We’re back in Sydney – looks like Western Australia Week was only three days long. Apparently that’s how they do things over there. Hey, did Rachel ever mention that she’s a mum from WA? She should have milked that while she had the chance.
We still don’t know what happened to the red team after their mine disaster. They’ve returned and don’t seem too traumatized. Shockingly, we see Shannon do something, a possible first. She’s decided it’s time to get noticed. I forgot she was still here.
The contestants file into the kitchen. Gary is incredibly cheery today. George is rocking a polo shirt with all the buttons done up. It’s not as slimming as he hopes. It’s an invention test, with the threat of elimination for the worst two dishes. Jay is immune, due to his victory on Monday. He pretends to be sad to miss an opportunity to cook, which absolutely nobody buys.
The rest of the contestants will be cooking without being limited by a theme, or particular ingredients. This is pretty clearly a trap. But some people – notably Dani, Rachel and Peter – are dumb enough to fall for Matt’s lies about unlimited options.
They’re getting excited now. The top two get to go to Bells Beach for a meal and a masterclass. Bonus: they go in a helicopter. Arena is really stoked about a helicopter ride. Actually, that might have been Alana. I can’t tell them apart.
The countdown begins and the contestants run to the pantry. And the trap is revealed! It’s all tinned and frozen food. Who cares? Shannon’s got ‘no frickin idea’ what to do. Sun is amazed that nobody’s crying. Stop being such a pack of wimps. Someone grab the nesquik! That is your ticket to success.
Everyone’s considerably less excited when they return to the judges. Matt is gloating. So is Jay, staring down from above. Matt explains that today is the ‘tinned and frozen’ challenge. He is delighted with the chaos he has wrought.
The point of this challenge is to make them use the kind of ingredients found in usual suburban kitchens. How much frozen duck breast do you see in the average punter’s pantry? Hayden identifies that many contestants are pretentious and is pretentious while he does it.
Gary and George are talking up canning and freezing like it’s their job. Is there a canning and freezing lobby?
Arena is making a tart of some kind. She likes to make healthy, organic deserts, so today is a real challenge for her. Boring. Her parents run an organic grocer, otherwise known as ‘groceries for rich people’.
Dani is making all of the dishes, from canned soup to a guava custard tart. Why? This never works. George suggests she do a fourth dish and she nearly goes for it. Billy’s dish sounds great as usual. He is a silent achiever.
Andrew is making a crab and clam mousse tart and poached sausage. We are instantly transported to the eighties. It sounds gross to me. Five minutes later, Gary agrees.
George compares Gary to the muscle man on the egg white packet. Gary is not amused.
Alana is making a layered dessert. Her strategy is to trick the judges into thinking it tastes good. What? That isn’t how the sense of taste works.
Shannon’s fully invested in the ice-cream sandwich. She shows it by burning her second batch of caramel in exactly the same way as the first batch. Gary takes pity on her and tells her how to do it. Shannon ignores him! You are gone.
Somehow Shannon’s third batch of caramel works and she’s back on track. Dani, however, is realising that making three dishes was a mistake. Making one dish usually leaves her out of her depth.
Nothing’s going right for Alana. She still doesn’t really know what her final dish is going to be. Awesome. Adam is making a corn-milk dipping sauce. Sounds risky.
As the final minutes count down, Matt joins Jay to look disapproving at the remaining contestants. Dani starts asking them for advice on how to cook her crab. Jay, to his credit, does not help her cheat. Rachel responds by smashing her crab dish on the ground. I’m surprised that this doesn’t happen more often. At least she’s got nasty soup as a backup.
Andrew’s dish looks appalling. As usual he’s really happy with it. Shannon’s icecream is just hard enough. She thinks it’s a small, small flaw. This dish is one big flaw if you ask me.
Alana’s cake is finally coming together. She is piping her foam as a delicate garnish. It explodes all over the dish. Fantastic! Too much nitrous oxide. She spends the last few seconds desperately salvaging it.
Judging time! Alana’s plate of chaos is first. She’s hidden the mess with sheets of tuille. Foolproof. Disaster aside, her desert is delicious and well-balanced.
Andrew’s next with a mousse tart in a ring of lentils. He’s delighted with his efforts. Gary doesn’t want to eat it due to the ingredients, the way it looks and the way Andrew cooked it, and the fact that Andrew’s touched it. He is proved correct on all counts. The mousse is ghastly – ‘gag material.’ Andrew is feeling deflated. This happens every time. How does he keep re-inflating?
Back to success with blog favourite Billy. His dish is beautiful and amazingly delicious as usual. He is a world apart from the other contestants. Billy’s getting a helicopter ride! George calls it sex on a plate, which really tells us too much about George.
Kumar has made salmon and vegies but inexplicably put it in an undercooked pastry basket. Not enough flavour. The flavours that are there are totally wrong – wasabi and lemon myrtle does sound fairly off. Matt Preston could never be hungry enough to finish it. Dire.
Arena’s blueberry and custard tart looks boring but tastes delicious. Victory piano plays her off. Those are some good-looking frozen berries. Adam’s thai seafood curry nearly blinds George due to the use of chili, but it’s also very tasty – his corn milk gets a special mention.
Rachel has made salmon en croute. The fancy name can’t save her wildly overcooked salmon. George can’t find a single positive. Rachel blames the ingredients. It’s not the ingredients.
Dani brings up her greatly reduced menu. Canned soup and a custard tart. It all sucks and is badly cooked. She cries, then cries again in the interview box.
Shannon is delighted with her dish. It looks surprisingly fancy. She has realised that if she doesn’t get more airtime soon she’s going home. It’s competent, which Matt describes as a turning point in her Masterchef career. Today she cooked without fear. Needs more fear.
Decision time already? What happened to Goth Matt? I can see him lurking in the corner. Presumably this means he escapes justice again.
Billy, Arena, Alana, Adam and Shannon are the top five! A first for Shannon. Arena looks like a startled deer, as usual. Billy is number one, to nobody’s surprise. Shannon is number two! She nearly faints.
Everyone is being so picky about the canned and frozen food. How much time do these people have that they only ever eat fresh produce? Don’t they have jobs?
Andrew and Kumar are the least impressive. They were so bad that nobody else even got called up, although Matt warns Dani and Rachel to lift their game. After the others leave, George explains why Kumar’s dish sucked, but doesn’t bother to explain for Andrew. He advises them to cook good food tomorrow. A real challenge for this pair.
See you tomorrow as Andrew and Kumar bring spoons to a knife fight.