The contestants are back now, with entrées in tow. David offers a traditional beef Wellington with foie gras mousse and a mushroom duxelle. Gordon reminds us, yet again, of his proficiency with beef Wellington and reiterates how he hopes the dish melts in his mouth. "It's not bad," Gordon says, after trying a mouthful. "But it's not perfect." About two more minutes would have done the trick, Gordon continues, as David starts to tear up. Well, maybe Whitney's floor chicken -- OK, OK... buttermilk chicken and creamed collard greens -- will fail to wow the judges. Particularly if it's pink and uncooked. Fortunately for Whitney, though, Gordon declares that it's cooked perfectly. And everyone seems to like the collard greens, too. Just to make it official as David and Whitney retrieve their desserts -- David's entrée had potential, but fell short; Whitney's tasted good and didn't trigger a salmonella outbreak. Score one for Whitney.
Still have room for dessert? David has a nectarine crêpe, suzette-style, for the judges. He sautéed those nectarines in butter and brown sugar before flambéing them in cognac. "The secret to a good crêpe is the color," Gordon says. "And the thinness. And the texture. And, of course, the filling." Sounds like a lot of secrets. Well, David apparently delivered on enough of them, as both Joe and Gordon seem to like the crêpe; Graham's more a fan of the filling. Whitney's turn: It's a white chocolate bread pudding that she's put her own spin on. "It's a take on somewhat of a soufflé, but more of a bread pudding style," she says. Whatever it is, it doesn't look terribly appetizing -- the dessert is sunken in the middle and adrift in a sea of syrup. But Gordon likes the moist texture and declares the dish delicious, sunken top or not. In fact, both desserts impressed the judges, so that's something to hang your hat on.
Anyhow, we're overdue for a judgment. Gordon, Graham and Joe must now decide, based on the three dishes they've tried, who becomes the first American MasterChef and receives all the baubles and accolades that go with such a title. Joe thinks David excelled with the appetizer and liked his intelligent plating. "The thought process behind it was light years ahead of what Whitney put up," Graham agrees. But while Whitney's approach didn't work on the appetizer, it most certainly did on the entrée. "Two things on the plate, but it sang," Graham says. And dessert? Both Joe and Graham like the crêpe that David whipped up; Whitney gets credit from Gordon for attempting a soufflé in the final. But does she get credit for making it taste any good? On that point, the judges are silent. Anyhow, Gordon points out, there can be only one MasterChef. Because it's not like you can fit two author names on to the title page of a cookbook. Time to put some poor would-be chef out of his or her misery.