MasterChef Canada pump(kin)s up the competition

After a week off because of the Juno Awards, MasterChef Canada was back with the Top 10 cooking on Sunday. Doctor Shawn clearly should cook outside of his comfort zone more often: despite no knowledge of baking or working with pumpkin, he wowed the judges and had the best Elimination Challenge plate of the night.

But the biggest shock wasn’t what Shawn was able to do, but what Michelle wasn’t. One of the strongest home cooks going into this season was eliminated after her pumpkin soup was deemed unsatisfactory by the judges. Her elimination led to plenty of tears by the remaining competitors and a little head-scratching on my part. Yes, I know every judgment is made solely on your latest dish, but Michelle has, overall, been pretty impressive. Alas, she’s gone and we’re left to wonder what could have been. Meanwhile, April Lee and Jennifer got a massive wake-up call and need to improve if they want to continue.

At the other end were Mary (pumpkin gnocchi), Shawn (pumpkin soup) and Terry (pumpkin risotto)—Jeremy and Matthew’s absence from Elimination Challenge judging meant they were safe—whose pumpkin plates won raves from the judges and landed them all captain status in next week’s team challenge. Shawn and Mary have been obviously strong out of the gate, but Terry is quickly closing in on them. He’s also got a great story; you can’t help but cheer for him to win.

And then there’s Veronica. She appeared to be the villain of the season early on—being a confident lawyer will do that—and she seemed cold and detached. Clearly she’s anything but; she and the likable Michelle are best friends and she spent a lot of time sharing personal stories regarding her father. She’s also one hell of a cook; her Japanese Matcha Roll Cake was outstanding and claimed her not only the Mystery Box challenge win but a spot in a Becel margarine ad. After Michelle was eliminated, Veronica pointed out that the other home cooks are merely competitors and she’ll take them down one by one. The remaining Top 8 better watch out.

MasterChef Canada airs Sundays at 7 p.m. ET on CTV.


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