MasterChef: Back to Win gives us the second round of battles for an apron

MASTERCHEF: L-R: Joe Bastianich, Aaron Sanchez, Gordon Ramsay and a contestant in the MASTERCHEF episode airing Wed. June 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX
MASTERCHEF: L-R: Joe Bastianich, Aaron Sanchez, Gordon Ramsay and a contestant in the MASTERCHEF episode airing Wed. June 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX /

Season 12 of MasterChef is underway. And in episode 2, we are getting the second round of head-to-head battles for an apron (and a second chance at winning the ultimate title and prize). There are 20 aprons being handed out this season and in this episode we have 14 left to go.

In the first round of battles, we saw four chefs who all came in seventh in their original seasons go head-to-head to determine who would walk away with the two aprons that were up for grabs. And at one point, it seemed like we might have some straight up fails, from last second plating to dishes that seemed too simple to be worthy of an apron. But, by the end of judging, it was anyone’s game.

So who walked away with the first two aprons of the night and a chance to be the next MasterChef winner? The aprons went to Willie and Tommy. (And this was clearly a shock to at least one of the chefs.)

MasterChef gives us the second round of head-to-head battles

In round two, we got four more chefs with a mission to win an apron, including a 15th place finalist, Michael (from Season 10). This round featured two chefs from Season 8 and two from Season 10. And with each of the chefs creating dishes that sounded next level in flavor, it was definitely going to come down to the chef who made no mistakes.

In this second round, it once again felt like it was all about the little things that were the deciding factor in who would walk away with an apron and a second chance. And the aprons ultimately went to Michael (who they clearly thought went home too early last time) and Cate (from Season 8).

The third round was a mixed bag that they didn’t actually show us. However, we did get to see the judging and it was not great for the chefs. There were definitely some mistakes made in this round and it made it pretty easy to tell who would walk away with an apron. Ultimately, the two chefs who got an apron were Stephen and Bowen.

MASTERCHEF: L-R: A contestant with Gordon Ramsay in the MASTERCHEF episode airing Wed. June 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX /

Finally, it was the ultimate battle of the night. It was the MasterChef Junior chefs going head-to-head. And while only three Junior chefs returned for this battle, there were two aprons being handed out in this round. Dara, Shayne, and Tae-Ho were here to prove that they have grown and improved since we last saw them on our screens.

Clearly, these chefs have come a long way since they were on MasterChef Junior and any one of them could have been handed an apron. They are still technically so young, but they each delivered when it came right down to it.

While Tae-Ho didn’t quite deliver the cook on his steak that he was hoping for, his dish was still well received from the judges. Shayne’s dish was another winner with his risotto and catfish getting great comments, and a few tips for the future. Then we had Dara, who delivered a cod dish with a dashi broth. The judges had nothing bad to say about her dish and it was clear that she would be getting an apron. In fact, Gordon Ramsay said this would be a round where he wishes there were three aprons to hand out.

Ultimately, it was Dara and Shayne who walked away with an apron. And it is hard to be surprised by this decision, simply because of Tae-Ho’s cook on the steak (but he was so close).

There are six more aprons to be handed out and we have one more round of head-to-head battles to go. It’s almost time to get to the heart of the competition and clearly we already have 14 chefs who are ready to walk away with the title of MasterChef.

What did you think of round two of the head-to-head battles? Were you surprised by any of the aprons that were handed out? We want to know what you thought of episode 2?

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