thoughts on mc3

This third season of “MasterChef” is more than half over, and since last night, I’m proud to say I’m still in it. Top 6, baby!

Ever since the show started airing, my life has embarked on a wild ride. If you would’ve told me a few months back while I was still filming the show that all this craziness would ensue, I would’ve rolled my eyes and said, “Yeah, right.” Having lived life in relative anonymity for 30+ years, fame is hard to fathom. But here it is, and I must say, it’s been an incredible experience. I still find it hard to call all my emails and messages “fan mail,” but regardless of what they are, I’m touched that so many people from all over the globe have reached out to tell me their stories, their fears, their struggles, their desires, their accomplishments, their failures. It’s not easy to be vulnerable, and I want to erase the stigma that dependence has. It’s all right to ask for help sometimes. We are all more alike than different, and working together produces exponentially better results.

Speaking of teamwork, it was difficult for me to watch the latest episode where Stacey and I had to tag team making a Japanese platter. People ask me what it’s like to watch these episodes, if we’ve seen them before they air on national TV. The answer is no, all of us cast members watch it for the very first time right alongside America. And, for me, it’s an emotional roller coaster. I find myself cracking up most of the time because it’s like watching a bunch of your best friends acting silly or mucking up dishes on TV. And then sometimes I cry when they’re especially hard moments like when Josh and Stacey leave. It is like reliving those days all over again, and I always need a drink to get me through each episode.

It tickles me to see how fans can be so diehard. Ryan assigned me a live crab, and his head was virtually bitten off over the internet. At the same time, I curse in that kitchen about 500 times more than they’ve let on camera. Naturally, I’ve become the angel and Ryan worse than Satan himself. But honestly, it’s TV, and there is this crazy manipulative thing called editing. While I am very much relieved I’ve been made to look like the heroic underdog on the show, I feel terrible for how some of my friends have been portrayed. I know I can’t speak for everyone, but I myself am the kind of person that tries my best to see the good in everyone. Hate is just poison to our minds, and I’d much rather fill my head and heart with love. Life’s hard enough—why spend it and all your energy on loathing someone?

Anyway, life has been pretty crazy. When people tell me I’ve inspired them to cook, to try out for the high school soccer team, to go to grad school, to go to culinary school, to pursue their dream vocation; it makes it all worth it. I’ve always hoped my past struggles could be used to positively impact at least one or two others that I’d meet in life. And my hopes and prayers have been answered to the nth degree. I just want to tell everyone that I am grateful for the love and support. Know that I do read all of your messages, emails, posts, and tweets; I may not be able to respond, but I do read them. And yes, for the last time, it’s really me on Twitter and Facebook!

Keep on fighting the good fight. Much love. xoxo

19 Responses to thoughts on mc3
  1. mulligansoup Reply

    I try not to get sucked in to all the editing tricks that I know are being applied to make certain people seem more or less angelic than they are in real life. In general, the camera doesn't lie. The effusive personality traits that make someone so likeable, or those that cast certain roles as villains, usually have a grain of truth associated with them.
    In watching Masterchef, I think it's difficult to cut around how articulate you are when describing your experience, and although it comes with a smattering of profanity, I'd like to hope that it captures you for who you mostly are. That said, with production in mind, there may be a reason, post entrance interview, that they choose to cast the way they do.
    Yes, it makes for good television. For what it's worth, those moments that are captured as bits of snark or cattiness are chosen from dozens of instances, but it's difficult sometimes for the viewer to look past what they see on television and understand that what makes it to air is not always the entire picture.

  2. @bitfs Reply

    Thanks for the insight! I was hoping Ryan wasn't as big of a douche as they portrayed. :-) I applaud your view on life – it is too short to have hate in it. Good luck – hope you went all the way with MC!!!

  3. Nekonron Reply

    "It tickles me to see how fans can be so diehard. Ryan assigned me a live crab, and his head was virtually bitten off over the internet. At the same time, I curse in that kitchen about 500 times more than they’ve let on camera. "

    Couldn't help but chuckle at that :D

  4. Dwayne Eacret Reply

    I think you will win it all rotting for you:)

  5. Kellie Reply

    You are amazing! I am tearing up just reading this, just like when I did when you were crying when Stacey left. I amazes me how emotional some of us get with people on tv that we don't even know. But we feel like we do and we can relate. Thank you for your courage and your ambition. My kids and I watch Masterchef faithfully, they are 11 and 13 years old, both boys and both love to cook! They know all the Masterchef contestants and learn right along with you. They love to guess what's in the mystery boxes! Thank you again Christine, GOLD STARS TO THE NTH POWER!

    • Christine Ha Reply

      Thank you for this comment and for letting me know you are watching. :) So great that your sons are learning to cook at such an early age. Maybe they can try out for season 15. LOL.

  6. Shawnna Reply

    I truly was a fan of yours from the first show I watched this season. You are an inspiration to all! We also have something in common, well I do love to cook but I also was diagnosed with Neuromyletis Optica (NMO) about a year ago. I was very fortunate though after several attacks, I am still walking and little optic nerve damage. While under going treatments to sustain flare ups… As you know, we have no idea what may come. Did not want to ramble but you have a family of support at my house. We are all rooting for you!!

    • Christine Ha Reply

      Thank you for sharing. As a fellow NMOer, I know that you know how difficult it was to go through something like MasterChef and not know whether or not the stress and fatigue would get to me. I'm blessed that I hung in there with relatively little physical adversity aside from the usual that everyone else experienced, too. Thanks for supporting #teamchristine!

  7. Shawnna Raynes Reply

    I truly was a fan of yours from the first show I watched this season. You are an inspiration to all! We also have something in common… Well I do love to cook but a a year ago I was diagnosed with NMO about a year ago after several misdiagnosis' . I am very fortunate I can walk and have little visual impairments. They say I am a miracle but as you know that "flare up" could occur. I do not mean to ramble….just wanted you to know you have some big fans in Tennessee. Goodluck!

  8. Jonathan Kasko Reply

    We’re all rooting for you Christine! You’re an inspiration, and I hope you win the whole thing!

  9. Beverly Reply

    I know a young lady who is gradually losing her eyesight and while she's told me her condition, I couldn't honestly repeat what it was if I had to =( All those medical conditions sound alike to me. Given my eyesight (-9.5, -10.25), I am at high risk for detached retinas. That scares the life out of me but a majority of the time I try to ignore that it is a possibility. I think it's one of the reasons that I hold you and other like you in such high regard.

    And as for finding it hard to call it fan mail, that is what it is! Any missive sent to a public figure by an admirer is fan mail. And mark my words, there are many many many of us who admire you! You are an inspiration.

  10. Jesse Carter Reply

    Hi Chritine, I know this may sound cheesy but I just have to say I am totally enthralled by what you do and stand for. As tough of a competition as MasterChef is, not only are you pulling it off, you are doing it with such a disability. It is amazing what you can do and how you can make poeple with perfectly good vision look bad (I;m sorry but it's true!). I always get teary eyed when I see you accomplish something on the show and even just reading this post. Chistine, you probably get tired of hearing by now but you truely an inspriration.

  11. Jesse Carter Reply

    I am on facebook and I love how you give a nod to each of the contestants that get eliminated. You are truly a good person. I remember watching your audition to get into the top 100 and was floored by the result. You made a beaufitul catfish dish that the chefs enjoyed. I'm not a big fan of catfish but I think I would like to try yours. On the episode when it was down to you and Stacey, I have to say that I breathed a sigh of relief when they said her name. I know she will go far and do great things, I love her. But with you still in the game and possibly winning, what can I say? Awesome! btw I love how on every one of your recipes you write "If the blind can do it, so can you." love you Chistine…

    • Christine Ha Reply

      Thanks, Jesse, for the kind words. :)

  12. Jenny Nguyen Reply

    Christine,

    Again you're inspiring us again! ;) Brilliant written, I have many favourite quotes extracted from here. You're extraordinary :) Very pleased to know you're on MC this season.

    May I ask a question please? I'm just really curious how you can read posts, write blogs and do things that needs eyes? That must be the help of some machines?

    Jenny

    • Christine Ha Reply

      There is a lot of technology available today for the vision-impaired. Apple products have a built-in screen reader called VoiceOver that reads everything aloud to me. On a PC, I use JAWS, a screen reading software, and all these things allow me to tweet/Facebook/email/surf the net/post entries, etc.

  13. vidya Reply

    you are so inspiring ! not only by your food in masterchef but also by your words in this article. you talk about how you and ryan are being portrayed. Hmmm…what can i say? you come up with the truth wide open and that takes so much of guts :) kudos.
    And i ve started reading your blog and i realized how you are coping up with everything and even though sometimes its hard for you, you strive for the best :) i know the feeling even though ,my problem was moderate. i started getting a vision problem 3 years ago and i became extremely photophobic unable to enjoy the little things in life and not getting to live the previous life . i cry every other day due to pain and such and try hard to cope up. seeing you, i feel i can do anything :) thanks for instilling the courage i needed. My support and wishes for u to win the competition :)

    • Christine Ha Reply

      Thanks for sharing a little bit of your story and struggles. Thankful that my words are able to offer a little pilot light in your life. :)

  14. kono Reply

    Wow, you are awesome Christine!!
    A legendary blind cook indeed. And you made a fried chicken in last elimination test?! That just crazy!!
    Great spirit!! God bless u and ur husband!!

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