Careful what you serve on MasterChef

Tyler Viars Masterchef rev

You’ve heard the saying throughout your life: Two wrongs don’t make a right. And it holds water the majority of the time. But, on occasion, two wrongs *do* make a right. Take this week’s ‘MasterChef’ for example …


It’s been a while since I’ve put out a post about MasterChef.

Last year — season 4 of the series — was a relatively quiet one. That’s not to say there weren’t fireworks and controversy dolloped throughout the episodes. Though quiet, the show’s fourth incarnation still remained completely watchable and even included the neat caveat of having a contestant from season 3 (Luca Manfé) not only returning but winning the whole enchilada as well. Additionally, MasterChef Junior debuted last summer. And while it mirrored the first season of its parent program, it held its own and was intriguing in its own right with kids 8 – 13 years of age getting the opportunity to strut their culinary stuff.

Why in the world would he grab one, and only one, to prepare for the judges?

Then, Monday night showed us something we haven’t seen previously on the program. Something that made you take pause and think about … at least for a minute. You bandied with the dilemma of it, if only for a moment, considering what could or should be done given the situation. In the end, you knew the decision made was the right one, that there couldn’t be any other outcome.

Here’s what went down:

The final contestant called before the judges — Tyler Viars — brought his panna cotta to Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich to be reviewed …

… except it wasn’t Tyler’s panna cotta. It was another contestant’s creation.

Sure enough, he was called on it. Gordon walked to a fridge off the competition area, opened a door and pulled out a tray of panna cotta. The tray Tyler had originally put in the fridge. It seemed evident that, in his haste, he had pulled a ramekin off a wrong tray. Presented with the evidence, Tyler not only owned up to the unintentional faux pas but apologized for it. Per the rules of the competition, preparations have to be judged based on what the contestants offer. The problem here was the dessert Tyler offered for consideration wasn’t his creation.

The judges had no choice but to eliminate him outright on the technicality. And, no matter how you look at it, it was the correct call.

But despite his realization and admission of wrong doing I’m not convinced it was as cut and dried as Tyler made it out to be.


Look … I can understand in the heat of competition grabbing a wrong item as he did. But here’s the part I don’t understand, the part I’ve been trying to wrap my head around from the time Ramsay brought out that tray of four untouched panna cotta:

Tyler prepared 4 individual portions of the dessert. Four of them. So riddle me this: Why in the world would he grab one — and only one — to prepare for the judges? I don’t care who you are, you don’t rely on a single, randomly pulled dessert to pin your hopes and dreams on in the heat of battle. Was he that confidant any one of his creations would have done the trick when offered up for review? Hell no. I don’t buy that for a second. You grab them all, you compare them all and you pick the best one of the bunch to be judged.

Regardless, the dude owned up to it. Without blinking. No argument. No excuses. Completely commendable of the guy.

Back to the question: Why only one? Would you chalk that up to panic? Being so focused you’re in a zone and unaware of what you did? Did he just not have enough time to rifle though them all, thus the reason he snatched only one? Or was it as simple as not thinking clearly in the heat of the moment? How do you explain something like that?

Regardless, the dude owned up to it. Without blinking. No argument. No excuses. Completely commendable of the guy.

But something … something’s not right about it. Just a gut feeling.

Oh … those two wrongs making a right I alluded to in the excerpt? Wrong #1: Tyler picked the wrong dessert. Wrong #2: Tyler offered it up for consideration. The right? The decision to eliminate him from competition.

Photo Credit: FOX

5 Comments on “Careful what you serve on MasterChef

  1. Couldn’t agree more – what a stupid mistake to have made!

  2. After watching and replaying, my gut feeling is that Tyler took that ramekin intentionally. Sorry.

  3. I don’t buy that it was a mistake either. From the looks of it when the other contestant took her tray from the freezer, it was the one furthest back on the tray that was missing. Wouldn’t you grab the closest one to you in haste and not reach over two other dishes? I don’t know. It just seems fishy.

  4. If it was intentional, I don’t understand how he thought he’d get away with it … they have cameras everywhere and it’s not that big of a kitchen/competition. It did seem fishy though!

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