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Masterchef Australia – It Wasn’t About The Cooking Tonight

Masterchef Australia shifted to Cronulla Beach and I thought maybe this episode Nigella Lawson was guest starring in it wearing her Burkini. But then I realised that wearing islamic dress in that part of town the chances are it could start a riot and not in a fan Justin Beiber type way.

Tonight the challenge was for the teams to cook for 500 nippers and their parents. The menu sausage and gelato.

Regular commenter Brain Dead Dave made a comment earlier today on blog post Masterchef Chef – Gratuitous Footage of Hayden Quinn In Speedos that this episode was going to be all about the cocking. And he was right on so many levels.

Firstly the whole Hayden in his speedos was over hyped. When he finally stepped into his budgie smugglers (I was surprised they didn’t have a camera in the change room) in what were very scripted scenes. He was shot running up the beach with the kids and diving into the water. I think the only one who enjoyed it was Sun who appears to have a little crush on him. She smiles whenever she says his name. I note Cleo was pretty non-plussed about it all.

But the other thing was the standard of cooking did not matter. It was like a challenge from The Apprentice the team which took the most money wins.  It didn’t matter what your food tasted like, as they didn’t have to worry about return customers, nor did the judges comments have any impact on the outcome.

The ironic thing was because the challenge was on a beach, people seemed to think Hayden was the expert because he was a lifeguard. Not sure how that makes you a better sausage maker or cooker.

George Calombaris even threw to him before the challenge had commenced for his wisdom.

“The icecream has got to be cold” Hayden said emphatically. OK thanks for that serving tip.

Craig was captain of the blue team and he picked Michael to be captain of the red team.

Craig picked Hayden first. Hayden thought he was picked because of his skill set. However Craig said he picked him becasue if he took his shirt off he will sell more sausages.

Michael picked Danielle for the same reason. No it was because she was she was a sausage expert. That is she was about the only one of the group who had made them before. No surprise lapsed vegetarian Sun hadn’t.

Blue team cooked Aussie sausage dogs with onion jam and bacon and cheese. Their sausages was made with pork and lamb oregano and fennel.

The red team were selling sausage patties and egg sandwiches first off before they morphed into selling sausages. This gave them an hour and 10 minutes head start on collecting money.

Meanwhile the previous night the teams had to make the gelato. They both made the same flavours of vanilla, chocolate and lemon. However the red team made theirs with real chocolate and real vanilla beans, of course both made the lemon with real lemons.

Kate who I am starting to really like, dealt with the issue of not being able to melt the chocolate, with a solution that would see her be a good contestant on Survivor. However her and Ellie did have a hiccup when they realised they had been measuring in pounds not kilos. Lucky for the they were able to add more stabiliser and it thicken up.

I think it was hard to get any drama out of making sausages. So they had to fill it with Hayden going up to the lifesaving club and make announcement. Then we had to see Kate make the same announcement. We saw sausage machine issues, and quite frankly I thought it was a bit tough that they were using what looked like domestic machines for a job that required them to make 700 of them.

Finally it was Hayden in the speedos. I think Jay summed up the pointlessness of it all with his comment “I’ve never bought a sausage sandwich because a dude was in his swimmers “.

I am not sure why George and Matt judged the food. But basically blue teams sausages kicked the red teams arse, and conversely the red teams gelato was far better than the blues. But that had no sway over the outcome of the challenge.

The red team ended up winning making nearly $2500. They get to jet off to Peppers Resort in Kingscliffe.  The blue team go to an elimination challenge tomorrow night.

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49 comments

1 AnonyMousse { 05.26.11 at 12:13 am }

Even though I am neither a girl nor gay, and therefore am not really in Glee’s targetted demographics, I have seen enough bits and pieces of it to see that it appears to be a decent enough show. So I apologise to all Glee fans out there who found their Glee episode delayed a week so we could instead have an extra half-hour of this mind numbing Masterchef episode.

One positive thing I’ll say is that the judges are a lot less manufactured and less pretentious when they’re eating the foods out on these onsight challenges (insert caveat: I’m specifically talking about the food-tasting segments here when I talk about less pretentious, not the rest of it) – I’ve noticed this in previous challenges like the Army food challenge from last year as well. If they judged food in the kitchen like they did these outdoor challenges, the show would probably be a lot less plastic.

2 Oshada { 05.26.11 at 12:13 am }

I’ve really warmed to Jay, he’s competitive and not shy with some great comments. Keep ’em coming Jay!

And on another, sadder, note – Kumar is the only contestant to be in all three team elimination challenges.

3 AnonyMousse { 05.26.11 at 12:23 am }

Well, if Kumar gets eliminated he apparently has a career open to him in signboard design.

4 Oshada { 05.26.11 at 1:20 am }

He is a graphics designer/instructor, so that may well explain it.

5 Jess { 05.26.11 at 4:04 am }

I did not get this challenge at all. It was just basic business acumen, which, apparently, all of the contestants lacked. It’s a sausage sizzle…people don’t care for quality! Just undercut the other team by 50 cents, and no one will buy from them, and you’ll get all the business! Pick the best-looking group members to sell the food…and there you have it. Some of the girls should have pulled a Hayden tonight, too.

6 Sarah { 05.26.11 at 6:20 am }

I missed the episode, but I’m thinking your last sentence should read “The blue team go to an elimination challenge tomorrow night” instead of “immunity challenge”?

7 JC { 05.26.11 at 6:22 am }

Have to agree, it was straight out of an episode of The Apprentice. The judges did allude to the fact that it was about selling and making the most money. Have to agree that this episode didn’t have enough drama to stretch to 90 minutes but the one good thing is that we heard from previously unheard contestants before. Yes, the tried and tested narrators of Danielle, Hayden, Jay, and Kate were there. But OMG, Arena spoke. Shannon spoke. Kumar said something. In fact, the only person who did not get any love in this episode was Andrew, probably because he was so crestfallen that he was not given another opportunity to show Australia that he cannot cook a steak on a barbeque.

I thought both the captains managed their teams well in the circumstances. There certainly wasn’t a repeat of the flightiness of Rachel or the lack of leadership in Andrew that we saw last week. The Blue Team clearly had the more superior product, in terms of the sausages and the concept. However, the Red Team had the better business savvy. They understood that this challenge was to make money and they utilised their time, managed their people, and diversified and marketed their products better. The Red Team cooking sausage patties for a breakfast bite was a great idea. Sending Arena and Alana to sell their products directly to passerbys was clever and I’m surprised that the judges did not highlight this in their summation.

For the Blue Team members, they failed to grasp that they could not rely solely on a superior sausage product to win. They had to go out and market it. Relying solely on word-of-mouth is dangerous when they only had five hours to make their money. The only team members who seemed to grasp the idea of marketing were Kumar (with his eye-catching billboard display), Sun (with her so obvious sideway glances and “encouragement” for Hayden to be deployed as the team’s “secret weapon”), and Hayden (with his gratuitous and eye-catching display of flesh).

Props to Hayden. I think a lot of people underestimate his intelligence and cunningness. He took a leaf out of WWERD and undermined the Red Team with the loudspeaker announcement and getting the kids to follow him (or were they just following the camera crew?) to the gelato stand. Too bad for him that Parvati, I mean Kate, was on the Red Team, as she quickly snuffed out Evil Russell’s attempts to use lies and children to further his evil domination of the game.

So who will be eliminated? Given that he received absolutely no camera-time love from the editors at this week’s team challenge, I’ll say that Andrew is going home. Andrew disappointed the producers in last week’s elimination, failing to blub hysterically and reveal his hidden tragic past to mask his lack of skills. (I suspect Seamus only got eliminated as he didn’t declare any tragic history on his application form when he put his hand up to be considered one of Australia’s top Amata Shef). Seriously, the crying on cue almost saved Chelsea the other night if it wasn’t for the fact that Ellie also turned on the waterworks. So goodbye Andrew. Will miss your raw and overcooked steaks and serving of unscaled fish for the judges to taste. It almost made me forget about Alex’s serving of raw meatballs and overcooked crocodile and transparent ear lobes. Almost.

8 SaintsDeano { 05.26.11 at 6:43 am }

The apprentice should sue for Copyright infringement. Only thing missing was the boardroom.
Have the contestants never helped cooking and selling sausages at Bunnings?

9 Dmc { 05.26.11 at 7:10 am }

Weak episode. When Hayden dived in the water could have sworn I saw someone out there jumping a shark…

10 PollyB { 05.26.11 at 7:28 am }

Was Kumar chosen last by the Blue’s, or was that just editing? Otherwise Andrew was chosen before him!?

11 librarygirl { 05.26.11 at 7:35 am }

Didn’t get home until 8.20p.m. and thought “good, will just see the outcome” – not interested by this challenge – has the show done a verysimilar one another year?? – only to find there was another 45 minutesto go! Can only imagine the tortured stringing out out of ice-creaming making etc and the 28 minutes of fireballs and ads. that must have preceded my turning on the television.

12 johngalt { 05.26.11 at 8:41 am }

so ice cream has to be cold? someone in editing has it out for this guy. if not he is a living stereotype of the mental prowess of blonds everywhere.

13 Culinary Boner { 05.26.11 at 9:03 am }

Well Kumar did solve one mystery for me. At least I now know what happened to that Channel 9 Ostrich, given Kumar’s sign had his team serving Ozzie Dogs.
A really crap episode, with all the quality of your average supermarket sausage filling and casing in terms of both set-up and production. The producers and the lame Channel 10 PR bimbos need to be sent to the mincer, turned into patties and served up to 10’s management team at their next strategy meeting.

14 Fides { 05.26.11 at 9:05 am }

Hayden has also been in all 3 team elimination challenges. And from the previews for tonight, it looks like he still doesn’t relinquish his pin. Really hope it’s Andrew who goes tonight too – he creeps me out.

Really like Jay – he knows what this is all about, whether it’s cooking or selling. Loved how he tried to sell that bowl of mince at the end. And the way he and Michael jumped up and down when reds were announced the winners was fabulous – so unrepressed.

Out of curiosity, does anyone know how much the blues raised? I heard them announce the total, then the winning team’s amount, by which time I’d forgotten the total so couldn’t work it out. But my first impression of the numbers was that it was actually pretty close.

15 littlepetal { 05.26.11 at 9:23 am }

Boring episode. The producers need to be sacked or it is their way to give more profile and airtime to Hayden. I still can’t stand his voice. Please stop talking Hayden.

Blue team mainly male and Red team female. I also noticed Kumar being picked last. Could it because they think he can’t make sausages?

Look like a dessert challenge tonight. My guess is Dani may be going home. Didn’t we see her in tears at the promo? Wonder what is her sob story.

16 EH { 05.26.11 at 9:29 am }

Craig made some comments earlier this week that ‘it’s time for a girl to go home’. He showed his obvious dislike during Rachel, Ellie, Chelsea giggling scene. In this episode, he picked mostly boys for his team, except 3 girls that are ‘not too feminine’ – Cleo, Sun and Dani. Machoism much?

Kate is a standout in last night episode. She has personality, she can cook, she is likeable and she will go far. Quite sure about it as the 3 minute sneak peak did show her hugging Nigella. So yeah….

Who can sell sausages better than a car sale man? The best strategy Michael / red team has made. I kind of like Jay’s cockiness with his remarks about Hayden.

What were they thinking? Tony Abbott thinks he can get more votes by parading in a pair of speedos on camera and Hayden thinks he can sell more sausages by doing the same. Noooooooooo…..

Suit with cravat at Cronulla beach on a hot summer day? I was sweating by looking at Matt Preston (not when Hayden took off his gears). Talking about the ‘HOT’ factor!

17 NT Kate { 05.26.11 at 10:00 am }

Hmm, Jay was not exactly the demographic that Hayden was spruiking to in my view – all things being equal (as they would be in a contest of this type) some of us might not be altogether immune to the brazen use of the ‘secret weapon’! And I too loved the evil Russell announcement.

But yes this was a really poor epi, little or no real cooking and exposes that these losers have little hope of making a living out of the this gig if they can’t work out that having a product out there, grabbing customers and price matters!

Although maybe that reflects some evil Russell thinking – letting the mob in on your marketing skills might not be the best tactic at this point when the herd still has a lot of culling to undergo (provided you are confident you can out cook them in an elimination or use your immunity pin if the odds are against you…)!

After all, if your aim is to make money out of appearing in this show, and these guys are your competitors to that end. So the strategic approach is to get yourself as much profile as possible and do just enough that you can’t be blamed if the team goes down, without giving them any clues as to real world marketing along the way…

Also, personally I have a bit of sympathy at Craig’s view of at least some of the girls, some of them do give an overwhelming impression of cliquey gossipy nastiness (although my guess is that the worst of the bunch has now gone) that could make one uncomfortable in a group house…

18 robbo { 05.26.11 at 10:20 am }

Has anyone ever been able to buy 100 meters of sausage casings or 3Kg bags of gelato stabiliser at Coles or were these items a given outside of their $1000 allowance. I can not even find gold leaf gelatine or vanilla bean paste at my Coles. Only the cheaper imitation versions that don’t taste as nice.

19 Gillian { 05.26.11 at 10:34 am }

I think my favourites of this season and definitely Jay and Kumar. I love Jay’s passion and the fact that when he missed out last year, he did training in kitchens and really tried to hone his skills and thought about his weaknesses such as plating up food. Even the fact that he was reading recipe books the night before they had a taste test shows his commitment.

20 littlepetal { 05.26.11 at 10:41 am }

Good read in today ‘the Sydney magazine. It has a story of behind the scenes shooting. It mentioned the immunity challenge on Tue. The 3 walked through the door at 9.15am but didn’t get to cook until noon!!!! Lots of shooting and reshooting the intro. No wonder they and those on the peanut gallery looked tired.

21 Chunks { 05.26.11 at 11:04 am }

Very good points about Coles robbo. I have bought vanilla beans from there in the past but not seen them for ages. As for gelatine leaves, not a chance. Bit of fraud going on there. Hopefully Coles staff will be inundated with demands for sausage casing and stabilisers this week.

I thought Hayden looked hot if somewhat pale in his speedos, but it appeared there were no budgies being smuggled…

22 akris { 05.26.11 at 11:06 am }

I hated at the end when Matt said to the blue team something along the lines of If you lose, is it because you started too late, or if you win did Hayden, your secret weapon work.. or something like that… so if they won the entire victory was on Hayden??!??! STOOPPID!!! I know it’s editting but can we get over Golden Boy now?? He seems like a nice guy but I’m just hating the bias and favouritism… give the rest a chance to shine.

23 Fides { 05.26.11 at 11:09 am }

Thanks littlepetal. I’ll have to check it out. Also as much as I want it, I don’t think it’s Dani to go home b/c aren’t those tears always a fakeout? Oh dear, more tears tonight – don’t know if I can watch. Surely even last year, the tears weren’t as frequent as this. Or they certainly weren’t as painful as what Chelsea gave us the other night.

I rewatched the last part of last night’s ep on MC website and now have the info I wanted. So if anyone cares : total raised $4547. Reds $2434, so blues $2113. The brekkie rolls would have made it a whole lot closer, and I think it was the secret weapon who said no to that idea on blues team anyway.

Oh and another thing, does Rachel get called Mum by the other contestants? I thought I heard Michael call her that (and not in the context of the mocking/playful “yes Mum” with an eyeroll) , and then in last week’s team challenge I thought someone else did as well. How strange, imagine how she introduced herself “Hi, I’m Rachel, but you can call me Mum.”

24 Heléna { 05.26.11 at 12:03 pm }

such an overly long episode – way over-hyped , and Hayden proved to be no advantage, it wasn’t really mentioned but I think having Arena? out selling for the red team also helped their final total. I was surprised the blue team didn’t try something similar – with Hayden

@Fides I clearly heard Mum too :)

25 brain dead dave { 05.26.11 at 12:29 pm }

Maybe the next challenge could be held in a HOSPITAL to give nurse Ellie a leg up like Goldilocks got last night.

Re Rachel and the Mum issue, while I’m very pro Rachel last week she talked about having a “seniors ” moment and really she’s a smokin’ 44 yr old. No one could deny her two handed sausage skills last night.

Every time I see Goldilocks , I remember Gary saying this year’s Ma$terchef would have humility and just shake my head.

26 Fides { 05.26.11 at 12:36 pm }

helena – totally agree – I think having Arena/Alana selling did wonders. Especially Arena with those pleading eyes – much better secret weapon. I’m imagining Jimmy from last year if he’d been team leader in this challenge (remember the Press Club challenge and the women he made FOH as the eyecandy) : “I tried to get Arena and Alana to take their tops off because let’s face it, sex sells.”

Oh dear, now I’m thinking of the Apprentice episode ( the very first one of the original series I think) where the women walked NYC selling lemonade and kisses.

27 Reality Raver { 05.26.11 at 12:43 pm }

Chunks – I couldn’t look to see if a budgie was actually there. But thanks for enlightening me. *smiles*

Anonymousse – maybe they are more relaxed because it is harder for the producers to get in their ear.

Oshada – Agree re: Jay in fact I would have been more excited about seeing him in his speedos.

Jess – agree had nothing to do with food. In fact we did not even see a sausage explode from the casing when they were prepping them.

Sarah – thanks I have now fixed.

JC – it was definitely good to see Shannon. I am sure we will get a lot of airtime of Alana and Arena soon. You are probably right about Andrew he has nothing to really keep him in the competition – looks, personality or cooking skills.

Saints Deano – clearly most of them have not staffed the sausage sizzle at the local fete either.

DMC – LOL at your jumping the shark analogy.

Polly B – he was picked pretty late. Maybe they thought he couldn’t make sausages or “ozzie” food.

Johngalt – I just loved how Hayden said it with a straight face.

CB – there have been much better team challenges. maybe they need a rule of thumb if it hasn’t been done on Top Chef don’t do it.

Little Petal – I don’t think Dani will go.

EH – Tony Abbott very funny

NT Kate – great comment

robbo – i think not

Gillian – Go Jay

little petal – I am going to link it in a blog post

Akris – hope it does not turn into the Hayden show tonight.

Fides – I hope Rachel doesn’t get called mum.

28 Reality Raver { 05.26.11 at 12:51 pm }

BDD – I reckon a challenge would be a great one. Where they have to cook a palatable meal within a restricted budget.

Helena – Alana could be this year’s female hottie? Who was last year’s Claire Winton Burn?

29 brain dead dave { 05.26.11 at 1:00 pm }

The teasers are saying it’s going to be desserts tonight on a tight time frame but after the appallingly bloated promos for Fle$h At Cronulla yesterday,who knows?

Skye was last year’s hottie…..after Irmgaard went home.

30 Wurstsemmel { 05.26.11 at 1:02 pm }

I’ve given up watching Masterchef unless there’s nothing else of interest on/to do i.e. I’m desperate. Still read your recaps though, RR. This episode really shows nothing has changed…the minor miracle I guess is that you didn’t get George and co in Speedos, otherwise there’d have been a beached whale alert for sure.

31 akris { 05.26.11 at 1:09 pm }

I thought the teacher last year was quite attractive too.. so Skye and her.. I’ve already forgotten her name

I think Arena is quite attractive.. more so that Chelsea.. she has a Jennifer Love Hewitt appeal to her with her sparkly eyes…. she’s not as animated and over the top as Chelsea though which is why she has been fairly under the radar..

32 Pollywaffle { 05.26.11 at 1:31 pm }

The core ingredient for the last 2 main challenges has been , foie gras? non, Salsify? ohki ……. its been, ta da, Tomato sauce. Cant wait for the fried mars bar challenge

33 Fides { 05.26.11 at 1:49 pm }

akris : I’m assuming you mean lovely Fiona the primary teacher, not potato bake Kate, who was also a teacher.

Is Rachel the first proper MILF though? Well, after Irmagard and Julie Goodwin…

34 chels { 05.26.11 at 1:54 pm }
35 brain dead dave { 05.26.11 at 2:16 pm }

Julie Goodwin – MILF (Moustache I’d Like To Forget)

36 littlepetal { 05.26.11 at 2:42 pm }

Funny Rachel always like to emphasise that she is an older contestant. Actually Cleo and Rachel are both 45yrs old and Cleo never use age as an excuse.

37 Culinary Boner { 05.26.11 at 2:55 pm }

lol BDD
Think you’ve coined the most versatile MILF definition, as you could also apply it to any 70’s male pornstar starting, of course, with proof of this genre’s massive double standards when comes to looks, Ron Jeremy – the moustached, Tiny Tim look-a-like hedgehog disguised as a human. Come to think of it, what if Matt Cravat grew a moustache and wore tight disco pants?
Can we start a petition to get Irmgard on soon to show us how to do the perfect strudle?

38 Pollywaffle { 05.26.11 at 2:59 pm }

plenty of PILFs on this show – pounces I’d love to flatten

39 Pollywaffle { 05.26.11 at 3:34 pm }

In Andrew’s case PILF doubles as Proscuitto in Lots (of) Food

40 Culinary Boner { 05.26.11 at 4:15 pm }

MCA certainly has lots of BILFs – Blubberers I’d Like (to) Fail. Although in George and Gary’s case a BILF would be a Babe I’d Like (to) Fondle.

41 brain dead dave { 05.26.11 at 4:17 pm }

Polly waffle,thanks a lot.I’m remembering the proshitto wrapped unscaled sardines he unleashed last week.

I can smell the fear and desperation coming out of the television when Andrew’s on camera.

MILF- Ma$ter In Lame Food.

42 brain dead dave { 05.26.11 at 4:31 pm }

Matt Pre$ton : CILF ….Cravatted Indolent Lard Factory.

43 davsimp { 05.26.11 at 4:59 pm }

Well that’s an hour and half of my life I will never get back. FFS, could it have gone on any longer? The only good news is that another twat will be leaving tonight and I dont even care who it is as long it’s not Kumar or Hayden. Hopefully will be that glasses dude with the scaly sardine. The one they chose over Seamus.

Yes, I saw Kumar being picked last. Maybe they were afraid he would curry the sausages. Beanie Aaron was picked a few times last as well, and his response was “stuff the lot of ’em” would’ve liked to have seen a similar quip from Kumar.

RR stop it!! As if Claire whingeing Burnout was last seasons hottie. Courtney, Skye or Fiona for sure. Fides, as for Julie Goodwin being a MILF, WTF??? Much prefer BDD’s acronym there.

Warming to Jay now. I like his attitude.

44 Fides { 05.26.11 at 6:16 pm }

davsimp – I’ll take BDD’s MILF definition for Julie too!

45 davsimp { 05.26.11 at 6:39 pm }

Pretty sure the MILF from last season was Joanne. She did okay as well. One of the top six or seven wasn’t it?

46 Fides { 05.26.11 at 7:26 pm }

Dear Jojo, I actually liked her. I don’t know whether she could actually cook, but she didn’t deserve all that hate. She made it to London, so I think that was the original top 8 (before returnees came back and mucked up the numbers). Guess she had more MILF potential than Adele, or the knocked up policewoman.

S1 had Sandra with the tattooed eyebrows and perpetual scowl to compete with Julie.

47 littlepetal { 05.26.11 at 9:21 pm }

RR where are you??? Need to let out some steam in tonight elimination challenge.

48 Ange { 05.27.11 at 10:55 am }

If I was there and say Hayden in his speedos, I probably would not have been able to eat anything. Nice guy, but too little and weedy. This ain’t baywatch!

49 Valerie Woodruffe { 06.08.11 at 5:42 pm }

Nigella, I am a 51 year old retired hairdresser who has discovered the hidden passion to cook. I now have the luxury of time to indulge my passion and thoroughly enjoy inventing, testing and sharing new food ideas. I have many of you books Nigella and use these for inspiration and guidance and I cant say I have a favourite because they all cover different styles of cooking.My pet peeves are my short term memory, I have a brain injury and I forget things often, so when I make a new dish, if I don’t write it down it gets forgotten and invariably its the one that everyone likes lol I have been cooking Asian Chinese food for 30 years and I would have to say that this is my forte. I am famous for my Dim Sum and also for my Chicken Liver Pate. More recently however, I have been cooking more mediteranian style foods, Italian,Romanian, Hungarian Nigella you are truely a kitchen godess