Master Chef Season Three keeps stepping up the game. The challenges are getting harder and the pressure tests are rooting out inferior contestants.
The day started off at 3:00 a.m. with judges Bastianich, Elliot and Ramsay waking the home cooks for a team challenge. They had to cook room service breakfast for the guests of a Radisson Hotel.
Master Chef Team Challenge
Since Christine and Joshua provided the best dishes in last week's elimination challenge, they became team captains. Christine opted for the following team members: Felix, Scott, Tanya, Mike, Stacey and Ryan, in that order. Joshua chose Becky, Frank, Anna, Monti, David and Tali, in that order.
Then Christine received another advantage. She could exchange one of her team members for one of Joshua's. She exchanged Ryan for Becky.
Each captain chose someone to expedite the orders. That person was in charge of checking each cart before it left the kitchen. Christine chose Felix, while Joshua went with Monti.
The teams had 90 minutes to prep their breakfast dishes. Those included oatmeal, fresh fruit, pancakes, eggs Benedict and an All-American breakfast.
Joshua made assignments for the blue team while Christine allowed her team to choose their own based upon their strengths. Monti started off strong although her yelling was a bit annoying to her team members. She could at least be heard. For some reason, Felix wouldn't communicate with her team, making them nervous and causing Christine alarm.
The red team started off with a backup while the blue team got the food out quickly. Joe Bastianich followed up with customers and seemed pleased they were enjoying their food. However, about mid way though breakfast service, the team's standards began to slip. That forced Monti to call for re-fires and slowed down the process.
That's about the same time, the red team finally found their rhythm. Felix began communicating and the food started to go out quickly as Christine took control and provided definitive leadership.
Joshua fumbled by trying to do Monti's job for her, throwing food out unnecessarily. It created havoc and caused further backup for the team. Nonetheless, they managed to get all of their orders out before time was up.
The red team fell one ticket short of "time". When Felix didn't hear Chef Ramsay call for all action to stop, she got chastised for trying to cheat.
Joe Bastianich collected the red and blue flags left on the door's of satisfied customers. After tallying them, one team garnered an impressive 60% of the votes. That was the red team.
Master Chef Pressure Test
The blue team, having lost, headed into the kitchen for the pressure test. But before it began, each judge chose one team member to sit out the challenge. One judge chose David Martinez for his steady and effective cooking technique. Another went with Frank for his positive attitude. The third went with Monti for her willingness to complete the task. That left Anna, Josh, Ryan and Tali to duel it out to stay in the Master Chef kitchen.
The challenge was to make a perfect molten lava cake. The cooks were given four ramekins to use and 25 minutes to complete the dessert. Once they had their best cake ready, they presented it to the judges.
Tali presented his after the third try. The cake looked good on the outside but proved a bit too gooey and undercooked in the center. It was also bland and boring.
Anna went with her second try. It was spot-on perfection.
Josh went with his third try. It was also near perfect.
Ryan held out for his last try. However, the cake flattened out before he got it to the judges table.
The judges sent Anna and Josh to safety, leaving Ryan and Tali in the hot seat. Then they asked a cook to act noble and step forward, knowing he presented the worst dish of the night. Surprisingly, Ryan did just that; paving the way for Tali to stay in the competition.
With one of the show's trouble-makers out of the game, will Master Chef Season Three contestants rest easier? That remains unknown as they move into tonight's competition.