Bachelor home town week

Is it time to give Bachie a rest? Does anyone really care? Aren’t people just watching to see when Abbie goes home?
Last year the Badgerlor ended in in early Oct and Bachelorette Ali started the following week. I am interested to see what it will be like with Angie from Gogglebox but I don’t think I’ll be back watching Bachie on a regular basis.
Wed: In the group date, the girls test their chemistry with Matt in front of each other. One lucky girl gets to ‘move in’ with Matt. Later, two girls go head-to-head in an epic cocktail party showdown.
Thurs: It’s “home towns”, and Matt travels around Australia to meet the nearest and dearest of the final four girls competing for his heart.


Bachie weekly chat

Wednesday: There’s a private fire dance lesson with sparks and kisses. On the group date, the girls are literally falling for Matt, and at the cocktail party, one girl is gone before the rose ceremony even begins.

We can only hope Elora or Apollo have been brought back to the fire lesson.

Thursday: Let’s get physical. The adrenaline continues on this epic episode. Matt has the girls doing acrobatics from a hanging cloth and repelling facedown off a building.

Yep, this season is full of repelling activity.


Bachelor week 3

Bachie Matt allegedly calls someone out in Wed. On Thurs, Matt invites one girl to the Bach pad, where things move from cooking to romance. Later, a group date turns competitive and it’s clear one girl is rubbing the whole mansion the wrong way.
The real question is: Will he be made to wear his Clark Kent glasses before any pash sessions?


No Australian Survivor tonight – Sun, Oct 2

Silly NRL grand final meaning there’s no Survivor tonight. Instead, if you haven’t already, check out US Survivor online at 9Now.

Does Sue make a big move tomorrow night? Let’s hope she can rustle up some support from Magic Matt and Kristie.
Fingers crossed Adelaide will still have power tomorrow (more rain on the way) and I’ll be recapping as usual.
Meanwhile, here’s Conner’s audition video:

And Nick’s:


Australian Survivor – Sun, Sept 25

Finally – a real merge – not just a shuffle. The fallout from this is going to be fun.

It’s Day 32 already – the days just fly by when Survivor is on three nights a week.
At yellow, Conner, Kristie and Kate are wasting away. They are going to go nuts and get so sick when they finally get that merge feast.
Everyone heads in to what they think is a challenge and the fans quickly realise the seating indicates it’s the Survivor auction – yay!
There are gasps as blue realise that Phoebe is gone.
The editors play sad music as Kate speaks about how many players their tribe lost and the camera cuts to Conner and Kristie.
JLap starts talking about how hard it’s been, laying down the adjectives and the contestants get restless as some of them twig he’s about to announce the merge. Except Spidey Sam, who says: “What’s going on here?”
Meanwhile, Nick is happily chanting: “Say it! Say it!”
Yes, it’s the merge (the real one) and they are now all competing as individuals, with new black buffs.

They get $500 to spend and can bid in $20 increments. There’s no sharing of money or food, which I know is standard in US Survivor these days but it would have been kind of interesting to let the Aussies do it to see where the alliances lie. Usually with the auction, the people who are playing hard will save all their pennies as the final item is usually an advantage or clue to an idol – or occasionally letters from loved ones. This makes me think Nick and Magic Matt won’t be buying any food and we’ll see who else is in it to win it. Plus with a merge they usually get a feast, so hanging out a few more hours won’t hurt the former blues, who have enjoyed many helpings of Hungry Jack’s and a Samoan feast.

The auction begins
First up is salt and vinegar chips and a cola. El makes first bid but Conner is the only other bidder – poor kid – he must be starving. JLap reveals Conner gets and extra three softies, which go to Kristie and Kate and his old tribemate Sue. Aww, he’s a good kid.
Next is chocolate cake and choc milk. El bids $60 but is immediately outbid by Conner with $440!! That’s his whole stash gone. Fair enough, kid – he knew he didn’t have enough money for a clue so made sure he got some food. That cake is going to make him so crook.
Next it’s the old secret item trick. It’s going to be a bowl of rice. Sam bids $240 (after Nick drives up the price in what looks like a deliberate move). JLap does the old “but do you want it or this other covered item?”. He sticks with the original and it’s nachos and a margherita. But we don’t even see what was under the other hessian cloche.
The following item is also covered and the keen players sense it’s something special. Nick, Brooke, Lee and Sue all place bids. Sue for $220 gets steak and chips.
Up next is a hot bath with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Brooke gets it for $20 and has to hop in in front of everyone.
Next is what they’ve been waiting for: an advantage. El and Lee bid for it. Magic Matt stays quiet, knowing these advantages can come back to bite you.
Kate for $500 buys spag bol and a red wine, so expect to see her topple of the bench.
The final item is covered and Nick outbids Lee for $440. He has won an advantage and he doesn’t look too happy. “I didn’t want this … I didn’t want a big, fat target on my back – that’s what that is.”

Too right, Nick. The advantage holders will open their scrolls back at camp. If I was Nick I’d do it in front of everyone and read it aloud. Lee may get away with doing it secretly as everyone trusts him.

They all return to their new home beach and everyone’s sad to learn they are at the crappy yellow camp, with the comforts of blue camp left behind. Chester the chook has at least made it over. It seems there’s no merge feast so I feel sorry for poor Kristie, who didn’t get anything at the auction.
Everyone gets to work expanding the shelter but really they are dying to cement alliances.
Conner is worried he’ll be targeted and rightly so – Flick wants him gone after his perceived earlier betrayal (because she’s the only one allowed to play the game) and Brooke and El are on board.
Sue lays it out to the camera: “They’re all ra ra ra over there like a university sorority house. Full of their own arrogance.”
Sue warns Kristie and Kate that Conner is in trouble. Conner takes Kylie off for a super casual walk to show her the well and she seems to be on board. I hope she is, as she has’t shown herself to be good at strategy or the social game. Conner is keen to turn Sam back to his alliance, but I don’t know that Sam would break up with his new BFF Lee. Interestingly they aren’t talking about approaching Jenna Louise, a former yellow. Is that because she’s in the pretty girl alliance and we don’t know it?
Really, the old blues should target the unsuspecting Kylie and get that idol out of the game.

Lee reads his advantage in secret – he gets to stop someone from voting at a future tribal council, up until final five – and says he’ll tell his alliance.
Nick, meanwhile, talks about burning his but he just can’t help himself – he unwraps it. It’s an immunity idol clue and it sounds like it’s up a tree. He monkeys all over the place and is immediately spotted by Lee. At least when he knows he’s busted he shows Lee the clue and ropes him in to the search. Lee is suss but plays along. Nick finds it and tells Lee he will also only tell his alliance of six.
Sam finds some pink fabric washed up on the shore and the pretty girl alliance rip it up for friendship bracelets. The core alliance all get one – and Kristie. Way to stir the pot.

I wish we’d seen whose idea that was. Brooke’s?
And, still, no-one seems to be talking to JL. What does this mean?

Immunity challenge time
We don’t even get a welcome from JLap. Sam tells JLap the new tribe name is Fiafia, which is “happy” in Samoan.
The challenge is a Survivor classic: hanging upside down with your arms and legs wrapped around a poll. Girls often do well at this – and those who meditate – I’m guessing El and Kylie. If Kristie had had any food I’d guess her. In Survivor: Panama in 2006, it was won by Terry Deitz at around the 45-minute mark. In 2011, Andrea won the challenge on Redemption Island. The US usually holds this challenge above water for more drama, but this time we just have it above the sand – a cheaper option, no doubt.
Magic Matt is first out, then Sam. They know they’re not in danger. Conner, who knows how much he needs it, goes next. Next are Sue and FLick. Kate and Kristie are doing some awesome full body dangles. El and JL do a deal to drop out together and Lee is next, leaving Nick the last bloke. Kylie is encouraging Nick to hang on to the 60-minute mark and he just makes it.
Kate looks amazingly relaxed and in control and at 75 minutes JLap tells them they can only use one hand.
Poor Kristie is stunned: “I thought you were going to give me food.” (True – this often happens). Poor Kristie is destined to go hungry. She is the next one out – a great effort with no sustenance. Then Kate, who has been so strong, drops. It’s Kylie V upside down Brooke and Kylie makes the mistake of swapping arms, which is not allowed. Brooke wins the necklace.

Back at camp Nick wants Conner out, too, but he wants a vote split in case Conner has an island. He wants five for Conner, four Kate and they know Kylie may flip.
Matt, Sam and Lee go for a wander and Lee is wearing sneakers – so he must have had a second pair that survived the fire – and they chat about Nick’s general untrustworthiness, although, secretly, Matt doesn’t mind him. Lee asks Matt to explain why they need to do a split. Aaargh – come on, Lee! Get with the program. Sam and Lee aren’t happy that this seems to be all Nick’s plan.
Sam is not happy that his old tribemate, Conner, is the target, nor that Kate is the second option. He tells the camera: “He’s a good kid – baby bruvva.”
Sue sends Kate to talk to Kristie while Conner will work on Sam but the old blues have taken a leaf out of the Boston Rob playbook and don’t want to leave Sam alone. Brooke follows them as they try to chat. Kristie is also torn between proving loyalty to former and more recent tribemates because she could be the next target.
They head off to tribal and it seems either Conner or Kate will go home.

Tribal council
JLap chats to the final 13 and no-one says anything much, other than Lee echoing back to JLap that he’s playing based on mateship. Flick pretends she doesn’t know who’s in charge but then JLap brings up the pink wristbands. “Is that the alliance,” asks JLap. Brooke replies: “Definitely not.” JLap notes they must be friendship bands: “Friendship, in Survivor, means alliance.”
JLap tries to get Kate to plead for her life. “I’m not going to get down on my knees and beg,” says Kate. “I’m just going to be my own self.” (Soooo, Kate’s going home, then.)

Time to vote
We see Sue vote for Matt and Flick for Conner. “I’ll count the votes,” says JLap (I read an interview with him today in which he said some fans are upset he does not say “I’ll tally the votes”, Probst style.)
It’s Matt, Nick, Conner, Kylie, Kate, Conner, Kate, Conner, Kate, Conner, Kate, Conner and … it’s Conner.
He gives a gracious speech about everyone being great competitors while inside his heart is breaking. Ah, Conner – you were a likeable lad who made some mistakes along the way that came back to bite you but I wanted you to make it a little further.

Next time: Pretty girl alliance is talking about how awesome they are. Please, please let them come a cropper.
Who voted for whom: JL, Magic Matt, Kylie, Brooke – voted for Kate; Sam (how could you!), Kristie, Flick, Nick, El and Lee voted for Conner; Conner vote for Nick; Kate for Kylie and Sue for Matt. So the underdog alliance couldn’t even agree to vote for the same person!


Australian Survivor – Sun, Sept 4

Our recorder has blown a gasket so I’m watching live tonight and, darn it, I missed the first few minutes.
Over at yellow shelter Sam and Conner are getting used to their new digs, while Nick (aka Aussie Rob C, but much brasher) and Tegan arrive at blue to find the shelter is soaking wet. Nice welcome.
“I’m out for blood,” says Nick, adding he was surprised Sue (the naughty Nanna) betrayed him.
I can’t wait to see what red tribe’s reaction to the swap is at the next challenge.
It’s night and a storm is lashing the island, leaving everyone – even Chester the chicken – soaking and dispirited. Except, that is, red tribe, because they finally won a challenge and got all of yellow’s previously won comfort items and gear. Cricketer Lee is obviously not used to losing so he’s stoked things are looking up.
Over at yellow, new tribe member Spidey Sam knows he’s no longer the top of the totem pole.
At blue, Flick knows she had a lucky escape. I’m really interested to hear Magic Matt’s take on all this. Nick’s strategy is to be super helpful around camp and he chops up a coconut with ease. We finally get to hear Tegan speak and straight away Brooke gets to work on drawing her into the pretty girl alliance. Tegan doesn’t seem to have much strategy and because she was weirded out by the truth or honesty test (and is a model/personal trainer) I’m thinking she’s a recruit rather than a student of the game. It’s actually in Tegan’s interest to distance herself from Nick, to make him a target should the team go to tribal again, but she doesn’t seem to be doing so consciously.

What the hell is it with Survivor and yoga? Is it compulsory to whip out Downward Dog at the auditions? Pigtails Kristy and Lawyer Phoebe are bending it on the beach and Kristy seems to have recovered from her paranoid “they moved my bag” freakout.

They have a chat about how expendable Model Rohan but Phoebe’s real bond is with El the army chick.
Suddenly Nick is sporting a brown fedora. Where did that come from? He gets to work ingratiating himself with his new tribe and seems to make headway with Magic Matt, who reveals he’s pissed off with the pretty girl alliance of Flick and Brooke.

At yellow, Conner is liking the yellow vibe (and we learn the chicken’s name is Apricot – clever) but he knows he’s in danger because he’s no super human and he thinks the tribe would rather keep Sam. With such big numbers I’d be ditching Sam and keeping Conner, who can more easily be won over to their side.
We finally get some Dreads Barry back story (about his time playing with the Wallabies), so he could be going tonight as he’s treating Survivor like a school camping and ignoring the Outwit and Outplay aspects of the game. And that’s what happen when you recruit people, even if it’s great to see cultural diversity in the cast.

It’s challenge time …
JLap does the “come on in” and red’s minds are blown to realise no-one went home and there was a tribal swap. The challenge contains a component that is a Survivor classic: binding sticks together to create a long pole that can then hook a key.
Conner said he sucked at challenges but, boy, the little fella had some speed on him racing out to the frame in the water.
Blue and yellow get their poles built quickly but they are quite bendy and blue drops their key on the sand and have to drag it. Red has made El and Kat the pole builders – setting Kat up to be in the firing line again? Blue are first to the firemaking station and Nick gets a spark straight away. They win immunity.
Yellow is having trouble getting their fire to build up enough (was Nick their fire starter?) but red still doesn’t have their key off. On the sidelines Lee, Phoebe and Rohan are slowly dying watching the girls try to hook it. Finally they get it but Lee and Rohan must be the best fire builders, otherwise they would have been on the pole building. Lee gets it started quickly and they are doing a good job building it up, sheltering the flame nicely. Well, I’m actually glad, for Kat’s sake, that she’s not in the firing line yet again, as she surely would have been. I just hope that when she is voted out she burns that monstrous leopard print cardy thing in the fire along with her buff.
So, the yellow tribe is going to tribal and Conner and Sam are going to be really worried – there’s no way JLap will be throwing in another twist tonight.

Interestingly they seem to be targeting Conner, without any talk of splitting the vote in case he or Sam has a secret idol. How do they know Kylie had the only one? Conner pitches to the majority alliance that he is desperate to stay and will be a loyal number in future. And it has an impact: Coma Girl Kate is swayed by Conner’s emotion. She throws Barry’s name out as a possibility and it seems some of the others are irritated by Barry’s refusal to “play” the game. And then there’s a curveball: Andrew (in a trilbly, because felt hats are totally suitable for the climate in Samoa) tells the camera he wants Craig out, because he’s a threat. He approaches Naughty Nanna Sue, seeking support. Finally! People who want to make moves and not just hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

At tribal council …
JLap awkwardly questions Sam and Conner about how much it sucks to be on a new tribe and then tries to get some dirt on last week’s Nick blindside. Then he reminds Craig and Baz how bad they were at building a fire in the challenge. JLap has been doing quite well until this episode as Survivor host, but his line of questioning tonight is stilted and they are draaaaggging it out. Not good editing.
I hope it’s Barry.
The votes are read and it IS Barry! Hooray. The question will be whether anyone clued Sam and Conner in to the vote (judging by the vote footage at the end, they did).

Tomorrow night
Kate has a horrible-looking lump under her arm that looks ready too explode, reminiscent of the last season of US Survivor when everyone was sporting pus-filled boils, which resulted in ice-cream maker Neale being ousted on medical grounds. I hope Kate stays – she seems a good egg. And that JLap puts his medical background to good use. Lance it, JLap – that would be grosser than any bug-eating challenge.

What did we think?
Well, it wasn’t as twisty as the last episode and tribal council was boring and awkward, but it’s always good when tribes don’t take the easy option and vote out the newest tribe members, especially when they are people who really want to play. I’m hoping Magic Matt and Nick build up a decent alliance over at blue and are able to pull Tegan away from the pretty girl alliance.


MasterChef finale – Tues, July 26 – Matt V Elena

Finally – we’ve made it! It was a hard journey but we pushed, pushed pushed to boom, boom, shake, shake the room to get here for a chance to achieve our food dream.
Tonight the final two contestants battle it out to see who will be crowned MasterChef Australia 2016 winner and take home the $250,000 prize.
Oh, and a column in the always excellent delicious. magazine (and, yes, that fullstop is part of the proper name … yes, I know!).
So it’s the finale of which we dreamed: Glowing Elena versus Intense Matt. How lovely to have two grown ups who have shown great growth in the comp and have avoided any drama.

Glowing Elena was under the radar for a long time, thanks to the edit. MasterChef 2016 started on May 1 but it wasn’t until May 22 (Nigella Week) that she made enough of an impression for me to note this in a recap:
Oh my god – Elena speaks!! She’s doing pumpkin parfait, pancetta crumb and cumin tuille. She’s a high school visual arts teacher who wants to inspire young people to grow their own produce. This is a lot of air time on Elena. Is she the winner?
Conversely, on May 8 (MPW Week), I wrote this about IM:
Intense looking dude Matt – he of the disc earrings – is doing a gnocchi and jus with crispy chicken skin. Marco tastes his jus as it’s cooking and gets the usual flick of the eyes over the bifocals … Next up is Intense Matt with his pan-fried gnocchi with lots of crunchy elements. Gaz is in heaven: “Savoury, chickeny, bacony cereal.”
MPW loves the soz: “I don’t think that you realise how clever you are … genius in your hands.” Matt says it’s better than even his recent wedding day. Oh no he didn’t!


I reckon it will be a good 15 minutes before anyone touches a saucepan. First we have to suffer through all the talking heads about the dream, the push, the “yes, George!” and who wants it most.
Why is the MasterChef trophy a giant platter? Surely it should be a gold-plated sous vide machine or a silver smoking gun?
Gary is wearing a paisley tie in his to camera piece about the intensity of Intense Matt. It’s weird.
Ooh – George is wearing a tie, too. The other contestants are dressed up aand Matt P just needs a tri-corner hat to go with his Napoleon Bonaparte frock coat.
Oh god, we’re starting with the deep and meaningfuls. IM and GE have to say what being on MC means to them? Surely they’ll make them repeat their answers at the end. The answers are pretty much “dreams”, “thankful”, “passion”.

There will be three rounds, with each round devoted to an entree, a main and a dessert – and we know the last round will be a Heston challenge that makes series one’s croquembouche look like a pancake shaker mix.

Round one: entree
There are 10 ingredients and they have to hero one: They don’t name them oil but looks like fennel (it had to happen), quail, sea urchin, fish that could be snapper, tofu, spring onions, duck eggs, marron (remember when Nev “cooked” it on MKR but didn’t know it should change colour?, oysters, pork.

IM goes straight for the quail. GE has granny smiths in her basket – more of her signature apple batons for decoration?

After last night's show.
After last night’s show.

IM is doing both roasted and confit quail, with charred corn and chorizo salsa.
GE is doing marron two ways with a ponzu dressing, a smoked veg salad and marron crackers. It’s a lot to do – she knows it and so do the judges. She’s having soz dramas with her dashi – something she has to nail given the judges said her main in the last episode was too dry.
IM is making a Pedro Ximenez reduction for his dish and the editors must have been chortling when they decided to cut in a pan to Con on the gantry – Con who used the wine in almost every dish he made in his short time on the show, causing me to believe he secretly works for PX.
GE has tried to fix her soz and Gaz comes over to give her a confidence boost. “That, is doing nothing,” he says after tasting. So blunt Gaz is back. Send George over for a “yes, George!” and she’ll be bawling on the floor in no time. “If you want any kind of complexity you have to take the panic away … making stuff is never going to be enough.”
She decides to roast the marron shells in a bid to bump up the flavour.
They’ve both done an amazing amount of work in 60 minutes.

The judges taste

And they are eating in the dishes in front of the contestants – seems cruel.

GE’s marron: Gaz was worried about the soz but he doesn’t really say if it’s any good. The marron is perfectly cooked. She’s done something she’s never tried before in the comp. “It’s a beautiful fresh dish, says Matt. He likes the saltiness of the marron cracker.

IM’s quail: They like the look. “It’s delicious; I love it,” says George. The confit legs are perfect. Woo hoo! IM must have this round.

Round one scores
GE: Gaz 7/10, George 8, Matt 8 Total: 23
IM: Gaz 8/10, George 9, Matt 9. Total: 26 Only an 8 from George and we didn’t hear one negative comment about the dish? He’s saving up for a 10 later.

Round two

They get 75 minutes to cook any style main they want. After
After a flustered start GE has her game face on. She’s doing twice-cooked lamb with a macadamia puree and pickled veg.
IM is cooking crispy skinned barra with brussels sprouts, fondant spuds and pancetta and prawn head broth. Hopefully he’ll do a fried prawn heard garnish – the judges love those.
Gaz gives him a look when he explains his broth idea and then pretty much trashes it. Please, IM, just make it and blow his bloody socks off with it.
IM forges ahead. “My gut’s telling me it’s going to be ok,” he tells the camera. He’s doing his brussies a few different ways – it’s a bit of a GE thing to do. GE is pulling out the big guns: she’s pickling beetroot (BINGO!).
GE says she wants her nut puree to have a slightly grainy texture. Really? She’s better hope the judges get it.
IM thinks his soz is a little lacking, so he chucks in some saffron. Mmmm. He does a text piece and thinks it’s done, but it’s raw inside. Fingers crossed it works with the real fillets.
GE’s lamb looks gorgeously soft, and if anyone can make a brown braise look pretty on a plate, it’s her. Again, we’re hearing from her how pushed she is for time.
IM is happy with his broth’s flavour: “It’s fully loaded.” God love him.

The judges taste
This time the contestants don’t watch the tasting.

GE’s lamb: She says cooking now is a bit like creating and artwork (remember, she’s an art teacher) and getting instant feedback on it, which is gratifying. “It looks like a little plate of jewels,” says Gaz. “I’m running out of words to express something that blows my mind,” says George. They love the soz – and George says it’s Michelin quailty. They’re all raving about it.

IM’s snapper: This whole thing of IM not listening too Gary about the soz and wondering whether his fish is cooked will turn out to be a total beat up. IM tears up when Gaz asks him how he feels about the dish. Gaz works hard to hold back the smile. You can tell they all really like him. Raised-in-a-barn George just drinks his broth straight from the jug. “I’ve been proved wrong today,” says Gaz. George says it’s a gorgeous and clever dish. “It tastes like it’s been on a great French menu for 50 years,” sys Matt.

Round two scores
IM: Gaz 10/10 (BFF Trent lets out a huge yell), George 10, Matt 10. IM can’t believe it. He’s now on a total of 56 points.
GE: Gaz 10/10, George 10, Matt 10. Total so far 53 points.
Gaz says it’s the first time in MC history there have been two perfect scores. And then they bring in their families, because they want to see floods of tears.

IM can bareley walk, he’s laugh-crying so hard at the sight of his wife and family. Up on the gantry, Charlie has to take off his hipster glasses to wipe a tear away. IM can’t believe his folks flew back from Italy for the finale but no doubt MC sprang for their tickets.

Round three
There are 40 points on offer for this last round. Gaz talks up how awesome and difficult this pressure test will be. “It takes not one but two of the nest chefs in the world to bring it to us,” says Matt. Ooh, Heston and who? Some bloke called Ashley Palmer-Watts, a top chef who is one of Heston’s proteges. Has Ashley been brought in to look interested when H can’t be bovvered. Heston says it’s harder than last year’s dessert pressure test (remember this?).
“There’s close to 100 steps,” Ashley tells them. It’s called Verjus in Egg.

It looks like an egg atop a nest of noodles. Heston cracks the egg and it craks like a real shell. It’s filled with coconut panna cotta and a mandarin and thyme gel for the yolk. At the bottom of the egg is a coffee parfait. Parfait AND panna cotta in the same dish.
The egg shell is made of two layers of chocolate but it looks like a real chook egg. A nervy IM exchanges a glance with GE and asks Heston: “Is it possible?” Heston says it is.
They have five-and-a-half hours for the dish. IM has done quite well with desserts lately but the finicky nature of this one favours GE.
To make crystallised coffee IM has to use what looks like a jar of Nescafe Gold. As a barista, that must kill him. The mad scientist magic works for both of them. “I’ve never crystallised anything, except by accident,” says IM.
GE has stuffed up mandarin “yolk” by jumping the gun with the setting agent. She needs to do it again but she doesn’t have enough mix to do a full batch. GE is trying to keep it together as someone lamely calls out “you’ve got this”. She’s going to do a half batch instead. Luckily they have calculators.
IM takes his “yolk” over to a vacuum machine and his face watching the science of it all is hilarious. He looks around as if worried he’s broken something, but apparently it’s all good.
Oooh, they are making their ABPs with powdered gelatine, which is usually a no no in the MC kitchen. IM’s ABP mix does not look thick enough and Harry, in a bow tie, is chosen to bring it to our attention.
GE makes a mountain of honeycomb which she then laboriously stretches in nest strands. GE’s ABPs have set a treat and she can pipe in her yolk. IM’s haven’t worked and H says he has to do them again. IM doesn’t know what he did wrong – did he not wait a bit before adding the gelatine mixture to the rest? His family looks worried but BFF Trent urges “stay cool”. He will have to wait another hour for the ABP. He starts to lose it. George comes over for the pep talk. “It will be like this in the kitchen one day,” he tells IM. Yeah, but when you’re a real chef they don’t lock you in a house for six months and hardly let you speak to your family or go for a stroll to grab a coffee.
Luckily he realises it was the lack of blooming time for the ABP that is to blame. At least he can do his tempered choc for the egg while it’s setting.
GE is worried because she hasn’t done much tempering – and she’s never used a marble surface before. She does well and uses a spray gun for the first egg layer, and you can hear Elise yelling down to clean the moulds carefully.
IM is having choc dramas – he’s let the temp drop too low. He uses it anyway. IM has become the underdog now. He at least drains his moulds upside down to remove excess choc – a step GE forgot. And his ABP #2 has worked. Yay.
Oh god – more excruciating watching choc being banged out of moulds. GE’s shells look pretty good – you can still see a bit of the seam where the two halves join. IM’s shells look so delicate and he’s rushing. There’s a little gap in one and he decides to skip the final sealing step to save time. Aargh – tension!
He looks lost at the liquid nitrogen station so GE pops over to give him detailed instructions.

Good on you, GE – this is why we love both of you as final two. You’d never see that kind of camaraderie in US cooking shows.
Finally, they are done, and GE sinks to the floor in relief. And then it’s hugs all round. But IM utters a heartbreaking “Oh no!”. His egg seam hasn’t held (he missed that last step) and it’s opened up. “I’m gutted,” he says through tears. His poor wife on the gantry is trying to telepathically tell him everything will be ok. Oh dear. They finally let her come down to give him a cuddle.

So, poor IM has just lost. Aaargh. Hopefully his runner-up prize will be enough to fund his food truck. He’s gained a legion of fans and will be a huge success at whatever he does. If he wants more experience in a professional kitchen first there will be hundreds of places around the country falling over themselves to offer him a job. GE is a worthy winner but IM made himself known as a contender from the beginning.

The judges taste
IM’s egg: “It’s all good,” he bravely tells the judges. “What do you want us to remember about you as a person fro this plate of food,” asks Matt P. What the hell – who’s writing these lines? They crack the egg and it looks fine inside. “He’s shown great ability to dig deep,” says Heston. The ABP texture was perfect. The shell wasn’t tempered and the egg had split, though.
GE’s egg: The judges are impressed. The shell is a little thick but otherwise they love it. “This one just had more impact… it seems a little bit bolder to me,” says Ashley.

Final round scores

The guest chefs from throughout the season are here, too, as well as Reynold, Emma Dean, Andy and Julie Godwin. I don’t see Billie – surely they would have mentioned her if she was there.
IM: H and Ashley 7/10, Matt 7, George 7, Gaz 7. Grand total: 84. GE is going to get 9s, so it’s all over for IM.
GE: Gaz 8, George 8, Matt 8, H and Ashley 9.
GE wins by two points.

Well done to both of them – we couldn’t have asked for a better final two. GE gives a nice thank you speech and graciously says how much she’s learnt from him.
“Thank you for your friendship and support,” he tells her in return.
Matt P tells IM how wonderfully tenacious he is: “We cannot wait to get into the queue of your food truck.” IM gets $40,000 and he seems genuinely surprised. And Harry gets $10,000.

And that’s all, folks.