'MasterChef' Top 7 react: The birds are alive

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Image Credit: Greg Gayne/Fox

This week the home chefs had to cradle an adorable live bird in their arms, then cook one of its siblings — because apparently my Disgusted Facial Expression hero Bri had not quite suffered enough! SPOILER AHEAD. Which of the Top 7 headed home following this fowl predicament?

“Come on, guys,” pleaded Gordon Ramsay. “The bird. Has to be the hero!”

ELIMINATED: Minneapolis delivery driver Jordan Roots, 29, whose dream is to open a “five-star dive bar.” I hope he does it. Hell, I’m ready to go visit it right now. Tasked with cooking quail, Jordan served the judges his bird pan-seared in chicken stock (SCARY KNIFE SOUND!) and practically raw. He actually uttered the words, “I didn’t know if I was supposed to leave it raw.” So yeah. I think it makes sense he’s out this week. Sweet guy, though.

And was anyone else sobbing after that impassioned speech Gordon gave Jordan? He can be so evil and goading throughout the competition, but he always insists on building each contestant up at the end. I LOVE that. “You’ve got all the technical attributes,” he told Jordan. “I’m just looking for the foundation.” That would’ve been inspiring enough, but Gordon went on! “You’ve got it and you know you’ve got it. You’ve got too much of it!” [I’m choking up!] “Do not. Fall out of love with cooking.” [Gasp!] “I know the dream. And don’t say goodbye to that.”

Ah! I’m gutted. This was so awesome. And Jordan followed up with a shout-out to his late mom. More tears. Then he named Natasha as his projected winner…but made sure to call her a bitch in the same sentence. Allll right.

MYSTERY BOX: It was so good to hear trusty bully Krissi explain how she wants to step up her own game instead of ruining someone else’s. But after she won the T-Bone mystery box round with a self-titled potato side and “elevated” brussels sprouts garnish, the judges encouraged Krissi to aim her usual rays of evil towards the other contestants by sacking them with difficult birds in the elimination challenge, for which she’d enjoy immunity.

“There are six! Different proteins in the pantry,” heaved Gordon, very nearly rocking himself off his feet with excitement. It was time to spend a “horrific five minutes” in the pantry and discover which poultry would be wearing which contestant’s face around its neck as a fashion statement. Even though they wouldn’t be butchering the birds themselves, the remaining six chefs were less than amused.

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Still — if she had to, Natasha promised the cameras, she would have gladly killed that thing with her bare hands.

Krissi targeted frontrunner Natasha (who can “cook AND bake,” and there’s only room for one Krissi!) with pheasant, Thanksgiving-unfriendly foreigner Luca with turkey, and Jordan with quail. Bri had to cook a pigeon, but of course would’ve been horrified by any of the options. I mean, this was her reaction to the steak.

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And that steak was already dead! Walmart had graciously killed it for her.

Meanwhile, James — who’s well on his way to becoming the official spokesman for Walmart steaks — got a duck. “I am very relieved I don’t have to strangle a duck in front of people,” he said. “I feel like that’s more of a private thing.” Ha! Check out the big laugh I got from James!

I would like to believe James’ live duck was a distant relative of Becky, the duck Zack Morris one rescued from the oil spill in the Bayside High football field on Saved by the Bell. It was SO CUTE.

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You’re killing me, MasterChef.

Okay, guys. It’s time. “Let’s taste! These incredible birds.”

WINNER: Natasha conquered the elimination challenge with a perfectly cooked pheasant seasoned with salt, pepper, and sumac, which provides a tart flavor. The judges raved about her risotto. And she didn’t even think it’d looked like a winner’s dish! “I wish you could all taste this,” teased Joe Bastianich. PASS IT AROUND, JOE.

And Bri surprised everyone by delivering the second-best dish: pigeon stuffed with a gorgeous, colorful medley of whatever vegetarians like to roll themselves around in all night. (Beets.) Krissi was beside herself that Bri had left the bird whole, because of her [MAJOR AIR QUOTES] “animal views.” The disdain here was comically off the charts. It’s sad that Krissi is so mean that I’ve just become desensitized to her saying she wants Bri to leave so badly, “because I hate her.”

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We believe you, Krissi!

Ultimate burn of the night: “Maybe it’s time to go back and have another dinner with your parents,” Gordon suggested to Jessie following her uninspired and boring chicken breast with succotash and mashed potatoes. “It won’t happen again,” she muttered as she re-joined the Top 6 from the jeopardy zone.

Are you sorry to see Jordan go? Could anything possibly be more delicious than Bri’s “animal rights” faces? And is Natasha the obvious choice for the season 4 win? Discuss!

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