MasterChef recap

<i>MasterChef</i>

Daniel Wilson contemplates calling the RSCPA to report the inhumane treatment his hot dog is being subjected to ... MasterChef

Welcome to MasterChef Australia on the night of the State of Origin decider, which is to say enjoy this recap from the only person in Australia watching MasterChef tonight.

Last night the teams drove each other mad in a more literal sense than usual and the red team were sent to tonight’s fast-track elimination, which rather prompts me to contemplate that if this is “fast track” what a slow track elimination looks like. Note this doesn’t mean I ever want to find out or see one.

Firstly the judges decide to send Daniel home before he is forced to witness the crime scene that is this hot dog’s breakfast. As he leaves he looks a mere shell of the Huxtaburgermeister that walked in. 

Kelty starts the episode talking (shock! Horror!) and tells us that it’s really annoying that the blue team got straight into the top ten while he did not. Noelene is worried that Samira might leave as they are so close, while Vern explains that he doesn’t deserve to be in the elimination tonight which is entirely true. Either he doesn’t deserve to face elimination ... or he doesn’t deserve to be in the competition at all. You decide.

<i>MasterChef</i>

Cooking by intuition, which is neither sight nor smell ... Samira, MasterChef

The red team enter the MasterKitchen where Gary walks them through the notion that winning is good, losing is bad. It’s probably not a good sign that the judges have reached the point where they are explaining competition to these numpkins the week before the final ten. Then again, it could be a good sign that they have finally accurately sized them up.

Daniel Wilson from Huxtaburger by Huxtable comes in and Vern is confident he has brought some dude food. It worries me that Vern thinks the chef they bring in at that point is merely bringing lunch.

Daniel has actually prepared today’s challenge and admits it took him a week to make the dish hidden under the cloche before he reveals his “maple glazed bacon dog” all of which has me hoping it isn’t a week old.

Out: Daniel. Click for more photos

Ins and outs of MasterChef class of 2013

Out: Daniel.

The hot dog is made up of a smoked pork fat brioche with a veal and pork sausage, a cucumber pickle, roasted pork crackling and ... this will surprise you at this point Kelty’s voice over starts talking over the top of the chef explaining his dish. He’s actually started narrating over the few elements of the competition where listening improves the show.

Daniel explains that they’re making everything from scratch and the first thing to do is stuff a sausage. Noelene admits she’s never done that with a straight face and I’m leaving that alone because I suspect the opportunities for sausage-based euphemisms will come later.

The new and improved culturally-aware George checks with Samira that she is ok to cook with pork when she doesn’t eat it, as she had indicated before that that would be ok. She says its fine, before admitting to us in her white kitchen hideout that it would be ok if it hadn’t been in a competition scenario.

Gary’s talk was clearly more necessary than I’d guessed as apparently Samira has only just realised that MasterChef is a competition. Well it sure isn’t a cooking show Samira!

Gary confuses the contestants gain by saying “it’s entirely up to you if by the end of the day you’re still in or going home.” That is of plainly not true. It might be if everyone was competent and an error would mean instant elimination, however in this sheltered scenario the competitors only have to be the second worst in order to stay home. They don’t have to make something edible, or dare I suggest, tasty.

Gary is getting into this profound explanation of the unnecessary thing, so he takes a moment to postulate to George that those who look the most nervous are the ones who will be in trouble. That’s possibly true, though I’m not quite convinced by his causal link, I mean anyone who couldn’t cook would look nervous in this situation so that’s casting a pretty wide net.

Kelty is reading the recipe but its freaking him out, so he stops ... reading it and starts just cooking blindly. Genius.

Christina who has chosen to dress as Minnie Mouse today is also still reading her recipe, and underlining words randomly and when she also has to watch a montage of her family sitting happily at home at just that moment it’s all too much, so she starts to cry, which is George’s cue to take her away from the sharp objects and the producers cue for an ad.

Meanwhile Jessica Mauboy is singing in the State of Origin warm up alongside men in leather vests who are appear to be trying to swim freestyle on stage in the middle of a football stadium – and people say football doesn’t attract the intellectual set.

Minnie Mouse is inspired by George’s pep talk or Jessica’s singing and she starts cooking, which she is worried places her well behind the field, but when you’re behind this particular field, actually cooking at any stage will soon see you a long way ahead.

Chef Daniel is walking around checking on people’s work and still seems perversely convinced that the contestants will deliver the goods. This seems to be entirely based on two people’s abilities to fry bacon.

Samira is visited by George and Gary and admits that she is cooking by intuition today which George instantly translates to mean by sight and smell.

Gary interrupts Samira further to point out that Samira needs to pay careful attention to the thing she is cooking right now without the remotest sense of irony or humour.

The teams are all chilling their bacon fat, except Noelene who is rocking the mixing bowl, none of which is a metaphor. Chef Daniel visits on Noelene to point out that she is basically on the road to disaster and Noelene starts talking about going home. There’s the spirit.

Christina who has been cooking for the last three whole minutes is unsurprisingly now looking good.  Unsurprising to the casual observer but not to Lucy who takes a moment to shock and awe at the fact that Minnie Mouse has caught up to the mouseketeers.

Samira is still cooking by intuition, using the actual meaning of that word, and so she decides to let her bread dough sit on top of the microwave rather than in the oven, as prescribed by the professional chef who spent a week perfecting the recipe.

I didn’t say it was good intuition.

Kelty holds up an 18 inch sausage skin and admits to us that he is intimidated by the sausage machine, and it’s euphemism time. This moment is a real psychological break through for Kelty but really man (yes “man”, embrace the term sir) now is not the time.

To help Kelty with his masculinity the producers go to an ad, and on Channel Nine we learn that the State of Origin has an app. Perhaps someone could install it in Kelty.

Back in the kitchen Kelty says he’s got the skin on the sausage and done it four times, and in a matter of a few minutes he’s gone from performance anxiety to boasting really.

Then Gary says the only thing he can say is that it’s a bad day to be in the doghouse. Which is, sadly, a lie. Gary can, and will, say much, much more.

Preston asks Daniel how they are all going and Daniel is rattled. He’s clearly shocked at what he is witnessing being done to his hot dog, but he suggests that Noelene particularly is in a lot of trouble. George suggests Samira might be struggling but Daniel disagrees, suggesting that she shouldn’t because the recipe lists everything she needs to do.

Daniel clearly doesn’t watch MasterChef.

Samira says her chutney is ready, and Daniel comes to look, which is when he points out that it “should look like chutney.” He then asks if she’s included the tomato paste or the malt vinegar or really anything LISTED ON THE RECIPE. Samira is stunned at the accusation ... sorry Samira is stunned to discover that she’s meant to do that.

Next Daniel visits Noelene who is operating at “her own pace” which is slightly slower than continental drift. It is however slightly faster than Samira who Daniel revisits to ask why she hasn’t got her buns in the oven. She just says she was focused elsewhere but will pop them in now ... ish.

I swear the editor cuts away just as Daniel says “I don’t think there’s anyone you can possibly get this done.”

Gary can’t hold himself back anymore and talks again, announcing ten minutes to go.

In Origin the teams are warming up in the sheds and the commentators are talking about mentality and belief and the need to mentally believe in themselves. I never thought I’d say this, but these guys could actually be saying useful things, if only they were speaking to Samira or Noelene.

Back on Ten, Scott Cam has invaded the ads just long enough to remind us that even a show with him as host can win in the ratings as long as it’s not on this beleaguered network.

When we return, a brief montage of the boys cooking shows that they are stressed yet, well, cooking, so we cut back to Samira who thinks she should possibly cook her sausages so she pulls out a frying pan and gets instructions on sausage cooking from the gallery. She then pulls out her buns which are, in her words “a flat dead spread” and ...

... that’s a familiar strain as Vern thuds his own bun on the workstation and ponders aloud whether it might be a bit heavy, before deciding to just push on regardless.

Noelene panics about the mustard cheese sauce that she has completely forgotten, so she pops the ingredients randomly in a saucepan and says the important thing is she doesn’t panic.

Samira calmly admits there is a mustard cheese sauce that she hasn’t made but she’s decided not to bother. It might not be important that Samira panic, but it couldn’t hurt at this point.

Noelene’s not interested in being one-upped (or rather one-downed) by Samira’s lack of effort, so she pulls out her own bun which she points out is utterly unprepared and just hacks into it with a knife.

The editors gamely pretend that there might be other contestants in trouble and Vern helps out by admitting his bread is cracked and he’s missing a sauce too, but really this is a failure race in two

Noelene has plated her hotdog as a deconstructed dish and suggests she’s happy to go home as long as the judges tell her it tastes great, because failure is a dish served delicious.

Firstly the judges decide to send Daniel home before he is forced to witness the crime scene that is this hot dog’s breakfast. As he leaves he looks a mere shell of the Huxtaburgermeister that walked in.

Christina is up first and George is in a mood to toy with peoples emotions. “What’s wrong? Your sausage is smiling but you’re not,” he asks of the crying woman. She’s crying, again, because she wants to be here, “like everyone else.”

That’s not true. I don’t want to be here. Neither did Daniel.

Christina wants to be here more than everyone else it seems though, because she’s done very well according to George. Gary likes the sausage, and the sauces which taste great. Preston says he has had it confirmed that she deserves to be here. Confirmed by the ineptitude he has witnessed from her colleagues today.

Kelty is proud to have produced four hotdogs, not one – despite not having been asked to – yet he hasn’t delivered all the ingredients. He’s a pickle short (which explains the whole sausage envy thing really). The three judges, and Kelty, have a hot dog each and while the other three eat, Kelty takes advantage of their silly mistake and starts to talk.

No. Really.

He says something about wanting to be here while not thinking he’s done enough, but even the producers don’t care so they cut to an ad.

Harrison Craig is singing the anthem at Origin and Ray Warren ponders if Harrison wondered when he entered The Voice if he would ever be here, because the State of Origin is the peak of musical achievement that all singers aspire to.

Back at State of Dog, Kelty’s brioche is excellent but his lack of pickle is counted against him, which isn’t very progressive.

Samira laughs as she walks up because she laughs when she’s nervous. I laugh when I’m amused. So she laughs alone. Preston finds it ironic that the woman who won’t eat pork delivers great crackling and a great sausage yet her bread is a disaster. That would be more true if it weren’t brioche laced with bacon, but why let the facts get in the way of a mediocre-to-poor stab at irony?

Gary says her dish is exactly the same as Kelty’s, which she takes as a compliment and he takes as an insult which is the greatest evidence to date of how messed up her head is tonight.

Rishi is up next and well he nailed it, but that’s not what this is about so we’ve barely heard from him all evening. He does however take a moment in the voice over booth to say that “if you can’t prove yourself you don’t deserve to be here.” Clearly Rishi was so focused on his cooking tonight he completely forgot where he is or who he standing with.

Vern delivers his dog-in-a-rock, and the judges love the sausage, the crackling and the pickle but the brioche is a disaster. Vern is not compared to Kelty though so he can’t have got it all wrong.

Now for Noelene who brings up her hot dog components - including her sauce, still in blender, and the judges kindly put everything together FOR HER.

Preston admits that it’s “construction rubbish, taste amazing.”

George doesn’t know how to judge this as it tastes good but completely fails to deliver what was requested.

So the producers give him an ad to think about it.

0-0 in the sixth minute of Origin and Ray Warren is reminding his co-commentators what their names are, where they are and what they are doing as he says Paul Sterling and Wally Lewis are in the commentary box. He is less clear on why I am here.

When we return, the six red team members are on the elimination line and George has collected his thoughts enough to remind us all that everyone cooked a hot dog today which is a very generous description of what happened.

He compliments Rishi on being the only one to actually get it done today and says that proves he is a front runner.

He then addresses the rest of the pack who really prove Rishi may be the only one who can actually run.

He asks Noelene, Kelty and Samira to step forward and Vern tells us he is stunned not to be up there with them. It’s not clear if he realises it’s a good thing NOT to be.

Gary says Noelene is safe because she made delicious ingredients and no one could expect her to put it together, except for anyone who understands the rules of the game. However, as the teams only had the concepts of winning and losing finally explained today, he’s realised rules and goals are the sort of advanced class he doesn’t have the patience to teach.

That leaves Samira and Kelty and for them it came down to one thing: The brioche. Kelty’s was the brioche of the day, Samira’s was the underbaked fiasco of the night, so Samira is going home.

Noelene walks out with Samira but does come back more’s the pity.

As Fitzy and Wippa’s heads perch on the bottom of our screen for no discernible reason, we get an ad for next week when all the eliminated contestants will come back to compete for one final place in the final eleven.

Because even when you understand winning and losing, you’ll never learn that an inability to cook is no handicap on this show.

And it’s 8-0 to Queensland. I blame Kelty the pickle-less eunuch.