Masterchef Australia – Tell me when will you be mine, tell me Zumbo Zumbo Zumbo
So, we’re down to four people and I’m guessing that it will be a matter of seconds before George is referring to them as ‘straya’s best amata shefs. Sarah reminds us that Poh’s advantage, gained as a result of her “win” in the Malaysian challenge, was a preview of the pressure test dish. She was allowed a look at it, a taste of it, and a copy of the recipe to study, annotate, and become possessed by. Peter Jackson’s next journey to Middle Earth will revolve around a fellowship of three trying to locate the binding ingredient.
Today’s guest judge is… bill granger and his unassuming lower case! Julie’s excited – she sees parallels between his career trajectory and, well, her fantasy career trajectory. bill’s also excited – he tells us that he’s expecting a lot from the contestants today, which is a clear indication that he’s never watched the show.
bill has been called in to judge the contestants’ interpretations of yet another Adriano Zumbo dessert. I think it would have been a better show if Adriano had been judging one of bill’s recipes. It certainly would have been briefer, and brevity is a rare and undervalued commodity in Masterchef. Watching people make complex cakes “with lots of processes”, even at speed, is not a gripping spectator event. No amount of interviews, fakeout edits, Sara Lee references, offers of publishing deals and cash can make it one.
The contestants hover nervously around the cake box and have obviously learned nothing from their previous encounters with Mr Zumbo – their relief when a “chocolate cake” is revealed is palpable. Oh, you poor duffers! As if it’s just going to be a “chocolate cake”! It is, in fact, a chocolate mousse cake with bits of this and that and other fancy things that I really couldn’t focus on because… chocolate cake! I hear Adriano give advice – if you overmix? You’ll mess this up. If you use warm butter? You’ll mess this up. If you overcook the sable? You’ll mess this up. Chris helpfully informs us that there were about nine different things that could potentially ruin this cake. I thought I heard the word sabayon and hoped, fervently, that Thermomixes would be available to the contestants. Obviously Thermomix is old news – or an expired sponsorship – since it was all about the Blast Chillers today.
We get cream and caramel boilovers, double-thick sable bases, nervous flambe, runny mousse… It is, indeed, a highwire! And somebody will, surely, fall! It looks as though it will be Julie, who has forgotten her sponge. Oh, god.
As time ticks down Gary, who can see that nobody is assembling their cakes, nonetheless thinks it’s a good idea to tell them that if they are not doing what he can see that they’re not doing, they should be worried.
Poh unmoulds her cake and discovers that her “dimples” are more like craters. She interviews that she falls apart. Hey, who would’ve guessed that Poh would go to pieces at the first sign of trouble? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Justine McGyvers her way out of trouble with her unmoulding, by grabbing a blowtorch. It’s at this point that I start mentally storyboarding a Flashdance remake, with French cookery taking the place of, well, dance. Look, I haven’t completely resolved the plot details, but Justine’s a lock for the main role.
Poh has a quick tete-a-tete with the cameraman, telling him – just between the two of them, you understand, because it would be dynamite if this ever got out – that she thinks she’s made a bit of a hash of it, but that she’ll probably be safe. It’s right here that I start believing that she’s really gone. Surely the editors are not going to include such a negative personal appraisal and still have her go through. Surely.
She’s first up and gets kudos for her palate. It’s cooking from a recipe. Her palate? Chris gets 100% from George. Ordinarily, this should immediately remove any tension around his future in the game, but this is the same show that had somebody giving several billion percentage points of effort. Who knows what kind of bizarre curve these guys are being marked on?
Both Julie and Justine have impenetrable crusts. That sounds kind of dirty. Julie’s cake is criticised for not bringing all the various elements together and Justine’s is too “Flintstone” for George.
Hmm, how to decide? I guess… I guess each judge could give each cake a score, and… nah, that’s too obvious. Hey! How about the judges call the contestants in, and ask them questions! Yeah! That’ll work!
Chris, Julie and Justine all articulate their respective visions for their respective restaurants/cafes. They’re all passionate and convincing. Let’s see how Poh does. Remember, she messed this up last time with the “um, noodle? or dumpling? bar?”. So. Drum roll.
What? A different question? And… “I really want the prize”. Well, that’s just great.
So. Chris is safe. No brainer. Julie? Safe??? ‘mkay…
Poh and Justine. And, Matt tells us, it is all about the cake. And Justine is out! Because Poh wants to win a game show! Yay! Heartwarming.
Matt’s teary. Gary’s teary. Everybody wants to give Justine a job. Go with Matt! Or Guy! Or Jacques! But remember, if you take the George option, you’ll be working with Aaron.
Poh tells us that she thinks she’s been lucky. Such insight.
We see Justine being embraced by her family. We see her flipping through recipe books. We see a gate being opened. We see a big, bald ginger knocking at a door. My god, why doesn’t Matt Moran ever come knocking on my door? I love how Justine’s so surprised – I guess she has camera crews in her house all the time, just doing a fly-on-the-wall doco on her life after Masterchef.
Matt tells Justine she can come and “hang out” at Aria, while he’s still there. While he’s still there? Is this a scoop? Is Matt Moran leaving Aria?
So, we get to the final three of Masterchef and we’ve scaled the heights of Australian culinary talent. Who’s at the peak of this summit? Donna freaking Hay.