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Masterchef Australia – Or Was It The Twilight Zone

On Masterchef Australia last night at times I thought I was watching the Twilight Zone as at judging time plates kept on appearing and disappearing from the kitchen benches or in fact there were no food on the white plates. At time I wondered if I was seeing things or in fact not seeing things.

When the judges were about to start the tasting they panned down the room and there was barely a dish on the benches or the ones that were empty.

This was particularly the case when it came to Beau who was up the front. They were about to announce the last person whose dish was to be tasted and panned to Beau standing at his empty bench, then they announced his name and he turns to his right and picks up the dish!

Maybe because of the delicacy of the dishes they had to be put in the fridge. Who knows or whether it was shot after the tastings had been done we will never know. Last night showed that Masterchef was not back to basics, but to be honest I like a challenge where it showed who of the remaining contestants may have the flair to make an impact in the top 24.

It was a cooking baptism of fire with the pressure testing set by Shannon Bennett from Vue Du Monde, it was his take on Peach Melba. The dish had many “alaments” and  they had two hours to complete it.The kicker only twelve of the dishes were going to be tasted. However in the end it was lucky the judges even had the twelve to taste. As some people must have only plated up half a dish.

Andy an extremely good looking, 23 year old, electrician was so excited he blew out his pants. Considering they were not that tight it mystified me how he did it.  His cooking technique surprised Shannon as  did not think Andy was going to be able to do it. Was Shannon surprised a tradie could cook? Not sure how many chefs out there hold fine arts degrees Shannon! However he then said maybe as an electrician he is used to being methodical and that was what his recipes were about. His looked the best and he was put through to the top 24.

Beau had the advantage from the previous challenge of seeing and practising the recipe the night before, and that must have helped him, as even though his white chocolate cage collapsed his dish got tasted.

Kylie a physiotherapy student wants to have cafe and dessert bar and was in her comfort zone, and even though her dessert did not have the vanilla mousse she was through to the top 24.

Lydia the greek mum from Perth who looks like she could be a lot of fun and managed to do enough to get through, as did the intense looking legal secretary Julia who sells cupcakes at markets at the weekends.

Keen a good looking asian guy given his first screen time of the series also got his Peach Melba tasted but it was not good enough to obtain an apron. However Ben the teacher from Tassie finally got through.

Unfortunately Fillippo and Yukio must have had a disaster as neither of their dishes were tasted.

With only six spots left to fill, and twenty seven contestants left, they were then told the judges would be culling them down to twelve to compete for them. This was a tad harsh.

Surprisingly Tania was sent home, but Kath who made the Singapore Crab at the auditions was given one last chance. Mario the car detailer and another guy with beard fluff were retained.

Fillippo had to go into the great hall to face the judges himself. They acknowledged how serious he was but said he was getting another opportunity to cook. This guy has to get through to the top 24. His intensity is fantastic, and will give far more entertainment then Beau who looks a tad bland. You just know at some stage he is going to flip out.

Also the guy can cook.

Yukio also got the same solo treatment not sure if they were trying to make him cry again, but he toughed it out and he will get one last chance.

Deb and Karen were also given chance, as were Roger, Keen and Mindy. Last to get the green light were young girls Emma and Dom. Whereas poor James who we never saw was sent home.

Sunday the top 24 will be finalised and at this stage most of the contestants look interesting and showcases a diversity.


1 Injera { 05.11.12 at 8:52 am }

Ha – I didn’t spot the mystery plate-changing, although overall I found the challenge a bit dull, RR. It was far too tough and I didn’t really think there was much entertainment value in seeing people floundering for an hour or so. And you just know that, despite having produced a dessert from a “3 hat restaurant”, there will be the usual shenanigans in the top 12 where we realise that some of our dozen best amata shefs can’t boil eggs.

Turned off before the culling interviews. I hate that crap in Idol and found the prospect of watching people who have already passed through prelim auditions and around a week of competitive cooking (or balcony-watching) do the “I roolly want it bad” schtick off-putting.

Oh, but I AM enjoying that this lot are being a bit lippy to the judges. Andrew (? the hairdresser) did it to George on the Peninsula challenge and a couple talked back a bit last night. Good on them!

2 Jen- Why { 05.11.12 at 8:53 am }

Yukio reminds me of Ricky Wong! I think Chris Lilly’s in there somewhere…

3 smauge { 05.11.12 at 8:59 am }

I always get the feeling if I had a dish made by Shannan Bennett I would be in danger of finding one of his long many hairs in it.
I’m really hoping Fillippo gets in. He seems a bit Aspie and I’d like to see more of his cooking in the show.

4 Reality Raver { 05.11.12 at 9:09 am }

Injera – that goes without saying there will be people in there that will lack in some basic cooking techniques. I must pull out that blog post in the archives where we all talk about what they should know before going on the show. Though now we will have to add how to make stock.

Jen-Why – Oh yes, still trying to work out if Yukio can cook that well, though think he is that hit and miss type of guy.

Smauge – Agree about Shannon’s hair. Also have noticed his media style has improved dramatically since his first appearance. Go Fillippo I say he would be a great addition to the show.

5 Culinary Boner { 05.11.12 at 9:16 am }

George and Fillippo* –

Thanks to one of the regulars who pointed out on an earlier post that Fillippo had the looks and manic mannerisms of Ren with the downtrodden personality of Stimpy. Was it you, Georgie?

6 Maryann { 05.11.12 at 9:31 am }

I didn’t like how they culled the remaining contestants down to 12. Why not let all of them cook on Sunday for 6 aprons. Other than that it was a fairly boring espisode. I think pressure tests only become interesting when we know the contestants a bit better.

7 Rob { 05.11.12 at 9:43 am }

Well spotted with the plating wide shots RR….that’s just lazy editing. Those wides would have been shot prior to the challenge beginning, whoever edited this episode was proabably fishing around for shots to cover their cuts of the judges spiel and settled on something that was completley out continutiy. Lazy lazy lazy and below what one would expect for such a high budget show.

8 Reality Raver { 05.11.12 at 9:52 am }

Rob – I would like to pat myself on the back, however I am not that good at spotting those things, so it has to be obvious, I spent more time pausing and rewinding then watching the rest of the episode.

9 Daze { 05.11.12 at 10:03 am }

I was amazed that this challenge was put before the contestants at this stage of the ‘game’. Surely this difficult dish is something normally challenged midway or towards the end? It looked like a nightmare and frightened me more than filleting a salmon. So glad my favourites got in with The apron. Poor Beau made to wait until last and good luck to him.

10 Amy { 05.11.12 at 10:13 am }

I found last night really boring, in the end I just had it on in the background as I was doing other stuff. Hopefully it will be better once we get into the real comp…

11 Georgie { 05.11.12 at 10:50 am }

smauge – I was looking at that chef’s hair thinking, “Yuck, couldn’t you have at least washed it before filming or worn a 3 hats”. It was so greasy it was stuck to his head.

CB – yes it was me. I couldn’t follow the link though – message said ‘referral denied’?

12 Culinary Boner { 05.11.12 at 11:37 am }

Georgie, George & Fillippo can viewed on the following page, right hand corner –

13 brain dead dave { 05.11.12 at 1:05 pm }

Glad that Yukio and $timpy got through but my finger was twitchy on the remote wanting to opt for $cotty Cam and some more elevating entertainment.

Not happy Jan with the greasy haired celebrity chef wheeled out for last night. A lot of Australians, new and otherwise ( not to mention the contestants and myself) probably don’t know what a real Peach Melba looks like…so why not show that instead of a celeb chef’s edgy as a bowling ball deconstruction? We got the history lesson about Dame Nellie Melba singing in the Ma$terchef building all those years ago. Shannon Bennett’s mindless comment about electrician experience helping with the Peach Melba was the highlight of a fairly average night.

Now for Friday night and the Chokito in Ma$terchef’s pool- the appalling Ma$terclass. It’s no fun watching the contestants’ eyes glaze over for lack of sleep and enthusiasm. I’ll watch The Block with me old china $cotty,thanks.

14 Susan { 05.11.12 at 1:09 pm }

Good call RR – I spotted the same and wondered if they had to put the desserts in the fridge to stop them all from melting!

15 Georgie { 05.11.12 at 1:45 pm }

bdd – I caught a fractured 15 mins of TB last night between MC and CA. I had the sound down and wasn’t paying attention, but did I see them waxing the guys’ lower backs and legs? Obviously I must have missed some important message, because I don’t understand WTF that had to do with renovating!

16 brain dead dave { 05.11.12 at 1:58 pm }

Get it with it Georgie -back and leg waxings are just fundamental to a number of building trade apprenticeships these days.

Me , I’d like to see a jowl waxing on Ma$terchef.

17 Georgie { 05.11.12 at 2:05 pm }

bdd, I know sports people are big on waxing, but I don’t get what the benefit is to building tradies. Does it make them work faster? Hopefully that will translate into getting some real renovation work done on TB then!

From the size of his gut, I reckon Jowlsy would need some arse-crack waxing. I don’t think he can keep relying on that undersized shirt and jacket to do the job.

18 brain dead dave { 05.11.12 at 2:14 pm }

I’ve no idea, Georgie, I was joking about waxings and trade apprenticeships. $orry.

The bull riding cowboys might need waxings, just like pro cyclists.

You can’t miss Jowl$y’s gut. It hangs like an over risen souffle no matter what shirt/belt combination he attempts to contain it with.

19 JaniceG { 05.11.12 at 2:15 pm }

I liked that Julie didn’t take any guff off the judges when they tried to rattle her. I also was glad that Alice got through. The Australian Jewish News had a story about her today – her grandfather was a cook in the Bolshevik army 100 years ago! I think that means that both the contestants who quit their jobs to take part have made it into the Top 24 at least.

Really sorry Yukio got through – I find his nervousness annoying. OTOH, I like Fillipo’s intensity and I hope he goes further.

Finally, although people on here like to mock MattP (and I know it’s hard to resist given his size and wardrobe), I was really impressed at the way he bolstered one of the contestants who had really screwed up one part of the dish (Lydia, maybe?) It confirms what previous contestants have said, that he’s the most supportive and encouraging of all the judges.

20 Georgie { 05.11.12 at 3:06 pm }

This thread is very Twilight Zone – I’ve made 6 attempts in the last half hour, to submit the same comment and for some reason it won’t stick! Anyone else having trouble?

Yep Twilight Zone – this comment stuck.

21 Culinary Boner { 05.11.12 at 3:09 pm }

I thought there must have been a poltergeist on the MCA set, Georgie, but now it must be on this site.

22 Georgie { 05.11.12 at 3:14 pm }

So strange CB – after my last comment stuck I made attempt 7 to post the first comment and again it didn’t happen. Maybe I need to take out the bit bagging Jowlsy and see how it goes.

23 Jess { 05.11.12 at 3:19 pm }

Yeah, I found this episode pretty dull, too. Just a few observations:
Andy said the f-word under his breath, but it was clearly audible. [gasp]
For the rest of the season, we’re going to be constantly hearing the judges’ surprise at how his or Beau’s particular demographic can cook, and it’s going to get annoying. Haydens 2.0, yay.
The “plot” of this episode, playing up the possibility that Beau might not get an apron, despite his advantage, was really drawn out and quickly became boring.
Julia is very tall.
Contestants narrating with voice overs…urgh. It sounds like they’re reading off a script. Which, granted, they probably are…but still.

Ah, I don’t have much good things to say about that episode. I’d love to see Yukio and Buscemi in a team challenge together, though.

24 Maryann { 05.11.12 at 3:22 pm }

‘Yukio and Buscemi in a team challenge together’ Jess do you like blood sport? I think Buscemi might burst a blood vessel!

25 Georgie { 05.11.12 at 3:26 pm }

Attempt 8 and 9 didn’t work – so here’s attempt 10. Boy oh boy, I don’t give up easily do I?

bdd – sorry, so was I. Maybe that guest chef last night should wax his head.

On cowboys, they’ve got enough angry bull to worry about to bother considering body hair.

We could start a ‘Braces for Jowlsy’ campaign in an effort to get him to lift his game and his trousers.

26 Georgie { 05.11.12 at 3:39 pm }

I’ve tried 8, 9 and 10 times now and still it won’t post, even though all these ones complaining about it in between are working. Boy oh boy I don’t give up easily do I?

bdd – sorry, I tried to answer your #18 but it just doesn’t want to be published for some reason?

27 brain dead dave { 05.11.12 at 4:21 pm }

Awesome passion and commitment to getting your posts through, Georgie.

Maybe some of us are a bit harsh on Jowl$y but it won’t be long before he ‘ll bring out his old chestnuts. ie

“How would you feel if you went home tonight?”

“What would happen if your your culinary dream ended tonight?

“Do you have what it takes to be Australia’s next Ma$terchef?”

28 Georgie { 05.11.12 at 4:29 pm }

I’m a bit worried about you bdd. You’ve got a quota to keep up here – remember you’re responsible for one third of 80% of the comments on this blog and you’ve been slacking off. I’m very disappointed in you. CB isn’t much better. I’ve tried to keep my end up but I work a couple of days each week and the work environment doesn’t lend itself to foreign orders so I can only comment when I’m home, early and late in the day. What’s one third of 80% anyway – maths has never been my strong point.

29 Andrea { 05.11.12 at 6:36 pm }

I didnt think it was fair either that some contestants were culled at the end before being given another chance to cook, they had earned their way into the final 50 so they should have been given a go like everyone else. I hate the way camera time is given to the favourite ones who mostly do get in, but some contestants barely get a look in so its obvious they wont make it.I also hate the Friday night shows BDD , just like the Renovators its dead boring and a waste of time!

30 wannabecook { 05.11.12 at 6:49 pm }

Lydia reminds me a bit of Nia Varlados of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Fillipo, a downsized and slightly older version of Mr. Big (Chris North) of Sex and the city!

31 littlepetal { 05.11.12 at 10:07 pm }

Can’t believe so many said they never made pastry before!!! They should throw a challenge to make puff pastry!!!

32 alicia { 05.12.12 at 1:23 am }

Ohh I can’t believe Yukio didn’t cry like he did the first time.

33 sue N { 05.12.12 at 7:57 am }

I find the editing very obvious and annoying, but I am watching this year with a tad more interest than last year (maybe becoz there is no annoying Danni yet ;-)….

I did notice the empty, then plated benches too- and I was only sort of half watching that bit whilst I was on the ‘puter! so yeah, the producers need to smarten up their collective acts.

Shannon Bennett’s hair seriously needed a wash and a hair tie….yikes!

I too hope Fillipo gets through- there is just something about him (& yes, he may well be a bit “aspey”… :))

Jowlsy is annoying me- I think he may well do so regardless- since his “infamous” plate smashing act, as I have lost so much respect for him and his opinions after that debacle….

I did think that at this stage- they should have at least tasted all the dishes! They may well have checked, watched, advised and maybe tasted during the cooking/construction process- but we didn’t really see most of that or hear comments- so it is annoying to feel like some contestants didn’t even get a chance to demonstrate their skills (or otherwise,lol ;-))

34 Dr T { 05.12.12 at 11:55 pm }

Yukio is nothing… Not masculine, not feminine, not gay, not straight… just bloody annoying. Do not want to see him get through…

I miss Alvin from a year or two ago – the dude who did the drunken chicken that blew everyone away

35 Georgie { 05.13.12 at 12:11 am }

Agree with you on Yuckyo Dr T. His ingratiating speech on why he should be given another chance to prove himself was unconvincing too but George and Gary fell for it, so they obviously had some plan for him.