9/12/2012 03:54:00 PM
This Week in Gordon Ramsay: Winners Crowned on MasterChef and Hell's Kitchen
Years from now, when historians attempt to label a period “America’s Golden Age,” undoubtedly they’ll point to the summer when a steely-eyed Brit monopolized the nation’s televisions and hearts.
Indeed, as the Summer of Gordon Ramsay came to a close with champions crowned on MasterChef and Hell’s Kitchen, Ramsay emerged as the true victor.
The New York Times declared Gordo to be on the same level of reality stardom as Simon Cowell and even Snooki.
“His three shows on Fox… all rank in the Top 10 of all summer programs in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic, the age group most coveted by advertisers,” the Times reports.
And Ramsay followed up his stunning defeat of Chris Christie in the 18-49 demo with an even more shocking win: he topped Michelle Obama.
We're sure the First Lady wasn’t too heartbroken about it. After all, she’s big on maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle, and Ramsay often notes how healthy he is.
Consider his recent interview with the Financial Times:
“I am quite fit,” Ramsay said. "I run and train every day and have a few marathons under my belt.”
As his marathon of summer came to a close, Gordo left us with a couple of nailbiter finales.
The Hell’s Kitchen championship pitted Justin Antiorio against Christina Wilson. Each finalist created their own menus and completed service using teams of formerly ousted competitors. As Antiorio and Wilson awaited Ramsay’s final decision, he joked that he would be awarding the title to Tavon Hubbard (the first contestant to be ousted this season).
If he was watching at home, Hubbard couldn’t have loved the short montage of buffoonery played along with the joke.
In classic Top Chef fashion, the winner is revealed by having the two finalists stand behind dual doors. One is locked and the other is not. The contestant who walks through wins $250,000 and the chance to be “head chef” (under and executive chef) at Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas, while the other contestant’s dreams of fame and fortune are locked away, literally and figuratively.
Hell’s Kitchen champion Christina Wilson begins working at Gordon Ramsay Steak today, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
As exciting as the Hell’s Kitchen finale was, it couldn’t compete with the intrigue of MasterChef’s final episode, which pitted blind grad student Christine Ha against formerly defeated (then reinstated) U.S. Army contract specialist Joshua Marks.
The contestants each created a three-course meal, which they had to present to judges Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot. The judges weren’t thrilled with Josh’s first course, a Butter Poached Lobster with Grits and Sweet Potato Puree, and it may have cost him.
On Twitter, he vented his frustration:
“The judges are super critical. Give me a break! did you see that plate!?” Marks tweeted.
Meanwhile, former MasterChef contestant Ryan Umane, dreamt about what he’d do with the $250,000 prize.
“What would you do with $250,000 Masterchef prize money? #iWouldBuyAnAwesomeTrampoline,” Umane tweeted.
What to do with all that money is now Ha’s decision to make, as the judges preferred her menu of Thai papaya salad with crab and mixed vegetables, braised pork belly with rice, crispy kale and maitake mushrooms, and coconut lime sorbet with ginger tuile to Marks’ offering of the aforementioned lobster dish, rack of lamb with green curry sauce, spring peas and carrots and bacon crusted pecan pie with vanilla cinnamon ice cream.
Bastianich explained the decision in a column for People magazine:
“The degree of talent she displayed overall in her menu surpassed his. But to be fair, it is difficult to think of what Josh put forth as something that ‘failed,’" Bastianich said. Sadly, you cannot deposit such kind words at the bank.