'Masterchef' Top 19 Finalists Revealed As A Frontrunner Emerges (VIDEO)

05/30/2013 11:28 am ET

Fox's "Masterchef" whittled the contestants down to the top 19 finalists this week, and judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot didn't pull any punches during the eliminations -- some chefs got cut before they even finished cooking.

Still, despite the herd being thinned, an early frontrunner emerged: Johnny B., a 28-year-old carpenter, made a splash with an unusual seafood dish -- lobster crackerjack -- featuring lobster, caramel, popcorn and coconut.

As Gordon put it, “That doesn’t read well on the menu [but] I’m forced to say it actually worked ... Absolutely delicious in a very weird, exciting way.”

"Masterchef" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

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