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Celebrity Masterchef – Parmesan On Oysters – Oh George

Reality TV and beauty pageants have always been a quick way for people to heighten their profile when their other skills and accomplishments will not raise them above the milieu. Rachael Finch, Miss Universe Australia, has now tackled both genres. The 21 year old auditioned for MasterChef this year with a stir-fry which looked like it was laden with sauce, and was panned by judge George Calombaris.  Hence she did not get through to the top fifty then, but  by acquiring a tiara and her sash and she got a start on the celebrity version.

Rachael tottered in on white stilettos, which I did not think went with the cutoff ripped denim shorts, and she doubled her hotness once she got the blundstones on.

Ryan O’Keefe the Sydney Swans player, who I have never heard of, clearly my sports knowledge is very poor, made up for his lack of charisma with a high cuteness factor.

Ryan O’Keefe was cooking a fettuccine bolognaise sauce, which sounded a bit simple but he was making his own pasta.

Rachael is doing two courses a salmon, and crepes with creme patisserie, and strawberry and basil. The judges were impressed with Rachael ambitious menu and thought she showed some chefy skills.

George was cooking risotto bonza – I was a bit disappointed that they did not do a flashback to Andre’s strawberry and champagne risotto. Ok all you Masterchef Australia season two contestants who are still auditioning or in the top 50 – do not cook risotto, you will have better chance with a souffle.

George’s oyster was also pretty wacky pesto, parmesan, and then put in the oven. Also lamb with risotto is not something I particularly like.

Ryan’s fettuccine was beautifully cooked, but the judges felt the sauce should have had a longer to develop more flavour.

George’s risotto was a big fail, too chalky, however his oysters were given a positive response, though I am not sure why he wanted to shuck the oyster when he was going to cook them.

Both of Rachael’s dishes attracted praise, and she won the round.

Tony Bilson was the guest chef  the choice of dish was between  scallop and truffle tart with a beurre blanc and sweetbreads or a bouillabaisse.

Rachael picked the tart as she thought both the guys would prefer to cook the bouillabaisse. And it was a smart tactic.

The tart did look very complex. But even though they get one lifeline which means Tony Bilson will come and give them advice for 90 seconds, George and Gary also wander the room handing out advice. They told Ryan his pastry was undercooked, and George told Rachael she was cooking the sweetbreads wrong.

George Negus was in more trouble then the early settlers when he forgot to put the spinach puree on his tart. He had to take off the delicately placed scallops truffles and his pastry broke. Chances of him winning – very slim.

Matt Preston thought George had given them an Italian version of a french dish. They did pull him up for not taking the membrane off the scallop. But they were positive about the flavour.

Ryan’s dish looked ok, “Really precise,” said Gary “Pastry base a bit undercooked.”

“Needs a bit more time in the oven,” said Matt Preston.

Rachael’s dish looked beautiful. “You have just the right amount of  spinach on the tart,” they were all very positive except for Matt nitpicking about the presentation.

However unsurprisingly it was Rachael that got through, something I thought would happen due to all the Eamon Sullivan romance rumours that have been circulating. Where would they have met? The semis.

I have to confess that the celebrity version is not as engaging as the “real life” version. There is not the emotional engagement with the contestants that we had with the original. Some of the celebs are entertaining but some are pretty dull. Bring back Alex Perry I say.

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1 Anonymous { 10.28.09 at 9:19 pm }

A predictable result, before the episode even began.

2 lydal { 10.28.09 at 9:42 pm }

Nothing interesting in this episode. I didn’t like most of the dishes they cooked and I didn’t care a lot about the contestants. Though I was wondering during the second half about the expenses of producing today’s challenge dish (truffles are very very expensive). As you can see… nothing great tonight 😉

3 saffronlie { 10.28.09 at 9:55 pm }

I thought Ryan was cute, too. No complaints from me about the number of handsome sportsmen served up on this show! Rachael Finch is from my hometown so I felt a sense of solidarity and am pleased she got through. I also found George Negus very entertaining!

4 Wurstsemmel { 10.28.09 at 10:04 pm }

Good job there was little else on or Id have flicked the channel. Mind you, I’m sure Sourkraut’s attention may have been well and truly maintained by copious gratuitous cleavage shots. Call me whatever you choose but do I really want my food cooked by someone with both butt and boob cleavage hanging out? Mais non even if it were the lovely Manou. Tonight was a foregone conclusion really which was a shame. While I didn’t have a clue who he was, Id like to have seen the footy man go through.
Forget the three Michelin stars, this a three yawn episode.

5 CG { 10.29.09 at 1:01 am }

I missed the first half of tonight’s show – opting to watch KOB’s interview with Therese Rein on the 7:30 report instead. But it didn’t matter becasue if anyone saw Matt P. on Rove this past Sunday he gave away who was going to win (Rachel). And as RR said it was also predictable given the Eamon-Rachel romance rumours.

RR: I had no idea Rachel had tried out for MC1. What a hoot!

Was there an explanation for Rachel’s outfit in the first 30mins that I missed? Good grief! Is this the MC marketing people forcing her to dress like that or is she channeling Jessica Simpson playing Daisy Duke?

Even if I didn’t know who the winner was going to be, I wouldn’t really have been hoping for any one of the contestants in particular to win tonight. I had a run in with George Negus at the airport once after a long, overnight flight from Hong Kong. I had no idea who he was and gave it to him when he tried to jump the queue when we got to customs. I was informed about who he was by the customs officer who thought I was a lunatic and put me through the full security check, etc. as punishment for yelling at “our George”. Ha!

And as far as Mr. O’Keefe goes, I just wanted to have a good look at him because apparently he was going out with Mary Donaldson at the time she hooked up with Prince Frederik. He was only 19 and 10+ years her junior at the time. He (Ryan) seems to be a pretty “simple minded”, boy-man just like dumbling Prince Fred. Apparently Mary had a long track record of trying to bag a “celebrity” and someone with some cash.

Maybe because I knew who was gonna win it was more tedious than usual. But I thought of a way they could get some more energy and “ownership” into the celebrity series: make a bigger deal of the charities. I assume the final prize includes a donation to the winner’s charity like on Dancing with the Stars? If not, it should be otherwise what is the bloody point?

And if they had the celebs share a story about why they selected which charity, etc. and why the want to win for their charity, etc. then it would build some more passion into the “competition” IMO.

A few other observations: in QLD where I am still staying for another few weeks, there was a Handee wipe commercial but it did NOT feature Matt, just an anonymous guy wiping down his workbench. And the Harvey Norman ad did not feature stunned-mullett Justine. They must have got our feedback?

Anyhoo, hoping they energise the format when we get to the semis.

6 sourkraut { 10.29.09 at 9:10 am }

I LIED! I’m Baaaaccckkk! Could not help myself. after the no show of the twins on the Apprentice I had to see if this would make up for it. It didn’t! (and for c!@p sake leave the boots at home) (kleenex still unused)
Talk about boring. no wonder i deliberately missed the previous episodes. Spag bol, semi raw fried fish (a-b*&%Ygain) and chuck rice with raw b#$%y meat, if that was the 3 signature dishes i would hate to see their idea of a snack!
Anyhoo, when miss betelgeuse oz’s oven timer did not go off it set me to thinking of the many ways a show such as this could be even more rigged:
1. the ovens could be set differently
2. standard ingredients could be subtly different
oh bugger last night i thought of 6, this am i can’t rememeber them. Good old alzheimers. Oh well no doubt by next MCOZ I will no doubt be able to spew them out. ta ta
PS one person on the show is still an excrutiating try-hard

7 Spelling Guru { 10.29.09 at 9:17 am }

“Parmesan”, not “parmasen”.

8 Sooty { 10.29.09 at 10:18 am }

Well, I really enjoyed it and was hoping Rachel would win (all that advance press went over my head) and was so pleased when she did. Did you see her beautiful preparation? Exquisite prep, every ingredient lined up neatly in a bowl – no doubt in order of use. I just wish Kathleen de Leon and Alex Perry could come back and compete, and then I can overlook all the dull young sporting men etc.

And unlike Harboard and Schrager and Mrs Brewer – Finch has plenty of eggs in her I bet.

9 Reality Raver { 10.29.09 at 10:32 am }

Lydal – you raise an interesting issues, did they buy the truffles just in case they were required for that dish? Or maybe Rachael had to pick it the day prior so they could get the ingredients in. I thought I read in a Peter Fitzsimmon column that filming took two days.

Saffronlie and CG – Interesting about Ryan. That Princess Mary sure manages to go out with some good looking men.

CG – you did not miss much by missing the first half of the show. I cannot remember if I saw her in the audition phase of masterchef, maybe someone with a better memory than mine will remember.

Wurstsemmel – agree the celeb version is a tad dull.

Spelling guru – thanks for subbing I have changed.

Sooty – LOL – imagine what they would look like if her and Eamon bred. They would be like superbeings. By the way Sooty there are not many eggs left in me….

Agree Kathleen should have gotten through she could cook, Alex couldn’t but was entertaining. Ryan was a bit dull.

10 sourkraut { 10.29.09 at 1:20 pm }

Enough with the non-blonde miss oz miss milky way /our universe type candidates. I want to see some real wimmen on reality TV like Erin Gray, Sophia Loren (non blonde) Jayne Mansfield Jacky Onassis etc or the vita wheat girl. enough glorification of skinny model types, (even Sarah Murdoch agrees) lets see some REAL curves! on Real TV. (Like the blonde hostesses on Amazing race last series?)

11 CG { 10.29.09 at 3:17 pm }

RR: I hope you are going to delete the advertisements disguised as comments and warn if not block Hadriel? Shoo, Hadriel, shoo!

12 sourkraut { 10.29.09 at 6:48 pm }

wot in the name of !@#$ %^&* &^%$#$% ^ *&^##@@ is a Hadriel???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

13 Reality Raver { 10.29.09 at 7:50 pm }

Sourkraut – it was spam for some public speaking workshop

14 RetroGirl { 10.29.09 at 9:02 pm }

I knew Rachel would win as soon as she tottered in wearing those tiny ripped denim shorts. Ho hum. Even thought she did a good job with the final dish, I wonder how much help she had along the way. Did anyone else notice when her oven timer didn’t go off in the 1st round and she she suddenly ‘remembered’ she said ‘Thank you’ to someone off camera as if they had told her? This was just before an ad break and after the ads Channel 10 did it’s usual repeat of what was shown just before the ad break and this time the ‘Thank you’ was cut out. I have IQ so rewound to verify this. Rigged much? Would she have won that round with burnt salmon? I think not – even with the power of the short shorts.

15 CG { 10.29.09 at 10:30 pm }

The presence of Rachel in this week’s show and the dynamics of the judges (and the editors) brings back to the fore one of the issues we discussed at the end of MC1: the need for a female judge.

It is just too much obnoxiousness sometimes with three male judges, esp when there is a young, “sexy” thing in the mix.

I’m surprised if Rachel did try out for MC1 that she didn’t make it into the top 50 (or whatever the size of the large group they started the series with). I guess the guys preferred Poh’s exotic looks over Rachel’s curves and Queensland charm or (more likely) she got the Miss Universe nod during the try outs.

I hope by the start of “real life” MC2 they have a female judge on board. I am not saying that one of the male judges necessarily needs to go but it might be a little sloppy with four judges, esp in the early rounds when there are so many contestants.

How about this: three “chef” judges: Gary, George and female chef. With Matt coming in/out esp in the later rounds or, Matt acting more as “host” in Sarah’s old role but participating selectively in the judging??

My vote for the female chef is still with Christine Manfield (this choice also brings a Sydney person into the judging mix to dilute the uber-Melbourne focus of things). Although I suppose the choices may be from the celebrity judges we are seeing in the celebrity series. If that is the choice then I’d probably go with Kylie Kwong, which also brings a different kind of cuisine into the mix.

RR, it would be great if you could right a piece on this – too much testosterone in the kitchen spoils the ??? – and bring some attention to the issue so they can think about doing something about it over the summer.

16 Kaylen { 10.29.09 at 11:55 pm }

With Rachel’s oven “incident” – did anyone also notice that, when she went to open it and pull out the fish she was wearing those black oven towel-like gloves and then when it cut away to a different angle, she was suddenly using a white tea-towel to take the pan out of the oven? Which also happened to have moved in between switching camera angles. hmm….

Best thing about last night’s show was Ryan, I’d say… 😉

Other than that: *yawn*

17 Reality Raver { 10.30.09 at 12:07 am }

Retrogirl and Kaylen – I am almost tempted to watch it online just so I can look at these two discrepancies. Very interesting.

CG – I agree regarding the female judge, a female presence is definitely needed. Chritine Mansfield is a good choice, she is tough but fair, and she would take no crap from George.
I think the dilution of the Masterchef brand is a worry

18 seepi { 10.30.09 at 9:07 am }

I don’t like the idea of kiddy masterchef. Or if they do it, they should get some younger judges, so as not to confuse us by having George, Gary and Matt go all soft and overly encouraging. Kathleen De Leon and the young comedian (funny accent) could do it. And young Sam from Masterchef 1.

I’d like Kylie Kwong for a female judge. No nonsense, to counter any batting eyelids.

I was surprised that the beauty queen didn’t get into Masterchef 1. perhaps she cooked something really awful – even still I would’ve thought she’d get into the top 50 just for variety of contestants. I wonder if she gave them the idea for Masterchef Celebrity version.

I thought Ryan did well – homemade pasta always impresses. Bolognaise does need to cook for a while – but how long to they actually have – does this mean that any casserole type food is off the agenda, as they only have 2 hours?

19 sourkraut { 10.30.09 at 9:20 am }

Retrogirl, Cg, Kaylen
You just reminded me of reasons 3, 4 and 5. Still can’t remember number 61
RR thanks for the spam info
CG I’ve been pushing for a female judge since midway through MC1 but who? as i still have “sour” memories of what happened to the totally dreaded CB when the female guest judge in the glad bag dress came on!

20 Anonymous { 10.30.09 at 2:52 pm }

I agree that they need a female judge, but I definitely don’t think they should get rid of Matt Preston – he’s the most objective one there, imo.

21 Gabriel { 10.30.09 at 11:14 pm }

If one of the reasons you want a female judge is because you think she’ll be oblivious to the charms of pretty girls, then Christine Manfield may not be the best choice…