"Natasha and Luca sure proved that they came to play," the judge writes in his blog

By Joe Bastianich
September 05, 2013 11:00 AM
FOX (2)

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

It’s down to two, MasterChef fans!

The first mystery box tag team challenge proved a little too much for Krissi’s abilities as well as her self-restraint. I don’t mind a little eleventh hour drama, but there’s a major lack of frustration tolerance there that sadly is her biggest hindrance. Yelling may be par for the course in our fast paced profession, but abandoning the line doesn’t fly in a real kitchen.

This is the final four of MasterChef – you don’t take a time out! It is truly a shame, because she has grown significantly in the last three months. Love her or hate her, Krissi, the consummate underdog, held her own this season.

Staying afloat amongst competitors whose knowledge and exposure surpassed her own is something she proved time and time again. Her ability to dig her heels in and get it done just when things looked darkest is what I most admired about her throughout this competition, so for me her lack of self-control was disappointing. I doubt anyone is really surprised. We all knew she’d go out with a bang.

PREVIOUS BLOG: Krissi’s Attitude Is a ‘Fault’

Although Jessie’s attitude certainly deserved the edge in the pressure test, what’s on the plate is what’s on the plate – and she skated past Krissi by a nose. Sadly, she wasn’t so fortunate with her choice of Kobe beef. She made such a poor assumption – I wish she had paid better attention to her instincts on that green papaya salad than the ones that told her a steak is a steak.

PREVIOUS BLOG: Krissi Sank in Restaurant Takeover

Although they have varying temperaments and strategies, Natasha and Luca sure proved that they came to play, and something about Jessie during her final performance was lacking this.

With only three in the game at this point, it is just as important to make sure you stay in the game as it is to focus on getting someone else out. Clearly Luca can’t lie to save his life, but giving himself away didn’t matter to Natasha. I don’t think she thought she could shine by using the Grana Padano, and she was probably right. If there is one thing Jessie should have learned about Natasha at this point, it’s that her first priority is always numero uno.

Although I in no way mean to diminish his performance, Luca made out like a bandit being handed the Grana Padano, arguably Italy’s most famous (and my favorite) cheese. He’s an Italian – it’s like giving an American ground beef. Not exactly a stretch for him … I guess nice guys don’t finish last after all.

After starting out with thousands at casting, a hundred during the auditions, now only Luca and Natasha are left standing. Tune in next week (Sept. 11, 8 p.m. ET) to see who prevails and becomes America’s next MasterChef!

PREVIOUS BLOG: The Funniest Elimination Challenge Ever!

Luca Manfe and Natasha Crnjac
Greg Gayne/FOX