Graham Elliot: Oh I think that they were all, you know, pretty sprung by her being under the mystery box — I mean, not knowing what it was going to be — I think you could tell from Eddie's reaction and you saw a clip of Jordan giving James a look — I think they were all pretty excited.
GE: Yeah, and that shrimp was amazing! I think two big shrimp grilled off with the sauce drizzled on top is just so appetizing, you go, "I want to eat that."
GE: No, I don't think so at all. Bri is probably one of the sweetest people that we've had on the show, just a great nature to her. And then Natasha is just super-driven, which — I think I talked about before because she is very skilled — it's one thing to be labeled with having a bad attitude and it's another when you can kind of back it up. She is a frontrunner, so who are you going to go after? You throw her the hardest thing and you see what she can do, so if it doesn't take her down it just makes her look that much stronger in front of everybody.
GE: Yeah, absolutely. Whether it's a big box retailer or a small farmer's market, wherever you can go and access great, seasonal, fresh product, it's a win-win for everybody. Canned, frozen foods, stuff like that — there's a time and place for all of those thing but, again, when you can get something that is vibrant and delicious and beautiful and cook with it for under 5 bucks, there's nothing better.
GE: Yeah, no one saw that coming! I think we were all kind of bewildered, like, "Why are we here having this talk?"
GE: No. I was talking to Gordon, and it's like a classic French thing, where you kind of layer meringue — I don't know. But it's like, even if he'd nailed those, there was that mushy, gray banana that looked like it was cut and chopped up a week ago and left on the counter. Just the whole thing was terrible. You'd never expect it from Lynn, who makes such beautiful stuff.
GE: Those muffins were almost like little rubber balls — like eating an eraser or something. Putting gelatin mix into a baked good like that, you know, all it's going to do is make it super dense and rubbery.
GE: Oh yeah. Because at least you could taste them and eat them and know there was something behind it, a substance. It was a very, very poorly executed muffin, but there was no excuse for what Lynn put up. I'm surprised that he even put it up! I thought that in that situation — and of course it's easier to sit back and watch and say, "I would have done this" — puree it and top it with mint and say it's a soup or something, you know? Putting that on a plate... that's when you're running out of time and scared and as soon as you do it, you probably think, "Alright, that's it… I'm done."
GE: Yeah! He's like the sweetest person in the world and he's so talented, so it was painful to have that talk.
GE: Yeah, what'd you guys think of that? (laughs) I love to have fun, if you don't notice — any time to laugh is a good time. So instead of just, "Let's have you guys on Jet Skis," I was like, "Well, if we're going to be in wetsuits, I totally want a flesh-colored wetsuit, and let's have the tattoos on it!" And someone else said, "Well, what if we do this?" And all of a sudden it's, like, "Let's draw a six-pack and make it this hilarious thing." So that was that whole deal.
GE: Well again, Bri — and I mentioned this last week with the wedding how I didn't think it made any sense to leave her out — because I think she is really strong. It's really hard at this stage. Everybody left now knows how to cook and do good stuff, so it's hard to pick and choose, but I think that Jessie did a pretty awesome job of picking people. I think it comes to controlling egos when you are on a team like that too, but when you have James and Eddie and Natasha on the same team putting food out, you really don't have an excuse to lose.
GE: The Cubs! I'm a huge baseball fan, absolutely. Because my dad was in the Navy, I've been to all 50 states, so I've been to a lot of ballparks. When I was growing up I was in, like, a humongous nerd baseball-card-collecting phase. I was living in Maryland, so I was a huge Orioles fan, but I loved the history — I could tell you most anything about the staffing, everything about the Yankees player… so I'm kind of all over the place.
GE: Yeah. Looking at those chickens, especially the fried chicken, they were pretty big. But Krissi was able to nail it and I was able to do it in the time, so it's obviously possible to do it. The challenge was part of being in a pressure test, so of course it's going to be grueling. If someone can nail all three perfectly, that's amazing. If someone nails two out of three or one out of three, that's when you start differentiating and seeing who's better than who. When you get something that there's no real crust on it and it's completely raw and the other is over-cooked and one is super-fatty and flabby, then you realize, "OK, out of this group, you are clearly the one that does not have the skill to move forward."
GE: Yeah, well you didn't even mention yet the polite discussion that was had before the pressure test. (laughs)
GE: No, but I didn't know what was said in that room until I watched last night! I was amazed at Bri standing up and talking to Krissi that way.
GE: I don't think anyone did! I watch all the live Twitter feeds of everything as it's happening, and it seems like half the nation kind of jumped up for joy last night. You know, with Krissi… everyone's got their own background, their story, their history, their baggage, their pros and cons, you know? It's just that hopefully everyone learns from it at the end of the night and tries to make themselves better. I guess that's what you hope for in this instance — nobody wants to be around a bully.
GE: Next week is sausage week. It's a sausage fest. (laughs)
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