"They say if you can’t take the heat, you should get out of the kitchen, but what if you like it hot? If you’ve been watching MasterChef this season 5, you may have noticed that one contestant in particular seems to be “winning” challenges when her dishes don’t seem to be quite up to it. Courtney Lapresi has been billed as an “aerial dancer” on the show. So what exactly is that, you ask? It’s a fancy word for stripper. You may term what she does as burlesque, but nekked is nekked and she takes off her clothes when she dances, so you have to call them as you see them.
Plus is it really fair that she’s up for a MasterChef win after she’s already won a major award in 2013? That’s right, Courtney aka Winter (her stripper name) won Entertainer of the Year for 2013 at Delilah’s Gentlemen’s Club and Steakhouse the club where she works. Click here to check out their gallery and go to page two of the images to see Courtney complete with a sash and crown for her win.
Notice the stripper poles behind her. When I think legit aerial dancer, I think Cirque de Soleil, not boobs out on a pole. One’s art and one’s something else entirely. But got to give her props for being a top stripper…
Two contestants this year have mentioned out loud that Courtney has been shown favoritism by judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich. And that’s only two comments that have made it to air. And, interestingly, after each of the comments, they’ve done something to temporarily set her back (but not get her eliminated) to balance these out. So the question is, are all three judges in on this thing or is it one judge in particular who has his eye on the clothing-challenged aerial artist turned cook?
Here’s a quick run down of the (alleged) favoritism:
Episode 2 – Courtney wins the mystery box challenge and gets a big advantage.
Episode 3 – Courtney got off the hook in the pressure test.
Episode 4 – Ahran openly accused the judges of bias in Court’s favor. Courtney ends up in the bottom three as if to counteract the accusation but is then (of course) saved.
Episode 5 – Courtney’s team wins the challenge.
Episode 6 – Courtney wins the elimination challenge and gets another big advantage.
Episode 7 – She doesn’t have to cook based on her win in episode 6, advancing her another round.
Episode 8 – She’s on the winning restaurant team.
Episode 9 – She’s in top three in mystery box, heavily praised in elimination challenge, sent to safety.
Episode 10 – She’s on the winning challenge team.
Episode 11 – Courtney wins elimination test, gets to be team captain in next episode.
Episode 12 – Her team loses by a slim margin and faces a pressure test but the judges encourage her to save herself instead of participating in the pressure test. She does and is safe for the next round (even though as captain, the loss was on her totally).
Episode 13 – Praised by judges and saved from three part pressure test.
Episode 14 – Courtney wins mystery box again and Elizabeth says the judges are showing blatant favoritism to Courtney – she got to pick teams to set others up for failure.
Episode 15 – They couldn’t save her. She screwed up gnocchi then took over as team captain and screwed that up (showing just how mediocre she really is) so she went into pressure test where she was (of course) praised and saved in the pressure test.
Episode 16 – They flew in Courtney’s little brother for the aww factor – the only person who didn’t get to bring an adult and you know he was coached to say mac n cheese to set her up for a great dish – she didn’t win but was safe in second place. In the elimination challenge she got the testicles and seemed to handle these well (almost as if she’s had experience, wink, wink) and of course won yet again.
Episode 17 – Courtney gets to pick teams and then her team won by sucking slightly less than the other but it was her that dragged Elizabeth down. She’s in the top three.
All in all, it’s a pretty impressive season for someone with no culinary background that cooks in six inch stripper heels and always has a smile for the judges (maybe one in particular).
All three judges have been accused of intense sexual harassment of female MasterChef contestants in a recent lawsuit. Season four contestant Marie Porter said a female contestant in her season was “sexually harassed by the judges to the point she had her lawyers get her edited out of the show completely.” And Carrie Stevens, also from Season four says, “Marie is reporting facts. I witnessed it.” A couple from Kitchen Nightmares accused Gordon Ramsay of sexually harassing the wife. And randy Ramsay has cheated on his wife multiple times according to the Herald Sun and News of the World reports in the UK and Australia.
Here’s a pic from Courtney’s MasterChef twitter feed showing her in legit dancing gear where she writes “#flashbackfriday to when was studying Ballet @UArts #balletmajor. I went from the #performingarts to #culinaryarts.” She skipped the step where she indulged in the #stripperarts. She said on last night’s episode that she hasn’t seen her little brother Cooper in a year – is he being kept away from her because of her work in erotic dancing?
Also of interest is that Courtney performs in a stripper group based on The Spice Girls where she performs as Posh Spice (aka Victoria Beckham). Becks and Ramsay are great friends, but if Ramsay is fooling around with Courtney, does he ask her to wear her Posh gear so he can pretend he’s rolling around with his best mate’s wife. That’s so not a recipe for a good friendship Gordon!
So the real questions here are:
Is Courtney getting blatant favoritism (I say yes).
Is Courtney basking in rather than being offended by sexual attention from the judges (I say likely).
Is Courtney enjoying the attention of one specific judge whose name rhymes with handsy (I say could be).
Will Courtney win MasterChef? (I say even if she doesn’t win, Gordon or one of the other MasterChef judges may find a “position” for her in one of their kitchens).
Update: as we predicted Courtney Lapresi was handed victory by the apparently biased judging in her favor – people who watched the finale episode agreed that based on the food Courtney didn’t deserve to win this competition. What do you think?"
"I have to agree with Rockdaisy [another commenter]. Having watched every episode of MasterChef, every season, I didn't find the judges to be biased in Courtney's case. I didn't care for Courtney myself, but it had nothing to do with her former career or her cooking. She proved herself to be a perfectly capable cook. The reasons listed for their alleged favouritism was not unique to this season or any of the episodes: many people are given the opportunity to save their own butts, many are given the opportunity to set up teams that will fail by the person who won the event and the huge advantage; that is the set-up of the show. Nothing is different here.
I also cannot abide the idea that any of these men were harassing the contestants. Know who you are slamming. The couple mentioned in the episode of Kitchen Nightmares were known for attempting a bunch of sleazy tries to make money, including fraud. None of the judges are stupid enough to piss on the income they're making by so thoughtless a move.
I find it offensive that anyone makes commentary on being a stripper and/or aerial dancer. I have seen aerial dancers; it is a wonderful form of art and dancing. And my mother was a go-go dancer when I was young, and stripper falls into that heading. I will be the first to say that my mother was beautiful, much more so than Courtney, with her long, narrow face, tortilla chip nose, almost non-existent cheek bones, but clearly beauty is not the only requirement for every kind of dancing. And my mother was married to my father throughout her dancing career, so don't assume anything you know nothing about. Being a stripper doesn't make a man or woman a slut, it makes them gainfully employed and pulling in more money than you can easily imagine.
No, I wasn't a fan of Courtney's - I intensely disliked her smart-ass remarks, her looking down on others, her general attitude. I never understood why she dressed like Donna Reed - the pouffy 50s dresses and killer heels (at least Elizabeth had the sense to wear sensible shoes when the finale was on), and the too-red lipstick. The falsetto voice got on my nerves. And she wasn't a gracious winner and a very poor loser, on those occasions when she did not place number one.
However, Elizabeth wasn't a gracious winner or loser, so where does that leave us?
But it was incredibly obvious that she knew how to cook - not just how to cook, but how to improvise, explore, try new things. Cooking in and of itself is not about the pinch of this and pound of that, it is the ability to open oneself up to daring, to experimenting, to learning new things. Only baking is a rigid science in food preparation; cooking is daring to do the new and amazing. Courtney did just that.
Giving any credence whatever to a rag such as the "Herald Sun" is right up there with telling us you buy into every article printed in "The Enquirer". Please don't call yourself a researcher or writer if that is where you are finding your "information".
And lastly, a lot of this sounds like sour grapes to me. Unhappy, envious people who wish they could be winners.