'MasterChef' Season 5, episode 4 recap: 'Top 18 Compete'

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When the home cooks walked back into the "MasterChef" kitchen this week, there was one of them missing. Little Gordon had to bow out of the competition due to illness, leaving 18 home cooks to battle for the title of MasterChef.

The mystery box challenge was a special one, as the home cooks were each given a net filled with living seafood, including crabs, scallops, prawns, lobster, mussels and a bit of seaweed, all fresh from the ocean. It's Francis B. (spicy seafood broth), Ahran (spicy seafood stew) and Christian (creole BBQ shrimp) who has the top three dishes.

In the end, Ahran won the challenge. As a prize, she was exempt from the elimination challenge and got to choose what the competitors had to make. She went with doughnuts, which created some trouble for many of the home cooks.

Francis B. has the most trouble, creating some pathetic looking doughbut balls. A last-minute special power for Ahran means she can save him though, and she does. It's Scottish Francis and Leslie who turn in the best doughnuts. The prosciutto one from Scottish Francis looked especially delicious. They get to be team captains in the next challenge.

The three up for elimination were Cutter, Courtney and Kira. Cutter is sent back to his station almost immediately, though. If ever there was a time to send Courtney home, it was this episode. She was at the top of her annoying game. Still, Kira's doughnuts were worse and that meant she had to go.

Perhaps this will be the wake up call Courtney needs. She's not at the top of the competition. As much as she thinks she is, she needs to try and better herself.

Eliminated: Kira
Photo/Video credit: FOX