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Masterchef – three’s company?

Aaron opens the show by telling us that he’s awake. This does not bode well. If you’re putting your jacket on, we can tell you’re awake. Matthew tells us that he’s listening to music, which we can also see, and Joanne is pretty pleased with herself (ditto – she seems smugger by the minute). Our trio enter the kitchen in their white jackets for a history making challenge. Donna is rocking some heels and a short dress and she doesn’t seem to be too intimidated by Matt’s extraordinary yellow pants and matching pocket handkerchief.

Matt tells the contestants that they will face “not one! Not two! But three! Talented! Chefs!” and I expect that Jim Henson’s Creature Shop will be contacting Ten soon to licence a Matt Muppet. The Situation – sorry, I mean Phillip – applauds enthusiastically from the balcony. George tells them that the trio of chefs they will face have hats and that one has worked for Heston Blumenthal, eliciting gasps from the two contestants who have heard of him. But enough preamble! Let’s meet Team Arras:

  • Adam Humphrey
  • Lovaine Allen
  • Aaron Somebody else (please let me know if you caught that name)

Our trio gets a 20 minute head start in making rack on black: lamb saddle wrapped in black pudding with a leek and potato boulangere. They even have to make the black pudding! I hope there is some Nick Nairn style gagging over the buckets of blood. They taste.

Apparently Matthew is the boss of our trio, and hands out the tasks to the others. Aaron ends up with the pig’s blood – lucky Aaron – and Joanne starts the potato boulangere. Matthew is… well, I think the technical term is “boning the lamb”.

Team Arras disappears behind the partition and I hope nobody mistakes their frantic activity for the scrabblings of a rat (and that’s the only immature Hamlet reference I’ll be making, so you can relax now).

Matthew purees his dates, and no, that is not a euphemism.  He ends up with “date soup” which is no good, so he starts again. Aaron’s got the black pudding under control and notices that Joanne is struggling with her potatoes. Lorraine, on the Arras team, is having trouble with her blood pudding and Matthew seems to be spending too much time spying on their technique and feeling smug, which surely encroaches on Joanne’s territory. Adam thinks they’ll lose if their black pudding is not up to scratch, but they have enough time to make another one.

The last two minutes are the longest ever and I hope there are some eagle eyes out there looking for possible replatings. Adam thinks they’re in with a good chance, but the peanut gallery wasn’t exactly on song with predictions last night now, were they?


Plate 1 – Team Arras

  • Donna likes they way it’s balanced on the plate and thinks the camera would like it, which is odd, since it’s BROWN. They taste and she screws up her nose.
  • George: Leeks undercooked, crunchy, not good at all. Potatoes lack salt, but are buttery.
  • Matt thinks the crunchy leek adds a textural contrast.
  • Donna: the date pulls it together.

Plate 2 – Team Masterchef

  • Donna is not asked for her view on how this plate does, so she seems completely redundant in this round.
  • George – “that potato is absolutely gorgeous for me” but the lamb is undercooked.
  • Matt thinks the potato lacks the shivers of leek. (I think that’s what he says… anybody?)
  • Donna finds the puree fruitier than on plate one.

Lineball, says George. Fireball, says the ad break.


Team MC: 6 from Donna and Joanne makes it known that she is responsible for the potatoes. There is still no Jo in t-e-a-m. 6 from Matt and 7 from George.
Team Arras: 7 from George, 7 from Donna, 8 from Matt.

Arras wins, but Team MC earn praise for cooking right through to the end, which seems like a prize for showing up.

Other thoughts:

  • Did anybody else think that Aaron and Matthew’s high five was very rehearsed?
  • Gary keeps telling us how important a munity is, but what exactly IS a munity? (Seriously, did I miss it when immunity was explained?)
  • Did the judges even mention the black pudding?
  • Is that it?


1 TDK { 05.18.10 at 9:45 pm }

Gary – “Welcome to a history making celebrity challenge”, really Gary?
Joanne – nodding profusely with your closed lips and blow up cheeks after hearing Donna saying your team have a good chance at winning the challenge, what the hell was that? I hate you!
Adam (team arias) – your super-sonic speaking speed is annoying
Adam – you saying “This could cost us the competition,.. our reputation is on the line” is laughable.. who’s competition? Who’s reputation? I’ve never heard of you three before in my life!
Donna – “Shall we score?”, Matt – “Yeah good idea” – LOL, are you guys that bored that you ran out of things to say?

2 librarygirl { 05.18.10 at 9:54 pm }

Please please tell me D Hay is not going to be there every week judging? Please?

3 Wurstsemmel { 05.18.10 at 10:23 pm }

I was sure this was a set up. Three chefs we’ve probably all never heard of would probably not mind taking a hit to get their faces on TV. For all the Masterchef hyperbole, I had three little questions…..who? who? who?

And the irony of all these history making moments in the light of Gary’s comments on the 7pm project.

Joanne. So quick to claim her part when it all goes well, strangely quiet when it works out otherwise.

4 Muru { 05.18.10 at 10:24 pm }

Did anybody else find it funny when that female celebrity chef said “if we lose, we’re going home.” Uhhhh… No shit? Haha.

I’m getting sick of Joanne to be honest. I’m sure the producers are making her out to be the snide and conniving serpent of the bunch though.

5 Anonymous { 05.18.10 at 10:25 pm }

All I’ve got:

Joanne is the Sandra of season 2 ? Will her husband come out swinging shortly?

Aaron looks better without the rasta beanie.

Carrie must go. Even from the peanut gallery she is annoying.

6 Jacqui { 05.18.10 at 11:02 pm }

Good blog Injera! I thought this episode was a bit rushed with the cooking. Why can’t they make it an hour so we can actually see more cooking rather than Joanne putting on her make up and the boy listening to music? Its a cooking show after all!

7 sourkraut { 05.18.10 at 11:07 pm }

Matt’s yellow pantaloons. Is he supposed to be B1 or B2. no wonder he won the award.
So its the 3 blind mice vs the 3 stooges, one of whom has worked for Heston Bloomingwho. Salaam salaam! Is a dubbo like me supposed to have a toe curling orgasm at the hearing of that name?
Anyway the cloche comes out in the arms of a random done up like a pox doctors clerk, to reveal… more Class cuisine. A pissy little blob of lamb wrapped in black pudding in a plate of sauce and some gussied spuds ($50 at ARRAS?). Yuck what next Haggis???????????????
The pigs blood stinks and I admire Aaron as I would have been a better than 50/50 chance to throw the voice in the bucket of blood. well done Aaron for avoiding it.
Matts date soup. How did he do that if he was following a recipe? (presumably there was one this time).
So the stooges fret about the b pud around the lamb thereby revealing early that they won .
Out comes the pox D’s c with plate 1. Weird looks from the second string stooges (sorry judges) Donna says the plate is well balanced. This appeals to the engineer in me as I realise there and then that the plate wont fall off the table. Geo said he did not like it (despite giving it later the highest score of the 3) but the other2 judges did, and said so. Then Geo’s sunny disposition turned to one of thunder.
Plate 2 smiles brings from the 3 wise persons. Perhaps this is to fool us into thinking its the stooges plate. Matt looks at it and the three taste with such ernest concentration that it makes me think they have found a nearby brick to hypnotise
And so in the end we are informed that after the judging its very close .Can the blind mice win?
You must be joking, and so it was. SURPRISE SURPRISE Iron Chef win agayne!

8 Ruffys { 05.18.10 at 11:59 pm }

Nice review Injera.

9 Reality Raver { 05.19.10 at 12:02 am }

So this must be where Gary slipped and fell. Matt Moran must be making an appearance soon. Cool.

Great recap – and funny as usual.

10 Pollywaffle { 05.19.10 at 12:08 am }

fairly bored but squeezed out a piffling of points:

… episode was quick so we would let the 3 no-names go to the keeper

…Did ‘The Don’ call GC ” Georgie?” as in Porgy, Black Pudding and Why?

… Please someone inform Donna she can use that ‘just turn your bottom half to the side to shed 10 kilos for TV’ stance all she likes but she is not going to plate up well using her current styling

…NEVER trust a masterchef contestant with more stuff on her face than on her plate – put the kit away Jo, you are passionate about food, not yourself, remember?

… panel assessment has gone to porridge, has to be individually rated ( monadic – for the boffs) to be valid; the ego bias effect evident in how ratings magically are upped or lowered is AGAIN verified and pathetic

11 kate (NTK!) { 05.19.10 at 6:33 am }

What a weird dish, intended surely to reinforce all of our prejudices about English cooking! Can’t imagine many of us will be rushing to the butcher to buy pig’s blood (poor Aaron, but how did they decide that Matt was in charge?)…and certainly not one garnering 9s from the judges.

Do hope Aaron will keep his head gear off from now on, looks much better. And he really does come across as the most refreshingly honest of the contestants – hope the increased coverage we are getting of him means he’s going on for a while.

All in all though a pretty boring epi – eight minutes before the dish to be cooked is revealed. Long swathes of recap (virtually all the words of which we’ve heard several times before. Lots of angst over nothing and sitting in a room staring at each other. Lots and lots and lots of ads. All in a thirty minute epi….

The actual content was miniscule. Which is a shame, because although I’ve no intention of cooking black pudding (though I do eat it), I would be quite interested to see how it is made (beyond that you have to strain the very nasty smelling blood), and how those potato things were made, but I need a little more enticement before I’d bother looking it up on the website.

Also, they are really wasting Gary in this slot – if he is going to be the host, he should be the one giving us some (real) commentary on what they are actually doing, how they are going, the complexities of the dish, etc (or asking them what they are dong and getting some exposition). He could have talked about things like when you could use a prune puree in other dishes for example. Plus he (and the other judges) really really really need some new script, the endless repetition of their very few lines is getting beyond tedious.

12 MolksTVTalk { 05.19.10 at 10:14 am }

For a 30 min ep, there was just too much going on.

@injera – win the CelebChef challenge, you get a pin which you can produce “at any time” to save you from elimination. Not sure if that means AFTER they’ve called you out in an elimination challenge or if it stops you from having to go through with the challenge.

The more I see SlapperJoanne on screen, the more I want to punch her in the ovaries. Her and SmugJonathan. At least we can just send Carrie back to Canadia.

Beanie Douche is still a douche, beanie or no.

13 Fiona { 05.19.10 at 10:52 am }

I didn’t get this episode – why is Donna Hay judging? If she is there to give Gary a rest why is still there? They hardly showed much of the actual cooking of the lamb, one minute they were attempting to wrap up it (it did not look appetizing) and next thing they were plating up. Also, I agree with other comments, no one mentioned the lamb/black pudding in the tasting, except George to say Plate 2 was undercooked. I don’t think they liked the dish on the whole. Do the producers get involved in choosing the dish or is it a complete surprise to all (somehow I doubt the producers leave much to chance).

14 Pollywaffle { 05.19.10 at 12:13 pm }

Use of Gary as ‘roll-up, roll-up’ man is becoming cringeworthier and cringeworthier, Im expecting him to come out with the bonus steak knives for the winner. I guess there is a second career around the corner as the early morning advertorial guy – Sham-wow could take on handy towels head on

15 Wurstsemmel { 05.19.10 at 2:04 pm }

Any idea how this is rating compared to Season 1? Season 1, with all it’s faults, at least focused more on the cooking and was a lot more exciting than this season.

As someone noted, Gary has taken on George’s habits of rolling on the balls of his feet. He’s now also taken on George’s habit of punching the air downwards with a clenched fist to emphasise the historic nature and the importance of what he’s saying. Or….

Or is this movement (especially when frequently and frenetically repeated) a subtle reference to Matt’s recent award?

16 skye { 05.19.10 at 9:47 pm }

Hurry up and post so I can carry on about pastry-gate and crazy joanne and all the rest of it!

17 TDK { 05.19.10 at 9:59 pm }

Yes. And where is the Survivor review from yesterday?