Vernon’s MasterChef contender saved from elimination, twice

Vernon’s very own MasterChef Canada Season 2 contender Jennifer Innis is still in the game.

Vernon’s Jennifer Innis continues on her MasterChef Canada journey.

Vernon’s Jennifer Innis continues on her MasterChef Canada journey.

Vernon’s very own MasterChef Canada Season 2 contender Jennifer Innis is still in the game after a tension-filled team challenge and a dramatic pressure test.

Innis is one of 13 contenders remaining on the show.

“It was a great time filming it,” said the mother of three, who works as a dental hygienist in Vernon. “(There was) lots of anxiety from all parties, but an overall great experience.”

In Sunday’s episode, Innis was saved for a second time from competing in the pressure test when she was called up to the gallery by the winning chefs from the team challenge.

(Innis was also saved in the Feb. 15 episode by former B.C. Lion Jon Hameister-Ries, in what was a challenging stir-fry elimination challenge.)

In Sunday’s team challenge, the chefs were split into two groups and had to each prepare a buffet-style meal for the cast and crew of Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios: A Cabinet of Curiosities show.

As part of the blue team, Innis can be seen having words with team leader Line Pelletier, a Canadian military veteran from New Brunswick, who was causing tension within her team with her authoritative leadership.

In the end, it was the opposing red team who earned immunity from elimination.

The drama continued once the teams returned back to the MasterChef Canada kitchen, and the blue team faced the season’s first pressure test.

It came with two twists, one of which involved Innis being saved by blue team leader Andrew Al-Khouri from elimination.

The second twist gave Pelletier the opportunity to save one member of her team from elimination, and in a dramatic and surprising turn, she decided to save herself.

Once safe in the gallery, Pelletier collapsed and following medical attention, it was determined she was dehydrated and would recover.

“You know, I’m glad Line used the save on herself – even if many would disagree. This is a competition. Why would you come this far, only to hand the prize to someone else?” said Innis. “Leader or not, she earned that place, by having one of the best stir fry dishes the previous week. As well, I know she was very ill that day already, and had she cooked, she would’ve hit the floor before the challenge, and most likely been pulled from the competition.

“At the end of the day, this is a competition and (as bad as this sounds) you’re in it for yourself. What’s the point of an advantage if you don’t use it?”

With Innis and Pelletier saved, the five remaining home cooks from the blue team faced the pressure test and had to prepare the traditional Québécois dish of tourtière.

After the tasting  by MasterChef judges Alvin Leung, Michael Bonacini and Claudio Aprile, fellow B.C. resident Debra Pangestu, of Richmond, was eliminated from the competition.

“When I saw that the pressure test was a tourtière, I thought, “Oh you’ve got to be kidding me. It’s a meat pie That’s right up my alley,’” said Innis. “(I) wish I could’ve cooked in the pressure test, but at the same time, a save is a save, and only puts me one step closer to $100,000.”

The next new episode of MasterChef Canada (Sunday at 7 p.m. on CTV), sees the remaining home cooks face their second mystery box challenge and this time, victory rests on an iconic Italian favourite.

The home cook who most impresses the judges selects the ingredient everyone else cooks with in an elimination challenge inspired by the journey of MasterChef Season 1 winner Eric Chong.