MasterChef

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Top 12 Compete

Top 12 Compete

Aired: 7/2/12

The remaining 12 home cooks are dropped off in Venice Beach, California, where they will face another team challenge. Three food trucks pull up, and the MasterChef judges - Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Joe Bastianich - jump out. They announce that the cooks are going to be split into three teams, and each will be assigned a food truck serving a different cuisine.

Stacey, who won the last elimination challenge, gets to pick her teammates. She chooses Tali, Frank, and Becky. She is also given the advantage of choosing the other two teams. She puts Monti, David, Anna, and Tanya in one group, leaving Felix, Christine, Mike, and Josh as the third team.

Lastly, Stacey gets to pick the team color for each grouping, which will dictate the kind of cuisine they will prepare. She selects red for her team, meaning they will prepare Mexican food. Anna picks the yellow truck, so her team will be making American food. This leaves the blue truck for the final four contestants, who will prepare Indian dishes. The Yellow Team nominates Anna as their captain, while the Blue Team selects Josh.

Chef Ramsay tells the competitors that they will have three hours to prep, cook, and serve the locals at Venice Beach. Whichever team ends the day with the most money wins. All the money they earn will go to Save the Children and the Boys and Girls Club of America. The team that loses will face another MasterChef Pressure Test - and one of the home cooks will be eliminated from the competition.

Each team must prepare one $7 dish to serve to the crowd. They have only 90 minutes until their food trucks open for service.

Chef Ramsay stops by the Red Team's truck. They've decided to make beef tacos, as well as veggie tacos to keep the vegetarians happy. Chef Ramsay asks them why they are doing two tacos when they only have to do one. The team decides to eliminate the vegetarian option and will only offer a beef taco with guacamole.

Josh on the Blue Team tells Joe that they are preparing chicken tikka masala with naan bread and a cabbage salad. Joe questions the choice of cabbage.

When Chef Ramsay stops by the Yellow Team's truck, they are still struggling to prepare all the elements of their dish - a burger duo with chips. Again Gordon wonders why they are doing two burgers when they only have to provide one item. He cautions them, "This is a contest based on volume, and you shot yourself in the foot because you're doing two burgers for one dish." They decide to get rid of the calypso burger and just do a Texas-style slider.

Word of the MasterChef food trucks has spread on Venice Beach. With just ten minutes left until they open, the teams must have enough food prepared to feed the growing crowd. However, the Yellow Team has no burgers on the grill. As customers flock to the truck, the cooks have nothing to sell to the hungry patrons.

As the Yellow Team rushes to get food out, the Red and Blue Teams are moving orders quickly. The Yellow Team finally gains momentum but now has a new problem. Chef Ramsay comes into the truck and finds a raw burger. David, who is cooking the meat, is reprimanded at the grill.

As the Blue and Red Teams continue to crank out orders, the judges move into the crowd to collect customer feedback. All three trucks get good reviews from the diners. Midway through service, the teams are raking in the money, but the judges have their own ideas about who's in the lead. They think the Indian truck has the best flavors, but they are unsure of who has the most customers. When the Red Team's line of patrons dwindles, Anna jumps out of the truck and starts recruiting hungry beachgoers.

After serving the crowds of Venice Beach, the teams' cash is counted, and a winner is revealed. Combined, the three trucks raised more than $2,000 for charity. The Red Team, which took in $798, is declared the winner. The Yellow Team ends up at the bottom and will face the next Pressure Test.

The four Yellow Teammates get a little heated deciding who was at fault for the poor showing. Some of them feel the hamburger cook, David, is to blame, while Anna, as team leader, feels responsibility for the team's failure.

The next day in the MasterChef kitchen, David, Anna, Monti, and Tanya face a Pressure Test. Joe tells them that they need to make the perfect tortellini. He gives them a quick tutorial in creating the pasta and says that having small fingers is an advantage in this challenge. David worries that his "fat fingers" will put him at a disadvantage.

The cooks have 60 minutes to prepare ten perfect tortellini with a meat and cheese filling served in a simple broth. At least one of the four cooks will be eliminated at the end of this challenge.

Joe questions David's choice to roll the dough on the stainless steel counter instead of a wood board. The judges also point out Anna's mistake: making the pasta in a food processor instead of kneading it by hand. Tanya breaks down, insecure about her abilities, but Graham encourages her not to give up. With just two minutes left, Anna realizes that her flame is off and her tortellini have not been cooking.

When time is up, the judges taste the dishes prepared by all four chefs. David, "fat fingers" and all, is praised for his technique. Joe tells Monti that her pasta is incredible. Anna and Tanya, however, are in the bottom two. In the end, Anna is sent home for her raw tortellini.

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