Guest Post: Masterchef Australia – More Strategy Thoughts From Matt
Matt is on fire this week with his strategy blog posts here is another installment:
The strategic inflection point in tonight’s Masterchef was pretty clear – to fish or not to fish?
It seemed like a pretty basic choice. Gary tried to frame it as a choice for the risk takers, but this was as risk-free as it came.
Not only did you know exactly what you were cooking – fish or vegetarian – you had two hours to plan your recipes.
Rule two of my strategic rules for Masterchef states it’s not winning that’s important, it’s not losing. Given only four of the 10 were going home, playing safe and eliminating as much risk as you can is important. You started the day with a 40 per cent chance of going home. It’s a telling stat that of those who fished, one in four went home – 25 per cent. From those who chose the mystery cloche, three from six – 50 per cent.
Taking the mystery cloche was an insane risk. If the ingredient was tripe, as many thought it was, you’re pretty much stuffed.
Crocodile was a bit of a cop-out from the producers. Given the great game on sale at top butchers these days I’m surprised no one had cooked it before.
Which brings us to a minor strategic point – it looked like they’d given the contestants the entire tail from the monster salty in Rogue, so there was plenty to work with. The smart ones like Alex tested a few pieces first. Not that it seemed to add much to his cooking, but the thinking was correct.
As an aside, Alex appears to be the new Jono here, the next Eliminator. But while getting in front of the judges to show off your skills isn’t all bad, it’s much smarter to do it when your spot isn’t on the line. but looking at those earrings, I’m thinking “smart” isn’t a word that gets used around Alex that often.
Third minor strategic point – remember Rule One: KNOW HOW TO COOK! FFS Jess, if you’ve never poached fish before, an elimination challenge is probably not the best place to start. And asking contestants on the side? Luckily you struck one who hasn’t read Rule Six (WWERD, Or What Would Evil Russell Do). Or maybe he had, trying to keep a weaker competitor in the comp…
Best strategic move: Going fishing.
Worst: Choosing the mystery cloche THEN not test cooking the croc.
Dishonourable mention: Jess’s culinary cluelessness depriving the competition of some Velma from Scooby Doo hotness.