Seriously? OMG! WTF? » Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot size up MasterChef’s final three!
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[ # ] Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot size up MasterChef’s final three!
September 15th, 2014 under Gordon Ramsay


Tonight at 8p on Fox it is time for the MasterChef season finale and last week I spoke with Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot on a conference call about the last three standing. Will it be Courtney, Leslie or Elizabeth?
If you would’ve asked me on day one who would win the whole competition this season, I would not be able to tell you. What I could tell you that day is I thought Leslie would be out in the first elimination or the following week. As you know, I was wrong and I wasn’t the only one who thought he would be sent home early. Bastianich said, “I would’ve thought he (Leslie) wouldn’t have even made it. He would’ve been out in the first cut, so you never know.” However, there is someone he thought would be in the Top 3 from day one and that person is Elizabeth. He said she “is a great example of someone that you knew was smart. You knew she cooked. She was smart in how she played the game, so you figured she would go far.” Elliot agreed with his co-Chef, “I think Elizabeth just because of how driven they were and how much they’ve put into it, as far as their heart into the cooking.” Like Joe, he was surprised to see Leslie go as far as he did. He described the stay at home dad as, “you have somebody who’s the oldest contestant we’ve ever had, who’s abrasive and everybody hates at the beginning and now they all seem to have embraced him like the crazy uncle or someone that’s in everyone’s family.” A little note on Leslie and his family here, he is a family member of someone we know, he’s Melissa Joan Hart’s stepdad.
Now we know who surprised them by making it this far and who they knew would be there, but who did they think was going to make it that didn’t. For Graham it was Christian who came in 5th. While Joe thought that maybe Big Willie would go far, but then the MasterChef realized he “just lacks the evolution to go the full distance”. Big Willie’s flame might’ve burned out midway, Bastianich felt Leslie and Cutter, who came in fourth, were slow burners. He says they “learn a lot, ramp it up and then keep on getting stronger.” Strong enough to make it to Top 4.
Joe sums up day one expectations to the finals as, “What you see in the beginning is not always what comes out in the end.” Graham says, “You always have an open mind when you start, but then you start seeing these people come into their own. It’s really fun to watch them grow.”
Graham and Joe watched them grow throughout the season, so how would they describe the final three? Joe said, “Leslie, the New York transplant to Malibu, is a true home cook, cooks for his family.” Then he added, “He’s a little bit of an older contestant, has a very brash, forward style, unapologetic in his ambition to win and what he does and the way he conducts himself.” Graham was simpler in his summation, “Leslie, who is completely unfiltered and just does whatever he feels like.”
Next up is Elizabeth, who is my personal pick to win the whole thing. Joe says, “Elizabeth, who is more of a Brooklyn night, New York sophisticated young lady who probably has her pulse on what’s happening in the fine dining scene and trends the food world.” Then adding, “She’s culturally apt and really can kind of put all her life experiences and intelligence to play in every plate.” Graham agreed with his counterpart.
Finally, there is Courtney. Joe described the Philly native as “kind of the combination of a little bit of street smarts, ethnic cooking, a fierce competitor. She probably knows how to play the game as well as she knows how to cook.” Graham said she has the ability to beat anyone that she is put against.
Neither MasterChef said who they think the next winner will be, that doesn’t mean we have our own opinions. I am rooting for Elizabeth because she is the only I like that is left. Who do you think will win it all and get their very own cookbook?
You know, come to think about it, this is the first year I didn’t have a clear cut winner from day one. I knew Christine was going to win season three and Luca the following year. This year has been a complete toss up with no early favorite and personally no final one either. Do you concur?

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