Masterchef: planes, trams and automobiles. Oh, and cooking.
Pre-credits: We are reminded that today’s challenge will be in Melbourne and we get a snippet of Peter expressing his excitement, due to the fact that he’s a Melbourne boy. I guess if he’s eliminated tonight, it will save an airfare.
The show opens with Carrie weeping in bed. That bodes well. We’re given the highlights of the lowlights from last night, so to speak. Carrie’s doing all the running in the early interview – she talks about how she doesn’t enjoy her job. Awkward! She’s getting the loser edit already – nobody ever gets THIS much time up-front unless they are doomed to go. Peter doesn’t say that he hates the lawyering, just that he wants to pursue his dream. Jimmy acknowledges the skills that his family have passed on, and doesn’t mention his job at all. Smart man.
Our bottom three enter the Masterchef Kitchen in their black aprons. We already know that the cook-off is in Melbourne, so couldn’t we have been spared this? Matt is giving hints as to who the chef of the day is. Fiona lights up at the mention of the Kitchen Garden Foundation and they all turn around to greet this food icon. Matt tells them that she’s not coming to the kitchen: “what do you mean? We’re just cooking from a recipe? Let down!” interviews Peter. Oh, Peter.
George gives them their clue, because this is now The Amazing Race. I wish. I love Phil. Maybe next year, instead of bringing in top chefs, they could bring in reality show hosts. It would be more in keeping with the priority of this production. Imagine, the Donald, Jeff Probst, Mo’nique, Bret Michaels (get well, Bret!)… all judging our contestants on the true skills of being a reality show contestant. Ah, wishful thinking. Back to the action, there’s lots of running – running through the terminal entrance! running through security! running from the gate! – and they arrive at Tulla and open their clues. They each have a list of ingredients, $100 and a tram ticket. They’re dropped off at the Vic market and Jimmy immediately latches on to Peter, who just as quickly gives him the slip. Sneaky! He establishes his local boy bona fides as he gives a wave to a couple of stall holders.
Carrie goes to Alec Watson and tries to buy some duck. She gets pork and presumably manages to find someone else to get her the duck, as the next time we see her she’s in the fruit and veg. Jimmy is making sure his produce is perfect but he realises this is costing time. Carrie is struggling to find English spinach but eventually gets some and then hits the tram. Jimmy feels as though he’s running in circles and it appears that he is. Peter – the sponsor’s dream – is running through the “beautiful atrium” and lamenting the fact that he hasn’t got time to take it all in. Geez, dude, pop in and have afternoon tea there some time.
Stephanie is waiting at the Langham with Matt and the Gs to greet Peter as he arrives, but she doesn’t offer a quaint local greeting like they do in The Amazing Race. She does talk about the Kitchen Garden Foundation, which is a wonderful project.
The cooking (yep, about time!)
Grilled duck breast, confit duck neck sausage, crispy chips, buttered spinach with sour cherry sauce.
Stephanie talks Peter through the elements of the dish, stressing that there shouldn’t be any sand in the spinach. I’m guessing there will be in one of the dishes. She is going to get sick of going through this three times.
It seems to be just after ten when Peter starts, and he’s told that he needs to be done when the clock strikes twelve. I hope he’s not banking on hearing the chimes, since the station clock doesn’t make a sound. If the editing is to be trusted, Carrie has made it to the Flinders St Station underpass but it seems that Jimmy is still at the market.
Carrie arrives at the pit stop and gives Stephanie a wave before getting stuck into her prep. Jimmy looks defeated as he arrives – at 10.25 – to see the other two hard at work. (Did anybody else want to see Jimmy panic, catch a taxi, and then have to sit out a penalty for not reading the clue properly?) Peter is worried about the sauce, and Stephanie tells him he should spend at least 20 minutes on it. Her advice to Carrie is not to finesse the duck too much, as she must get the bones into the pan pronto. Gary, if you need Jimmy to calm down, stop reminding him – and getting him to acknowledge – that he was the last in.
With an hour to go, Jimmy feels as though he’s catching up to the other two. He hopes that he’s not being watched as he fills the piping bag, since he’s doing it counter to the Gs instructions. He seems to be getting away with it, which is unusual. Carrie is busy picking her pistachios out of the mixer bowl, as she’s just realised they need to be chopped. She’s getting stressed. Please let that be the last time I have to type that.
God, they’re using Real Stock.
Gary and Stephanie do another walk around, this time with encouraging words for the contestants. Jimmy is told he’s catching up, Stephanie’s vegie concoction is praised, and Peter gets the “keep doing what you’re doing”. Except for the bit where he misread “teaspoons” for “tablespoons” and over thickened his sauce. Retribution is swift and final – he’s engulfed by flames.
Last few minutes and Carrie’s hoping to finish. Once again, she sets her sights high. She hasn’t got time to properly confit her sausage, so she ends up frying it off. George thinks that bellowing “you’re in Melbourne!” will lift the contestants to the level required by their exalted surroundings, when all it does is get Peter setting his station on fire. Real fire, not an ad-announcing fireball.
Time’s up! They all hug, relieved. Then Carrie realises she forgot the spinach. She’s devastated.
- Peter – “how’s your sauce?” He responds that he may have thickened it up a bit too much. The judges taste and George thinks the sauce is a let-down. Stephanie likes the sausage, and Gary and Matt think the duck is good.
- Carrie – “do you think you have all the right elements on this plate?” asks Stephanie. She acknowledges the lack of spinach. Really, these questioning techniques are so passive aggressive. At least they won’t be able to complain that it’s gritty. The sauce is thin and insipid, says Matt. Stephanie is worried about the sausage texture, but Gary likes the flavour. George says “it’s concerning that the spinach is not on the plate, but is it THAT concerning?” Stephanie gives him a gentle smackdown: “well, it’s part of the dish!”. Der.
- Jimmy – clearly hasn’t made any egregious errors that the Gs have picked up during prep, so they can’t ask any Dorothy Dixes about that. Sausage gets the thumbs up from all. The sauce is the “sauce of the round”, but the spinach is… gritty! Oh, noes! Matt asks if the duck is better than Carrie’s. Well, the SAUCE is better than Carrie’s, and the SAUSAGE is better than Carrie’s, so you really think you can create tension like that?
Stephanie excuses herself from the judging, for some reason. Probably because she wants no part of the farce that is the inquisition. Sensible woman.
Matt tells them that you can’t judge a book by its cover. I’m not quite sure why he trots this old chestnut out now. I have a feeling he’s trying to lull us into thinking that, contrary to all the evidence we’ve seen, Carrie is not going home. Nice try, Matt.
- Jimmy – duck breast overcooked, sauce was glossy and the sausage was what they were looking for.
- Carrie – sausage was grainy, sauce was thin, spinach was missing. The duck breast was beautifully tender.
- Peter – spectacular presentataion, but claggy sauce.
Matt asks Peter how he’ll feel if he leaves today. I won’t transcribe Peter’s speech – I know you could all sing along. And I’m checking out of the Q&A on their food passion, too, because it’s annoying and pointless. Fortunately, Carrie kind of does just that, telling them that they’ve already made their decision. Unfortunately Gary won’t let her stop there. Tears. Guess what? Jimmy doesn’t want to leave either.
Peter’s safe. Dragging, dragging, ad-break, recap, dragging out… Carrie’s out. She’s going to door-knock and find work in a kitchen. Possibly because she’s burnt her bridges at the HR company.
I love Jimmy. I don’t think the other victorious elimination contestants have been asked for parting words, have they? His are sweet and kind. There are hugs all ’round, and Carrie takes her blue-bandaided fingers out and the remaining two are swarmed by the other contestants, as they are spending the week in Melbourne!
So, no surprises in the verdict there. It seemed pretty obvious right from the start, with all the Carrie-words up front.
Tomorrow night: Frank Camorra!