South Australian mums Bree and Jessica are back in Adelaide (aka 'Rads') reminding us for the umpteenth time that their kids are cute, their husbands are perfect and that they're determined to “win this competition for them” (their families, that is, and presumably not the $250,000 prize and media opportunities post-show).
After the staged reunion and impromptu motivational speech (we must follow our dreeeeeams, people), they're off to the shops, the countdown is on and “playtime's over, Jessie”.
Don't forget, this is huuuge. Not like 'sudden-death challenge' huge but more like 'we have to beat the other teams even though it's the whole point of the competition' huge.
Bree slipped right into mum mode, taking charge of the trolley and bolting around the supermarket. Jessica dawdled around like an excited child playing eye-spy. “Was there eggplant here? There's eggplant here! I'm getting the eggplant for the entree, Bree!”
Cut to a shot of the ladies reaching for some chicken breast, the star ingredient of their Chicken Mole (it's mol-AY, a Mexican curry - not a thinly-veiled criticism of the other contestants), which will be served with Mexican rice and plantains (which look like big, starchy, savoury bananas).
Reviewing the menu, Pete declared that “there's no way the girls are going to be cooking chicken breast unless they're thinking of fancying up a classic dish like the mole, which I think would be a mistake.”
Classic dish? Bree and Jess “don't think people will know what it is” but of course, there is no fooling Mr Activated Almonds himself.
Not surprisingly, the first pun-tastic dart of the episode was thrown by Chloe who notes that “everything they cook seems to come out of one pot. We like to call them 'one-pot wonders'.”
Throwing around words like "hardcore" and "insane", the ladies seem to be preparing for a cameo on Pumping Iron rather than a few hours in a kitchen. Their own kitchen, no less.
Bree gave the cameras a running commentary as she man-handled a pig cheek, resulting in a few corkers – “some of these came off big daddy pigs” and “pigs are so cute, man, like seriously, I love them.” Like seriously, the irony is strong in this one.
Everything was going swimmingly – too swimmingly – which just will not do for reality television. That is, until Jessica decided she needed to load the dishwasher because she “just can't handle all this mess”.
Like the mum with the mythical eyes in the back of her head, Bree knew something was up.
“Where'd you put that stock, babe?” she asked, standing over the empty jug.
“What stock?” a sheepish Jessica responded. Oh, only the stock which was a crucial element in four of your six dishes. Now, with the ominous music playing, the pair seemed resigned to the fact they'll have to use packet stock (oh the horror!).
Need a little salt? Not to worry, Jess is leaking salty water from her face.
The dinner table is still an oestrogen-heavy affair, but even token blokes Paul and Blair complimented the floral arrangements, which Helena declared were “ah-MAY-zing”. Team Sourpuss, aka Chloe and Kelly, said “they're pretty, but not the prettiest” before telling the other guests they “would prefer Bree and Jess to be at the bottom” of the leaderboard. Meeeow!
“Cough, cough strategy” was the name of the game, except for Helena and Vikki who simply didn't like anything on the menu. “We like chocolate desserts,” they insisted, before choosing the Flan de Cafe with 'chewriohs' (aka churros) for dessert.
The entrees weren't the roaring success the mums expected they would be. The “eggplant sandwich” was deemed too basic, the sardines overdone.
Bree oozed confidence (and a creepy sing-song) after pulling her “delicious pigness” from the oven, but the effort seemed wasted with all but Manu ordering the Chicken Mole, cooked to order.
The Mole “wasn't good” (“disgusting” according to Chloe and Kelly) but Bree's confidence was well-placed in the pig's cheek, which received a rave review from Manu and the only perfect 10 of the evening.
Dessert was a “bit of hard work” for Paul, though it wasn't clear whether he was referring to the spoon-evading roasted peach or the unbearable girl talk at the dinner table.
Chloe and Kelly's “cough, cough strategy” rubbed off on current bottom-dwellers Thalia and Bianca, with both teams awarding the Adelaide mums a pitiful four points.
Pete and Manu weren't quite so harsh with their scoring, boosting the total to 63 points, elevating the South Australians to second place and securing them a spot in the finals.
So, the mums will be away from their homes, kids and hubbies for a while longer (that's bad) but weren't sent home (that's good) leaving viewer suitably confused as to whether to be happy or sad.
In the words of another infamous Aussie reality TV villain - game on, Helena and Vikki.