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Posts from — June 2012

Everybody Dance Now – Oversea Talent Shipped In

It appears local producers are looking for overseas talent to star in their shows with Everybody Dance Now show they will be continuing this trend with the announcement of Jason Derulo and Kelly Rowland joining the show. It is otherwise known “The Voice” factor.

Sarah Murdoch will host the show, with Jason Gilkison to be the creative director, and Kelly Rowland and Jason Derulo as the “dance masters”.

It was rumoured for quite some time that Sarah would host the Network Ten dance show. She has an interest in dance, as she is a patron of the Australian Ballet, and also has had her hosting baptism of fire on Australia’s Next Top Model. In fact it was a loss to that show when she decided she would not continue in that role.

Jason Gilkison found a new fan base when he was a choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance Australia, and also he was poached by the US series who also loved his work. He also is behind the hit dance show “Burn The Floor”. In fact it is quite a coup that they got him as he is really talented.

USA imports Kelly Rowland and Jason Derulo are interesting picks as “dance masters” whatever that means. As they are more well known for their singing careers rather than their dancing. Yes they both have the moves and have had dance training but both are know for their singing careers.

By signing up Derulo and Rowland they would be aiming for the younger viewer and one that is familiar with their R&B sounds.

Kelly Rowland who was in Destiny’s Child has done reality TV before she has been a guest judge on Project Runway Australia Season One and also a regular judge on The Fashion Show.

The format of the show is each episode during the heats there will be six acts competing to win $10,000. The winning act will then secure their place in the finals to compete for a prize of $250,000.

It is very different from So You Think You Can Dance format where 20 dancers competed over months to win the prize. However this show the advantage is the viewer will see more dance acts in a variety of styles and ages of contestants, however with new acts each week it makes it harder for fans to get emotionally connect with the contestants if they are not on our screens each week.

Everybody Dance Now will be shown on Network Ten later this year.

June 30, 2012   4 Comments

Masterchef Australia – Ironic Who Was In The Bottom Three

Sorry guys, yes I am still sick, and clearly must have a temperature as last night I had a saucy dream about Masterchef judge, Gary Mehigan, I will not confirm whether he was in fact naked,  however the dream went on forever…. and no that was not positive thing. I am trying to find some sort of irony in it but unfortunately cannot.

However it was ironic last night that the three girls who had been behind the debacle that was the immunity pin challenge on Tuesday were the final three battling it out for survival. No surprise as they were highlighted in the opening montage when Julia, Jules and Tregan were shot in their bedroom saying no one had been eliminated from the room.

Also the hint in these Thursday episodes is also in the contestants they don’t showcase. Before they even kicked off the challenge I presumed Debra, Alice and Andy were safe.

Last night the elimination challenge was again an entertaining one. It was split into three sections. The first was to select eight ingredients from the bench and had to use all of them in a dish with only 30 minutes to produce it in.

The kicker there was there only a finite number of ingredients on the bench and once someone had them another person could not use them in that challenge or any of the following ones.

And Julia was not happy that Debra had managed to grab the butter and stopped her from making the dish she had wanted to. In the end she used cream in her biscuit part of her strawberry shortcake something that did not work.

Mindy made thai style mussel dish with tamarind and coconut the judges loved it, as they did like Andy’s Scallops with Corn Puree and a Raisin Vinaigrettes. Good to know someone was inspired by the immunity pin raisin challenge and the team challenge…

Andy was safe as was Amina with her Okra Stew with Prawns. Unlucky for Tregan and Jules who just missed out with their steak and duck breast dishes. How Tregan managed to cook beetroot and the steak plus cry in a 30 minute time frame was truly multi-tasking.

Alice made a huge strategical error by making a Greek Salad, it was not deemed to show any cooking technique and was told straight away she would be in the next round.

The next round with the remaining five contestants was to cook a dish with five ingredients in 30 minutes. Deb cooked pork meatballs with fennel and apple and did a good job considering she had never cooked with pork mince before.

Alice made confit of salmon as she wanted to show some technique, again she had not done this before, however it looked great considering she only had 30 minutes to do it in. She was safe.

Julia made a chocolate fig dessert with fried rice noodles for crunch. It did not look that appetising.

Tregan made chicken breast with chorizo in white beans which got the same feedback as Alice’s Greek Salad in round one. They said it was not the type of dish that would make her Masterchef, that is does not show enough technique. Jule’s pork chop was cooked well but it was queried whether the Wombok went with the other ingredients in the European style dish.

Debra and Alice were safe and sent up to the balcony.

Then it was best mates in the house Julia, Jules and Tregan duking it out. Please note Ben no one were trying to fall on their sword for each other, they were going to be cooking their hearts out.

They had to make a dish with three ingredients in 30 minutes something that was hard enough with a the full pick of the pantry not just picking at the left overs on the kitchen bench.

Julia picked bacon eggplant and zucchini and she showed she could cook with her humdinger of a Zucchini Salad with eggplant and bacon puree. As the judges said it tasted like there were more than three ingredients in it.

Tregan was in a flap as she did not know what she was picking and was getting advice from the balcony – always a bad sign.

They told her to go for the fish which was a leather jacket, she also grabbed the lemon grass to go with it. However then she changed her mind and grabbed a chump lamb chop with potato and sage.

Jules did better by grabbing Morton Bay bugs some carrots and ginger. She made the carrots three ways so even if there was possibly too much ginger in the carrot it probably got her over the line.

It was no surprise that Tregan was eliminated. She looks like she has a great family who were all there to greet her on her return from the show, however they made her cook! Tregan is currently working in a cafe/deli but still wants to work teaching underprivileged men how to cook. I hope she does end up doing those workshops as it would be extremely worthwhile.

June 29, 2012   73 Comments

Guest Post: This Week’s Masterchef Odds

While the recap is coming and I can neither confirm or deny whether it has a saucy dream about one of the judges, here is this week’s odds to discuss who has gone up and down in the cooking pack.

Thanks Paul – Over to you:

$3.20 – Audra

$5.50 – Mindy

$10 – Amina, Kylie

$13 – Andy, Alice

$17 – Debra, Julia

$21 – Jules, Ben

$26 – Wade

$51 – Andrew, Beau

And for a bit of variety:

$1.90 – Audra or Mindy

$1.90 – Anybody else

 

$1.12 – Female Winner

$5.00 – Male Winner

The top two have cleared out and they look the clear standouts at this stage in the competition. Jules has dropped out from being a contender with some weak dishes coming from her the last week. If there is a smoky, it could be Alice who so far has seemed to fly under the radar.

 

June 29, 2012   51 Comments

Masterchef Australia – Out In The ‘Burbs and Debra Still On The Outer

There was no even playing field in the team challenge tonight with three teams cooking in different houses with different ingredients found there.

However the real curve ball was thrown at the yellow team who had to cook in a shed as their house did not have a kitchen and only had a BBQ and Smoking Oven to cook with. Plus they had to do most of their cooking after dark which would not have helped either.

However first congratulations to eagle eyed readers who spotted that Ben and Audra were not in the team challenge, as prior to this there was a challenge that meant the best two dishes meant these cooks were safe.

Prior to the announcement of the challenge Gary Mehigan was saying even if you cook the best dish but if you are in the losing team you are still up for elimination. Who has had this happen to them?

Below were the contestants who thought they had had this ignominy happen to them.

What was the team challenge that Tregan thought this had happen to her?

Anyway it was back to the Masterchef house for the top 14 to cook a dish in 60 minutes, and the best two would avoid the team challenge. However they would only be tasting the five dishes they liked the look of best.

Highlights and lowlights from this challenge were:

  • Julia asking if anyone else wanted to use the oven and then moaned when they did later and the oven kept on opening and closing,
  • Lucky for her the middle of the cake was meant to sink….
  • Beau’s Pizza – was that all he could stump up in an hour?
  • Audra’s Pot stickers the judges loved as they did Ben’s Kecep Manis Lamb these two ended up winning;
  • Tregan again was all over the shop with her cooking trying to pressure cook lamb shanks in 35 minutes.  How did she ever win an invention test?
  • Wade surprisingly being selected for his Chicken and Quinoa Salad, and Mindy with her Snapper, Prawns with a Thai Broth;
  • Debra’s delicious looking ricotta dumplings being overlooked for a tasting and Julia’s sunken cake being tasted after an exchange between the blond bombshell and George. Ageism at play?
The winners were Audra and Ben, however the consolation prize was Wade, Mindy and Julia were to be team captains.
Mindy got to pick first as she had the next best dish, then Wade, then finally Julia. Funny that lemon cake must not have been THAT delicious.

Mindy picked Amina, Andy, Jules. Wade picked Kylie, Beau. Andrew, and Julia picked Alice, Tregan, Debra.

Now team selections are always interesting but more so tonight when Wade had to select out of Andrew and Deb for the last spot on his team he said “Easy, I’ll have Andrew”. Hmm clearly Debra is not popular in the house.

They were taken to a street in the suburbs and and the had a selection from three houses. One with a young family and a herb garden, one where the people bought their produce at local markets, and lastly a house with a chef.

Mindy who was the blue team selected the family, Wade who was red took the middle house leaving the yellow team captained by Julia with the house with the chef.

And what a dud they got, a house without a kitchen and the only cooking utensils were a BBQ and a smoking oven. Not helped that Julia thought a cooked dessert needed to occur and she was the one to make it.

Debra gleefully said: “Julia has chosen to do a dessert which I don’t think is a good idea as if things go wrong things it could go haywire”. And it did. It also appeared to take them half an hour out of their two hours to decide on a menu.

George came him in and gave her a grilling which he was enjoying. You get the feeling he would like to make her more submissive…. but she wasn’t having a bar of it, snapping that everything was under control and the dessert would not taste of smoke.

However prepping in a shed when it is dark outside would be very disorientating and it did look chaotic.

The blue team were the first to be judged by the main cook from each house and Matt Preston.  They cooked Kofta with Spicy Tomato Sauce, Lamb Chops with a yoghurt dressing, Baked Cheese with dates and grapes and Chocolate Mousse with Mulberry Coulis.

Lucky for the blue team they were not serving up a totally vegetarian meal as early on Amina had declared there was no meat in the fridge. Lucky jules had a second look and found lamb chops!

However she may have found them but she stuffed them up they were raw. Jules could have tested one of the chops as there were enough of them. And how good did that baked cheese look? The chocolate mousse also got the thumbs up from the judges.

The red team had the nice kitchen to cook in which was organised and well laid out, this gave them an advantage. Red team did Avocado and Cucumber Gazpacho which underwhelmed the judges. However Beau managed to redeem himself after his pathetic pizza in the earlier challenge.

He made Chicken Ballantine with corn puree and eggplant pickle. The owner of the house loved it and Matt thought it was excellent.

Dessert was made by Kylie – it was Lemon Delicious Pudding.  Matt said he liked it but did not love it like the chocolate mousse and the crunched up cornflakes as a garnish did not go down well. I blame David Chang for that travesty.

At this stage the yellow team was imploding Julia’s dessert was not going to be cooked. They had to smoke the salmon on the BBQ and they served a Pan-Fried Gozleme which was doughy in the middle. Lucky for them the main of smoked salmon was a success. However no dessert could be judged as it had not been ready in the allotted time. They did end up tasting it straight from the bowl and they said it was good.

It was no surprise that the red team won as they made the food with with the least mistakes and kept it to a straight entree, main and dessert.

On tonight’s elimination episode one of the judges exclaims how this is getting harder each week. Funny that I can see a couple of people that I would be happy to be eliminated.

Sorry about lateness of blog post – I have the flu and in fact had to scrap a really bad blog post I did yesterday on Being Lara Bingle it would have been embarrassing if I had posted it and I have posted some crap!

June 28, 2012   103 Comments

Masterchef Australia – That Was Almost Embarrassing

Well one of this blogs conspiracy theories is true, the judges do have favourites confirmed by Sam who was eliminated last night in this article in The West Australian. He claims George did not like him. Thanks EH for finding this.

Maybe he found him too alpha male.

In other news I was told yesterday regarding the Masterchef Pop-Up restaurant the Masterchef alumni will be designing the menus but will be more in the dining room meeting and mingling with guests. So that could be fun,  particularly if you want to a specific person. However I think most sessions are selling fast so get in quick.

One person’s food I would not bother eating is Tregan’s. The immunity pin challenge was an embarrassment with none of the courses looking particularly fabulous.

She was up against Daniel Wilson from Huxtables in Melbourne. However the only way he was going to lose was to plate up something that was burnt or undercooked. He didn’t.

Tregan stuffed up in the tactics. She was told she had 90 minutes to cook and Daniel 60 minutes, however if she let him select the ingredient he would only have 45 minutes.

The choice was between Rum and Raisins, and considering if she had let him pick she would have had a fifty per cent chance of him selecting the ingredient she wanted she should of taken the gamble and reduced his cooking time.

She didn’t and she picked raisins as her core ingredient.

Tregan interestingly picked Jules and Julia to cook with her. Matt Moran obviously was not confident with the team has he was “mentoring” more than usual.

Tregan was making Goats Cheese Tortellini, and she had not made tortellini before which meant she had difficulty getting the shapes so then turned it into ravioli.

She melted down in the kitchen saying “My head space is not great at the moment”. Tregan is not good under pressure surely she cannot make top ten.

Jules was making stuffed Chicken Maryland with raisin stuffing and raisin sauce. Matt Moran suggested adding anchovies to the sauce, but he also suggested she poach  it, something she had not done before.

It exploded. Tregan freaked out and said go get the lamb. Both Matt and Jules had a WTF looks on their faces, and talked her down from the ledge and kept with the chicken. Jules stuffed the chicken breast and pan roasted it. It must of been dry The raisin dressing on the side looked like cat sick.

Jules was upset about stuffing up,  but does she seriously want Tregan to win an immunity pin? By the looks on the other contestants faces they didn’t want her to either. Clearly the competition has kicked in.

Julia may have been a bit more subtle with her mistakes. The pastry on her frangipane tart was too thick and to get it cooked on time she must have had to turn up the oven and it burnt a bit on one side. However the chocolate ice cream she served with it got great wraps the tart itself was thought to be good not amazing.

Matt Moran also went and told Daniel that it was chaos on the other side, which must have boosted his confidence, but then if he had lost it would have been extremely embarrassing to him.

However he was getting help from the balcony. Kylie decided she should be giving a highly regarded chef advice on how to win the challenge.

“Make sure you have those raisins singing through that’s where they pull you up.” I am surprised he did not yell back “Sweetie when you have done an apprenticeship and worked in the best restaurants in Australia get back to me.

Team Daniel made Cauliflower Salad with Salmon with Saffron Yoghurt. The judges thought the cauliflower salad was one of the best dishes they had tasted this year on the show. Gary loved it with the salmon, Matt Preston would have preferred it with lamb.

However “one of the best dishes” did not win. It was beaten by Tregan’s ravioli. How did that occur?

Daniel’s main of Duck Breast With Raisin and Verjuice Sauce and Couscous Salad won the main as did his Fig and Ricotta dessert.

No one was surprised by the result. However when Tregan does leave the show, her food dream is both achievable and admirable. She wants to set up programs to teach underprivileged people how to cook. A skill that could have a huge positive impact on their lives.

 

June 27, 2012   73 Comments