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Home cooks from all over the country have a shot to become the newest star in the culinary firmament.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Host/Judge Gordon Ramsay
Judge Joe Bastianich
Graham Elliot Bowles
Announcer Jason Thompson
Creator Franc Roddam (based upon "MasterChef")
EP Adeline Ramage Rooney
Elisabeth Murdoch
Gordon Ramsay
Howard T. Owens
Pat Llewellyn
Todd Nelson
Robin Ashbrook
Ben Adler
Liz Cook
Packager One Potato Two Potato
Origins Los Angeles
Web fox.com/masterchef
Airs 8p ET Mon, Fox

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Auditions 1
June 6

Last year, Whitney Miller rose from college student to MasterChef when she was able to define perfection on a plate on the long-awaited finale of the summer oif 2010's most-watched new series. Now we begin chapter 2, as amateur cooks from all around the country have their wares sampled by celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay & Graham Elliot and noted wine expert & restaurateur Joe Bastianich in the hopes of following in her footsteps to win a life-changing prize: $250,000. It's a competition unlike any other to see who will go from home cook... to MasterChef.

Simply put... Be the best... or go home.

It's time to cook. The first challenge for the 100 chefs to be invited out of the thousands who applied... you have ONE hour to cook your signature dish. If you want an apron, it has to be equal parts delicious, ambitious, and creative.

First up, Jennifer Behm (34; realtor from Wilmington, DE), a former beauty queen who got her culinary chops on her own after she couldn't take any more of her mothers' TV dinners. She describes herself as a boy with boobs who loves to wear heels and won Miss Delaware USA in 2000. Her dish: Coconut Curry Lentil Soup with Spicy Shrimp. Graham loves the shrimp. Gordon says they don't put carrots in curry. It's a 2-1 decision... for YES! Joe being the sole no.

Then comes the first parade of fail. Including... an impromptu physical.

Next, Albert (51, trucker from Kiln, MS) operates heavy equipment and proves that he isn't above showing his ass. Seriously. He has an eagle tattoo on one of his cheeks. For obvious reasons, he washes before plating. Today, he's operating on a Triple Tail 'Gator with Sausage & Alligator Jambalaya. For all the things that the judges have eaten... this is Joe's first reptile. Gordon says it's an overgrown mess, but Joe liked it. It's a sweep!

Mike (36; firehouse lieutenant from Milton, MA) sees cooking as an escape from the daily grind of Cambridge Ladder 2. He's firing up a pan-seared panko-crusted halibut with risotto and lobster Newburg sauce. Joe gives it a no, and not because he's a Yankees fan (C-Note: Joe's our favorite judge at the 'net). It's up to Gordon... and it's a no. But if he doesn't quit, then Ramsay himself guarantees that he'll earn a spot next season.

Monica Chung (28, pianist from NYC) compares cooking to performing. She is her own worst critic, with something to improve every time. She serves up a traditional Korean bibimbap, vegetables with rice and a fried egg. She gets a 3-0 sweep for an apron! Joining her: Aaron (grilled eggplant with chorizo), Kayla (lamb pumpkin stew), and Elin (shrimp & grilled polenta), making six aprons. The bar is raised.

Tracy (32, sales consultant from Coral Springs, FL) is next. She has a Mushroom Risotto Cake with an egg and a mushroom-risotto-cake-killing truffle oil. Gordon thinks she put her apron up in flames. I think he's right. The dish itself is good, but the truffle oil kills it. This is going to be a tough decision. The judges split... for a yes. One more chance. But no more pretentious BS.

And a lady who thinks that she is trying out for "X Factor" (coming this fall to Fox!). But singing cook Angel (37 from Cleveland) gets another shot.

Christian (33, event planner from Las Vegas) is going ambitious with his play... body sushi, served off of this... curvaceous body. Now she can say that Gordon Ramsay ate sushi off of her. That's the good news. The bad news... no apron. Cover up, dear.

Next up, Pauline (51, realtor from Calabasas, CA) is bringing Gordon Ramsay a taste of her home... Scotland (Fun fact: Gordon's from Glasgow). She cooks up Scottish Salmon and Haggis en Croute. If you don't know what haggis is... it's the heart, liver, kidney, and lungs of a sheep cooked in its own stomach. It's actually pretty good. But then again, I'm an eighth Scottish on my mother's side and one of my best friends (C-Note: Hi, Colin) is Scottish, so... Joe's not a fan. Graham is a fan. Gordon... isn't a fan either.... of that apron, because she's getting an apron!

Finally, we have from Gloucester, MA, Christian Collins (21, stay at home dad). He has two kids with one of the way. He's been working in restaurants all his life, but he hit a bottom point. He decided that cooking was his true passion, and his life turned around. He's cooking a "Shipwreck Stew" with Lobster, Shrimp, and Shellfish. Gordon thought it was intense and packed with flavor. Joe says it sings. We end the day on a high with a sweep to the next round. Could Christian Collins be the next Masterchef? We'll find out, but first... the search continues tomorrow.

To see this episode in its entirety, go to fox.com/masterchef.