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Watch Paula Deen on Last Night's MasterChef

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Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

Beleaguered ex-Food Network star Paula Deen appeared on the second of two back-to-back episodes of MasterChef last night. The episode was actually filmed back in March, long before the scandal caused by Deen's racist deposition testimony resulted in a media shitstorm, lost sponsorship deals, and finally ended with a legal settlement. Fox apparently tried to work around including Deen in the episode, but solutions like editing her out (or simply not airing the episode) were not workable. Fox also did nothing to promote her appearance on the show.

Her visit to the show was relatively uneventful: Deen rides in on a tractor, shouts "How ya'll doin'," and assigns the final five contestants to prepare a lunch for 50 volunteers. Deen also had a privileged judging position, selecting the top two dishes and "fast tracking" the winners to a place in the final four. She keeps things straightforward at the judges' table, and sticks to her wheelhouse with comments like "some things you just have to fry." As her segment wraps up, she simply thanks the contestants and announces the winners. When she's done, there isn't a grand send off or a thank you to Deen from the judges. The show just moves on without her. Go, watch:

Video: Paula Deen on MasterChef 1

Video: Paula Deen on MasterChef 2

· All Paula Deen Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All MasterChef Coverage on Eater [-E-]