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Masterchef Australia – Is A 50 year Old Menopausal Woman The New Villain

Well obviously Audra’s catering company is a solo operation as she was completely incompetent in her managerial skills tonight. At one stage she ran out, and why didn’t a camera person follow her?

Sure it was a big job being captain on the night of the pop up restaurant however for someone of her age, intelligence and the fact she is an account manager she didn’t seem to handle the responsibility at all and gave very little clear direction.

Conversely Kylie who was not happy about being captain did a brilliant job dividing up the job roles and keeping on top of things. However she had picked a stronger team.

Audra’s blue team was directionless and also had Debra to contend with. She is clearly not popular with her cast mates. Two weeks in a row she has been picked last in the teams and she doesn’t work well in the team challenges, and tonight was no exception. She cracked up and then at the end of episode blamed going through menopause for her behaviour.

This probably explains some of her prickliness but I suspect weariness and age, and being shut away with strangers for months on end has not helped. If a decreasing tolerance to dickheads is a sign of your hormones are disappearing well sign me up.

However some things tonight she did have reason for being pissed off about. She appeared to have responsibility for the setting up of the dining room with Amina, and also the responsibility for dessert. Whereas Jules was a floater and not responsible for anything which makes her a much lesser target.

Tonight the challenge was for the teams to make two pop up restaurants and serve a four course meal. They also had to design and fit out restaurants as well with everything in it.

Kylie was the red team captain and picked Mindy, Julia, Ben, Beau, and Alice.

Audra picked Amina, Andy, Wade, Jules, and Debra. It was interesting that Alice was picked so late as I rate her as a cook and as a person who is good in the team challenges.

Kylie’s Team was doing a Mexican inspired menu probably driven by Ben, and Audra’s team was more Asian or Spice Road theme.

It was no surprise that Ben was making the appetizer of Kingfish Ceviche Shooter, and the main which was Beef Cheeks with Adobo Sauce. Kylie was smart and made sure she was not responsible for making any of the dishes, as it meant she could help out where needed. Also as captain she put herself on the pass.

It also helped she was able to put Alice out into the restaurant and she did a great job welcoming the guests and was not required in the kitchen.

Whereas Audra must have felt she was the most presentable of her group and wanted to do the meet and greet however she had to keep coming back to the kitchen. She should have put Amina out there.

Also was the blue teams menu too labor intensive? They made Chicken and Prawn Balls served with a Lychee and Mint Mocktail. Followed by Thai Kingfish Salad, then Beef Rendang and Vegetable Curry, and to finish with Coconut Icecream with Pineapple Salsa and Peanut Shards. Both Wade and Audra had to work on the main. Amina was responsible for the balls. Andy the entree, and Jules was helping Deb with dessert.  Jules was also a floating pair of hands.

The red team looked like they had Mindy just helping with prep which again was a good strategy.

But one of the issues was the fact that no one was making a decision on the blue team. Did it really need a five minute con-fab to work out what side the chopsticks were on? Would it really impact on whether they won or lost?

The lack of decision making also impacted on how long it took the blue team to set up their dining room. What was interesting was two people set up the rooms from scratch in just over an hour, whereas it took for five people hours to set up front of house in the first team challenge of the series when the teams were cooking in different restaurants in Kings Cross.

Debra has a background in interior design so decided on the decor and how it was going to be laid out but she was not able to get it together. It must have been frustrating for all. As Wade said Debra doesn’t really take other peoples views on board either.

Deb also cracked it at Audra and said to camera she was sick of hearing her voice. However it all came to a head at dessert time when Deb said she was overwhelmed but would keep on going. In the end the blue team had to stopped plating to sort out their issues. As Andy said it was frustrating to look over and see the red team plating up like a well oiled machine.

Their food looked good as well for entree their Kingfish Slammer was like a playful take on a tequila slammer, I note they gave the judges two each to get them in a jolly mood. And it worked, the judges had a nice banter between them last night and made the episode fun.

I note they were not quite so keen on Amina’s mocktail.

Amina’s Fried Ball was served with chopsticks. Even Gary was having trouble picking it up to eat and he ended up picking up with his fingers.

For entree the red team plated up Popcorn Prawn Tacos which looked delicious and Gary said he could slam down six of them. However I thought it was interesting they could get that many avocados in Coles that were ripe to be used the next day on their tacos.

The blue team’s entree was Andy’s Thai Kingfish Salad. Matt Preston said too much dressing and was too sour. However the judges did like blue teams Beef Rendang and Vegetable Curry. But maybe they were lucky and got a warm one.

The Red Team made Slow braised Beef Cheek with Adobo Sauce for main. It was a slight disaster they lost twelve cheeks when Ben burnt them in the pressure cooker. Lucky they had picked up pressure cookers the day before….

They improvised and shredded them up and spread it out. Matt Preston thought the serve was a bit small and that dish did not really say Mexican immediately.

However their dessert Cajeta Parfait with toffee popcorn fulfilled all of Gary’s caramel and salty dreams. Well clearly he has different dreams then I do.  George said the problem was it was not big enough.

Conversely the blue team’s Coconut icecream with Pineapple Salsa looked clumsy and Gary said he had tasted better.

After the judges announced the red team as winners, Audra said she took full responsibility on how the team went, and Debra announced that she was so difficult because she was going through menopause.

Is Australia’s new villain a fifty year old menopausal woman? I expect column inches on other forums to be devoted to whether hormones can be used as an excuse for her behaviour.


1 down with ear infection { 07.06.12 at 12:23 am }

Ain’t Deb a instant mash thingy??? I’m so sad and just not a happy lil vegmite at the moment… Aminaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa :((( I thought at least the top 5 for her arrgaaaaa :( baaaaaaa

2 down with ear infection { 07.06.12 at 12:30 am }

Brain dead Dave- omg I so hope that this will happen for she really was a fav of many and she is so much better at cooking than Deb,Beau,Taco Bell, Julia, Alice and all of top 10 poo pooz

3 Mike { 07.06.12 at 1:41 am }

Interesting episode last night. I was pretty happy with the result. Jules has done some good stuff but has been prone to errors, while I think Amina, while she started strongly, plateaued early and is really being exposed as a bit limited in the past couple of weeks. She’s probably a fantastic homey cook, but that’s about it. Not sure what would have happened if she went to Italy — “I made an Egyptian-style Lasagne with North African spices” — I am fearing Italian tacos enough as it is…..

I’m starting to really warm up to Wade. Seems like a genuine guy.

I think some comments here sell the guys short. Yes, they started slowly, but look at the women and how predictable they are becoming. Mindy will always make SE Asian, Kylie and Julia will always make dessert, Audra will always make Asian food that looks like it’s come straight from a really good Hawker’s. All good cooks, but I have a feeling they could all be exposed when taken out of their comfort areas.

4 Jimbob { 07.06.12 at 2:27 am }

Did anybody notice that while Deb was bitching about something to her team, in the background you can see Jules chewing on the wafer they made and Andy turning it around like it’s a precious jewel or something? I got a good kick out of that 😀

5 Moonstruck { 07.06.12 at 8:01 am }

But if Amina were to be brought back there would be an outcry if she were to win. Remember the outcry when Poh was in the final for that reason.
I had a sense that Amina was running out of steam. Curious her parents were not at the homecoming just her sister.

6 Georgie { 07.06.12 at 8:16 am }

I thought it ironic that Audra and Debra were safe after the first round, when they had been the blue team’s biggest problem.

7 JKo { 07.06.12 at 8:22 am }

Yay for Andy being safe for another week!

8 Skuish { 07.06.12 at 8:52 am }

Talking about predictable – Deb has been one of the most predictable, and limited, too, no experience with Asian food? Hard to believe in Oz! Remember Gary saying if she was a vegetable, she would be a fennel? And bruschetta in a challenge, with her favourite ingredient, goats cheese AGAIN? Bring on the boys, go Wade!

9 Rena { 07.06.12 at 7:22 pm }

Deb is an appalling team player, an embarrassment to herself. Menopause….don’t think so. Amina eliminated for Deb’s brushetta, what a shame! Shame on the judges!

10 Morgan { 07.06.12 at 8:04 pm }

Still holding out hope Debra decides that the competition is all too stressful for her menopausal wellbeing and decides to quit before going overseas, and Amina comes back to replace her.

11 linda { 07.07.12 at 5:18 pm }

Wow can’t believe Marco actually liked what Deb made which was so basic anyone could of made that….now come on.
Audra’s ok I’m guessing many people out there are just a touch racist. Yes she is starting to be a bit annoying but as for Alice someone said she is a jewish girl but I thought she was Albanian. Notice how Marco intimadated the contestants. Is that guy/chef for real waving a knife around I bet the judges were embarrassed. Who will win Im guessing Ben or Andrew. I love the house they live in. Must be fun having to cook good food without paying for it. Good show this time round.

12 linda { 07.07.12 at 5:21 pm }

I like Matt Preston what a cutie….hee he

13 Charley Farley { 07.08.12 at 8:34 pm }

Agree with calliegirl ( post13 ), about Alice, what a phony attention whore…oops, sorry, attention seeker. Nothing worse than a 26 yr old woman coming across with all this ‘cutsie pie’ stuff. Looks nice if a 5 or 6 yr old does it.
I agree that Audra was not cut out to be a captain but Debra’s attitude was pathetic. When she came back in and said that nobody would have got the salsa ready if she hadn’t, well, so what? That’s what being part of a team is all about. Then to start cracking up and saying,”I just don’t care”. Well, maybe she didn’t care but if you just give up you’re jeopordising the whole team’s chances not just your own. Quite a selfish attitude that shone through I thought from Miss Spiritual Zen.
When the situation was reversed in an earlier team challenge and Deb was captain and didn’t know what she was doing Mindy jumped in and helped her…then got an ‘on camera’ dig and stab in the back from Debra. I’m quite sure if Deb had tried to help out Audra and take control Audra wouldn’t have acted in the same manner, she seems (Audra),like she’d welcome someone trying to help her.
Sorry to see Amina go as I thought that, along with Kylie she was the most genuine and natural of the females on the show. Didn’t act like an overexcited, hysterical 11 year old schoolgirl. Unlike some I quite like Audra as well.

14 linda { 07.08.12 at 11:48 pm }

Sunday nite show & all is cooking up a storm notice Ben was trying to say something in front of the judges about Deb………really nobody likes her ain’t that the truth. Well she brought it apon herself always rubbing people up the wrong way. Even when cooking those over sized meata balls she has to take over & made Big ben redundent.
Mindy made foodie music for the judges whilst Alice’s ink squid looked really bad but it turned out to be the best dish of the day.
I think they have the right mix of contestant minus Amina & without doubt Deb is there by pure luck I guess. Notice again nobody cuddles Deb at the end of the show. Menopose could be a reason for her stress.

15 Heidi { 07.10.12 at 12:02 pm }

In my opinion, Deb may be a good cook but she’s not suited for Masterchef–she doesn’t get along well with other people and she doesn’t work well with others either.. And if all her anger is due to menopause, she shouldn’t have entered the competition, or she shouldn’t let it affect the other contestants.

I’m sad that Amina left, she was an excellent cook, though her last few dishes on the show weren’t great. They all look really tired so maybe that’s what’s been letting her down?

I think the boys are sitting low for now so that they can shine through during the top 10.. I’ve seen some of their awesome tricks come out during elimination cook offs etc.. Although I would still be surprised if one of them won.

Just for the record, I love Andy!! He may not be the best chef in the competition, but he’s so sweet and I love his bromance with Ben 😉 During this ^^ challenge he kept his calm and I know their team could have easily fallen apart (more than they already did) if he wasn’t there..

Just my opinion :)

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17 MaggieT { 08.02.13 at 11:16 am }

That Deb..made the over 50s look neurotic and bitchy…get over it..she should not have the opprtunity to go to Italy..those judges…should have given Amina another chance, like they did in the last 3 shows where eliminated contestants were brought back for second chance. Audra…she’s not genuine in her comments or reactions…”babe this and babe that”.. Like she know it all.

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