It's an early start for the 18 remaining home cooks as they go on a yellow bus ride to their very first team challenge. The teams arrive at Emperor Elementary School as the students begin their morning studies. The contestants are about to get a lesson of their own.
Judges Graham Elliot, Joe Bastianich and Gordon Ramsay explain that they are to provide a healthy, nutritious lunch to over 300 children. Each team has an hour and 45 minutes to prepare one entree and a dessert, and 90 minutes to serve the students. The food must be not only healthy and nutritious but also delicious, because the kids are the judges.
Since Jessie and Jordan were judged to have the best dishes in the last elimination test, they will be team captains. Jessie selects Lynn, Bethy, Beth, Bime, Natasha, Bri, Luca and Malcolm for the Red Team. Jordan chooses Savannah, James, Eddie, Jonny, Krissi, Adriana and Howard. Since no one picked Kathy, she dons a blue apron to round out Jordan's group.
Despite some objections, Red Team captain Jessie decides to go with chicken teriyaki, corn, rice and a strawberry crumble for dessert. The Blue Team goes in a more conventional direction, making pasta and turkey meatballs with green beans and an apple crisp.
Almost an hour into the challenge, the Blue Team is still trying to properly season their meatballs, and it looks like they may not get them done on time. The Red Team has already started to make their chicken, but the judges are concerned that the meat isn't being cooked properly.
With half an hour left, the Blue Team decides to change their game plan and make a meat sauce. In the meantime, Gordon suggests that the Red Team add pineapple juice to sweeten their salty sauce.
As a sea of kids floods the playground, both teams must serve all 300 children, who will then vote for their favorite. During lunch, Joe heads out to see whose dish is getting the best grades. He is surprised that the kids like the chicken but also finds that they like the pasta, too.
When the meal winds down, the Blue Team has successfully served all the students, but Jessie's group has missed several plates. In the end the judges favor the Red Team's menu, and the kids agree, giving them of the votes.
The next day, the Blue Team enters the MasterChef kitchen for a Pressure Test, which will result in at least one of them going home. Gordon announces that only six of the contestants will compete in the pressure test. Jordan sends Howard, James and himself to the gallery to watch along with the Red Team.
The remaining home cooks learn that they must prepare a true American classic - cheesecake. They all have identical ingredients and access to a limited pantry to make their dessert stand out from the pack.
With 90 minutes on the clock, the judges feel that Krissi and Savannah will shine because of their experience. They are afraid that Jonny and Eddie are not up for the challenge.
When it is time to present their desserts, Krissi serves a rich and delicious cheesecake with raspberry bombs. While Jonny's pineapple cheesecake is all crust, Kathy's dish gets praise from Graham.
Despite the fact that Eddie's berry compote bleeds all over the cheesecake, Gordon calls it a "bloody good effort." Savannah's poorly executed salted caramel cheesecake and Adriana's guava paste topping land them in the bottom two positions. In the end, the judges send Adriana home.
The remaining home cooks join two of the judges - Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich - back in the MasterChef kitchen for their next Mystery Box Challenge. They will need to prepare, cook and present one incredible dish using the ingredients in the crate.
Today Gordon will be cooking in the challenge alongside the competitors to give them a benchmark. They all have 60 minutes to prepare a dish using black cod, sesame seeds, shitake mushroom, baby beets, cauliflower, rice wine vinegar and miso paste.
Gordon immediately makes up his mind about what he'll cook and walks away from his station. He goes upstairs to the galley and takes a tea break as the clock ticks down. With 30 minutes left, he returns to the kitchen.
When time is up, Gordon brings his dish forward. The rest of the players gather around to view his black cod with sesame seed crust and caramelized cauliflower. No one is surprised that his creation is excellent.
All three judges take one final look around the kitchen to identify three standout dishes. Before they announce the top contestants, they call out Howard for plating raw fish.
The first entree they choose belongs to James. Graham says his black cod with shitake mushroom salad is "one of the best dishes they've had in a long time."
Bethy brings up black cod with sesame crust and caramelized beets. Gordon, who has just cooked a similar dish, says she should be proud.
Luca's black cod with shitake mushrooms and snap peas has an amazing sauce. Joe tells him he "understood the protein better than any other cook." And with that, the judges award the advantage to Luca.
In the MasterChef pantry, the Italian competitor gets to select the item to be made in the next Elimination Test. The challenge this week is dessert. He must choose between making cookies, cupcakes or a layer cake. As a second advantage, he is safe from elimination and does not need to compete in the Test.
The players learn that Lucca has chosen cupcakes for their challenge. As a third advantage, Lucca gets to take a mixer away from one player. He forces Jordan to mix his cupcakes by hand.
The home cooks have 90 minutes to impress the judges with their baking skills. When time is up, the judges call Howard up first. He redeems himself with vanilla bean cupcakes with white chocolate cream frosting.
Next up is Malcolm, whose buttermilk cupcakes with mascarpone frosting are very dense. Gordon calls them gross. However, the judges like Bime's vanilla and chocolate whipped-cream frosting.
Kathy takes a risk and prepares different kinds of cupcakes - one that is plain vanilla, one that is peanut butter and one that combines chocolate and peanut butter. The risk does not pay off.
Bethy also makes a variety of cupcakes - bananas foster, raspberry lime and almond chocolate. Gordon says they are visually stunning. But Jessie's two flavors - vanilla bean and chocolate coffee liqueur - are a letdown.
Last up is Jordan, who has made vanilla bean cupcakes with mascarpone frosting. Before the judges taste them, they invite Luca to try his creations. Luca admits his competitor has baked delicious cupcakes. The judges concur.
After discussing all of the cupcakes, the judges decide that the two players to produce the best cupcakes are Bime and Bethy. They will be the captains in the next Team Challenge.
Malcolm, Kathy and Jessie are deemed to be the three worst cupcake bakers. Although Jessie, who has been a frontrunner, missed the mark, Malcolm's dessert has more fundamental flaws, and he is ultimately the one to be sent home.