Spoilers for Master Chef, and mainly a tribute to contestant Monti, below the fold....
Well, I will find whatever episodes of Master Chef remain a lot less interesting, because my favorite contestant, Monti Carlo (yes, that is her real name), has been eliminated. Her departure was pretty upsetting: it was the first time in the whole season she ever found herself in the Bottom Two, and the other one there, Josh, had managed to completely screw up the assigned dish despite having won the earlier challenge and thus having literally been handed a box of the exact ingredients for the dish they were supposed to replicate.
Oh well. I thought Monti was just terrific. She was smart, skilled, and funny. She clearly didn't know as much about food as some of the other contestants, but she made up for it with an adventurous spirit and a self-confidence that grew as the season went on. I loved the episode where she was given a John Dory fish to filet and cook, and she'd never even heard of that fish before, much less cooked one. The judges noted how long it was taking her to start fileting it, but when she did, she took the knife right to it and muttered, "I'm gonna figure you out." I loved that.
I don't think she was destined to win, really; I expect the finale to boil down to Frank (the Italian stockbroker with mad kitchen skills) and Christine (the blind woman with mad kitchen skills). Becky is annoying with her oddly inflated sense of self-worth, and so is Josh, with his pouting whenever he doesn't get what he wants. I don't think Monti was going to win, but I think she should have come closer than this. And if Graham (the fat judge) was going to offer the last guy to get eliminated a job in one of his restaurants, why no offer to Monti? Why didn't Gordon Ramsay offer her the money for a down payment on the food truck that she wants to run?
I also loved Monti because she had fantastic facial expressions. She mugged for the camera wonderfully, so I took some screengrabs and captioned them...as if Monti was the heroine in some kind of cheesy Asian martial arts/fantasy flick. At least, that's the notion....
(Monti's son is named Danger. Really. In the first episode, she noted that he'll thank her for that one day.)