Entertainment Television

'MasterChef Canada' contestant Alice Luo eliminated for second time

By Jim Slotek, Special to Postmedia Network

MasterChef Canada contestant Alice Luo. (Bell Media/Supplied)

MasterChef Canada contestant Alice Luo. (Bell Media/Supplied)

What do you say about a MasterChef Canada contestant who is the first one eliminated, and then is given another shot as the season nears its end?

Alice Luo was the returnee Thursday. And top-six finalist Miranda Wasstrom had words about suddenly having to compete against someone who’d avoided competition all season long.

“I belong in the top six. I’ve competed every single day. Alice hasn’t,” she said.

However, in an about-face, Wasstrom gave Luo last-minute souffle help when they were the last two left in the pressure test elimination. Maybe it was good karma, because Wasstrom was saved and Luo was eliminated yet again.

(Luo earned her second chance in an online cook-off against Justine Joyal and Matt VanderHelm who were eliminated last week. Online viewers saw Matt eliminate himself by severely cutting his hand).

For her part, Luo said her time away from the show probably hurt her performance. “I think that is one of the disadvantages I had, because I’d been the first one to be eliminated and then came back into the competition. I think the longer you are in the kitchen, the stronger you are in the competition.

“I was in a state of mind where I was back cooking in my own home kitchen and, suddenly, I was back in the MasterChef kitchen. It was quite difficult to transition back in.

“I know some people are going to say, ‘My goodness. She really was not that good a home cook and that was why she was sent home first in the first place.’ I don’t think I really was the worst home cook. I just probably had more nerves than other home cooks.”

In a three-part egg-themed elimination, Luo came up short with a Scotch egg (hard-boiled egg, covered in sausage and deep fried), eggs Benedict and a cheese souffle.

“I’ve never had a Scotch egg, never made a Scotch egg,” she said. “Preference-wise, I’m not the biggest fan of hardboiled eggs. I prefer mine, like runny.

“The eggs Benny was very doable but you’re only getting 10 minutes to make it and there’s only two eggs. There’s no room for error whatsoever.

And I have done souffles before, many times. I guess I just cracked under the pressure – pun intended,” she said with a laugh.

Luo had contaminated her egg white with yolk, and needed whipping lessons from Wasstrom to even finish the competition. Karma indeed, since in her first elimination episode, Luo gave a much-needed assist to competitor Trevor Connie.

“I think it’s a lesson in what goes around comes around,” Luo said of Wasstrom. “I’m glad she did. It says something about her. If you treat other people the way you want to be treated, you will get that back.”

Luo turns out to be on pretty good terms with the fellow contestants she barely got to know. A PhD student in critical care medicine, she’s also starting a cooking blog and “I’m working with a lot of the other home cooks in cooking programs and doing some catering.

Like who? “That’s going to be a secret for now. It’s different home cooks and different projects.”

She knows she dodged a bullet when the favoured VanderHelm ended up being taken to the hospital for stitches. And being a critical care specialist, “I thought I’d have to stop and give medical attention to Matt. Luckily there were paramedics there who acted much faster than I could.

“Those knives are really sharp. Before we got our white aprons, it seemed like every five seconds, somebody was yelling, “Medic!”