My Kitchen RulesMon-Thu 7:30pm, Ch7
On, it’s GAME ON, bitches. We’ve been waiting for this episode for two weeks – ever since that first sigh. Let’s see not only what Ashlee & Lispy can do, but what the other teams can do to their chances out of plain spite. THIS IS THE BEST!…

Here we are in Western Sydney, home of Ashlee & Sophia (yes, the Lispy one). They’re out to prove that they can cook – it’s about the food yet they still don’t know what’s coming their way. Sophia is on the show to “play homage” to her parents. Then she’s making guacamole and we all collectively wonder what that has to do with her Asian heritage. So, they want to honour the classics and mix it up with new stuff. It’s a fusion. Ugh.

Neither of the girls drive, so Ashlee’s “husband” will be their driver (you couldn’t pay him enough). The entree is all about the cabbage, and Pete thinks it sounds delicious but given his taste buds have been dulled these past weeks he’d think bark would be a ‘surprising new taste sensation’. Manu likes the complexity of the menu yet the girls have clearly gone with their comfort zone:

Entree – Poached Chicken Salad with sweet and sour dressing.
Main – Shrimp and Pork Vietnamese Pancakes.
Dessert – Lime Creme Brulee.

OBVIOUSLY the girls are looking for a score over 39, and OBVIOUSLY each team is going to score them through the floor. Sophia sniffs the prawns and announce “I don’t know what this even is – it’s such a waste of my olefactory space”.

AS they head towards home with the 30 minute warning from Ashlee’s “husband” they realise they need gas for their brulee torch. SCREECH – and that’s just from Ashlee. They jump out and, for some reason, every tobacconist in Western Sydney is closing in the middle of the day. Samuel is seen sneaking away in ye olde timey mask and a big bag with a dollar sign on it, shaking hands with the next tobacconist he sees.

“It’s like we’re in a show that’s a race and it could be amazing cries Sophia. They dive into a $2 shop – no good. Second one – a massive gas canister but it works. They test it in store, scream, pay, scream, run back to the car, scream. The clock’s ticking on their prep time and nobody is home.

They can’t have been far from home – there’s 2:46 on the clock when they arrive. Leaving their Instant Restaurant until “later” they start prepping the food immediately. The lime creme brulee for one. Manu’s made millions of them in his life, but never a lime one. First time for everything – though I hope he has a food taster.

The girls refer to each other as “babes” as if there’s more than one of them. This proves to be disconcerting as there’s only one of them other than themselves and neither of them are “babes”. Already the entree sauce is “en pointe”.

The other contestants are sceptical and they’ve not even left the recap zone left. Oh, wait…

The girls finally get to dressing their Instant Restaurant “The Factory”, so named because they’re such big Andy Warhol fans and that’s what he called his studio and their restaurant is like their studio so it’s EXACTLY the same thing. FFS.

Ashlee knows the pressure is on: “Let’s keep it real.” One slip will be enough for Cougar Lisa to give them a zero. Fifteen minutes and the girls are pulling the brulees from the ovens and race off to pretty themselves up. There are not enough minutes in eternity. The guests start the long, slow march from Cabramatta train station and share their fears at trusting Ashlee & Sophia to feed them and not poison them. BING BONG.

“Babes, They’re here!”
“OK, let’s have a quick prayer: We pray for a good instant restaurant, let’s pray for no time delays, and let’s pray for good hair and makeup. OK, love you biatch.”

Just. Plain. Wow.

Angela notes their welcome didn’t seem very genuine at all. She also notes they cast no shadow.

The decor hasn’t appealed to any of the guests. It sounded like Samuel called it “The Fucktory”. “I hope everyone’s had a tetanus shot,” says Dan.

The girls are nothing if not confident when they welcome the guests. The guests respond in kind. The serving of absinthe as a welcome drink is determined to be pretentious. The girls are wasting no time entertaining their guests to make them feel welcome.

Very few people drink the absinthe. “This is poison, it’s not even absinthe,” says Stefano. Melina smashes a wine glass in protest. While all this goes on the girls determine that if their guests had taste they’d love everything tonight.

“If we get a good score tonight, I’m gonna get my local council to name a park after me,” says Sophia. Priceless. Facepalm.

Pete & Manu arrive and BING BONG the girls wet their pants. After all, it’s all for them. They know the judges are expecting big things, but only because the girls have talked a big game. Pete senses a strange energy – otherwise know as vindication – while the girls read out the menu. Cougar Lisa expect everything to be quick as it strikes her as very simple.

“We’re just gonna go work on your entrees, so we’re gonna bounce,” announces Sophia. The Mamas treat them like the children they are.

The aim from Ashlee & Sophia is to deliver the entree in 30 minutes and give them nothing to talk about. The table is expecting a lot though they’re already underwhelmed by the menu as the consensus is they’re doing it quite easily.

Ali’s expecting competition but only in the way you see a one-legged man try to keep up in an arse kicking contest. She’s sure they’re gonna trip over themselves. The shallots are in to fry because “they’ll add flavour and they’ll add taste”.

Entree salad mixed and it’s time to plate and serve. “I think it’s one of the best dishes of the competition so far,” says Ashlee. “Mmm, looks great,” says nobody. Pete & Many poke around and scoff a few mouthfuls. The tension is palpable.

Pete can’t judge books by their covers – and you can’t judge food by how it looks. For him it didn’t taste as good as it looked; the dressing let it down – all sweet and no sour. Manu loved it, but would have made love to it if the dressing was perfect. Poor Sophia, she’s taking the judges comments straight to heart. FUCKING GOOD. They scarper back to the kitchen to start on main while the guests punish the entree. Everyone’s disappointed.

Dan manages to say exactly what we just saw. Not even summarising it, just narrating. Producer’s dream and nightmare all in one large package.

Ashlee & Sophia have taken the judges comments to heart and are now changing up the same sauce that they used for entree for main as well. 10 minutes they reckon.

“I’ve never tried Vietmanese pankcakes,” says Kieran. There are giggles as he keeps saying “Vietmanese” over and over and over again. Samuel can say “Vietnamese” but can’t describe how much he means when he says a lot. Everyone hopes for more than one pancake as they’re starving.

Tragedy in the kitchen as the pork cooks and it’s too tough. “Babes” is tossed around in place of “fuckwit” to keep it as a PG show. Ashlee’s rock has crumbled and she wants to throw in her metaphor towel.

Lisa now believes their hold on staying in the competition isn’t so tenuous. If only she knew what was going on in the kitchen with the pork and then the failcakes(tm). They feel they’ve finally got it together – but it’s now been two and a half hours since entree and still no food.

Dan orders Dominos while sitting at the table.

The girls plate and it all looks pretty shoddy. The salad, the less than thin pancakes, and the stress fractures all playing heavily on them. Plating done they present it to the table and everyone can tell it’s not gone well. Not least of all from the food presented to them.

Sophia delivers a lecture on how to eat the main, and the judges follow accordingly. She’s not confident, but Pete allays her fears by telling both girls that the dish is perfect. This is bad news for Cougar Lisa so we see a shot of her clenching her jaw.

Manu’s happy the girls “kicked ass” with the main. Just to rub it on, Sophia makes a point of staring down Angela during the comments and were it not for Angela avoiding her gaze she’d be a pillar of salt right now. Dessert is the girls last hope and so they head back to the kitchen spirits renewed.

Everyone is very pleased with the main – the sauce is a winner. Though Cougar Lisa is quite cold for all of it – the heads are cut off on her plate, and she claims her pork is tough. Interesting strategy.

Sophia doesn’t shut up when she’s cooking. Imagine what she’d be like when she’s ironing?! There’s big expectations at the table for the dessert. Nastassia is expecting big things. So is Cougar Lisa, but from different perspectives.

It is time. The brulees must have the sugar melted to become a crust and with the world’s biggest take home butane canister on their brulee torch, it proves to be quite the problem on the first one (they’ve only enough as they have guests) – it’s burnt. They finally work out how to control the torch and they’re really happy with how they look. In fact they’re pretty happy with every element. They add a carnation for look – which causes an argument about adding something inedible to the plate.

“What about an umbrella on a banana split?!” demands Sophia. I do quite enjoy her faulty logic. Sadly for them, Ashlee falls for it.

It’s served, and Ashlee & Sophie stand expectantly awaiting judgement from Pete & Manu. Dan’s determined to eat his carnation. This isn’t going to end well.

Manu likes the lime and the brulee but is disappointed. The carnation was a no-no. The creme gets big ticks and Pete agrees. The praline is a highlight for him. Ashlee & Sophia head back to clean up while the guests tuck in. Stefano ended up with an undercooked one; Dan enjoyed it; Melina feels it’s missing some zing. Funnily enough Lisa didn’t enjoy hers and felt it was curdled toward the end. And so to judgement, babes:

Kieran & Nastassia – 3. (N: “I was missing the crack from the top of the brulee.”)
Angela & Melina – 4. (A: “Where was the flavours?”)
Ali & Samuel – 4.
Dan & Steph – 5. (S: “The sauce in the main was nice; took me back to Vietnam.”)
Lisa & Stefano – 1.

Guest total = 17/50. That’s karma, bitches. But as it’s the last round it’s off to Kitchen HQ tomorrow for the score reveal and to find out who does what to whom.

When the losers all walk in they can see the other teams smiling at them from the sidelines. It’s all come down to this… entre Pete & Manu. “What a round it’s been,” reads Manu from the autocue. Bitchy comments from Ashlee & Sophia aside, we all know how this is gonna play out – their meals were nowhere near as bad as Cougar Lisa & Stefano’s disasters. The scores confirm it:

P Entree – 6; M Entree – 7. (M: “It was a good start, not a great start.”)

Lisa hangs her head. She knows they’re done.

P Main – 10; M Main – 9. (P: “I loved it – it ticked all the boxes.”)
P Dessert – 8; M Dessert – 7.

Grand Total = 64/110. That’s second place AND bye bye Cougar Lisa & Stefano. Blah blah platitudes and all that – the game begins for real tomorrow night. Lisa & Stefano’s package highlights that they pretty much didn’t cook that well at all. Bonafortuna to you too, Stefano.

The challenges begin in a big way out and about, and then we get back into the Kitchen HQ rounds. Bigger ratings, more drama, somehow more time for recaps. Delicious!