MasterChef

FRI 8/7c AUG 29

MasterChef Episode Recaps

Top 8 Compete

Top 8 Compete

Aired: 7/16/12

Sixty miles east of the MasterChef kitchen, the remaining eight home cooks arrive at Norco, Horsetown, USA, where they'll face off in a team challenge of epic proportions. Judges Gordon Ramsay and Joe Bastianich ride up on horses, while Graham Elliot pulls up in a buggy. Gordon then informs the competitors that in 90 minutes there will be 101 hungry cowboys arriving and they must feed all of them.

The home cooks are provided with USDA Choice New York strip and rib-eye steaks as well as fresh produce from Walmart. The cooks will be split into two teams, and each team will prep 101 steaks plus two sides. The cowboys will try both teams' grub and hang a horseshoe for the team that served them their favorite meal. The first team to 51 points wins, while the losing team members will face off in the next MasterChef Pressure Test.

Frank and Monti had the best dishes in the last Elimination Test, so they are named team captains. Frank chooses Becky, Josh, and Felix. Monti selects Stacey and David and ends up with Christine, who's the last cook standing in the pick.

Chef Ramsay then tells them about a twist in the competition. He asks Frank and Monti to change aprons. They will have to work with the teams they did not choose. They now have 90 minutes to prep and one hour to serve the hungry cowboys.

The Red Team has decided to cook a rib-eye steak. After some deliberating, Monti commits to sweet potato mash and spicy green beans as their sides. Her team, however, feels that the offerings may not be "cowboy" enough.

Over on the Blue Team, Frank is taking a more collaborative approach. They decide on a New York strip steak, garlic mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and Stacey's barbecue sauce.

The cowboys are just one hour away. On the Blue Team Frank is searing the steaks, while on the Red Team Monti chooses Becky to work the grill. Joe questions why the captain would delegate the most crucial task to a teammate rather than take charge herself.

Over on the Blue Team, Frank asks Christine to prepare the corn. When she leaves the dry outer husks on, the grill catches fire. Graham steps in to help Christine get the flames under control, and they move on without incident.

As the Blue Team tries to salvage Christine's corn, Becky is struggling with the Red Team's grill. Joe tells her that the steaks are already cooked medium, and that by the time they rest, they will be well-done. Monti sends Josh to the grill to help, but it may be too late.

In the meantime, the Blue Team establishes a good rhythm, taking a cue from captain Frank's confidence. Still, when Joe notices the seared steaks stacked in pans, he advises them to spread out the meat cuts so that they don't poach in their own juices. As Frank tries to rescue the steaks, Monti is worried that they don't have enough sweet potatoes.

The cowboys arrive over the hill on horseback, and the cookout begins. Less than five minutes into service the Red Team runs out of sweet potatoes. Monti scrambles to make more.

As the judges check in with the cowboys and cowgirls, reviews are mixed as to which steak they like better. But there seems to be an overwhelmingly positive response to Stacey's barbecue sauce.

Halfway through the cookout, as the Red Team is still trying to make more sweet potatoes, the diners begin casting their votes. The first eight horseshoes go to the Blue Team, and the votes continue to pile up for their side.

With plenty of cowboys left to serve, the Red Team finally brings more starch to the table, and they begin to gain momentum. However, Joe notices that the Blue Team's popularity is slipping, as more diners complain about overcooked steak.

In the final minutes of the cowboy cookout, all plates are served, and both teams anxiously await the final votes. The Red Team is hoping for a comeback, but in the end the Blue Team is victorious. The Red Team now must face off in the Pressure Test, where at least one of them will be sent home.

Back in the MasterChef kitchen, the four home cooks from the Red Team deliberate on which team member does not deserve to face the Pressure Test. That person will get immunity, and the other three will compete. They select Felix, and she joins the Blue Team in the gallery.

The remaining three cooks are given six eggs to prepare for the judges. They must deliver one perfect soft-boiled egg, one impeccable fried egg, one stunning poached egg, and one phenomenal three-egg omelet. They have 20 minutes to cook all six eggs to perfection.

Josh is most nervous about his poached egg. Becky says that she's a not a sunny-side up girl, while Monti is most concerned about her soft-boiled egg. With just two minutes left, Monti has no eggs completed but ultimately manages to get them on the plate for the judges.

Monti is up first to the judges' table. Chef Ramsay points out some rawness on the top of her fried egg; he says that it's a shame because it tastes nice. Her omelet is flat, but her poached and soft-boiled eggs are perfect.

Graham tells Becky that her sunny-side up looks cloudy. Her omelet is beautiful, and her poached egg has a "wow" factor, but her soft-boiled egg is undercooked.

Joe tastes Josh's dishes. His sunny-side up egg is delicious, but his omelet has the consistency of custard, his poached egg is overdone, and his soft-boiled egg is not cooked enough. In the end, the judges decide to send Josh home.

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