Masterchef (2010) s07e13 Episode Script

Hot Potato

Previously, on "MasterChef.
" - Salmon.
- That's beautiful.
- A sink or swim challenge - Eww.
had Shaun target the big fish in the kitchen.
Canned salmon.
He wants you out.
I'm here to win, Chef.
And it was Terry They're like hockey pucks.
It's dreadful.
who sank to the bottom of the competition.
You're gonna be missed.
Tonight Be afraid, be very afraid.
Slightly scared.
It's a triple-threat challenge.
Three pressure tests? Are you kidding me? Come on, oil.
With three times the tension - Eric's falling apart.
- That's not good.
Oh, man.
- three times the drama - I don't like ( bleep ).
Ugh, that's a raw potato.
and three times the pressure.
- It's one strike.
- Has Katie cooked it enough? - two strikes - What's she doing? - three strikes, you're out.
- Oh, my God.
Welcome back, guys.
Please, come down to the front.
Top eight at MasterChef, we cut the riffraff out.
The level of skill is rising.
The level of talent in this room is getting more condensed.
Some of these people are starting to catch up to the level that I came in with.
And I just have to step my game up.
We're in black aprons.
Black aprons are never a good sign.
They look badass, but it also means that some serious ( bleep ) about to go down.
Looks a little different in here, huh? Yes, it does.
Be afraid.
Be very afraid.
Slightly scared.
Here we are, our final eight home cooks.
Now we know that one of you eight will set sail on that amazing MasterChef cruise.
One of you will take home a quarter of a million dollars, your own cookbook, and of course, the trophy and the title of America's MasterChef.
But we're as in the dark as you are as to which one of you that might be.
Eric, who do you consider your biggest competition? - Shaun.
- Nathan.
- Shaun.
- Katie.
- Shaun.
- David.
- Shaun.
- Tanorria.
- Shaun.
- Dan.
- Shaun.
- Brandi.
- No pressure, Shaun.
- Whew.
Tonight is going to work a little differently than you're used to.
You're about to take a series of skills tests.
And your aim is to get your self safe and out of the line of fire as quickly as possible.
To survive tonight, you're gonna have to conquer one of the most common ingredients on the planet.
If you cannot create magic with this ingredient, you will never ever be crowned MasterChef.
The humble, but mighty potato.
It is the foundation for thousands of incredible dishes here in America and all around the globe.
You are going to have to show us that you understand how to create culinary excellence with one of these.
The last time we did potatoes, I was in the bottom three and almost went home.
My heart is beating out of my tuxedo.
I gotta step it up so I don't have this same nightmare with the potato today.
Home cooks your first battle for survival with involve eight home cooks.
From the eight battling it out at these stations, half of you will be made safe.
The other four will be edging closer to elimination.
Closer to The next battle.
From the four that battle at these stations, half of you will be made safe, the other two will be staring elimination in the face.
It's not a place you want to be.
If you still haven't made it to safety, you'll be in the culinary fight of your lives.
Two of you will then go head to head in a straight fight for survival.
One will still be able to dream of becoming American's next MasterChef, the other will be going straight home.
All of you, follow me.
The stakes have always been high in this competition, but we've never had something so intense to where two people are competing for one spot.
I want to get in that balcony as quick as possible.
For your first challenge, you'll be tackling something you can order in almost any restaurant, bar, or diner in America.
You will need to make us utterly perfect french fries.
French fries.
I don't really cook french fries back in Mississippi.
I'm a personal trainer.
I help people every day of my life learn to live healthier.
so this simple little potato challenge is gonna be a toughie for me.
You will have 20 minutes to make your absolute best french fries ever.
The best four batches of french fries will head up to the balcony.
The other four will head straight into an even tougher challenge.
Please, head to your stations.
Hell, yeah, french fries! My favorite food.
I've eaten so many french fries in my life, that I'm just gonna nail this by default.
At your stations is everything you need to make a perfect batch of french fries.
Russet potatoes, salt, pepper, fryer oil.
You all ready to make us the most important batch of french fries in your lives? Yes, Chef.
Your 20 minutes starts now.
I don't find this to be as difficult as coming up with what to make.
It's just simple execution, so as long as I can execute I'll make it up to the balcony.
French fries? I mean, come on, everybody's favorite.
I mean, there's no one in this country hasn't tasted or indulged in a french fry.
So the key tonight is to make sure that they are cut evenly.
The same length, same thickness.
that would ensure they would cook evenly.
And more importantly, get that crispness on there.
My kids love French fries, but of course my kids don't care what size they are and if they're all the same shape, so that's what I'm really trying to focus on-- making them all look even and nice and pretty.
I'm feeling the pressure for sure.
This is an elimination challenge, but, I'm from North Carolina.
Frying's my thing.
Potato's not sendin' me home.
This potato's sending me up to the balcony.
So Eric's using a paring knife to cut the smallest piece of his potato.
You're gonna get an uneven cut.
You need a big enough knife so then you have one solid flat cut.
Terrible knife cuts.
Tanorria's all over the place.
Even from here, you could see them.
This is as much of a test of knife work for me as it is a test of frying because if those fries aren't perfectly in shape, you're done.
Seven and a half minutes remaining.
Temperature of oil also very important, - and fry time.
- Yes.
Oh, this oil's not moving fast enough.
Frying it twice will really get us the crispiest skin, right? - Blanching and then frying.
- Absolutely.
Blanching, for me, sets the tone.
It gets the center cooked, and you'll leave them to steam, literally for about two or three minutes.
With that steam-- that creates the fluffiness inside.
You blanch them at 300? 325? 320-330 and then crank up the heat.
Yeah, into that 350-360 fryer.
Get them nice and crisp.
Then blistering the outside, hard, firm shell, but fluffy in the center.
Guys, Dan's fries are thin and already beyond-- Yeah, there's too many and they're too dark.
- Brandi's looks-- - Yeah, they look good.
Come on, oil.
Shaun's oil is not hot enough.
And now he's panicking.
Come on.
Place 'em in, Nathan, don't throw them.
What is he doing? - Use your spiders.
- Is this a spider? Your drawer, your drawer.
That's a sieve.
Two minutes remaining.
Crispy, consistent fries.
- Has Katie cooked any yet? - Oh, my God.
She's still cutting more potatoes.
She doesn't even have enough time to fry those things.
Oh, that's not good.
( beeps ) Two minutes remaining.
Has Katie cooked any yet? - Oh, my God.
- She's still cutting more potatoes.
She doesn't even have enough time to fry those.
Oh, my God.
90 seconds.
You've got to fill up your cone within the allotted time.
What's she doing? She keeps putting them back in.
- Katie's still cooking.
- Aw, man.
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
Hands in the air.
Well done.
Please bring your fries to the front.
French fries, while they may be easy to eat, they're not easy to make.
My french fries, they're definitely crispy enough on the outside, but they are a little uneven.
Some are darker, some are lighter.
This is not my best work for sure.
Let's start off with Eric.
How many times did you cook your fries? - Twice, Chef.
- Twice.
Just the ones that felt a little too hard when they came out the first time.
So you've got some dark ones, some light ones, and dark ones and light ones.
I mean, you've gotta cook these, but all at the same time.
- Right? - Yes, Chef.
It also looks like you've struggled with the knife cuts.
You've got different-shaped fries.
That means they're gonna cook differently.
Knife skills are inconsistent, so therefore you're doomed before you even start.
Dman, damn, damn.
Nathan, are you a french fry guy? No, Chef.
I never really liked them as a kid.
Are you nervous right now? Not-- Yes, Chef.
They're not perfect rectangles, but I think they're pretty consistently cut.
Thank you, Chef.
- Is this good enough to make it up top? - Yes, Chef.
- You sure about that? - Yes, Chef.
- All right, Katie.
- Hey.
How long have these been fried for? About a minute and 40 seconds.
- Hold that for me.
- Okay.
- Can you feel that? - Mm-hmm.
- Does that make you nervous? - Of course it does.
What are you nervous about when you feel that? That it's not completely finished on the inside.
- That's it's-- - Yeah.
- Ugh.
- Yeah.
I mean, it's a raw potato.
You can see that "bull's eye" center.
- Raw.
- Yeah.
- Do you wanna eat it? - No.
Neither do I.
How often do you make french fries? Not too often, but I have done it before.
I have a five-year-old daughter and she loves french fries.
Good color, fluffy in the center.
Nicely seasoned.
They're cooked all the way through.
If all else fails, and your chips are down, you know how to perfect a fry, let's get that right.
Thank you, Chef.
Tanorria, do you make french fries often? I don't make french fries too often, just simply because I try not to fry a lot of food, believe it or not.
- What happened to this one? - That one doesn't belong in there.
- I didn't catch that one.
- What about this one? This one is the cousin of this one.
But there's two nicer ones right there.
Gold, crispy, cooked all the way through.
Are you safe? Based on that, I would say no.
Based on the rest of the cone, I would like to say yes.
Thank you.
How do you think you did with these fries? I think I did pretty well.
There are a couple of things I would have redone.
The second time I fried them I would have left them in there just a tad bit longer, just to get it the crispiness I wanted.
From where I'm standing, it looks like you were using sweet potatoes to make french fries.
I guess I like mine a bit more crispy.
- You do know that you're not the judge, we are.
- Yes.
And we showed you what we're looking for.
Have that.
What have you got there? - There's a lot of pepper on it.
- A lot of pepper on it.
You can see visually there's a lot of pepper on it and you can taste it.
It just sits there in your throat.
Even if it were a delicious golden brown potato, all you taste is that pepper.
Thank you.
Brandi, I'm at loss for words.
What a breath of fresh air.
How many times a week do you make fries at home? At least once a week.
My kids love french fries in any way, shape or form.
They don't care what they look like, though.
Very consistent knife cuts.
Crunchy on the outside, seasoned beautifully.
That is just utter perfection.
- Great job.
- Thank you, Chef.
- Shaun.
- Hello, Chef.
- How did you cook 'em? - I started off at 300.
My oil was not coming up as fast as I would have liked it to, so I got 'em back in around 330, but I compensated that by cooking them for an extra minute to make sure that they got to the right color.
The color is pretty nice.
I think it could have been a little bit darker, but the knife cuts are good.
They're cooked all the way through.
They break apart nicely.
One thing that is really nice is the fact that it's well seasoned.
- Thank you.
- Thank you, Chef.
Nice job, Shaun.
This one's pretty good.
Insufficient cook Insufficient seasoning.
They weren't the best.
No, but they weren't the worst.
Could have been a touch lighter in color.
- Definitely - Got it.
First person safe from elimination tonight is a textbook master class in french fries.
Please make your way up to the balcony Brandi, well done.
Great job.
"Textbook MasterChef french fries.
" Nothing wrong.
No, nothing he would fix next time.
I'm safe.
I've secured a spot in the top seven and I don't have to worry about the rest of the mess that's gonna happen tonight.
Next home cook who impressed us enough with their fries, please head up to the balcony David.
Thank you, Chefs.
The next home cook that did enough tonight is - Shaun.
- Thank you, Chef.
Then there were five.
The last person safe from elimination congratulations The last person safe from elimination the remaining four will face a much tougher potato skills test.
The final person - Nathan.
- Wow! - Thank you, Chef.
- Buddy.
Good job.
Growing up, I was not a french fry kid, so the fact that I beat out four other people in french fries makes me feel, yeah, I do belong here and I do have a chance.
You four, follow us, please.
For your next potato challenge you'll all be attacking something that is a family favorite in every American household.
Something I have on every one of my menus across the world.
This, to me, is the ultimate potato preparation.
A perfect mashed potato.
Rich, buttery, creamy, velvety, seasoned to perfection.
And finished with an aromatic herb emulsion.
Not a lump in sight.
I love making mashed potatoes! I just need two of my favorite ingredients, cream and butter.
This mashed potato battle is what's gonna get me on that balcony and redeem me from my two floppy french fries.
Tonight, in your next attempt to survive, you'll have 20 minutes to make us a flawless pot of incredible fluffy mashed potatoes.
The two home cooks who impress the most will be sent up onto the balcony and safe from elimination, and the two that remain, they'll go head to head in a potato challenge you do not want to be a part of.
Do everything you can to save yourselves now.
Please, head back to your stations.
I've made a frat house bowl of potatoes.
It was not MasterChef Gordon Ramsey mashed potatoes, I'll tell you that.
Confidence level-- it's wavering at about a five.
At your stations you have everything you need to make us perfect mashed potatoes.
You four home cooks ready? Yes, Chef.
Your 20 minutes starts now.
So the secret of a great mash-- first of all, making sure you cut those potatoes evenly.
Secondly, a gentle rolling boil salted water.
And then cook them for about six or seven minutes.
Drain them and let them steam.
- Come on.
- And then from there into a ricer.
Bring the cream up to the boil.
Whip in your cream and then finish with butter.
If the butter goes in first before the cream it's likely to break.
Butter goes in last.
It's also important that you don't overmix it at that point.
Every time you mix those mashed potatoes Gummy and gluey.
Not good.
Halfway, guys.
Ten minutes gone.
Ten minutes remaining.
Come on, guys.
Get 'em going.
I had a little mishap in the French program, but you know what? You gotta get past that.
This is the top eight.
You can't let anything get you down.
Just gotta fight, fight, fight.
Same thing I would do back home in the firehouse, gonna do the same thing right now in the kitchen.
I'm definitely making it up in that balcony after this round.
Lookin' good.
Lookin' good, guys.
I screwed up my fries pretty big time.
So now I just gotta make smooth and perfect mashed potatoes.
Top eight.
I'm feeling the pressure right now.
Tanorria, she looks so composed.
One pan on, beautifully seasoned, and her cream gently simmering so she'll reduce that down to make it a little richer.
Look at Dan's.
Dan's are like whole chunks of potatoes.
No wonder they took so long to cook.
Everybody's potatoes are cooked but Eric's.
His are still in the water.
Eric, you gotta get movin', brother.
I know, I got it.
- Eric's falling apart.
- Yeah.
Hot behind you.
Watch out.
Be careful.
- Hot water.
- Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep.
We are down to three minutes remaining.
Oh, they gotta push.
They gotta push.
Gotta speed up, guys.
What is Katie doing? Just let her do it.
Katie is not using the ricer, she's using the masher to push potatoes through a very fine tami.
That's the step that happens after you've added the heavy cream and the butter.
It's a little bit more fluid.
( bleep ) This is so hard to watch.
Guys, we're coming up to 90 seconds to go.
You've got to taste everything.
- Last minute.
- Come on, Eric! It's got to be inside the pot before time is up.
Ten, nine Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
And stop.
Hands in the air.
Ooh, oh, man.
All right, everyone.
Please bring your dishes to the front station.
This is gonna be interesting.
It's time to find out whose mashed potatoes are MasterChef worthy and who will face one final potato challenge head to head for survival.
Eric-- now on the outside, the mash is glistening and it's shiny and it's inviting, and it looks sumptuous.
- Thank you.
- How much cream is in there? About 3/4 of a cup of cream, Chef.
All right.
It's a damn good pot of mashed potatoes, Chef.
Yeah, you've got a lot of respect from me because you're a guy's guy.
And so, I'm not here to throw you under the bus.
Yes, Chef.
But I don't like ( bleep ).
It's a damn good pot of mashed potatoes, Chef.
Yeah, you've got a lot of respect from me because you're a guy's guy.
And so, I'm not here to throw you under the bus-- Yes, Chef.
But I don't like ( bleep ).
What's wrong with it? There is some lumps in there, Chef.
How would you rate that out of 10? I'd say it's about a seven, Chef.
- You're generous.
- Yes, Chef.
- Thank you.
- Ooh.
All right, Miss Tanorria.
You feeling confident about these mashed potatoes? I feel more confident about them than I do my french fries.
Flavor-wise - I think it's delicious.
- Thank you.
You were very smart with your quantities of butter to heavy cream.
Great amount of salt, but there's not a lot in the pot, and what's in it is still not smooth, and that's definitely where you fall short.
Hi, Chef Kevin.
Do you make a lot of mashed potatoes? I actually make a lot of mashed potatoes back in Mississippi.
Both of my girls love mashed potatoes.
Well, I mean, from appearance they look really good.
- They taste really good? - Mm.
I want you to go ahead and taste that.
- Can you feel that? - A little gritty? You feel a little-- Yeah, very gritty.
I feel like it's not seasoned.
I mean, I can taste the rosemary, but I don't taste salt.
And enough butter.
I wish I had more richness.
They taste good to me.
Dan, visually they look nice.
I would prefer the chives be a little bit more discreet.
I don't want to start flossing with chives halfway through my mash.
However it's all in the taste, right? As you know.
How much butter's in there? I used about a 1/4 of a stick for the garlic.
And then I used the rest of that stick.
It's very light and fluffy.
I want you to taste it.
Roll it around your mouth.
And then hopefully crunch what I've just crunched.
Get that creaminess.
Got that essence of garlic.
But then what happens? I got a little lump and I got a chive.
Yes, so I got lots of lumps, Dan.
I've got bits of potato now in the sort of base of my teeth.
How would you rate them out of 10? Right at a five.
- Not a single smooth mashed potato.
- No.
This is scary.
No one made perfect mashed potatoes.
and at this point, it's one strike, two strikes, three strikes, you're out.
I wanna be safe upstairs.
I want this black apron off, now.
Truth be told, none of you nailed it.
None of you gave us that, like, textbook smooth mashed potato.
But, with that aside, some of you did better than others in terms of flavor and the finesse that comes along with that.
Two of you did just enough to get to safety.
The first home cook heading up to the balcony Tanorria.
Thank you.
Good job, Tanorria.
- Good job.
- Thank you.
The second person safe tonight, separated by a tiny fraction Dan, make your way up to the balcony.
I am shocked right now.
I did not think my mashed potatoes were enough to get me saved.
But a save's a save and I will definitely take it.
Please, follow us.
So now, down to the final battle and I'm ready to fight.
I've been here before.
I deal with a lot of pressure in life, and I deal with a lot of pressure tests in the MasterChef kitchen.
And this is no different.
I got my eye of the tiger going and I'm ready to bring it all.
Now you have one last chance to prove to us that you deserve to stay in the MasterChef kitchen.
Just one of you two will make it up there to safety.
Katie, how would you feel if it all ended for you at this last battle? It would be really disheartening.
My experience here so far has been absolutely amazing.
I have so much more to learn, and I have so much more to show.
I'm not ready to go home.
Eric, how you feelin'? I'm feeling a little bit down on myself.
I'm very disappointed in my performance tonight.
So, yeah, it sucks being down here and having to do this right now, but in getting to do this, I'll have an edge on the six that are standing up there.
You know, I'm here to learn.
Now, we warned you things were gonna get more difficult.
The further down the kitchen we came tonight and we were not lying.
This last one is one of the hardest potato dishes you'll ever have to master.
It all hangs on this.
This last one is one of the hardest potato dishes you'll ever have to master.
It all hangs on this.
An elegant, technical dish.
Beautiful little pillows of potato dumplings.
Caramelized up in a pan with a brown butter sage sauce.
This challenge is gonna take everything you've got.
Precise culinary skills and finesse.
This dish will show us who's MasterChef dream will continue and who's reached the end of the road.
Head to your stations.
On your station, you'll find everything you need to make us one amazing plate of gnocchi with brown butter sage sauce.
Kennebec potatoes, flour, eggs, salt, butter, olive oil, and sage.
You'll have just 20 minutes to make us one immaculate gnocchi dish.
Your 20 minutes starts now.
Come on, let's go.
Come on Eric.
- Let's go, guys.
- You got this.
Katie I definitely feel like I'm at a disadvantage because Eric's Italian.
He probably makes gnocchi all the time.
This is gonna be an uphill battle.
Back in New York City all of my amazing co-workers stepped up to cover all of my shifts while I'm here.
You know, I'm sure they're somewhat proud of me already, but I don't want to let them down tonight.
This is the North versus the South.
It's like the Civil War all over again, but in the MasterChef kitchen.
All right, guys, here we are.
We're down to the third and final battle.
A head-to-head elimination over a beautiful dish of gnocchi.
This is the one that you don't want to face.
So Christina, you have Italian blood in your family-- the A-Z of a perfect gnocchi starts with what? Well, we've given them baked potatoes to start so they need to rice the potato down.
Powder a little flour over that potato, and eggs, some salt.
And you gotta get that consistency of potato dough just right.
The ratio is 80% potato, 20% flour, and then you enrich that with the egg yolks.
But too much flour in there is gonna be like there's gum in your mouth.
10 minutes gone.
10 minutes remaining.
You got this in the bag, Eric.
- Eric, I'm half Italian.
- Okay.
- I love gnocchi.
- Chef.
How are you feeling about these? Chef, you know, I'm feeling confident.
I grew up in a mainly Italian family.
Sundays was gnocchi night at my grandmother's house, so I'm in a zone, Chef.
I got in my head today and that's just not like me, so I'm ready to just knock this out of the ball field.
- Good luck.
- Thank you.
Go, Katie.
- All right, Miss Katie.
- Hi.
- How you feelin'? - I'm feeling okay right now, Chef.
Seasoning, definitely, has been a Achilles heel for you in these past two challenges.
Are you feeling confident about flavor? Consistency? - Yeah, I got lots of salt in here.
- Okay.
You look like you're a little frazzled, - so I'm gonna leave you alone.
- Okay.
- Good luck.
- Thank you.
You gotta see Katie.
She just feels frazzled.
She still feels like she hasn't found her center.
You guys know that can just be the kiss of death when you get this kind of pressure.
Eric's a little overworked.
He's gotta be able to get them to soufflé, 'cause that texture.
I'm worried that they're gonna be really gummy in the center.
Those are huge.
This is the crucial part.
When you boil the gnocchi make sure that water is gently boiling otherwise you'll explode them.
One minute max, right? Just till they float to the surface.
They're floating.
Then you take them out and put them into a sauté pan that you already have butter browning in, some sage, and of course the right seasonings.
Salt, salt, salt.
Three minutes to go.
What is he doing? Eric, it can't be cooked now.
He keeps on lifting the pan from the stove.
It's gonna be gummy in the middle.
They're not caramelized on either side.
He keeps doing that.
60 seconds remaining.
Let's go, guys.
Finish strong.
Come on, guys.
Katie has dropped a sage and I can't tell if she is going to put that raw sage on the plate.
She's not gonna do that.
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four - Oh, no.
- She's not gonna do it.
- three, two, one.
- She did it.
And stop.
Hands in the air.
Good job, guys.
All right, Katie, Eric, please bring your dishes to the front.
So visually you have great color on your gnocchi, but it's missing a touch of that nutty brown butter and the sage is raw.
Yes, it is.
I stepped away.
I don't know why I did that.
That definitely was a mistake.
What does raw sage do to any dish? Makes it bitter.
It's terrible.
It was a mistake.
No mistakes should hit any plate because we're down to the wire.
Little mistakes send you home.
What does raw sage do to any dish? Makes it bitter.
It's terrible.
It was a mistake.
No mistakes should hit any plate because we're down to the wire.
So I'm not gonna eat the raw sage.
I'm gettin' rid of that.
Katie, they're good.
You've got a great color on there.
Nice sear.
Needs a touch more seasoning.
A touch more butter, but the gnocchi, by and large, are good.
I just wish you hadn't thrown that raw sage on top.
Me, too.
The flavor of the brown butter is pretty good.
I do believe it could have gone a little bit further.
My issue with the dish is the raw sage.
- It's really intense.
- Yeah, for sure.
All right, Eric.
Now it looks like you have a great amount of brown butter sauce, especially compared to Katie's and it looks very, very enticing.
Very beautiful.
Dumplings are a little bit bigger.
They usually should be just a hair thinner when you're rolling them out.
The only other visual thing that concerns me is just you don't have that beautiful crisp golden brown on both sides.
The potato flavor is different and I can't discern if that's because you've seasoned it differently than hers or is it because those potatoes needed another 30 seconds or so in that pot of water.
But like the amount of that brown butter sauce.
Love the sage leaves in there.
I think that's a beautiful presentation, and love that you didn't put raw sage on your plate and that you honed in on that level.
Thank you, Chef.
Crispy sage.
Sufficient amount of butter on there.
So, nice Could do a touch more color on the outside.
Could do with a touch more cooking in the center and I love what you've done with the sage.
The sage is crispy.
But is it the best plate of gnocchi? No, it's not.
Is Katie's? No, it's not.
But you've done yourself proud.
It's a very good effort.
- Thank you, Chef.
- Thank you.
Uh, Katie, Eric.
Two very strong efforts.
We need a moment to ourselves because we're split.
Excuse us.
Gordon Katie's gnocchi-- the colors are extraordinary.
What was that panic at the end with the fresh sage? - 100% it was panic.
- I don't think it was panic.
I think it was planned.
She did it at the end like to add garnish.
I mean, if that was planned, then we have a problem.
I cannot believe I put that sage on there.
Eric's gnocchi-- what cut him short tonight was not cooking 'em long enough to get cooked on the inside before they went into the pan.
I shouldn't have let myself get into my head tonight.
- Stupid.
- They both made fundamental mistakes.
- They did? - One was undercooked and one threw raw sage in at the end.
But combine them both, you've got perfect gnocchi.
I think we both gave it our all.
That's what you want here.
That's it.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
I feel we got the right decision.
Katie and Eric, at this stage of the game, it's very tough.
Eric, we've seen you fight back in every pressure test brilliantly.
Katie, you're tenacious and you get knocked down and you bounce back up.
This is sad to lose one of you.
Katie please take off your apron.
Oh Make your way up to the balcony, please.
I'm safe.
I don't even know what to say.
I'm just so thankful that I have another day in the MasterChef kitchen.
At this point, I miss my girls with all my heart, but I'm here for them.
I'm here to show them that it's never too late to chase your dreams.
Eric, the gnocchi was a little bit too dense inside.
It could have done with another 90 seconds, but you brought a lot to this competition and you've got to continue your mission.
Thanks, Chef.
How you feeling? Um you know, I've learned a lot.
And I owe it all to you guys.
You know, it's been a rough ride.
I've been on the top, I've been on the bottom, I've been in the middle.
- I just let myself down.
- Listen you haven't let anyone down.
You've raised the bar for every firefighter in this country.
Never forget that.
Eric, I think that you are easily the most impressive 26-year-old man that I have ever met.
I think you grew the most.
And I think you proved every single time you've cooked in this kitchen to yourself, to us, and to everyone up there that you are full of fight.
I think that's why everyone has the utmost respect for you.
- We're gonna miss you.
- Miss you guys, too.
Come say goodbye, man.
- Damn.
Wow, a man.
- Thanks, Chef.
I appreciate it.
Thank you, Chef.
Good meeting.
My pleasure.
Thank you, Chef.
Here's a tough question that I didn't think I'd be asking you tonight, Eric.
In your mind, who is America's next MasterChef? Brandi.
She's got somethin' in her that she's been dyin' to get out.
This talent that's just seems to have been hiding in this little city in Kentucky, and I think this is the perfect stage for her to show it.
Thank you.
- Hey, head up high.
- Bye, Chef.
Next time I see you in New York, can we have that arm wrestle again, please? Please.
Put your apron on your bench, buddy.
Thanks, Chef.
I've always been a very driven person.
And I've always had my sights set to the highest.
My proudest moment was becoming a New York City firefighter, and getting that apron was a close second.
I came to this competition with the ultimate goal of becoming the next MasterChef.
I know how to handle my fire.
But to make it to the top eight is an accomplishment in itself.
Ooh, that's nice.
I'll definitely miss the judges.
Tell me when you started.
- I'm not-- - Tell me you started.
I respect Gordon and Christina more than anybody.
That pesto is a recipe in and of itself that I feel that all of America will want.
The flavor in there is incredible.
- Great job.
- Thanks, Chef.
I've learned so much these past weeks - Oh, yeah.
- and you can't put a price on that.
You don't pay $250,000 just for this experience.
Look good.
Look good.
I'm ready to bring it all back to New York and see what the city has in store for me.
- Next time - Switch.
- Go, go, go, go.
- Come on.
An explosive tag team challenge - Move, move.
- Got it.
- has the top seven - Switch! - on the run.
- Don't get frazzled.
Damn it, you gotta move like you don't wanna go home.
Come on, dude! Don't yell at me.
It freaks me out.
Who will rise to culinary heights? - Perfection.
- They look beautiful.
And who will fall Come on.
What?! to the bottom of the competition? Last switch.
- Don't freeze up on me now.
- Three, two, one-- - Oh! - Oh, my God.
Nathan, talk to me.
- You okay? - I don't know.