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Masterchef – if it’s Wednesday, this must be Apprentice-chef

As the winner of a challenge I can no longer remember, and a loser of last night’s cook-off, Brent is given leadership of the team of his choice, the right to pick the opposing captain, and the right to choose his first team member. He chooses blue (because he’s a “boy”? I don’t know – he says “of course” when he makes that choice, and then goes on to pick all men except when he thinks of dessert, so picks Kate.), picks Geni as the opposing captain (he thinks her “big” personality will be a drawback), and selects Sam as his first team-mate. Geni retaliates by picking Tom fairly early on, probably hoping that he’ll strategically nick stuff. It’s all fairly predictable, including the fact that Aaron is chosen last. On joining the Blue team, he comments that his opponents are “a Titanic waiting to happen”, which he seems to think means that they might go down, or might win. Aaron makes as much sense as you’d expect from a person who makes peas from… peas.

This is the second time the aspiring chefs have gone through this, but they still seem shocked when they’re told that the losing team will have to eliminate somebody.

They are taken to the Vaucluse Yacht Club and told that they must cater a banquet for the team and a “special guest”. Amongst other things, they will be judged on the “quality of the conversation?” Master-Maiko much?

The Blue team decides on a nautical theme: “Welcome to the Captain’s Table”. What is it with reality show contestants and their literal interpretations of themes? Can Trev be court-martialled for impersonating an officer? The Red team is aiming for something classy. Julie tells us that they can do this because Geni has “faffed” up their marquee. She may have done this, inadvertently, although I’m sure she was going for a “foof”. Jobs are delegated and team-members run off.

The mystery guest arrives. It’s Curtis Stone, and he decides to have lunch with the blue team first. He gives them a shellacking for buying cooked seafood and mayo (Josh and Sam’s responsibility), but he loves their snapper (cooked by Lucas, under Michelle’s direction) and Kate’s dessert.

Curtis seems a lot happier with the Red team, but he says they shouldn’t have chosen the salmon if they didn’t know when it was going to be served. He also considers their a-veg-for-all-seasons antipasto a “disaster”.

After a quick chat with Gary, Curtis hands over an envelope and sails off. Why doesn’t he deliver the verdict? Why does the decision have to “await” the teams? Is Ten on a really tight budget? Perhaps they could afford an hour of Curtis if George and Matt stayed away.

The teams assemble at the House of Blue Leaves and Sarah reminds them of the name of today’s game: Preparation, Decoration, Conversation. So, not so much about the cooking, then. There’s a bit of blahdy blah about positives and negatives, which, thanks, but we’ve already seen it, Gary. In a really big hint that Blue will lose, Gary asks Brent who his best team member was. He prevaricates for a bit and then gives the title to… Josh and Sam. The two who bought stuff. The wrong stuff. He’s a moron.

Red wins. The preview seems to set Aaron up for the elimination which, of course, means a bait’n’switch. Or not.