MasterChef AustraliaSun 7:30pm; Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch10
Last night, things got prickly when Andrew, Julia and Kath’s chances were cactus as they served up plates of disappointment and Mexican themed failure. Tonight, the three of them do it all again as they battle it out for the right to be released from captivity and be reunited with their loved ones, on MASTERCHEF!

We open with Andrew, dressed only in a white singlet and some sort of pant, presumably, doing Julia’s hair. He says it’s his way of supporting her in today’s tough elimination, until he remembers that he’s also in elimination today, and so proceeds to do sub standard job of her hair, showing her who the subservient spineless boss is. Then we revisit last night’s failure: Julia’s grainy panacotta; Kath’s oily soup; Andrew’s massive plate of sh*t.

Kath packs her bag, saying packing her bags makes it really hit home that she’s packing her bags, as we see some home vision of her not packing her bags. Apparently she doesn’t spend all her time packing her bags, which is comforting. Julia looks at pictures over dogs and smiles, thinking of one of her favourite recipes. Andrew is angry being in the bottom three, feeling that he’s better than that, and should’ve been able to take the bottom spot.

Dressed in black, they get in the big black car and head for doom, everything negative represented as black in this show, casual racism at its worst. Gary is all anti-smiles but hardly anti-Semitic. Preston, dressed garishly in mauve, holds his hand Napoleon like in front of his chest. George resembles a monkey. Everyone has a part to play. When asked, Andrew says he was happy with what he plated up yesterday; it was the food on top that let him down. Kath thinks she’s got stiff competition, but whether Andrew has taken Viagra is a mute point. Preston quotes Hemingway, the glaring inaccuracies lost on the contestants, who are more “The da Vinci Code” than “The Old Man and the Sea”.

Then the mood lifts alarmingly as Maggie Beer is introduced and enters, causing several cardiac arrests. Julia says it’s like a ray of sunshine in a bit of a dungeon, with Maggie playing the part of Josef Fritzl presumably. Julia is offered a Maggie hug but Andrew and Kath are left grasping air, or alternatively each other. Then Maggie reveals the dish they have to cook, which is bound to be something Andrew has never cooked before, like rice, or boiled eggs.

But in fact it’s a cake, and Kath admits she hasn’t baked a cake since she was 12. And who can blame her for not practicing when she found out she was going on Masterchef because cakes are such a weird, unhappy food and very unpopular. Maggie talks about the ingredients, which include an unsurprising amount of verjuice, as sadly Maggie’s most recent verjuice intervention has failed to quell her desire. They taste, and Julia says it’s tart, but Maggie takes no offence as she skulls a litre of verjuice. Maggie goes through the pressure points: caramel, egg whites and ice cream, rolling the biscuit thinly, and the point just at the top of your spine on your neck.

They have 90 minutes to do all three elements. Andrew is incredulous. It took him 45 minutes just to make a pile of sh*t last night. Julia says her brain is built for recipes, while Kath admits that she refuses to follow recipes. An embarrassed Andrew asks Kath what a recipe is.

The judges quiz Maggie about the cake and her personal life. She makes obvious statements about not over cooking and not under cooking things, but fails to really grasp the essential answer to life’s great mystery: what the hell is verjuice? Andrew skips a step and gets slightly ahead of himself, and starts celebrating being crowned Masterchef 2012. The crowd above say “verjuice” a lot at Andrew, before Maggie intervenes as Kath burns her caramel.

With 45 minutes to go Andrew has yet to make the batter for a cake that takes 45 minutes to cook. Maggie offers Julia some advice but Julia literally spits in her face by not actually spitting in her face but this is Masterchef where literally means something else.

Andrew is lacking in aeration and soft peaks, and his batter is also lacking. Maggie is scolded for trying to help in Andrew, who now has only 35 minutes for his 45 minute cake. Gary points at the contestants and shares a joke with Maggie about their abilities. Kath tastes her ice cream and is impressed, and with 30 minutes to go the cheering from the balcony becomes maniacal.

For Kath, it’s all going to plan, as everything is on time and according to the recipe. For Andrew, it’s also all going to plan, as nothing is on time and he hasn’t even read the recipe. With 5 minutes to go Kate’s happy with the brown top on her cake, but Maggie comes over and crushes her dreams by stabbing her cake, trying to extract the last vestiges of the precious verjuice located within. Gary makes an inappropriate crack about buns in the oven, and with only 30 seconds to go Andrew takes out his cake, only to find that it resembles Gary in that it is soft in the middle.

George counts down successfully from 10, showing us another hitherto undiscovered skill, and then it’s verjuices down. Julia brings her cake to the tasting table, and Maggie smiles grandmotherly. Julia admits she’s made some mistakes, including not killing all the judges when she had the chance. She nervously turns the cake upside down, and surprisingly it’s a nice gentle fireball as we go to a break.

When we come back, the cake’s stability has remained. Gary asks Julia has any last words, she says “the proof is in my pudding” which may be a euphemism for her genitals, but more likely a reference to the cake being the epitome of her skill. All the judges are impressed with her spongey centre. Maggie appears to orgasm over the ice cream, while Gary has to force himself to stop eating it, in a brave display of self control.

With much trepidation, they get ready to taste Andrew’s dish. He turns it upside down and it slips out of its casing with disgusting ease. It remains together as it lands on the plate with a delightful thud, but when they cut, it collapses. Unfortunately for Andrew it hasn’t quite cooked in the centre. Still, they like it. But do they “like” like it?

Kath is last, who admits to her fear of sweet dishes and following recipes. She claims to have followed the recipe as much as she could, even when it ran off and hid down Andrew’s pants. Preston says the middle has slumped like bad shares on Black Monday. But as with all his metaphors, there is a fatal flaw: on Black Monday all shares slumped, even the blue chip ones.

The contestants assemble before the judges as Preston says it comes down to the positives and the negatives, the rebel. For Julia, there weren’t any negatives, apart from her arrogance, and the little flecks of dog throughout her cake. But for Andrew and Kath there were plenty of negatives. Andrew’s ice cream was excellent, while Kath’s biscuit was the biscuit of the day, as voted by the members and guests of the Armidale bowling club. However, both had undercooked cakes. It turns out Andrew had the better cake, which is ironic considering all the irony. Andrew says Kath is a fantastic person. George says she’s a wonderful character. Maggie Beer eyes of a flagon of verjuice. Kath hugs Andrew and Julia, and then walks out, never looking back. Her black car races across Sydney as a very small person with a camera films her in the back seat from between her legs.

Back at the house, the others wonder who’s coming back, but they stop wonder who’s coming back when Andrew and Julia return, and start wondering how on earth Andrew managed to remain. Meanwhile, Kath arrives home to an empty home filled with people and dogs that love and despise her, as she crushes friend and foe alike in her generous bosom. “It’s good to see you home but it’s a shame your home” says her husband, before quickly explaining it’s only a shame because she’s no longer on Masterchef. The end credits inform us that Kath has set up a kitchen garden at her museum and art gallery, and now sells fresh kitchens to art lovers and tourists alike.

Tomorrow, Mindy gets another shot at immunity as she battles the professionals and her gag reflex, when Masterchef hosts the inaugural Jimmy Barnes Lookalike Cooking EXTRAVAGANZA!