Michael Lavine/FOX
August 15, 2012 02:00 PM

Joe Bastianich is a successful restauranteur, vineyard owner and author of the memoir Restaurant Man. He’s also a judge on MasterChef, which challenges home cooks to prove they can cut it in top professional kitchens. Each week he’s blogging season 3 of Fox’s hit show, offering an insider’s take on the competition.

On Tuesday’s episode of MasterChef, our final six conducted service at none other than the great Hatfield’s of Los Angeles. This is a restaurant of significance, a Michelin-starred establishment, and it is time for the home cooks to show us their capability as professionals.

While I was thrilled to finally see that Christine was not picked last by a team captain, I was questioning whether it was fair to put her in this challenge. My comments may have offended some, but the fact remains – she cannot see, and we threw her into a complex kitchen without giving her time to familiarize herself with her environment and its hazards. She doesn’t have the advantage of spotting potential dangers visually like the other home cooks. This is just a fact. If you’ve read my book Restaurant Man, you know that I don’t hold back on my opinions.

Kitchens are dangerous, and for this challenge Christine could have been a liability. It doesn’t mean I doubt her ability to work in a professional kitchen one day, but throwing her in the way we did, I did not think she would manage. However, we judges said from day one that we would treat Christine the same as everyone else. If there is a quality, ability or disability that I see in one of the contestants, I will call a spade a spade – and this time was no different. I thought she was going to tank. Looking back, I think Christine and the red team made the best out of a difficult and perhaps unfair situation from which they emerged victorious. Christine turned out to be quite an asset at Hatfield’s.

Frankie’s uncharacteristic choice to save himself from elimination rather than Josh was quite the upset. Certainly it’s not indicative of his behavior thus far, but at the end of the day, we are in a competition. As the numbers get smaller, the fighting gets dirtier. We say it every night – if you want to win MasterChef, you have to do whatever it takes. And that is exactly what Frankie did. We gave him the opportunity, fair and square, and he took it, period. I just hope he’s ready for the wrath of Josh.

Also on this episode, we bid farewell to David Martinez. David’s rather rocky performance made many second guess his abilities, including myself, but the truth is he held his own in the MasterChef kitchen, enough to earn a place behind the line in a Graham Elliot Restaurant. Not too shabby, my friend.

Tune in next week, and thanks for reading!

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