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Masterchef Australia – Move Over Jamie Oliver, Alex Is The New Mr Teflon

I have to agree with one of this blogs commenter’s, and say Alex is Season three’s Sam. Why do the producers want him in? He is not THAT good looking, but maybe the body mutilation look is a Gen Y thing.

More on his massacre of the crocodile later.

Tonight’s elimination challenge was the equivalent of The Amazing Race detour. The contestants had to pick between going out on a boat and catching their own fish or taking their chances with the mystery ingredient which ended up being crocodile.

I did wonder if they had to pressure people to go out on the boat, as I thought that was a high risk strategy, but then I don’t fish.

Nick the guy wants to open his own Russian restaurant caught fish quickly. I don’t know where they have  been hiding him, this guy has potential Masterchef Australia hottie written all over him. And he can cook he plated up slow roasted Mowong with dill, parsley eggs and garlic bread.

All the guys managed to catch lots of fish, whereas poor Jess was seasick and eventually caught a flathead.

I loved the mystery ingredient was crocodile, it really evened out the fact the other guys had been out hunting and gathering.

John the winemaker from SA who did not plate up in last night’s episode said he needed to play this game as safe as he can. He was going on flavours. He had bean and leek puree, and the protein was topped with a pomegranate (ingredient du jour of the night) and riesling sauce.  He received positive reviews, with Matt saying it is was the best crocodile dish of the day. In fact he said it was the best croc dish he had ever tasted.

Now to the debacle that is Alex. He decided to poach the crocodile and it was not working for it. He then did an anchovies and olive paste for the fish, and said he was “clutching at straws”. He over cooked it and it was as tough as Doc Martens, his probable footwear of of choice.

Gary liked that he just kept going. This year it appears to be OK to not plate up, but also to serve shite, but if you don’t curl up in the foetal position when you are having a bad cooking day you can also avoid elimination.

Alby the carpenter did what anyone does when faced with something he has not cooked before and crumbed it. Of course it was a disaster. It was too tough.

For someone who hadn’t filleted a flathead before I thought Jess did a great job. But what was she thinking mixing harissa, with some sort of pear sauce, and that is before she had some sort of brain explosion and said she was going to poach the flathead. I don’t why she thought that if she had told the judges the cooking technique that she had to keep with it. For christ sakes Alex changed his.

The judges told her she was a few years to soon for the competition. She didn’t have a knack of pulling flavours together but had the cooking skills. I was hoping she would stay in.

Myri who wants to open a Greek-Cypriot restaurant did a kataifi wrapped piece of crocodile because she had done it before with prawns.She served it with a garlic sauce and Greek Salad. The crocodile soaked up too much oil. Her Greek salad was dressed with balsamic vinegar, but maybe that is the Cypriot side of the cuisine. Also George had a go at her for putting lettuce in it as well.

Chelsea cooked Mediterranean crocodile. She was slammed for the bean puree but George liked the puttanesca sauce.

Daniel cooked tamarind trevally skewers and Gary was positive about it.

Seamus steamed Mowong and it was under cooked. But Matt said he had gotten away with it because it was fresh.

John, Nick, Dan,  Seamus, Chelsea, and Alex are all safe. Alex dodges another bullet? But I am glad they kept the other hotties in.

Myri, Jess, Albi, and Elisa were eliminated. With only four eliminated tonight, does this mean only four are gone each time from now on until the top 24?




1 Essjay { 05.04.11 at 11:10 pm }

Thank god that’s the end of Myri’s headwear

2 brain dead dave { 05.04.11 at 11:16 pm }

Thanks RR for the fun read. I fell asleep before tonight’s ep.

No Bindi? No Terri? Little Bob?

Making the contestants catch their own crocs would have been a ratings sma$h. Don’t they keep bleating that they’re prepared to do “whatever it takes” to become Australia’s next Ma$terchef?

You could knock me over with a spatchcock feather that Alex is still here.

3 SaintsDeano { 05.04.11 at 11:20 pm }

Great to see John survived the pressure test
With a crocodile dish. Matt Preston took some pic’s with his iPhone.

4 Fides { 05.05.11 at 12:17 am }

The two highlights for me :

Myri saying her croc tasted like old leather…

That one of those guys is a bag designer, which had me thinking of what sorts of bags he designs and whether he sells them on Etsy.

5 brain dead dave { 05.05.11 at 12:31 am }

Since Alex is going to be hanging around,he needs some material like:

My mate’s missus left him last Thursday, she said she was going out for a pint of milk & never came back! I asked him how he was coping and he said,”Not bad, I’ve been using that powdered stuff.”

6 Ben { 05.05.11 at 12:32 am }

RR – just checked the TV guide – tomorrow night 6 more spots to the Top 24 are handed out.

Then on Sunday, 12 spots are handed out to the remaining 24, with the other 12 being eliminated.

7 Shelsta78 { 05.05.11 at 12:50 am }

RR – I agree re: Jess – have these people not watched the show before
Or something – EPIC fail on her part.

Alex has to be a production choice and not cooking choice – his stuff is shocking, on the upside I do enjoy how the judges have to ‘spin’ to justify him still being there. Raw Balls should have been the end of him, but I think he’s going into top 24.

I’m keen to so what this ‘desert island’ challenge with no elimination does to their cooking.

8 JaniceG { 05.05.11 at 2:04 am }

Alex had way too much screen time to imagine that they’d whack him . Unfortunately, apparently they’re going for personality — even annoying, grating personality — over ability. In the other direction, I was sorry to see Alby go, as I thought he had a lot more to show and was an interesting personality in a good way.

I was completely confused by the fact that the people who caught and cooked fish chose to do kebabs, or oven-bake it, or poach it. Why didn’t anyone grill it? What was up with that?

I was sort of getting tired of pomegranate everywhere but then George showed someone how to whack the bunched end to easily get the seeds out, which might be the most useful tip I’ve ever seen on MC for me personally.

Finally, a non-cooking note: I’ve been fishing only about three times in my life but even *I* know that if you’re starting to feel seasick, the worst thing you can do is lay down!

9 brain dead dave { 05.05.11 at 2:05 am }

From the teaser I just saw, there’s a fire on the desert island challenge. Wonder who that could be?

10 PollyB { 05.05.11 at 7:16 am }

OK, last time I mention this, promise. George says, ‘Welcome back to dry land’. Where, in that kitchen, I ask?

11 AnonyMousse { 05.05.11 at 7:17 am }

Alex didn’t dodge a bullet, the judges just fired a gun that won’t hit the person standing right in front of them. Putting him through after they admitted he cooked the worst crocodile was a joke (and I’m usually one who tries to defend judges choices).

It’s a shame Alby left – he seemed like the sort of person who’d be making comments that would pop the pompous baloon of the Masterchef theatrics if he’d stuck around.

12 librarygirl { 05.05.11 at 8:27 am }

JaniceG – Nigella showed that pomegranate technique a few years ago in one of her shows – George probably saw it too!
I agree -” never lie down in the boat.” Absolutely godamm right.

13 Injera { 05.05.11 at 8:31 am }

Ah, PollyB – good call!

Count me as another viewer irritated by keep-Alex-at-all-costs. Matt’s comment along the lines of “you massacred that crocodile eleventy-billion ways but the rest of your plate shows you can REALLY cook.” Slow reveal to show… asparagus. WTF? At the very least, Matt needed to back that up with “it’s the first time in human history anybody has slow roasted asparagus by inserting it into the chest cavity of a still-alive wood pigeon”.

14 JaniceG { 05.05.11 at 8:55 am }

P.S. When, oh, when, will contestants learn to act on hints from the judges??? We see this time and time again and it always amazes me. If George and Gary stop by your bench and say something like “Oh, you’re poaching the flathead? That’s an unusual treatment” and you haven’t started poaching it yet, for heaven’s sake, take the hint and don’t poach it!

15 littlepetal { 05.05.11 at 8:57 am }

To save Alex, Matt P has to say his sauce was good but the main ingredient was a failure.

Myri could have said a salad and not Greek salad. I thought her salad looked o.k. visually.

16 smauge { 05.05.11 at 9:05 am }

Why didn’t one of the people who Jess was asking about poaching just come out and say “You don’t have to poach it!”??
And one more thing…

:ducks for cover:

17 Chels { 05.05.11 at 9:05 am }

In tonight’s preview I think I saw John standing before George who had the top of a pineapple on his head… What a garnish.

18 littlepetal { 05.05.11 at 9:17 am }

Read this on

‘Before entering MasterChef, Alex worked with his cousin at Kitsch restaurant in Leederville.

Alex said his Italian heritage is a strong influence in the kitchen. Alex. whose mother is Sicilian, said a tried and tested porcini mushroom risotto was a signature dish.’

We should be seeing risotto very soon……

19 EH { 05.05.11 at 9:26 am }

I like the Amazing Race detour style challenge. Although it’s not original, it’s refreshing, not the same old same old.

I have a feeling we are going to see John using wine in all the dishes he is going to cook, Jimmy’s style. Not a bad idea. Now Jimmy is forever linked to his curries and soon John with his wines.

20 Suzanne { 05.05.11 at 9:28 am }

I’m with smauge – I don’t mind Alex. Wouldn’t go for the ear-plugs myself, but I prefer them to a nose-bar…
There seemed to be a lot of side-line coaching – useless as it was for the destructive poaching of a beautiful fresh flathead, which would have benefitted from the schnitzel treatment.
And while I’m ranting, I agree with littlepetal and the pseudo-Greek salad. Someone else had an Asian “inspired” salad, which would tend to cover all bases.
Hopefully we won’t get a masterclass in Greek salad making – though I will now try that katafia pastry that I have been eyeing off in the deli for awhile.

21 Paul { 05.05.11 at 9:32 am }

Doubt if Alex will get through.

Remember Irmgard was getting the same amount of air-time last year.

22 JaniceG { 05.05.11 at 10:29 am }

@littlepetal: The inconsistent judging on MC is a major source of annoyance and just continued this season – first they put Hayden straight through even though he didn’t make pastry; then they saved Alex from elimination even though he didn’t cook the main ingredient well.

23 smauge { 05.05.11 at 10:40 am }

Wasn’t Alex’s audition dish risotto?

24 Sooty { 05.05.11 at 10:54 am }

Wow, am I the only person who is so old they recognize the dessert island references to Gilligan’s Island? Depressing. George is dressed as Gilligan. Gary as The Skipper, and Matt as Thurston Howell the Third. So by rights they should have to cook a banana cream pie….

25 JaniceG { 05.05.11 at 10:55 am }

@sooty: No, you’re not the only one. When the contestant voiceover said something about them being dressed as sailors, my husband and I both yelled out “It’s Gilligan’s Island, you morons!”

26 Chunks { 05.05.11 at 10:56 am }

They’ve been pimping Alex and Hayden all the way through. They don’t have Manu so they need to beef up the sexy guy factor somehow. I almost stopped watching myself last year after Phil left. So much for it being about cooking. And what the hell is with those massive puddles all over the floor?

27 smauge { 05.05.11 at 11:15 am }

Totally got the Gilligan’s Island theme. Took me about a second. Maybe the demographic they’re aiming for is young and they were worried thay wouldn’t get it?

28 Culinary Boner { 05.05.11 at 11:41 am }

Who is going to play The Professor and MaryAnne? MCA has never had anyone on set hot enough to play The Movie Star.

29 davsimp { 05.05.11 at 12:01 pm }

I cannot believe Lobie One Kenobie is still in here. Gettin’ annoyed now.

30 JaniceG { 05.05.11 at 12:14 pm }

@Culinary Boner: Maybe they’ll be bringing in Nigella Lawson as a surprise guest :->

31 Culinary Boner { 05.05.11 at 12:43 pm }

JaniceG, Nigella you say. I don’t recall The Movie Star being played by Mae West.

32 JaniceG { 05.05.11 at 12:52 pm }

@Culinary Boner: Nigella would have to boost her bra size up quite a bit before she got to Mae West territory

33 brain dead dave { 05.05.11 at 12:55 pm }

“Maybe they’ll be bringing in Nigella Lawson as a surprise guest ”

Janice G,rest assured that Nigella is being brought in as a surprise breast.

34 Culinary Boner { 05.05.11 at 12:56 pm }

Not if the cameramen misread her PR agent’s riders and focus on the bottom half, not the top.

35 Culinary Boner { 05.05.11 at 1:10 pm }

Back on topic.
One would presume that if the Aussie crocodile meat industry has an industry body their Board is presently in lock down discussing the biggest crisis in their industry’s seemingly short history…
which dumb f**ker thought it’d be good PR to get their product on MCA and why hasn’t he-she had to announce their resignation yet?
If ever I was tempted to try nice fry-up of croc, then such delusions are now smashed by the fact that – no one on MCA (including the prof chefs) like cooking the shit, and no one likes eating the shit. The contestant who mentioned sheep’s testicles may have been on the money for something I would clearly be more willing to try after last night’s show. The industry should stick to belts, wallets and purses. Maybe they need to introduce a new pet food for dogs and cats called the ‘Food Chain Revenge’ range. Let puss enjoy turning the tables on evolution by chowing down on some ‘gator.

36 Paul { 05.05.11 at 1:31 pm }

Probably had nothing to lose CB.
Nobody eats it today so if nobody eats it tomorrow its a zero loss.

37 brain dead dave { 05.05.11 at 1:46 pm }

I thought at least one contestant would attempt a crocembouche.

38 brain dead dave { 05.05.11 at 2:05 pm }

The producers are trying to make a silk purse from Alex’s ears.

39 C J { 05.05.11 at 4:28 pm }

All I want are these comments delivered to my inbox and as far as I can tell the only way to do that is to leave a comment if some sort. So … Braindeaddave: LMAO at your cRocembouche comment AND the fact you were asleep before 7:30 last night following your night of drinking (and blogging) Tuesday.

40 brain dead dave { 05.05.11 at 4:39 pm }

(May contain spoiler)

Thanks CJ,I’m watching the Encore of last night’s ep as we speak.

Now this arvo I heard John being interviewed on local radio about being on Ma$terchef …don’t know if that means he’s gone home yet but he spoke of being on the show to also show that folks with disabilities should have a go at stuff like this. His favourite dishes are chocolate desserts, so he could do well at sweets if they turn up in the challenges.

41 Izobel2 { 05.05.11 at 9:01 pm }

Hey BDD I heard John interviewed today too and thought the same thing! I feel honoured that you live in my state! I too loved the crocembouche and silk purse comments. Very funny!

42 Ubermo { 05.05.11 at 9:10 pm }

What the hell is with this Alex guy? He’s never plated-up anything good on the show and yet they insist on keeping him!! I certainly don’t think he’s attractive and that piercing is a big turn-off. I know I’m not the first to say these things but I had to get it off my chest (even my 11 year old son knows that Alex can’t cook as well as most of the others).

43 littlepetal { 05.05.11 at 9:59 pm }

John did have a chance to cook a chocolate dessert! but he didn’t do too well. Brownies looked very crumbly (but George said it tasted good)

44 brain dead dave { 05.05.11 at 11:13 pm }

Thanks Izobel2. Unfortunately I just caught the end of that interview ,which aired at about 2.30 CST on 5AA.

When I saw last night encored this arvo,two things disgusted me:
* the number of ads
*the way Gary and Matt Preston went off over Alex’s concrete
croc dish. All about the overcooking.To me Alex looks like a kind of juvenile George Clooney…with bad earlobes ,of course.

45 smauge { 05.06.11 at 7:31 am }

When did John cook brownies?