MasterChef

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Top 4 Compete

Top 4 Compete

Aired:8/15/11

The competition is down to the final four, Adrien, Christian, Jennifer, and Suzy. For this critical stage of the series, their latest challenge is coming to them. They are welcomed to the "MasterChef" kitchen once again by judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Joe Bastianich.

Gordon tells them that this is where the competitors usually leave the comfort of the familiar competition space to go to a stunning location, but not today. Since "MasterChef" is a global phenomenon, they have invited "MasterChef" judges from the franchise in three other countries to come to Los Angeles to taste the home cooks' food.

The competitors are told that they will be split in two teams of two and that they will make one dish with six portions. The pantry has been stocked with the best meat and produce that America has to offer.

Since Suzy had the best dish in the last Elimination Test, she gets to pick her teammate. Before she chooses, Chef Ramsay cautions them all that there will be a losing duo and that one of them will be leaving "MasterChef."

Suzy selects Christian to join her on the Red Team. She says that she respects him and thinks they will work well together, but she believes she can beat him in the end. That leaves Adrien and Jennifer for the Blue Team.

The chefs are given 90 minutes to create what Gordon refers to as "the most inspired dish you've ever cooked so far." He implores them to make "MasterChef" America proud.

Since Adrien is from California and knows prawns well, he and Jennifer decide to marry them with Maine lobster, showcasing seafood from both U.S. coasts. Suzy pushes to create a Thanksgiving dish with duck and sweet potatoes, but Christian is concerned that the dish isn't fancy enough.

Christian and Suzy focus on their pan-seared duck breast with sweet potato mash, caramelized fennel, and apple chutney. As time goes by, Christian starts to get frustrated with Suzy but uncharacteristically maintains his cool. In the meantime, Jennifer and Adrien are working well as a team.

With ten minutes to go, the Red Team realizes that Christian's corn sauce is not coming together properly. Suzy tells him to slice the duck and roast the fennel, while she attempts to make a quick pan sauce. Chef Ramsay doubts her ability to deliver it in the time remaining.

As the final minutes tick down, the guests arrive. They are legendary French food critic Sebastien Demorand, Israel's famed food writer Michal Ansky, and Indian chef Kunal Kapoor.

Suzy and Christian are the first to present their dishes to the international panel. They describe the components of their upscale Thanksgiving dinner, and Suzy explains that they chose their theme because it is "very much of American culture."

Chef Kapoor compliments their sauce, but Michal Ansky disagrees, saying that she experienced a floury sensation when tasting it. But they all seem to agree that the duck was well executed.

Joe, however, announces that it was disrespectful of the Red Team to bring this dish to judges who had been flown in from all over the world. When asked for his opinion, Christian admits that he's embarrassed because he didn't the think dish was going to be complex enough; he says that he thought they should've used lobster.

Joe chastises Christian, telling that his embarrassment "should have manifested itself in intervention at the time when you could have made a difference." He tells him that he could taste the animosity they had for each other in their dish. Next Adrien and Jennifer describe their entrée of prawns with lobster, corn, and avocado. When asked why they combined the lobster with all the other ingredients, Jennifer reveals to the judges, "We didn't want it to be the star of the dish." But Sebastian points out, "It is a star. Show it."

Michal remarks that everything is a bit mushy and lacks texture. She delivers the devastating blow that the sauce reminds her of ketchup with water. To add insult to injury, Kunal informs them that his second prawn has not been cleaned.

Joe tells them, "I can almost see your vision of this dish, but you guys got a little bit lost in the execution." But despite their oversights, Gordon compliments them on their teamwork.

All six judges enter the kitchen to announce that the winning team by unanimous decision is the Blue Team. As the losing pair, Suzy and Christian are told they will go head-to-head in a lemon meringue pie Pressure Test.

Even though he's not a baker and has never made this particular dessert, Christian tells the judges that he's confident going into the challenge. With only 90 minutes separating them from a spot in the final three, they begin baking. They must focus on the key components:the crust, the filling, and the meringue.

The two competitors bring their pies to the judges' table. Chef Ramsay lifts up Suzy's dessert and points out wet spots on the bottom, which indicate that the pastry is undercooked. After slicing a piece, he is pleased and tells her that the dish is delicious but needs more meringue. Graham also wishes there was additional meringue but likes the flavor. Yet Joe finds it to be flavorless and physically rips the dessert apart.

Christian is up next, and all of the judges immediately notice that his lemon curd is broken. Still both Gordon and Joe compliment his pastry and they agree that it's a good-looking dessert.

Despite the flaws in his preparation, Christian is chosen to compete in the final three. A tearful Suzy is sent home but told that she should be very proud of her performance on the show.

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