Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Recap of MasterChef Canada Episode 204 "Juggling Act" OR There's Always a LLama in the Crowd

The first Team Challenge!

There is always a llama
The 14 remaining contestants are escorted to the Cirque du Soleil tent on the Toronto Waterfront. The team challenge is cooking a meal for the cast and crew of Kurios - Cabinet of Curiosities. On the stage, last week's winner and runner-up - Andrew and Line, pick their teammates. A llama watches.

Red Team consists of Andrew, David, Kevin, Jon, Cody, Kristen and Kwasi.
Blue Team is Line, Tammy, Sabrina, Debra, Christopher, Michael and Jennifer.

Ummmn. Hold on. Why are these teams looking a little split along gender lines? I don't think the llama approves.

Andrew and the Blue team take the correct route and decide on a multi-cultural menu. It was correct for two reasons. It's a multi-cultural cast. But more importantly, Andrew gets the team to come to a consensus. If they lose the challenge, he can't be blamed for the menu choice.

Then there is Line and the Red team, who do everything wrong. They decide on a 'healthy" menu. That's fine. The cast is athletic after all. But Line takes the drill sergeant approach, throwing out all the suggestions her team makes. Bad idea this early in the game. To make matters worse, she has translated "healthy" into a menu that is bland. Real bland. Green beans Line? Really?

Right off the bat, you can see where this is going.

Andrew's team does great except for one wee problem. There are no bowls for the cauliflower soup. So they quickly switch it up to cauliflower polenta. Jon shows he is a problem solver by using aluminum foil as a hood for the grill. Andrew's only real fault is getting a little too involved and failing to delegate the work.

Line is the complete opposite, yelling out commands. I guess it's what she is used to - I don't think the
Line and Jennifer....awww shucks.
army encourages team motivation. Jennifer isn't cutting the red pepper fast enough for Line. She orders Jenn to use the mandoline, and then comments (admonishes) the girl for not knowing how. The two have words. Jennifer struggles with the contraption - and quite honestly this wasted more time than anything. I think Jennifer was right...a knife is just as quick as a mandoline, and perhaps a bit safer. Have you ever used one of those? Alvin steps in to talk to Line. Line reconsiders and the two hug it out. Good thing, because Line is going to need Jennifer's support a little bit later...

The Cirque du Soleil troupe make their decision with red and blue juggling balls...hence the episode title. The results are delivered by 3 cast members that I can only describe as an accordion man, a woman with a bedspring skirt, and a man with a belly that looks like the Death Star. Okay, I know the show has a steampunk theme going on and this guy's belly is really a boiler or something.

The winner was the Red team...no surprise there. Line and the Blue team must face elimination with a Pressure Test. But first, the winning team get the advantage of picking someone on the Blue team to save. It's Jennifer, of course. They pick her because they think she is weak. She vows to surprise them when she makes it to the final 3.

Oh wait. Another person will be saved and Line gets to pick. There is a lot of talk of the Captain should go down with the ship. She picks herself of course. Everyone condemns her...except Jennifer. "You would do the same thing!" Perhaps. But not until later in the game. Right now, there are weaker home cooks who can easily be beat, and it would be more advantageous to accept the responsibility and face the challenge too. She should have saved Sabrina, who is missing her sister's wedding...this very day. But all this fury towards Line is soon meaningless. She faints due to dehydration and wouldn't e able to compete anyway.

The Pressure Test is a Quebec Tourtierre. Ironic, because Sabrina makes one with her sister every Christmas Eve. Funny how that works out. She is the only one who has ever made one before. Tammy, Michael, Christopher and Debra are pretty much flying by the seat of their pants. Michael doesn't think meat and pastry go together. WHAT? For shame, Michael. For shame. Tourtierre is right up there with Poutine, Screech and Beaver Tails on any Canadian food list. And am I mistaken, or did Christopher call it a Tortilla? 

Michael decides to make it spicy and add jalapeno. Ugh. It's his specialty, and there is nothing wrong with being innovative, but come on. If you have a specialty, it's probably not a good thing to make all your food taste the same. That's not being innovative.

It's good enough for the judges. They also approve of Sabrina's dish. But it's Christopher the pastry chef who wins the challenge.

The bottom two: Debra and Tammy - both of whom looked like strong contenders. Debra's meat is bland and she left a chunk of broken bay leaf in it. That IS a big no, mostly because it doesn't do well in the human digestive system. Tammy's Tourtierre was overpowered by dried rosemary and apple.

The judges give Tammy a pass this week and eliminate Debra.

What is it? I don't know. I don't know.
Next Week: Eric Chong, the season 1 winner makes an appearance. There's another Mystery Box Challenge. This time, the Mystery Box holds an actual mystery...at least in the promos. It's a luxury ingredient. Nobody seems to know what it is. They have either never used it or don't know how. Hint: the best ones are dug up and enjoyed by pigs in France.