MasterChef AustraliaSun 7:30pm; Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch10
Previously on Masterchef, the honoured 24 arrived in Sydney and Masterchef HQ without losing a single limb or piece of luggage. Alice was the big failure when all of the judges refused to put her tongue in their mouths, while Ben topped Emma and Deborah for a chance at immunity.

Tonight Ben exercises his right to fight for immunity against none other than the possibly known Dan Hong and two other people who may or may not know Dan Hong. He will battle it out serving entree, main and dessert, all for the right for a piece of cheap jewellery, so it doesn’t seem worth it really, on MASTERCHEF!

We begin with a house on the water. The house, like everything else on this show, has the Masterchef brand mark proudly emblazoned on the front, so that viewers aren’t confused about what they’re watching and go out and buy the latest sauce range from an MKR contestant. Inside everyone is fighting to make coffee as the traveller’s constipation hits hard. Ben says the immunity pin is the ultimate prize, causing a plane load of athletes headed for London to turn around and come back. Andy admits to being a pretty good mate of Ben’s and proves it by offering his surrogacy services. Ben politely declines.

And then suddenly Ben is dressed in his pristine whites and is taken away in a big black car off to HQ, with the rest of the contestants left to brave Sydney’s public transport. Oddly they beat him there. Gary smiles like a man who has just eaten 24 meals cooked by amateur chefs, while Ben admits Matt Moran’s presence has made him nervous. He must still think he’s in Melbourne if the presence of a Moran makes him nervous. Meanwhile the rest of the contestants practice for when they get that big break on Ready Steady Cook as the audience.

But Matt Moran isn’t his opponent, and in fact he will be his friend, his best friend, his long-time companion, his mentor, because Ben is up against Dan Hong and some of his fellow hot young chefs who all walk in wearing expensive sneakers to show just how hot and young and hip they are. Dan says his style of cooking is modern Asian with a twist and says a Don Hong dish has to explode in your mouth, much like Dan Hong does.

Hong tries to look threatening, but he’s a bit chubby so ends up looking hungry. Dan says he’s been cooking for 10 years AND BOY ARE HIS ARMS TIRED! Gary informs them that Ben and the professionals have to cook an entree, main and dessert each, as Deborah yells profanities from the balcony, still reeling from yesterday’s loss to Ben.

Two core ingredients exist behind a red curtain, but only one can be chosen. The curtain drops to reveal lemons and honey. When life gives you lemons you make lemonade, or so saying goes, and if life gives you honey you make some sort of honey related dish.

Dan is given the right to choose, and he goes for lemons because of a childhood memory involving an uncle and lemons. Ben is told he also gets an advantage but his hopes for a seven thousand recipe programmed super android from the future are dashed when he is told he can choose two fellow competitors to help him. Ben chooses Andy, because they’re in love, and Emma, who appears to have her own personal pianist. Team Ben has 90 minutes and Team Dan has 60 minutes. It’s a blind tasting, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean someone will lose their sight in an horrific industrial accident. Then flames lick the screens as if to compound our disappointment.

When we come back, Team Ben gets underway and immediately they hit the pantry. George, Gary and Matt discuss lemon and lemon related anecdotes, while Team Ben scurry around like mice involved in a cooking related reality television show. Ben orders Andy to grab a crate of lemons, while instructing Emma to rub his corns. Andy is doing the entree of snapper chevice, while Ben is making prawn ravioli for main, leaving Emma to do a lemon cheesecake for dessert.

Andy is having difficulties with his snapper. Some of the fault lies with him, because he is making no effort to understand it from the snapper’s perspective. Eventually though he gets his way, by virtue of his marginally superior brain power. Ben worries about time running away from him, but that’s the least of his worries as suddenly cock rock music fills the air and Team Dan hits the benches to show their skills. Dan condescends and says it’s very nerve racking.

Matt Moran explains to Andy that finesse is what’s required as they compare the length and thickness of a couple of things. Emma explains the importance of having a set cheesecake when it comes out of the oven. With less than 20 minutes to go, Ben starts making his ravioli, which he admits is only the third time he’s tried. Tregan gives tips from the balcony, and with 15 minutes to go Emma’s cheesecakes are still runny. Team Dan has no such issues and power on with the challenge.

With 5 minutes to go Matt Moran reminds them that putting food on a plate is a condition of the challenge, while Emma is still struggling with her cheesecake after it outsmarted her in a game of Whist. She somehow manages to put it on a plate of some form and since she has met Matt Moran’s only requirement refuses to do anymore. Ben plates up his ravioli, but he’s concerned the prawns don’t look like he pictured in his head: in his head they all had the face of Elizabeth Perkins. Suddenly Ben burns the sauce and the look of disappointment on his face is palpable, so I imagine it came as quite a relief when he was consumed by fire.

When we come back, Ben has to redo his sauce, saying “fingers crossed it works this time”, realising too late that having your fingers crossed is almost as much of a handicap as Emma. As the clock ticks down cries of “What do you need? What do you need?” fill the air, and also “Mmm bop” can be heard in the background. The final ten seconds pass in what seems like one sixth of a minute, and miracle of miracles, everyone plates up JUST in time. Emma is particularly happy she’s got ‘some think’ on the plate, though not a lot of ‘think’ in her head.

The judges wait like petulant school boys for their treats. The entrees are first and it is pleasing to Preston’s eye. He feels titillated, but George calms things down by referring to taste. The judges like the snapper chevice with tacos, but wonder whether there is enough lemon in the dish. The sashimi with lemon follows, and Gary says the first impressions have his mouth watering. This is convenient because saliva aids in the digestion process. Preston refers further to mouths and juices, and at this stage the only thing in my mouth is a little bit of sick. George regrets the presence of sinew in his fish like he regrets never having learned English. Preston chooses the sashimi and George chooses the taco, while Gary’s choice is saved for another day.

Next up is Team Ben’s prawn ravioli with lemon butter sauce and Team Dan’s prawn and duck san choy bow. Straight away the boys notice that Ben’s prawns look raw, so they opt to taste the ravioli. Gary nods and tries the prawn but the others are not game. Gary reckons it’s been cured, but of what? The ravioli is successful, with a ringing hit of lemon flavour.

George likes the presentation of the san choy bow, while Gary drips juice down his arm. Preston spoons juice onto another spoon, like he has some form of OCD, all the while chanting artificial flavour numbers over and over. Neither George nor Matt think there is enough lemon in the san choy bow. Again with the lemon!

Last is Team Dan’s deconstructed lemon tart and Team Ben’s lemon cheesecake. The judges are positively orgasmic over the lemon tart and begin giggling like schoolgirls before engaging in a pillow fight in their pyjamas. Then they taste the cheesecake and suddenly feel more deflated than that time when Pamela Anderson ran into a sharp thing.

The favourite entree is Team Dan’s but Gary just has to mention George’s sinew and Dan shoots a look at his underling. Team Ben’s prawn ravioli wins round two, ostensibly because of the lack of lemon flavour, but also to give Preston the chance to say “Boy things couldn’t be more evenly poised!” which he does with the necessary élan. Not surprisingly though, the winning dessert is the deconstructed lemon tart. The teams hug each other, before Emma shocks everyone by crying. One of the boys from Team Dan taps her on the shoulder, before George orders him to hug her to satisfy his sick, sexual urges.

And then everyone is thrown out of the building so that the pest controllers can get to work.

Tomorrow night on Masterchef, everyone is cooking things in restaurants, which WERE high end before Masterchef turned up. And for the fourth time this series, the stakes could not be higher.