It was fun seeing all those familiar faces bustling around the kitchen, but in the end it came down to two men and two doors. One would open and the other would not. In a blast of confetti and profanity, it was Paul who emerged triumphant.
"We didn't do it for me," he told his assembled friends and family. "We did it for my mom."
In the opening challenge, Elise paired salmon with macaroni and cheese, which she did at the worst possible challenge. The criteria for the judges was to rate them on how much you'd pay for the dishes presented, and who would pay a lot for mac 'n' cheese?
For the opening challenge, they had to divide themselves up with one cooking a 30-minute dish, one a 20-minute dish and one a 10-minute dish.
Jennifer scored for the red team in the first round with a lamb dish that was even better than she believed, but the blue team took the next two fairly evenly matched rounds with Paul's sea bass and Will's prawn plate.
"Where did you see pizza like this?" Puck asked incredulously, while spooning off an unnerving amount of greenish liquid from the middle of the blue team's pizza. "I mean, if you go to Italy, they arrest you for this, you know that?"
Though Gordon Ramsay praised Tracy as being "amazing across the board," she was still the contestant that the judges decided to send home -- but her journey wasn't quite over with a simple farewell.
There was more than a little friendly rivalry brewing between the blue team and the red team over their duck recipes, but contestant Tommy figured out a way to add a little extra spice to his entry, and it had nothing to do with his culinary skills.
Then again, maybe Gordon Ramsay was asking for it when he invited Tommy to "wow the ladies" -- though, to be fair, they seemed just as impressed with his cooking as they were with his baby blues.
The box challenge presented the contestants with surf and turf and elevated Adrien toward the top, alongside Suxy and Jennifer. To help Christian with his attitude toward Jennifer, Gordon Ramsay had him evaluate her food. After giving it lukewarm reviews, Ramsay yelled at him a bit and then declared Jennifer the winner.
Maybe she was wondering if Elise could really improve her attitude in the kitchen and with the other contestants. Or maybe she was concerned about something she saw on the wall. One thing's for certain. She wasn't listening.
Elizabeth completely missed the Hawaiian theme, and served bacon to a non-meat eating committee member. All of this sent the blue team and Natalie to a booze-soaked yacht trip for winning. And Natalie was soaking up more than rays and alcohol; she was loving the attention she got from the guys.
It was a close result between Christine's team and their chicken patty/corn nuggets and Christian's team with their turkey burger/apple slices meal. But Christine's team won, sending Christian, Derrick, Jennifer and Adrien to face elimination.
After the demonstration of liquefying an orange with sound waves and freezing ice cream in 45 seconds with liquid nitrogen, the contestants had to get down to business. Science is fun and Ramsay wanted to see what they could do with the barest of minimums. So prepare a meat dish with water and fire only.
Elise stopped arguing and hating on Carrie when she undercooked the fish herself. At least she had the integrity to take her lumps. Monterray, however, failed to follow directions and wound up with sous-chef Scott Leibfried in his face.
First, after the red team decided -- and she volunteered -- to send Carrie over to the men's team since she and Elise simply cannot get along, Ramsay came along with an idea of his own. Natalie should join the men instead, and the rest of the women had to get over it and make it work.
Natalie came through as a leader for the blue team during the opening challenge, while the women wouldn't let Carrie take over, despite her repeated efforts. Even after their loss, they continue to pile on while they cleaned up and the blue team went off to relax.
Since its debut on Nov. 23, 1993, Food Network has expanded like mad. It launched food products that fill our supermarket shelves. There's media exposure via a website and monthly magazine ... and that doesn't include Rachael Ray's talk show and Guy Fieri's game show and Alton Brown's grape juice commercials. And it launched a secondary outlet in The Cooking Channel.
But the key to all the success is the Food Network itself.
Gordon Ramsay fans rejoice: It's been announced that the potty-mouthed chef will be back for another series of 'MasterChef.'
The competitive cooking show launched last month as the Fox network's biggest ever summer debut. It also grabbed the number one spot in the 18-49 audience age range, which is the demographic most coveted by advertisers and networks.
Talking about the show's success, Ramsay said, "It's amazing and refreshing to see how much passion and raw talent there is from amateur home cooks across America. ... It's extraordinary the amount of energy and excitement the show brought in Season One, and I'm thrilled to be back at Fox for a second season."
Ramsay's now in the enviable position of having three successful series on Fox (the other two are 'Hell's Kitchen' and 'Kitchen Nightmares'), which puts him neck-and-neck with 'Family Guy' creator Seth MacFarlane, who's also courted controversy by dropping the F-bomb in his shows.
'MasterChef' (9PM ET, Fox) is based on the Australian version of the show -- not the BBC model -- in which a large group of hopefuls from across the country audition with their best dish, and if they pass the judges, they move on to the semi-finals.
But have you ever thought about which of the celebrity cooks and chefs on television you'd want to teach you? We took 10 popular TV chefs and rated their teaching abilities from 1-10 -- 10 being the best possible teacher, 1 being the worst. Let us know if you agree with our ratings ...
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