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MasterChef Australia – Shock Final Two?

“I am dreaming about Gary and George in my bedroom hollering at me,” said Poh as she was describing how MasterChef  Australia has seriously mind  her. For about 2 seconds when she started the sentence I was like “Nooo Poh not an erotic menage a tois!” Just imagining George naked and saying  ‘Yeah, Yeah, oh yeaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh’ made my stomach flip.

Now Julie really needs to go out an buy a lottery ticket that Donna Hay was on the judging panel tonight. However you wonder how much influence she really had. I think Donna Hay is a clever women, with good cookbooks, and marketing ideas. But what really impressed me tonight was her teetering about on those really high heels. I thought at one stage she was going to stack it, but they probably would have edited it out.

I really hope MasterChef Australia has an episode of outtakes, as I reckon it could be hilarious.

Back to Julie she did not finish plating up, but still got through to the finale. Controversial? Yeah.

I have to be honest I have complained about Andre being one dimensional with his italian cooking, but Chris and his unusual meat cut mixed with boutique beer cuisine was starting to get a tad predictable. Even though he obvious is a very good technical cook.

Tonight’s challenge was to cook three dishes that would be in their first cookbook. The challenge meant they had to combine styling with flavour. They had 2 1/2 hours and they could pick 30 ingredients.

Donna Hay said she was looking for three things. Innovative recipes, thought in food styling (for camera), and she would  like to see their cover recipe to blow your socks off. George also said it had to look like “food porn”.

Poh was always going to have the advantage in this challenge as she is excellent at plating up.

Tonight it was just about confirmed that the contestants know the challenges before they go in there. The pantry would not have pigs trotters, and beef cheeks just sitting there. Also Poh’s century eggs would definitely not be kitchen staples. Speaking of that egg, I am sure I have spotted something similar in a Survivor eating challenge, where they have to eat half formed duck foetuses.

Poh was first to be judged and she cooked Century duck egg and pork dumplings which Donna Hay said  “Acquired taste but I quite like it”.

 Black squid ink cubic noodles with fish stock got a resounding ” Confronting but exciting,”  from the judges, and her ginger custard with rice balls and sugar were an “Amazing combination of textures in your mouth”. She said her concept for a cookbook was Chinese/Malay food, and she would call it Food from Mars, because there would be some strange things in it. Donna Hay politely said there would be a niche market for it.

Poh deservedly got a place in the final two. All her dishes were outstanding. They were adventurous, looked great, and would have tasted delicious.

Chris was next to be judged with deboned quail stuffed with chicken livers . “Cloying needs a bit of acid to break it up,” said Gary.

Pig trotters which George thought there were “Nice flavours in there, but the trotter was soft not enough”. His braised beef cheeks also did not get praised George said “Sauce not right”. However Donna Hay did give his cookbook idea the thumbs up and said it would sell. Matt Preston also gave him a great idea for the title, ‘Snout To Tail, Stout To Ale’.

Maybe Chris was trying to be too clever with his dishes cooking them in a pressure cooker which in the end cost him a place in the final. Also even though Donna Hay is married to a butcher she did not look particularly happy about supping on a pigs trotter.

Julie was judged last, and she was having a disaster. She had not plated up all her stuff even after a lingering ten seconds from Gary, so her food was going to have to be sensational. She served stuffed chicken with port and pistachio, rolled saddle of lamb with mushrooms,  and flourless chocolate cake without the grand marnier sauce and truffles.

However you could tell Donna Hay loved her and loved her  My Family Table cookbook idea. She probably wishes she came up with it herself.

“I felt nurtured by the chicken and mash,” said Donna, and Lamb “Taste beautiful, and succulent” said Gary. The flourless chocolate cake was criticised with a “Doesn’t have the richness I was looking for,” said Matt Preston.

I have to confess I thought it was fake editing, with the judges putting Chris down so we would think it was close when he was chosen. However I was slightly shocked when Julie was announced to go through to compete against Poh for the title. Apparently the execution of Chris’s dishes let him down.

I am not sure it is the correct decision, Chris has cooked with flair all through the competition, whilst Julie bumbled through the first half. Having said that I know which food I would have preferred to eat tonight. However if Poh does not win I will be very surprised.


1 Reality Raver { 07.17.09 at 5:12 pm }

Wow great comments and debate thanks everyone.
Injera – I cackled loudly and evilly at your comment about maybe not watching the last 2 episodes. I thought it is like pulling out of a marathon in the last 500 metres.

I will try and see if I can find the Matt Preston interview.
I actually think Chris’s dishes probably were a bit of disaster last night flavour wise, but then was Julie’s plating and finishing, so that probably made them equal.

Maybe by that stage they knew he was on with Julia and were concerned about having a scandal ridden masterChef winner. By the way did anyone else notice there was no welcoming home shot with family and friends. And it has been confirmed there had been one and one of his girlfriends Homaxi was there.

Channel ten must have edited it out.

By the way word on the street is the girl he was SMSing last year as per the article yesterday had a food related job.

2 Reality Raver { 07.17.09 at 5:14 pm }

Two of Australia’s most successful cooks have never done a chef apprentice – Donna Hay and Bill Grainger.
I have eaten at Bills many times breakfast, lunch and dinner and never had a dud meal. And his is really up market home cooking.

3 Momma { 07.17.09 at 8:25 pm }

Contestant Chris Badenoch admits to two previous bankrupcies in article in the Courier Mail. This would explain why he has never ‘realised his dream’ of opening his own bar/restaurant.
-One bankrupcy is badluck, but two?
-Maybe one of his girlfriends is cashed up?
– I wonder what his new potential business partners will think of this?

4 seepi { 07.17.09 at 10:32 pm }

Maggie Beer is also a ‘cook’ not a trained chef. And her food is home cooking taken up a few good notches.

5 shantel { 07.17.09 at 10:48 pm }

i want to buy juilies and chrisis cook book poh shouldnt b in it

6 sourkraut { 07.17.09 at 10:54 pm }

agre on your comment re century eggs.
like paul hogan said ‘You can eat it but it tastses like shit”
Cmon all you poh apologists, even her number one fan the great Zorba virtually said it tastes like crap and that his mates would probably chuck on it. I know Oz is not growing enough food but we’re not that hard up yet, Bit like the excellent program on SBS (my fave channel by miles) on Magellan where the syarving sailors ate flour soaked with rats piss. Guess people will eat anything if they are hungry enuff

7 Unreality ravings { 07.17.09 at 10:57 pm }

Maybe we need another show called MasterCookBookWriter.

8 Reality Raver { 07.17.09 at 10:59 pm }

unreality ravings – best handle ever. LOL. Also love the concept of the show, you should pitch it to Fremantle Media….

9 Injera { 07.17.09 at 11:04 pm }

UrR – but, then, people would be pissed off because – based on what has happened here – the cookbook writer would end up being illiterate, but a genius chef.

Ed – you asked how many ways there were to roast lamb. Given that Julie’s looked raw as Gary was doing his final 10 sec countdown, even one seems to be too much of a challenge.

10 sourkraut { 07.17.09 at 11:08 pm }

Right on Still we can all have sexy spunky white liquid with a gelatinous blob (pity threr was not two of them) to dream about with poh bending down low over it rosy cheeks aglow SEXY donna Sexy. and whoever made the comment about the garbage bag please accept the sourkraut iron cross with 15 bars for the funniest comment i’ve seen about this sorry excuse for a show so far. THANK YOU!

11 sourkraut { 07.17.09 at 11:11 pm }

Maggie Beer’s cooking is more than just a few notches up. She would leave all the clods on MC for dead

12 Unreality ravings { 07.17.09 at 11:18 pm }

Sushi lamb – yum yum

13 Anonymous { 07.18.09 at 8:49 pm }

I love Maggie. When I get disillusioned with Masterchef Au I always fire up The Cook and the Chef, Food Safari, Masterchef UK… 😀

14 sourkraut { 07.19.09 at 7:02 pm }

I’m obviously a Maggie B fan and I love the documentary style of food safari (and even 95% of the food shown there), but where can I get to see the English version of Masterchef? That’s the thing about the poms, they ALWAYS do terriffic TV shows. Our trouble is we have followed the U S Of A too far!

15 Injera { 07.19.09 at 7:42 pm }

sourkraut – real Masterchef is on Foxtel – Lifestyle Food. I’m not sure when the next season will air. The most recent ended before this circus started. To give you an idea of the quality (and commitment) of the UK entrants: one of the runners up has been doing work experience at a range of London restaurants and is about to start a job with David Thompson at Nahm. The winner has opened a restaurant. You’d love the show – might be able to find it online somewhere… It is utterly different to the local version.

16 dennisk14 { 07.20.09 at 12:28 am }

I think Masterchef UK is back on Lifestyle Food (the 2009 series) for those interested. Highly recommended. The final will blow you away. Brilliant stuff. Cooking for a room full of Michelin chefs was one of the challenges. Hardcore. Celebrity Masterchef just finished. Also look for Professional Masterchef, with Michel Roux and Gregg which is excellent.

17 Jawad Saeed { 07.20.09 at 9:04 am }

Dear Sir/Ma’am

It is highly controversial decision for me as when Julie clearly detected Onion instead of shallots and judges tried to correct her, for me it was clear that judges made their mind who will win. She clearly lost it their, and when Poh tried to correct her decision she was not allowed to.

Not only that, Julie’s ways of creating drama was impossible for me to watch. She was called eliminator by other contestant because she was in the habit of making Puppy face and if that didn’t worked, making her eyes wet and face as if she is in a lot of agony. C’mon I m not saying she didn’t make good dishes but the drama was too much for me, always making puppy face and teary eyes when couple of time it was clear she is trying her best to make her self look miserable in front of the judges.


Jawad Saeed(Jack)

18 Tracey { 07.20.09 at 11:58 am }

I feel Julie deserved to win out of her and Poh. Julie was in the show from start to finish unlike Poh who was sent home not once but twice and brought back into the contest both times. Talk about favourtism. As for Chris I wasn’t impressed that he was such a sour worm about not getting into the Grand final. He couldn’t even pretend to be happy for Poh and Julie. The other contstants cheered the two girls on and were excited for them. Yes they were proberly disapointed that they didn’t win but at least they showed good sportsmanship and supported their 2 friends. Chris just thought he was the best and couldn’t accept that he wasn’t. What a sore looser.

19 Dianne { 11.16.09 at 4:06 am }

Tracey! Chris was the best . he showed intelligence, confidence, and competants. Truly the makings of an excellent Masterchef.
Julie scraped through, hiding behind team events. She really is a messy clumpsy homecook. Gawd certainly got a lot of learning to do. Her sweating and bunbling, along with crying sickend me to the stomach. She was clearly favoured by the judges, and if they think the viewing public couldn’t see that, they need the heads read. Very poorly judged, and an insult to the contestants who did deserve to win. Cookbook for beginners, oh dear Lord.
Some ot the stuff Julie tried to cook I could do better. I wouldn’t be interested in her Cook Book. I like innovative dishes, something I wouldn’t cook at home. I didn’t learn a bloody thing from Julie’s cooking. Blah! Tracey this is a competition and Chris was not a POOR LOOSER, he was duped by a dopey Mummsy.
Here is NZ, we think it is a rigged show.