MasterChef Australia – Sun 7:30pm; Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch10
Tonight on Masterchef, absolutely no mention of what happened the week before, as the eliminations of Dalvinder and Mario are forgotten as quickly as your password for a News Limited pay wall. Then crazy voice over man (I just assume he’s crazy I have no solid evidence) reminds us all why the contestants are there: a book deal, cash and the chance to work with some of Australia’s best loved cookers. And before we know it Katy Perry is singing us her seminal work on the rigours and rewards of being a professional chef. “You’re hot then you’re cold, you’re yes then you’re no…”. Man, it’s just like being in a commercial kitchen.
We open with what are clearly becoming text books shots over the water and some boats, before we see Kylie, Tregan and Jules in bed. Not together, it is important to point out, but still, if you squint a little bit, pillow fights, underwear, etcetera. Beau burns his toast in a bad omen for his future, before they jump in their hearse like transport and head for HQ. They arrive and walk through he doors and notice alarmingly that the mystery boxes have been replaced by…well either nothing or MYSTERY CHOPPING BOARDS!
In fact, it’s all just a ruse, as Preston reveals that there are in reality three mystery boxes “ each chosen by three ordinary Aussies. One a lawyer, the other two mums”. Well obviously they can’t be the winners of series one, two and three of Masterchef because they’d all have glittering careers in the food industry. But actually they are Julie, Adam and Kate from series one, two and three respectively.
They return to the scene of their triumphs, receiving raucous applause from the crop of current contestants. Each has chosen their five favourite ingredients, but the contestants have to pick which former Masterchef champion they want most to be like before the contents of the mystery box are revealed. They line up according whose box they want to see, before the ingredients are revealed. Julie has budget ingredients. Kate has sweet ingredients. Adam has weird ingredients. “90 minutes” screams Gary. “Use the panty and use the herb garden. Oh and there’s no invention test later today, so we’ll be picking the best for immunity and the worst for elimination.”
After a break they begin the great whatever. Emma says it’s going to be a big challenge, what with all the cooking they’re expected to do. Kate makes some oblique references to her bowels, while Jules is preparing ravioli, which if I’m correct is only the second time she’s made pasta. Julie is pleased she’s leaving out the meat, saying it’s very “budgetarian”, but I was always led to believe that budgetarians were people who only ate that French girl from the Budget adds. “That’s Budget love.” You live and learn I guess.
Audra is braising a pork belly in a pressure cooker, while Wade is doing his belly two ways: fried and tickled (though if his belly is anything like his eyebrows he better wax it first). With 60 minutes to go Deb says sticky in a slightly erotic way and not surprisingly Gary is there in a flash. Kate says it’s important to have a backup plan, usually involving assault rifles. Speaking of violence, Kate and Gary question Filippo who is making a chocolate pudding, belying his homicidal tendencies.
Andy is also relying on a pressure cooker, while George asks everyone if they want to be the fourth Australian Masterchef. No George, no one there wants to be the next Masterchef, obviously, it’s just that this was the only path open to them to get selected for the Australian cricket team. Sam tries to give Julie and Matt the wind up as they waste his precious time, while Alice opens a pan and her glasses steam up comically. She must have seen a salad dressing.
Emma is making a cone but Gary and Kate mercilessly cut her to shreds and raise all sorts of doubts in her beanie encrusted mind. But for their insouciance they are obliterated by heat and fire. When we come back, Julie tells them there’s only 30 minutes to go. Either that or George has got his testicles stuck in a vice. Again!
Preston talks about Adam’s wacky ingredients, and George doubts Wade’s efforts with the pork belly. Preston wonders if Sam’s strudel will be as good as Gary’s. I think they’re still talking about cooking but if they drop trousers and compare the contents therein, I won’t be completely surprised. Filippo says he’s a bit nervous, as he can’t recall if he got all the body parts in that vat of acid and also he suspects he may have left the iron on back at the Masterchef house.
With 15 minutes to go we’ve barely seen Andrew so quite possibly he won’t be the worst. Adam tells Mindy “they look the business don’t they” but we don’t know what “they” are so we can only assume he’s talking about her naughty bits. Julie coaches Sam while Wade struggles. Filippo’s pudding is a bit of a disaster, like the Hindenburg was a bit of a disaster, but Filippo has a plan and “hopefully I can get away with it” he says with the ease of someone practiced in getting away with things.
Audra’s hands are so shaky she can’t let go of her pork, so she calls on all her professional catering experience, I mean AMATUER catering experience, and with one minute to go everyone starts throwing food onto crockery in the hope that it resembles something. Then it’s hands and fingers down.
After a brief interlude, Sam is first up to the tasting table with his big long savoury strudel. “That is a real budget meal” says Gary “There’s a cracking idea struggling to get out of that”. Julie says the flavour of the meat is “dutiful” or perhaps beautiful and she’s pleased he took notes in Master class. Audra is next with her braised pork belly. Gary says he’s excited about this dish, and Audra says “good” in a sort of a “go ahead make my day” kind of way. Gary really loves it. Adam says he’s jealous that Gary got to the dish first because now Gary’s germs are all over it he can’t actually eat it. But he says it’s a really great job, even for a professional caterer.
Deb comes next with her caramel cake and Preston invites the guest judges to try it first, lest Deb has poisoned it. They all dig in and no one spots the obvious flaw with Deb’s dish. IT’S JUST A CAKE! Filippo follows Deb (to the grave? No, but give it time) and Gary spots and early error but keeps it to himself for safety reasons before cutting in and revealing a hidden fireball followed by Steve “Blocker” Roach yelling at me in that funny high pitched voice of his. I’ve always wondered if he was a eunuch.
When we come back, Gary says Filippo’s pudding is a bit “Bready”, resembling soft rock legends Bread “and the ice cream isn’t figgy enough”. George criticises the presentation and says “I’m sure if I walked into your home I wouldn’t get this”. I’m pretty sure if you walked into Filippo’s home George you wouldn’t be walking out again, if you know what I mean.
Following a quick pastiche/montage of some dishes that are good enough to not be at the bottom, Mindy comes up causing Gary to paraphrase Jerry Maguire. Wade follows with his pork with parchment. George tries to tear the bread but his weak little arms are incapable . George asks Wade what’s wrong and Wade says something about “missing Ernie and the gang from Sesame Street”.
Emma is back with her beanie as if some kind of protection against stray hairs, and presents a delicate little cone. Gary laments that there is only one and thinks the experience has been lost because he had to cut it in half, a sentiment shared by every assistant of a magician where a trick has gone “horribly wrong”. Andrew follows and he talks like he KNOWS what he’s doing. And in fact he does, because to the relief of Preston and the cheers of everyone, he’s cooked a dish that TASTES OKAY! Which is a first for him.
When we return the best three are revealed. Mindy is there, as well as Audra (looking very professional), plus Debra. And, because this is Masterchef where it is well known that the judges lack the fundamental skill of counting, a fourth is named in the top three, and that fourth is Andrew. As a result, Andrew is instantly drug tested. However although there are suspicions, nothing can be proven.
Audra is named the best of the best and is awarded the right to attend Top Gun school, as well as fight for immunity. On the down side, if you can call it a down side, Filippo, Wade/Bert and Emma are announced to have had the three worst dishes. Before they go, Julie offers sage words of advice, though they are lost in the shock of Emma not crying. Finally, Gary thanks the guests and says “it was all good” further mocking and rubbing salt into the wounds of the failures. Clearly it wasn’t all good Gary. Not all good at all.