Episode Report Card
Mr. Sobell: C+ | Grade It Now!
Two Chefs Enter, One Chef Leaves

Gordon demands to know which dish is making Whitney the most nervous. She concedes that it's her dessert. Is it because she's switching desserts mid-competition, Gordon asks. Is it, huh, huh, is it? To her credit, Whitney does not say, "No, it's because some agitated Scotsman is all up in my 22-year-old grill about it," though she very well could have. Instead, she says something about soufflés being temperamental, while Mike (and his hat) react nervously. I, for one, have missed Mike's over-the-top reactions these past two episodes.

Forty-five minutes left, now, which means it's time to focus on the entrées. Graham is enthusing about chanterelle mushrooms-- their texture and taste and all that -- just as David pours his chanterelles into a food processor and pulses them beyond recognition. Well, so much for texture. Gordon, meanwhile, would like to remind of us of the many ways you can go wrong with beef Wellington -- it could be undercooked, it can be overcooked, the pastry can get all mangled, it could be prepared by an amateur chef in the finals of a middling reality-TV cooking competition... Literally, anything could go wrong in this scenario. Though it's most likely that third thing. David is perceptive, at least -- the beef Wellington is the dish he's most nervous about. "Anybody who's going to serve a beef Wellington to Gordon Ramsay better know what they're doing," David says. The implication, I guess, is that he is just such a person, though I hardly see any evidence to back up that claim. I suspect David doesn't, either, in his heart of overconfident hearts. Nevertheless, his beef Wellington is cooked perfectly by the time he pulls it from the oven and slices it up.

Ten minutes are left now, and David helpfully points out that if Whitney has a weakness -- you know, besides the fact that she is so young -- it's her time-management skills. As if on cue, Whitney, in her haste to start plating stuff, flips her chicken out of the pan... and right onto the MasterChef kitchen floor. So... um... five-second rule, anybody? Well, not if Whitney's going to leave it there throughout the commercial break.

When we return, Whitney's chicken is still sitting there on the floor. "She dropped the chicken," Joe says, for those of us who lost all cognitive sense during the commercial break. Hey, better than choking it, am I right? Anyhow, Whitney gives us a recap of all the hardships she's had to endure up until the very moment the chicken landed on the floor -- leaving school, leaving her family, yadda yadda -- and how she's not going to give up now. "I just buckled it up and went into overdrive," she says, along with other clichés I really don't feel like transcribing. And so Whitney whips up an entirely new country-fried chicken while her friends and love ones whoop and cheer and otherwise carry on. Wouldn't you know it -- she manages to get it done in time.

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