‘MasterChef,’ ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ recaps: Just desserts for Ryan


Ryan Umane’s elimination this week from “MasterChef” was almost anti-climactic. Almost.

Umane baked himself out of the competition when he failed a pressure test. He served up a sorely undercooked molten lava chocolate cake, so oozy that it caused chef Gordon Ramsay to wonder whether it would best be eaten with a straw. If Ryan gets credit for anything, it’s that he manned up and volunteered to give up his white apron.

Frankly, viewers would have preferred to see Tali Clavijo go instead, and so we’d get one more round of fireworks between Umane and rivals Christine Ha and Monti Carlo. It seemed like the “flavor elevator” was specializing in annoying all his teammates, but several actually spoke out on his behalf, including Tanya Noble who might be, um, sweet on him.


Nonetheless, it was sweet revenge coming one week after Umane gave Christine a live crab to work with in the hopes of tripping up the sight-impaired competitor, seen above. But Christine continues to rise above, even when it looks like she’s failing.

This week, Christine was the team leader in a grueling challenge that had the competitors overseeing the room-service breakfast run for more than 100 hotel rooms. I’m all for crafty editing and building drama, but the challenge seemed to play out in a way that made it look like Christine and her team were blowing it big time. But, in yet another leg-pulling maneuver that the show has become known for ... it turns out that the red team had handily won the challenge.

That put the blue team on the chopping block, and led to Ryan’s demise. Boo-hoo.

Meanwhile, over on “Hell’s Kitchen,” we are settling in for a few rounds of “thin the herd.”

The women continued to dominate, handily winning the fashion show showdown. (This has got to be the winningest team ever in “Hell’s Kitchen” history, right? Particularly for this early in the run.)

But sideshows are proving to be the more interesting elements this season. Ramsay handed out what I believe is his first “donut” of the season. Kimmie Willis and Robyn Almodovar are no longer frenemies. And Ramsay and Clemenza Caserta engaged in a swordfish-counting showdown that was worthy of a vintage Abbott & Costello routine.

But here’s the question I want the answer to: Was Brian Merel raised in a woman-less cave? Granted, he was surrounded by gorgeous women in skimpy bathing suits this week. But even before the fashion show, he has acted like he never laid eyes on the fairer sex before “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Were you surprised that Guy Vaknin was the guy sent home this week? Was he really worse than every other guy on the blue team?

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