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Mr. Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
Eat Where the Truckers Eat

Previously on Top Chef Crybabies, Faruq was eliminated. What, you don't remember? It happened, like, five minutes ago? Anyhow, we're down to 10 people now. And I still can't tell Lee and Sharone apart, except that one apparently had a poster of Cat Cora on his bedroom wall when he was a teenager. Or such is the rumor I'm hoping to spread. Won't you help me?

MasterChef roll call: Contestants! Joe! Graham! Gordon! Pleasant-voiced narrator lady! All present and accounted for. Let's get to cooking.

In this episode, the would-be chefs have been transported a hundred miles away from the MasterChef kitchen to a particularly barren hellscape in the California desert. Or perhaps this is what a preview of what all of California will look like if our present budget woes continue. "Who knows what's going to happen?" David wonders aloud. Well, considering they dropped you cats down next to a burnt-out husk of a diner, I would think that cooking is in your immediate future. But before the contestants are required to think to hard about that concept, a semi-truck pulls up and Gordon, Joe, and Graham pop out of the cab. The contestants shriek and applaud. I dearly hope that the producers have ordered them to applaud enthusiastically anytime Gordon emerges from a motorized vehicle, because otherwise, they are giving the impression that America's first MasterChef is easily enthralled by motor vehicles.

Gordon has brought them out to this arid wasteland to cook for "the people who are the backbone of this country." What, call center workers in Bangalore? No, stupid -- truckers. 100 truckers, as a matter of fact, who will be served what Graham calls the ultimate truck stop dish -- hamburgers. Better luck next challenge, vegetarian truck drivers of America.

Because we have an even number of contestants remaining, this will be a team competition -- red versus blue. There's a truck full of ingredients behind them, including meat that they shall have to grind themselves. As the winner of the halibut challenge from the last show, Jake gets to select his team. He picks Tracy, Whitney, Lee and Tony -- they'll form Team Blue. By the process of elimination, Sharone, Sheetal, Slim, David, and Mike (and his hat) will make up Team Red. Each trucker will have a burger from both teams. The losing team will then face a pressure challenge in which someone gets eliminated. You may recognize this as a repeat of last week's challenge, with truckers replacing U.S. Marines. The teams will have 30 minutes of prep time, which I suggest the teams use wisely. Those truckers will stomp a mud hole in you if you run out of food again.

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