Tonight could possibly be the last time you are able to view Junior MasterChef Australia on a weekend. Sad, isn’t it! Well, tonight, it will be sad for two young hopefuls as the final eight become the final six. Yes, that does in fact mean ELIMINATION!
The contestants arrive at the MasterChef kitchen for what could be their last challenge. They enter where three of the judges (not Gary) welcome them. George points out the fact that four are boys and four are girls. He tells them that two will be going home tonight. With that, we view the scoreboard which looks like this:
Nice and spread out, with Alysha and Chandler in the firing line to enter the episode. George tells them that once the next challenge is completed, the standings will change accordingly and the top four will be safe and through to Monday’s episode (the final six). The bottom four will then have one more go at making it through.
Anna tells them that the first challenge will be ‘The Perfect…Pavlova’. The contestants are thrilled, especially Zac. Anna reminds them that the scoring system will remain the same. Matt tells them that they have 80 minutes for this challenge and their time begins.
They all rush for the pantry where they collect their fruit, cream, cornflower and everything else that goes into a Perfect Pavlova.
The contestants are quick to their benches and Greta begins to separate her egg whites. They begin to talk about what Pavlova they will be making, but I will be telling you all that later. To Zac, and his meringue is not thickening but he is hoping for the best. Greta holds her meringue mix above her head. The fact she doesn’t get coated in it proves that it is ready.
George heads to Harry and eggs him on to do well, despite the fact Harry can’t do anything to get out of the bottom four. He is just going to go in all guns blazing. Very good spirit there, Harry! George then goes to Indigo who reacts very maturely when she realises she has forgotten to put some ingredients in. She runs through her strategy, saying her ‘normal Pavlova’ (today, she will be doing two smaller ones) usually takes 80 minutes. George isn’t concerned…just yet.
To the judges and Anna loves how they are doing their own perfect version of the classic Pavlova. George knows that the leaderboard will be shuffled today.
Zac breaks down when his meringue doesn’t work again. After the break, Matt comes over to help him out; telling him his bowl is too wet; it needs to be bone dry. He gets him to whip his whites BEFORE adding the sugar and bingo, it works!
50 minutes to go and Alysha is worried, having not cooked a pav before. Her meringue seems to be working but she doesn’t know how to get it out of the bowl properly!
Lily and Harry start to eat some of the meringue. Harry concedes that Lily has done better than her. Anna comes over to Alysha, who has Pavlova in her hair. She will be doing a 50/50 Pavlova which I’m guessing is half one flavour and half another.
With 10 minutes to go, they begin to remove their pavs out of the oven and George is excited with Anna loving the different types of pavlova out there. I must say, I too am surprised by the variety. George is hoping Harry does well.
Harry is putting his topping on and it cracks at the top, going everywhere. No judge needed for crying junior; Lily tells him it still looks awesome. Is she being sincere, or is this pure strategy?
Soon enough, their time is up and they take a sigh of relief; except for Harry who isn’t too happy.
To judging and Harry & Lily go up first. Against Lily’s, Harry’s classic Pavlova is a bit of a mush. George notices the presentation and Harry says he wasn’t really happy with it. The judges get Harry and Lily to come up to taste. Anna loves the texture and Matt says it tastes great. George notes that they all kept going back for more, calling it a 10 out of 10.
Lily also has classic Pavlova and we get a back story of Lily playing with her younger sister. Will hers taste as good? Anna calls her clever; loving the textures and flavour.
Next up are Indigo and Jack with Indigo quite worried. She has a Lemon Curd Pavlova and there’s not much there…
George comments about how she said she missed some ingredients and wonders if it will be a problem. She says it should still taste really nice.
Matt loves the passionfruit strawberries and Anna calls her presentation creative. Anna notes however the fact her pavlova has caved in due to lack of cornflower.
Jack has Italian Pavlova and he runs through the differences with an Italian meringue. Matt loves the presentation but not the actual Pavlova softness.
Chandler is next with his ‘Three P’ Parfait which is Pineapple, Passionfruit and Pavlova. Matt loves the presentation, the pineapple, the passionfruit however when it was all mashed up, it wasn’t as crunchy.
Zac has a Chocolate & Raspberry Pavlova which looks delicious. George can see his pavlova sitting in a fine patisserie and George tells him it backs itself up with flavour.
Alysha and Greta are last with Alysha presenting her 50/50 pavlova. Matt says if he had a hat, he’d take it off. He does think it was maybe a bit too sweet.
Last but not least is Greta with a Middle Eastern Pavlova. George wonders why she has put everything to the side of the dish and notes it gives an air for movement. He calls the presentation clever. George tells her it is a knockout and soft, tingling music plays in the background as she gets overwhelming reviews and a round of applause.
Now, to the results.
In third place, earning two points is… Indigo!
In second place, earning four points is… Greta! Wow, that’s a shock. Possibly too big a shock.
In first place, earning six points is… Harry! Hmm, disagree much?
So what does that do to the scoreboard?
That means Greta, Zack, Indigo and Jack are into the top six. That leaves Lily, Harry, Chandler & Alysha as the bottom four. George makes them press a fake reset button before asking them if they are ready for the next challenge…the pressure test!
They all get a recipe, the same ingredients and the same amount of time. Matt then introduces the mastermind of the dish…Guillaume Brahimi. I’ll just call him Gil.
He brings in a cloche, containing the dish I’m guessing. He then goes to lift the lid on the cloche. After the break, he reveals it as the turban of scampi. He tells them that it is simple and chose it because they know they can do it. Is he being serious?
They go to taste and Gil reads out some pressure points. Actually, George just does it for him.
They all think it tastes amazing with Harry threatening to eat it all!
Now it is time to cook! They have a whopping 2 hours and 10 minutes and their time begins. They are all trying to roll the scampi and already Alysha is having trouble. Matt comes to see how she is going and Gil tells her that her scampi is not positioned properly, showing her how to do it. Like a bullet, we only have 60 minutes to go. They are all working on their pasta, except Harry who is onto his mousse. He blends it all together and pastes it on the spaghetti. The judges go to him and he is doing quite well. Gil gives him some tips as he rolls the spaghetti. He is happy with the end result.
Chandler has finished his rolling, but he forgot to tie a knot in the glad wrap which could have ended his dream had he put it in the water. Gil asks what he has written on his hand and we see he has written ‘I am in the zone’ on his hand. We see a back story as he tells us how badly he wants to be in the top six.
They are all chopping away as Harry begins on his sauce. It seems to be a very complex sauce. Lily begins to heat her sauce but forgets to set the timer, now she has no idea how long it has been cooking for.
Anna and George come over where she tells them her dilemma. Anna talks her through what she should look for in a finished sauce.
Alysha is now ready to cook her scampi. Afterwards, she is happy with the cooking and when she unwraps it, it doesn’t look too good as it slips apart. She has another roll which will hopefully work well.
With five minutes to go, Harry is ready to plate up but he rushed with his sauce and Gil thinks it looks too thin. He gets him to reduce it and gives him some tips. Soon enough, their time is up and their dishes are done. Chandler has forgotten a few things, but hopes they will like it all the same.
To judging and Alysha is first up. She enjoyed the day, saying it was fun despite the problems. They send her away as they taste her dish. Anna can’t believe a twelve year old cooked it and Gil says she cooked everything perfectly.
Chandler is next and he says he was in the zone. They then taste his dish. Matt thinks he has done a great job but notes the amount of sauce. Gil notes the rustic look. To the tasting and Matt says it was only the presentation that let it down with the rest of it perfect. To Lily and she is happy with how she went. She wants a top six position so bad.
They taste the dish and Matt gets something undesirable in his mouth. Matt says there was quite a bit of shell but George says the pasta is cooked perfectly and the sauce was great.
Harry is last and he says his family will be proud of him. Gil seems to be worried by the pepper on the top, but overall likes the presentation. They taste it and seem to really enjoy it. Gil says it is well balanced and thinks Harry is a talented young cook. They all think he did well.
So, to the verdict, and they all stand before the judges as triumphant music plays.
Anna then calls out the safe contestants. They are… Harry and… Alysha.
That means both Lily and Chandler (who has had a drop from fame since the start) will be eliminated.
Harry is sad that two of his great friends will be going home and they leave with tears, trophies and lookbacks.
A very well balanced elimination show full of inspirational dishes, shock endings and good production. The only problem is that the elimination seemed a bit rushed. I guess with two people leaving (and I have also noticed this with four people leaving) they have to quickly go through the flashbacks and all that, but they could cut out some more of the cooking. They just seem to be pushed out a revolving door!
Courtney’s Verdict: 9.7/10