Why ‘MasterChef Junior’ is so incredibly fun

On the second episode of the Fox cooking competition “MasterChef Junior” last week, the contestants who won last week's challenge competed in a pancake-making challenge. Each of the three chefs had six minutes to make as many pancakes as they could.

Each chef's stack was then counted by one of the judges: Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Joe Bastianich. The judge whose pancake stack was the shortest was spared; the other two chefs–the ones who basically lost the competition by cooking fewer pancakes–dumped pancake syrup on their respective judges' heads.

Yes, the entire point of the challenge was to soak three famous chef/judges in gallons of syrup. That was it. The other contestants on “MasterChef Junior” were thrilled, especially when the winning contestant also dumped syrup all over his judge.

It's exceedingly rare that a reality competition would spend so much time on something that was just for fun, just as it's rare that judges on a reality competition would be subjected to the kind of humiliation that contestants sometimes face. But “MasterChef Junior” is not an ordinary competition. In a television world where kids face humiliation and exploitation on other shows, this Fox show stands out for being the opposite.

Here's a look at the parts of the show that make it so watchable and so much better than the competition.