Last week was a very surprising one and after finding a final 12, we are on the quest for the top ten this week; and it all begins on Matt Moran’s childhood farm in a very interesting looking challenge.
The recap is nice a short and the preview has to be the best I’ve seen; short and very sweet as we get a glimpse of who the contestants will be cooking for tonight!
We begins with a look inside the house and while the contestants are all relaxing, the phone rings (the scene isn’t completely believable, but the phone call content makes up for that) and it is Matt Moran. He tells them that they will be meeting him at his farm.
The contestants are excited, particularly farm loving Peter, as they enter their SUV’s and journey off into the night to Matt’s farm. When they arrive after sunset, George and Matt Moran (who invites them onto his farm) tells the twelve contestants that they will be cooking for a group of people attending a hoe-down.
The contestants funnily enough break into dance before Matt tells them they will be cooking, not dancing. He tells them they will be cooking in the biggest buffet this town has ever seen.
Kate, who knows what country people like to eat, decides not to share her secrets. George tells them all that tomorrow morning, this place will be bustling with people and they must all contribute one dish to the buffet.
Matt tells them they will be cooking with one thing, fire! George tells them there are many ways to cook over an open flame- it has been done for centuries. Billy is still nervous. All contestants are nervous when George tells them 200 people will be not only guests at the buffet; but also the judges! They will cast a vote for the food they like best. These votes will determine one winner and three losers. The winner gets to cook for immunity however the three losers will be heading straight into elimination.
Before they head off, Matt Moran introduces them to Jim Moran, Matt’s father. Kate loves the fact that Jim rocks up in a tractor; a very fitting scene. He gives a bit of a background of the farm before Matt tells them the pantry they can rummage through is amazing however they will be given only one protein- lamb!
Jim tells them that there are no cuts of meat, just the whole lamb. And here we go with the MasterClass; now it all makes sense.
They don’t have to butcher a lamb, but if they do, they have to treat it with respect and must follow the MasterClass rules closely. We get a quick reminder for all those who missed out.
By the way, where the hell is Mat; he’s not in the crowd. With that, the intro ends and we go into morning.
We are treated to relaxing music and a lovely view before the music gets very bassy and the stunning farm benches the contestants will be cooking on are revealed.
The contestants run to their ‘pantry’ (a pile of food) as Michael & Hayden get their fire started. Oh, I’ve just spotted Mat.
Kumar is first off to get his lamb and he comments on the long walk needed to be undertaken to get the lamb.
Kumar can’t carry one lamb down the hill nearly before Matt tells him to go collect another one, taking the first one off him for some reason (he wasn’t in trouble, but I still don’t know why).
Back after the break and many contestants are now rushing to get their lambs including Sun, Billy, Peter & Dani. Peter tells us that there is no room for squeamish princesses today in reference to the butchering task.
Dani finds it hard to start a fire where Danielle believes it is important not to have a roaring fire. We hear some dish ideas from contestants before we cut back to Peter and Matt really wants to take the knife off of him and do the butchering for him.
Danielle is sorting out her potato for her Gnocchi. She hopes the inclusion of pasta will put her above the rest.
Michael has chosen not to cook lamb, catering for the kids by making a sweet dish. Nice strategy.
Billy wants to cook some curry as it is cool weather and it will work down a treat.
Ellie is making a few dishes including a lamb based dish and an apple crumble. She is running behind schedule as usual.
George and Matt are off to the side, watching people butcher incorrectly or correctly (some are some aren’t). They are confused by Michael’s dish choice as the first hour ticks away.
Ellie shows Matt her idea however Matt tells her she is wasting time and has to get a move on. He was pretty harsh; but it’s in his nature and it was quite constructive for the usually slow Ellie.
Billy finally gets his butchering done after one hour and is surprised to see people still going at it; the only other person done is Peter.
Ellie is still struggling, meanwhile, with all her dishes and the amount of time she has to cook them in.
With two hours to go, Ellie has finally cut all her meat from her carcass, she crumbs it and gets on with it.
Danielle’s braise and potatoes are on and she moves on to her meat.
Kate has her fire ready as Danielle begins her cooking. It is so funny to see Danielle try to turn her meat with the flames; I know, I’m cruel, but it’s funny.
George explains that the cooking process is complicated as the meat will get a burnt wood taste that needs to be moderated.
Meanwhile, Matt is introducing his father to the dessert making Michael and comically punches him in the face.
Ellie is still going when Matt & his father comes along. They then move on to Billy and they are happy with his butchering skills. They are also happy with Peter’s progress and Hayden’s.
They move on to Danielle who has her meat on in a braise but Matt calls her Gnocchi idea ‘game’.
To round it all up, Jim has one thing to say about Michael’s idea; ‘Culinary suicide’, a noose around his neck.
Sun puts her lamb legs on the fire but the fat dripping from the lamb creates an ‘epic fire’ which means Sun can’t take the meat off the grill in case she catches on fire (these flames are huge). Kate, who isn’t scared of flames, helps her move it aside. Aww, has she become the new Rachel?
The meat is too burnt however she wonders if it can be saved.
Danielle is starting on the vital part of her Gnocchi. Sun is still cutting through her meat which looks very burnt. George wonders if it is worth plating up. Matt from a distance can see it is still raw and Sun asks herself how he knows that before checking to see it is indeed raw. It’s quite a funny series of events.
Matt gives her a few tips to use the lamb and continue with her dish before we move to Billy who needs to reclaim his ‘desert king’ status back off Michael who beat him last week in the challenge. He decides to make a Rocky Road like Michael, but make it better.
It’s quite funny to see contestants batter Billy up about being bitter about the loss; even Ellie who is running out of time!!
With three hours done, Ellie is still boning out lamb and Peter is continuing with his lamb wraps (which the judges wonder if the wrap idea will go down with country folk).
Peter works on his wrap bread and is happy with the progress and the quality of the food he is getting out of the cooking process.
Back over to Billy v Michael and Michael cheekily brings over an example of a ‘proper’ rocky road to Billy who obviously shuts it down as crap. He does give it a good review in the cutaway and is clearly a little shaken on the farm. Quite hilarious!
With half an hour to go, the contestants are rushing to get their food cooked. Danielle is trying to cook her Gnocchi and it’s not really working. She sounds like she has a cold.
With less than 15 minutes to go, the clouds roll in (and they are very heavy clouds) and the rain begins to pour. This undoubtedly unnerves the contestants; particularly the strapped for time Ellie.
Matt tells them they have 2 minutes to go and George funnily tells them all that there are a lot of people at the top of the hill. For some reason, I found that so funny.
Gary is at the top of the hill welcoming the 200 guests and as he brings them down the hill, it is a very blustering and cinematic scene as these people come out of no where. The contestants gawk at the people as if they are zombies coming after them.
Matt tells them to get their buffet happening.
With the people arriving, many people are now in the process of plating up their dishes on their buffet.
Matt debriefs the guests on their role in today’s proceedings before they get underway with the eating.
The judges begin to sample Sun’s dish- Barbecued lamb. They taste the elements as George explains her struggles. The judges love her effort. After watching two hours of Dancing with the Stars, I was literally shocked to see the positive comments flowing from the judge’s mouths.
As Peter describes his dish to the guests, the judges taste his Grilled Lamb. Matt calls the dish, nicely cooked. Gary thinks it is a great combination of flavours saying the break is outstanding. He wants the recipe!
We move on to Hayden who is serving his food to the guests. The judges sample his Lamb Tagine and Matt loves his jacket potato and Gary also loves the dish. George just gets stuck into the nice tasting corn.
To Ellie’s dish and she seems happy now with her Roast Lamb kebab and crumble.
The judges don’t like her dish at all; especially her potatoes and lamb.
We move on to Danielle’s dish, Lamb Ragu. The judges don’t like the look of her Gnocchi but they think her lamb is nicely cooked and her carrots are nice and soft.
To Billy and his lamb curry and the judge’s portion looks great with the judges saying it is great with nice spices. He then hands out his crumble and looks very smug with his effort. What do the judges think? Well, Gary thinks the kids will love it.
Time for enemy Michael who only cooked Rocky road. George believes the kids will love them as well, thinking he’s not done the best job at cooking, but has done the best job of cooking. Now, isn’t this a cooking show? It seems Michael is only in it to win, which is good, but he’s going it at the expense of the premise of the show.
We see some opinions from the guests who like the rocky roads and the curries. Kumar is happy to see some votes coming his way.
Many people love Billy’s rocky road with the kids loving the lamb and the flat bread. One kid loved the lamb but not the lettuce. I reckon that will be a case of kids not eating their vegetables. What a cutie!
The cobs of corn are also a treat as are the kebabs.
With the meal over, the country people leave as the sun sets. The contestants have been gathered in the shed as Gary rounds up the entire day, reviewing the rules of the game; the guests have voted with the winner being the one to receive the most votes and the contestants with the least votes (three of them) going into elimination.
Jim thought they did well, saying (Michael) anyone who didn’t cook lamb were brave and did well.
Gary tells them that the votes have been cast and Matt will reveal the names of the people who received the most votes. These were (surprisingly) Michael and Billy. Who will win round 2? And does Matt have a cold as well?
One scored 20 votes and the other a whopping stand out 35. Jim announces the winner to be Billy who reclaims the dessert king champion. It’s funny to see him proclaim to be the best.
The judges compliment his meal before asking him how he feels (he feels good) at beating Michael. They are even! This means Billy gets to play for immunity.
Michael and Billy then leaves the shed before the judge’s move on to the three least impressive dishes.
George calls forth Danielle, Ellie & Peter. Wow, Peter is a huge shock but for Ellie, now in her eighth elimination. Danielle breaks down in the cutaway as she recounts the scare she got in the last pressure test.
Ellie is particularly sad and you can see her visibly choking up. George tells Peter his cooking was brilliant but it wasn’t the right atmosphere; people weren’t biting at the bait.
So if this show is about cooking, why does it come down to the amount of people who eat his food? Doesn’t make sense.
Jim gives them some parting words of encouragement as Matt sends them off for some rest before elimination.
Well, what a different show we had tonight. I thought the farmyard idea was brilliant, with great scenery and just a different atmosphere. But I don’t really know if I like the voting aspect of this. Firstly, if Peter cooked a good dish; why should he be penalised because people weren’t eating it? I guess it comes down to the hospitality fact that it’s not just the food, it’s the audience as well, and this does boost skills, but it won’t look good for the show if the cooking is being totally neglected. Probably best they didn’t show the final voting.
Similarly, Michael definitely should have cooked with lamb in my opinion. He is jeopardising this show’s cooking preface by choosing to go with a ‘safer’ option rather to be risky. That’s the problem with this show; at first, there were no good, risk taking cooks. Now there are good cooks that can’t take risks. This show needs to pass this hurdle, and Michael isn’t letting it.
Other than that, definitely a break from that kitchen theme. I do think the voting and verdict section at the end was dragged out considerably long and there was a lot of repeating of ‘we will now read out the votes’, ‘Matt will now read out the votes’ kind of thing.
Overall, stunning episode building up to a very exciting elimination tomorrow.
Just a reminder, Tuesday’s reality show blogs from me wont be posted until Wednesday afternoon at the earliest due to commitments on Tuesday night I have to attend. Please don’t worry, they will come eventually!
Courtney’s Verdict: 8.7/10