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Masterchef Australia – Alex Is A Major Liability

Alex is an O & H liability he dropped the cake, and he also forgot to turn off his blow torch and set the sugar packet on fire. Thankfully the floor was soaking wet and he could just place it there. No chance of that building going up in flames.

And didn’t Chelsea a retail officer make the wrong decision to work with him in the challenge for  a variety of reasons,  one being it was an individual challenge not a team one.

As Gary Mehigan said “Shared the cake, sabayon, and shared the pastry. This was not a team challenge  it was an individual challenge where you just had to share the oven. How are we going to judge you?” asks Gary.

Tonight the delightful Maggie Beer was oversighting the pressure test. It was a tough not Zumbo tough, but time management tough.

They had to cook Apple, Olive Oil and Rosemary cake, Sabayon, frangipane and nectarine tart, and lemon curd tart. I was surprised there was no verjuice or quince paste in any of the recipes.

The positive thing about tonight that it was not just about avoiding the bottom ten, but six were being put through to the top 24.

But back to Chelsea and Alex what part of individual challenge didn’t they understand, and quite frankly if I busted my ass to get into Masterchef I would not be leaving my fate with someone I did not know, and especially one that had been in all of the previous elimination challenges.

Also she was not savvy enough to throw him under the bus when he stuffed up the cake but said they would share it. Not that it mattered as the only thing edible on their plates was the cake.

But to be fair they were not the only team who decided to buddy up.

Jess and Nick also teamed up, as did Elissa and Dan and all of them were placed into tomorrow night’s elimination challenge.

John the wine maker from South Australia who has cerebral palsy, was in more trouble then the early settlers as he was finding the fast pace of the pressure test difficult. He decided his dishes were not good enough to serve up to the judges, and they praised him for his bravery and honesty.

Now seriously if he had not had a disability would this have occurred or would have George Calombaris ripped him to shreds? Saying this is a cooking competition and he needed to step up to the plate.

Hayden was having issues with his pastry and in fact he had no pastry on his lemon curd tart but he was put through the top 24. However his sabayon  and his appeal to the younger viewing demographic probably got him through.

Myri did a major stuff up she did not add in a crucial ingredient – apples into the cake, so she plated them on top. Like Maggie Beer would not notice.

However conversely Kate Bracks who is getting a golden editing run got through to the top 24 even though her sabayon was scrambled.

Craig a professional musician was given an apron early, because his dishes were so good. I think it was all to do with creating drama for the show.

The six that got into the top 24 are:

  • Hayden Quinn, 24, professional lifeguard from Sydney
  • Kate Bracks, 36, stay-at-home mum from Orange, NSW
  • Craig Young, 43, professional musician from Brisbane
  • Cleo Kerameas, 45, executive assistant from Sydney
  • Adam Bowen, 31, scuba diving instructor from Brisbane
  • Michael Weldon, 25, film projectionist from Adelaide

The ten in tomorrow nights elimination challenge is John, Seamus, Alby, Myri, Dan, Elissa, Jess, Nick, Chelsea, and Alex.  As Alex said he was going for a hat trick.

Tomorrow nights elimination challenge is an Amazing Race type scenario where they have to choose between to cooking challenges.


1 AnonyMousse { 05.03.11 at 10:44 pm }

I imagine the 4 way conversation while Craig waited went something like this: “Person 1: So, how about we go out for drinks after filming today?” “Person 2: Yes, sounds good to me.”

Alex is sort of the Jake of this season – the bumbling yet affable guy who sticks around much longer than anyone would think possible. Unfortunately I say ‘sort of’ because Jake at least had a strength with seafood – I haven’t seen anything from Alex yet that would make me want to try his food.

Lastly, John wants to be treated as per any other contestant – that’s how it should be, but it means that he simply won’t last, even if he makes it to the top 24, unless he can find his inner Speedy Gonzalez pretty soon and speed up his cooking.

2 Helen (grabyourfork) { 05.03.11 at 10:47 pm }

I’m pretty sure it was verjuice sabayon? The combo of the olive oil and apple rosemary cake with an accompaniment of verjuice sabayon is one of her recipes. Besides Maggie always has to squeeze in verjuice somewhere! lol

3 ToniTones { 05.03.11 at 10:50 pm }

I thought the 4 way conversation over Craig’s dish was how they were all going to divvy up the rest of the tarts and cakes between themselves.
RR- I think there was verjuice in the sabayon.

4 brain dead dave { 05.03.11 at 10:51 pm }

Alex is a major lobe -ability.

I hope that hottie Chel$ea doesn’t get booted because of him.

5 Injera { 05.03.11 at 10:53 pm }

Oh, Helen, so true about the verjuice!

There have been a lot of people playing by the Matt playbook – which could be the same as being spotted by producers as capable and not likely to provide amateur dramatics. I think both our food bloggers are amongst them.

Can’t believe Alex’s partner apologised for stuffing up. Hasn’t she been paying attention? He’s the liability…

Another episode where contestants blamed their creations for the problems. Last night it was the pudding’s fault that it hadn’t stayed in the oven long enough. Tonight? The cake fell out of the oven. Think I might watch some slapstick comedy instead.

Having said that, I adored Maggie. Ate too much of her icecream whilst watching.

6 davsimp { 05.03.11 at 10:57 pm }

Ah yes the buddy challenge. Let’s all team up instead of cooking individual dishes like was asked of us. Well that went down like a cup of cold sick didn’t it? Sucked in, they all ended up facing elimination tomorrow. Silly Chelsea. Like RR said it was a golden opportunity to fling the lobernator under a bus. There needs to be more dog eat dog in here instead of everyone trying to be each others best friends.

7 Shelsta78 { 05.03.11 at 11:00 pm }

Good episode – pastry / dessert challenges are always my favourite on cooking comps: they bring the most laughs. However, a little unfair as even professional chefs squirm at the idea of desserts – there’s a separate profession of pastry chef for a reason.

I loved tonight, mainly because of Maggie – what’s not to love!

Did I spot a new ‘Cementy’? Someone was a carpenter who was he. does he look likely to cut off a finger – I really hope so.

I thought Preston & producers where bigging themselves up that they weren’t going to do all that super cheesy stuff this year – that went out the window with the early apron to Craig, no?

8 brain dead dave { 05.03.11 at 11:04 pm }

I thought the only thing professional musicians could cook up is a fix.

9 C J { 05.03.11 at 11:12 pm }

Husband and I were going to have a drinking game based on Matt’s rules. Drink when someone stuffs up the basic strategy but there’s no way our liver will survive.

I think the kudos for not serving up a disaster was hammy but genuine. In a past series a contestant was slammed for serving something inedible (can’t remember details tho).

10 brain dead dave { 05.03.11 at 11:13 pm }

Q. Who’s Alex’s favourite band?

A. Loss Lobos.

I shouldn’t drink and blog.

11 Oshada { 05.04.11 at 12:03 am }

That was Adam, iirc, who served up the high tea in Paris or London?

12 brain dead dave { 05.04.11 at 12:09 am }

I’ve just seen a teaser for tomorrow night and knock me over with a feather if it isn’t Alex featuring in it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you “Ma$terlobe 2011”

Ear today, gone tomorrow.

13 AnonyMousse { 05.04.11 at 12:19 am }

Actually, I agree with CJ – there’s been countless examples where they’ve been angry in the past when a contestant has served something a customer should never have been served (either under cooked or containing bones) – as professional chefs (and taster) they probably were genuine in wanting to see their contestants taking a loss on the chin rather than serving something that simply should have been binned.

As a professional I get angry when I see people serve work in my field that’s substandard, the judges don’t have to be phoney in thinking the same way for their profession.

14 JaniceG { 05.04.11 at 12:52 am }

Unfortunately, this episode demonstrated many of the tics that annoyed me last season, such as:

* Redundant and unnecessary interview snippets:
“When I saw George hold up the apron with the logo, I knew I didn’t want to leave today without winning one.” Really? You’re not there just to have George shout at you?

* Unfair judging: Hayden did not make pastry, which was one of the more difficult parts of the challenge. He should not have been in the top six. End of story. You shouldn’t get rewarded for skipping difficult parts of a challenge even if you do the others well.

* Blatantantly obvious judging: The switcheroo, where they look really pretentious and stern but are about to deliver a compliment; the huddle, where they supposedly are discussing an obvious move that anyone can guess they’re going to make; and the “Come here and taste this” ploy.

@AnonyMousse I think comparing Alex to Jake is a real insult to Jake, who was a nice guy. Alex is a smirky annoying git.

15 brain dead dave { 05.04.11 at 1:09 am }

Alexander the Grate.

16 smauge { 05.04.11 at 7:48 am }

John is being treated the same as everyone else. He didn’t produce, he’s in the elimination challenge. When Alex served up his raw meatballs I said to my husband “I would rather have gone up with nothing and say I’d rather not present it”, then John did just that. It was a much smarter move, not strategy wise, just self respect wise.
unfortunately John won’t last but I hope with his winery he’s able to stick around long enough to get publicity and maybe attach a cafe or something to it.

17 Chels { 05.04.11 at 9:09 am }

Alex better not last. He has to be the most annoying contestent ever and we are only in the first week. He thinks the whole thing is a joke. The teeth and ear combination is nauseating.

18 Maz { 05.04.11 at 9:17 am }

Alex reminds me of Sam in the first season of MC where you wonder how they managed to survive for so long.

I am starting to think that if you don’t actually need to be able to cook on MC as opposed to MCJr.

Love Maggie Beer though.

19 AnnyB { 05.04.11 at 9:20 am }

Am I being elitist (probably) but do these contestants look a little scruffy. Admittdly I haven’t watched a whole episode, about five minutes at a time is enough, but these contestants look a bit rough around the edges. Where are the fresh-faced youngsters (Callum & Matthew), the smooth-looking professional-types (Alvin, Jonathon, Claire, Adam). Of course, we have a Jake-type in Alex, though certainly not as appealing; those ear-lobe things are a great distraction. I hope that there are some interesting types hidden in there.

BTW, Philip from Season 2 is working at the Philhellene in Melbourne and was one of the Clio Bachelors, didn’t win though. He is featured on the restaurant’s website.

20 smauge { 05.04.11 at 9:30 am }

When I remember Callum, “Fresh-faced” is not the description that comes to mind.

21 Wurstsemmel { 05.04.11 at 9:31 am }

The only really good thing about tonight was Maggie Beer.

The boys are at their antics again…pretending something is crap and then annoucing it’s magnificent…what happened to the ‘no theatrics’?

I have to disagree with you, RR. I think John did the right thing by refusing to plate anything up. How many times has it been said that if something hasn’t worked, don’t plate it up? I think George etc were just being a little kinder because John was upset. I’m hoping they’d be this way with anyone who had the balls to front up and say they’d got nothing rather than try and disguise two rather unattractive (and raw) meatballs on a puddle of not particularly appealing mash a la Alex.

22 SaintsDeano { 05.04.11 at 9:49 am }

John should have at least plated up something. A glass of wine.. As footy coach John Kennedy famously said “Just DO Something”

23 Suzanne { 05.04.11 at 10:04 am }

I think there would have been plenty of contestants in the past who would have wanted to NOT plate up anything, but were probably forced/ coerced/ encouraged by Gary/ George and/or the producers.
Whilst I admire John and certainly had a tear in my eye when Maggie gave him a hug, his lack of speed will always be a liability.

PS Thanks RR for your blog, your wrap-up and everyone’s comments are certainly the highlight of Masterchef for me.

24 smauge { 05.04.11 at 10:05 am }

John did do something, and it was crap. Even the great John Kennedy would rather not give away a free kick in front of goal, but rather hold on to the ball and wait for a teammate to hand pass it on to.

25 Injera { 05.04.11 at 10:35 am }

Janice G – EXACTLY! Hayden left out a whole “alament” of his dish and still gets fast-tracked? I call shenanigans/demographic-fixing on that one.

26 TMC { 05.04.11 at 10:37 am }

John does have great wine though I would expect, with the slowness of his workings, his Wine matures just that little bit more before it hits the bottling stage

27 wallah { 05.04.11 at 10:38 am }

I see a refreshing lack of hipster love so far, seems the bright young things of the inner suburbs may not get the editors choice award this year.

28 AnnyB { 05.04.11 at 10:49 am }

Smauge, so true. How could I have forgotten.

29 peita { 05.04.11 at 11:00 am }

There was verjuice in the recipe…….

I have been a hospitality professional my whole life and am currently working for one of australia’s top wineries and restaurant’s… Australia’s top chefs generally are of the scruffy type, they are young and innovative and they are not the people you see on the cooking shows in front of the camera. That’s the real reality. They work longer and harder than anyone not working in the profession could ever comprehend. John being a winemaker is a scientist and must understand the hospitality industry, I have lost count of the amount of dishes I have seen thrown out for not being up to standard and I beleive last night was a true indication of our industry standard…A chef on the pass would have made him throw it out anyway and a smart apprentice wouldn’t have dreamed of presenting it to him. These are just the things the customer doesn’t see coming out to the table.

Bravo for the real reality that happened last night.

30 TMC { 05.04.11 at 11:05 am }

It has come to my attention that I know one of the QLD contestants. I work in the building opposite hers here in Qld.
Now that one Masterchef contestant and a Come dine with me contestant in my reality Blackbook

31 brain dead dave { 05.04.11 at 2:07 pm }

I want John Kennedy in his old overcoat compering Ma$terchef now. He’d sort Alex out.

“Get those damn things out of your ears and DO something,son!”

32 smauge { 05.04.11 at 3:16 pm }

John Kennedy could give Alex a run in the ear department and he doesn’t need any piercings to achieve it.
Can’t see winery John getting far as 90% of the challenges have a time componant, however as a mother of two special needs kids I applaud him and Masterchef for having a red hot go. He clearly has an attitude of not letting his disability be an excuse for not achieving things in life. As the motto goes “Don’t DIS my Ability!”

33 jord { 05.04.11 at 8:12 pm }

I like Alex, he gives me hope that someone like me could be on Mchef, though not sure that would make for very good viewing.

34 Anne { 05.09.11 at 8:07 pm }

How come Alex is in the show tonight. He was eliminated last night what the ……… going on.