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Monti Carlo Exclusive Blog: Saying Goodbye

August 27, 2012 12:30 PM by Christine McDow

How does the old saying go? “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”

When I first got the call from the MasterChef producers telling me that out of 60 thousand auditions I had made it to the TOP 100 I was absolutely flabbergasted. Every day for two months I went head to head with some of the most amazingly talented home cooks in the country. And every day I watched one of them walk out of the MasterChef kitchen, until there were just 5 of us left. I am sitting in the holding room with Becky, Frank, Josh and Christine and my skin is tingling with excitement.

We are not allowed contact with anyone in the outside world during our MasterChef journey, so when one of our wranglers quietly approaches me and says I have to call my sister because there’s an emergency, I panic. The news is not good: We are being evicted for noise complaints. My little family has just a few weeks left to find a place to live. I am devastated.

Frankie takes one look at my face and walks me outside for a breather. He gives me a cigarette after I beg him for it. He hates it when I smoke but the pressure of the competition has almost all of us lighting up now and again. And if I ever needed a cigarette, it was now.

Read Monti Carlo’s previous blogs:
Week One
Thoughts About Ryan
Hotel Madness and Ryans Nipples
Dishing on David, Becky and Stacy
Addressing Becky’s Comments
Rodeo Night
Making Gordon Ramsay Wet
Getting Yelled At By Gordon Ramsay

“What do I do Frankie?’ I sob. Frankie puts his hand on my shoulder “It’s OK. You’re going to be OK.”

I barely sleep that night fretting about my two year old, my little sister and my crazy old dog. How am I going to make this work?

The next morning I keep breaking down in tears and Becky shakes me out of it. “Put it out of your mind!” she scolds. “You are here to cook. That is all you should think about right now.”

She’s right. I ace the Mystery Box challenge and make it into the Top 3 for the very first time with my version of Thai chicken soup.

And then the judges reveal the Elimination Challenge: to replicate the dish that Graham Elliot made for President Barack Obama, a white tuna sashimi. My heart falls. I have no idea how to make one of the most important components, an avocado mousse. My hands are shaking so much I can’t slice a piece of tuna to save my life. When the judges call time, I know immediately my dish is not up to par. It looks like a jumbled mess. I would not serve it to my friends, much less a President.

I’m not surprised when Gordon Ramsay says, “Monti, you have a dream of you and your son having a great future. For now that future is with him at home.”

What I am surprised by is the amount of people that have reached out to me in the last few days. I have received thousands of messages from people all around the world. Most of them from single parents, kids who were raised by single parents and people that have had a rough go of it and have connected to my story. I feel incredibly blessed and humbled by the way these complete strangers have opened up their lives to me. Even though I want to reply to every single message, I know I won’t be able to, so know this:

When I first stepped into the MasterChef kitchen, I was a broken person. I had just wrapped up a messy divorce and a child custody battle. Even though I was unemployed and had a tough time making ends meet, my ex-husband never paid a dime in child support. My best friend, the man that had been my rock through the last few years, was shot in cold blood during an attempted robbery. I didn’t have the money to make it to his funeral. The combination of all of these events had left me hollow. I didn’t know which way was up, much less how to dig myself out of the emotional hole I found myself in.

And then something magic happened. Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot BELIEVED in me. They CHALLENGED me. They FORCED me to look at what had been right in front of me the whole time: life goes on. I could do anything I set my mind to.

I found the meaning of life on a cutting board. Who knows where you will find yours? The point is, keep searching. No matter how hard things are now, NEVER GIVE UP.

You know what’s crazy? When I got back home I had an email from Marc Young, a program director for a radio station in Arizona. I had sent him my radio demo just before I had started my MasterChef journey. Marc wanted me to audition for an on air position at his station, MY 103.9 in Phoenix. Suddenly, I had a way out. And thanks to the self confidence that I had found on MasterChef I knew without a doubt I would be able to do it.

There are so many people that help put together MasterChef that you never see. Story producers, handlers, make up ladies, wardrobe, camera men and women… hundreds of persons. Thank you to everyone on the MasterChef team. You are amazing to me.

Of course the biggest thank you goes to Mister Gordon Ramsay. I don’t know if you realize this sir. You saved my life. And there’s a little boy who gets a much better mom because of it. Thank you for making me whole again.

OH! And before I forget… thanks for always wearing really tight jeans. That was my favorite. ☺

Keep up with Monti via her BLOG www.slap-yo-momma.com or TWITTER @MC3Monti

Topics: FOX Reality TV Shows, MasterChef |

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10 Responses to “Monti Carlo Exclusive Blog: Saying Goodbye”

  1. Carol H Says:
    August 27th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Monti was my favorite…so sorry to see her go…all the best of luck in the future!!!

  2. The Wise Mankey Says:
    August 27th, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    If there was ever a time to make like Penn & Teller and call “BULLSH*T,” it was last week’s episode.

    I may be out of line when I say it, but the Jessie Ventura side of me detected a conspiracy about the moment it came down to Josh and Monti. It’s CLEAR AS DAY that the judges have been protecting Josh ever since he came back to spare him and themselves the embarrassment of bringing him back with their Second Chance crap.

    Josh has not proven to me why he should have been brought back, due to the fact he’s been either at risk of elimination or in the Bottom 3 ever since his “comeback.” I honestly feel that he’s lucky to have been considered to be back much less still be in the competition at this point. So if Josh ends up winning, that to me is a slap in the face to everyone else who was still in the competition before they pulled him back. Sure, if he somehow wins, then he’ll have earned it. But I WON’T say he deserved it. And he definitely better not consider himself a better cook then Monti, that is a TOTAL lie since he had been eliminated once already.

    Right now, I don’t think I’ll continue watching the show. If I do, then my heart won’t be in it as much as it was before, ’cause putting Josh aside, Becky and Frank do nothing for me because of Becky’s attitude and Frank to me is a one-trick pasta pony. My personal choice now is Christine because she’s been inspiring in how she’s performed and does so with such diligence and humility, maybe even moreso then anyone else who was in the show.

    Really, the apex of my frustration is my belief that Monti deserved to be the winner more then anybody else because of her situation of being a single mother. Not to mention the fact that no one else in the competition would believe she would win, and the judges only proved them all right. I honestly believe that if Monti was to be eliminated, it would have been because she couldn’t get past where things are now as opposed to being knocked off by someone the judges are protecting to save face and to not say “It was a mistake to bring you back.”

    Call it sour grapes, call it biased, I don’t care. But there was no REAL good reason to shaft Monti the way the judges did. It was wrong, it was unfair, and it was downright uncharacteristic.

  3. Adrianna Baker Says:
    August 27th, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Oh Monti- This blog post just made me like you even more! Congrats on all of your accomplishments. You are awesome!

  4. Joe Says:
    August 27th, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    This had me in tears. When you got eliminate I was in. Tears and after I read this I was in tears. Thank you for the inspiration from single parent to single parent. It tough being a single mom or in my case a single dad. Ever since my wife passed it’s been so difficult to raise my daughter alone. And thanks to you I’m not giving up. Thank you Monti Carlo, I truly love you for how you effected my life.

  5. Long Tran Says:
    August 27th, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Monti, I’m so humbled and blessed to have known you for as long as I have. :) Your life story before, during, and after Masterchef drove me to tears. I’m blown away that I got to be your friend long before you got on the show. If people asked me if I knew Monti Carlo, I’d proudly say yes!

    That said, I’m incredibly sorry to hear about what happened with you and your family. I don’t understand why fathers act the way they do out of spite of their loved ones. I’m also sorry to hear about the tragedy with you and your best friend. I couldn’t believe all this was kept out of our eyes for a long time until now. However, I do understand as I don’t think I could come forward with these pains until I was ready to share.

    What also caught my attention was how the show was made through your eyes. I guess it was no surprise you couldn’t have outside contact with anyone during the show’s shooting schedule. I was not happy with the treatment you received earlier, especially from a certain bully who will not be mentioned here. May I never cross paths with said loser. He doesn’t belong in a kitchen with his idiotic attitude and I will not stand for such stupidity. It was incredibly insensitive and arrogant. Some of your fellow competitors may say he rubs people the wrong way, but I would just as soon rub him out myself. Then again, I would not be able to respect myself anymore if I lowered to his level.

    That said, I was really happy to hear you found your soul again in cooking. I never asked myself before if you knew how to cook or not. It was probably my fault for not paying more attention. However, I was delightfully surprised at you and your aptitude for cooking. Being a chef is not always about what you know, but what you can learn and how. Whenever I watched the show, I always wondered if I would be able to cook alongside you. :)

    I’m so happy for you and how things worked out. It finally dawned on me that you went back to radio shortly after your shooting schedule for Masterchef ended. How can I be dense, hehe. But I was overjoyed when I got to speak with you over the phone on your new Phoenix radio station. I have been blown away that I got to know you for as long as I have. My hope is that I don’t lose touch with you. Please don’t ever stop cooking. You’ve got some great talents and I hope you continue to share with us ordinary people!

    P.S. Loved your first episode of Lunch Lady. I’ll have to try the pear and basil muffin soon!

  6. Sharkbait (Paula) Says:
    August 28th, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Monti is what MasterChef is about, she is the FACE of MasterChef. I would hope MasterChef would consider giving Monti a role in promoting this show. I have so enjoyed all aspect of the content and spirit of the competion and the amazing creations these talented cooks show us each week under pressure.

    Wonderful blog Monti, keep sharing the hope!

  7. Alaina Says:
    August 29th, 2012 at 6:00 am

    I barely write comments for articles like this, but I really liked Monti and this blog was very well-written, hilarious, and touching. By the end I was in tears (both in sadness at the hardships faced, but at the joy found via the competition), but that comment at the end about GR’s tight jeans made me burst out laughing.

    Looking forward to seeing where Monti’s career takes her (and her family)! :-) Good luck!

  8. Mattew Pa Says:
    August 29th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Monti truly is a class act and beautiful person through and through. Luckily she’s now on the radio everyday, and has become my morning wake up call. Great work, Monti.

  9. J Says:
    August 29th, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    YES on the tight jeans lol.

  10. Frank Says:
    September 2nd, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Monti, my wife and I just loved you during the show. My wife is fighting cancer and your determination in all that happened to you and around you in the show kept her strong. To read the rest of your story with this blog just drives her harder to go further and take all the time she can to attain her goals.
    And everyone here is right Josh should have gone home, not you…

    love you girl and keep reaching for the stars.


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