Guess what? That’s right; finals week begins to heat up with all four contestants battling it out in an elimination challenge from the heart! One of Alana, Dani, Kate or Michael will be leaving tonight and our final three will be reached!
We start the episode early morning in the house as the four contestants solemnly get ready for the challenge ahead. They arrive quite early to the MasterChef kitchen where Gary, Matt Moran and Matt Preston await them and welcome them to day three of finals week.
Gary tells them that today, they want to find out about themselves; their food autobiography. They have to cook three dishes that describe themselves, their background and their journey. They all have so many ideas!
It is an open pantry challenge with no limits. They will have three hours to produce their dishes with the judges judging the dishes before deciding which one of them should go home.
Their time begins and they are off and running. Michael has three pork based dishes with rack and belly amongst those.
Moran funnily picks up on the fact that Kate is using so many baskets, they may need trolleys haha.
The judges go to Alana, who is well into her dish (which I will explain later for time reasons) and seem to like her ideas but they are not very different.
They then head to Dani who has a Master Stock on the boil. It is another Asian style spread, but they sound quite complicated; will she have enough time? Gary also wonders, as she is doing fritters, if a good fritter has ever been produced on the show.
Michael has some fish (for some reason; I thought he was doing all pork dishes) and is getting it prepared. The judges love his idea, but warn him a lot can go wrong with what he is doing.
Kate is whipping up some sort of crumble mixture as we look back at her immunity pin challenge when she cooked caramelised white chocolate.
The judges come over and call her idea fantastic, as she talks about making a pasta dish with a brown butter/ sage sauce. For entrée, she will do a smoked trout salad; something that appeals to the judges.
As they get well underway, they have used up their first half hour.
Michael was going to combine suckling pig pork with adult pork; something that confuses the judges who explain to him why he should change his direction.
After the break, the contestants are still cooking and moving along fast with that open pantry idea.
We return to Michael’s pork problem where he has been thrown out of his groove.
He decides to go with one bit of pork (the suckling I think) and follow the judge’s advice. Good idea!
Kate is working on her salad and dressing and she seems quite calm. We go to Alana who is frenching some lamb racks and while she seems calm, she does have a hint of panic in her voice.
Gary and Moran discuss Kate’s Trout salad; calling it amazing. They talk about Dani’s fritters and wonder if it is too basic a dish.
To Alana’s dish and Gary says that we have seen all he dishes before, so she needs to work to make it different.
Michael begins to create some thick chips before putting them in the fryer.
Kate’s trout is now simmering away and goes to check on her dessert’s jelly. It is set hard and thinks it may be too rubbery when she serves it!
Dani has a lot to do and she is panicking, thinking she has taken on too much.
She passes her corn soup pass a sieve and thinks it may be a bit too thick.
Michael is working on his duck dish (oops, it seems I misread something at the start of the episode; sorry guys haha) as Preston comes over to assess the problems he may have with his duck and his cooking pork.
With an hour to go, the contestants frantically begin on their last dishes. Kate’s tortellini are being rolled and she is happy with them.
Dani is now working on her crabs for her crab dumplings when Gary comes over and asks her about her thick corn soup. She may have too much to do.
Alana’s wok was smoking too much, so she turned it down to the point where it wasn’t smoking at all. Her lamb racks may not get smoked in time.
With thirty minutes to go, Dani is rushing through her dumplings so she can get those done before Kate gets her second batch of jelly out; which has worked perfectly. She begins to plate up her trout salad.
Michael is cooking his duck and looks really confident. Dani is not confident, knocking things over and not plating up anything. She needs to get her fritters in, and she needs to watch that they don’t burn.
Michael works on his sauce (mayo and something sauce) for his dishes and as we go back to Dani, it is a stark contrast to Michael’s calming, as Dani’s fritters don’t seem to be cooking! She doesn’t have long now.
She takes her banana fritters out of the fryer, and decide to fry them in a pre used pot. She still has nothing plated as people around her have things pretty much done.
The judge’s frantically look around with awe and excitement to see such great food. Michael mentions that he doesn’t taste the sauce he puts on his fish dish, suggesting it may not be good.
With the last 30 seconds, Dani begins to panic and decides to put a pot of mousse on her plate. It seems to be a joke, and with Michael only plating up two out of three pigs, it’s very disappointing for finals week.
First up is Alana for tasting with her three dishes. And during questioning, she almost breaks down.
Her entrée, Yabby and Fennel Salad, is first for tasting and Matt Preston loves the sweet yabby ends. Matt Moran loves the yabby with the salad.
Preston wonders if all the elements were a bit busy for the dish.
Gary wonders why she cooked the dish; obviously for her heritage, and with that, the judges are pleased.
Next is her main course- Smoked Lamb Racks with caramelised carrots.
They see if she’s undercooked her lamb and it is perfect! They call it text book!
They taste the dish and Gary seems impressed with the lamb. Time for the Chocolate Pudding dessert and they love the look of it.
Moran calls it a perfect mousse and says it is really hard to beat.
Michael comes in with his dishes and while he isn’t too happy, he hopes he isn’t going home.
Michael leaves, and they taste the Two Little Pigs first (it was meant to be Three Little Pigs) and they are glad to have convinced him to use the suckling pig. They LOVE the dish and Moran says he didn’t need the last piece of pig.
Next is the duck breast and first up, cutting an egg, it is cooked perfectly.
Gary doesn’t know if he likes the dish or doesn’t. Matt Preston says it needs a bit more sweetness but overall, they are undecided.
For the fish and chips now and they hate the sauce with a passion. Prediction correct!
Gary says he has cooked the rest of the dish perfectly.
Next up is Kate with her dishes and she is confident, but can see things she can do better.
They look at the salad and Moran calls her Smoked Tout & Apple Salad the ‘perfect’ combination. They taste and compliment the dish.
Next is the stuffed prawns; something Moran has been waiting for.
They love it with Preston calling the dish perfectly cooked. Lastly is the Ice Cream Sandwich and again, another smashing dish from the now definite winner-in-front.
Last up is Dani, who is serving up three dishes and a canister of ice cream. She is hoping it tastes brilliant.
They taste her sweet corn Veloute with Crab dumplings first and Moran thinks she has cooked the soup too long with Preston calling the pastry pasty.
Next up is Braised Pork Belly and it is better! The judges love the dish overall; with Moran calling it the best combination.
They then taste the Banana Fritters with ice cream and Moran loves the flavour combination but they think the ice cream is chalky.
With that, the four contestants enter the room with the verdict screaming in our face pretty much.
The judges interview the contestants with Alana fearful that she hopes she feels like she has had a go.
They talk to Kate, giving her compliments for her salad, and scolding her for not including enough sauce on the prawns.
They go around to each of the contestants with pros and cons.
They drag it out a little longer before an ad break helps with this.
After said break, Matt announces that Kate and Alana are safe and are through to the top three of MasterChef Australia.
It comes down to Michael and Dani and after a bit more time wasting and a few unneeded cutaways and to the tune of a silent wind theme, Dani is eliminated with a bowl of tears.
An all round fantastic episode in terms of production but I have to say, there were a few too many things wrong with the dishes for finals week. Also, that ending was so drawn out, it was actually quite boring.
But all that aside, it was an incredible episode with a sad elimination; for me at least, a Dani fan. I loved the end, with that cheeky look at Dani’s flirtatious moments and when she wanted the judges to say goodbye to George for her.
It took the sad edge off of a truly heart breaking elimination.
Now, there are three left and only two slots available on Sunday. Who will win tomorrow and claim that first spot? Quick, the longer you sleep, the faster you’ll get to find out!
For The Renovators fans, your blog will be up by hopefully 4.30pm tomorrow!
Courtney’s Verdict: 9.6/10
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