MasterChef Australia – Sun 7:30pm; Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch10
Previously on Masterchef, Mindy only just failed to win immunity as she battled it out with Amina and Julia against the lads from Three Blue Ducks. Tonight, it’s time for Yum Cha, as racial stereotypes are pushed to the limit!
It’s still dark outside as the housemates stir. Ben and Andy stare into each other’s eyes at the breakfast bar, while Filipo sits across from Amina at the dining table, planning all the ways he could slice her and dice her. Then they reminisce about a dumpling Master Class, referring to the maker as a genius, a legend, when in fact he’s just a qualified chef. They wonder how on earth they’re ever going to put those newly taught dumpling making skills to good use. It was a simpler time back then.
Then there off to the Chinese gardens of friendship where, ironically everyone hates each other. Matt reminds them it’s the year of the dragon, as if this little snippet of information will become extremely relevant later on in the challenge, even though it won’t. George explains there will be a red and a blue team like never before, each cooking and serving five yum cha dishes, which must include a dumpling, steamed bun, a spring roll and an elderly Chinese woman pushing a food laden stainless steel cart. The dishes will be judged by the visitors to the Chinese Garden. Unfortunately today a tour has been booked by the overeaters anonymous, so this could go either way.
Who will be on which team will be determined by fortune cookie. Andy curses his luck as Emma joins him on the red team. Filippo and Audra pick red as well, stunning Deb who thinks the odds must be massive of that happening, and not the same odds each time someone selects a fortune cookie. Debra admits to never having eaten yum cha before, because when she was young her parents were killed in a spring roll rolling accident. So she swears softly to herself when she’s made captain of the red team. Beau is captain of the blues team. Then they’re off to the Chinese Garden of Friendship, where elderly gentlemen go to take off their clothes without being followed by the lustful eyes of beautiful young women. Fortunately those men are absent today.
The captains are asked to step forward, and there is a mystery box mysteriously placed on a table. They lift the lids and Deborah says she feels like vomiting, so maybe it’s a video of her crying over how courageous she thought she was for being on a game show. But instead there is dough, prawn mixture and rolling pins. Deborah says “dumplings?”, which may or may not be a reference to her breasts, or someone else’s breast, They have to make something possibly called “har gow” and the person who makes the best one in a short amount of time gets to swap one of their team with the other. This is how Germany was divided after the First World War, and look how that turned out. A confused Asian man adjudges Beau’s dumpling to be the best, and Beau steals Audra because she looks kind of Asian and would obviously know Asian food. Deborah and Audra break down crying. Matt is booted from the blue team in return, and amazingly, considering he is the youngest and was rejected, doesn’t cry.
They have to shop in Chinatown, which is weirdly not part of China, and then make their dishes and serve them to the tourists in the gardens. The team with the most votes wins, like some kind of weird backwards election.
Deborah attempts to assert control, but comes across as a post menopausal harridan. For the blues, Audra and Del go on a shopping spree. Audra says that Chinatown is like her backyard as she scatters various children’s toys in the streets and hangs out the washing. Meanwhile, Team Deb writes their menu. Deb is so confident in her abilities that she relinquishes creative control to Mindy and bladder control to TK.
Audra and Del get stuck in a fridge, while the neck hole in Andy’s shirt opens wider and wider, threatening to suck in a nearby star system. Filipo is on dough patrol for red team, as he is the resident dough expert. Andy and TK are out shopping. TK says she’s the brain but then she says Andy is the pretty muscle boy so I’m not sure she’s the brains. She confirms it by getting lost. Mario, Tregan and Wade get cracking on the dough, until Kylie comes back with what looks like a carton of beer, but is actually a box of prawns. They’re just waiting on Audra and Del, who Kylie believes shouldn’t be too far way. However, they’ve only just started their pedicure and still need to get their hair done.
Back with Andy and TK and TK waxes lyrical about Andy’s muscles and his sweat, until one of his muscles burst and he drops a bag, the illusion broken. Fish sauce runs along the pavement, spreading out like the life blood of the shopping bag it was in.
Over at red Alice is trying to entice people with their menu, while Deb stands in the background looking disappointed with her lot in life. Then Deb tries to take control by making herself the object of scorn. Deb wants Mindy to concentrate on the food, because the “food’s your thing”, she says, “your thing on this cooking related TV show we’re all on” she doesn’t add, but she might as well have.
Ben is out giving things to small people, which may technically breach some child protection laws, while the spring rolls get prepared by Del, Mario and Jules. Back at team red, Alice promises that if there is no food in two minutes she’ll moon walk, but that promise will only placate the masses if she does it on the moon without a space suit and oxygen. Deb shouts orders and Mindy takes offence, while for TK the anger begins bubbling to the surface. For Beau, he thinks everything is going smoothly for the blue team, so something must be about to go wrong. Audra thinks she’s a bit of a floater, and then confirms it when she remembers she forgot to buy wonton wrappers. And that’s the thing that goes wrong.
Wade, from Western Australia, is sent to Chinatown in Sydney to find wonton wrappers. Audra gives him directions to the one Chinese supermarket she’s sure has wonton wrappers, wonton wrappers being such a rare commodity. But pretty soon Wade is lost, and he wonders where he is in relation to Chinatown as he stands in the middle of Chinatown.
Over at red team, Mindy is so happy that Alice is out front and not in the kitchen cooking with her. People are enjoying their food, but they forget that people are idiots. Deb looks like a fish out of water according to Filippo, while Mindy takes over and makes sure food flies out the door, by throwing it at Deb’s head. Meanwhile Wade stands in front of a Chinese supermarket as he asks for directions to a Chinse supermarket.
Things are getting worse for the rest of the blue team as Gary informs them that their banana fritters are soggy. “There’s nothing worse than a soggy fritter” says Tregan, forgetting of course about cancer. They need more oil, if only they knew someone who was currently at a Chinese supermarket who could buy them oil. Like Wade. Oh wait. But instead Beau decides to send Tregan, who is also not from Sydney, out to get some oil. But Wade returns just in time to tell Tregan there’s no time to spend hours looking for one of 100 supermarkets when there are litres of olive oil available to do some frying in. Wait, olive oil is oil? Well I never.
As red team wraps things up and sends out the last of the food, Deb starts to find her feet take over her team from Mindy. Alice says relief washes over her like a wave, as she experiences her first metaphorical shower since her last literal shower three weeks ago.
So who won? Not common sense, that’s for sure. It’s 148 votes to 97. “The winning team” begins Matt Preston “of the great Yum Cha challenge” he continues, with not a small amount of hyperbole, before all is consumed by Filippo’s rage in the form of fire.
When we come back, the blue team are announced as the winners, as Deb clutches her face, fearing it may slide off. Off go blue for lunch and a private master class, while for red they face the ignominy of elimination. Filippo is blamed by Gary for the dough, and he takes it like a man, blaming Deb entirely. Deb in turn blames Mindy, and was concerned that half the team had ignored her insane ravings. TK says that in the back of their minds they all blame Deb, and also at the front of their mouths. Gary tells them to come back tomorrow with “fight for your life” written all on their faces, and Matt asks if it needs to be written in black, blue, or a colour of the contestants choosing, and also what font. Gary just rolls his eyes.
Tomorrow, who will stay, who will go, and who will suffer a slight finger strain?