Note: Do not read on if you haven't seen Season 5, Episode 18 of FOX's "MasterChef" titled "Top 3 Compete."
Holy Boston Cream Pie, guys. I have to say I am thoroughly pleased with the fact that we had an Elizabeth and Courtney showdown for the finale. Usually, MasterChef exaggerates: most extreme pressure test ever, or biggest cooking competition in the world!" but this finale was super real.
Before we start taking bets, I shall provide you with my recap of the events this week.
1) The Top 3 have to cook for top chefs from all over America. Elizabeth wins with a delicious, and super trendy, skin on red snapper with cauliflower three ways. Anyone who's eaten in NYC recently will feel that purple faux-broccoli pain.
2) Elizabeth gets to drink champagne in the balcony and watch the pair cook off. Three classic American desserts: cheesecake, Boston cream pie (I've never had one, but I wanted to shove my face into Courtney's, the drips being more appealing than off-putting), and key lime pie. Yummers. Elizabeth's commentary on the differences between Courtney and Leslie were hysterical. Oh, to be a fly in that studio. Leslie threw salt in his batter and sealed the deal for the ladies.
3) I am rooting for Elizabeth, because her dishes always look so fancy. But then I want to root for Courtney, from my hometown, and because they sort of made a big deal about her past as a dancer in a strip club. Ladies, pull out those pony tails.
4) One full, three-course meal. They start with apps: Courtney has a pig ear salad. Big risk! Elizabeth has a grilled octo salad with fresh chickpeas and chorizo. Joe is not thrilled with bits of dog chew on his plate. Gordon says, much to Courtney's chagrin, that Elizabeth's plate is pretty and pulled off.
5) Elizabeth has lamb with a mint yogurt sauce and veggies, Courtney has duck breast and a farro veggie salad. You can sort of see the theme of both their meals. Courtney calls Elizabeth's lamb raw and it looked like they were going to come to blows. Elizabeth's lamb is uneven -- Joe's is rare, Gordon's perfect, which was a good strategy. Gordon detests a bad temp; Joe can handle it a little bit. Courtney's duck is "spot on" and "stunning" all around.
6) Elizabeth has a grapefruit and olive oil semolina cake that I want in my face. Courtney is cooking up a meringue, that should take a lot longer than she has. No one is playing it safe. Elizabeth gets Courtney back for her snide raw lamb comment: What does her dish look like? "It looks like second place."
She put salt in her black cherries and makes Joe think, which is apparently a good thing. Gordon thinks it's clumsy.
Elizabeth makes a spot-on cake, but it looks deconstructed and rustic. Everyone loves it though.
Elizabeth's menu is connected and thematic. Courtney's was a little innovative though in the pairings, though. Elizabeth's fiance passes out under the pressure.
And, it's Courtney. I respect her, but I don't like her and will have to stop here. I can't take the gloating.
What did you think? Let me know @karenfratti.
"MasterChef" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EDT on FOX.