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MasterChef US 2014: Season 5

Updated on March 12, 2015
MasterChef Season 5 Promotional Image
MasterChef Season 5 Promotional Image | Source

MasterChef US is Back in 2014!

Welcome to my MasterChef US Season 5 fan page! Here's you'll find links to my episode recaps, information on this season's contestants, and have your chance to share your opinions on the popular cooking competition.

The fifth season began airing in the United States on May 26, 2014. Only 30 contestants made it to Los Angeles this year to audition for the judges, as compared to 100 in the past. See the list of the top 30 Season 5 competitors here, just released at the end of April.

MasterChef Season 5 Episode Recaps and Reviews at Spacial Anomaly

Click here for all of my Season Five episode recaps

Every week I share a recap of what went down in the MC Kitchen: what challenges the contestants faced, who plated what, who won each reward and of course, who was eliminated! So if you ever miss an episode be sure to check out the recaps for all the details.

Get a first look at this season of MasterChef

Are you looking forward to Season Five of MasterChef? - A quick poll for readers

How excited are you for a new season of MasterChef?

See results

Will you be buying Courtney's cookbook?

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Coming in May 2015: Courtney's Cookbook

Everyday Fancy: 65 Easy, Elegant Recipes for Meals, Snacks, Sweets, and Drinks from the Winner of MasterChef Season 5 on FOX
Everyday Fancy: 65 Easy, Elegant Recipes for Meals, Snacks, Sweets, and Drinks from the Winner of MasterChef Season 5 on FOX
At this point it's no great "spoiler" to reveal that Courtney won the fifth season of MasterChef. Her cookbook is due for release on May 19, 2015 but you can pre-order it already on Amazon.

Meet the Top 22 for MasterChef Season 5

Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, or check out their websites

Some of these links have now been disabled; I've removed them as such.

Name | Age | Twitter | Facebook | Website(s) |

Ahran Cho | 18 | MC5Ahran | MC5Ahran | Ahran Cho |

Astrid Lavenia | 41 | MC5Astrid | MC5Astrid | Astrid LaVenia (LinkedIn) |

Christian Green | 29 | MC5Christian | MC5Christian |

Christine Silverstein | 31 | MC5Christine | MC5Christine |

Courtney Lapresi | 25 | MC5CourtneyL | MC5Courtney | Courtney Lapresi (LinkedIn profile) |

Cutter Brewer | 33 | MC5Cutter | MC5Cutter | Cutter Brewer (Instagram) |

Dan Wu | 39 | MC5Dan | MC5Dan |

Daniel McGuffey | 32 | MC5Daniel | MC5Daniel |

Elise Mayfield | 28 | MC5Elise | MC5Elise | Adventures in a Tiny Kitchen |

Elizabeth Cauvel | 31 | MC5Elizabeth | MC5Elizabeth | Elizabeth Cauvel | Elizabeth Cauvel Cooks |

Francis Biondi | 25 | MC5FrancisB |

Francis Legge | 34 | MC5FrancisL | FrancisFilms | MC5FrancisL | Francis Legge |

Gordon Houston | 30 | MC5Gordon | MC5Gordon |

Jaimee Vitolo | 23 | MC5Jaimee | MC5Jaimee |

Jordan Kaminski | 19 | MC5Jordan | MC5Jordan |

Kira Novak | 31 | MC5Kira | MC5Kira | Kira Novak (LinkedIn profile) |

Leslie Gilliams | 56 | MC5Leslie | MC5Leslie | Leslie Gilliams – IMDb |

Stephani Syfax-Shepherd | 25 | MC5Stephani | MC5Stephani |

Tyler Viars | 27 | MC5Tyler | MC5Tyler |

Victoria Scroggins | 35 | MC5Victoria | victoriaanddog | MC5Victoria | Scout Foods | Tell It: Brooklyn |

Whitney Bray | 28 | MC5Whitney | MC5Whitney |

Willie Mike | 25 | MC5Willie | MC5Willie |

Who is - or was - your favorite MasterChef contestant this season? - Vote for your pick!

My favorite Season 5 MasterChef contestant is:

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What do you think of Ahran's accusation?

In the June 16 episode of MasterChef, Ahran accused the judges of playing favorites with how they were treating Courtney compared to the other contestants. Do you agree?

See results
My Italian Kitchen: Favorite Family Recipes from the Winner of MasterChef Season 4 on FOX
My Italian Kitchen: Favorite Family Recipes from the Winner of MasterChef Season 4 on FOX
Released in May 2014, this book features some of Luca's favorite home recipes and great Italian dishes.

How has Season 5 compared to previous years?

How has this season compared to past years of MasterChef? As the season is drawing to a close, I have to say in some ways I feel it was better than the last two, but in other ways it was nowhere near as interesting.

At this point of the competition, with only 5 home cooks left, I don't find any of them particularly compelling as a potential winner—certainly not anyone I'd want to or feel the need to purchase a cookbook from!

Courtney has annoyed me from day one with her arrogance, little-girl voice, heavy makeup, and constant posing (along with favoritism from the judges.)

Elizabeth seems like a good cook, but I don't get any sense of real personality or particular cooking style from her. What is her background? Why is she so passionate about cooking? What does she want to share with other home cooks out there? I still don't know.

Leslie at first annoyed me but has become likeable, to me - if only because gets under everyone else's skin so much! But he's married into money and fame already, "Mr. Malibu" as even Joe called him. What would he need with the $250,000 prize money and title? It just wouldn't seem fair to me for him to be declared the winner.

Cutter? I don't even know why he is still there at this point. He has made so many clumsy mistakes, and always just keeps escaping elimination by not being the absolute worst (or, occasionally, pulling one great dish out of nowhere.) But he's not someone I have any interest in learning recipes from, and I find his personality boorish and stubbornness unprofessional.

That leaves Christian...about the only competitor I am cheering on at all at this point to win it. I might be interested in reading his take on New Orleans/Southern cooking, and he has a good story. He's been a gentleman through most of the competition, sort of like Luca last year: quiet and not causing a lot of trouble, not being too arrogant or cocky. But will he win it all? I guess we'll have to wait to find out!

Otherwise, I have been appreciating the fact that at least this season we haven't seen as much nastiness, cat-fighting and personality conflicts as the last two years. The Krissi versus Bri battles in Season 4 were tedious, as was Krissi's bullying of just about everyone. Natasha and Jessie's superiority complexes were not fun, either. In Season 3 we had to put up with the annoying incompetence of Tali, Mr. "Flavor Elevator" Ryan, and constantly sweating and clueless David Martinez.

But beyond that, it's just become rather predictable with the way the show is edited. It always looks for sure like someone is going to fail and be eliminated...but wait! They somehow manage to pull it all together at the last second! And someone who was confident they would come out on top ends up having the worst dish and going home! This heavy-handed editing to create fake tension and drama is too easy to see through after 5 seasons.

Leslie, Courtney or Elizabeth: Who will win?

With the finale almost here, who do you think is going to win MasterChef Season 5?

See results

My Other MasterChef Pages and Articles

Past season recaps, show info, and even my casting call experiences!

As an avid fan of the show, I've been posting episode recaps for several seasons now, as well as spending a lot of time reading about the judges and contestants online. Here you can find links to those other, past articles and season guides.

This was a practice-plating of a dish I prepared for the season 5 MasterChef open call in Philadelphia...I made it through the first round of "eliminations" but didn't get a call back. Alas!
This was a practice-plating of a dish I prepared for the season 5 MasterChef open call in Philadelphia...I made it through the first round of "eliminations" but didn't get a call back. Alas! | Source

Other MasterChef Winners' Cookbooks

Recipes from My Home Kitchen: Asian and American Comfort Food from the Winner of MasterChef Season 3 on FOX: A Cookbook
Recipes from My Home Kitchen: Asian and American Comfort Food from the Winner of MasterChef Season 3 on FOX: A Cookbook
Christine was real fan favorite when she won season three. Here you can try her "home recipes" that range from Vietnamese to Southern-style dishes.
Modern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern Charm
Modern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern Charm
Whitney Miller was the winner of the very first season of MasterChef on Fox.

What About Season 6?

Will there be a sixth season for MasterChef? Absolutely!

The MasterChef Casting Website is already showing information on how to apply for next year's series, and in-person "auditions" will begin in September. Here is the list of where and when you can show off your stuff - and of course your food!

  • San Diego - Saturday, September 13th, 2014
  • San Francisco - Saturday, September 13th, 2014
  • San Antonio - Saturday, September 20th, 2014
  • Cleveland - Saturday, September 20th, 2014
  • Atlanta - Saturday, September 27th, 2014
  • New Orleans - Saturday, September 27th, 2014
  • Miami - Saturday, October 4th, 2014
  • New York City - Saturday, October 4th, 2014
  • Chicago- Saturday, October 11th, 2014
  • Memphis - Saturday, October 11th, 2014
  • Los Angeles - Saturday, October 18th, 2014

If you can't make it to an in-person open call, you can submit a video application as well. Either way, be sure to read over all of the information on the website carefully before showing up to try to wow the casting folks. Also, be sure to fill out the lengthy application form ahead of time and submit it to them in advance!

© 2014 Nicole Pellegrini


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