It’s ironic, but not unexpected, that during a challenge all about cooking soul food and cooking with love that we saw one of the cattiest moments on this series of MasterChef. In an elimination that saw Hayden Quinn, Billy Law, Dani Venn and Sún Etheridge recreating key soul food dishes from the menu at Sylvia’s in Harlem — BBQ ribs, fried chicken, macaroni cheese and a different side dish each — for the family of the renowned restaurant to eat, things got heated in the kitchen when it came to frying the chicken. With only three fryers and four contestants, Sún’s disorganisation meant she was the last to get her chicken in the fryer. As Hayden explained, “We had to plan our attack and make sure that chicken was gonna be cooked,” so when he refused to give Sún fryer space and told her she had to work faster, she quipped sarcastically, “Thanks Hayden, that’s awesome of you.”
As a result, with less than five minutes to go, Sún’s chicken was raw on the bone and she was sent home from New York (her potato salad was also bland). Following her elimination she has said, “I understand I should have got my chicken done earlier but I didn’t quite expect that suck-it-up princess reaction from Hayden. It’s just indicative of where the competition is at the moment — being in the top eight, there’s a lot more at stake for everyone.” Whose side were you on in this situation?