Tonight guys and girls; its guys vs. girls!! Sounds like another MasterChef team challenge! So first promise for the episode- this challenge will be the most frantic challenge yet! Can they deliver?
Of course, this is MasterChef!
Now for time purposes; I’m not going to list team members this week; but its girls vs. boys, so I think I can leave that team member placement up to you! The text book look at life in the house. Interestingly, it’s during their dinner! Rachel reads out a note telling them that it’s challenge time!
They all go to the Mean Fiddler; Jay’s been before. Matt Moran tells us that it is one of Australia’s busiest pubs with up to 700 customers a night with a reputation of really fast food.
Gary runs through a list of seven different menu items in which they must cook. The judges will not only taste the food; but will also take into account agility and customer satisfaction. The winning team will dine at Manly Pavilion and a private MasterClass with the head chef.
The losing team; elimination; no second chances. Dani is anxious right off the bat. To keep the contestants on their toes, Matt Moran reveals the teams will be split into gender vs. gender. Boys are the Red Team with Andrew as team leader; something he is dreading.
Bubbly Rachel is leading the girls (Blue team) and seems happy with the idea despite feeling an initial feeling of dread. And with that; the challenge kicks off. George runs through some tips with the Blue team; Matt Moran runs through tips with the boys. They teams brainstorm ideas for their menu’s including different types of burgers; sauces; steaks. Some interesting idea’s coming out but it’s hard to keep up; it’s really rushed. I think this is supposed to add to the suspense and hecticness but it’s just a really busy scene to be honest. Chelsea isn’t really supportive of Rachel’s leadership, claiming she is trying to be everywhere.
Andrew seems more composed, he has his team in their positions but Matt Moran isn’t pleased when he sees some steak on the floor. Luckily, he didn’t crack the shits when they threw it in the bin. He’s not happy with the size of the steak either.
Chelsea takes on the role of meat woman before George asks Rachel about the amount of prawns they will need. She seems a little confused on what is going on. In contrast, Jay and pretty much the rest of the Red team seems quite relaxed and in the zone. Andrew decides to do mushroom sauce before we head back to the Blue team. Arena is on the juice. No, she’s not drinking; she’s making some onion juice (?). Kate tells us (instead of us seeing it first hand which was a little disappointing) that she hears a commotion and turns around to a mass of flames coming from the grill. Arena has slammed all the uncut steak on the grill. With all the dripping fat; this has caused the mini inferno. The team members frantically try to get the meat off the grill. For some reason, Arena is grinning and someone cracks a ‘Blue team is on fire’ joke. So, even in crisis; this show can still be light hearted; how nice.
Meanwhile, Dani is creating her dish while Matt Moran and George discuss what has happened on both teams. Matt tells George about the steak size problem; dwarfed by the grill inferno occurring on George’s Blue team.
Jay and Billy are confident in their meaty dish as George calls half an hour to go. Shannon is assigned to the desert and she gets a move on. She seems to be the only Blue team member not panicking or in a hurry. Seamus and Kumar start on their specialised dish while Arena’s juices are coming out way too thin. Rachel jumps to the rescue but for a team leader; we haven’t seen much of her.
George is a little annoyed that Arena is using gravy mix for her gravy. Rachel doesn’t like the look of the sauce and tries to make it look more appealing but Chelsea thinks they should can the sauce. Rachel correctly points out that although it looks like the simplest part of the meal, the sauce is turning out to be the hardest.
Cracks form in the red team as Michael finds out Andrew hasn’t assigned anyone to one of their dishes. Andrew doesn’t really know what’s going on as time ticks on. The leaders Rachel and Andrew meet with the head chef as service time arrives. The first orders come through and chaos prevails. Ellie reveals that the atmosphere is mental with everyone yelling at everyone. Gary points out some problems pursuing in the kitchen as the contestants try to get the onslaught of orders out for service. After a few minutes of pure chaos; George shuts them all up and tells them that they are the noisiest bunch he’s seen in a kitchen! Coming from George, that’s fair harsh. Mind you, there’s a lot of pushing and shoving and arguing going on.
Dani tells viewers that George’s intervention helped them get a little organised. Matt (contestant) realises that getting the steaks to the right consistency isn’t possible apparently; and some customers are not happy. There are a lot of red plates being returned with unfinished steaks. Not acceptable.
Peter notices that some of the dishes being put up for service look either ugly, wrong or have ingredients that shouldn’t be there. Unfortunately; these are for the judges to taste test. For the red team; Matt Moran doesn’t like the size of the steak (too small) which although is meant to be Medium cooked; turns out dry and raw. The salad looks off as well.
The red team aren’t going well, so Jay offers some disgruntled customers pork bellies on the house. Some take the bait; but some do not.
The judges are still tasting the red team’s plates and comment that the scallops look overcooked but after tasting it; reveal that the scallops are really nice. The customers agree.
After a look at the red team, we move on to some results from the blue team. The type of steaks are still a problem. Some customers are complaining on getting the wrong type of steak. The difference is that there are people in the crowd who actually do like the blue team’s steaks.
The judges notice that the orders were getting confused in the kitchen and this probably affected who got what type of steak. There are problems with the steaks presented to the judges for testing, but the sauce is also an issue with Matt Moran not looking like a fan. After tasting the gravy, the judges outright pan the gravy, calling it horrible, bitter and burnt. The blue team may not be in the clear just yet. The judges do like the salad and chips though; something that the red team got wrong.
The salt and pepper prawns from the Blue team (the snack) works a treat with the customers and the judges. The most uplifting music of the episode is played and finally, it seems these contestants have gotten something right.
Now it’s time for the blue team burger. While the sauce looks different (onion sauce that the contestants mistakenly made into a BBQ sauce, nice work) the burgers go down a treat.
Now for the Red Team deserts and Kumar is working on the smashed Pavlova and gives us a mouth watering description of what looks like a mouth watering desert.
The judges absolutely love it, a plus for the Red team and for Kumar who has once again surprised. Some kid in the pub gave it 10 out of 10. That’s game winning stuff right there.
Now for the desert from the Blue team; strawberry shortcake. The judges like the texture, but does it taste nice? George isn’t amazed by it. He calls it a little raw and Matt Moran calls it a nothing desert. They do like the shortbread though. I think Red Team won the desert challenge.
And then finally, service is over and an overwhelming sense of relief waves over not me, who has to keep up with the dramas in the kitchen, but for the contestants.
Now the wait until the verdict begins. There’s a bit of banter going on between contestants as they wonder what their chances are. Gary goes through what had just happened and reminded them of the three factors that went into the result of the challenge.
He reminds them of the reward for the winner and, of course, the punishment of the loser. Now for the part MasterChef does best; going through the positives of what looked like a hopeless challenge. First; the red team. Some very uplifting pointers including the Pavlova. Then came the points of improvement including the lack of sauce on the dishes. Matt (contestant) doesn’t know why they didn’t get the sauce. There’s an awkward silence as they move onto the next negative; the steaks. Again, contestant Matt is under fire. He apologises but the judges remind him that 8 dishes came back to the red team. Matt Moran then pans the presentation side. Overall, the negatives took a lot longer to roll out than the positives. Very reflective of the challenge.
Now, the blue team. Positives include the prawns (to Dani’s excitement), burgers and customers feedback. After a quick positive giving session; we move on to the long, drawn out negative session. First up, the gravy. Matt Moran reminds the contestants that gravy powder and fire don’t taste good. Really Matt, really?
Matt Moran questions how Arena created the fire, reminding her that the sauce came out burnt. Then, onto the nice looking but bland tasting desert. Gary tells them that the shortbread did nothing for them.
Now for the result; and after all the factors considered, it was the members of the blue team that won.
So the boys lost; and like last night’s episode, it was a result known from about half way into the episode; despite Arena’s firepower. George reveals 16 dishes were returned to the Red Team. Someone was surprised, probably because they, and us thought it was only 8 dishes that were returned. George then tells the team; that it wasn’t just steak that was returned and 16 returned dishes just isn’t good enough
That means that another boy is going home tomorrow. Andrew, as leader, doesn’t like his chances.
For an hour episode; it sure as hell didn’t drag out, unlike some of Seven’s reality offerings. This show was suspenseful and as usual, had plenty of mishaps to keep me and the audience entertained. There are downsides to such a suspenseful and hectic show. It does seem messy and it can be hard to keep up; even when you’re not writing a blog. With 22 people taking part in this challenge; it was impossible to know who was making what and if you didn’t notice from how I wrote this blog; I actually forgot the dishes that needed to be made and also other elements of the episode due to the business of what was going on. Giving them seven dishes to make just adds to the confusion.
Still, definitely an episode that would have people hooked and while the outcome wasn’t great for the red team; it sure as hell was for us viewers!
Courtney’s Verdict: 7.0/10