We’re back. Everyone’s still in New York. Ellie won last night’s UN Catering Challenge, and will be cooking off for immunity. No, I can’t believe it either. Meanwhile, Billy and Sun are in lockdown, and facing elimination on Thursday. This is bizarro Masterchef.
We’re replaying Ellie’s best moments. They’re all from pressure tests. She’s wearing an ‘I Heart NY’ shirt under her chef whites and a ludicrous bow in her hair. She walks from her hotel to Central Park, looking like a complete doofus.
Ellie can’t believe they’re in Central Park. George can’t believe Ellie actually won something. The weather looks perfect. George says ‘make your mark in central park’ three times until everyone finally laughs to put him out of his misery. Tonight’s guest judge is the queen of Italian grandmothers, Lidia Bastianich. Ellie watches her TV show and knows who she is, to Matt’s visible relief. Could have been embarrassing.
Lidia tells Ellie that tonight she’ll be cooking against a Tuscan lion with the scent of rosemary all over him. Ellie, who doesn’t understand metaphor, is worried. She’s relieved when it is Cesare Casella and not an actual lion.
Ellie is apparently good at Italian food. Cesare flirts with Ellie, earning Hayden’s ire. He has a small rosemary bush in his top pocket. It is his version of Matt’s cravat, but with a more absurd story. Kate thinks that between Cesare’s playfulness and Ellie’s destructiveness not a lot of cooking is going to get done. She’s probably right. Kate clearly doesn’t have much time for Ellie.
Tonight they’ll be cooking a dish with its origins in the fifteenth century. Pease pudding? Ellie is baffled, somewhat unsurprisingly. Cesare lifts the lid and declares that it’s a pasta. Gary forces him to give in more detail. Cesare complies – in Italian.
It’s pasta with a meat sauce. Ellie thinks it’ll be easy. You have to cook it well, Ellie, that is the trap for you.
She’s tasting a lot of different meats. It looks so delicious. Gary identifies the pressure points as being the entire dish. Ellie doesn’t get a head start, and only gets a recipe for the pasta. She has to rely on her palate for the sauce. She’s stuffed.
Ellie thinks that winning today would be the icing on a new york cheesecake. They don’t have icing. No reason Ellie should know that, she’s only on Masterchef.
They’re off. Ellie in the interview box is pretending she didn’t even really try, leading me to suspect she didn’t win. That and the fact she’s useless. Cesare is managing to gun it and flirt with Ellie simultaneously. They’re starting on their pasta. Ellie’s ahead – not for long, as her dough is not working at all at all. She wanders over to demand help. Stop cheating, Ellie.
Cesare can see that she’s helpless and starts bringing her the ingredients she needs in attempt to get her to relax. He is really not taking this seriously. Now Ellie’s asking Gary for help. This is the part she has the recipe for.
Gary pretends he’s in an indoor kitchen, in a reaction shot clearly filmed hours after the challenge. Ellie’s frying onion and all of the meats. She’s decided to make a sauce she likes rather than the sauce she tastes. Cesare makes her put rosemary in her pocket. Ellie thinks it’s lovely. I think it’s weird.
I’m really finding it hard to care about this episode. I don’t want Ellie to win, but she’s getting so much help she’s clearly not going to completely fail. Boring.
Cesare is now pouring drinks! Ok, now I think he’s great. Ellie doesn’t want her drink. Ellie, stop being such an ingrate. Gary is enjoying his cocktail. Ellie is finding things tricky and wants to quit. So, it’s a normal day in the Masterchef kitchen.
Thirty minutes to go! They’re on to the sauce. Ellie is immediately wrong. Cesare helps her. As usual, Ellie has absolutely no ability to manage her time. She thinks her sauce is yummy. Sure.
Ellie starts whinging. Cesare, who doesn’t care about this competition at all, teaches her how to do all of the dish. Ellie whinges to Gary, who stands firm and doesn’t give her any hints for once. Ellie goes to taste Cesare’s sauce. It is, astonishingly, better looking than hers. Ellie disagrees, and thinks she’s going to win. Cesare reckons he’d hire Ellie.
Ten minutes. Cesare is just wandering around again. Ellie doesn’t know how to cook her pasta. Even Cesare is getting bored of helping her. The families boating behind them are also unimpressed.
Two minutes to go. Both of them plate up easily. This is the least rushed challenge ever. Cesare grates parmesan for Ellie. Ellie just can’t believe she got to cook in Central Park, and clearly doesn’t really care about Cesare or know who he is. Cesare hugs her, and Hayden’s brain nearly explodes.
Judging time! Ellie just will not shut up about being in a park. There are better places to cook. Matt Preston saw Cesare’s sleazy looks and reckons that Ellie would have gotten a lot of help. Correct! Lidia agrees. Cesare is up first. It’s got a bit too much sauce for Lidia, but still looks pretty good. It is also delicious, with surprisingly complex flavours. George loves it. The pasta is slightly undercooked and too thick. Oh no! Lidia is doing five points for the sauce, and five points for the pasta. That is not how it works.
Ellie’s dish is next. It looks much fancier, and has the perfect amount of sauce. The pasta is somehow cooked perfectly. The sauce is a bit overcooked and bland, though. Will Lidia’s stupid scoring method ruin everything and deliver Ellie an immunity pin? It may well, given that a tie is as good as a win for contestants.
Decision time. Hayden hopes Ellie wins. The judges don’t really look surprised when the order is revealed. Cesare gets a seven from George and Lidia and an eight from Matt. He doesn’t look too pleased. It was the pasta that let him down.
Ellie gets an eight from Matt, who appears to be wearing a tiny rosary on his lapel. Lidia also gives her an eight. Oh, come on! George loves the ‘expensive sauce with all that beautiful ingredients’ but likes the pasta more, and gives her an eight. She has won.
I cannot believe Ellie has won immunity. Neither can she. I agree, Ellie, it is ridiculous. Hayden is pleased for her. Cesare is happy because the pretty lady is happy. Kate is appalled. Dani wants to see Ellie in the finals. I would too, if I had to pick one of them to cook off against.
Cesare has another challenge for Ellie. He wants her to come back to his place and look at his etchings – no, it’s just a surprise masterclass. Gary tells her she can’t refuse. Creepy. He half-heartedly shows her a risotto recipe then just tries to get her drunk.
See you tomorrow as Ellie presumably heads straight back to elimination.