[Ed. Note: Sarah Ramos is an actress, director, and writer. Fox’s new series MasterChef Junior combines her (I assume) love of children, chefs, and cooking competitions in which children pretend to be adult chefs, so she will be taking us through the season!]
As Gordon Ramsay would say, “Wow.” It’s just the end of an era, you know? I packed up all my ten years worth of stuff just before my landlord had to call the police on me for resisting eviction while Dara and Alexander each cooked a stunning appetizer, a stunning entrée, and a stunning dessert in ninety minutes.
MasterChef Junior really shows you the beauty of television. For example, I’ve made so many good friends. If I saw Sarah, Jack, Troy, Dara, Alexander, Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliott, or Joe Bastianich on the street, I would recognize them. I would know things about them — their talents, their parents, their idiosyncrasies, the times they’ve annoyed me for which the would then have an opportunity to apologize — and they wouldn’t know who I am at all! That said, we made even more new friends this episode: everyone’s parents. And on top of that, even though the closest people to Alexandah (as Ramsay would say) and Dara were literally in the room with them, there was also a supportive Skype call with Dara’s aunt and Alexandah’s uncle.
Really fun. Now we know that Alexandah’s mom is the kind of supportive person who would craft a star that says “Alexandah is the first Junior MasterChef” and that his uncle is pretty amazing.
I like it. So after the Skype call, which was so compelling that it could’ve gone on for the entire episode, Dara and Alexandah got cookin’ and time flew. Joe took it upon himself to say that the contestants had to get the dishes on the plate and that if it stayed in their head, “it doesn’t count.” The parents and other contestants took it upon themselves to shout and clap constantly, pretty much saying stuff like, “Cook!” and “Cook for us!” 2013 MasterChef winner Luca told us that he couldn’t cook a fried egg at eighteen. I guess that just goes to show you: even former dumb-dumbs can win a TV contest. How old are these chefs again? I forgot. JK. But really, there was so much shouting, clapping, dramatic Gladiator music (is that added in later or is it really playing while they’re cooking!?), and cool comments from Joe, that Dara thought she was going to faint!
Dara needed energy, so they gave her a water bottle and her dad yelled down, “Drink it all!” Important Reminder: drink it all! Love that. Dara drank it all and then it was time for the judges to eat “edible art.” Dara’s appetizer, tuna and rice, was more complex and required more technique than Alexandah’s tomatoes. But Alexandah’s veal had a handle, which Graham Elliot, grown man, liked because he could “hold it and be able to, like, ‘rawr, rawr, rawr.’”
Plus, it was cooked perfectly, and Dara’s prawn head was not. Ramsay was so happy about the veal, he told Alexandah that it was like him and Alexandah -– “hard on the outside and magical on the inside.”
Look, I don’t know. I’m just telling you how a successful, rich, famous, grown man acted on national television. I don’t even have a home to live in so don’t ask me to “deconstruct” his behavior (get it?), because it seemed warranted and made sense. During desserts, Ramsay asked Alexandah if he knew what he, Gordon Ramsay, was doing when he was Alexandah’s age, and then Ramsay just laughed nervously and didn’t tell us. Okay! He is the one who brought it up, completely unprompted, but okay. The way he laughed so awkwardly, like he was uncomfortable but also deeply proud of something vital to his success as an adult American man, I think he was insinuating that when he was thirteen, he was masturbating. Yay! Men rule and girls get paid less, because men are better and that’s not a stereotype, it’s a fact, and it’s not offensive!
Dara made a poached pear and Alexander made a cannoli-Neopolitan, or as Graham called it, a “cannolapolean,” which showed you that dorks can be successful and be on TV, which was a win for everyone, no exceptions. No Bullying. The point is that Alexandah won the title, the SmartWater Bottle trophy, and $100,000, even though his mom said he doesn’t care about the money. Dara said she was happy to go home with her apron that says Dara on it. But she also has her BOW, did she forget?, about which my friend Michael said, “I like that she has that. It’s just like a cool style thing.” So, you know, go Alexandah, but also, go Dara. Drink it all.