And we’re back. It’s the final immunity challenge for 2011! Time flies. If Michael wins tonight, he’ll be straight through to the final three. After last week’s choice of ‘a swimmer’ I can’t wait to see who he’ll be up against. A cartographer? A seeing-eye dog? The Dalai Lama again? Sky’s the limit.
Dani helpfully explains the concept of an immunity challenge. The girls have made him a heart-stopping full cooked breakfast in an attempt to slow him down. Ellie wants to pamper Michael because he’s the only boy in the house. Settle down, Ellie.
The breakfast does not defeat Micheal and he makes it to the kitchen, where Gary taunts him with the immunity pin. Shannon Bennet is back as a guest judge. He still doesn’t say anything.
Michael is disappointed to hear that he’ll be cooking off against a chef. Not just any chef – Victoria’s chef of the year, Teage Ezard. Teage talks himself up like crazy. He is not nervous about fighting an amateur chef. Fair enough. He threatens to deck Michael with a sink.
The judges leave Gary to it. Teage lifts the lid on his dish: it’s three tiny dishes. Prawn dumpling soup, roasted pork belly and polenta with egg. This is worlds away from what Dani faced. Teage identifies the entire thing as one huge pressure point made up of a series of small pressure points.
Michael gets the recipe and a ten-minute head start. That’s not a lot. Michael’s two hours starts…now! He reiterates that he’s cooking three dishes. At least they haven’t kneecapped him by making him use the T-Hub.
Michael’s strategy is to cook fast and follow the recipe. Don’t laugh, that took effort. He identifies that the prawn dumpling soup has two elements: prawn dumpling and soup. Thanks, Michael.
His head start’s gone. Teage is off. He ruins his hard-man persona by immediately starting to help Michael. Teage says it’s important not to let the soup boil. Michael then boils his soup. Dani is delighted to see that Michael’s falling behind. Gary tastes the soup and basically tells Michael it’s wrong.
Michael’s starting his soup again. He’s taking advice from Dani now. Why would you ever do that?
An hour to go, and Teage’s having trouble with his crackling. Gary reminds Michael that this is his first and last chance at immunity. Good work Gary, Michael didn’t look worried enough to me either.
Forty-five minutes left, and Michael hasn’t quite caught up. He sounds mopey. Gary hassles him, which can’t help.
They’re on to the quail egg! It is adorable. Michael goes through about seven. Five minutes to go! Both Michael and Teage have burnt their crackling – Michael to a much greater degree. Don’t worry guys, you’ve got to go pretty wrong to stop Matt and George from enjoying pork crackling.
Michael doesn’t even finish his soup properly. He more or less gets everything on the plate. Dani is staring down, judging his eggs. Now the other contestants are helping Teage. So much for friend time.
Juding time. Michael’s dish is first. Shannon is pleased with the presentation. They may have assumed that because all three dishes are there that it was Teage’s. Michael’s dumpling is delicious, but the soup is no good. The egg is overcooked. The crackling is surprise perfect – that is key to a good score.
Teage’s dish is next. The crackling is no good, and the presentation is apparently less refined. It looks the same to me. His egg is perfect though, and his soup is not totally wrong. Not a tough decision.
Back in the kitchen, the judges have their final crack at surprise faces when they find out which dish was Michael’s. Michael gets an eight from Shannon, a nine from Matt and an eight from George. Must have been the crackling.
Teage is not feeling optimistic. He gets an eight from Shannon, a nine from Matt and a nine from George. Aw, poor little Michael. Teage is a little embarrassed about almost losing to an amateur chef.
Matt Preston thinks that Michael’s now the favourite! Michael nearly passes out with excitement. I really would like Gary to stop calling grown women girls.See you tomorrow for – OH MY GOD Dani is the only one with an immunity pin. Argh.