After the commercial, Tracy tries to stop the bleeding with a ginger mandarin chicken with vegetables. There's also some vermicelli egg noodles thrown in. "Can Tracy change the mood in the kitchen?" the pleasant-sounding voice-over lady asks. If she means "stop the judges' murder spasms," then, yes. Everyone seems to like it. Sharone's dish -- crispy sesame chicken with bok choy and snow peas in a mandarin five-spice glaze -- is also a winner. Sheena's is not -- she made a warm mandarin salad with pickled cabbage. "It looks like a fruit salad," Gordon sneers. More to the point, it doesn't look like much care went into assembling the plate. "What did you do with the other 55 minutes?" Gordon wonders. Faruq wraps things up with a stuffed chicken and Chinese vegetable plate in which the chicken is devoid of all life-giving moisture. "That's about as Chinese as my mum," Gordon barks, "and she's from Glasgow in Scotland." Perhaps, she emigrated. Mike -- he of the hats and the comical expressions -- offers up a nutty orange chicken with pepper entrée. "I have one problem with this dish," Gordon says, before pausing long enough for the home viewer to whip up their own nutty orange chicken meal. "I don't want to stop eating it. It's delicious."
Clever readers will note that I've only recounted 12 people in a field of 14. No, I'm not being lazy. MasterChef never showed us what Lee and Jake whipped up, or, if it did, it got excised out of the feed sent to the San Francisco Bay Area Fox affiliate. Some might call this judicious editing. Others might say it's another sign this show started off with too many damn contestants to begin with. I try not to take sides.
Anyhow, it's time to pick a bottom three. After a judge's huddle, Gordon declares that one dish was head and shoulders above all the others. Because Sharone and Tracy think it's their respective offerings, it clearly will not be. And it isn't -- Mike made the best dish. Contort your face comically, Hat Guy!
But for every winner, there is a loser. Or three losers in this case. Those would be Faruq -- "I've never been to any Chinese restaurant where they pounded chicken breast stuffed, rolled, oiled, dried, and dumped on top of a plate," Gordon says -- Sheena -- "a salad done bad," Joe concludes -- and Avis, who prays to God to give her one more chance. God must be helping another reality TV contestant, because she's sent packing. "Please stay cooking and please stay on the path," Graham begs her. Just not on our show, OK, ma'am?