So last night the boys were pipped at the post by the women in an epically frantic challenge based on pub food. Who thought your everyday pub meal could be so hard? After a quick recap, we are welcomed to MasterChef Australia- elimination 3.
A good thing about this elimination is that, unlike last Thursday, the entire team competes, not just two or three. Unfortunately for the boys; another one of them is going. The episode starts with a peek into the MasterChef house. Everyone seems a little down; especially Andrew, who seems very nervous.
The SUV’s bring the boys to their kitchen. There’s a long row of benches with Gary and Matt Moran standing their, waiting for their attention. The two judges recap the events of the challenge and Matt Moran questions Andrew and Mat (found out he only has one ‘t’ in his name; now I don’t have to separate yet another ‘Matt’ from the show) about some of the mishaps before we see what the women won.
They are all having a nice looking lunch at the Manly Pavilion before learning how to make Risotto in their own private MasterClass. While they all seem to enjoy the taste test that comes along with it, Kate is still a little nervous for the boys back in their kitchen. Hayden, with the Immunity Pin, decides to compete and keep the pin for a rainy day.
Gary reveals that there are three rounds. In round 1, the people who underperform move onto round 2 and the contestants who underperform again move onto round 3 where the loser from that round will be sent home.
The good thing about this challenge is that they can choose what to cook and have an open pantry. But there’s always a catch; and the catch attached to this challenge must be every chef’s worst nightmare: the shortage of an all important ingredient; time. Contestants must collect all of their ingredients and cook their meal within the shortest amount of time ever given to contestants on MasterChef Australia history; a measly 10 minutes. I’m not a joker; this is fact.
The time begins; and the rush is on. One second in and we’re already into single digits! Craig describes the ensuing madness as pure chaos as Hayden describes the testosterone pumping through the room with a bit of arm bumping and a lot of rush. Contestants are literally out of the pantry within 30 minutes.
The boys are on their way with pans a-blazing, ingredients mixing and contestants sweating. It’s a great idea and awesome to watch. Seamus by far seems to have the best idea with a simple Japanese style plate; requiring only raw ingredients. Jay also goes light and finishes ahead of time. Mat has a bit of trouble; his dish looks very crappy to be honest. Michael is also almost finished but rushes to the pantry to get some lemon zest. Luckily he makes it before the time runs out.
Matt looks around and realises his dish is measly and pathetic (sorry Mat, but that was poor; a peany size of raw meat with a cracked egg on top. Blargh. He’s very angry, giving a leg kick.
Jay and Billy are first up with Jay’s dish getting mixed reviews and Billy’s getting panned. Kumar’s salad looks and tastes appetising; says an unimpressed Matt Moran.
Michael gets the first good review of the night with a ‘perfect dish’ (can’t remember what it was).
Seamus’ simple dish wasn’t actually as good as expected; but he seemed to think the judges wouldn’t like it.
Peter’s prawns were raw and the judges couldn’t taste it; ‘Bring on round two!’ he cleverly remarks.
Up next, team captain Andrew with his gourmet omelette. Gary liked the flavours but said as it is an omelette; it should have been perfect. I guess it wasn’t.
Up next, Hayden with a simple looking dish which the judges like, especially the presentation. Another contestant goes (we don’t get his name; which is a shame when there are so many contestants) before Adam’s dish, and open sandwich. The judges love it.
Next up is Mat’s measly bacon and egg pebble. The judges get him to eat it; and he realises how horrible it was. He says it was daunting having to hear Matt say it was a ‘pile of crap’. Wouldn’t exactly call it a ‘pile’ there, Mat.
So the first round is finished and Gary calls up the contestants going through to round two. They are; Peter, Mat, Seamus, Kumar, Billy and team captain Andrew. Maybe Andrew’s theory of team leaders going down with the ship is going to come out as correct.
The contestants get ready for round 2 before Matt Moran brings them back. The same rules apply as round one; however this time they have 15 minutes. Four will be safe after this round; two will move on. Seamus isn’t confident but the game begins and Andrew describes that despite the five extra minutes; the pressure is much more. Billy decides to cook his dish from round 1 with a few changes. Good luck, Billy.
Matt is making some lamb cutlets with some yoghurt while Seamus is turning off Japanese and going for a more Chinese style. He’s cooking a Snapper stir-fry. All contestants are now down to their last 10 minutes as Andrew questions his quality and pulls out all stops to create something amazing.
Meanwhile; Mat also does some questioning about the heat of his pan. He turns it all the way up and hears that the judges don’t like the look of his meat that seems to be burning. Seamus is also having trouble keeping his eye on his food and ends up throwing stuff in the bin. He doesn’t have too much time left.
Gary likes the energy of the room going into the last minute, I tend to agree, and Andrew finishes a dish he feels he is proud of. It does look quite good. With 10 seconds to go, the other contestants are putting their finishing touches on their dish and time is up.
Gary and Matt start the tasting. Billy’s deep fried prawns are first and Matt realises that it’s a tweaked version of his dish from before. Matt wonders if the prawns are cooked by no worries, they are. The dish goes down a treat and next up is Seamus who plates up a snapper, snow pea & asparagus stir fry. He’s not too flash hot on his efforts this time either; so let’s find out what the judges think. They aren’t very impressed and suggested he should have put some of the chilli bits onto it instead of chucking them into the bin.
Next up is Mat with parmesan-crusted lamb cutlets. Gary says they are dark and it’s pink on the inside. Gary shudders at the meal as he calls the lamb overdone; stating they can’t taste the parmesan. ‘What a waste of parmesan’.
Next up is Peter with a Thai salad. Gary likes the salad and Matt says the Salmon is perfectly cooked. Next for tasting is Kumar and his Pan-fried Prawns. The judges try and Gary looks concerned. There was a bit too much ginger.
Last is Andrew with Prosciutto-Wrapped Sardines; a clever idea; how will it go down? Matt Moran doesn’t like the fact it is a whole sardine comparing it to giving a person an oyster unshuckled.
Matt spits the food out; commenting that the fish isn’t scaled. A huge disappointment. Andrew is really angry with himself; he wanted to pick up his plate and smash it. We get a pointless back story from him and his workplace accident. Sounds bad; but it was irrelevant.
Now for the verdict of round 2. The contestants moving on to round three are Andrew and Seamus. Surprisingly, Mat is saved along with Kumar, Billy and Peter.
So now, we are up to the pivotal round three; and Andrew’s theory is coming to fruition. Again, round 3 is the same as the other two rounds with an extra 5 minutes on the last round. As the round starts; there are less people cooking and rushing around that pantry; it looks very tense for the contestants as the winning team members cheer from above.
Andrew starts with his steak as he wants to prove that he can cook a good steak. Nice work Andrew; good luck. Seamus wants to try his dish from last round. Matt Moran is concerned about Andrew’s thin steak overcooking but hope’s Seamus doesn’t get it wrong a second time.
This episode is full of them; flashbacks to the contestants back stories. Surely we’re not going to be subjected to them at random intervals throughout the whole season!
Gary asks why Andrew is playing it safe with a steak. Andrew doesn’t believe he is playing it safe with his spin on the dish. With five minutes to go; Gary asks how Andrew likes his steak. It gets Andrew thinking if he has overcooked his steak. With a minute to go, the plating up begins.
3, 2, 1, step away from your benches! Seamus is happy with his dish and Andrew is also quite proud. In a happy moment; Gary invites the other contestants down to say their final goodbyes. One of them is going home.
It’s then on to tasting. Gary eyes the dishes before asking Seamus what the dish is; another stir fry. The judges go in for the taste and they seem more impressed than last time. Gary has some nice things to say about the salad; but not the fish. Matt Moran is the same. So a mixed review before we head onto Andrew.
His dish looks very good yet simple. Now for tasting. His steak is a little off in some places, but it does have that medium rare quality to it in other places. Uplifting music almost gives away his survival in this game before Gary and Matt Moran throw in a mixed to positive review on his dish.
With the taste test over; Gary tells them that it’s time for one of them to go.
So after nearly two weeks into the top 24; time is up for Seamus. Gary reveals that they both produced good dishes in the end. Andrew is safe for another day; and begins crying. Just when I thought the sobs were over.
Seamus also seems really cut up; and so he would be. Gary reminds us Seamus’ entire journey in a positive light as he leaves the kitchen as eliminee three. The contestants upstairs (girls included) are wondering who will be coming back; and are relieved to see Andrew, yet sad to know Seamus has gone home.
So what started out as a rocky episode; cooking wise; turned out to be just your standard elimination. The contestant’s plates got better as the challenge went along and in the end; a contestant that really hasn’t featured at the front line of the season has gone home.
While at times the fast paced nature of this challenge was a bit hard to follow; it was great to see a bit of a twist on cooking; and the 10 minute time limit was one hell of a twist, even though it did negatively affect the end product for some in the end.
The random back stories of Andrew and Seamus were a little pointless and could have made a regular episode of this show draw out so I hope this does not continue.
Courtney’s Verdict: 7.5/10