MasterChef AustraliaSun 7:30pm; Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch10
Last night on Masterchef, Mario the auto erotica detailer was put through after rubbing his head for the judges. Is this the new hugging? But anyway, with Mario through, the remaining aprons were dwindling fast. Who will be next? Who will go to the top? Who will assassinate George? Find out tonight, on MASTERCHEF!

Mindy spent time in Malaysia and Brisbane so she knows exotic. She’s cooking her dad’s favourite dish, because she wants to set up a restaurant with her dad, who is currently fighting in Afghanistan, because he has all the money. No mention of that time she spent in Boulder, Colorado, with a certain alien with a suspender fetish? Mindy stir fries the ingredients while describing in minute detail what she’s doing, showing to the judges and the producers she’s perfect for TV. She refers to colour, texture, but perhaps fatally forgets to tell everyone what the hero of her dish is. Will it cost her? She cites unemployment and homelessness as reasons to put her through, which is original, but at the end of the day her food has to do the talking. It does, and whispers into the judges ears that if she isn’t put through their dead, so she’s in and a room opens up in a Brisbane homeless shelter for someone else. She calls dad to let him know she’s through, and he expresses how proud he is of her, through the medium of mime, while crawling through a mine field. A lost art if ever there was one, but totally pointless over a communication device relying solely on the voice.

More losers are shown, which is what we love in Australia. For some reason this reminds me that tomorrow is budget night. Then 19 year old Ella from Adelaide lights up our screen, the way an arsonist lights up an abandoned warehouse for sexual gratification. Ella explains her novel dream of owning some kind of establishment were people go to sit and consume food, flooring the judges with the quality and rarity of her ambitions. She offers up her sticky date, which they attack with relish. They ask her if she’s totally prepared to do the big hours suffered by a pastry chef, and she admits she does which puts them on the back foot. Preston leers and Gary drools. Matt says it wasn’t soggy enough, but in the end her sticky date was sticky enough and she was put through. In fact, Gary ate so much of the sticky date pudding that his own date got a little sticky and he found it difficult to extricate himself from the chair.

And suddenly, taking everyone by surprise, the top 50 is complete. The judges offer words of inspiration but then it gets down to business. As they clap, and stand, and reveal sweaty armpits, it’s on.

And so they enter a building which is famous in Melbourne but I don’t care because I’m not from Melbourne I’m from Sydney and therefore don’t recognise other capital cities. The building appears to have been redecorated by the Renaissances’ best artist, cloned for the occasion and destroyed in an industrial bread oven lest they wreck their terrible revenge. All those 50 aprons earned with sweat, blood and tears as they are replaced by new, better aprons, and fewer of them. Was it all for nothing? For 26 of them, yes!

The first mystery box of the year has them racing down the aisles like so many preparing for a Moon weddings, scant regard given to safety once again. Each box contains none other than Normie Rowe, who unfurls himself luxuriantly to reveal the ingredient beneath: half have chicken, the other half beef. I guess SOMEONE will be having CHICKEN TONIGHT! Just like a wedding says George, before downing a bottle of champagne and groping Gary. Preston garishly presides over the spectacle, like a latter day Margaret Thatcher dressed as a woman. Aprons, real ones, not the fake one’s they’re wearing are up for grabs. 90 minutes to glory or despair. AND THEY’RE OFF!

Three contestants perish from lack of oxygen, as the cameras ignore the comely and the uninspiring. They are replaced by three, more photogenic, wannabe cooks, but viewers remain unaware and blissfully ignorant.

Americanadian Kevin makes cider can chicken, which, as its name suggests, is put in cider can (inside a can, see what I did there?). Davinda rejects the notion that beef is a food, claiming that as a Sikh she can’t eat beef. So instead she calls he beef chicken and takes the novel approach of using her imagination to create a never land, where she’s never asked to cook beef. Audra wanted to do a dessert but couldn’t fit the beef in a macaroon. She gets little airtime so I don’t like her chances. Andrew, the hairdresser, makes a magnificent leap when he compares hairdressing to cooking, and a sublime back roll when he avoids some runaway marzipan.

Matt is 18 and the youngest contestant. A Hungry Jacks veteran, he makes a rookie mistake of putting a large sock on his head. Oh wait it’s a beanie. He makes another rookie mistake of cooking risotto, which causes the judges jaws to drop. Well either that or the lockjaw they’re all suffering. Gary teases his stock, saying that he can’t smell chicken, but Gary is left red faced when Matt reveals it is actually his urine sample for the drug test all contestants are required to undertake. To avoid embarrassment, Gary is consumed by a fireball as we take a break. But when we come back, Matthew can’t understand why the judges are so concerned he is trying to cook risotto. “I wasn’t really aware that risotto was the dish of death” he says, “as I’m an idiot and didn’t bother watching the first three seasons of Masterchef.”

With one hour to go, Gary’s voice gets mysteriously deeper and, I’ll admit, sexier. But George’s doesn’t . Not in any way, shape or form.

Fiillipo from Cairns starts by giving us his best Steve Buscemi impersonation, and I’m sold. If he isn’t being fed into a wood chipper by the end of this series then he isn’t trying hard enough and doesn’t deserve to win.

A quick shot of Amina, who we discover is a registered nurse, as opposed to those unregistered nurses with all their rusty pipes and bald tyres, held together only by chicken wire. Yet we don’t dwell too long on Amina, because Kevin is sweating into his dish and we need to see that. In fact, I think we need to talk about Kevin (see what I did there? Again?) because all of a sudden he is making the international sign of someone performing felatio, in his piece to camera. MAN, HE REALLY WANTS IT!

Yukio uses his muscles to open a bottle for someone, and wastes 45 minutes. Then he talks to his food, but it doesn’t reply. Well I’m disappointed because I really thought it would. Following this Davinda has her first ever taste of beef (insert inappropriate joke here).

Kevin speaks for everyone when he claims he hates annoying foreigners, before the judges call a halt to proceedings. They inform the crowd that the top 12 dishes will battle it out for 6 aprons, while the best dish will get an apron straight away. It’s that simple. “WHY THE HELL DIDN’T THEY SAY THIS AT THE START SO I TRIED A BIT HARDER?” scream most of them in their heads, but nonetheless they get on with the job.

With 10 minutes to go, George expresses his concerns about Matthew’s risotto. One minute passes and then suddenly it’s 5 minutes to go and I feel life escaping me. Mindy drops her chicken on the floor, and without Mork to use his alien powers to save the situation, she’s left exposed. Why did she leave him in Boulder, Colorado?

Davinda’s confusion over the beef is exacerbated by it not being chicken, but the part we’ve all been waiting for comes when Kevin’s can gets stuck up his arse, I mean the chickens arse. He applies sweat as a lubricant and it works and he removes the can as the chicken lets out a long, deep, disturbing sigh of pleasure.

And so to the tasting, with the best dish winning an apron and getting to sit out the madness for the next few days. Yukio is first and he appears to experience seven orgasms on the way up. His steak with orange sauce and chimmichurri sauce is sublime for its madness, and the judges express their doubts in the most emphatic way possible: by flicking Yukio’s bottom with wet tea towels. Jules is next with her thyme and shallot chicken, but in a twist they give the judging back to Jules and she gives herself 5 stars. Andrew’s schnitzel is well received until it invades Poland, while Mindy’s floor chicken is a surprising success, though can’t be tasted for obvious reasons. It’s a pity, because everyone knows all the flavour is on the floor and the industry is crying out for a visionary to throw caution to the wind. Steve “Fillipo” Buscemi brings up his chicken and bread, which is a fancy Chicken Hero. But in an ironic twist containing no irony, his chicken is undercooked in places. Yet when it is discovered his breasts are perfect, the uplifting music blows everyone through the roof.

Amina’s spare ribs are tasted next, and Preston exclaims “Yum”, while Audra’s ribs only get a watery “Brilliant, fantastic.” Matthew’s risky risotto rolls up the aisle next, followed by Matthew. Gary is uncertain whether he should stick a knife in his ear, rather than break Matthew’s heart, but opts for the heartbreaking instead, attached as he is to his ear. Once again, risotto claims a casualty on Masterchef. Just ban the damn thing!

Finally Kevin and his arsehole chicken get a chance. Kevin chipped a tooth for this baby, so it better be good. George loves how it looks, and his response is telling and welcomed by everyone: “”Why do we need to talk?” Exactly George! Exactly!

Davinda brings up her beef, quickly cleans up the floor with a Handee Ultra, before carefully carrying the remains of her dish to the judges. Called Karahi beef, after a chicken dish of a slightly different name, it is a study in subtlety. Preston is surprised to discover Maggie Beer trying to get out, but uses his might to push her back in. She’s not meant to appear until week 4.

With the tasting over, the winner needs to be announced. It’s a rule. 12 people will go into the next round, but one will win an apron on the spot.

The names are read out like a cavalcade of names: TK, Lucy, Andrew, Filipo, Carolyn, Wade, Audra, Jules, Amina, Sam, Davinda, Kevin, Yukio. These are all names, except maybe TK. Of those names, one will go through to the top 24, with its body. And the winner is, nobody, because it’s Kevin so we all lose. Hopefully he’ll have no teeth by week 13. The other 12 have to come back tomorrow for more aprons. Kevin leads the crowd out like Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt. Do it for England, St George and King Henry, but just bloody do it!

Tomorrow, 6 places up for grabs, 12 competing. Fishing, racing and cooking, plus, according to George, panicking. All ‘ing’ words. And more Mario. Super.