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Masterchef Australia – Hayden Uses His Immunity Pin

I thought tonight was the right night for Hayden to play his immunity pin. He was up against four other strong cooks, Peter, Billy, Kumar, and Michael. He did not really want to be like James from Survivor who was eliminated whilst still holding two immunity idols.

Also good to know now that Masterchef is back to being an even playing field.

First up in tonight’s elimination challenge was a blind taste test. It was a weird looking terrine served with an apple puree. The cheftestants had two minutes to taste blindfolded and identify as many ingredients as possible. Then they had one minute to write down what they thought they had picked. In part two of the challenge you then had those ingredients you had identified to cook with.

Who else thinks that if you get one wrong you should have a correct answer deleted. Peter’s tactic was a smart one writing down every protein possible but should that be allowed? Billy also did the same with the herbs.

Kumar conversely should have applied those tactics because he had such a big brain snap. He is very zen he spent a minute feeling the food before eating it, which meant in the end he only had four ingredients to cook with in the next part of the challenge.

Michael came out best with eleven ingredients, but got confused with what to do with them. He cooked a baby vegetable salad. At first it was going to be with ham hock, but then he put prosciutto on it. He was a bit directionless.

Both Billy and Peter made chicken wrapped in prosciutto.

Peter cooked chicken and prosciutto rotolo onto a parsley and apple mash. Matt Preston “noticed his presentation has improved”. The  “Hero is the apple” said Matt but there was too much garlic.

Billy cooked chicken wrapped in prosciutto served with roast baby carrots. “That is a wow of a dish” said Matt Preston.  He was told a dish like that would take you to the top ten, but could also take you to the top four. It must have been good.

Kumar cooked pork neck steak with apple gravy. I couldn’t work out whether Gary was being critical or positive about the amount of butter in the dish. Maybe positive about the flavour but not so positive about the greasy feel in the mouth.

Michael’s spring vegetable salad with prosciutto got a  “tastes delicious” from Gary, however Matt was not a fan of the apple puree.

Just an aside I kind of liked George Calombaris not being in the episode, it meant there was a less comedic tone to it.

Billy was safe, as was Peter. And then Kumar was eliminated. I must admit I teared up. We didn’t see enough of this lovely man.

He is writing and illustrating a cookbook which he is hoping to publish, and he may be taking tours to Sri Lanka.

I also noted that Kumar must have been well liked in the house as the rest of the top ten looked disappointed when he did not return.


1 AnonyMousse { 06.30.11 at 10:21 pm }


Well, there goes one of the main reasons I was still watching this season. He never really seemed to have that competitive edge that was needed (which is probably why he seemed to do all his best dishes on team challenges, where he had someone/someones driving him to finish), so it’s probably a bit of a surprise he got as far as he did.

This is the first time this season that I remember the contestants being overall sad that someone was gone, rather than clapping for those who made it through.

2 Buzz { 06.30.11 at 10:21 pm }

Weren’t kumar’s handwritten and illustrated notes beautiful?
I would buy his illustrated cookbook :)
I still got the feeling he was doomed to depart, if only Michael didn’t completely implode, which he almost did.
Call me Pam Paranoid …

3 littlepetal { 06.30.11 at 10:44 pm }

I know the contestants love Kumar but also I am sure they also love some of the departed contestants like Adam. Do you think that not clapping and looking disappointed when Kumar didn’t return was scripted? Maybe this time the producers said you have to look disappoint that Kumar is not back.

There is so much in the show that we will never know. Sorry to see Kumar gone as we didn’t see much of his cooking. Wonder who will be next? I think it will be a male and a female get eliminated next week.

4 JaniceG { 06.30.11 at 11:31 pm }

I actually didn’t think Hayden made the right move in using the immunity pin now. He only had to not make the worst dish in that group and given how much Michael has wilted under pressure in previous tests, I thought Hayden would have stood a very good chance of not coming last. I’d have saved the pin for a 1-1 situation.

OTOH, Michael’s strategy when standing before the judges was excellent: notice that he did not start blurting out that the reason he’d substituted the proscuitto was because he had no idea how to cook the neck or the hock but instead made it into a positive choice about the delicacy of the salad.

Felt sorry for Kumar as this type of test was clearly a weak spot for him; he might have done fine in another type of elimination. Unfortunately, his dish was the only one that actively didn’t taste good: his meat was too greasy and the sauce wasn’t good either. Peter had a little too much garlic but otherwise his stuff was good, and even though Michael’s dish was pathetic, it apparently tasted fine.

I agree with you that the reaction when the other three came back was a tribute to Kumar: usually there are squeals of delight that some people have come back and then belated disappointment about the person who was eliminated but in this case, it was clearly universal sadness and disappointment that Kumar was gone.

5 littlepetal { 07.01.11 at 1:07 am }

Read the exit interview of Kumar in

Kumar must be really stress in the competition. He said he lost 10kg ! (maybe they didn’ t allow him to taste the food as in Masterclass where he has never been call up to taste the dishes. Only joking) Compare to the other contestants, most of them put on weight.

He must have put back some of the weight as he look must rounder in the face.

6 Jo { 07.01.11 at 1:18 am }

Sad. He was so lovely.

I remember when Kumar went up for elimination against Andrew, every move that he made had a ton of cheering and clapping whereas Andrew had rather subdued sympathy clapping. I wasn’t sure if that was an indication of Kumar’s popularity or Andrew’s lack of popularity, though.

I think it’s getting to the point in the competition where there’s so little people that when contestants return there’s no big whoop whoop! anymore because you don’t have 15 people greeting your return, you’ve only got 6.

7 Jess { 07.01.11 at 2:43 am }

Though not unexpected, I’m actually quite sad to see Kumar go. He seemed like a genuinely really nice guy. And his little notes and illustrations all looked lovely. He’s probably the first MasterChef contestant whose cookbook I would actually buy.
Meanwhile, Mat is still in the competition. = _ =

Billy’s dish looked really nice, too, presentation-wise.

8 BenSmith { 07.01.11 at 2:47 am }

Kumar was loveable, I’ll give you that, but he left the comp at the right stage- certainly not MasterChef 2011 top 10 calibre…
Hayden using his immunity pin shows that he panicked – PREDICTION No.1- this will be his death knell… he has lost confidence in himself and consequently my prediction is that he will not feature in the top 5 this year. To be honest, I never thought he was that great anyway…when others were cooking mackerel he had the easy option of pork belly, when others had octopus he was cooking beef –too easy…RR I accept he has WOW abs, but this does not maketh a cook! He lacks the creativity to make it to the finals.
Likewise, PREDICTION No.2, Billy will not make the top 5…his repertoire is limited to chocolate genache and this will see him booted out before too long.

9 Jess { 07.01.11 at 3:00 am }

Hayden doesn’t really have great abs. But he’s nice to look at — especially when he’s running around half-naked.

And, ah@ I think Billy went out recently (in real time). A new “Press/Events” section was added to his blog a few hours ago:

“For media appearances, cooking demonstrations and events, please contact me directly:
Billy Law –

Assuming he did go out, I guess he at least makes the top…six?

10 SaintsDeano { 07.01.11 at 6:01 am }

How lucky is Sun. She is the worst cook, no personality but has made the top 10.. Jo wasn’t popular last year but at least she could cook.

11 Thomas { 07.01.11 at 6:25 am }

Noooooooo Kumar! Sigh so much charm and wit.. now gone.

Hayden is ok but still rather rough. He’s come across as nice, but not very forceful. Those short interviews with him often seem uncomfortable for him, while Dani is quite natural on camera.

12 Dmc { 07.01.11 at 7:09 am }

I also sense Hayden moving down. Gosh, not many standouts this year. I suppose this makes it more interesting but I’m still waiting for some great dishes to appear.

13 Thomas { 07.01.11 at 7:24 am }

Urgh some in the top 10 have been so rarely featured due to the editing choices that it’s hard to tell whether they really deserve to be there..

14 Emma { 07.01.11 at 7:36 am }

So upset Kumar’s gone .. :(

Ok he wasn’t the best cook in the house overall but neither are some of the others who are in the top ten, although I’m really glad Billy and Peter got through!

15 RarelySeen { 07.01.11 at 8:34 am }

So long Kumar and thanks for being there. Loved the comment he said about his boys when he returned home, ‘just wanted to show …that you can do anything at any time in your life’.
Looking forward to getting my mitts on that cookbook and dreaming about the culinary tour of Sri Lanka with Kumar.

16 JJ { 07.01.11 at 8:59 am }

Whilst I was sad to see Kumar go last night, I felt at least that it wasn’t too glaringly obvious from the start who would be leaving…

I favour Kate overall now that Hayden has used his immunity pin, but I’m not too sure whether the producers *want* another “mum-sy” sort to win after Julie G in season 1. And with Adam winning last year, Billy’s chances could be diminished. The cynical among us must wonder if it is time for a young cutie to win? Is that part of the reason to get all the girls safely into the top 10 with the catering challenge?

17 Sooty { 07.01.11 at 9:23 am }

Hayden is a nong for using that pin so soon. I am so sorry Kumar has gone, what a lovely presence on an often silly show.

18 auds { 07.01.11 at 9:29 am }

I also thought Hayden could have saved the pin for another day. So sad Kumar left – We really saw naff all of his cooking – I cant remember the last dish of his they showed.

There really dont seem to be any front runners or anybody glaringly obviously favourite to win.

Anybodys game from here

19 EH { 07.01.11 at 9:49 am }

Can’t believe Sun is in TOP 10!

@ JJ – Your ‘young cutie’ comment made me think Dani could win this year!!! Oh dear.

20 Joseph Skyrim { 07.01.11 at 9:51 am }

Just echoing the above really… sad Kumar is gone but couldn’t really see him going much further. Also think Hayden should not have used the pin yet. This challenge each person only had a 20% chance to fail – still workable odds which will only get worse as the competition progresses.

Shouldn’t matter though, if he’s really that good he shouldn’t need the pin at all regardless of how many more eliminations he is in. 😛

21 EH { 07.01.11 at 9:56 am }

Last year trend was that the ex-contestants announcing sauce range (Aaron – Mexican, Marion – Thai) and pantry products (Jimmy -Atta flour). This year seems to be cookbooks – Craig with his orchestra and Kumar with his illustrations.

22 seepi { 07.01.11 at 10:05 am }

A good episode, although I felt like shouting at kumar while he poked around the terrine instead of eating it.

Michael was on the ball talking about the delicacy of his salad. So often this series they lok ptrified of the judges and blurt out every thing wrong with their dish.

If the judges cut in and the meat is slightely under, or over, the contestant should say ‘just the way I like it’ .

23 Culinary Boner { 07.01.11 at 10:54 am }

Suggested new title for this blog-post: “The Kumarsutra: Kumar demonstrates the gentle art of terrine foreplay, starting with loving caresses.”

Tip to Kumar. It’s food pal. Go straight to oral.

24 JaniceG { 07.01.11 at 11:09 am }

@seepi: Actually, I *did* shout at Kumar to stop feeling the food and start eating it :->

@SaintsDeano: Have to agree on Sun. My nightmare scenario is that she finally gets whacked but in the round just before Mat gets thrown out, so she’s given another shot.

25 Izobel2 { 07.01.11 at 11:19 am }

Thanks the giggle – Boner!
I was freaking out when a minute had past and Kumar was thinking “mm, maybe it’s not a dessert!!”. Just EAT IT ALREADY!!

26 lulu { 07.01.11 at 11:19 am }

Michael is such a gimp….and a coward. While everyone else is grappling with sheep carcasses in the wind and rain, Mikey makes rocky road; last night, everyone does their best with the meat while Mr. 11 Ingredients serves a silly little salad…..and gets away with it. That this spineless sook (not to mention that ninny, Ellie) is still in the comp indicates that this show is not about cooking, but product placements and demographics. Loved ya Kumarrr!

27 Izobel2 { 07.01.11 at 11:32 am }

By the way Boner, I think the food kinda looked like Pal (ref your last sentence!)

28 Chunks { 07.01.11 at 11:42 am }

Not a Jonathan or Marion or even a Claire or Jummy amongst them. The 2010 Top 24 must be grinding their teeth with frustration over this year’s clodhoppers. Even Kate could outcook most of them with a jar of Chicken Tonight and a microwave. Suspect the show will be eclipsed by MKR next year.

29 JJ { 07.01.11 at 11:45 am }

@EH – it’s a frightening thought, isn’t it?!

The top 10 – Dani, Ellie, Sun, Mat, Michael, Peter, Billy, Alana, Hayden, Kate. Not really an outstanding line-up. The first four on the list at leadt have no businessbeing in ANY top 10! Makes last years contestants look SOOO much better.

30 Fides { 07.01.11 at 11:48 am }

JaniceG – I so hope the Sun scenario is not the case! From what I’ve read it’s top 8 that go to NY, and Mat gets kicked off just prior to this. So if that is indeed the case and a returned contestant goes to NY, whoever gets eliminated next Thu is probably the one with the second chance. So I hope it is Sun or Ellie who get the boot on Monday.

Kumar seemed such a genuinely nice guy and that reflected in the collective dismay of the other contestants. I don’t recall any other time, in any season, when there’s been that sort of disappointment. Loved seeing Kumar’s highlights reel with that ostrich egg and his seduction mushrooms. And as someone mentioned, his message to his sons re age being no barrier was beautiful – and his sons looked so proud of him. I only wish he and Irmagard had made it to Top 24 in the same series…

Agree Michael is quite brittle when the pressure’s on. He’s the one cooking with fear (as Dani would say) and it shows. I

And I think it was right of Hayden to use the pin. If he had been in Mat’s place and the red team had lost, fair enough to hang on to it as he could have outcooked some of the girls with the blindfold still on.

31 Thomas { 07.01.11 at 12:15 pm }
32 sourkraut { 07.01.11 at 1:26 pm }

Not much point watching any more, and if Peter gets the arse b4 the end this season will be a total BORE.
Anyhoo, what has BLINFOLDED tasting got to do with cooking ability???? what a stupid idea. Why not shove stoppers up their nostrils to stop the sense of smell as well?
Guess I’ll have to barrack for Sun now!!! …………………………..

33 NT Kate { 07.01.11 at 1:43 pm }

I think Hayden was sensible to use his pin – some reasonable competitors, and the random element of the challenges means anything can happen. Witness poor Michael almost getting clobbered!

And he always has the chance of winning another one given the serrendipity nature of the pin challenges…

I actually felt sorry for Michael – because despite the judges going on about the number of ingredients he had, most of them weren’t very helpful ones (short of doing one of George’s bizarre treatments of carrots or something a la that revolting looking corn mish mash he did on a masterclass a few weeks back!). Beef neck and pork hock are both slow cook cuts, not something that can readily be transformed in 40 minutes – and while maybe he could have tried pressure cooking in lieu of the four hours it really needs to cook a hock, that can be risky and I’m not sure that he had enough time even to pull that off.

34 kingfisher { 07.01.11 at 2:00 pm }

thank god kumars gone ,all you blubbering out there that’s he’s gone “he’s not dead” he dodge so many bullets just like sun and ellie . I like micheal but mate grow some balls will you , I felt hayden p..hed his pants last night about given up his pin , he was nervous as anything and the look on his face when the group who won came back home , he’s sitting there reading a cookbook crapping himself . he’s gone !!!
I feel my top three will be Billy,Peter and Michael . there will be a big change in their cooking from now on . kumar’s gone now for sun and ellie

35 Maz { 07.01.11 at 2:05 pm }

I hope Sun wins MC just so to flick through the Cookbook’s chapter on techniques of melting sugar.

Would think they would market Kate’s cookbook as a CWA-esque (since the made a bit deal she lives in regional NSW the other week) rather than a ‘mumsy’ cookbook so there is still a good chance the producers might let her win.

36 littlepetal { 07.01.11 at 2:21 pm }

People like Kumar is because he is in the comp to just cook some delicious food. He played fair and square and also with integrity. Sad to see him go but he deserve to be at least in the Top 10. Some of the current Top 10 should not be there. People like Sun and Ellie. Dani only cooked so call Asian cuisines which is questionable.

So someone mentioned that there is some activities on Billy’s blog. Another poster has also mentioned that he/she received an e-mail from Billy’s website. So he is gone in real time. He will definately be in the Top 6 since they the Dalai Lama episode filmed on June 12 was to eliminate someone to go to Top 6. He may even make it to the Top 5.

RR- Maybe we need a spoiler thread for Masterchef as we are coming to the pointy end. People who don’t like spoilers can still enjoy reading and commenting without us (the spoilers !) spoil their viewing pleasure.

37 brain dead dave { 07.01.11 at 2:23 pm }

Hayden may or may not have great abs-but he’s certainly come up short on guts. Why have a great body when you’ve got a heart like a split pea?

Wish I’d been wearing a blindfold for last night’s ep.

I didn’t hold lot of hope for Kumar when the blindfolds came out,even though he said his palate was well developed. There’s a tendency for the efficiency of one’s sense of smell and taste to diminish over time- this is why I thought Irmgaard might have screwed up not being able to tell pork from lamb last year.

38 EH { 07.01.11 at 2:27 pm }

We need a new Senior Masterchef series with Kumar and Irmgard battle it out to win the title! Merle can replace Matt Moran as the 4th judge.

39 Fides { 07.01.11 at 2:41 pm }

I’m indifferent to Hayden’s abs and actually prefer him with his shirt on. The only time I’ve seen any of the appeal that Channel 10 keeps pushing was on the farm challenge with his blue flannel shirt and windswept hair, but they shouldn’t let him talk, just let him run around with lambs over his shoulder.

I second the need for a spoiler thread!

40 littlepetal { 07.01.11 at 3:05 pm }

I forgot that Kumar is 62 years old. Yes, I think our sensitivity to taste deteriorate with age. I have seen older people eating food that they would normally won’t eat. But Kumar go about his business in such a slow pace that I really want to help him. Didn’t Peter said something about Kumar being slow and steady win the race.

I don’t like the taste of most yoghurt when I was young but now I do find most yoghurt quite nice !!!! Not revealing my age! LOL

41 JaniceG { 07.01.11 at 4:13 pm }

@Fides – When I told my husband that they were setting Hayden up to be the sexy one, he cracked up. During the farm episode, he said that Hayden looked like he had less intelligence and awareness behind his eyes than the sheep :->

42 brain dead dave { 07.01.11 at 4:48 pm }

Yeah, Hayden better watch out for sheep on tonight’s Ma$terfarce in New Zealand-Lord Of The Onion Rings-starring George Golumbaris..

43 Cecilia { 07.01.11 at 5:16 pm }

Why does everyone assume Hayden is dumb just because he’s a good looking young guy? He’s a distinction average university graduate for gosh sakes, certainly must have some smarts to accomplish that. Plus, he’s worked great under pressure so far. So he thought it was about time to use the pin, good on him. The competition was strong, and he hadn’t had as much pressure test experience as the people he was up against.

44 davsimp { 07.01.11 at 6:52 pm }

Well it had to happen I guess. I loved the Kumster, really I did, and sure, he wasn’t the best cook in the comp but he was the most likeable one in there. I will be buying his cookbook for sure. Anyway, think positive, he could be back next week when they arsehole Mat.

Cecilia, I don’t think Hayden is dumb at all. I love the guy and I’m hoping he takes out the title. I reckon it’s geared toward a youngster winning this year as we’ve already had the mumsy from series one (seeya kate) and the asian guy from series two (bye billy). Got my money on Hayden or Dani. Be interesting when they get to the part about asking them what their cookbooks would/will be. Cue ‘Cooking from the Hearth’ last season by Claire Whingeing Burnout. What’d BDD say, that flew like an emu, ROFLMAO.

45 David Allen { 07.01.11 at 7:12 pm }

Loved the illustrations in Kumar’s notepad. Watercolours? Maybe, we’ll see him next in MasterSketch!

46 brain dead dave { 07.01.11 at 7:31 pm }

Michael might as well pitch for a self -help book and call it Fear Of Frying.

47 Thomas { 07.01.11 at 7:35 pm }

I think Hayden isn’t comfortable with the camera. He’s very awkward when describing challenges, and much better when they shoot him interacting with the other contestants. He definitely needs to smile and shave more.