'MasterChef' Season 5 Episode 4: Top 18 Compete

By Elizabeth Sudlow,

Before you tune in to tonight's episode of MasterChef, catch up with all the steam of the kitchen from last week.

This past week began with Chef Ramsey announcing that contestant Gordon, constantly referred to as 'Little Gordon,' has stepped out of the competition due to an illness. This is the first time in the show's history someone has left the competition mid-season due to their health, bringing the contestant count down to 18 home cooks.

Following the announcement, it was time for the next mystery box challenge but this one was different. Everything in the box was alive. It was time for the chefs to face some fresh friends in the form of live seafood with shrimp, scallops and even crab.

Several struggled with the live food, as they had never dealt with the process of killing their ingredients before cooking. However, the most interesting piece of the entire mystery box was Ahran accusing the three chefs that they favor Courtney.

Courtney has remained a top contender since the beginning and because of that she has not exactly been any of the other contestants favorite person. After the accusation the judges paid close attention to Ahrans seafood stew that it felt like sweet victory for her when she was called out as one of the top three dishes along with Francis B. and Christian. Francis B. felt like he was on cloud nine due to his prior success but the real award went to Ahran when she won the mystery box challenge, making her the youngest chef in the competition to ever do so (Ahran is an 18-year-old high school senior).

Following Ahran’s win, she was brought back into the panty where the chefs unveiled the theme for the elimination challenge: desserts. Ahran was given the option to choose between muffins, donuts or cookies while also being informed she did not have to cook in the challenge.

Ahran, truly hoping to eliminate Courtney, went with donuts and watched as her plan unfolded to her liking when Courtney failed to grab enough yeast for her dessert after she neglected to add eggs to her initial mixture. She ran around like a chicken without her head begging other contestants for any extra yeast so she could start over and just when Ahran thought she was going to get her wish, Francis L. handed some over.

However, Courtney was not the only one to face problems as Francis B.’s dough failed to rise causing the most atrocious looking doughnuts to date. Following the 90 minutes, Ahran was given another advantage she learnt about in front of the other contestants – the ability to survey all the doughnuts and save one person.

Then, Ahran made the smartest decision yet by saving Francis B. With a mumbled, “I stand no chance” to Ahran, she acknowledged that she could take him down later on in the competition but also that he is too good of a competitor to have him be eliminated so early on.

On the bottom end was Kira (whose doughnuts lacked any filling or passion), Cutter (also lacking filling but also had broken frosting and were poorly presented) and surprisingly Courtney, as while it appeared she had saved herself in reality the doughnuts were over seasoned with salt.

On the high end was the shock of Leslie, who has never made doughnuts before, surprised everyone with his incredibly tasting treats. In addition Francis L. made twelve different doughnuts for his box of dozen and again impressed all three judges which led to those two becoming the future team captains for the next episode.

Yet when it came to elimination, Cutter was sent back to his station with a warning to get it together leaving Courtney and Kira standing before everyone and sweating it out. Kira was the one to go home though as the judges explained they felt she lacked the passion for the competition and it showed in her cooking.

image courtesy of ACE/INFphoto.com

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