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Masterchef Australia – The Pressure Test – Another Person With Personality Is Punted?

Last week I accosted Jonathan Daddia, from Series Two,  in a local cafe to get an update on what he has been doing since his time on Masterchef finished.

Jonathan who was known as “smugathon” said he is trying to get a food product manufactured but there are a few hurdles to do this in Australia. However he said he wants to keep it local. Also the reason why he was not on the Masterchef AustraliaWhere Are They Now, was that he declined.

Either he has a life or has been slightly scarred by the Masterchef experience as he said he did not watch Season Three, nor has he watched any of Season Four. When I asked if he would be willing to go on a Masterchef All-Stars series (OK we can fantasise about that) he said he didn’t think so.  This is a pity as he was one of the more memorable cooks of all the seasons, both in quality and also personality. It was always good to see him give a bit of lip back to the judges.

At the moment on the show the only contestant prepared to chat back to the judges is Lydia, however she did keep her mouth shut when Gary Mehigan announced “This is the first pressure test of the series!”.

I think he mean the first pressure test in the top 24 where someone is eliminated. As Shannon Bennett from Vue De Monde set a pressure test for the top 50.

Tonight it was Lydia, Wade and TK battling it out to make the best eight textured chocolate cake by Peter Gilmore. This is one of his iconic dishes from his three hat restaurant Quay. As George said it has “eight alaments” in it. So lots of places where to trip up.

Peter Gilmore was quite hands on, and did show them how to plate it up, and also gave lots of advice to the contestants in the 3 1/2 hours they were cooking it. Advice that most appear to ignore.

“I’m not following the recipe but I think I have got it under control” said TK. She reckons she read the recipe and she thought the order she was doing it in  was better for her.

“Why are you making layer six now?” said Peter. “I am concerned but I don’t want to stress out right now.” said TK. Though she did start flipping out when she was tempering the chocolate.

Wade reassured Peter that he did have enough chocolate in his mousse, and Lydia after splitting her chocolate and caramel cream realised she did not have the time to go back and re-do it.

At the judging table were George, Gary, Matt Preston as well as Peter Gilmore. But the Quay chef’s role appeared to be plating it up for the judges, and giving his feedback about it. However he is not allowed any say in who should stay and who should go. This is different from Top Chef in the US. Where the guest judge normally announces the winner and has a say in who will being going.

Wade who had been fairly calm the whole time, had an issue with his mousse being too wet and the dacquoise disappearing. Peter said this was a sign there was not enough chocolate in it.

TK did not temper her chocolate properly so did not get the crack when they cut it up. However Peter said she nailed the mousse.

Lydia was last to plate up.  Her ganache had difficulty breaking through the chocolate was this because her ganache was too thick because of the way she had made it or had it thickened up whilst waiting to serve it.

Gary had thought her mousse and cream were curdled, however Matt said only the cream was curdled. However nothing was going to stop Lydia from being eliminated not even telling Peter she had brought his cookbook and she loved him.

Lydia is also working on a cookbook and the working title is “Lydia’s Bucket List: 100 Recipes To Share With You Before I Get Eliminated”.

In the space of a week, two contestants who had a bit of spark have been eliminated. Are the judges ageist or are the expectations of the older contestants higher? Let’s hope we are not stuck with a bunch of bland contestants. Yes it should be all about the food, but as a viewer we don’t get to taste the dishes and need a bit of drama, wit or a laugh to keep us tuning in.



1 Injera { 05.22.12 at 8:11 am }

Agree, RR, I thought Lydia was a good balance in the contestant mix as she wasn’t afraid to chat back. This bodes ill for Andrew, I fear, as he is another who responds to the judges’ fatuous comments with cheeky responses. From what I saw of Wade’s I don’t know how he remains in the competition as it seemed Lydia’s had far fewer errors. Ah, well… if it’s Stockholm syndrome they are after, it’s Stockholm syndrome they will get.

2 Pangus { 05.22.12 at 8:19 am }

Lydia was never going to go far. In the restaurant challenge she did claim there were no prawns in the cold room, like its not that big a room Lydia, and yet they were there clearly marked “Tiger Prawns”.

3 Lesley { 05.22.12 at 8:28 am }

Pressure tests should become “blind” judging, this is the place where the judges get rid of people that they want out of the competition totally unfair. Smarten up judges you are too transparent.

4 sue N { 05.22.12 at 8:46 am }

Lydia had curdled elements in her dessert, so I think it was entirely fair that she was the eliminated one, especially as she was told and advised to make another batch and she declined to do so….

5 Maz { 05.22.12 at 9:05 am }

Fairly obvious Lydia was gone as she was far too pushy with the judges.

Bit worried about Peter Gilmore’e health though.

6 Joseph Skyrim { 05.22.12 at 9:13 am }

Must admit I didn’t like Lydia that much so its alright that she’s gone. Don’t worry about the personality, they just edit that in/out as needed. Sad that Jono won’t be reappearing with MC though. :(

Man that cake looked yummy, I’m gonna look for that recipe right now. 😀

7 Georgie { 05.22.12 at 9:21 am }

Maz, agree about Peter Gilmore – his spare tyre looks more like a tractor tube. I think he tests far too many of his dishes. He made Jowlsy look slim in comparison and that takes some doing.

8 skye { 05.22.12 at 9:33 am }

I didn’t like Lydia (annoying as all get out), and she was one of those who was too transparent about just being in it for the exposure/being on telly bit. Happy for her to go. TK can’t be long for the competition I think, she is very easy to fluster.

9 JaniceG { 05.22.12 at 9:54 am }

Thanks for the update on Jonathan, who was my favorite in Season Two. Glad he actually has a life and is not trying to boost off his season of TV exposure.

10 Culinary Boner { 05.22.12 at 10:05 am }

I usually find these dessert challenges boring, especially those overblown, sugary Zumbo meccano constructions, but in this case Humpty Gilmore did give us a pearler of a cake.

However, it would have been fairer- and faster paced and a better spectacle – if the contestants presented their dishes en masse and poured a hot sauce on their creations at the same time.

Lydia’s sauce looked cool and congealed. No wonder it didn’t breach the chocolate curtain.

Do we have to see exactly the same format every year? I gather the producers are popping the mogadons as they cash in their pay cheques but they should realise that we, the viewing public, aren’t on sedatives. No wonder I’m bored this year.

That said, Lydia fell at the last curdle.

11 Maryann { 05.22.12 at 10:17 am }

Glad Lydia is gone as her cake had the most errors, curdled mouse and the congealed sauce. Also I found her annoying to watch. I didn’t like how she bashed the plate to try to get the right effect either.

12 Georgie { 05.22.12 at 10:18 am }

Lol CB – if you’re going to keep watching MedioCrity you’d better pop in to the Dr for a script.

13 Andrea { 05.22.12 at 10:24 am }

I was glad that Lydia left, she was a bit smart and sure of herself, plus her cake did look the worst to me. Also, there are too many women left compared to to the men so maybe they wanted to get a better balance. The dessert challenges do seem to be getting a bit boring, I’d still like everyone to cook the same dishes all the time without the judges watching and have a blind tasting, this would be much fairer, some have got through without having to do anything at all such as the lucky six who made it through the pasta challenge thanks to Kev!

14 EH { 05.22.12 at 10:27 am }

Debra & Mindy = Ellen Degeneres & Portia De Rossi

Does anyone else feel the vibe?

15 Izobel2 { 05.22.12 at 10:27 am }

All I know is if I was any of the bottom 3 I woulda been LOVING it to taste that 8 textured choc cake! I wanted to smash through my tv to eat it! Mind u I wouldn’t want to spend 50 hours trying to make it!
Yummo! :)

16 Georgie { 05.22.12 at 10:34 am }

EH – I’ve been waiting to see who else (female) might turn up with a coldsore.

17 planb { 05.22.12 at 10:34 am }

Peter Gilmore said her mousse and her cream were split. Matt said one had ‘seized’ and the other had ‘curdled’. So, same diff. Two major elements plus the clotted choc sauce.
TK , once alerted by Peter Gilmore fixed her split cream in the 20 minutes she had left, and Lydia with the same time frame (a) couldn’t taste the problem and seemed dubious and then (b) ignored Peter Gilmore’s advice to do so. I can see why she went.

18 Chunks { 05.22.12 at 11:51 am }

Does this mean the Penis Balance is restored?

19 Susan { 05.22.12 at 12:00 pm }

Agree Lesley – blind tastings would be much better …

20 littlepetal { 05.22.12 at 12:44 pm }

They still have 9 males and 13 females in the mix. We will see more females being eliminated.

Recipe is up for the 8 Textured chocolate cake. Will be making this soon, very soon.

Funny to hear Peter Gilmore said that this cake is more difficult than the Snow Egg. Who is he kidding? If it is true than this lot must be better cooks as these are the Top 23. I am not buying that. I think I can bake the 8 Textured Chocolate Cake but I can’t do the Snow Egg. I may that hours to get thee cake up.

Wade dodged another bullet. Again said he has not worked with many of the elements including beating eggwhites!!! Wonder what he can cook. Not on my favourite list.

I do like TK and Debra.

21 Rosie { 05.22.12 at 1:42 pm }

>>Lydia fell at the last curdle.

Good one, CB!

And Lydia? When Peter Gilmore – that’s the PETER GILMORE whose cake dessert you are attempting to replicate – tells you you need to redo something, you just bloody do it, for God’s sake! As soon as she said she was going to stick with her curdled, or split or whatever the fuck it was, cream, I knew she was going bye byes.
As for TK, even though she was really stupid in deciding she knew better than M. Gilmore about what order to do things in (wtf?), at least she listened when told to do whatever it was – my mind is fading – again, so for that alone I am glad that Lydia has gone.
And does anyone else have the “Lydia the tattooed lady” running through their heads today? Just me then…

22 Georgie { 05.22.12 at 1:56 pm }

Rosie – oh yes Groucho at his delicious best.

I’ve always been of the opinion that the late great Frank Zappa and now Sacha Baron Cohen both channelled Groucho.

23 brain dead dave { 05.22.12 at 1:58 pm }

Well, Lydia had polenta of chances…….but thought she knew better than Peter Gilmore and the road to Ma$terchef hell lies that way.

Georgie, Jowl$y looked like a stick insect in cravat next to PG.

It wasn’t a bad MC episode…I truly regretted switching over to the Voice half way through.

Julie Goodwin made pea and ham soup on Today this morning.Yawn.

Frank Zappa and Groucho- both great guitar players and comedians.

24 Georgie { 05.22.12 at 2:18 pm }

Lol bdd – I reckon G & G are fast catching up to Jowlsy. They’re both developing pouted lips, forced out by engorged cheeks.

25 Kristi { 05.22.12 at 4:05 pm }

I agree, I think the elimination challenges should be blind tastings.

26 Jess { 05.22.12 at 4:13 pm }

I thought the chocolate sauce part was a bit unfair. Going first, Wade’s sauce was already kind of thick. And by the time they got to Lydia, hers had already cooled down to a brown glob. At least let them heat it up or something…especially if they’re going to serve it straight from a saucepan, anyway.

But I didn’t really like Lydia, so I’m not too bothered by her elimination in any case.

27 littlepetal { 05.22.12 at 4:20 pm }

With TV, I don’t even trust them with blind tasting. They may tell us it is blind tasting but what will stop some producers telling them who cooked what.

Lydia dish may be the last one shown but may not be the last dish they tasted. There is so much editing and re filming going on, we will never know how the actual sequence were and I thought they were allowed to heat up the dish before tasting (if it was necessary)

28 JStar { 05.22.12 at 4:28 pm }

Never beaten egg whites before? Never done half the elements (you mean baking?) until tonight? No worries.

Dear Wade. You were never in danger of going home tonight. The producers realised that you just had that something extra that gave you that edge over TK and Lippy Lydia. Was it a personality? No, it doesn’t generally have a personality of its own. But it starts with the same letter! :)

Balance is slowly being restored and the producers are eagerly dusting off the old reality tv “boys v girls” staple for a future challenge. Why let Celebrity Apprentice and Survivor have all the fun this year? Oh yes, apologies. It is still ALL about the cooking.

29 Culinary Boner { 05.22.12 at 4:36 pm }
30 JStar { 05.22.12 at 4:54 pm }

Thanks CB. Sesame Street is indeed brought to you tonight by the letter P.

31 Gidgit { 05.22.12 at 5:34 pm }

I did not get ‘big personality’ from Lydia at all. In fact all three in the bottom are all rather bland. And I think the delivery of the dessert was really unfair. By the time Lydia’s came out the chocolate sauce had cooled and gone all clumpy. Really a waste of time serving it from that little hot pot as it did nothing to keep the chocolate hot and runny.
I also actually think that challenge was way too difficult for so early in the season. Gilmore even said this dessert was more difficult than the dessert he presented to the FINAL TWO from last season. Crazy!

Seeing we have not really seen any of the contestants true cooking prowess – or lack there of – perhaps giving them challenges where possibly the viewing audience can think ‘yep, I’d give that a go’ thus relating the viewers with what is being cooked on the show might be a better way to go.

So now tonight again they are bringing in three pro chefs, and Mindy gets to pick two other contestants (Julia and Armina) and expect them to help out of the ‘goodness of their hearts’? for Mindy to possibly win immunity. I hate this procedure so much. I’m not a nasty person (ok I am) but I would not want to ‘help’ a competitor win immunity. I would certainly not make a huge effort to cook well! Call me a bitch (ok I am) but I would be in this thing to win it! Not be all ‘nice and helpful’.

32 littlepetal { 05.22.12 at 6:21 pm }

No worries here, Gidgit. I will be the same. I will just do what I am suppose to do if I have to assist the person in the immunity challenge. You will notice they will pick their buddies because there is less chance of them sabotaging. They will not be picking someone because they are good at something.

33 Tim { 05.23.12 at 9:34 am }

Curdling means the sairy has split from fats to water. Notice there was no water in Lydia’s mousse? It looked quite like Peter Gilnore’s and even Mat said is was fine. Since Wade’s 1) looked like a dog’s breakfast, 2) mousee is NOT a mousse if it collapsed, regardless of what it tasted like…3) he lost the dacquoise layer 4) you couldnt taste the cream- it had all blended into one. Interesting that he stayed on?? TK’s looked the better of the three, but Lydia deserved to stay over Wade. And of course, it’s easy to say what happened or what didn’t happen. So much gets cut out and edited in a way that the viewer makes assumptions. We never really know what happened on the day folks, and how do we know what these things actually taste like? After all,…it IS TV!! I doubt they’d leave the winner to chance, if he or she is as ugly as sin and isn’t going to be marketable and make MC a heap of $$. I mean REALLY people, we should be smarter! One more thing. That was a 3 hat dessert…and Wade created a dog’s breakfast. If the pressure test is to make cheescake, and someone makes scrambled eggs, but it still tastes great, isn’t that a FAIL? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.