I must clarify that in the weekly highlights segment on Friday, I mentioned that tonight is an elimination episode. It is not. Instead, this is just another episode for the kids to score points in. Batter up!
The contestants rock up into the kitchen where the judges are standing before a four poster bed! Gary wonders where they’ve been all night. The kids wonder if there is anyone under the sheets.
Anna has heard about their previous task (the farm task) and wants to kick off a new day with… breakfast! MasterChef style! A Five star breakfast!
Harry is a bit worried, having not cooked breakfast much in his life. The judges scorn at the idea of his batter-in-a-bottle pancake breakfast.
Gary reveals that by the end of the day, the field will be split with the bottom eight going into elimination on Sunday.
Time to get to the ingredients… and they are all under the bed in a pantry!
The contestants are wowed by the expansive pantry. Anna tells them that they have 50 minutes to cook their breakfast, and their time begins!
The contestants grab for their ingredients and there is a bit of a scavenge when it came time for the kids to grab ingredients from the middle of the gigantic bed, climbing over the other ingredients, and the other contestants!
Zac seems to be doing an assortment of five dishes including pancakes and poached eggs. His hollandaise sauce will be playing a hero role today.
We hear some ideas from some other contestants (which I will get to later) and I use this time in the episode to figure out who will be the ‘more important contestants’ of the episode.
The judges think they are going well with Anna discussing Lily’s Strawberry Soufflé pancake which intrigues them. Matt tells us how non-simple this challenge is.
Greta is doing ricotta, spinach and goats cheese crepes, as she explains to the mouth watering Gary and Matt. She better hurry up.
30 minutes remain for these little tots as they turn their own heat up and get ahead of the game. Lily is trying to get her soufflé out of her pan and it breaks up! She has to start again with next to no time to spare.
With five minutes to go, Harry gets all ‘steamed up’ when he drops a hot pot in some cool water! Kieran is making some sort of pikelets and with a minute to go, he is having some fluked luck!
Lily is plating up her new Soufflé and gets it done without hassle and successfully!
Time is up and tasting begins.
Dee and Kieran are up first and Dee has made Brioche French Toast with Dark Chocolate Ricotta and some Alpukat Beating! A Traditional Malaysian drink.
They love it and Gary gets the other judges to taste the toast as he keeps digging in to the drink.
Matt loves the depth and balance in the smoothie and loved the ricotta.
Kieran has Honey & Cinnamon donuts and they are impressed by the use of goat’s cheese.
Safe to say, they love it with Anna loving the texture and the balance of flavours.
Traditional Punjabi Breakfast is on Miraede’s menu but Anna says the potatoes were a little undercooked.
To ‘Jack’s Way’ Eggs by non other than Jack, and Gary thinks he bit off more than he can chew.
Up next is the raspberry soufflé with salad and a smoothie from Lily and Matt thinks it looks beautiful and compliments how light the soufflé was.
Greta is next with her crepes.
Gary loved the filling in the crepe but wants more colour on the crepe. She has done a stellar job on the technically difficult dish.
Marcus and Tom get good reviews for their dishes, and Zac is next with his Breakfast Tasting plate. How many of these ‘tasting plates’ are these contestants going to dish up?
Gary thinks the eggs were nicely poached and it seems as if Matt likes the Hollandaise sauce. Anna can’t believe he achieved all that he did in 50 minutes, complimenting each part of the dish. Matt loved the pancakes.
So, who’ll be getting points?
In third place, earning 2 points is Kieran.
In second place, earning 4 points is Dee.
Winning today’s challenge, earning 6 points is Zac!
Well, that wasn’t obvious at all!
So, for the scoreboard;
So, to the next challenge. Gary tells them that it is an invention test. The theme, as told by Anna, is Asian seafood. To help them with this test, Gary introduces today’s guest- Luke Nguyen; one of the more prominent Australian cooks.
The juniors are happy to meet him. Zac, as the winner of the challenge before, gets to choose the core ingredient for the day. With that, he accompanies the judges to the pantry where cloths cover the three choices; Baby Barramundi, prawns and crab.
Zac doesn’t know what to choose, but as we head back into the kitchen, he has obviously chosen something. They rest the cloche down, covering up the answer. After reading out the options, Zac reveals his choice; the prawns. Greta and Marcus are amongst the happy campers.
Luke is looking for perfectly cooked prawns. They will be given another 50 minutes to cook their dish and their time begins.
It is off to the pantry and some contestants struggle to find some ingredients. Jack is quite pessimistic by the whole challenge.
After the break, the cooking begins and the judges visit Miraede who will be making a salad with her prawns and Matt adds the pressure as she tries to clean her prawn perfectly.
Zac is going to poach his prawns and as he tells Gary, cooking his prawns is the hardest element to his dish.
Luke and Gary approach Jack who will be doing lemongrass prawns and they are interested in his garlic and lemongrass glaze which he will be using. They cannot wait to see how it will come together.
Alysha is doing spicy Indian prawns and just hopes she doesn’t put too many chillies in it.
To the judges and Matt thinks Miraede’s idea is interesting. Luke can’t wait to see the bold ideas come together.
Matt and Luke go to Greta who is doing a Thai Red Curry and Luke tells the nervous girl that her prawns should be done cooking.
Jack is skewering his prawns to get them cooking and Anna helps him with the tedious task as he runs out of time.
With five minutes to go, they better be plating. Jack is now panicking as he and Anna only just finish skewering the prawns. Can he get it done in time?
Gary goes to Alysha and tells her to plate up with a minute to go. After a while, all time is up and it feels as if that challenge just came and went. Now to the tasting!
When Miraede took her prawns off the frying pan, she noticed that one was raw, so she is nervous.
After the break, Harry and Alysha are first to bring their dishes up and cute Alysha brings up a bottle of water for her Spicy Goan Prawn dish. Will they need it?
They give Harry a try of the hot curry and Alysha is nervous that she will kill Harry. Wouldn’t that mean she would automatically progress to the final 15?
Gary wants to go back for seconds and Luke loved the aromas from her dish.
To Harry, and he cooked a Prawn Pad Thai- that’s it.
Gary says that it is interesting, texturally and knows there is flavour in there. Gary thinks he has overcooked the noodles.
Next up is the Prawn & Sesame Noodle Soup belonging to Kieran and Luke compliments the broth. Anna thinks he could have used less noodles.
To Chandler and his beautifully presented prawn dish which Gary says the prawns are cooked perfectly but does not like the paste.
To Miraede’s Prawn, Lime and Coconut Salad and they notice the raw prawn. She nearly cries but they assure her the rest are fine.
To Zac and his Poached Prawn & Herb Salad and let’s see how the master went.
Luke tells him that he nailed the dressing and gives him congratulations.
To Jack’s Chilli, Lime and Lemongrass Prawns with coconut rice and salsa.
After the break, as we pan down on the MasterChef symbol garden out the front of the kitchen, I notice a small rabbit run in between the hedges which is quite cute…
Now, back to Jack’s comments and Matt says ‘do you know what’, completely raw’. Even with Anna’s help, they were raw.
Greta has Thai Prawn Curry with Jasmine Rice and Matt says it had perfect harmony and perfect balance. He calls her dish a standout. Luke also loved the presentation and her adventurous act of serving the prawn with the shell.
So, to the final result before elimination.
In third place, earning two points is… Zac.
In second place, earning four points is… Greta.
And the winner, earning six points is… Alysha!
The rest get a point and with that, they thank Luke Nguyen for his services.
So, the final scoreboard looks like this:
Those guy’s are safe. Not safe are Marcus, Harry, Tom, Stephen, Dee, Gracie, Jack and Kieran.
With that, the contestants are off to get some well earned rest for the elimination ahead. The episode itself was nothing different to your stock standard Junior MasterChef episode, which is scary as being on the show’s lowest rating night, there’s not much going for drawing the viewers in. It’s just the same thing week in, week out. An elimination would have been beneficial.
Still, the results were heartwarming, and there were just as many positives as there were negatives in terms of the dishes, showing that this show isn’t all about making the kids feel good. They also seem to be making more of an effort to show more dishes and in the meantime, the winners are getting less obvious (except for that first challenge).
Production quality was high but overall, nothing standout from this one.
Courtney’s Verdict: 8.0/10