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MasterChef Australia – The Final Week – The Form Guide

Below is an article currently on The Punch with my views on the form of the contestant heading into the final week.

MasterChef Australia The Final Week – Who Has The Form To Win?
After three months, 7500 applications, a top 50, then a top 20, MasterChef Australia now has a Top Six to duke it out in the final week of this extremely popular TV show.

The eliminations start on Monday, and there will only be two left standing for the Grand Final on Sunday 19th July.
Who will win? I rate the finalists:
Chris Badenoch:
The beer merchant from Melbourne has barely put a foot wrong in the competition with strong innovative cooking. However he is tarting to look like he could do a Greg Norman, and choke as he gets near the finish line.
His meal of rib eye and bone marrow he served in the legendary cooks challenge was given scathing reviews, and he has faced two elimination challenges in a week.
Rumours have been circulating that he and other finalist Julia Jenkins are exchanging more then just recipes, which may be the reason his focus has slipped.
Chris has the technical ability and determination to give the title a good nudge. However rumours of fraternising with a fellow contestant
over 15 years his junior will not have endeared him to the producers, who will not want negative publicity to impact potential cookbook
Julie Goodwin:
More Donna Hay than Matt Moran, this home style cook has turned into a firm fan favourite. In the beginning it looked like she needed a Xanax to get through challenges due to her nerves and tears, however she has conquered these and has since served up consistent high quality food, even if it is a bit mumsy.
Julie has the ability to put together great flavours, however she will struggle if she has to cook with the more exotic ingredients. She would not be a popular winner with the foodies, but who sells the most cookbooks – Donna Hay or Matt Moran? Yes Donna Hay by the proverbial mile.
Poh Ling Yeow
Poh, the Adelaide artist, has been a firm favourite with the judges since the auditions where she was given the chance to cook a second
dish which got her through to the top 50.
The snarkarati on blogs and forums believe judge George Calombaris has a crush on the attractive cheftestant because of his fawning behaviour towards her.
Poh is the only one of the final six who has not been involved in a beat the chef challenge. Her adventurous cooking style has seen her
produce some amazing dishes, but also some duds. Her deep fried meringues were first time around a disaster, however once refined were proclaimed the dish of the night.
Poh’s honesty about not seeing cooking as a fulltime career could potentially hinder her chances of winning. Even though at times she
has cracked under pressure in the kitchen, since being put back in the competition she has barely put a foot wrong. She will be hanging in
there for as long as possible.

Julia Jenkins:
Julia is an unknown quantity in this final week of competition. The viewer has barely seen her seen since she beat Pete Evans in the early
weeks of the show and was fast tracked to the end of the competition. She has since been working in his kitchen to hone her skills. We have only seen her cook twice since then. Once in a high tea challenge in Hong Kong which she won, and then in a MasterClass where she showcased her pizza making skills which is not exactly haute cuisine.
Having missed out in performing in the high pressure environment of the show with time limitations and weird locations, she may crack
under the strain of the final week. Because of her limited screen time her fan base is small, which the producers would know would result in lower cookbook sales.
Lucas Parsons:
The former pro-golfer managed to luck his way into the final week by beating chef Ben O’Donoghue with a sous vide kangaroo. Prior to this he had not been one of the shining stars of the competition. He is currently being mentored by Feidel Manu which has certainly seen an increase in girth, but has it resulted in a improved cooking technique?
As a former professional sports person he definitely has nerves of steel in competitive situations. However I don’t see him as a contender because whereas other fast tracked cook Julia won her challenge in Hong Kong, Lucas did not.

Justine Schofield:
Justine has polished cooking skills and is a favourite with both judges and viewers. This blog”˜s  recent poll on whose restaurant the viewer would most like to eat at showed Justine as easily the most popular choice. She was a shock elimination in Hong Kong because of a below par noodle dish, however once reinstated in the competition she has won all three challenges convincingly. Even though there has been chatter querying where contestant Chris picked up his technical skills from, no one has questioned whether she worked in the kitchen of her mother’s French restaurant.

Justine is indeed the triple threat, attractive, a talented and committed cook, as well as being popular with the audience. If the producers had their way she would win, and at this stage the only danger to her not taking out the title is if she psyches herself out, or there is a focus on asian dishes in the final week.


1 TDK { 07.11.09 at 4:23 pm }

Pretty much agree with everything you said.

2 Injera { 07.11.09 at 4:25 pm }

Nice wrap up of the contenders. I wonder how much pull potential sales/some rather negative recent publicity will have over the end result? Not long now before we know…!

Wouldn’t buy a cookbook by any of them, but I’d quite like Julie to win, I think.

3 Wurstsemmel { 07.11.09 at 6:13 pm }

I’d love Julie to win but is she THE Masterchef ? Probably not. She’s really mastered her nerves and she does produce good food. It does seem to lack on presentation at times but never seems to lack taste and, in the end, that’s what’s going to part me from my money over a fancied up ‘gosh, I’ve finished eating and I hadn’t even started’ type dish – which may look pretty but isn’t generous (to quote the boys).

I agree it’s most likely to be Justine because she is as George (?) keeps saying the complete package. But since when do you need to be beautiful to produce good food. Yeah, George?

I’m with Injera. I won’t be parting with any money for a cookbook, even George’s. Although I might buy as a tax deduction if the proceeds were to secure Chris a hair wash and new hat.

Call me a cynic but I expect the book to hit the bargain bins pretty quickly.

4 Wurstsemmel { 07.11.09 at 6:15 pm }

PS Julia who? Instantly forgettable for me I’m afraid.

5 Injera { 07.11.09 at 8:27 pm }

Wurstsemmel, I don’t see Julie as a Masterchef, but – then again – I don’t see any of this lot as having attained the level I’d like to see awarded the title “Masterchef”. On that basis, I go for her on the basis of personability and the fact she has presented a coherent vision of her future restaurant. As has Chris, and I’m glad he’s in Melbourne because I’d be at his beer/food hall in a heartbeat, but I’ve probably been hoodwinked by editing and Julie has “grown” on her Masterchef “journey” while he seems to have gone backwards of late.

Poh? If she seemed to want to be a chef, I’d probably have no qualms about her being crowned, but… she’s said that’s not what she wants, so it will be a hollow coronation if it’s her.

Justine? Has a future, no matter what. She’s young, I’m sure she’ll have offers, she has no job at the moment… so she’ll be out looking regardless of result. Julie, on the other hand, might find it easier to give up the IT career for cooking if she’s got $100K behind her.

Lucas and Julia… who?

6 Wurstsemmel { 07.11.09 at 9:27 pm }

Injera! The P word. Really?

Noooooooooooooo. Say it isn’t so. Wild horses or even Matt stroking his paella crust would not lead me down that path. Of course, if George threatened to stroke his paella crust, I’d have to reconsider just to stop him.

Chris? Way too much meat (in his meals!), and meat’s that confronting, for me, I’m afraid, other issues aside.

It’s past the cooking now. I don’t really see any of them as particularly gifted above the others, especially now with Little Sausage and GnocchiMan gone. It’s time to bring on the wiener (groan).

Go Julie.

7 Injera { 07.11.09 at 9:48 pm }

OK, so I was exaggerating when I said no qualms about Poh. I am still smarting from the early “oh, sure, your audition dish is a piece of crap, but – hey – why don’t you run off home and prepare something we’ve never tried before and we’ll say how great it is, even though we have no benchmark against which to judge its authenticity…”, but I’m working on the basis that the Fremantle execs – who have apparently clinched a season two – would know better than to annoint someone who’s said they don’t want to be a “chef” and that enables me to be somewhat magnanimous about her recent efforts.

I love meat, and – as I’ve said – would eat at Chris’ place – but have lost the desire to see him add “‘straya’s first Masterchef” to his resume.

Go Julie!

8 Jacqui { 07.11.09 at 9:53 pm }

Maybe Poh is dating one of the executives? They did say she was dating someone behind the scenes

9 Reality Raver { 07.11.09 at 10:02 pm }

Maybe Poh is seeing one of the camera men? When would she had a chance to see him while she was in the house.

I think I will be changing my mind about who I want to win in the last week depending on what happens. However the chances of me wanting Lucas or Julia win is low, I just have no idea what they or there cooking is like. I wonder if Channel 10 will crack the 2 million viewers for an episode this week.

10 Sooty { 07.12.09 at 12:58 pm }

Love your formguide, RR. And good to see people here behind Julie. Go the mighty underdog! Go Justine too. Nice and earnest.

Julia was my fave at the early stages, but as with Lucas the plus of being out of way of eliminations has meant a level of disinterest for me, except I am concerned about her root recoverage. But that should hold up in the final week!

I would have loved Andre to suddenly start cooking his pasta sheets through and do a surprise overturning of Chris’s greasy hat.

Until recently I was all Chris for the win, but there has just been too much grease, too much meat – the pig’s head was the final straw – and the head a bit swelled below that hat, and then too much overt beer-swilling. (Where are all the Cassi hating types, who squeal ‘she smokes!!!!!’ Hey he drinks too much!!! what kind of role model is that for our yuthe?! And is he rooting our yuthe?!?) And if he’s off to Bavaria and taking the talent out of Austraya, to hell with him!

11 Injera { 07.12.09 at 4:03 pm }

Sooty – love the comparison between the Chris and Cassi reactions! Although I don’t think I would have wanted to see Andre in the shower being menaced by Chris…

12 sourkraut { 07.12.09 at 6:29 pm }

Agree with you about Julie. I’d love to see her win. I could not give a stuff about some foody arty farty french dish with a piece of meat the size of a 50 cent piece ( that’s a generous one) and some jackson pollock sauce arrangement. I WANNA BE FED IFN I COUGHS UP ME DOSH! Howsomever I DO want to see Chris in the final 2. He has (on his day) a better understanding of food that 90% of the population would go for, and with a clear head and A BIT MORE BLOODY HUMILITY he should (but wont) win hands down.
Fair go on Chris. He’s probably going to Bavaria (a beautiful part of the world) to find a DECENT beer and to learn to make a DECENT TASTY sausage to bring back to his beer-hall/food restaurant. If that’s the case MORE POWER TO HIM!!!!!!!!!!!

13 sourkraut { 07.12.09 at 6:33 pm }

Reality Raver
I did not realise how ignorant I was about the contestants. SUPER interesting that Justine’s mum owns a french restaurant. Like “the Mole” all the clues are starting to fit and make sense. Will MC 2 follow my fave reality show? It might as well cause it’s been everything else to everyone else so far!!!!!!!!!!

14 Reality Raver { 07.12.09 at 6:40 pm }

Sooty – LOL re: your comments about comparison to Cassi and her having to be a role model but Chris not having to. But as you know there is sexism on TV, and they expect higher standards from the women. I think Julie is the first overweight woman I have seen on TV this year, and she is only a contestant. And you know what the world has not ended. In fact she is the second favourite contestant in the house see poll on blog after Justine.

15 Injera { 07.12.09 at 6:43 pm }

Further to Chris/Cassi – I’m glad we didn’t see any footage of a Chris/Sam shower showdown!

16 Sooty { 07.12.09 at 7:52 pm }

Two tiny sausages!

17 Meat Fuhrer { 07.13.09 at 1:04 pm }

Chris must to win this!

Zee vorld needs more meat, offal and, of course, quality beer to vash it all down wit.

Say no to crappy cupcakes and Donna Hay inspired, insipid salmon dishes, that would barely feed an anorexic.

Greasy hair, tatts, daggy hats and headlice aside, the MeatMaster must vin!

18 sourkraut { 07.13.09 at 6:43 pm }

Meat fuhrer
I was wondering how long it was going to be b4 some prejudiced clown came up with this sort of nonsense.
Chill out
Increase your dose
ww2 finished 70 years ago
Anyhoo just to satisfy your genteel tastes i propose we pass a law banning the cooking and consumption of meat in Oz. then we can all subsist on cupcakes and half cooked bite sized pieces of salmon Yeah

19 Meat Fuhrer { 07.14.09 at 11:42 am }

Hey Sour——-kraut, one word…BRUNO.

Or perhaps SBC’s humour ok for you as it targets those funny easterners, the Austrians, and not Germans?

As I can’t abide semi-literate hypocrites, perhaps you might want to explain this statement from one of your previous posts – “100% agree with you re jerk frog”.

Mate, WWII was 70 years ago, so perhaps it’s time to you avoided racist comments about the Gallic people. Especially as they aren’t even attempted in a light-hearted way.

I won’t even bother trying to assess the racial foundations of your Poh comments.

20 sourkraut { 07.18.09 at 2:25 pm }

meat fuhrer
one word…. moron
You’re the sort of person that thinks borat was funny.. great for your side of the propaganda fest, and even greater for restoring international peace! He’s just a disgusting buffoon!

And what has Bruno got to do with the price of fish? I could not care less about Austrian/German relationships. It is totally irrelevent to anything I have ever written. As a matter of fact I have several Austrian friends who are also puzzled about your crappy comment. Needless to say they also think the creator of Bruno is about as funny as a fart in an elevator, and if that analogy is not high brow literary enough for you….take a pill.

At least show some logic and consistency in your rant.
You groundlessly accuse me of racism v Poh. If you got off your behind and read my other posts you would have noticed I have many Asian friends, and that is hardly racist. It’s just that I don’t like the portrayal ( and that is all I have to go on admittedly) and hence the perceived character that shows her as a super aggravating, grinning, scheming,media whore (others descriptions as well as mine), who is being given an OBVIOUS UNFAIR ADVANTAGE over the others that even a person of your MONUMENTAL intellect can see. It has NOTHING to do with racism.
It’s the pot calling the kettle black in YOUR case.
Furthermore you accuse me of racism, but I don’t see your bravery in accusing other Poh hater posters to this blog of the same. NO you have to wait until someone with perceived Germanic indicators turns up and you IMMEDIATELY pick on them, very similar to the way the French judge did! Hello!
Similarly, the same comment goes for the other posters about the French judge. How come you did not immediately jump on your shiny white charger and tilt against them. As I recall one of them said “some dirty old French perv” and spoke about disgusting man. I suppose that was a light hearted comment according to your impeccable logic?
Or perhaps it’s because you are not even semi-literate. Your mind is clouded with such Germanophobic bile that you illiterately block out any pieces of data that do not support your narrow arguments. That is what Goballs did. Congratulations, you are no better than him!
Finally don’t call me mate. You are not and never will be my mate. I will not waste any more time on a Germanophobe burke such as you. PS I am not even German, sorry to disappoint you, I am a PROUD AUSTRALIAN, I just can’t abide people who portray any German with a different opinion to one from your moral high ground, as being some sort of racist and then perpetuate the hatred.

21 Dianne { 11.06.09 at 9:09 am }

Julie Goodwin Masterchef! Hmmmm LOL. What a joke.
Just watching the show here in NZ. Real Soap Opera.

22 reality raver { 11.07.09 at 6:38 am }

A controversial winner. But she is having a successful career after the win. She signed to Women’s Weekly and is doing endorsements. Who did you want to win.

23 Dianne { 11.07.09 at 3:25 pm }

reality raver! Chris for all of us at our house. Next would of been Justine. There cooking is innovative, and they show a quality. I haven’t seen a decent dish from Julie at all. She bumbles sweats and her food is very what we eat every day. No Masterchef.
Oh yes I laughed when I saw her in the Womens Weekly. Gawd.
We are having a NZ Masterchef, and I am hoping it is better than this display. Won’t take much.O:-)

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