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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

MasterChef Junior: The Shepard's Pie Annihilation

Posted By on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 10:20 AM

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Call me a Gordon Ramsay apologist, but I do love it when he brings his family into things, and this week on MasterChef Jr. we met his mum. (In England he has a cooking show that actually takes place in his house, and his children are on just about every episode.) They seem like great kids and must be horrified (or perhaps delighted?) to see their dad rip into donkeys on Hell’s Kitchen. And speaking of people you would not expect to be good with children: Joe Bastianich. He not only has a delightful look of glee on his face at all times, but when he has to deliver some bad news he does so sweetly and with great finesse. This is the Joe that my girl Lidia must’ve raised.

This week it was shepard’s pie and the kids could call their own mothers for advice. Many of them ended up looking pretty damn disgusting, but other contestants really freaked me out with their level of skill. Mum Ramsay was freaked out too, or so she said in so many words, underlining the fact that her own son sucked at that age.

It’s usually by this time in the competition that I look out over everyone and realize there are kids there that I have never noticed before. Perhaps that’s because there are obvious stars like Oona or Abby, both bona fide contenders for Darla on The Little Rascals. Josh is also cute but apparently sexist, saying that being paired up with a girl was going to make things easy. Adorable, you10-year-old male chauvenist pig. Logan is the young Republican with wide spaced teeth (Obamacare will fix that for you bud), and Samuel is a small man trapped in the body of a chubby 12-year-old. He’s a local boy so I can’t be too harsh, but he reminds me a lot of season one’s winner, who was basically Doogie Howser. The kids that I didn’t remember ever seeing before were Sean, who won the first challenge and got to sit out the main competition, and Levi who actually won the shepard’s pie thing. Then there’s Sam, who wants to be a combination chef/fashion designer when he grows up.

For a brief moment this week, as plucky little Sam was crying about his mashed potatoes (this is the second time mashed potatoes have reduced a contestant to dribble), and was then sent home with Mitchell, the cruelty of this show came over me. Is it moral to put children through this adult gauntlet? These kids are so talented but its excruciating to see them get the axe. Thank god they usually show them on camera later, smiling and grateful for the opportunity, saying how proud they are of themselves. Phew, I could go to bed happy. 
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Katy St. Clair

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