8/9C on Fox.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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