Thankfully, not being able to livetweet MasterChef last week worked out (I was packing, laundry-ing and doing other vacay prep). Episode 6 wasn't super eventful — another MasterClass, another reason why chef-judge Gordon Ramsay is so awesome to watch in the kitchen — and Season 8 home cook Jeff Philbin of Tampa made it to the balcony, aka the safe zone, early on.
Episode 7, though, which I just noticed has a "viewer discretion advised" warning at the beginning, played out a liiitle differently, especially for us local viewers. Marketing director Philbin was featured prominently on Wednesday night's show, rated L for language, mostly for rocking the boat. Allow me to explain — with GIFs from that Twitter hashtag I lurk every week.
Chicago nutritionist Cate, the red team captain for the series's latest group challenge — the MasterChef version of Top Chef's Restaurant Wars, essentially — tells Ramsay that the one person she wouldn't want in her crew is Philbin, because he "has a very loud voice, but he doesn't take direction. He kinda just likes to be a little arrogant, and that's a quality I don't need on my team."
So, fine. Philbin joins blue, and everything starts out pretty great. Then, toward the end of their five-star restaurant service — driven, again, by breakfast (is my editorial intern Alex, who really digs eggs, calling the shots this season?) — Louisiana debt collector Jennifer starts sending out bad eggs. Blue team captain Yachecia, a Detroit minister, jumps on her station. Philbin begins to work the pass, handing off finished dishes to Ramsay. And a scene à la Hell's Kitchen ensues.
Philbin turns over a few dishes, and Ramsay, who's less than impressed, lifts up some runny eggs and says, "Come on." The home cook replies with, "OK." "No, sir, it's not OK. You don't care." I can't tell if Philbin replies with "bullshit" or "fuck that," but shit has hit the fan.
"So you think that's good enough to send? Just so I know where you are standard wise." "I don't, actually," says Philbin. Ramsay, yelling: "Right. So don't you dare send me your shit again. 'Cause I look like a bigger dick than you." "I'm not a dick, for one," Philbin replies. "Did you hear what I said? I look like a bigger dick than you, and I'm not gonna send that. Heard?" "Heard!" Philbin shouts. Ramsay: "We can debate about the dick bit later." So. Damn. Good.
Fast forward and the blue team doesn't pull it together. With a Pressure Test upon them as the eight bottom contestants, Ramsay asks Philbin what went wrong, and the Carrollwood resident says, "It all starts from the top down," calling out Yachecia on her leadership. The two of them, who're standing right next to each other, get into it — with Yachecia saying Philbin doesn't have the ability to be led and is disrespectful to any leader and him replying, "You don't deserve my respect at this moment."
Yachecia's then told by the judges that she can either save herself, or put six members of her team up for elimination. Obviously, this doesn't look good for Philbin, who one live tweeter described as "saucy." But she ends up sparing him anyway (gasp!), opting to go head-to-head against Jennifer. "Jeff definitely deserves to be fighting for his life today. However, Jennifer will fall apart under pressure," Yachecia says.
The ever-so-British fish and chips is what they're tasked with cooking. Ultimately, Yachecia's fish impresses the panel of judges more than Jennifer's, whose time in the MasterChef kitchen is up. This week's 'sode more than conjured up those Hell's Kitchen feels, but, hey, who's complaining?