Tonight is the night! The first season finale of the giddy, gleeful, how-long-until-season-two slice of reality perfection that is MasterChef Junior!
This extraordinary little reality competition pits pint-sized chefs between the ages of 8 and 13 against each other in the MasterChef kitchen, and the heat between contestants is just as fierce as Fox’s adult version of the series. But unlike most other reality shows with grody adults, this one is a total charmer and a hypnotically lovable hour of TV that nestles perfectly into your Friday night schedule.
Now, after six episodes, the season finale is upon us! Chef Gordon Ramsay and his co-judges — Chef Kinda-Joey-Lawrence and Chef White Glasses — have whittled the competition down to two: 13-year-old Alexander, the season-long frontrunner and a dead ringer for Julia Child, and 12-year-old Dara, whose giant headbows can be seen from Earth’s mesosphere. But who will win?
Alexander (2:1) – The odds are absolutely stacked for Alexander, who demonstrated an unmatched cooking ability throughout the competition and became an early favorite to win. It’s not just because he’s the oldest contestant. Alex is intelligent, creative, humble, and strikes an unassuming balance between an authoritative handle on cooking and an eagerness to learn. You can tell the judges have picked him to take it all, considering they wisely kept him around even after his disastrous cake in episode four. He really cinched it with his chicken liver pate on garlic crostini, though. The French Chef would be proud.
Dara (8:1) – Dara is a very accomplished cook, especially considering that her biggest obstacles are the headbands which frequently cover her field of vision. But while she’s served up some great dishes (her season-best was a spiced chocolate cake), she’s also faltered badly (like when her soufflé went kaput and she had no dish to present). I’m still a little bitter that she eked her way into the finale with chicken wings while poor Jack (easily the greatest reality show contestant of 2013) was robbed. But if anyone can give Alexander a run for his money, it’s Dara.
Who are you betting on? And what are you going to eat during tonight’s season finale!?