Gatecrashers 'change the game forever'
They're Italian, you know ... Angela and Melina.
It's difficult to know whether anyone will even have the energy to engage in kitchen-ruling tonight, after being so thoroughly stunned by last night's Twist That Will Change The Game Forever. But the whole country waits with bated breath to see what this strange new gatecrasher-heavy world will bring, fascinated and thrilled by Channel Seven's discovery of a brilliant new way to prolong this series well beyond the next Winter Olympics.
We begin with "previously on My Kitchen Rules", which sadly is to be taken literally, as the over-excited narrator takes us through everything that has happened so far, which turns out to have been a little dull.
Then we are introduced to the gatecrashers, who we were also introduced to last night. On first appearances it looks like "gatecrashing" involves a lot of arm-folding and possibly some dirty looks.
We enter the present, where Angela and Melina are preparing to "gatecrash the party", in the sense of "having everyone over for dinner". Angela and Melina are "real housewives", which I think means they put a lot of electricity through their hair while they sleep. They would describe their cooking as rustic, peasant-style food, so we can expect a lot of mud in the dishes.
Angela and Melina set off to shop, casually mentioning Coles by coincidence. A cutaway to Samuel reveals that he thinks the gatecrashers probably think they have a "bit of a chance", yet again proving that Samuel's uncanny insight into the hidden truth of things is without parallel.
Angela and Melina reveal that their nonnas make stuffed eggplant with their eyes closed, which seems an extremely dangerous way to cook. Hopefully the gatecrashers themselves will be a little more responsible in the kitchen. They then experience minor orgasms over beef cheeks at Coles, which is only natural I suppose. Melina notes that when jumping up and down and squealing, "the little nonnas and yia-yias" were looking at them, just to make sure we realise they are ethnic.
Back to the house, where there is a bit more squealing and some cutlery and a bit more over-enunciation of Italian words. They begin to prepare their beef cheeks, and Angela explains they will be preparing their vegetables with a complex and sophisticated method called "cooking". Pete pops up to inform us that if the beef cheeks are not cooked well, they will not be well-cooked, and then Melina begins making the mango and passionfruit summer delight, a dessert that confuses Manu. "I don’t know what it is – do they?" he asks, brow creasing in Gallic puzzlement. Yes, Manu, they do. They're making it.
Now it's time to make the entrée, stuffed eggplants and zucchini flowers, the pair having fallen for the oldest trick the devil ever pulled: convincing people that zucchini flowers are a valuable use of resources.
Suddenly, disaster strikes – Angela has lost her shoes! Suddenly, non-disaster strikes – she's found them! But there are bigger fish to fry, and sadly not in a literal sense: the cakey thing in the oven is turning out wrong somehow. I don't know how – it's too yellow or something.
The guests stride toward the house. Lisa lets us know that the gatecrashers will pull out all stops, and that she has still not released Stefano from captivity. Gatecrasher Ashlee lets us know that she loves being a gatecrasher, because she enjoys doing less work than other people. Gatecrasher Nastassia lets us know that this is just like Star Wars, in that there are people competing against other people, just like in Star Wars. We look forward to more of Nastassia's analysis, and how MKR is also a lot like Rocky, Saving Private Ryan, Troop Beverly Hills and the Olympic water polo.
Then suddenly the entire house bursts into flames, but unfortunately it's just an ad for Packed to the Rafters.
Back to "reality", where Angela and Melina welcome their guests by holding hands and shrieking at each other in the kitchen while they wait outside. Samuel is bewildered by the ladies' ability to wear makeup and do their hair. Melina has taken note of the aggressive way that Ashlee and Sophia kiss without using their hands – if you don't manhandle Melina when you come in the door, it is ON, bitches.
Stefano finds the Italian-themed restaurant vaguely familiar, as Lisa has yet to erase his memory completely. Ashlee, on the other hand, doesn't feel like she’s in Italy at all, which seems a fairly high bar to set.
We now detour into the life story of Ashlee and Sophia, who would definitely give you an education if you called them Westies, because they have a lot of spare time on their hands. For Sophia, going on MKR is an homage to her parents, who used to produce competitive reality shows in Cambodia. They love rustic food and hearty food, which they demonstrate by dumping some lettuce in a bowl of pink water. They are also "hard-arses" and in no way token Asians.
Now we get to know Kieran and Nastassia, who identify as nerds. Nastassia is a real estate agent, while Kieran is a bearded lady who plays with dolls. Kieran likes to take people on a journey to somewhere they haven't been before when he cooks, hoping to carve out a niche as Australia's first professional chef-cum-kidnapper. He also wears a cape sometimes, so he's basically a lunatic.
At the table, Nastassia tells everyone that she will be trying to do her best, causing the other teams to immediately revise their planned "don’t bother" strategy.
Back in the kitchen, Angela and Melina are saying "nonna" a bit more. Also it sounds like they are putting "nail polish" in their food, but it's possible I misheard.
Pete and Manu ring the doorbell, and Angela and Melina shriek a bit more. Sooner or later they're going to rupture something. "The judges walk in and I'm dying … I'm not only dying, I'm already dead," says Sophia, who has been watching the previous episodes keenly and is determined to be the most annoying person who has ever been on the show. What she means is, she wants to activate Pete's almonds.
Ashlee and Sophia think the menu is boring, while Kieran, who has styled his hair for the maximum Miranda Otto lookalike effect, thinks it's fairly traditional, which should suit him down to the ground given the whole cape thing.
Pete interrogates the diners as to who thinks they will be on top of the leaderboard. Everyone says they will, although Dan looks like he's only opening his mouth because a producer is hiding behind his chair with a cattle prod. Nastassia notes that they want to prove that nerds can cook in order to dispel a stereotype that doesn't exist.
Meanwhile, Gordon Ramsay is playing soccer in someone's yard.
Back at the "restaurant", the zucchini flowers are being stuffed with ricotta in a prime example of the irrevocable decline of western civilisation. Angela believes the zucchini flowers look beautiful, even though they actually look like if asparagus could grow genitals. The pair are so excited about their entrée that they say "nonna" over and over again at an unprecedented rate.
Sophia thinks the entrée looks like a beached whale, because she literally does not know what a whale looks like. Ashlee thinks it looks tacky and boring and doesn't want to eat it, fitting snugly into MKR's now well-established "Asian woman who doesn't like eating" tradition.
Manu tells the housewives that he was very, very excited, but has been grossly disappointed, because they have tried to make the food as if making it for a restaurant, a major mistake in this "Instant Restaurant Challenge". Manu was expecting something a bit more clumsy and poorly-made, and is shattered that he didn't get it.
Pete employs his "I want to feel some love in this" catchphrase, which by now we all know is his code for food that has been rubbed inside the chef's pants. The housewives are so upset they say "nonna" again.
Lisa and Stefano are disgusted as they find pink bits in the eggplant – devious sabotage from Joanna and Jenna! Nastassia enjoyed the entrée due to her garlic fetish, but Sophia is so disappointed she just has to sigh melodramatically. "To me this dish is nonsensical," she says in the tone of a woman who doesn't know what "nonsensical" means. "It should've been one or the other," she adds. One or the other what? She does not elaborate.
Dan and Steph are delighted at the sight of gatecrasher-on-gatecrasher slagging-off, although it is uncertain whether Dan is technically awake.
In the kitchen, Melina is nervous about her radicchio, which happens to us all. What if Manu doesn't think balsamic vinegar is rustic enough? On such matters does destiny hang. "Let's do it like our nonnas do it," says Melina, eager to let the audience in on the hitherto well-kept secret that she is Italian.
Out come the beef cheeks, and they have turned out wonderfully. "I would totally be proud of this to serve to my nonna," says Angela, who is apparently Italian.
In the dining room, Sophia explains how she wants the beef cheeks to "collapse at my will", just like the spirit of anyone who meets her. Stefano says something that makes everyone laugh, possibly because they're racist. Ali notes that Stefano is a lot like an Italian Samuel, cleverly insulting two men with one sentence.
In the kitchen, potato is being both mashed and over-dramatised. Angela is dancing as she mashes, seemingly drunk beyond all reason. She gets a bit too funky, though, as the potatoes have turned out too runny. Yet somehow it still has lumps in it – these ladies have an incredible knack for getting things wrong. They add cream to the potato because they are still drinking heavily. Suddenly a foreign body has been discovered in the mashed potato – it's a fork! The legendary potato fork of which tales have been told throughout history is pulled from the potato, and the prophecy is fulfilled.
Angela thinks she's lost five kilos today from "stress and adrenalin", though she may have made that up in booze. They begin turning the potato into glue, which seems a somewhat questionable tactic. They decide to bite the bullet and go straight for the old reliable sure-fire winner: bitching at each other.
The beef cheeks are served, and the consensus is that the mash looks "incredible", "silky", "glossy", "manageable", and "full of body". And the beef cheeks are definitely soft, meaning Sophia may be forced to find something else to complain about, like the colour of the plates or the humidity.
Manu loves the dish apart from the mash, which has too much "elasticity", whatever that means. He considers the beef was cooked to perfection, which pleases Angela and Melina so much they say "nonna" twice.
Dan, who expected to be eating the best mashed potato he's ever had, has the tables turned cruelly on him by Fate, as it turns out to be the worst mashed potato he's ever eaten. For her part, Steph feels like "a cow with molasses", so I guess she's been drinking too. Meanwhile Lisa makes clear her desire to be really nasty, and Sophia makes clear her plan to simply say the opposite of whatever everyone else is saying.
In the kitchen dessert is being prepared. There's cake and marmalade and stuff. It's not very interesting. Angela and Melina have been calling each other "babe" all night, and it hasn't gotten any more endearing. The dessert is definitely not Italian, which is an excuse for them to say "nonna".
In the dining room, Sophia continues her strategy of inducing suicidal thoughts in her opponents by talking to them, and expresses her bafflement at not knowing what a mango and passionfruit summer delight is. Sophia does not like eating things which were not explicitly described to her beforehand: it unnerves her. She's been hurt before by vague menus.
In the kitchen there is trouble as the mango mousse refuses to come out of the pan, the housewives not having counted on the native shyness of the typical tropical fruit. Having tried to get it out by knocking on the pan, they try Plan B: knocking on the pan again.
A quick ad break and a low-down dirty trick by Seven in making us think the show has started again when actually it was an ad for Campbell's Real Stock later, and we're back to find out the mousse crisis was actually not one, as the mousse plops out onto the cake. As Melina ices the cake, Angela won't shut up, driving Melina into a furious frenzy of calling her "babe".
"Looks like Summer Delight is actually cake," says Kieran. "On a plate," says Nastassia, as if the idea of serving food on a plate is the most absurd thing she's ever heard of.
The cake is not a success – Manu expected more from Angela and Melina. He makes clear his contempt for the very idea of sponge cake, while Pete has been jarred by the mousse, an occupational hazard in his line of work. Both judges make it clear that the housewives have broken their hearts with their mediocre mousse-cake. "Don't beat yourself up," says Pete, "it's only the first night", although of course it's also the only chance they'll get to cook for everyone, so that's not much of a consolation.
Dan, who is almost conscious by this stage, doesn't think the dessert is working, while Sophia is confused. She doesn't like the flavours, which is extremely puzzling to her – what does it all mean? She lets out a heavy sigh to express her deep existential angst at this befuddling dish. "I don't understand it … what is it? Is it a custard? Is it icing? Is it crème patissier? Is it an omelette? Is it a hamburger? Is it a kangaroo salad? Is it a lawnmower?” She sighs again, unable to comprehend how evil the world can be at times. "I'm speechless," she lies ...
The other teams give their scores. From Lisa and Stefano a one, from Dan and Steph a two, because these teams have learnt their lesson well: be a total bastard at all times. Other teams are a little kinder: Ashlee and Sophia give a five, because although Sophia loved the main, she is still unsure whether the dessert was a mousse, or a crème brulee, or a pancake, or a can of sardines, or an indigenous cave painting.
If you're feeling drained by the drama of tonight’s episode, why not give yourself a pep-up with Swisse?
The moment of sort-of-truth has arrived, with the revealing of the scores. But first, a lengthy recap of what we literally just saw. The guest teams have given them a combined score of 18 out of 50, a decent reflection of the quality of the food and the moral bankruptcy of the contestants. Lisa explains that their score of one is based on the fact that the food was of "very average quality", knowing that Stefano's limited grasp of English will prevent him explaining to her the meaning of "average".
Pete explains he was disappointed with the entrée even though he loved the zucchini flower because he's weird. He gives the entrée a six, Manu a five. Angela and Melina are happy with that, their self-esteem having plummeted in the last few hours.
Both judges much preferred the main, despite the mashed glue. Pete gives a seven, Manu an eight. Inspirational music plays, indicating that this really is as good as it's going to get for these two. Unfortunately, the music turns menacing for the judging of the dessert, which it is universally agreed was a big boring pile of poo. Manu gives it a three, as does Pete. Lisa and Stefano glance at each other, the reality of what awful people they are really hitting home.
The total score is 50. This is apparently not deterring Angela and Melina from winning the competition, although obviously it's quite likely to literally prevent them from winning the competition.
The guests leave, and Angela and Melina discuss how much they hate everyone, and shout "GAME ON" just to emphasise how on the game is.
And so to tomorrow night, when Dan and Steph will make dinner, and Dan will try as hard as he can to restrain his powerful urge to punch people in the throat, and Sophia will say "OMG. LOL" and basically be the worst person on earth.
I can’t wait!