Cranbrook’s Danielle Cardozo leads the pack as teams race to their stations at an Armed Forces Base on MasterChef Canada.

Cranbrook’s Danielle Cardozo leads the pack as teams race to their stations at an Armed Forces Base on MasterChef Canada.

Competition turns fierce on MasterChef

Blood, tears and venom flow as Danielle Cardozo faces the most tense challenge yet

Cranbrook’s Danielle Cardozo has made it through to the final nine contestants in MasterChef Canada, after a nailbiter episode Monday, March 10 where nothing was certain.

“I have been waiting for that episode for months!” Danielle told the Townsman. “I knew it would get viewers on the edge of their seat.”

The episode kicks off with the home cooks at Canadian Forces Base Trenton. The two teams are tasked with preparing a rib-eye steak with sauce and two sides in just two hours for 150 troops – using a military field kitchen.

Danielle is chosen second by team captain Kaila Klassen, who says it’s because Danielle has surprised her. But at the end of the episode, Kaila admits she chose both Danielle and Julie Miguel as a bid to get them out, so who knows what’s true at this point?

There’s tension on Danielle’s red team right away as Kaila alternates between giving orders and asking for a consensus on small decisions. Danielle and Marida Mohammed bicker about what to put in the barbecue sauce, with Danielle insisting that acidic ingredients be added later, and Marida wanting to add mustard.

Danielle said tensions were running high because the contestants were sleep deprived.

“It was a late night the night before for all of us in the competition. And then we were up at 3 a.m. to get ready for the challenge. We were all exhausted and things got emotional that day,” she said.

“Of course, editing focuses on the drama, because honestly, it is what people want to see. My hope for viewers is that they won’t judge everyone for our bad days, and remember that we’re all human. It was a very stressful situation to be in. Most of us are able to forgive words that are said. Our friendships off set are very different after the competition. During the competition, it’s easy for the claws to come out.”

In the end, the barbecue sauce is the least of the red team’s problems. They run out of sides – brussel sprouts with bacon hash, and roast potatoes – well before the last of the troops has siphoned through their serving station. The red team loses badly to the blue team, which secures 107 of 151 votes.

As the red team goes into the pressure test the next day, the judges ask team leader Kaila whether she would save herself from having to participate in the elimination challenge. She responds that she would save herself, because if she was eliminated she would never forgive herself if she had passed up the opportunity to be safe. Meanwhile, Julie and Kaila blame each other for the team’s failure, throwing snide comments, rolling eyes, and finger pointing.

Then the judges throw a delicious curveball – the red team must decide among themselves who will be safe from elimination. They head into the kitchen to discuss in private.

The exchange shown on camera is certainly not flattering, especially for Kaila. While her team mates agree to nominate someone other than themselves, Kaila waits until they have all named someone and then refuses to save anyone but herself.

“It was a lengthy and catty process. I think it was about 20 minutes before anyone nominated each other,” said Danielle.

It’s Danielle who starts the ball rolling, saying that since the steaks were the only successful part of the dish, she and Marida should be safe. Since she can’t nominate herself, she names Marida. Marida reciprocates by naming Danielle.

“Marida and I, despite our differences, cooked 151 steaks and got them on the plate. I couldn’t say the same about the three responsible for the potatoes and brussel sprouts. If I couldn’t nominate myself, it only made sense to nominate Marida. We may have had our differences, but anyone who knows me knows I don’t hold grudges and I am not a catty person.”

It’s two votes to save Marida and two votes to save Danielle when Kaila finally agrees to behave like an adult and chose one or the other. She chooses to save Marida.

And then the judges tell the remaining four cooks that they have one hour to prepare salmon Wellington – a salmon steak topped with Swiss chard and leek and wrapped in pastry to cook. It’s incredibly tricky to cook because you can’t see or test the meat to know when it’s done.

Just four minutes into the challenge, Danielle slices her hand open. She calls out, “Medic!” and continues to chop vegetables like a badass as the first aid attendant wraps it up. But it turns out to be a more serious cut than she thought, and Danielle is pulled out of the challenge for 12 agonizing minutes while the cut is attended to.

“I was terrified that I was going to get sent home,” she said. “I refused to let it happen. I got the medic to over wrap it and went back in with 12 minutes lost. I had 48 minutes to do the same challenge everyone else had to do in 60 minutes. That only made me want it that much more. First off, I was not going home on fish. Second, I was not going home on pastry.”

She hits the ground running, despite the bulky plastic glove that makes it impossible to grip the salmon as she’s filleting it. Somehow, she manages to get her salmon Wellington into the oven well before her competitors, and plates it up with time to spare on presentation. The other home cooks looking on acknowledge that Danielle’s salmon Wellington is beautiful and are, once more, surprised by how competent she is.

The judges are likewise impressed, with Claudio Aprile saying he doesn’t know how she managed to cook something so beautiful in so little time. They pick Danielle’s dish as their favourite, saving her from elimination. Kaila snips to the camera that it was a total fluke.

“As for Kaila’s comment that it was a fluke that my Wellington made top dish alongside Julie’s Wellington, I think anyone watching knows it was hard work and determination,” Danielle said.

It’s Kaila and Dale Kuda in the bottom two. Both think they’re going home after failing to cook their pastry. Ultimately, Kaila is saved again and Dale is going home, taking some colour out of the kitchen as he goes.

The next episode of MasterChef Canada airs Monday, March 17 on CTV.

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Ryan McKenzie of the Kimberley Trails Society made an in-depth presentation to City Council describing the initial steps of the Electrify the Mountains eBike trails project. This is a look at the project one map.
Kimberley City Council hears details on Electrify the Mountain project

At the meeting of City Council on Tuesday, June 8 Ryan McKenzie… Continue reading

The Kimberley Public Library invites kids of all ages to join the 2021 BC Summer Reading Club. Kimberley Public Library file
Kimberley kids invited to join summer reading club at Public Library

The Kimberley Public Library invites kids of all ages to join the… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read