MasterChef Episode Recaps

Top 13 Compete

Top 13 Compete

Aired: 6/26/13

The contestants gather in the MasterChef kitchen, where judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich present them with their next Mystery Box Challenge - and it's a gruesome one. Each player lifts their wooden crate to reveal a pig's head.

The home cooks are relieved to learn that they won't have to break down the heads themselves. Instead, they find a sheet pan filled with ears, tongue, cheek and snout all ready to cook. They will have 90 minutes to prepare something that will make the judges squeal with excitement using any of the parts they choose and ingredients from a limited pantry.

After carefully sampling everything throughout the challenge, the judges take one final look to identify three standout dishes. The winner will receive a huge advantage in the elimination test.

Lynn is the first chef chosen to present his braised tongue and cheek with parsnip puree. Graham says it's the first time he not only can make food look beautiful, but he's finally seasoned with assertiveness.

Next up is Jessie, who has braised both the cheek and ear accompanied with black-eyed peas and roasted corn. Gordon loves the way she made Georgia meet Mexico on the plate.

Finally, Jonny is called forward with his braised tongue-and-cheek taco with tomato jam. Joe tells him he's on the top of his game, and Gordon praises him for showing restraint and creating a "wow factor."

In the end, Lynn is declared the winner of the Mystery Box Challenge. The judges take him to learn what his advantage in the Elimination Test will be. They introduce him to a special guest who will tell him the theme for the next competition - last season's MasterChef winner, Christine Ha, who is legally blind.

Since he was victorious, Lynn will get to choose from one of Christine's three favorite ingredients, which are all featured in her new cookbook. His options are chicken, catfish and live Dungeness crab.

After being told he's safe from elimination, he gets to assign one ingredient to a single chef, while the rest will prepare his second choice. He gives Krissi the catfish and everyone else the crab.

Upon learning what they will be cooking, the contestants find out that there is one more twist. They will all be blindfolded so they can understand what it was like for Christine to navigate the MasterChef competition without sight.

The contestants start to stumble around the kitchen. But after a few difficult minutes, they are allowed to use their vision for the rest of the Elimination Test. Back on track with the ability to rely on all of their senses, Bri decides to keep it light with a crab salad, and Luca is keeping it simple with a risotto dish.

With 20 minutes to go, Joe tells Krissi that he thinks her fried catfish isn't at the level that he would expect. When time is up, Christine joins the judges to critique the dishes.

Krissi is up first, and Joe spits out her catfish because it tastes like mud. He chastises her for wasting his time. Natasha's crab cakes pop with a hint of ginger. Next, Bri serves a summer crab stack that Graham calls delicious.

While James delivers a spicy crab creole that Gordon praises, Joe spits out Beth's raw mascarpone crab cake. Luca's risotto is dubbed a disaster by Joe, who discovers that the Italian chef inexplicably used fish sauce in the dish.

Ultimately, Natasha and James are named the top two cooks in the challenge. Beth, Luca and Krissi are not so lucky, and Beth is ultimately sent home.

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