for those who have reality tv as their guilty pleasure
Reality Ravings | Australia's leading Reality TV blog!

Masterchef Australia – Julia Managed To Trip Herself Up On The Invention Test

Julia the very serious legal secretary and cupcake maker of Queensland gave the invention test a bit of tension last night when she picked cactus as the ingredient to cook with.

She may have picked it as it was the only ingredient she could possibly make a dessert out of or she as she said she strategically wanted to make it an even playing field by making it difficult for everyone. Either way it was an entertaining and interesting choice. The other two ingredients she could have selected were prawns and corn.

Cooking Modern Mexican cuisine is hard enough let alone throwing cactus and prickly pear into the mix. Whatever recipe book or internet site the contestants went to it appeared scallops must have been a suggested dish, as there was a lot of that seafood in the dishes.

Julia won the Mystery Box by cooking the best biscuit of the challenge. In her case it was Melting Moments. The contestants had to cook the ultimate biscuit, however as usual only three were going to get tasted.

One was Julia’s Melting Moment. Which raises the issue of whether she has an unfair advantage. She does sell cupcakes and other sweet treats at markets which does stretch the definition of amateur cook. However, the presentation was fantastic.

Amina’s middle eastern biscuits were tasted and the turkish delight covered delicacies looked delicious. George declared them the best he had tasted.

However not sure why Ben’s very ordinary Anzac Biscuit was chosen. Sure they looked nice, but they did not really push the boundaries of biscuit making. Sam who was out of his comfort zone cooked a nice looking monte carlo, and Debra’s biscuits looked great as well.

One of the improvement this year on Masterchef on the mystery box and invention test is the way it was edited it was not as obvious who was going to land in the top three. Something which occurred last year when sometimes only a few dishes were showcased.

However, no surprise Dalvinda was there with her Scallop salad, which was based on Indian cooking techniques with mexican flavours. As she had been told she had hit the brief.

Alice bounced with excitement at making top three with Β her Chilli Churros with Chocolate Avocado sauce, and Prickly Pear and Tequila Syrup. She barely showcased the ingredient as the Tequila taste was pretty strong, however that she did not mangle the churros got her through.

George was trying to say that Churros was another death dish on on the show like risotto. However this scurrilous rumour comes from Jay having a disaster with them in last year’s Spanish challenge. Going on that theory they could say the lamb cutlet has the same hex.

Mindy also made top three with Jalapeno Poppers with Avocado in shot glasses. This was the winning dish. Interesting considering George looked like he barely tasted the chilli.

This means Mindy will be cooking for an immunity pin for the second week in a row. So it must have been the best dish of the day. It will be interesting to see if she picks Amina and Julie to cook with her again. Amina did win the entree.

Mindy might pick Julie as she turned to her on the episode and told her “how great it had been to cook next to her”. Is Mindy being strategic by always being seen to be supportive of her fellow contestants? She is always first in to give a person a hug, a nice comment or a pat on the back. I suppose we will find out in the coming weeks.

At least Mindy has some vibrancy about her, Julia needs to look a tad less serious at times, and not sure that is making her all that likeable to the viewers at home. By the way starting to really like Alice she gives the show an energy when she is on screen, however she is a polarising personality but lucky for her she will be one of the memorable contestants from this series.

Andrew’s take on modern mexican cuisine was probably one of the worst dishes seen on the show all series. It was a greasy looking chicken mole tortilla stack. No surprise he was in the bottom three, nor Kath with her Chicken Soup which had a grease slick across it. It was unclear why she did not try and get it off.

The last person to be told they were in the bottom three was Julie whose Prickly Pear and Yoghurt Pannacotta had not set and was grainy. George questioned her on whether she had boiled the yoghurt. She denies that she did, however maybe sponsors Ski Activ is not the sort to use fo this dish.

All the other contestants who had sweated it out over the cactus challenge probably thought it was karma that Julie was now going to be cooking to stay in the game.


1 Daze { 05.28.12 at 8:01 am }

Pride comes before a fall, maybe Andrew never heard of that with last night’s dish, and hell, it was hard. Still, he is a bit cocky! Mindy was very inventive! and good luck to her for winning. Alice even scored well and broke a curse in the MC kitchen.

2 Lesley { 05.28.12 at 8:12 am }

Congratulations to Mindy. It is obvious that the judges have their favourites, disappointing that we did not see all the biscuit challenges.

3 Maryann { 05.28.12 at 8:17 am }

I thought Dalvinder deserved the win. Mindy has yet to really move out of her comfort zone. Julie is rather arrogant I would like to see her go but I supeect it will be either Andrew or Kath that slip up tonight.

4 Amy { 05.28.12 at 8:43 am }

Whenever the mystery box winner picks a core ingredient to try and stuff up the others, they always end up in the bottom 3. Always!

I enjoyed the challenges though, and I think we saw everyone’s dish in the invention test? Big improvement!

5 Andrea { 05.28.12 at 8:43 am }

I hope its not Andrew who goes, there’s not many men left as it is. Kath always seems to do greasy, mushy looking stews and soupy things so I hope its her. Yes Lesley, I would have liked to have seen all the biscuits as well. The judges definitely seem to have their favourites such as Mindy, Julie and Debra, we barely know some of the others such as Mario.

6 Chris W { 05.28.12 at 8:53 am }

I think the mystery box challenge is of little use, as the reward for winning is of such little value, there is no penalty for cooking rubbish, and the judges only taste three dishes anyway. I would rather see more of the invention test and get annoyed that we get to see so few dishes. It substantially gives away the end result, and I want to see want to see what the contestants I am rooting for did.

Not sure why the negative comments about Julie – I don’t see her as arrogant at all. I’m also glad to see some positive comments about Alice – if a few more people had her sense of unbridled joy, the world would be a lot happier place.

7 Dunbi { 05.28.12 at 8:54 am }

I do wish we could see some shots of the judges walking around and tasting all the biscuits. If indeed this is what they do. Maybe then we would have more understanding of their final three choices. Those Monte Carlos looked yummy.

8 Kugelhopf { 05.28.12 at 9:05 am }

Julia is certainly arrogant and cold. Compare her to Alice’s warmth and spontaneity. Maybe Mindy is the judges favorite because she produces stunning food.

9 Reality Raver { 05.28.12 at 9:27 am }

Kugelhopf – I think Mindy is extremely focussed and hell why not you are giving up your life for 8 months for the show and it is competitive. I think it was a hard test to judge, and should more weight have been given to contestants that show cased the ingredient more?

Dunbi – Agree the Monte Carlo looked amazing. Maybe when the judges went around tasting they thought it wasn’t the top three biscuit.

Chris W – I think an hour long invention test could be too long. I quite like the mystery box it lets them cook what they want without the risk of being flicked. I think Julie runs the risk of becoming this year’s Alana. No one really knew her. Though she is getting more air time then Alana did at this stage of the competition.

Andrea – Mario is managing to fly under the radar not cooking anything too good or too bad. Considering he is an amateur actor you would think he would ham it up more for the camera. What I hope doesn’t occur is that he manages to stay in for too long and better ones get eliminated. I think Andrew is at risk tonight which is unfortunate as he would have been the perfect series villain.

Amy – I think we saw most of them. Not sure we saw Mario’s, Jules, Emma and Audras but still better then last year when we saw about seven of the dishes so was easy to pick top and bottom three. At one stage I thought Sam might score a top three spot.

Maryann – well the plus side of Mindy winning it means the judging wasn’t rigged. They could have thought well Mindy’s was good but she did cook for immunity last week.

Daze – It was like Andrew was a bunny in headlights with the cuisine and tried to mix in too many mexican ingredients. It was like he thought ok I will make the classic chicken mole (btw has anyone EVER eaten a good one of those) and give it a modern twist by making a tortilla stack.

Lesley – there were some great looking biscuits there.

10 Joseph Skyrim { 05.28.12 at 9:32 am }

What I liked best is they actually showed some of the other, non-episode centric, people’s food for the second round! Maybe the editors are actually reading and listening to this blog? πŸ˜›

Mindy may not get the chance to pick Julia as her helper again if she gets out tonight. Also don’t think you need to worry about the background people like Mario for the time being, it just means he’s safe. Not so safe are Andrew and Julia who have had a bit of backstory and pieces to camera already. Kath hasn’t had much screentime so if my theory is right she should be ok tonight – unless they do a Kath-centric ep? πŸ˜›

11 EH { 05.28.12 at 9:33 am }

Both raw thinly sliced scallop & yoghurt panna cotta were taught on the Masterclass last Friday. I guess that’s the reason why so many of the contestants are using them.

Again, I heard Julia said she has never cooked a panna cotta before the invention test! Shouldn’t panna cotta be on her top list to try before entering masterchef if she prides herself as the ‘dessert queen’?

This season we start to see a lot more competitive & intense contestants: Filippo, Julia, Debra, so far. They may never win but they make good TV.

12 Jason { 05.28.12 at 10:08 am }

I was waiting for one of the judges to say to Ben that by putting cranberries and white chocolate into the Anzacs, he was disrespecting our fallen heroes so he had to be instaneously eliminated!!

13 kingfisher { 05.28.12 at 10:12 am }

where has all the suspense and wondering who will be top 3 or who will win this challenge gone !!! we all knew as soon as they started cooking who was going through ,it’s like DUH didn’t see that one coming , it is so predictable now i am losing interest fast!! the one that sweats like a shower his biscuits looked yummy yet a flamin anzac bikkie gets up but we all knew in the household he was going through .again DUH .

14 Arr { 05.28.12 at 10:22 am }

Anyone who admits that they’ve never cooked something before should be instantly eliminated. Well. If they’re cooking it on Masterchef anyway.

15 Fides { 05.28.12 at 11:13 am }

Count me in as another viewer who’s not liking Julia onscreen. I thought her comments were very revealing when she talked about how she thought she’d been inventive and she didn’t think anyone else had tried as hard to be creative, like with her gravelly fruit salad. And then being so adamant that during the tasting about not boiling yoghurt. But she’ll never win, because apart from being a one-trick pony, past winners have always shown humility.

Yay for the top 3 though – really hope Mindy nabs a pin. And I’m girl-crushing even more on Alice for her crazy enthusiasm and for wearing an outfit straight from my teenage 80s wardrobe last night.

16 brain dead dave { 05.28.12 at 11:14 am }

How appropriate. The future of Ma$terchef is cactus.

Not getting the Alice love. I’m just seeing a nauseatingly over the top douchebag in Elton John glasses. Sorry Fides, I’ve just seen your post.

It’s a $hit samwidge with Julia. Good eye candy but not nice.

17 auds { 05.28.12 at 11:25 am }

My gut feeling is Kath should go but I think it will end up being Andrew.

I agree they should show all the dishes – if they stopped wasting valuable air time showing the contestants walking up to the bench with their food (as well as all the recap crap) they might be able to show a few more dishes!

18 Culinary Boner { 05.28.12 at 11:49 am }

In all fairness Julie should go because I would have thought her previous experience making cakes and catering in a professional capacity should have disqualified her from being an “amata” cook anyway.

19 kingfisher { 05.28.12 at 12:13 pm }

did anyone see it’s a sort of fruit cake under the helmet looking dishy thing they use when they reveal a dish . now who likes cooking sweets that daryll hannah lookalike julia she’s a shoo in .well i think old pete is on the way out ,the way gary (patrick) bagged his dish . “don’t ever bring another dish like that up here ” well his papers have been signed for the firing squad .plus there really isn’t anyone i like this year we all have someone we like but i’m struggling .help !!!

20 Sioux Denim { 05.28.12 at 12:27 pm }

Julie does come across as very competitive, I think she was really pissed off that her plan didnt come together – I really have to ask – was her dish even modern Mexican?

21 brain dead dave { 05.28.12 at 12:33 pm }

Modern Mucksican. As soon as she said she hadn’t cooked panna cotta before…gawne. There should be a friggin’ big fireball with a skull in it when the amatas say that.

22 Reality Raver { 05.28.12 at 12:38 pm }

Do you think Julia went cactus to try and stymie Ben with his so called mexican flair. Having said that after the ep I did feel like a margarita and a burrito.

23 JStar { 05.28.12 at 12:47 pm }

Agree RR that Julia scared everyone with a truly inventive choice of cactus. She did say it was an “invention test.” Loved also the fact that some more dishes were shown during the tasting portion of the invention test – unlike last year. But agree, sweaty Sam’s biscuit was so much better looking than Ben’s.

I thought Dalvinder would win the challenge as she seemed to nail the “inventive” side of the brief. But in the end, George seemed to change the criteria by announcing the winner of the MODERN Mexican challenge. Sorry George, Mindy ain’t interested in your hugs this year!

I actually think Julia brings good value in that she (and the departed Lydia) actually served it back to the judges. Yes, they need to be respected but we’ve seen how badly Gary and George fare with Asian cuisines. The contestants may be “amata” cooks but they have been cooking, in some cases, as long as George. I don’t have a problem with the judges being challenged by the amatas.

But I reserve by biggest love to my TDK. Trippy Tregan, Dippy Alice, and Kooky Kath. We need more zany people on Australian TV outside children’s television hours.

Elimination will be interesting. Julia survived that nai-biting taste test by naming three correct ingredients. Andrew survived the second-round of cook-off on Thursday. And Kath was one of the stand-out dish when she cooked for the final places in the Top 24. So they can all do pressure. Looks like a dessert challenge so don’t expect Julia to go home. So Kath, please remember, verjuice, verjuice, verjuice. You can’t go wrong with a Maggie Beer recipe then. However, if we are ever going to get the long campaigned for (at least from my end) boys vs girls challenge, the Penis Balance Conspiracy must start now or forever hold its…um…tongue.

24 kess { 05.28.12 at 1:13 pm }

Good heavens people didn’t you know Eurovision was on at the same time? Far more entertaining.
But I did catch a dance on DWTS in adds, and I think you should blog the last bit of this show RR – I saw Fevola used as a human hills hoist it was very amusing.

25 Daze { 05.28.12 at 2:36 pm }

8 months of filming RR? Heck (well, they were in Italy this month I think) and going on that, and with 22 contestants still in as of last night’s challenge, didn’t one of the judges say ‘thank you for the Anzac biscuit especially today’ meaning it was Aust Day??

I think the people who don’t get a lot of air time are the ones that do get eliminated prior to top 12.

26 Culinary Boner { 05.28.12 at 2:48 pm }

“Sorry George, Mindy ain’t interested in your hugs this year!”
While that may indeed be the case JStar, Mindy should just remember former Richo’s motto – “whatever it takes”. If I possessed lips as cold-sore ridden as her’s look I’d be meeting every one of George’s gropes with a big sloppy kiss… on the lips. It’d be “Herpes Goes Bananas” on the MCA set.

27 Jess { 05.28.12 at 3:26 pm }

Ah, Adam had his “Chinese churros” in the cookbook challenge, which the “Western palates” didn’t like. Though, I suppose that was more the salted duck egg custard than the churros themselves.

Mindy pronouncing jalapeno with a hard ‘j’ sort of bothered me.
And I no longer have any confidence in Andrew’s alleged heterosexuality. I mean, I could let it pass that he’s a male hairdresser. But with this quote?
“I’m just trying to decide how I wish to present myself to the world, today. I’m thinking I’m going to wear my lucky, red dragon T-shirt, and my new favourite jeans.”

28 brain dead dave { 05.28.12 at 3:26 pm }

# 26 Re the herpes outbreak Boner alludes to:

George : “Tonight’s challenge …it’s the Mystery Pox”

29 Daze { 05.28.12 at 4:23 pm }

Jess, lol (it was a real girly comment wasn’t it) .

30 Culinary Boner { 05.28.12 at 4:44 pm }

Well spotted Jess.
A real man would have lucky undies with lucky skid marks.
Or a lucky hat, with lucky greasy hair – like my hero from Season One, Chris Badenoch.
A lucky red dragon T-shirt, FFS??*
Bring back Big Kev!!!
This show should have chosen gone gay over camp, fer christsakes. Are you free Mr Preston?? And you Mr Silvestro? Are you free??

* the jeans comment can be forgiven, as there is always only one pair in everyone’s closet that turns us average old blokes into stud-muffin material

31 Gidgit { 05.28.12 at 5:37 pm }

I cannot begin to express how much I hate that the judges do not try all the food eg the biscuit challenge. It’s beyond unfair, silly and makes no sense what so ever. How can you tell the best tasting biscuits from LOOKING AT THEM? If I was in this comp I would hardly even make an effort in that part. Bugger it. Not like winning and picking the main ingredient for the invention test paid off – eh Julie!

And cold Mexican food that is meant to be hot – blurgh! Hot food is meant to be served hot and it actually changes the flavour quite a lot when it’s gone cold. Ever had a cold lamb baked dinner? Cold soup that is meant to be hot? A cold steak? Yeah, no, because they taste different and not as good!

Well THAT is what the judges are tasting and it does not give an accurate flavour of the food cooked.

32 Cookie { 05.28.12 at 5:42 pm }

I’m loving Alice. So great to see such enthusiasm and to have someone a bit eccentric on TV. Julia on the other hand….fer Christs sake, let go girl! Too serious and boring for my liking. I get turned off by contestants who talk themselves up. Wade is another one who indulges in this kind of behaviour. Just let your food do the talking people

33 mkm { 05.28.12 at 6:32 pm }

Agree that Julia is presenting as very unlikable, I could not believe the way she talked back to the judges like she knew more than them. I don’t understand why she has the dessert queen tag – she can actually only do cakes & biscuits!

34 Dr T { 05.28.12 at 7:20 pm }

Just watching Monday night…
… is there anything that you can’t put verjuice into?

Geez, she’s got a whole bloody cookbook devoted to the stuff:

35 Reality Raver { 05.28.12 at 7:28 pm }

dr T it is interesting how she gets away with this blatant product placement everytime she is on the show!

36 Dr T { 05.28.12 at 7:46 pm }

RR – when you think about it everyone is on there to sell something in one way or other. Manu and Pete did such a good job of selling themselves that they got their own show!

37 forced to watch dave { 05.28.12 at 7:48 pm }

Sorry Jstar but you 3 loves are the most irritating contestants on the show so much so that I frequently find myself yelling obscenities at the TV. Alice needs valium, Kath needs to keep still and Tregan needs to turn it down a bit

38 Dr T { 05.28.12 at 8:18 pm }

Hey forced to watch Dave…
Are you forced to watch in an annoying unwilling partner type way (like the way I feel when my wife watches Downton Abbey)…

or more in an Alex and the Ludivico technique type way? (A clockwork orange…)

39 forced to watch dave { 05.28.12 at 8:35 pm }

The former Dr T but I do sometimes find it equally as torturous as stanley k’s classic

40 ange { 05.28.12 at 9:21 pm }

Sorry to see Kath go – would have liked to have seen more of her & her cooking – liked her personality too. Glad the hairdresser is still on the show. Not too sure about the blonde – a bit too cocky perhaps?

41 Dr T { 05.28.12 at 10:10 pm }

Hi Ange,

There are West Australians watching, and they have frightfully more money then us in the east (I am now in the east sadly). Anyway, despite the fact that they fill their swimming pools with cash, there is a time difference and they can’t seem to get the eastern overlords at channel 10 to show Ma$terchef at the same time in WA. We try not to upset them by telling them who got knocked out.

But it would be ok to say that Julia and Andrew are safe.

Best wishes
Dr T

42 Georgie { 05.28.12 at 10:21 pm }

Verjuice in everything – that explains why Maggie always looks like she’s just eaten something ‘tart’.

43 littlepetal { 05.28.12 at 10:44 pm }

Hi Georgie,

Where have you been? Miss your postings lately.

44 Georgie { 05.28.12 at 10:56 pm }

Hi littlepetal, I’ve been up on the north coast for a work conference and then on to Qld visiting family – just got back tonight. I’ve missed my RTV and my blog, so thank you, it’s nice to be missed too.

45 Stacey { 05.29.12 at 12:01 am }

Lol Dr T, you are my hero for referencing Clockwork while also referencing Masterchef!
Im with the rest of you guys, Julia is excruciating to watch. Shes so self righteous its unbearable. Good on her for picking the cactus, although im sure any other contestant wouldve picked it also.

46 Fides { 05.29.12 at 1:04 pm }

I was curious to see if Julia’s secret recipe for melting moments would make it to the website – looks like it’s not so secret anymore. And since it’s the producers who take notes and write the recipe, rather than her submitting it herself (or at least that’s how they used to do it) there shouldn’t be any missing ingredients. Much as I dislike her, I will give those bikkies a go.

47 s { 06.26.12 at 1:58 am }

I agree with Culinary Boner. She is a professional whereas this is a contest for amateur cooks.

48 jeff { 07.22.12 at 12:25 am }

What I hate about this season most is the blatant favouritism from the judges.Mindy could serve up a bowel movement with some sugar on it and the judges would rave about it.She’s got as far as she has by riding on the shirt tales of others and being george’s kitchen pet.Mindy’s not a good cook by any means and is unbelievably arrogant.Too full of her own self-importance.Of the 6 left – anyone to win except mindy and kylie who I used to like until she became a suck job to the judges,and what’s with the giggling school girl act all the time?Cringe!Send these 2 sheilah’s packing.

49 Sonny Jim { 09.11.12 at 4:20 pm }

Yep Jeff, I agree with your comments re Kylie. I like her too but she does suck to the judges, she is a talented cook but me thinks she thinks she’s gonna win the competition.