The judge dishes on "the most significant threat" in the kitchen

By Joe Bastianich
Updated July 18, 2013 03:45 PM
Matt Hoyle/FOX

Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and one of the judges of MasterChef. He’ll be blogging each week about the show’s search for the best home cooks. Follow him on Twitter @Jbastianich or visit

The competition continues to intensify on MasterChef as our numbers drop to a mere nine home cooks. Narrowing it down past the top 10 automatically pushes the bar up a notch and our remaining contestants delivered beautifully.

Overall, last night’s show did not disappoint!

In case there was any doubt, Eddie certainly set the record straight – he is clearly the most significant threat in the MasterChef kitchen. His sensibility with proteins is spot-on, while his overall culinary skills are rapidly advancing. Combined with his killer ability to strategize, Eddie won’t be so easy to get rid of. His clever unseating of James and Jordan – arguably his leading competitors – was almost effortless. Don’t let the easygoing, jock exterior fool you – he knows exactly how to psych-out his opponents. I just hope his defensive game is as good as his offense.

Bri s plate was one of the highlights of the night. I think vegetarian and vegan cooking is too often overlooked. It may not be my go-to cuisine, but the way Bri handled her ingredients required skill. Krissi also offered up a big surprise of the evening, as she finally showed some signs of evolution. Gone were the mashed potatoes and side of attitude; she elevated sausage and peppers to a three-star restaurant quality dish. Perhaps a little humility can go a long way, Krissi!

It wasn’t hard to eliminate Bethy after such a poor showing. Although it wasn’t horrific, the dish was badly conceptualized from the start – the sugar was the least of her worries, and I m not sure it ultimately would have mattered.

However, I meant what I said about my confidence in her as an employee behind the line. Bethy was one of the most consistent performers in this competition, and while she never emerged as a frontrunner, she stayed in the middle of the pack for a long time. She’s one of the hardest-working home cooks we ve seen, and I believe her future in the industry is bright.

Tune in July 24 at 9 PM (ET) on Fox as our final eight face our own MasterChef version of Survivor as they prepare to rough it – literally! And thanks for reading!