‘MasterChef US’ Season 7 recap and spoilers: A fast-paced tag team challenge awaits the top seven; one home cook faints out of stress [VIDEO]

Top six contestants face a pop-up restaurant task
By @iamkarlatecson on
top 8 MasterChef US
The top 8 "MasterChef US" Season 7 contestants were further trimmed down when Eric Howard (left) was eliminated on Episode 13 after a three-skill potato test. YouTube/Fox

Hot dishes and equally hot tempers fill the kitchen on Wednesday’s episode of “MasterChef US” Season 7. The remaining contestants face the nerve-wracking tag team challenge, known to bring the best – and the worst – among the amateur chefs.

As the kitchen battle goes down the wire, the top seven home cooks have to fight for their spot and win the hearts of judges Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi. It’s still anybody’s game at this point, and the latest set of challenges will definitely separate those who have the potential to rise to culinary heights, and those who are doomed to fall to the bottom of the competition.

Spoiler Alert! This article contains "MasterChef US" 2016 spoilers. Read only if you want to know more about it.

Fox posted a sneak peek of Wednesday’s run, focusing on one of the two episodes. In the trailer, an explosive tag team challenge has the remaining contestants on a frantic run. It appears that Brandi Mudd wins a previous challenge, as she’s not part of the elimination round. The teams are: Dan Paustian and Tanorria Askew; David Williams and Katie Dixon; and Nathan Barnhouse and Shaun O'Neale.

With some of the contestants known for being hot-tempered, such as David and Shaun, the tension is expected to be at its highest. The preview video shows that as Tanorria urges Dan to hurry up, he snaps, “Don’t yell at me, it freaks me out.” However, it is Nathan who will be unable to take the high-pressure challenge, as he suddenly clams up and faints.

“MasterChef US” Season 7 recap

After a brief hiatus, “MasterChef US” 2016 returned with a double-episode feature with guest chef Kevin Sbraga. Episode 12 opened with another mystery box challenge, this time containing high-end ingredients. The remaining nine contestants were asked to prepare a dish using the expensive set, which baffled some of the home cooks, including Terry Mueller

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As a self-proclaimed expert of high-end dishes, Shaun definitely shined on that particular challenge. While David and Brandi were called among the top three, it was Shaun who was deemed the winner with his restaurant-worthy lamb belly and black cod with balsamic reduction and tomatoes. For having the best dish, he got a massive advantage for the elimination test, which highlighted salmon.

For his reward, Shaun decided which contestants must use a fresh, whole salmon and which contestants must use canned salmon. He decided to play a different tactic, giving the canned fish to those he wanted to be eliminated: Dan, David, Tanorria, and Terry. Each home cook was given an hour to serve something phenomenal with salmon. When there was only 10 minutes remaining on the clock, Shaun was told that he had another game-changing advantage. He had the power to save one contestant. Shaun chose to save Eric Howard

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At the end of the challenge, Brandi and David found themselves again on top. Brandi cooked seared salmon with apricot balsamic glaze, spinach puree and peach slaw, while David plated salmon risotto with asparagus, peas, fresh tarragon and crème fraiche. Meanwhile, Terry and Tanorria found themselves on the bottom two. Tannoria’s salmon croquette with salmon quenelle, crispy potato and lemon Dijon sauce, while flawed, was deemed good enough to save her. Terry’s salmon cakes with dill aioli and baked salmon crostini proved to be his last dish in the “MasterChef” kitchen, and he exited the competition leaving everyone emotional.

On Episode 13, the top eight contestants faced a daunting three-skill challenge that involved the humble but mighty potato. Christina cautioned them, “Be afraid… be very afraid.” It was a fair warning – after each test, half of the contestants would be sent to the gallery for safety until they’re trimmed down to the last home cook, who would be eliminated [watch video below].

After the first skills test, which required the contestants to cook fresh French fries, Brandi, David, Shaun and Nathan all breathed a sigh of relief for surviving the round. The next skills test, which involved making rich and creamy mashed potatoes from scratch, saw Tanorria and Dan doing well enough to be safe.

Katie and Eric were left to battle head to head on the last skills test, which would determine who was going straight home. The two were asked to cook potato gnocchi in brown butter sage sauce. While Katie committed a major mistake of adding raw sage on top of her potato gnocchi, her dish was judged flavourful enough. Eric’s version looked better visually, but it turned out to be undercooked. In the end, Eric’s dish was deemed worse and he was promptly sent off to a tearful goodbye.

Source: YouTube/Fox

Find out what happens next on “MasterChef US,” and stay tuned for episode spoilers. “MasterChef US” Season 7 airs on Wednesdays, 8/7c on Fox.