A sense of melancholy hangs in the air ahead of this elimination round, what with the risk of reality television’s most stupendous one-man car crash leaving our screens forevermore.
Last night, the “Captain” David and his trophy “wife” Corinne managed the lowest score in MKR history, making it seem almost certain they’ll be going home this evening, unless posh pair Cathy and Anna manage to burn the kitchen down or infect the table with salmonella.
Sadly though, we know that Cathy and Anna will settle for nothing less than perfection, and judging by their appearance, and that of their Country Manor (also the title of their pop-up restaurant at their property in rural Walcha, NSW), preparing Dave’s farewell reel - and haven’t there been so many golden moments! - at this point would not seem inappropriate.
Perfection, indeed, would seem the theme of the night, from the copious, immaculate bouquets decorating the Country Manor to the meat purchased by Cathy and Anna - of only the highest quality, of course. “That’s been there four weeks? F_ yeah, that is so good,” quips Anna, as she collects her perfect dry-aged scotch fillet from the butcher.
Perusing the menu, both Pete and Manu like what they’re seeing - bar one thing - Manu’s not keen on the sound of the orange and mint sauce that is to accompany the lamb in the main.
A fair bit of rare meat is involved in this meal, and Cathy’s not sure it’s going to be to David’s tastes, as it might exceed his “levels of sophistication” - he did serve up stuff that would be sent back in an RSL last night, after all.
Anna is already sending her poor mother into a tizzy as she questions elements of the meal, mainly Cathy’s “flaky” pastry. Would this not have been something better discussed perhaps before trying to prove that they are the antithesis of mediocrity on national television?
“Fine is not good enough, they have to be perfect,” says Anna, referring to some/all of their food, I’m not sure exactly, but it’s easy to imagine Anna in front of the mirror saying the same thing to her plastic surgeon/personal trainer/beautician.
Arriving at the manor, Dave reminds us why we love him so. “Where are all the lambs?” he asks. “Maybe she just looked at them and they died.” He might be talking about Cathy or Anna, either seems plausible.
Some observations from the off-screen interviews:
1) Were it true what they say about the wind changing, Perth witch Kelly (she’s the short one, right?) would be in some grave danger of having a face like a cat’s bum for the rest of her life.
2) After doing a little better at their instant restaurant this second time around, Harry and Christo have had their egos sufficiently inflated to rag on others more freely these days. I can’t help but feel that this confidence is misplaced. Oh, and Harry - lose the shirt, mate, studs on collars do not make a stud of you.
After a whole lot of backseat driving in the kitchen as cool-headed Cathy cooked the scotch fillet to perfection while Anna sniped at her, it is served to the judges and Manu is already trying to swallow his own smile as he reads their dish back to them. “Are you ‘appy? he asks. “We’re happy,” smile Cathyand Anna. “Are you happy?” they ask.
“I am very ‘appy,” beams Manu. Cut to David, looking rather unhappy.
It’s onto the main and uptight Anna looks as though she could benefit with some horse tranquilizers as she emphasises the need for perfection to be maintained. Manu chooses this moment to enter the kitchen and makes a whimpering reduction of Cathy, who is supposed to be looking after the lamb, dammit! Be gone Pepé le Pew!
The main goes out, it’s more rare meat - lamb this time - and even Pete thinks it could have done with a little more flame. Manu is harsher.
“You know how much I like sauce,” he says.
“I’m not a big fan of this one,” he says, and the words are like a dagger spearing CathyandAnna through their posh hearts. “It’s overpowering” - STAB - “too sweet” - STAB, STAB, “and the combination of orange and mint” - I can’t recall his words exactly, but he didn’t like it. STAB, STAB, STAB.
Cathy and Anna retire to the kitchen, shattered. Their main is still dancing circles around the abominable pork medallions that David and Corinne offered up last night, but for these two, every criticism is a rocking reminder or their IMPERFECTION.
Anna’s now worried about the dessert of apple pie, another old family recipe. Cathy - who appears to have accidentally smudged her eye makeup, is looking a little worse for wear and this has not escaped Dave’s attention.
“The old one looks very tired,” he says to Corinne, grinning. David, we know, is not into older women. “Time for a nana nap, perhaps?” This seems a bit rich, she’s hardly David’s senior but Dave also seems to think he’s young enough to unironically say things like “Totes ridic” so we know to take what he says with the grain of salt that was missing from CathyandAnna’s entree.
Anna thinks the spiced creme anglaise is too sweet and asks her Mum her opinion before admitting this is a redundant question - Anna had already made up her mind and Anna defers to NO ONE.
Meanwhile, Cathy is bemoaning the invisible egg white that has supposedly baked onto the top of her pie, and Anna is unconvinced the dessert will get them over the line.
I’m not a huge fan of apple pie, personally, and this doesn’t look particularly inspired from the comfort of the couch, but the all-important judges feel otherwise.
Pete deems it bloody close to perfection - it’s the best dessert he’s had in the comp, he says. Manu is in favour too, and it’s enough to have Cathy pre-empting what they’ll do in the next round, much to Anna’s chagrin.
When Corinne says, “I don’t think the competition has seen the best of us yet and we definitely still deserve to be here,” Australia laughs, and with their high scores for Cathy and Anna, the competitors have already sent David and Corinne packing before the judges even cast their votes.
Bar the middling main, Cathy and Anna score phenomenally highly with the judges, the pastry of the dessert in particular being singled out for praise, and if I didn’t know any better I’d say there is a distinct trace of I TOLD YOU SO BITCH on Cathy’s smug face as she stares at her waxen daughter.
So it’s adios, Corinne and David, and I’m sure there’ll be many who are glad to see the back of them but I for one will miss the ridiculous Captain and his bosomy trophy wife. Now that Geoffrey and Brynne have gone bust, can we please get a reality show in the vein of My Bedazzled Life?
Tonight, the snooty Cathy and Anna have also proven themselves to be serious contenders to take out the entire series. It looks like the Greek twins and Tassie besties Thalia and Bianca have some competition.