'MasterChef' recap: Two Chefs Enter, One Chef Leaves

masterchef-joe-bastianich-graham-elliot-320.jpgPreviously on "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, & The Crybaby" ( "MasterChef" )... well, if you need a recap at this point, you haven't really been paying attention. David and Whitney are your two finalists. Other than some Gordon Ramsay hyperbole -- "The next two hours are the most important of your lives!" -- what else do you need to know?

We shall miss you most of all, credits that spent more time on the glowering judges than on the contestants whose hopes and dreams we were supposed to give a s*** about.

Gordon welcomes us to the "MasterChef" main event. We've gone from tens of thousands of amateur cooks from across this great country of ours to a parade of sadsacks and losers we further whittled down, until we were left with just two people -- Whitney, the 22-year-old student and David, the one-time software engineer and full-time chucklehead. Someone's getting an oversized novelty check by the end of tonight. Oh, and there are cookbooks involved, too. To the "MasterChef" battlestations!

In the final, David and Whitney will be tasked with making their best three dishes -- an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert. Say, doesn't that sound like the finale of that better cooking show appearing on that other network? No, silly -- the "Top Chef" finalists had to produce four courses. Also, that show is competently produced.

Whitney plans to make a crispy corn cake topped with a black-eyed pea purée as her appetizer. Also, shrimp and a turnip green pesto will be involved somehow. Her entrée is a country-fried chicken atop creamy collared greens. And for dessert: a twist on a classic bread pudding. Apparently, the twist is that it, too, will be puréed. Or made out of white chocolate. Or something. As for David, his appetizer is a scallop ceviche served with a cream of fresh pea and minced soup. Perhaps we misheard that, but can soup actually be minced? (Ah... he meant mint soup. Never mind, then.) His entrée will be a beef Wellington. ("That's one of my signature dishes," Gordon reminds him.) Dessert will be nectarine crêpes, which also happens to be one of Gordon's favorite dishes. Go large or go home, we guess.

Gordon reminds them that they've beaten many worthy foes who would give anything to be standing where they are right now. "But don't take my word for it," Gordon says. "Take theirs." And with that, all our dead would-be cook friends appear! There's Jake and his goatee! Mike and his hats! Sharone and his sense of entitlement! And those other people we sort of met at one point. They get to stand in the balcony and watch David and Whitney cook for the next two hours. Next year, "MasterChef" producers, maybe you should spring for some chairs.

Three dishes, two hours, one winner -- start your cooking, kids. Joe describes this battle as one between a restaurant-style menu (David, presumably) and a home-cooked menu (definitely Whitney). "Home-style," Gordon says, "But done with a modern twist." Whatever helps you think you didn't send the wrong people packing, Gordon. Graham reminds us all to underestimate Whitney at our peril. Why, some day that young lady could grow up to help sink a major political party's presidential prospects! But if David can pull off his intricate menu, Gordon reminds everyone, he's going to mop the floor with Whitney. So it should be interesting to see how this pans out. "Should" is a very pivotal word in that sentence ...

Photo credit: FOX