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Masterchef – Gary can add up in fives

A recap of the Mean Fiddler is followed by a quick preview of tonight’s action: “You can cook whatever you like” says Moran. Such a pity Alex isn’t here to cook another risotto.

Credits. Oh, Tom, you look so happy dancing in your grapes. I hope you are in a better place now…

We open on breakfast. Hayden smoothies it up in a blender that is placed next to an Australian flag. “I think it’s pretty clear where our team was let down last night” says Jay. “Boom” says the soundtrack. “Zoom in on Mat, on MAT!” Screams the editor. Mat looks up, startled.

The black aprons of doom are donned, and the men walk into the kitchen. “It looks like we’re cooking together, which is good. We came here to cook.” Oh, Peter, that schtick is tired.

Kate and her perkily? Rising? Tone? Tells us that they are having lunch? At the Manly? Pavillion? Sun thinks it is amazing that they are getting a private masterclass on risotto.  I think it’s amazing that, when you can watch a risotto being demonstrated at any given time on one of the many food shows, our contestants remain clueless about a dish that is, essentially “rice. And stock.” The blue aprons all take notes, but Kate’s perkiness turns to gloom as she interviews that, as fabulous as this reward is, they know a head is on the chopping block back in the kitchen.  I guess they are all hoping that it’s one of the many men we don’t really know yet.

Gary admires Hayden’s “gorgeous” immunity pin (Mrs Gary, you’d better start dropping some fairly specific hints for your anniversary or you might be disappointed in your present), which Hayden refuses to relinquish. (“What, are you kidding? Waste it against these schmoes?” seems to be his thinking here. Wise.) We finally get around to what the challenge is. All cook in round one. Those “failing to impress” cook again in round two. Round three is “the decider”. The “whatever you like” covers all three rounds, but Gary tells them there is a restriction. Ten minutes. Peter looks for somewhere to chuck, and the judges might want to take note for later, if the reaction shots we saw in last night’s previews are anything to go by. “Ten minutes. Sigh of relief.” Mat is giving us a show of bravado, or he’s just wanting this over as quickly as possible.

It’s all on in the pantry as the men jostle for ingredients. Lots of the voiceover is about how short ten minutes really is, but I’m wondering whether these are ten real world minutes, or ten Gary minutes. Seamus is doing sashimi, which seems like a fairly reasonable thing to do. Mat is doing steak tartare, which suggests he has a sense of humour. Gary and Moran are immune to that, and merely comment “interesting. He’s got steak there.”

Jay is happy with his execution, and – if he goes today – I will be, too. I’ve just recently found him to be seriously annoying. Mat’s egg yolk splits and he’s embarrassed about his plate. Michael is finished, but – in homage to the Dude – he is missing that crucial element that pulls it all together and runs off to find some lemon.


  • Jay – scallop on chorizo with pine nuts. Gary thinks it needs a punch. So does Moran.
  • Billy – panfried prawns with pickled cucumber. Not cooked.
  • Kumar – some sort of salad. Doesn’t do it for Moran.
  • Michael – salmon tartare. “Oooooh” sighs Gary. Michael’s through for sure.
  • Seamus – sashimi with grated daikon. “It’s very, very simple, isn’t it.” Unspoken: And Not In A Good Way.
  • Peter – raw prawns. “Bring on round two.”
  • Andrew – enoki omelette. Good flavours but Gary thinks an omelette needed to be perfect.
  • Hayden – scampi gets the nod.
  • Craig – warm fruit salad, which seems to get approval.
  • Adam – who? Open sandwich gets the nod. But seriously, who is Adam?
  • Mat – tiny, tiny portion of steak tartare. Inedible. He is gutted to have served Moran “such a pile of crap”.

Round two contestants
Peter, Mat, Seamus, Kumar, Billy, Andrew

This round, fifteen minutes. The bottom two will go into the deciding round. At this stage I’m picking that Seamus will be going home tonight, only because he’s had the least camera time of any of this six.

Billy’s decided to make the same dish as round one, but with a few changes. Hopefully one of those changes will be to make it edible. Seamus is cooking, for a change, and Mat is working with lamb cutlets. Gary, counting down, demonstrates his ignorance of Groundhog Day. Then he and Moran stand behind Mat talking about how disgusting his lamb will be because the pan is too hot. Mat, to his credit, doesn’t turn around and brain one or both of them with said pan. Hopefully he turns the heat down a tad, in deference to StratMatt’s “Nice judge, niiiiiiiice judge” rule. Andrew’s confidence is returning with his sardines.

Time’s up!

  • Billy – deep fried prawns in coconut.  Yum. “Basis of a GREAT dish there!”
  • Seamus – snapper, snow pea and asparagus stir fry. He commits the sin of telling the judges that he’s not happy and burned the aromats, so chucked them. “Nice snow peas,” deadpans Moran
  • Mat – parmesan crusted lamb cutlets with preserved lemon, spinach and asparagus. “Very dark” says Gary, who had already decided he doesn’t like the dish. Moran concedes that the lamb is well cooked.
  • Peter – Thai salad of salmon and green apple. “Kick of heat” says Gary. “Perfectly cooked” salmon, is Moran’s judgement
  • Kumar – pan-fried prawns. Gary makes an awful face and spits something out. A huge lump of ginger. Perhaps he could have shared with Seamus.
  • Andrew – prosciutto-wrapped sardines. Gary wants to know how to eat it. Moran equates it to getting an un-shucked plate of oysters. Andrew is about to dissolve into a puddle of inadequacy. “Yuck” – Moran is looking desperately around for Peter’s chuck bucket. The fish haven’t been scaled. Andrew interviews that he felt like picking up the plate and smashing it, but he hasn’t secured his Handy Wipes sponsorship yet, so that would be a bad move.

The bottom two

Mat interviews that he’s dodged a bullet. I think the Wachowski brothers should get him into a trenchcoat, stick some wires on him and work some Matrix magic. Or we could go to another ad break.

Twenty minutes
Seamus is going to revisit his stir-fry, but without burning the aromats this time. Andrew is aiming for a “beautiful steak”. He reminds us that he stuffed this up in the top 50. Gary notes that Andrew is “playing safe”, so clearly he hasn’t remembered the earlier steak fiasco. Seamus interviews that he has given up his business to be here, and has a lot to prove.

With five minutes to go, Moran realises that the people playing cliche bingo at home might be in the weeds, so he reels off a few in quick succession. The peanut gallery comes alive for the countdown. Fond farewells, and possibly even a couple of introductions (seriously, who is Adam?) as the peanut gallery are sent off.


  • Seamus – not seasoned properly
  • Andrew – steak partly well-done, partly rare. Gary loves the “salsa verde, aioli, whatever” so I hope he’s not in charge of the condiments masterclass.

Seamus. Goodbye. I did predict it way back in the early days of this recap, but by this stage of the episode I was wondering if I could just go back and delete that to cover my terrible, off-kilter prediction as there is NO WAY his dish wasn’t better than Andrew’s. Really. No way. Gary couldn’t even figure out if Andrew had put up a salsa verde or an aioli!

Seamus takes it on the chin. I hope he still has his ABN.

Chelsea’s aggressive underbite betrays her disappointment that it’s not Alex in the lift.


1 saffronlie { 05.19.11 at 9:18 pm }

I liked the format of this elimination challenge because it really brought out the weaker cooks, but allowed second (and third) chances to those who just happened to be having a bad day. I started to cringe a lot for Seamus and Andrew, who are both so earnest and desperate in this competition but, it seems, really lack talent. Meanwhile, Mat lacks talent but thinks he’s all that. Doesn’t seem right, somehow.

Speaking of the credits, is it me or are they incredibly awkward this year? Almost no one is doing anything other than smiling maniacally.

2 Lily { 05.19.11 at 9:20 pm }

Hate that Seamus was eliminated.
I liked the fact he cooked exotic, asian foods as the competition lacks multiculturalism.
I did like the elimination challenge though. You have at least three attempts at doing a good dish. Love that one!

3 Blackend { 05.19.11 at 9:31 pm }

Great episode, bad result.

4 AnonyMousse { 05.19.11 at 9:34 pm }

Aaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnddddddddddd one of the 3 cooks who did well on the original challenge is the one to leave in the elimination. Wonderful. Still, no-one to blame but himself, if he had 3 chances to avoid elimination.

And speaking of ‘who is that’?, I genuinely didn’t recognise one of the guys as well when he popped up on screen – the projectionist (I vaguely remember his intro during the top 50, but that’s it). We have to remember though that the eventual winner of last season wasn’t featured much until he won the immunity challenge in his season, so not being shown much doesn’t always mean anything.

5 PollyB { 05.19.11 at 9:37 pm }

I like this challenge. Andrew was a bit scary though. Wouldn’t want to be counselled by him. Slicing some fish and pouring sauce in a bowl is no way to win, or not lose, Seamus. Agree, there was no way Andrew’s final dish was the better of the two.

6 JaniceG { 05.19.11 at 9:38 pm }

Anyone else surprised that none of the contestants “accidentally” beaned the competition with the metal baskets during the scrum? :->

I was totally surprised that the judges did not finesse Mat into the final round. It’s clear that he was the one who caused the guys to be in the elimination to start with and his dish in round 2 wasn’t so great that they couldn’t have legitimately sent him to the final round with team captain Andrew, thus putting the two people in the elimination who should have been the only ones there to begin with.

I was greatly relieved that Kumar made it through: that would have been a real miscarriage of justice.

When they showed the shot of Seamus’s veg mince burning in round 2, my husband pointed out that he seemed not to have grasped the concept that a stir fry involves stirring.

Really bad decision on Seamus’s part to cook the same dish again, too. I was saying “Noooo” when it was clear what he was doing. Shame that he was the one to go rather than Andrew: first of all, at least his dish was cooked well, unlike Andrew’s uneven steak. Even besides that, if you’re really looking for people who deserve to stay in the competition, I don’t think anyone who serves up whole uncscaled sardines is going to last a lot longer.

7 librarygirl { 05.19.11 at 9:42 pm }

There must be an egg sponsor. I cannot believe the number of egg discussions and how many times we’ve had the ” if my egg is overcooked the dish is ruined” comment to camera. I like eggs but this is getting ridiculous. When did an egg become a key ingredient in fancy food?

8 littlepetal { 05.19.11 at 9:52 pm }

It’s a shame Seamus is gone. I like his style of cooking but I know he will not win the MC crown because they do not want another Adam. I thought he would last a few more weeks.

Challenge tonight was fair but the judging is questionable.

9 JaniceG { 05.19.11 at 9:55 pm }

@librarygirl I was actually surprised that there weren’t *more* egg dishes in the 10-minute challenge. I’d have thought a gourmet omelette or inventive eggs benedict or something like that with a snazzy small side salad or salsa would have been a no-brainer for a quick dish.

10 skye { 05.19.11 at 9:56 pm }

Really wanted Mat or the desperado youth worker guy to be eliminated. Mat because he is crap and I hate looking at his piercings, and youth worker guy (Andrew?) because he seems quite emotionally fragile, and I hate seeing vulnerable people on reality shows, it puts me right off. Honestly, if you are in need of some kind of rescue from depression/anguish/misery then I suggest a counsellor and some anti-depressants – not entering a reality tv show!

11 EH { 05.19.11 at 10:03 pm }

I was surprised there wasn’t any egg yolk ravioli dish. It should be done under 10 minutes with wonton wrappers.

12 littlepetal { 05.19.11 at 10:11 pm }

No……… not another egg yolk ravioli. Or they could call it a egg yolk wonton

13 Essjay { 05.19.11 at 10:19 pm }

Funny, funny recap! I thought there were two Andrews, now I realise one is the mysterious Adam.

Wrong result – good challenge format and seriously …c’mon folks…I’d rebel too if I was asked to cook steak well done. Peasants!

14 dmc { 05.19.11 at 10:45 pm }

Ditto on the good challenge. Really separated the wheat from the chaff.

15 Chunks { 05.19.11 at 10:50 pm }

librarygirl, you need to come to Perth and dine at Amuse, where Hadley Troy can do things with slow cooked eggs that will curl your toes.

I must say I think there are some very average cooks in this season’s crop and Seamus, Mat and Andrew are well and truly among them. I also don’t get the Kumar thing. His dishes were VERY average.

On the other hand Hayden proves to be much more than just a pretty face and I thought this was a great challenge – but were they really ten minutes or ten Masterchef minutes?

And er… who is Adam…?

16 Naomi { 05.19.11 at 11:09 pm }

what was Gary’s deal tonight???!! He behaved like a condescending ARSE!! I HATED how he spoke about Matt’s cooking in normal tone, standing RIGHT BEHIND HIM!!! SO freaking rude… And constantly looked at Matt Moran when judging, for pete’s sake, GROW SOME BALLS AND MAKE YOUR OWN OPINION!!!! He was like the desperate kid that desperately tries to connect with the cool kids at scholl. He was an arse for the whole show! I have never noticed Gary behave like this before so hope he pulls his head in!

17 brain dead dave { 05.19.11 at 11:42 pm }

This was the cull that had to happen but Australia is stll stuck with Mat The Rat who has slunk through in spite of producing an appalling “inedible” dish. He’s forever scratching at his beard and lubricated locks. Just makes me sick.

Andrew should be on Dr Phil instead of this show because clearly he’s emotionally rooted. Was that some accident or emotional trauma he suffered five years ago he was babbling like a baboon about? He had the glare of a serial killer at the judges when read the inevitably bad news about being among the 3 bottom feeders. He’d be nearly ready for the scrapheap as a youth counsellor anyway and I’ve got an awful feeling that Shine will keep this polarizing jive turkey around for a while yet, based on the sickening displays of desperation that this cockheaded Croweater is getting by on.

18 davsimp { 05.20.11 at 12:38 am }

Ah Seamus, ya farked up mate. Instead of telling us you quit your computer jobbie thing to be here, you should have said you have just woken up from a year long coma and you are cooking this dish in memory of your stepmother’s grandma’s neighbour’s bisexual girlfriend’s cousin. HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING? And who the fuck was responsible for your music and backdrop?? They ought to be sacked!! Whilst you were telling us about this amazing being who inspired you to cook, we needed to hear “memories’ blasting out of our speakers and see shadows over mountains etc. And doncha know you should have cooked your fish 5 ways like whatisfrigginname did with the steak. This bit is too cooked, this bit is too raw, and this bit is juuuuuuust right. Leave with your head held high my friend, as there were no scales on your fish, UNLIKE WHATSISFRIGGINNAME.

19 fairybreadgirl { 05.20.11 at 7:02 am }

Is it just me or does Mat not look like Evil Russell with hair and piercings?

20 PollyB { 05.20.11 at 7:33 am }

Naomi, I agree wholeheartedly. I don’t like Mehigan because of that cutesy child’s hair cut with beard shadow and the middle aged paunch/gluttons guts, along with his attempts to communicate like a Gen Y’er. Last night’s condescendence and looking to Matt for approval took the cake for me.
Must say, I am enjoying these eps that don’t have ole Slobberjowls involved.

21 librarygirl { 05.20.11 at 7:47 am }

Naomi and PollyB – yes, Gary was obnoxious. They are all so anxious in a pressure test like that, I found his comments downright cruel. George has been like that too this series – screwing up his face rudely. Not liking this trend at all.

22 dmc { 05.20.11 at 7:51 am }

I actually like the judges like Gary telling it like it is. I was tired of all the unwarranted praise dished out in past years. These guys are supposed to be some of the best ‘amata’ cooks in the country and if they produce something the judges don’t like, then they deserve negative comments. This is not junior masterchef.

23 JaniceG { 05.20.11 at 8:31 am }

@Naomi I think you misunderstood what Gary was doing: if you hear a judge behind you saying in a conversational tone “Wow, that heat looks really high, nothing worse than the taste of burnt cooking oil” it does not mean “What a clueless twit this guy is,” it means “Hey, mate, I can’t give you instructions directly but turn your burner down!”

I’m with dmc – I actually like Gary’s honesty in judging; certainly like it a lot more than The Jowled One’s fakeouts.

Injera, I loved the recap, especially the line about Tom being in a better place :->

24 EH { 05.20.11 at 9:23 am }

Injera, thanks for another great recap that tickles my funny bone. It was great challenge. Really love it but not so much with the results. It’s getting harder and harder to believe the judges after hearing MM said “Alex has future in cooking” and Andrew’s steak was better than Seamus’ fish last night.

25 Chels { 05.20.11 at 9:49 am }

I thought this year was meant to have the best cooks ever, but didn’t 3 or 4 of them miss out on making the cut last year? This season is effectively full of rejects. No wonder the judges are spitting food out!

26 Pollywaffle { 05.20.11 at 10:23 am }

weird how that pantry is a bottomless pit of prawns, fish of one variety that allows the same dish to be remade by various contestants on the hop – all for under $10 a serve of course

Last years catchphrase was ” I put my heart on the plate” For this year its looking like ” I put my arse on my plate”

27 Pollywaffle { 05.20.11 at 10:27 am }

BDD – ” the accident” – have a sneaking suspicion he intervened in a planking episode and now has post traumatic planking disorder

28 Angry of Mayfair { 05.20.11 at 10:28 am }

Always a pleasure to read Injera’s recaps – more please!

29 Culinary Boner { 05.20.11 at 10:32 am }

They could have saved us all some viewing time and gone with a mass elmination last night. The quality of much the cooking was pisspoor. If you can’t cook proteins properly – like prawns and fish all the way through, but not too much, and steak medium-rare – then you should be sent to bbq and wok-fry bootcamp for a fucken week with your task being hourly cooking to feed up the next set of contestants for Biggest Loser.

30 Injera { 05.20.11 at 11:00 am }

Agree with all those who thought the challenge format was interesting, although I think the initial ten minute time restriction was a bit silly.

Saffronlie – As for the opening credits, I’ve noticed that, too! Very few of the contestants seem to be cooking – some of them look like Sale of the Century models demonstrating an ingredients showcase.

Lily and Blackend – Hideous result!

Anonymousse – I’d forgotten that Seamus did well in the actual challenge. Now that you mention it, I can’t remember seeing anything Michael has done before, either.

JaniceG – LOL at the unstirred stirfry!

Librarygirl – There *have* been a lot of eggy things (that we’ve seen) so far. I agree with JaniceG, though, that this was a challenge designed for eggs, yet few people picked that up (apart from Andrew who cooked an unimpressive omelette).

Skye – Andrew started to worry me last night. Everything that happened was framed in a boost to confidence/shatter my confidence dichotomy.

EH and Littlepetal – this would have been the perfect time to bust out a wonton egg-yolk ravioli.

Thanks, Essjay, and I have no idea why so many people order medium-well/well-done steaks. I think Mat was fighting the good fight in getting people to enjoy some quality beef!

Chunks – repeat after me: THE BEST AMATA SHEFS IN THE COUNTRY.

Naomi – you’re absolutely right. Gary was obnoxious tonight, definitely waiting for cues from Moran before passing his judgement. He looked a bit peeved when Moran judged Mat’s lamb to be well cooked.

BDD – Dr Phil is probably too busy getting ready for Oprah’s last shows!

davsimp – You need to become a contestant coach STAT.

fairygirl – erm, really? I… don’t see it. But then, I hated Russell so much I couldn’t watch any Survivor episode he was in, and I’m still watching Masterchef (although sometimes through my fingers, like the horror movie it’s turned into).

PollyB – It is nice to have a break from Jowlsy and Bouncy, isn’t it?

Librarygirl – Yes, the judges go from one extreme to another, don’t they?

dmc – Agree that the judges shouldn’t fawn, but there’s a meanness of spirit in the way Gary and George are communicating this year. Perhaps it’s just the dawning realisation that they are starting to look like morons for pimping this lot as the best ever.

EH – Yes, they are running at a credibility deficit this year, I think.

Chels – do you remember which ones missed the cut? I know Jay did (season one) but would be keen to know the others.

Pollywaffle – Ha! “Arse on a plate!”

Angry of Mayfair – Thanks!

CB – I think you’re onto something.

31 auds { 05.20.11 at 1:20 pm }

Last years catchphrase was ” I put my heart on the plate” For this year its looking like ” I put my arse on my plate”


such a shame Seamus went when he did so well in the pub challenge

32 Laura { 05.20.11 at 1:47 pm }

I didn’t care who left, as long as it wasn’t Kumar. I know he’s not the strongest cook in the competition but he’s just so darn adorable, I love watching him. Wish they would give him more screen time and show his interviews… I think the producers have underestimated his likability and vastly overestimated Chelsea’s!

CLEARLY Andrew should have gone over Seamus. His dish was truly amateur. Surely someone who cannot cook a steak does not deserve to be in the competition. (Or perhaps they should have just cut the show short at the sardines. Seriously?)

33 brain dead dave { 05.20.11 at 3:49 pm }

I’m feelin’ it for that itty bitty unscaled sardine that bought the farm for that basket case youth worker. Might as well lay a steaming turd and wrap it with prosciutto. Cooking a steak is just raising the bar too high for him. He sweats like Julie Goodwin,too.

Gary’s hair is confusing me ,Pollywaffle. It’s contemporary juvenile in front and Friar Tuck bald on top/rear.

34 Pollywaffle { 05.20.11 at 3:58 pm }

Wasnt his asparagus also in a proscuitto coat? Have a feeling it might have something to do with the accident….and now has a wired-in need to protect small bits of food with hams

35 Pollywaffle { 05.20.11 at 4:08 pm }

BDD – maybe Gaz ought pop a bit of proscuitto on his scone?

36 brain dead dave { 05.20.11 at 4:16 pm }

That would make Gary truly pig headed, not to mention a camera hog.

When in doubt;

a)blame utensils and stoves etc
b)cover /disguise offending morsels with prosciutto.
c) roll out “accident” yarn
d) use the word “passionate” and ‘dream ” as often as possible
e)neglect body hygeine

37 PollyB { 05.20.11 at 5:11 pm }

BDD – Gary’s hair is confusing you? Poor ole Gazza is confused about his age. He’s only 45-ish and it appears he’s not dealing with it well.

38 brain dead dave { 05.20.11 at 6:09 pm }

Gary Mehairgone.

I just saw a shop down the road flogging pasta makers- “as seen on Ma$terchef”-minus the bits of detritus ,sweat,grease and human hair etc clogging up the machines on Ma$terchef,of course.

39 brain dead dave { 05.20.11 at 6:27 pm }

I’m sorry getting my Polly’s mixed up though I think we agree that Gary’s hair is a train wreck. He looks like a schoolboy from the front and a pensioner from behind.

40 PollyB { 05.20.11 at 8:07 pm }

Gary Mehairgone – LMAO

The hair forelock(?)-ish, baby rooster comb thingy reminds me of those plastic cupie dolls from agri shows back when I was a tacker in the 70’s. If I was Mrs Mehairgone I’d be giving some advise!

41 Shelsta78 { 05.20.11 at 9:19 pm }

I don’t normally watch MCMC but I did tonight – first thing this season I want to make – that Trifle!

42 chels { 05.21.11 at 10:40 am }

Injera – I know of Jay and Arena… I can’t remember the rest although I did read it in one of the weekly rags.

43 chels { 05.21.11 at 10:41 am }

Oh and Billy!

44 Food television - is it over? | ...blah blog blah... { 06.20.11 at 10:27 am }

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