MasterChef
Josh Marks Diagnosed with Schizophrenia Before Suicide, Says Mom

Credit: Nico Stipcianos/Getty

Prior to MasterChef finalist Josh Marks's suicide on Friday, his family says he'd been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

"He couldn't bear the thought of another diagnosis," Marks's mother, Paulette Mitchell, told the Chicago Tribune. "He was just coming to accept the diagnosis of bipolar."

After picking Marks up from a Mercy Hospital and Medical Center treatment program on Thursday, Mitchell says she noticed her son was visibly upset and stayed with him that night. She spent most of Friday with him until she left to pick her daughter up from school. Hours later, she received a call from her brother that Marks was walking in an alley with a gun.

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MasterChef's Josh Marks Commits Suicide

Update 10/12/2013 02:45 PM Originally posted 10/12/2013 12:30 PM

Josh Marks of MasterChef Is Dead

Credit: Nico Stipcianos/Getty

MasterChef finalist Josh Marks was pronounced dead Friday night in a suicide.

Chicago police confirm to PEOPLE that the 26-year-old's body was found at 6:37 p.m. in the city's South Side.

"Joshua Marks suffered a gunshot wound to the head and the manner of death was suicide," the Chicago Medical Examiner's office confirms to PEOPLE.

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Graham Elliot Loses 91 lbs. Since Weight-Loss Surgery | Graham Elliot

Credit: Scott Kirkland/PictureGroup; Courtesy Graham Elliot

Nearly two months after having weight loss surgery, MasterChef judge Graham Elliot has lost 91 lbs.

"It's going to be a huge party when I hit 299 lbs.," says the Chicago-based chef, who is just six pounds shy of his goal.

"That will be the first time in well over a decade that I've been under 300 [lbs.] I see people on the street who are the size I was only a few months ago, and it's like, 'Man, I wish you could feel what I am feeling right now, it's absolutely life-changing.' "

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Joe Bastianich's MasterChef Blog: Nice Guys Finish First

Update 09/12/2013 06:45 PM Originally posted 09/12/2013 03:00 PM

Joe Bastianich's MasterChef Blog: Nice Guys Finish First | Joe Bastianich

Credit: Matt Hoyle/FOX

Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and one of the judges of MasterChef. He is blogging each week about the show's search for the best home cooks. Follow him on Twitter @Jbastianich or visit joebastianich.com.

Hello MasterChef fans,

In what was the absolute closest call to date in all four seasons of MasterChef USA, Italian Stallion Luca defeated Croatian Sensation Natasha by the slimmest of slim margins!

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Joe Bastianich: How MasterChef's Top 2 Made it to the End

Update 09/05/2013 08:15 PM Originally posted 09/05/2013 11:00 AM

Joe Bastianich's MasterChef Blog: It's Down to Two!

Credit: FOX (2)

Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and one of the judges of MasterChef. He is blogging each week about the show's search for the best home cooks. Follow him on Twitter @Jbastianich or visit joebastianich.com.

It's down to two, MasterChef fans!

The first mystery box tag team challenge proved a little too much for Krissi's abilities as well as her self-restraint. I don't mind a little eleventh hour drama, but there's a major lack of frustration tolerance there that sadly is her biggest hindrance. Yelling may be par for the course in our fast paced profession, but abandoning the line doesn't fly in a real kitchen.

This is the final four of MasterChef – you don't take a time out! It is truly a shame, because she has grown significantly in the last three months. Love her or hate her, Krissi, the consummate underdog, held her own this season.

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Joe Bastianich's MasterChef Blog: Cooking for Kids Proves Challenging

Credit: FOX (2)

Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and one of the judges of MasterChef. He is blogging each week about the show's search for the best home cooks. Follow him on Twitter @Jbastianich or visit joebastianich.com.

With only five home cooks left from what was arguably our strongest crop of contestants in the history of MasterChef, they should expect only the unexpected. We wanted to test just how capable our finalists could be at integrating and manipulating a true smorgasbord of ingredients into a restaurant quality dish.

Who better to trust with choosing such a random selection than kids?

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Joe Bastianich's MasterChef Blog: The Funniest Elimination Challenge | Joe Bastianich

Credit: Matt Hoyle/FOX

Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and one of the judges of MasterChef. He is blogging each week about the show's search for the best home cooks. Follow him on Twitter @Jbastianich or visit joebastianich.com.

Wednesday's episode of MasterChef featured our final seven contestants facing not one, but two protein-centric challenges. Talk about a warm welcome back for Bri!

In hindsight, I think the T-bone challenge was a little elementary for this group, given the late stage of the competition. Even with the expected elevation factor, if our home cooks can't nail this in their sleep, then we are all doing something wrong.

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Joe Bastianich Blogs: Lynn's Meltdown Was a Letdown – But Not a Surprise

Update 08/08/2013 01:10 PM Originally posted 08/08/2013 10:40 AM

Joe Bastianich Blogs: Lynn's Meltdown Was a Letdown – But Not a Surprise | Joe Bastianich

Credit: Matt Hoyle/FOX

Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and one of the judges of MasterChef. He'll be blogging each week about the show's search for the best home cooks. Follow him on Twitter @Jbastianich or visit joebastianich.com.

While our remaining home cooks loved hearing they would not be cooking during Wednesday's challenge, they were less than thrilled with the return of former contestants Bri, Bime and Lynn!

Jordan pretty much summed up the collective sentiments of the group regarding the possible reentry of Lynn. Despite his untimely exit, everyone knows that Lynn is the most technically advanced home cook to come out of Season 4. Although a favorite amongst his peers, the viewers, and us judges, competition-wise he is his fellow home cooks' worst nightmare.

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Graham Elliot Drops 56 Lbs. Since Beginning Weight Loss Journey

Credit: Courtesy Graham Elliot

Graham Elliot has some great news to share. The Chicago-based chef, who underwent surgery for a sleeve gastrectomy on July 16, has lost a dramatic amount of weight already.

"I started [weighing] 396 and I'm now at 340. That's even better than expected," the MasterChef judge, 36, tells PEOPLE.

"I feel amazing. I have a lot more energy," he adds. "I'm able to play tag with my 6-year-old son, [Mylo]. He said, 'You're way faster than you were.' He's so excited."

The chef, who stands 6'1", admits that slimming down hasn't come easy.

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MasterChef's Joe Bastianich Blogs: Family Visits Encourage the Top Seven

Update 08/01/2013 06:00 PM Originally posted 08/01/2013 01:00 PM

MasterChef's Joe Bastianich Blogs: Family Visits Encourage the Top Seven | Joe Bastianich

Credit: Matt Hoyle/FOX

Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and one of the judges of MasterChef. He is blogging each week about the show's search for the best home cooks. Follow him on Twitter @Jbastianich or visit joebastianich.com.

On Wednesday night, we watched our remaining finalists face what was by far the most emotional day of this year's MasterChef competition.

They say nothing is harder than being given your chance and that includes everything given up in pursuit of it. It has been almost two months since our top seven were plucked from the lives they knew, bid goodbye to their families and friends, forgoing whatever support system they had, all for the shot to fulfill their dream of a career in food.

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