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Matt The Strategos Is Back Looking At Masterchef’s Team Challenge

Matt is back talking about what he thought were the big moves in last night’s Masterchef episode.

Over to you Matt:

There’s several strategic blunders from last night, one very good strategic move and one foreshadowed piece of strategic genius.

Blunders first. I’ll start by pointing out what a snivelling weasel the unwashed Mat is turning out to be.

There’s a time to be a snivelling weasel on Masterchef, and that’s when your competition life is firmly on the line. Rule Two of my Masterchef strategy says that Winning isn’t Everything – you only need for others to lose.

That works if it’s a normal challenge, when the there worst performers are selected for elimination.

Last night’s challenge had the entire losing team going into elimination. If the judges were going to pick the bottom three, snivel away. However last night there was more to be gained by fronting up to your mistakes. If your team lost,you’re up for elimination anyway, so you might as well garner the kudos for being a stand up guy, much like John did for refusing to serve up a botched meal.

Instead Mat came away looking like one of those office psychopaths we’ve all worked with, trying to shift blame away. Together with his questionable hygiene, it’s an attitude that will see him out well and truly before the top 12.

Another strategic howler – using packet gravy. Haven’t see people watched Masterchef before? A pet hate of the Gs issuing prepackaged ingredients – several competitors have fallen foul of this in past seasons by using bottled mayonnaise.

On the same team – I may be wrong on this, but did they allocate the cooking of the steaks to the vegan?

However what really lost it for the boys was not listening to the judges. My Nice Judge, Niiiice Judge rule says that while you don’t need to suck up to them, you do need to listen. And when Matt Moran suggests a bernaise, then maybe that’s a good idea?

Two final pieces of strategic genius. Arena “throwing Rachel under the bus” as Raver put it in her review, was pure Survivor gold. Unlike Mat’s snivelling, she was able to couch it as “I was only following orders”. Rachel’s a competitor, and embedding in the judges’s minds that she’s got a predilection for using packet gravy is worth the risk that you’ll be remembered as a sniveler. Arena is thinking final 12 already.

The final piece of strategic genius wasn’t even in the episode, but thanks to Ten’s inept previewing, we saw Hayden competing in the elimination challenge, even doing a piece to camera with his immunity pin proudly unused in his silly hat.

It’s a risk, sure, but it’s a one in 11 risk of going home. Hayden will need the immunity later down the line when there’s a three-way elimination. Not worth burning it here.

Hayden is taking the bet that he’s a good enough cook to not lose tonight. Even if he loses, I think he’s still made the right strategic choice.

Worst strategy? Packet gravy

Second worst? Mat the sniveler. He’ll be remembered for that.

Best strategy? Arena’s WWERD (What Would Evil Russell Do) body slam takedown of Rachel.





1 Suziekue { 05.19.11 at 3:18 pm }

Re the packet gravy shock horror debacle (and I would rather use the scrapings from the bottom of a cockie’s cage than use the stuff), doncha think it’s a tad hypocritical when we see them chucking tetra pack stock into their sauces etc? I’ve tried those and would rather use camel’s wee. Would the gravy mixes become respectable if they had a sponsor?

2 lassescookTV { 05.19.11 at 3:29 pm }

Mat’s snivelling in the evaluation was reminiscent of when he dropped a steak on the floor and Moran found it. “I don’t know, I didn’t even… that must have only just happened about 3 seconds ago…” and when Moran found a small steak, Mat said, “I didn’t actually cut that.”

I think “How did that happen?” and “It wasn’t me” may be Mat’s MO.

3 littlepetal { 05.19.11 at 3:54 pm }

I try to like Mat as I think he can cook but he is not helping himself. If you got 1 steak wrong, wouldn’t you do better on the next one. Well done steak is easier to cook than those medium or medium rare.

Let see what he can do tonight.

4 Matt { 05.19.11 at 4:04 pm }

Suzieque – I agree with you on the tetrapak stocks.

I actually dont think they’re that bad, but it is a touch hypocritical. I wonder what would happen if Tomy egg mayonnaise was a sponsor?

That said, in time-based blind challenges, you have to use prepackaged stock. Unlike a home or commercial kitchen there is no facility for cooking and storing stock on the off chance you might need it for an invention test…..

5 JC { 05.19.11 at 5:36 pm }

lassescookTV, I swear that after Mat told Moran that steak was only on the floor for three seconds, that Mat implored with his eyes, “that it was still within the eight second rule.” Did you see how he wasn’t too keen on throwing the steak in the bin? Hmmm…it would be unkind to extrapolate that into a judgment on his overall hair hygeine.

6 lassescookTV { 05.19.11 at 5:47 pm }

Yeah, I did notice that, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

7 davsimp { 05.19.11 at 7:29 pm }

What I would have loved to have seen last night was a similar scenario to last week where the team has to decide who will go up for elimination. I wanted to see whether a) Matt would have offered himself up because of his disaster with the steaks or b) Whether or not the rest of the team nominated him, and if so, if he went up gracefully or fought to get out of it. As others have mentioned on RR’s post this elimination doesn’t seem right because of the bakery debacle the other week where it was too hard to choose who was shite, but is blaringly obvious on this occasion.

Still, at least we got to see glimpses of villain-esque behaviour, ie, that dark haired one who said she did as she was told. Cue handball over to Rachel. Was she the same one who tried to set the joint on fire?

8 Sooty { 05.19.11 at 9:22 pm }

davsimp, yep, it was the same one – Arena. She set the fatty offcuts on fire, prolonged the blaze, decided those burnt bits of meat would do just fine for her delicious ten tonnes of finely chopped onion ‘jus’ and then cooked it up into a thin and nasty deep brown slop…mmm. I would say adding packet gravy powder was the last of a series of crimes AND she snivelled more behind the scenes than Mat! Did the full blubbery snotty reindeer nose red eyes of misery etc. Well-played, indeed.

9 littlepetal { 05.19.11 at 10:02 pm }

Didn’t we see some agro in Mat when he couldn’t get his dish right. Would have love to see him kicking and screaming if the team has to decide who goes into the elimination challenge as he has to be one of them.

He survive another day.

Arena was just about to use her tears when Moran and Gary was summing up the team challenge.