No, Scottish cooking was actually created for the joy of watching other people's faces when you tell people just what they're about to eat. Or, worst-case, what they just ate. Gordon's unholy glee at watching Joe's face wasn't exactly repressed, was it? Haggis can be an interesting dish in the right culinary hands -- but the knowledge of what your tongue is about to face tends to put a damper on the proceedings, or at least place a line at the nearest bathroom. Good thing Gordon and Graham stood ready to support her: she wasn't getting Joe's vote if she paid for the stomach pump.
Al... what is it with heavy equipment operators and cooking? You're slaving over a hot engine all day and eventually, you start to think about productive things to do with the heat? Possum's where we draw the line, but alligator's where we do the best work. For an Idol audition, he'd be a target and no amount of singing talent could get him past Hollywood, but this is MasterChef and if you can really cook, no one's going to care about the tattoos, the beard, the outfit, or anything but what you just offered them for consumption. And we know it was good because after he left, he got the supreme (personally unseen) compliment from the panel -- they went back to finish the plate.
And yet, given the nature of the show's editing, we can't count on either of those two being around for a while. The preview cell gave us some of the team players -- but the principle stays the same as last season: make one major mistake and you're out. Unless that mistake happens to be pouring perfume on your food. And even then, watch it.
This bears repeating: the editing may love background tales of woe, but all the panel cares about is what they're going to wind up eating. Last season had the backstories as exactly that: background. As long as that doesn't change, we should still be on track.
While we may not wind up with the same kind of cultural & cooking diversity we had in Season #1, the applicants at least prove they weren't trying to avoid it. Count the nations represented in the holding room and you just might get up to about half a U.N. America doesn't vote on this show and no one's pushing for their White Guy With Goulash quota.
There were some more visually stunning dishes this year, but the appearance means too much in these early rounds. We can't get a sense of their flavor: we only know what the judges tell us -- which puts the color messes in a semi-ghetto. I didn't see what was so special about that final plate of seafood stew, and we never got a detailed description on why it was a potential winning combination. On camera, it just looked the way virtually every stew does: like a literal hot mess.
While Graham is a qualified judge and has every right to be on the panel, there are still days when he comes across as the Steven of the group. 'You showed up. So you must have a right to be here!' Joe and Gordon trade or share the Simon role as needed, but Graham is more of a semi-critical cheerleader.
'Truffle oil: now with 0% truffle.'
And there's the return of Caring Gordon. 'Come back next year: I promise to remember you.' And he will, he will...
But really, no pressure.