24/07/2014

#MasterChef recap (Mon 11/06/12)

MasterChef AustraliaSun 7:30pm; Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch10
http://www.masterchef.com.au/
Last night on Masterchef, six teams battled it out for the right to fight for immunity and the right to avoid elimination respectively. Deb accidentally on purposes crushed her fingers in a glass door as she accidentally on purpose avoided elimination, while each of Jules, Tregan and Alice won the right to challenge for the fabled immunity pin. Unfortunately, for every winner there’s a loser, and on Masterchef season 4 for every success story there is Andrew, who led Dalvinder and Audra to inglorious defeat and possible elimination. Coincidentally that possible elimination takes place tonight, probably, unless it’s favourites Audra and Dalvinder who are the worst performers and the producers decide again to pull a Sam/Andy, on MASTERCHEF!

We open with the sad vision of Andrew packing his ceremonious hats as he says he feels empty inside, his regular morning routine of 50 prunes and 500 cups of coffee finally paying dividends. Audra regrets the possibility of losing Dalvinder, a person she originally felt a connection to solely because on her vertical attributes. For her part, Dalvinder doesn’t think she’s done enough in the competition yet, as she explains her dream of opening an Indian take away cottage. Each dresses in the now traditional “black is bad” apron and set off to meet their fate in the now traditional “black is bad” four wheel drive. Which begs the question: if Masterchef is an ecologically sound production, and based on a previous focus on sustainability in the restaurant industry you could suggest that they believe they are, why not make the contestants undertake the journey on environmentally friendly Vespers?

Andrew, Audra and Dalvinder arrive to the cheers of the ever dwindling array of fellow contestants as they present themselves before Messrs Calombaris, Mehigan and Preston. They are told they have to cook a Calombaris favourite, something that we eat, or he eats, a couple of days a week, before George lifts the cloche to reveal his mum’s Greek salad, which looks suspiciously like one of those bags of Greek salad you buy at sponsor Coles. But Dalvinder correctly guesses that a simple salad would not be the challenge, and she’s right. They don’t have to cook something as simple as a bag of salad on a plate. They have to cook what is affectionately known by George as Greek salad 2012, which is in fact a deconstructed Greek salad that experiences civil unrest and refuses to pay its debts. “It takes my mum 10 minutes and 10 ingredients to make her Greek salad” says George, not explaining why it takes her 10 minutes to open a bag, “while it takes my chefs 10 recipes and lots of time to make mine”, he finishes. And yet he blames the Fair Work Act for his business being unable to make a profit. Audra believes that George’s salad looks like the Garden of Eden. Yes, that’s correct, Audra believes some food on a plate looks like a mythical world where two people walked around naked and may or may not have had a threesome with a snake.

Andrew is concerned that George’s Greek salad has “techniques I’ve never done before”, such as cooking and making things taste good. “You have to recreate George’s beautiful Greek salad in three and a half hours” says Gary disingenuously. “Make us proud, cook a beautiful dish and stay in the competition, that’s all we ask you to do”, says George, which, considering the premise of the elimination episode, is probably asking a bit much of them. Although it worked for Andy and Sam last week.

As the clock begins its inevitable countdown, they all start by getting the capsicums in the oven, as Gary talks with George and Matt about using cling film for cooking and other earthly delights. As the contestants cook the others shout instructions from above, which is much more similar to what is said to have happened in the Garden of Eden than a deconstructed Greek salad, Audra.

George comes over to talk shop with Audra and believes her “capsicums” are too firm, an unusual complaint for a man to make. Andrew suffers an early setback when he fails to fill his terrine dish completely with capsicum. But this misfortune proves well deserved as Andrew says “defo” as a convenient replacement for definitely, an abbreviation that has yet to be recognised by the UN as a legitimate word to be used by a middle aged hair dresser. But while Andrew shortcuts his dish and the English language, Dalvinder struggles to get her terrine in the fridge at all.

Andrew moves on to the green olive gel. As a hairdresser, Andrew is well versed in using gels of all kinds. On the other side of the room, Audra looks to be well set and following instructions to a tee, but Dalvinder’s agar agar has not set set. Audra moves on to the fetta cream, while George provides everyone else with a history lesson, explaining how the Greeks invented the Marathon. Although that particular historical fact ended with the death of the protagonist, there’s no such fortune here as George moves on to sprinting. Julia says Dalvinder looks like a dough in the headlights, which is an apt description of Filippo’s recurring wet dream. Speaking of wet dreams, Andrew practises spurting a discharge like cream out of a cylindrical device.

George offers a prayer to the terrine god, as Andrew is asked by a contestant upstairs if he has a digital thermometer, because Wade has come down with a fever and some needs to take his temperature internally. Andrew ignores the request as he intentionally burns his oil in an attempt to create his own break inducing fireball. George runs over and says “in 10 seconds that oil will catch fire” as the oil catches fire and we go to a break.

When we come back Andrew claims that George rather dramatically said “within 11 seconds that pan will explode”, but he’s clearly forgotten they whole proceedings are recorded. Dalvinder says she’s trying to do too many things at a time as she attempts to program the VCR to record The Voice which is about to start on a rival network. She breaks down into tears and the tragedy is further compounded when George comes over and confirms to everyone that he continues to exist. And then suddenly the gallery descend to earth like angels to clean up for Dalvinder which isn’t cheating at all.

Andrew offers thanks the terrine god as he removes his terrine from the dish, but then curses the terrine god as his terrine begins to fall apart. Meanwhile, the terrine god continues to watch The Voice, unaware of Andrew’s troubles. Audra does a better job with her terrine by doing things properly, as does Dalvinder. Andrew plates the rest of the component and then has another go with his terrine but makes a terrible mess on the plate. For her part, Dalvinder is worried how the plate is going to “luke”, whatever that means, as the seconds count down and they all manage to finish serving every part of the dish.

Dalvinder brings hers in first, and she says she’s useless. Matt says “Don’t ever say you’re useless, because you’re not. That’s Andrew’s job.” They ask her to leave so they can talk about her, and they taste her dish. Unfortunately, they believe the fetta mousse and the green olive gel lack something, making the dish itself miss out on a much needed saltiness.

Audra is next and she oozes confidence. The judges all say “wow” as she presents her plate, like it’s a secret code for being impressed or something. They also send her away for the secret tasting, but they can’t say enough good things about it before they taste. Gary says “three words: Magic, magic, magic”. Which is one word said three times.

Andrew’s dish is last, literally and probably. The terrine is jaggered, apparently, which may be a reference to the brief but tawdry affair it had with Mick Jagger. The highlight for George is the olive sponge. The lowlight is the terrine.

The judges assemble. Andrew’s terrine was too loose while Dalvinder’s wasn’t salty enough, words often heard around the creaking halls of Australia’s brothels. Audra is safe, with the loser to be drawn from the ranks of Andrew and Dalvinder. But in a shock move, the judges decide to keep a contestant who, thus far, has shown no discernible skill for cooking, in lieu of one who has shown plenty. Yet what is Masterchef if not a search for Australia’s best amateur chef by eliminating amateur chefs that are better than the amateur chefs they keep? Oh, I see your point.

So Dalvinder is eliminated ahead of Andrew. Gary says she made the “best curries ever seen on Masterchef”, as Jimmy and Kumar turn in their freshly dug graves. She returns home to the joyful news that her child has learnt to write, though not particularly neatly and certainly without any flair. She uses all her new found cooking skills to cook her family up a traditional curry. The end credits inform us that she has attacked the curry industry with a new found vigour, selling her dishes at her local markets, an avenue closed to all but Masterchef’s finest eliminated contestants.

Tomorrow, it’s that “pukka” f**ker Jamie Oliver.

About Chris Owens

By day, public servant and lawyer. By night, avid television watcher. Avid television tweeter. Avid television critic. Avid. Follow my biting twitter commentary: @Chrisd_Owens

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