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MasterChef Australia – The Pressure Test Courtesy Of Adriano Zumbo

Well the mystery of how Sam Ciaravolo managed to stay in the MasterChef Australia has now been revealed. Matt Preston’s eight year old son is a big fan of Sam, and obviously daddy did not want to disappoint him.

I mean seriously tonight was his tenth elimination test, so he has received nine chances, Geni did not even get one. What were we left with –  someone who cannot even cook rice. That’s right Sam was called one of eight top amateur chefs in Australia. Yeah?

I knew it was going to be a good episode tonight when Gary Mehigan said “Many things could go wrong with this dish.”

The dish being a Caramelised Tonka Bean Panacotta with a Macaroons, one with a jasmine rice ganache, and the other a pine nut ganache. This all had to be achieved in 90 minutes. Oh did I mention a passionfruit slick as well?

The dessert maestro, Adriano Zumbo, who gave us the croquembouche challenge was the man behind this. It was the culinary equivalent of a mensatest. Now if you want to know more about Zumbo Not Quite Nigella has a great blog post on him and his creations

In summary highlights of the cooking:

  • Andre collapsing his egg whites  twice,
  • A stressed Andre’ having to give Gary a blow by blow detail of what happened to the egg whites, he should have told Gary to work it out himself,
  • Sam making his macaroons a poo colour,
  • Poh’s focus and detail of putting her macaroon mixture back in to re-pipe to ensure they are the right size, and looked correct,
  • The debacle of what was Andre and Sam’s macaroon, both were like flat pikelets,
  • Sam’s inability to cook rice; and
  • The plating up of Sam and Andre resulting in Andre cutting a flat edge into his biscuits.

Sam was looking shaky however Gary said to George “If he does a middle of the road job he could just coast through and avoid elimination.” This pretty much sums up Sam’s MasterChef journey.

Poh and Chris’s were by far the best.  Poh’s macaroons looked sensational and met Matt Preton’s declaration of ” A macaroon should be generous like a big 4WD tyre.” Once Poh was declared safe by Matt, George starts to gush and say “Poh you have come back with such a focus and determination. Today what you put up was spectacular. It was brilliant. You can cook god dammit.”I am sure the editors of this show are doing the George having a crush on Poh thing on purpose.

By the way at the beginning of the episode when they were giving us a recap of Sunday’s episode it showed George and Gary doing a bowing gesture towards her? Did I miss that last night?

When the four contestants had to sit down and justify their place in the competition Matt asked Sam “Have you reached your level and is its your time to go?” . We could have told you that weeks ago.

Finally we were put out of our misery and Sam was eliminated.

Andre’s pannacotta got him across the line. Matt Preston said it wobbled like a “Rubenesque model on stilettos”

I thought it was interesting that Sam did not think Chris was the strongest cook in the competition. Sam is now looking for an apprenticeship with Melbourne’s leading chef’s. If he is so talented why haven’t Gary or George offered him a position in one of their kitchens?


1 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella { 07.06.09 at 11:10 pm }

Thanks for the link! 😀 I talked to Gary about that and he said that if any of the current lot asked him for a job in their kitchen he’d gladly take them. But I don’t know if he meant Sam 😛 He named Justine, Poh and Chris specifically but said “or any of the other current lot”. Sam really had 9 lives though!

2 Injera { 07.06.09 at 11:13 pm }

Perhaps Sam should look at opportunities in childcare catering companies/primary school tuck shops – that seems to be his fan demographic…

3 Injera { 07.06.09 at 11:15 pm }

Oh, and I completely missed the bowing to Poh last night, probably because I was so stunned by the applause. Glad I didn’t see the bowing as I would have Andre’d up my duck.

Notice they asked Poh if she wanted to win, not what her cooking aspirations were. I got the distinct impression she’d been coached through both that Q&A.

4 sourkraut { 07.06.09 at 11:29 pm }

nothing to add all frustrations relieved AAAAAAAAHHHH on previous post.
Good summary R R

5 Reality Raver { 07.06.09 at 11:47 pm }

Not Quite Nigella – no problems, the photos look almost edible.

Injera – the bowing must have been edited in tonight.

6 Anonymous { 07.07.09 at 12:43 am }

Finallllllllllllllllllllllllllly! Now to get rid of Andre, then mediocre Julie, and then we can start the real cooking competition! Shame there’s only a week left… Sigh.

Sam is looking for apprenticeships, hey? Maybe he could try out for a sandwich artist at Subway. 😉 Sorry for being bitter, but he truly is the most overstayed their welcome, out-of-depth reality tv contestant since Penny Higgs on SYTYCD.

7 sourkraut { 07.07.09 at 12:56 am }

i predict next to go will be Julie then Chris then lucky Lucas then Justine then Julia leaving Poh and Andre to cock sorry cook up a final titanic battle for our delectation.
course if this sequence of events occurs I wont be able to watch it as my TV is not dextrous enough to dodge bricks which i will be excreting after Justine goes, and at that stage I wont give a quintuppled “r ” rodent’s rectum who wins then anyway.
Well wot do you expect I am a sour kraut and thus a poor loser, even though we got honorable runner up titles twice

8 I like food { 07.07.09 at 8:02 am }

I’m pretty sure at one point Sam said “I’m just trying to focus on staying focused”…….man that made me laugh. Yes, Sam cant cook but I must admit his annoying personality and lack of cooking skills were quite entertaining. Between Poh and her constantly trying to catch a fly in her mouth state and the other boring stiff contestants, Sam gave me a reason to at least yell at the tv or have some emotion about the show. I know it’s a cooking based show but they have already shown this is not really the case so whilst Sam or Spam as I like to refer to him couldnt cook a cuppa soup he was nevertheless entertaining.
Anonymous….subway sandwich artist…..I love it. Great call.

9 Sooty { 07.07.09 at 9:42 am }

It wigged me out when Matt said that about his eight-year old loving Sam – because I’d just that day been grumping to self that this whole thing has been Sam’s endless audition as a tv kid’s show host… right down to the teeth scraping the spoon when he does a tasting! Just getting down with the kids.

RR, not that I’m pedantic, but Matt actually said Andre’s pannacotta wobbled (in all the right ways) like a “Rubenesque woman on five-inch stilettoes’ then went Mmmm, which cheered me up no end! Ruben’s nudes are way bigger than Renoir’s usually but both have nice pearly skin!

Oh man, finally! Finally! I told the TV it better be Sam or I’m going to scream… thought I’d have to scream…

I think they edited in the bowing from footage to spike up the Poh reactions.

Happy times.

10 Culinary Boner { 07.07.09 at 10:46 am }

Sooty is right Raver, it was Rubenesque … Perhaps you were getting confused and trying to type “Ralph model on stilettos”. But then again do fake tits wobble?

11 Injera { 07.07.09 at 10:53 am }

CB – Pannacotta = Rubens
Aeroplane Jelly = Ralph

Was the bowing to Poh trying to send a message that she’s got talent (y’know, a kind of “ignore all the editing we did that suggested she was getting by on being George’s pet, she’s a rooly good cook. F’r rools” attempt to smooth viewers into accepting her as the winner)?

Of course, it kind of came off as an indication that Gary’s joined George in the Poh crush.

Then, I think they tried to damp that down by elevating Chris’ dessert to equal status with Poh’s, when it seemed to this viewer that Poh’s was clearly ahead. Not that it mattered – nobody wins a pressure test.

So glad to have woken up this morning, knowing that a Sam-less Masterchef awaits tonight!

12 Jacqui { 07.07.09 at 10:55 am }

Thank God Sam is gone! For once they gave them a good pressure test to do!

13 Wurstsemmel { 07.07.09 at 12:51 pm }

I feel Injera may have stroked the paella crust in suggesting we’re getting set up for an apohcalyptic win. That’s one thing you can say about Poh – useful name for making weak and pathetic puns!

I love Matt’s turn of phrase. I get ticked off sometimes that his comments are edited out. He’s very entertaining. I especially like the way he looks as if he’s about to spit something out in disgust and then rants ecstatically over it. He definitely warrants more screen time than the other two.

I heard a whisper that Sam’s now set to become the fifth Wiggle. Hee. He’d probably be good at that.

14 Reality Raver { 07.07.09 at 1:19 pm }

Sooty – you are absolutely correct. In fact I don’t know how I cocked it up, as currently writing an article about Matt Preston and had used the phrase rubeneque in it… Now I will have to take it out as it will look like I copied….. Grrrr.

Anon – LOL such a good call comparing Penny Higg to Sam. In my 2009 reality awards – I will have a new category of dud reality TV contestant? Sam and Penny will both be nominated.

Everyone – how obsequious and sychophantic was the bowing to Poh? If I were the other contestants I would crack it.

15 Anonymous { 07.07.09 at 1:30 pm }

Hee, glad you like it RR! You’re doing reality awards? Awesome! Maybe there will need to be a tie for that category. 😉

16 Reality Raver { 07.07.09 at 4:21 pm }

Anon – Here is a post with my awards from 2008.
Probably will expand categories and possible reader participation this year..

17 sourkraut { 07.07.09 at 11:32 pm }

I thought the bowing was to cunningly disguise a collective Bone

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