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Masterchef Australia – The Top 8 Odds

Thanks again Paul for this week’s odds. This week middle of pack contestants Peter and Mat gone.

Over to Paul:

$3.25 : Alana

$4.00 : Hayden

$6.00 : Kate, Michael

$10.00 : Dani

$12.00 : Billy

$21.00 : Ellie

$41.00 : Sun


Thought I might do a little form comment on each one this time around.

Alana : Cool in a crisis and rarely makes any errors. And winning Masterchef is not generally about being the best, its about not losing.

Hayden : Seems to be the most versatile of them all and probably the most talented. Does get nervous though in individual challengers.

Kate : If the final was a dessert, she would win. Mentally very strong and very determined. I just question her on the savoury side.

Michael : Is prone to the odd brain explosion and that might count against him in the last few weeks.

Dani : Seemingly going from strength to strength. Not over-awed by individual challengers. Just don’t think she is as talented as the top few.

Billy : Just don’t think he has enough tricks to his bow.

Ellie : Been lucky the last few weeks but without a recipe she struggles. I do like her though. :)

Sun : To her credit, she has been better lately. Gets a bit flakey in challengers and her best is nowhere near the top few contestants best.




1 brain dead dave { 07.08.11 at 5:08 pm }

Enought tricks to his bow?

2 Sooty { 07.08.11 at 5:23 pm }

Alana made a nice tart once. I am baffled why she rates so high on your list. I’d place her one spot ahead of Sun. (Who I would not place so cruelly! I’ve barely seen what Sun can cook. But I admire her sincerity and lack of teeheehee levity.)

3 NT Kate { 07.08.11 at 6:44 pm }

I agree with Sooty. Can’t remember anything Alana has actually cooked that has been in the top group.

Not losing will only get you so far – in fact probably this far. At some point you do actually have to win! Preferably more than a few times, and last season (and this) showed that the key to success is to pick up one of those ammunity pins so you can escape eliminations against the best competitors (remember Marion…).

And after those cutesy ‘signs’ Alana gave her team in the last challenge (if I had a team leader give me something like that I’d be tempted to ram it down their throat!) I’m actually hoping for alana’s swift elimination, even though she isn’t nearly as annoying as some…

4 Thomas { 07.08.11 at 6:56 pm }

Alana is a good team leader, but MC is more about the individual. Not sure she’s the best, but I think she can psych herself to win. She generally plays safe, and all the others have weak points that could be their downfall.

Hayden seems to be getting increasingly nervous.

5 Doopliss { 07.08.11 at 8:16 pm }

I agree with the above sentiments.
I would put Alana one spot above Sun, because both cooks have proven to be middle-of-the-pack at most, avoiding any individual eliminations and rarely standing out from the pack. They generally get to about this stage of the competition before being eliminated. I think your personal bias towards Alana and against Sun may be affecting your statistics!

Those who tend to stand out the most (Kate, Hayden, Michael) are most likely to get into the finals I would think. It’s really been the team eliminations where they’ve faltered. Ellie, Dani and Billy I would put above Alana and Sun, while their performance is erratic – Dani, at least, has shown to be able to get out of a tight spot. Dani and Billy have also proven they can win the individual challenges, while Ellie has a strange ability to survive 5 of her individual eliminations. (she could be next Julie, ek!)
And just a comparison to previous seasons, middle-of-the packers Adam (Season 2) and Justine (Season 1) began to show their stuff around mid-season of their respective seasons, so I’m beginning to doubt that Alana and Sun would follow in the same route as them.

6 EH { 07.08.11 at 10:24 pm }


There is a new section up on Billy’s blog that says “It is coming” with countdown to 3 weeks, xx hours, xx minutes and xx seconds.

Is it his second/final TV elimination date? 3 weeks from today means he made it to top 6.

7 littlepetal { 07.08.11 at 10:56 pm }

Could be spoiler

@EH I have a feeling 3 weeks from today is the finale for Masterchef. Once MC finishes, everyone can do what they like. What is giving away is I think there is activities on his blog which could mean he has just been eliminated (in real time). I do think he make it to Top 5 maybe Top 4

8 Jo { 07.08.11 at 10:58 pm }

Alana seems solid, but I wouldn’t pin her as a favourite either – she’s been safe, but not spectacular. She seemed a little boring at first but now that we’ve seen more of her, she’s leaning towards annoying for me.

9 EH { 07.08.11 at 11:03 pm }

@ littlepetal: I think there is only one elimination in NYC. So down to top 7 next week. Is it still going to be 2 eliminations each week after NYC? If so, 2 more weeks meaning 4 will go home. Then you are right that 3 weeks from now is top 3 final week.

I can’t believe MC is ending in 3 weeks! I don’t have the same feeling of attachment as last year. Didn’t see the end is so near!

10 littlepetal { 07.08.11 at 11:15 pm }

@EH – I think there are 2 eliminations in NYC and still 2 elimination every week. MC have to finish soon for the Renovators. I am glad it is ending soon. I can get my life back. Didn’t enjoy this series at all. Not many exciting dishes from the contestants.

11 littlepetal { 07.08.11 at 11:18 pm }

Just checked and speculation that Renovators will start on July 31 after MC. So yes, MC finale is coming.

12 PollyB { 07.08.11 at 11:33 pm }

I don’t get Hayden’s hands shaking all the time. I don’t know why, it creeps me out. He’s been there for months now, I don’t understand. Really icky.

13 EH { 07.08.11 at 11:34 pm }

Thanks! I read in papers that top 7 were flew to Melbourne for Dalai Lama episode which is after NYC. So I assume there is only 1 elimination in NYC. I didn’t enjoy this season as well. Glad it’s coming to an end soon. I don’t really care who is winning.

14 Jo { 07.08.11 at 11:55 pm }

@PollyB – I’m thinking that maybe the hand shaking isn’t to do with nerves or the competition but it’s just a physiological thing. I can’t help my hands from shaking when I have to do something fiddly either.

15 Moo { 07.08.11 at 11:56 pm }

Have you all forgotten about Adam from last season? He was basically an unknown entity in the house until the last few weeks. We never saw what he could cook until there were only a handful of contestants left. He was never the apple of the judges’ eyes but he didn’t cook one bad dish either. And guess what? He won.

That’s why Alana rates highly here. Even though she hasn’t produced anything stunning she hasn’t cooked one bad dish either. You don’t have to stand out to win, and Adam showed us that.

16 littlepetal { 07.09.11 at 12:16 am }

Don’t forget Sun. Surely she is not the producers darling as she is so dull and yet she is still around. Obviously she must have cooked o.k. and they can’ t eliminate her. Also read she has a Journalism degree in the Food Industry – what that means, I don’t know. Maybe she will have some good knowledge about food?

17 PennyK { 07.09.11 at 1:01 am }

I think Paul’s odds have been spot on this year.

I agree with Moo on this one. Alana plays it like Adam, taking an intelligent and measured approach to this competition. Playing it safe and stepping up when required is what she has done best. Whilst others, namely Dani and Ellie, are flapping around and making noise to attract the cameras, the likes of Alana, Michael and Kate are simply getting the job done and obviously doing it so well that many of you haven’t even noticed it…

You seem to have forgotten but Alana has been a top finisher on a number occasions… her stuffed tomatoes with mint buttered peas, back in the top 50, was dish of the day, she produced a soft hearted chocolate pudding with raspberry cream and honeycomb chunks on the Deserted Island Challenge which was again dish of the day, in the Frozen and Canned Challenge she pulled off the a strawberry foam exploding dessert trick to finish in the top 3 dishes. Her wood roasted stone fruits with a spiced crumb and orange blossom crème fraiche in the Eco challenge resulted in the first landslide team victory this year and Gary wants them on his Fenix menu. She eliminated Craig with a amazing spiced poached pears with orange creme anglaise, chocolate ganache & sugared macadamia crumble – best dish of the comp imo. Let’s not forget her by red velvet cupcakes at the 21st party – another win. Finally, in the brits vs frogs challenge she showed us that not even a squawking Marco Pierre White could put her off her game and lead the red team to convincing victory.

Alana will be there at the end with Kate and Michael without a doubt. I’m not so sure I can say the same for Hayden and Billy (already eliminated once) who are looking more and more shaky by the minute. Sun has be the next to go…

18 PollyB { 07.09.11 at 2:11 am }

Sorry peeps, requested deletion for my double post on Hayden’s shaking hands, twice. Didn’t work, twice. :-)

19 Sooty { 07.09.11 at 8:09 am }

David who came second in Masterchef UK professional chefs series that was shown on cable recently shook like a leaf the entire comp. He was lovely. Sweaty and shaky, and lovely. (Not saying Hayden is lovely! He’s okay.)

Oh, and I had Adam in my top three to win in the early days of the top 24 last year – I put it here as a man whose name begins with A (Adam, Alvin, And I can’t think of his name, ‘Beanie Douche’ who I liked), but it was Adam I thought had the chops, and that was in the very first week. We all notice different things.

20 NT Kate { 07.09.11 at 8:21 am }

I’m not sure why shaking hands is creepy!

Whether about delicate work or nerves both are perfectly understandable under extreme pressure, and frankly standing in front of a camera like that is extreme pressure however long you have done it.

Yes sometimes people eventually overcome nerves, but it can take a long time, and there are concert musicians who shake every time they perform in their long careers. And some great artists who refuse/d to perform in public, but only record audio, because of it.

His willingness to go on and try hard despite that is a display of strength of character we should be applauding.

21 SaintsDeano { 07.09.11 at 9:13 am }

I’ve seen enough of Sun to say she’s the worst cook in the comp. She should’ve been eliminated instead of Cleo. Ellie is the second worst but has been retained so the judges can give her group hugs. Billy doesn’t deserve to win after coming back by default. Can raffle the winner from the other 5. I probably like Alana the most.

22 Sooty { 07.09.11 at 9:30 am }

“I think Paul’s odds have been spot on this year.” !

Which is why so many of his favourites have gone! I’m not having a go at Paul, and I’m sure he knows that – I just don’t see things as he sees them with regard to Alana and especially re Sun.

23 PennyK { 07.09.11 at 12:07 pm }

Sooty, I’m not so sure “so many of the favourites have gone!” Perhaps some of the likeable characters have moved on such Kumar and Peter, but the favourites to win have not changed and the data reflects that….
Paul’s Picks
On May 20, in field of 21 remaining contestants, 5 of his top 9 picks are still in a comp today (in order of odds Kate, Hayden, Michael, Alana & Ellie).
On June 3, in field of 18 remaining contestants, 5 of his top 6 picks are still in a comp in order of odds Michael, Alana, Hayden, Billy/Kate).
On June 10, in field of 16 remaining contestants, his top 5 picks are all still in a comp (in order of odds Michael, Alana, Hayden, Kate, Billy).
On June 17, in field of 14 remaining contestants, his top 5 picks are all still in a comp (in order of odds Michael, Alana, Hayden, Billy, Kate).
Starting to sound repetitive…
On June 24, in field of 12 remaining contestants, his top 5 picks are all still in a comp (in order of odds Alana, Michael/Hayden, Billy, Kate).
On July 2, in field of 10 remaining contestants, his top 6 picks are all still in a comp (in order of odds Alana, Hayden, Michael, Kate, Billy/Dani).
Seems pretty clear to me Paul’s been picking the favourites to win the comp since day 1.
I accept, we don’t all see things the same way as Paul, but if Paul was offering tips at Flemington this weekend…I’d be inclined to listen to his advice! Let’s put in another light, if someone could tip 5 of the top 8 finishers in field of 21 horses that had never raced before they’d have my money.

24 Izobel2 { 07.09.11 at 1:15 pm }

Hey Penny K – Paul should watch out, you should be in line for his job with the amount of research that has gone into your last 2 posts!! I’ve never missed a minute of MCSeason3 and I would be flat out remembering most of those Alana dishes that you’ve just mentioned!!

25 Paul { 07.09.11 at 1:43 pm }

Sooty – if we all agreed then we’d live in a pretty boring world so no offense taken whatsoever.

Penny – wow, I’m impressed. If I ever do field at Flemington and need a clerk, then I know who to get in touch with….And great research with Alana as well.

26 rb4x { 07.09.11 at 2:12 pm }

I am loving this.

\Way back on May 20 when Paul first posted odds I said I would have $10 on Alana at $16. She was then an outsider and now she is the favourite. I saw her as telegenic, literate, sporting fit and with some culinary knowledge as she had done some sort of food tour of Europe. Only worry is the badly shaking hands I saw when she was plating up in one of the challenges which may be nerves. She has not shown much personality until the little notes she used in the Battle of Agincourt. They are not my thing but they seemed to work as the Red team won. I do not find her anyway near as annoying as three other members of the female gender. She may not win but I think she still is a good thing to make top three at least.

27 PennyK { 07.09.11 at 4:53 pm }

Like Alana, you’ll find Michael and Kate have had lot of success too, but this is readily glossed over by the producers who have so far focused on highlighting noise and drama rather than fineness and creativity. I would argue that if you sat there and listed it out, as I did with Alana, you would have just as many impressive dishes as you’ve seen in previous seasons at this equivalent stage of the comp. To simply say this year lacks talent, imo lacks reasoned thought process…after all, we haven’t seen the final 4 weeks so how can you honestly draw a valid comparison yet? In another light, how many of the dishes do you REALLY remember prior to the top 10 last year? Any?

Rb4x I remember your post saying you’d have $10 on Alana at $16 and I was thinking “ I’ll see your bet and raise it to $100!!!”

I think to win masterchef, you really have to fly under the radar. If you’re getting lots of air time pre-top 10 it’s because you’re taking too many risks (too fancy, too early) or simply you’re time has come and your about to hear your death knell. Viewers can only tolerate so much air time surrounding any one contestant before the contestant unexplainably starts annoying the hell out of the viewer and this is always the case regardless of how capable, attractive, friendly or likeable they are… it’s the ticking time bomb of reality TV– increase the footage of the contestant (light the fuse), establish some sort of emotional attachment with viewers (…tssssss…), and then move them on quickly (bang!) , rewind and start again. Next…

My “Under the Radar Flyer” top 3 are Michael, Kate and Alana and consequently I think they will be the top 3. We will see.

28 littlepetal { 07.10.11 at 11:34 am }

There is a story on MC in today Sun-Herald Extra section. They talk about a challenge at the UN building in NY. Each contestant has to prepare 300 canapés and the delegates will vote. Story mentioned what each contestant is preparing but it only mentioned 7 contestants dishes. I am not going to say who is the first one that got eliminated. If you read the story you will know who. No surprise here.

29 littlepetal { 07.10.11 at 11:37 am }

To follow up on the story in the Sun-Herald. It said the UN challenge is Episode 62 and tonight episode is No 61. Does that mean someone is going to be eliminated tonight (very unlikely) or is the 8th contestant sick and can’t compete in the challenge??

30 Pollywaffle { 07.10.11 at 9:19 pm }

Looks like Sun’s not going to see daylight for a week

31 littlepetal { 07.10.11 at 10:00 pm }

Only for dramatic effects, Pollywaffle. I am sure Sun will be out sight seeing while they have to cook!!!! BTW the filming in NY is over 2 weeks.

32 jack { 07.15.11 at 11:09 am }

i’m not sure that alana should be favourite because she hasn’t done anything spectacular but all of the others have. personally I would like Hayden to win because he is my favourite on the show but I think Billy should be favourite because ever since he has come back he has been cooking brilliantly.