We’re back. Tonight’s elimination decides who is in the prestigious Top Ten. I thought the Top Twelve was the thing. Next week: everyone fights it out to be in the Excellent Eight.
Blog Favourite Billy, Hayden, Peter, Kumar and Michael lost the team challenge last night, so they’ll be battling it out against each other. They’re hanging out in the Masterchef lounge looking sad.Hayden’s fiddling with his immunity pin. Peter is sick of him stuffing around and demands to know whether he’s using it. Hayden’s not sure. He’s still pretty confident he can play the numbers. Well, Kumar’s still there – it’s a bigger risk than he’s used to, though.
They head down to the kitchen. Hayden uses his immunity pin! No talk of standing by his team now. The true Hayden is showing through. He flees.
Meanwhile, the Red Team are enjoying a largely undeserved lunch and masterclass at the Berowra Waters Inn at the Hawkesbury. Look upon your top ten and despair, Australia: Dani, Ellie, Sun and Cheating Goth Matt are still here.
Back in the kitchen. Gary brings out an enormous dish. It’s a taste test! What? They haven’t done this since top 50. They get two minutes to taste, then a minute to write ingredients down– and then they cook with the ingredients they manage to correctly name. Great challenge. Kumar’s backing himself, as usual.
Gary tries to fool them into thinking that it’s a perfectly ordinary challenge. Surprise! They have to do it blindfolded. That’s hilarious. People will actually have to know what star anise tastes like.
It’s a terrine! Michael is up first, hoing in with this hands. He identifies carrot. Gary is enjoying his role as timekeeping bastard slightly too much. Michael writes ‘salt, pepper, oil – smart man.
Peter’s turn. He wastes time determining the shape of the dish. That isn’t the challenge, Peter. He was terrible at this in the Top Fifty. He writes down every protein he can think of. Surprisingly tactical.Billy’s next. Go Billy! He works out that it’s a terrine. Peter only got as far as ‘rectangle’. Matt has replaced Gary as timekeeper.
Kumar is lucky last. He is highly visual, and the blindfold panics him. Matt assists by telling him how important it is. Kumar takes thirty seconds to identify that the dish is cold, and thinks it’s a dessert. He doesn’t realise that it’s savoury until half-way through his time. He can’t fathom what it could be, and his mind goes blank. Top twelve.
Gary reveals the terrine. Kumar finally gets it. He’s allegedly familiar with terrines. I don’t believe you, Kumar. Everyone gets apple and thyme. Peter’s random guessing goes surprisingly well. Michael somehow guesses vinegar, cabbage and pistachios. Kumar somehow gets ‘stock’. What kind of stock? That is not a proper guess.
Nobody guessed chicken liver, baby leek, duck fat, brandy, cardamon, celery, butter beans, tarragon or gelatin. Peter points out that nobody was ever going to guess any of them. Those are Fabulous Five level ingredients.
Michael got eleven ingredients, Billy got seven, Peter eight and Kumar got four – apples, beef, stock and thyme. He pretends to be pleased about this. Lame, they get pantry staples. They should be rewarded for remembering to write down oil and salt. And by that, I mean ‘Kumar should be punished for failure’.
Peter is making a pancetta and chicken roulade. Butter is his key ingredient. Smart man. Michael is trying to cook an entire ham hock in forty minutes. Gary and Matt come around to waste his time and freak him out. They succeed. It’s his challenge to lose.
The other side of that coin is that it’s Kumar’s to win! He’s making herb-crusted pork neck with apple. Gary doesn’t think that he’s got time to cook the neck. Apparently the neck is considered a secondary cut. Have they considered re-naming it to something less gross sounding?
Billy’s going great guns as usual. His dish is very similar to Peter’s, plus carrots in everything. This may give him the edge, as Peter has no vegetables. Gary is hungry enough to eat Billy’s raw ingredients. Matt manages to restrain him.
Kumar’s dish was inspired by a masterclass he did. We see a clip of him learning to do it, then cut back to his dish. Ok, his dish looks nothing like the one in the masterclass. The judges talk up his chances.
Ten minutes to go! Kumar’s happy with his pork. Peter thinks that his roulade is a bit undercooked and puts it back in the oven. Billy does the same thing. This is ridiculous. Michael, meanwhile, is panicking.
Kumar has failed to make a crust, and has instead coated his beef with melted play-dough. He hopes that his plating will carry him through. Peter’s dish looks great! Gary nearly chokes on the garlic smell, though. Billy’s identical dish looks beautiful. Michael’s dish looks like an artist’s rendering of panic.
Gary laughs. Time’s up.
Peter’s first. He warns the judges about the raw garlic. Matt complements his vastly improved plating skills. Gary is mean about the garlic. It’s otherwise fantastic, and his apple and parsley salad is particularly good.
Billy’s next, with his fancier version of Peter’s dish. It looks awesome. Matt thinks it’s restaurant quality. Gary makes Matt tell Billy how delicious it is as he doesn’t enjoy giving good news. Go Billy! It’s fantastic four worthy, apparently. So specific.
Kumar’s depressing pork neck is next. Matt is hiding his displeasure behind his hand, fooling nobody. The dish is swimming in melted butter, and the meat is grey. Ad break! Will it be delicious?
The pay-pass people are hitting back at the eftpos ads! This will only end in blood.
We’re back. Kumar’s pork is…largely butter flavoured. Matt makes an Ozzie Osborne joke. Topical. It’s okay, but the play-dough paste may let him down.
Michael’s feeling the pressure. He’s made a spring vegetable salad with proscuitto. He’s dumped the hock and the chicken. I think he’s actually used fewer ingredients than Billy. Gary is unimpressed. That said, it looks great and is delicious. Matt likes the carrots. Perhaps he feels an affinity.
Decision time. Gary reveals the winners by silently shaking their hands. Weird. Billy is safe! Yes! He’s stoked. Peter’s through as well. He’s so surprised. They leave low-achieving Michael and Kumar to their fate. Who will go home? Flameball.
Michael is safe. Kumar’s journey is finally over. Michael can barely believe it. Kumar remains cheerful. Aw.
Back in the house everyone is sad to see Kumar go, but not at all surprised. He is welcomed home by his lovely family. Since leaving the Masterchef kitchen Kumar has started work on a self-illustrated cookbook.