I’ve been watching a lot of Master Chef recently. I have no idea why. This morning, I woke up at 4:21am having to pee. I did that and couldn’t successfully go back to sleep, so I went and watched the most recent episode, which I hadn’t seen yet.
I’ve never watched a full season of Master Chef before — or any cooking show, for that matter — but for some reason, this Season 5 of Master Chef resonates with me. The first possibility is that I actually learned to cook only in the last 3-4 years, so maybe now that I have a few skills in the arsenal, I like to see other people try stuff out (that said, I’d fail at almost every single one of these challenges).
The other possibility for my connection with Season 5 — the more logical one — is the characters. Like I said, I haven’t seen U.S. seasons 1-4, so they could have been populated by dynamic characters as well, but Season 5 has some hella train wrecks.
First, you have Courtney Lapresi. She’s ostensibly one of the favorites; every time someone tries to challenge her or eff her over, she cooks better and continues to advance. She wears high heels and has a cloying smile and voice, and used to be “an aerial dancer” at The Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Plus, it regularly appears that Gordon Ramsay wants to have sex with her, which makes the entire thing even more awful.
You’ve got this dude Cutter Brewer — a petroleum landman from Beaumont — on the show as well. You can see one of his classic “stand-up-for-myself-but-come-off-like-an-ass-in-the-process” moments at the very top of this post. He’s been in the bottom three (worst three dishes) five times in nine episodes, but hasn’t yet been eliminated; he basically keeps getting narrowly saved because someone else on that specific episode is just hideously incompetent. (Plus, I mean his feuding with the judges makes for good television.)
Here’s Cutter describing what’s ostensibly a large cracker as “an artisan pizza:”
Probably the third-most annoying person on Season 5 U.S. is this old dog, Leslie Gilliams, who seems to antagonize everyone around him for no real reason – then get flustered attempting to make diner eggs. Here’s a quote he gave a local publication in his home area (Malibu):
“I tried to be friendly, but I don’t think I was well-liked on set,” Gilliams said. “There was a big age difference between me and the rest of the chefs and I think they thought I was a silver-spooner.”
Indeed. You can see his stuff with the eggs here:
If you are watching this show and the above isn’t total Greek to you, my prediction would be that the final four is Christian, Courtney, Ahran and Elizabeth — but I could be utterly wrong on that (probably will be). Willie is kind of a great story too, so you could see him being around at the end, but his cooking seems to be better when the focus is Southern / Texan, and you know they’ve got a lot more Italian coming up (in fact, that’s the elimination test in two episodes).
I could see Cutter last 1-2 more close call shows just to keep people interested, then get violently bounced in an episode where his oven explodes or some such. Leslie will probably be there until the final six-eight, because he’s a good foil — especially for Ahran.
If Courtney wins the whole thing, though, I think I might swear off cooking shows for good after only truly following one of them ever.