America’s Got Talent, MasterChef and Superfan bring out the best and worst competitors

If you’re not a fan of competition television, you probably aren’t a fan of Wednesday night television either, as it’s jam-packed with rolled-up programs and Wednesday tonight was no exception.

At America’s Got Talent, they are deep in qualifying elimination territory and today’s round saw the elimination of another nine acts, all determined by audience voting. (If you’re not happy with the results, it’s your own fault if you didn’t make your cast — or perhaps the millions of others who did. That’s democracy.) Either way, fans are saying goodbye to comedian Barry Brewer Jr., sword swallower Herwan Legaillard, tap dancer Justin Jackson, marching band MOS, dancers Phil Wright & the Parent Jam, violinist Philip Bowen, singer Summer Rios, magician Trigg Watson and acrobats Warrior Squad. That meant the Mzansi Youth Choir and Simon Cowell’s very own Golden Buzzer act, vocalist Putri Ariani, made it to the finals. “Both acts really deserve to be in the finals,” said Cowell. “Indeed I am gutted for the group that placed third…because they couldn’t have done more. But it shows how good these two are who made it and that’s what it’s all about.”

Over there great fan, the competition show that has fans vying to prove they’re the ultimate number one fan of this week’s guest star, the big cheese in the spotlight was Cuban-American rapper Pitbull. Contestants battled each other and smashed the field through knowledge-based questions, charade quizzes, fast-paced name-and-melody contests, and even lip-sync contests. (Thank goodness, Pitbull made an appearance himself to make up for any viewers’ nausea by watching players destroy Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”.) In the end, it was Jessica Zappia of Riverside, California, who did it proved she’s number 1. A superfan snags VIP tickets and backstage passes to a Pitbull concert for her efforts. And while actual cash value is measured, it’s a little short of the $1 million asking price AGTZappia’s reaction to winning couldn’t have been more enthusiastic if she had won $1 million.

Finally further MasterChef: United Tastes of Americait was overcooked grilled red snapper wrapped in banana leaves and undercooked salmon and raspberry and pear sauce that MD, Brynn and Kolby threw out – or eliminated from the competition.

At the outdoor barbecue battle, the instruction was to “prepare an elevated version of a dish you would find at any summer barbecue at home,” explained Judge Gordon Ramsey. However, contestant and Hawaiian donut queen MD seemed to miss that goal from the start, opting for Filipino-inspired seafood that didn’t really use the grill.

Joe Bastianich, Aarón Sánchez and Gordon Ramsey give their teams marching orders on MasterChef. (Fox)

Joe Bastianich, Aarón Sánchez and Gordon Ramsey give their teams the marching orders master chef. (Fox)

“I appreciate the cultural touch of the banana leaves,” warned skeptical judge Gordon Ramsey before the tasting, “but that’s a challenge with grilling. You should grill the fish, not steam it.”

“She probably does the most complex preparation,” added Judge Joe Bastianich. I hope it pays off.”

That was not the case. “Overcooked” was the rating of all three judges, and MD was eliminated.

Ironically, it was Colby who gained immunity to the BBQ portion of today’s competition just last week, but that wasn’t enough to save her in the second half of the culinary smackdown, a double-elimination dubbed “Wall” that saw teams out two players compete Separated by a wall 8 feet high and 55 feet long, dishes must be prepared that look and taste identical.

Brynn and partner Kolby opted for crispy-skinned salmon, mashed parsnips, braised fennel and raspberry-pear red wine sauce, but the jury wasn’t impressed. “Just bizarre,” said the always blunt and sometimes violent Ramsey. “These sauces don’t even look like gravy, they look like pureed baby food,” Bastianich said, adding that Kolby’s uncooked salmon “didn’t even see heat in the middle.” “I’m someone who loves salmon a little bit” , said Judge Aarón Sánchez, “but this is outrageous.”

Ouch. And soon they were outside.

It’s tough out here for a competitive TV contestant.

America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays on NBC, master chef airs Wednesdays on Fox, great fan airs Wednesdays on CBS.

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