MasterChef AustraliaSun 7:30pm; Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch10
Previously on Masterchef, Filippo, Wade and Emma proved incapable of the simplest of tasks when a mysterious mystery box revealed former champs Julie Goodwin, Adam Liaw and Kate something. Filippo’s failed pudding, Emma’s singular ice cream cone, and Wade’s uncanny resemblance to Ernie’s long time companion Bert proved too much for the judges who sent them to the possible oblivion of elimination. Tonight, that very elimination will take place, and one of Masterchef’s favourites will almost certainly not go home because there isn’t one in this elimination.

Dawn breaks over the Masterchef house again. Oh for the love of God give us some variety in your opening sequences! Wade explains how he drives a forklift for a job, which, unless you’re picking things up and moving them around, is more of a hobby. “I sort of had a little moment” he explains. “After I changed my undies I realised I’ve got nothing to go back to”. Apart from clean undies of course. And a cracking forklift driving hobby.

“If I go home I’m going to go and get an apprenticeship” cries Emma, though in what trade she doesn’t explain. She says that talking to former champ Julie helped. “Put your game face on”, says Julie, from beyond the grave or perhaps just from last night’s episode. Lamentably, Emma ignores her advice and instead puts on her usual leaky face.

Filippo says he “botched the operation”, revealing a previous unknown sideline in cut price surgery. Today he’s cooking for his family, which is really unfair on Wade and Emma as Filippo’s family are probably a little biased. “I’ve got a real eye of the tiger feel” he claims, though if we’re being honest it looks more like he’s got the “eye of the neighbour who always kept to himself except just to say hello”.

They leave in black and arrive in black, via the black heart of the black city of Sydney. The other contestants greet them with applause, which is hardly fair considering they did something wrong to be here. Gary claims they are there because they cooked the “least impressive dishes” and their challenge today is to cook one of the world’s “least impressive dishes”, the quiche Lorraine, named after Lorraine Bailey for her stellar work in seminal Aussie 1940s drama, The Sullivans.

“You’ve got plenty of ingredients to choose from, but no recipe” says Matt, who has been elected to be the bearer of bad news. Gary revels in their misery as her serves his own quiche, slicing it while explaining the origins of his hatred for his mother. They taste, and Wade says the bacon is sweet, descending deeply into insanity early on. Preston says you should be good enough to do this by now, before Gary springs a surprise. “Ha ha” he laughs like an impish little imp. “You have to cook a salad that is the perfect supporting act says” Preston. They have 75 minutes to perform a modern miracle: make a perfect quiche Lorraine. Of course, everyone knows that the perfect quiche Lorraine is no quiche Lorraine at all.

After a break, they start cooking. Emma has a sign up that says “turn a setback into a hatchback”, or something. Filippo runs his knife through butter like a chainsaw through flesh. “Unless there’s a disaster I’m feeling really good about it” he says, as a disaster taps him on the shoulder and introduces itself.

Preston discusses the strengths of each contestant with George and Gary and 2 seconds later we’re back with the cooking. Upstairs the other contestants discuss their weaknesses and 2 hours later we’re back with the cooking. Preston says some of the simplest dishes can be their downfall, proving he knows these three really well.

Gary criticises Emma for her thin base and thick nostril hairs, while Wade’s pastry is getting too soft and warm as he over handles it. Voices from above implore him to put it in the blast chiller, and Wade, always one to listen to such voices, does what he is told. Gary is concerned that at this stage only one person has their pastry in the oven, while inspecting Filippo’s base and telling him to stop pushing the envelope. Filippo follows instructions and gives up on his dream to combine the sport of curling and the art of letter writing.

When we come back Emma gives us a rundown of proceedings so far. Wade explains how to cook quiche, which he does admirably, but fails to listen to his own advice. His pastry is still a little bit raw so he puts it back in the oven. He says he’s not nervous about the filling so much as the pastry not being done. Filippo, for his part, thinks he’s under filled his quiche and he looks like a cold blooded dear in the headlights. “Do you think you’ve made your bed and now you’re gonna lie in it?” Gary asks, but walks away before Filippo has a chance to explain that he can’t lie in his bed because his latest victim is handcuffed there.

Suddenly everyone realises they were also meant to make a salad as they root around in the garbage for some ingredients. Filippo claims to be working his behind off but let’s face it he never had that much to begin with.

With 2 minutes left Emma nearly spills her quiche onto the floor as Wade and Filippo take theirs out and try to get them out of the tin. In one of the most stunning finishes in a cooking contest anywhere ever they all manage to put their quiches and salads on the plates just in time!

When we come back Gary says he was convinced Filippo and Wade were going to put up soup in pastry. Emma serves hers first. Notably she doesn’t have a beanie so it’s likely to contain a hair. She reminds them again that if she loses she will go and get an apprenticeship, and I think it’s this threat that will ultimately save her. They taste and they enjoy it suitably, and the salad is fresh, light, elegant and a host of other words that don’t really describe a salad.

Filippo is next and he reckons he has what it is to be Australia’s next Masterchef: compromising photos of the judges. As they taste, Preston says it’s not the most beautiful of quiches, but he likes how it looks on top. The bacon ratio is uneven, but Gary is surprised that he managed to get anything up at all. His salad is clean and seasonal, which may or may not be a compliment.

Wade is last and he accompanies his eyebrows who bring out the quiche. Wade says if his mum served it to him he’d be happy, but as his mum is the woman from the Weakest Link he’s conditioned to being happy with what she serves him. He slices it and it looks good. He dresses his salad (ooh naughty). He leaves and they taste. Then they burn.

Unfortunately when we come back the heat of the fireball hasn’t been enough as Wade’s pastry is still raw. Notwithstanding this, the quiche is still quite good, absolutely bang on, according to Preston. They call the contestants in to deliver their verdict. There are six people in the room, which is probably more than are watching, as The Voice finale begins on another channel.

“It does come down to which two of you have done the best job” says Preston alarmingly, changing the rules midway through the series. Wade’s custard was beautiful, but unfortunately he was meant to make a quiche. Emma’s was too blonde, yet her custard was the creamiest, and her pastry the flakiest. Filippo had too many holes in his pastry and plotlines.

Emma is first to be declared safe as she cries tears of something. Gary asks Wade and Filippo why they should stay in the competition. “I don’t say this lightly, but I could win the competition” says Filippo lightly. Wade says whatever happens, he’s had the time of his life, and he’s never felt this way before, and he swears it’s the truth and that he owes it all to FIREBALL.

When we come back Wade can hear a loud thumping sound, realising it’s his heart, he tries to drown it out by singing popular show tunes lest Filippo hear it and get ‘overexcited’. But Filippo is told that he is the one whose journey ends today, and he takes the bad news with good grace. He explains what he’s learnt on the drive home, as he makes a list of the people he’s going to “visit” . The contestants rejoice at the return of Wade and Emma, knowing they can now sleep with their doors unlocked .

Filippo returns to the bosom of his family. They drink and celebrate the fragility of life. The end credits inform us that Filippo has embarked on a cookbook, fashioning sails out of the pages and a keel out of the book’s spine, and launching into the Indian Ocean in search of exotic flavours.