Tag Archives: CTV

MasterChef Canada’s final two are revealed

MasterChef Canada‘s Top 2 have been revealed, as Trevor Connie and Thea Vanherwaarden will go head-to-head in next week’s season finale. After a long, impressive run, Barrie McConachie was eliminated in an emotional episode. To be honest, just making it to the Top 12 was an incredible feat; this season has been one jam-packed with high-end guest judges and the most complicated challenges in this franchise’s history.

Thursday’s instalment, “Sweet Francaise,” began with one heck of a test, to create a mélange of pastries for the show’s French bistro theme. As if making five different items wasn’t tough enough, the trio’s bites would be tasted by pastry chefs. The two-hour prep time went by in a blink and Thea seemed to have an edge over Trevor and Barrie, but by the end of the time limit, everyone completed the task. The big twist? Along with several pastry experts were children, meaning Thea’s lavender-lemon cake could have gotten a big thumbs-down from the kiddies. Luckily for everyone, no desserts were sent back, though the pastry chefs—and Michael Bonacini, Claudio Aprile and Alvin Leung—all found minor flaws. Barrie came out on top and I felt he deserved it, but he’s gotta stop with the bear-campers thing.

Barrie didn’t win immunity from the Elimination Challenge but was given the opportunity to decide the proteins everyone would cook with three ways. Barrie rightly went with his strength and the Waygu beef and assigned pork to Thea and chicken to Trevor. They may have been buds up until now, but Barrie wasn’t giving Trevor an upper hand by doling out tasty pork in his direction. Thea slumped upon hearing the pork was headed her way, but I’m not sure why. Then I heard her plan: to take that beautiful chunk of porky goodness and turn it into schnitzel for one of her plates. I’m not above schnitzel, but this was the wrong application for the main ingredient. Barrie’s oil-poached beef was a mystery, Trevor’s chicken skin burned during his first try and time—and a burn—threatened to derail Thea.

Barrie was confident his beef would be up to snuff and relied on his side dishes to take him over the top. The problem? His Waygu was underdone. Claudio ripped Thea for her plating and said taste was the only thing that could save her. And in the early going it looked like she had. As for Trevor, astringent sauce spoiled some pretty good looking chicken skin.

Still, it was a no-brainer for Trevor to be named the first home cook in the season finale. And after undercooking such a lovely piece of beef, Barrie left the door open for Thea to sneak into the final too.

Do you agree with the judges’ decision? Who do you want to win MasterChef Canada? Let me know in the comments below.

The season finale of MasterChef Canada airs next Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.

Image courtesy of Bell Media.


MasterChef Canada selects its Top 3 in emotional episode

We are just a few weeks away from the finale on June 1, and I have to say this season of MasterChef Canada has been incredible. The guest judges have been A-list and the challenges are the most diverse and difficult I’ve ever seen. Everyone involved should be proud of the work they’ve done.

That, of course, goes for the home cooks who have been put through an emotional wringer this season. They’ve made it this far, but one was set to fall on Thursday night.

“Harvest Family Dinner” began with the final team challenge set on a farm on a crisp autumn day. The word “Family” in the episode title was, of course, a hint that producers would throw Barrie, Trevor, Mai and Thea for an emotional loop by bringing their families in to try out their menus. Barrie, who won the last challenge before Miranda was eliminated, chose his teammate. Her kept the bromance going with Trevor by selecting him, putting Mai and Thea together. The winners of the challenge would immediately be put into the Top 3 … and things got serious super-fast.

I can only imagine how fast that two hours of prep and cooking time must have flown by for the final four, but camera work was a pretty good indication. Hands and feet flew, eyes were focused and every home cook was out of breath. Barrie and Trevor opted for an elevated hunter’s meal of venison while Mai and Thea opted for a surf and turf of bison steak and scallops to reflect their home provinces. Barrie and Trevor worked side by side but without collaboration, trusting each other to pull their weight. Thea and Mai, meanwhile, made recommendations to each other and kept up the advice, and Mai threatened to take over. Which method of working would end up being the winning formula? Remember that it was Thea and Mai’s conflicting advice that had a hand in Justine’s elimination a few weeks ago.

Barrie’s wine sauce for the venison and Thea’s scallops threatened to derail the plans of both squads. The sauce was fixed and the scallops weren’t, meaning that chunk of protein was ignored and Thea’s time had been wasted. Two layers of doneness on the venison was a knock against Barrie and Trevor; the same went for Mai and Thea as Alvin’s steak was overdone. You have got to nail the doneness on protein if you want to score well on MasterChef Canada and those misses were Week 1 mistakes.

Trevor and Barrie won, sending them into the Top 3 and Mai and Thea into the Elimination Challenge. For that, the pair would have to replicate a Hawaiian cloud dessert containing a ginger cookie, pineapple sponge cake and frozen kiwi hidden under a cotton candy cloud. It seemed like an impossible task for Thea and Mai to achieve—I’d love to see Alvin, Claudio or Michael make one—and it looked in the early going like a too-puffy cake would eliminate Mai. But Thea’s candy cloud was a tad deflated and her sponge cake too dense … but her tuille was perfect. Mai’s cloud was fluffier, but a piece of foil from the butter ruined her otherwise wonderful sponge cake.

Mai was eliminated from the competition, meaning Thea is headed to the Top 3 alongside Barrie and Trevor. MasterChef Canada is taking a break for one week during U.S. May Sweeps and returns May 25.

MasterChef Canada airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.


Saving Hope says goodbye to spring with emotional finale

Say it ain’t so, Saving Hope! This Sunday’s episode is being touted as the medical drama’s “Spring Finale” on CTV, meaning the show goes away for a month before returning on Thursday, June 8, at 9 p.m. ET/PT to broadcast its remaining episodes.

And what a finale it is, with familiar faces returning to Hope Zion and others saying goodbye. Here’s what the network has said about Sunday’s “All Our Yesterdays,” written by Patrick Tarr and Thomas Pepper and directed by Steve DiMarco.

An unidentified man arrives at the hospital with critical injuries after being struck by a subway train, and the Hope Zion doctors rally together to try to save his life. Dr. Charlie Harris’ personal medical struggle is overshadowed by a spiritual one when he discovers the John Doe is “The Great” Randal Crane. In spirit form, Randal delivers a dire warning about Charlie’s gift and its heavy cost if he doesn’t rid himself of it. Dr. Maggie Lin attempts to leave her past behind her, but it proves impossible when Dr. Sydney Katz comes back to town, urging Maggie to put her pregnant sister in the now-defunct cancer study. Away from the hospital in the wake of her mother Martha’s diagnosis, Dr. Alex Reid takes Martha to visit their family farm.

Maggie and Sydney reunite in Sunday’s episode

And here are a few more facts to whet your appetite.

Manny has to make a decision
A message on his cell phone leads Manny to re-evaluate his career and Dana is there with words of encouragement … and an arched eyebrow.

Cassie’s struggling in her new role
Turns out going from employee to boss isn’t all it’s cracked up to be as Cassie finds it hard to get respect from her former same-level staffers. She turns to Charlie for help, but he’s got his hands full with, you know, a pesky spirit.

Peter Keleghan returns
Speaking of that spirit, he’s played by none other than Peter Keleghan who has been so great on Murdoch Mysteries and Workin’ Moms. The veteran actor is back to reprise his role of psychic Randall Crane, who has a dire dialogue with Charlie.

Maggie and Sydney have a reunion
We’ve missed Sydney in our lives, so it’s great to have Stacey Farber back. Unfortunately, she’s not at Hope Zion for happy reasons.

Kenneth Welsh guest stars
The veteran and Member of the Order of Canada causes problems for Zach and Dev when he re-stumbles into their lives as Wilfred.

Saving Hope returns with new episodes on Thursday, June 8, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.


Getting fishy in the MasterChef Canada kitchen

Some of my favourite episodes of culinary competitions challenge the contestants to show their knife skills. Top Chef Canada All-Stars did it a couple of weeks ago when the chefs prepped ingredients in a speed test and MasterChef Canada did it this week with salmon.

“Take Five” began with Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung and Claudio Aprile performing a masterclass with the ruby-fleshed fish. I was hoping the trio would explain what was in their glaze, crust and poaching liquid so I could replicate the recipes at home, but editing cut all that down to before and after shots. Pity. I’d also hoped the judges would demonstrate how to properly break down a salmon, pulling out pin bones and filleting it for their recipes. Instead, we had to sit through agonizing moments watching Miranda’s knife slide around inside her poor salmon.

Claudio questioned Barrie’s decision to pair a lemon cream sauce with his rich, crusted fish and Alvin was excited to try Trevor’s fried fish eyes. Urp. Miranda, Trevor and Barrie had their plates tested and Trevor was nailed for his grainy potato purée. And though Claudio was still critical of Barrie’s cream sauce, he liked the crust on the fish. It was Miranda, with no experience breaking down or cooking salmon, who won this week’s challenge. (The look of shock on Trevor’s face was stellar.)

The Elimination Challenge was a major curve ball. After weeks of access to copious ingredients and a tricked-out pantry, the Top 5 were tasked with using just five ingredients in their next creation. As if cooking with just five things wasn’t difficult enough, once everyone was done shopping Miranda’s advantage kicked in: she switched all the baskets. Thea got Mai’s basket of pasta ingredients, Barrie received Thea’s halibut and corn, Trevor was given Barrie’s beef broth and chorizo sausage and Mai got Trevor’s pasta ingredients. I’m not sure if Miranda was playing favourites or not, but she gave Mai four of the five ingredients she’d initially picked, so Mai definitely had an advantage. Miranda, naturally, kept her own basket containing flank steak.

Thea had issues immediately—she’s allergic to shellfish and has never prepped shrimp before—and began deveining the little critters by cutting into their bottoms. No vein there, Thea. Miranda, who has helped so many of her competitors in the past, stepped up again and showed Thea what to do before returning to her own station. Would the fact Thea can’t taste her dish hurt her chances at staying in the competition?

Trevor’s shrimp succotash was impressive, though Alvin wanted two heads to go with the two tails. Still, the flavours were there. Miranda, who kept her ingredients and had an advantage, undercooked her steak and—more grievously—cut it against the grain, a major no-no on a tough cut of beef. Unless everyone else messed up royally, Miranda was going to taking off her apron. Mai’s amateur plating was offset by delicious egg-filled pasta and Barrie’s halibut and corn was a winner. It all came down to Thea … and she erroneously included a vein in shrimp onto her pasta. Barrie received top marks for the week with Trevor close behind, leaving Miranda and Thea, unsurprisingly, in the bottom; Miranda was shown the door.

I’m going to miss Miranda’s humour and, most of all, her gamesmanship when it came to supporting the other home cooks. Were you surprised Miranda was eliminated? What have you thought of this season so far? Let me know in the comments below!

MasterChef Canada airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.


CTV announces The Amazing Race Canada’s summer return

From a media release:

CTV is bringing the heat with a dynamic 2017 summer schedule anchored by three brand-new series from some of the biggest names in television: WORLD OF DANCE, THE F WORD, and STILL STAR-CROSSED. Summer on CTV also features an all-star showcase of returning favourites including THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, SAVING HOPE, MASTERCHEF, and AMERICANNINJA WARRIOR, along with a one of a kind, crowd-sourced summer event special, CANADA IN A DAY, and the hottest music celebrations including THE 2017 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS and THE 2017 IHEARTRADIO MUCH MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS.

Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and CTV GO, beginning July 4

THE AMAZING RACE CANADA is back for a fifth season with brand-new teams and exciting, nail-biting challenges. Hosted by Olympic Gold Medallist Jon Montgomery, the series pits fresh teams of two with a pre-existing relationship against each other in the biggest race this country has ever seen.

Premieres Sunday, June 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and CTV GO

CANADA IN A DAY is a CTV Event Special created entirely from videos made by Canadians over the course of 24 hours (September 10th, 2016), reflecting the thoughts, hopes, and lives of everyone that lives in this amazing country. Premiering as Canada gets set to celebrate the 150th anniversary of confederation, CANADA IN A DAY is a unique snapshot of who we are and what we were doing in one, 24-hour period, resulting in a memorable TV event and time capsule of Canada.