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Posts from — May 2014

Big Brother Winner Reggie Bird Is Broke

Reggie in happier days.

Reggie in happier days.

Reggie Bird appears to have burned through her $250,000 winning check and is considering moving into a caravan park with her two children.

The Daily Mail reports that Reggie on Facebook asked how much living in a caravan would be. Reggie who won $250,000 over ten years ago has not had much luck since and probably not helped that she has gone through two divorces since then.

When she left the house, shortly afterwards she split with her husband who she ran the fish and chip shop with and she has had two children to another guy.

Unfortunately for her she has one child with Cystic Fibrosis and she also has limited vision.

As she tells the Daily Mail both these are very limiting to employment:


‘Being a single mum is tough trying to bring up 2 kids!’ Reggie wrote in her post.

‘Even tougher when you are vision impaired and have a child with cystic fibrosis!

‘Things are only going to get tougher once the governments new policies come in and also now having to pay for scripts for Lucas’ medication.’

Explaining that she is keen to find employment, Reggie said she is having trouble finding a job that accommodates her own disability.

Reggie suffers from retinal pigmentation, which means she has lost much of her vision and she told Woman’s Day magazine in 2011 she ‘can hardly see her kids’.

‘I want to work,’ she wrote this week. ‘But who is going to employ someone who is vision impaired, can’t drive, has a child with cystic fibrosis and needs to be cared for.

‘Yesterday the daycare rang me to go pick Lucas up because he is sick.

‘What boss is going to let me get up and leave work to attend to my child at the drop of a hat?’

If she is that skint she needs to get on the Housing Commission waiting list, also are the kids father paying child support?

I hope she gets back on her feet, sure Reggie was never the brightest spark but she seemed like she had a good heart.

Thanks B R for sending in link.

May 30, 2014   20 Comments

Masterchef Australia – Exit Interview With Scott

scott yeoman

Scott was befuddled from the start of the pressure test where he had to cook Christine Tanner’s Mango Alfonso and even though the judges praised his sorbet but it was all about the pastry and he was gone.

We talk about whether he should have been in the elimination challenge, what he is doing next and what it is like to live in the Masterchef house.

Reality Ravings: Going back to the invention test where you cooked the vegetable pie. There has been a bit of debate about it on Reality Ravings where you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The judges sometimes say stick with what you know and keep it simple then you were criticised for that and you were put into the bottom three. Do you think you should have been there or do you think there were others that plated up some worse dishes?

Scott: It was a pretty close call. You don’t know how the judges are really going to judge you. I was going over and over in my head how I could have done things different. I was not intending to cook that in the first place but I completely changed my mind at last second. I think it threw me a little bit about how I was coming to cook it. What you don’t see is numerous times through the challenge the judges come over and say “Are you sure you should be doing that? Is it refined enough?”. Sometimes it is hard to take their advice as you are really busy and you just want to get it done. Then you start doubting yourself. By that time I was so invested in it I had to go with my gut. They felt it wasn’t good enough, it tasted really good.

Reality Ravings: The edit of the show did not actually show what they thought about the flavour of the pie?

Scott: Nothing. Matt said “You’ve got good flavours, and there is a lot of vegetables.” It was a vegetable challenge but was it inventive enough? Probably not. In hindsight I could have done things a little bit different but I have no regrets and I am looking forward to the future in food.

Reality Ravings: To the pressure test, and you struggled from the beginning. When you get those recipes do they give a guide on what order you should do each element in or do you have to work that out yourself?

Scott: The night before I had a “fruitmare”. I had a dream that it was a 25 page fruit challenge with all these different elements and my dad was in the dream and he was like “just read the recipe through mate”, and it just threw me when she took that cloche off and I was just on the back foot. I was my own worse enemy in that elimination test and I only just missed out. With the recipe it is up to us to interpret how it should be done in the order but it is a world class dish and it is hard to break it down.

Reality Ravings: Do you think you should have been the one to go home or do you think Jamie gone?

Scott: It was a pastry challenge and his choux pastry was better then mine. I would have loved to have stayed there longer as I don’t think I cooked that well in the competition. I did have some good moments but I don’t feel I was the relaxed cook that I am at home and I would have loved to have got to the next level and step it up a notch.

Reality Ravings: What made you apply to go on the show?

Scott: I had a friend staying with me from Finland and I have watched every season of Masterchef and I was watching it with him and I was cooking dishes for him. He said “You’re a really good cook and you should apply”. At that time I was not ready. When I saw the auditions for last year I thought I am not ready so I left it a year. I learnt a lot about myself in the application process in what I have achieved in my life and what I have been through. I turned a bit of corner personally. I learnt a lot about myself in the house as well.

Reality Ravings: After the episode it said you are helping build a restaurant in South Australia and then you will be cooking in the kitchen. Tell me what is next for you.

Scott: Yes that is correct. The kitchen is in the final stages of completion and hopefully they will be open in the first couple of weeks in June.  I will be doing some part time work there, but the big thing that I am looking at doing is a food truck tour around Australia.

Reality Ravings: Tell me more about that.

Scott: My idea is to utilise my friendships and the people that I have met in Masterchef and head around to their home towns and utilise local communities and get the people involved. Not everyone is lucky like me to be on Masterchef, so my idea is to use local radio and run a competition and get someone to come on the food truck for a week. We design a menu together. We go around the local community and help out some local charities. They will get a percentage of the profits, the charity will and the rest of it will help me along to my next destination

 Reality Ravings: Was there anything on the show that shocked you when filming started?

Scott: Even at the auditions in Adelaide they had cameras in your face and you just ignore them. I found that part of it pretty easy I was not daunted by the cameras but just the pressure of cooking in that kitchen with the 23 other cooks and they have an incredible amount of food knowledge and attention to detail.

Reality Ravings: What was it like living in the Masterchef house. Did you all get along or were there some cliques forming?

Scott: With 24 people living in a house there is going to be some personality clashes, but as far as myself goes I got along with everyone. I really enjoyed my time in the house. We were a big family and we looked out for each other.

Reality RAvings: Who are you going to keep in contact with?

Scott: I will keep in contact with a few of the people. I can’t wait to see Byron again and I hope he goes all of the way, and Rachael, Sarah, Sam, Brendan and Brent.

May 30, 2014   13 Comments

Australian Story – Masterchef’s Jules Allen Is On And I Might Be As Well….

Jules Allen, a Masterchef Australia contestant from last year will be the subject of Australian Story on Monday night on the ABC. She appears to give an honest account on what it is like to be on a reality show and her own feelings/motivations. Maybe it should be compulsory viewing for reality TV wannabees.

Hopefully she will also get the chance to say how freaking ripped off she was in getting eliminated twice from Masterchef Australia last year. Particularly in relation to going home the second time on other peoples mistakes.

I was interviewed to comment for this story, so might get one or two grabs if I am not too tabloidesque. Considering I was interviewed for 45 minutes I will be a bit miffed if I don’t. It will be interesting to see if some of my more caustic one liners get a run.

Full details below:

Australian Story: Out of the Kitchen – Jules Allen

Monday June 2nd, 8pm on ABC1



Introduced by Deborra-Lee Furness

“One of the most exciting moments of my life was being handed that white apron. The adrenalin kicked in and the ego went berserk.”. Jules Allen, reality television contestant

“Being a participant in a reality TV show is a bit like being a voluntary hostage.” Andrew Fuller, psychologist

“You get your picture on a bus and everyone knows who you are.  But it comes at a price.”  Andrew Allen, brother

This week’s program provides an intriguing glimpse behind the scenes of the reality TV phenomenon that’s captured viewers around the country.

Jules Allen was 38 years old when she left her family for four months to appear as a ‘willing hostage’ on the popular MasterChef reality TV show in Melbourne.

As a single mother, she’d fostered twenty-nine children and taken in three children to her family permanently. But even a house full of teenagers couldn’t prepare her for the high octane existence of life as a MasterChef contestant.

She admits she lusted after ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ but says that despite the psychological counselling provided by the show she was unprepared for the intense emotional swings during filming:  “We felt we were bipolar because of the enormous highs and then the excruciating lows – they can happen three times in a day. You’re encouraged to sort of crack open (but) at the end there’s no one there to put you together,”  she says.

It’s become clear to Jules Allen that her experience is not unique. Psychologists and industry observers say the same production techniques are used in most of the popular reality shows. A year later, she says the experience has left her ‘humbler’ with a clearer sense of what actually matters in life, including reinforcing her mission to raise awareness for foster care and launching a program to help those on a low budget eat well.


May 30, 2014   23 Comments

Ali Oetjin Won’t Be Australia’s First Bachelorette

ali the bachelor

The sad news is Ali the most memorable girl from the first season of The Bachelor Australia won’t be the first The Bachelorette Australia. But the good news for her is she has found love with fellow South Australian David Waldeck.

She knew him prior to going on the show and it has now blossomed into love.

Ali also told that she is focussing on her real estate career and has given up on a job in media and presenting. Which probably means there were no offers.

She was great to watch and was the highlight of the series so wish her the best of luck.

The Bachelor’s Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich are still together and still posting stylised photos of themselves on their instagram accounts. But then that is what instagram is all about – the selfie.

The new series of The Bachelor is currently filming and will screen on TEN later this year.

May 30, 2014   1 Comment

Masterchef Australia – A Taste Test With A Twist Leads To An Elimination.

Apologies for lack of a recap of last night’s four course dessert degustation due to ill health. The blue team captained by Emelia won which meant the myth of her being the dessert queen continued. The red team was helmed by young Georgia and even though they were told they had dish of the day with their Blue Cheese Mousse with Red Wine Reduction they still lost as their first two courses were not good. They were up for elimination tonight. Tash who was on that team and is also a great dessert cook seem to be avoiding being captain.

The first round was a taste test with a twist. They had three minutes to taste the dish and two minutes to write it down. The ones they identified were the ingredients the contestants could cook with in the second round. Once they were told it was a blind taste test Georgia burst into tears. Colin was quick to identify it as Gumbo however he only identified 10 ingredients.

Amy named 15 ingredients which was the most identified and at the other end Sam identified seven. They had no pantry staples and they had 45 minutes to cook. Tash and Sean were the only ones that had oil and Colin had butter. The rest were doing without.

Kira was not in a good way as she grabbed a hot pan and burnt it badly she was in tears. Matt went and gave her a pep talk and he told her you just have to beat one person, just don’t be the worst.

Colin’s stuffed chicken was raw when he took it out of the oven. How long was it in there? He had to cut it and pan fry it. His roulade was the first to be tried by the judges and he was told it was the best dish he has cooked thus far.

Kira mad Grilled Prawns with a Spicy Tomato and Kransky Sauce. George told her it was not her best day in the kitchen. He said no technique except for the cooking of the prawns.

Sam’s Chilli Salt Prawns were said to be well cooked, but Gary said he could not taste the chilli salt.

Tash’s Grilled Prawns with Fried Okra and Tomato and Onion Chutney was another good dish from her.

Tomato Soup with Prawn was made by Rachael. Gary did not like the kransky in it. Matt liked the kransky as he thinks it is kind of Rachael. What was he trying to say that she was unsophisticated?

Brent’s chargrilled prawns also came with oysters. Was he the only person to identify this ingredient? He over did the chilli and George’s head turned into a fountain.

Sean cooked up Prawns and Tomato Sauce which was similar to what he made in a previous challenge. George said good flavour but and over cooked prawn. His flat bread fell flat.

The top two dishes were Rachael and Colin. Bottom three were Sean, Kira and Brent and it was Sean who looks like a hobbit was eliminated. It was the correct decision as he has been struggling for the last few weeks.

The other contestants were weeping as they would now be relying on Jamie for cocktail hour.

Sean is working with Eau De Vie’s head chef on their “wacky” degustation menu and is also working on a project which combines his love for food and knowledge of whiskey.

May 29, 2014   180 Comments