Tonight opens the last normal week of MasterChef before the finals week! It will be the beginning of the end for one more contestant, but who will that be? That elimination isn’t until Thursday, so don’t worry about it too much, let’s just enjoy what’s in store for tonight.
We begin with a nice look at Sydney harbour and what the contestants are doing in the house. Of course they are cooking and eating while in cutaways, they talk about their competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.
The contestants then drive off to the MasterChef kitchen where Matt, Gary & George are waiting for them; as are five mystery boxes. They stand behind their boxes as George welcomes them to the top five.
Matt tells them that obviously, their first challenge is a mystery box but it is one will mess with their heads, designed to test their strategy. Some good news, no losers today! Yay! If they win however, they will find their way into the final immunity challenge to win a pass to finals week.
Matt talks to Michael & Alana, who have never got into an immunity challenge. The winner today will also have their recipe published in taste. Alana wants to ‘beat Michael Wheldon’.
They lift their lids to find an envelope; and Dani is not too sure how to cook the envelope. In the envelope, is the name of another contestant and for that person, they have to choose the ingredients to use. The judges want them to challenge their fellow contestants.
The contestants open the envelopes with Ellie getting Dani, Kate getting Michael, Michael getting Alana, Alana getting Ellie and Dani getting Kate. The contestants must choose 12 items including pantry staples to choose for their fellow competitor.
Michael knows Alana can cook a normal fish, so ‘jumps outside the box’ by giving her a flat fish! What? Michael, what are you talking about?
The contestants wait for their name to be called out by the judges and collect their baskets. All contestants are quite frightened by their ingredients, haha. Ellie is particularly unhappy.
After the break, the contestant’s 60 minutes begin and they are off. Dani is very confused by the looks of it at what piece of cutlery to choose, bringing back to the bench a selection of bowls and pans. She will be starting by cooking pasta dough.
Ellie is still confused about what she will cook first and starts by cooking lentils. Michael knows straight away that he will be cooking some sort of panecotta.
Alana is busy filleting her flat fish and it does seem like it is a hard job. Kate is filleting a flounder at the same time with Gary giving her a few suggestions. Alana jolts over to pick up a few ideas.
Ten minutes in, Ellie is still trying to break down her rabbit. She wants to cook the rack, roast the legs and maybe cook the loin.
With 45 minutes to go, Michael is up to cooking his rice and caramel. Gary and George come over and gives him some cooking advice for his caramel.
Meanwhile, Alana has skinned the fish perfectly. As the judges come over, they wonder if today is her day to get immunity.
All this talk about Alana and Michael not getting immunity yet makes me think that one of them will win today’s challenge, but with all these shots obviously occurring before the judging, it doesn’t really mean anything.
Back after the break, Alana is pickling her vegies but is unsure of the flavours that come with doing this.
Meanwhile, Michael is hard at work on his dessert.
Ellie is cooking her lentil and Brussels sprouts as the judges come over and wonder if there is enough imagination in her dish. The judges already find faults in her dish and tells her to get her stuff together.
Alana continues to pickle her vegies as Kate starts to shell her scampi. She has however never cooked with Scampi before, so how does she do it? Shell on, shell off? She experiments with a few procedures as the clock counts down to the last 30 minutes.
Michael adds some honeycomb to the bottom of his dish and with music going all deathly bassy, is this the best idea?
Alana is now crumbing her fish as Dani cooks her rabbit, moving onto other things, like her tortellini and what she will fill it with.
Kate decides to do a curry flavoured sauce to go with a seafood dish, knowing she doesn’t have rice to make an actual curry.
Michael finishes his caramel flakes which Gary reveals he was going to show the contestants how to make it in an upcoming MasterClass!
Ellie starts to cook her rabbit and Gary is blunt; you’re gonna run out of time! She has a lot to do overall, and needs to get going!
There’s not much time left as Kate begins to cook her fish and she tries to do it so perfectly. With 11 minutes to go, Dani begins to fry off some pieces of rabbit. With a few minutes left, many contestants begin to plate up their elements with some dishes looking brilliant however Alana can hear a few stuff ups in front of her.
Michael is plating up four dishes, planning to choose the best one- good idea! With a minute to go, Kate is finished and happy, that actually would feel good!
With ten seconds to go, most contestants finish ahead of time and it’s not too stressful, however Ellie, spoonless, manages to pour her sauce from a SAUCEPAN- everywhere! Haha.
With that, tasting begins with Michael’s dessert funnily enough. Michael has cooked a Panna Cotta. Michael pours the syrup over the dish before George questions how much he wants immunity- Michael wants it bad.
George tastes and loves the dish saying the Panna cotta is sweet but not rubbery and congratulates the other elements of the dish as well. Gary is next and also loves the Panna Cotta as well as the other ideas, except that honeycomb.
Matt taste the dish, pauses for dramatic effect and calls it absolutely beautiful! He compliments the dish in full.
Next up is Dani and she brings forward her very plain looking dish. All it is, is some Olive & Bocconcini Tortellini with some rabbit portions. Matt notices this challenge has exposed gaps in her repertoire. He tastes and he doesn’t like the amount of rabbit but loves the frenching of the rabbit and thinks the pasta isn’t the best. Dani is obviously upset.
Alana is next with her Almond-crusted Flounder with Gary tasting first. Gary loves the pickled Kohlrabi and individually, all elements taste good, but together, they don’t work.
Matt is next, shakes his head and tells her that she should have taken a few things off of her plate.
Kate is next with her Pan-Fried Seafood dish.
Gary tastes first and begins by reacting vocally to the spicy sauce- he loves it! He does however miss the balance of sour in it.
George tastes it and not being a spice lover, buckles under the heat haha. He tastes the other elements and call them all lovely; loving the cooking of the scampi.
Ellie is next with her Rack of Rabbit. Matt tastes first and calls it restaurant style presentation however her rabbit could have been a little moister.
George tastes next and loves the sauce. He tries the kidney next but calls it overcooked.
Gary is last, telling her she has ended up with a clever simple dish with bags of flavour.
The judges go away to decide who wins the challenge.
I notice that not only has Michael not participated in an immunity challenge before, but his tasting segment was also the longest and a sneaky cutaway before the ad break kind of points him as the winner. Will he win?
The judges return to give their verdict. Ellie reminds us what they will win yet again before Gary announces Michael as the winner! Of course he is! He is over the moon as you would expect.
He then goes to chat with Taste with Matt Preston in a nice ending to the show.
So a pretty good episode all up if not a little predictable. They made too much of a big deal over a person who has not won the right to appear in an immunity challenge before winning tonight but other than that, stunning episode; lovely idea and thrilling competition! This is what MasterChef is all about!
Courtney’s Verdict: 9.9/10
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