Tonight, the contestants continue their journey throughout America in search of those glorious sites and more importantly, those glorious points. Who will be victorious tonight? Let’s get stuck in!
We begin the episode on the beautiful Venice Beach. Those big cars rock up containing the juniors as they gawk at those amazing palm trees littering the beach. The four judges are there, in their LA attire, welcoming them to the beach. This is the site of their first US team challenge, says Gary. They need to split into teams and as Greta won Monday’s challenge, she will become a team captain of the team of her choice. She chooses Red and she goes to get her apron. She also gets to choose the other team captains and she chooses, for the blue team, Zac. To divide the rest of them into the teams, Matt calls on a bit of muscles and four buff (and one fat) bodybuilders come along and the boys of the group begin to try to show off whatever muscle they have but no one, even George, gets their pecs dancing like one of the guys.
Before the bodybuilders is a stack of weights. These weights will distinguish who is on what team. The bodybuilders will help pick up the weights. Alysha goes first and she gets to go on the blue team. Miraede has red; as does Chandler. He doesn’t want to be on the team with all the girls.
The rest of the teams get picked and it seems Kieran and Steven get on the red team with Jack, Lily and Indigo all on the blue team. Madi and Harry are last and Madi gets to go on the blue team, leaving Harry to join the red team.
So I have no idea why the buff nuts were there; are they cooking with Mussels today? Or is it because they are on Muscle Beach?
To the challenge and George explains that today, they will be taking on the most American dish on offer- Hamburgers! This challenge is all about reinventing an American favourite. The judges will be the general public. They have 2 hours in the challenge and there is a nifty red and blue hamburger station set up for them. Each time someone purchases a hamburger, they have to punch either one of two buttons, signalling which team’s hamburger they liked best.
The team who has the most points after 2 hours wins the challenge and a massive six points each.
Matt explains that the red and blue tents have all the ingredients needed to make the best hamburger.
To the brainstorming and Matt joins the blue team to discuss their ideas. They go for an American Club Sandwich Burger; fusing two American favourites there. They are going to go for turkey and beef instead of just the usual chicken a club sandwich would have.
George is on team red and they are creating a Venice Beach Double Beef Burger as their idea and it seems to have all the usual elements of a beef burger- can their taste surpass the originality?
Their time begins and after the break, they get straight into it. Anna and Gary interview George and Matt respectively for the ideas and of course, they all love the ideas. Kieran loves the name of his red team Venice Beach burger as it reflects the location!
Meanwhile, George makes up the fact that Greeks made the burger, haha. Some kid believes him at first.
Zac gets his blue team moving after the red team moves onto cooking and prepping. Lily is working like a machine on team blue and it’s quite impressive. Miraede gives a burger to a local American teen and he seems to enjoy it.
Matt is helping the blue team get their first burgers out and while it seems all smooth sailing to begin with (with very happy customers), it seems it is the red team are getting all the points. Oops, it seems the blue team is now getting all the votes. Soon enough; they are all in the 20’s in terms of points and the public seem very enthusiastic to give out their positive opinions.
The judges now taste the burgers. Anna says the red team’s burger is a bit on the heavy side in terms of mustard use but she loves mustard, so she loves it and Gary loves how the mustard works with the tomato sauce.
To the blue team’s club sandwich burger and Anna calls it clever with Gary loving all the flavours however he sees that the patty seems a bit raw. A couple of tourists (Aussie of course) note this about the blue team’s burgers and tease heading to the red team for points.
It is very close but it seems with not much time to go, it is anyone’s game. The camera doesn’t seem to pick up the scores on the scoreboard too well. The scoreboard numbers have too big a pixel size.
Then, disaster strikes; the red team run out of beef! How will they cope with this?
Well, it seems they still have turkey meat, so they just change up the burger a bit to compliment this.
With ten minutes to go, Steven thinks it will be a tough finish for his team. Now, it seems the blue team are catching a break and are getting a few votes. I think it is a Kiwi tourist who slams the blue team for throwing food all over the place. Listen, buddy! This is a competition! What do you expect!
The blue team however do seem to be going a bit psycho as the scores close in to a margin of just one or two scores and it seems the blue team wins by about one or two votes. Both teams are in the hundred-and-thirty’s.
The red team are devastated, but George cheers them up and with that, we head to another day where the members of the red team arrive to see the judges enjoying some sort of Mexican fiesta. They all begin dancing which is a bit odd but quite funny to watch.
Gary tells them that this is their chance to earn some points in this Mexican challenge. George wonders if they want to know what dish they will be cooking and of course they do! George then dances over to a sombrero cloche and reveals the dish- prawn quesadilla.
They don’t have much of a clue as to what it is, but it looks like a bit of a taco. George tells them that today, they are ramping it up (the challenge that is). They have to turn this dish into a five star version of their own inspiration.
Anna gets them to come in and taste the dish. They seem to like it.
For this challenge, the special guest will be Greg Berber, the third generation owner of La Luz Del Dia. He looks very, very Mexican!
George tells us that the contestants will have to impress the judges, Greg, his mother and his uncle. Oh dear!
Matt reminds them of the scoring scheme before they begin the challenge. They have 60 minutes to do all they have to do- it’s not a lot of time but it seems the onions are already working their magic on the contestant’s eyes.
They are all frying their veggies which is a good sign and Gary comes to visit Steven who is chopping his chilli and reminds him not to rub his eyes.
Time is flying by with 45 minutes remaining. Greta is doing some grinding but her sauce isn’t really looking as good as the boys.
Steven tastes his sauce and it seems to be quite hot. George and Matt talks about the dish and they decide it is quite a tough challenge.
Chandler is making his tortilla and he goes through the process of doing this.
Soon enough, there is only 30 minutes to go and Miraede is very happy with her progress. Most contestants are now onto preparing their guacamole and Anna comes to Harry and reminds him not to make it overpower the dish.
Anna goes to Greta and gets her to wriggle along. She goes to Kieran as he works along fast. The contestants are now frying or cooking their prawns and they are all making sure they are perfect.
Chandler tells us that he will be wrapping his dish and standing them up to add some uniqueness while Steven decides to make a deconstructed version of the quesadilla. Greta doesn’t have any ideas on presentation.
With five minutes to go, they have to begin plating up. Harry flips his tortilla and it is breaking. He looses his cool and nearly cries. Anna, calm and collected, comes to help him with a smile on her face and all is good! I wish I was that good around unruly kids as she is.
Chandler is also having troubles but soon, only ten seconds remain. Not much happens between now and the final siren as the kids just try to plate up.
After the break, it is time to taste. We find out that Greg’s mother is named Beatrice and his uncle is named David. Yeah, very Mexican names!
Harry and Steven are first for judging and Matt loves the size of the dishes. Harry thought it was fun but the camera on him says otherwise.
They taste Harry’s first and he is a bit nervous.
George is squinting with the heat and Beatrice loves the toasty tortilla and the shrimp. Matt would have loved a bit more Guacamole.
Steven is next with his deconstructed plate. George calls the plate ‘spectacular’ and says he hit it for six before shaking some maracas.
Chandler and Miraede is next but Chandler will be having his dish tasted first. It looks a bit messy as his plan didn’t eventuate properly. Beatrice loves it, saying ‘Muy Bueno’ which I’m guessing means thank you. The other judges seemed to love it as well.
Miraede is next and her dish is massive and detailed! She should be proud.
Matt says her prawns are perfectly cooked however says the pastry is a bit thick. David says it was really, really good.
Greta and Kieran are last and Greta’s apron is filthy with avocado as the judges point out. Luckily, her dish looks delightful.
George asks Beatrice is she likes the dish and she does, saying congratulations to Greta. It gets George to shake his maracas again. They even applaud it! I smell a winner.
Kieran is last with his modernised version of the twist. Matt seems to like the presentation.
George asks David if he would pay for the dish and he says ‘absolutely’. Matt loves the traditional feel but thinks there should have been more filling.
With that, all that is left to do is find out the results.
After the break, the contestants head into a massive garden where a piñata and the blue team are waiting for them before the judges. So, who won?
In third place, earning two points is… Harry!
In second place, earning four points is… Steven!
The winner of the challenge, booking in six points is… Greta!
Before the end of the episode, Gary tells them that this is the last day in L.A. for the team and before they leave, Gary tells them that there is a clue to their next destination inside the piñata. Zac is asked to hit the piñata and inside, all these Mickey Mouse hats fall out! DISNEYLAND!!!!!!
And with that, the episode ends on a high. Actually not much to say about the episode and risk sounding like a broken record. It was nice, light hearted, loved the change of scenery.
The production could be a bit better with that scoreboard difficult to win in part one but that Mexican challenge was very inspiring and creative.
Courtney’s Verdict: 8.9/10