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.


MasterChef – Mon, July 25 – Three cooks enter, two cooks leave

The final three contestants vie for a place in the Grand Finale in this service challenge. Each contestant must prepare a main and a dessert for 20 guests plus the three judges.

Here we are at the MasterChef house and Intense Matt, Growing Elena and Harry are competing to see who’s now the tallest, because it’s all about growth in the MC boxing ring – ahem – kitchen, and rounder tummies do not count.
Matt Preston has worn his tartan-iest navy and purple suit for the occasion; he seems to save his pink numbers for the “away” challenges.
“This is going to be the hardest day you have ever spent in the MasterChef kitchen,” Gaz warns the trio. I dunno, Gaz – there was that one jaffle challenge …
They each have to serve a main and a dessert for 20 guests plus the three judges. They have four hours to prep. Blah blah … destiny .. blah blah … journey .. blah … deliciousness. The last being, George says, the main criteria of the judging. Umm, surely that’s beetroot, George?
Shannon is there to mentor them.
Oh god, we’re eight minutes in and they haven’t started cooking yet because it’s all about the dream. And then George makes them do the “yes, George”.

IM is cooking confit duck with harissa pumpkin and baby beetroot (BINGO!) and a brioche doughnut with orange and coffee. Yum! Winner! He’ll get points for his desert technique and not doing an Asian dish, which is his strength.

GE is using native Australian ingredients (we usually get a native challenge but didn’t this year – maybe because Jock Zonfrillo was on another netweork?). She’s doing an Aussie nicoise salad and for dessert, apples, bickies and cheese. This must be the dish with the perfect apple batons they showed on the preview. The apple component is a green apple sorbet. She is hard boiling a massive pot of eggs – I guess one per person. Her dishes will take forever to plate up.

Harry is showing different skills by doing European instead of Asian. He’s making lobster cannelloni with a smoked custard and a twist on a tiramisu. “This is something I’d want to see in a three-star restaurant,” he tells the camera of his dessert. Classic Harry. He’s obsessed with layered desserts, having missed out on serving a trifle that day Brett went rogue.

IM is getting a lot of “at home” shots. Building the winner edit? Harry’s delivery seems a little flat – and his enunciation is worse than usual – so perhaps he’s the goner.
GE has 16 elements to complete and has calculated she needs to do one thing every 15 minutes. It would take me that long to peel just seven eggs, so good on her. But, uh oh – they took her twice as long as she anticipated.

Now she has to cut up the world’s biggest piece of tuna and she starts freaking out a little. Don’t get stuck in the Mimi and Elise brain freeze trap, GE! Serenity now! At least you have the lovely Shannon Bennett there to try to calm you down.
IM is showing off his mad butchery skills, chopping up 14 whole ducks.
Harry is chopping up kingfish for his cannelloni filling and Shannon expresses concern about the fattiness of the fish. Harry listens – a bit – and ups the ration of lobster to kingfish.
GE is talking a lot about how far behind she is (and Shannon points out using unwashed potatoes is just adding to her workload). No doubt she will triumph on the end.
IM is starting to panic a lit and pops butter in the microwave … in a metal bowl! On the gantry a horrified Trent starts to clap his hands to his mouth and someone – it sounds like Chloe – yells out to him, luckily before there’s an explosion.
With 90 mimnutes to go Shannon gives them the “dig deep speech”. More from GE about being behind (she’s just completed a wattleseed crumb and a fennel gel and is simmering spuds in saffron). Shannon goes through all the steps she has yet to complete.
The gantry is whooping and clapping on cue – I wonder if they get to sit down in between whoops? IM revs them up by flaming his duck with madeira.

“I think he’s just amazing to watch,” Heather (sans headband) tells the camera.
Harry is prepping artichokes for his dish, which will take forever to do. It’s the skewered prawns all over again. After a while he tells Shannon he’s going to ditch them, but Shannon points out the word artichoke is on the menu, so he needs to lose something else instead. Harry decides to bulk things out with some brussels sprouts so he doesn’t have to do as many artichokes.
IM’s duck is looking pretty good – they haven’t alerted us to any potential mistakes yet. He is a machine.
Someone has shown Shannon George’s cue card: “It’s crunch time – push, push!” He tells GE she needs to speed up by 10 per cent. She’s stresed out but hasn’t yet cracked.
Harry is happy with his lobster reduction but he hasn’t made enough – aargh – how many times have we seen this (most notably with – jew-ess Heather).

Service starts and GE is still cooking her tuna. Shannon tells her she just needs four plates to start with.
IM gets four out quickly. “I’m really liking the presentation,” says Shannon.

The judges taste

IM’s duck: The judges are drooling just looking at it. Gary tilts back his head in ecstasy. “I’ve got nothing negative about this dish .. thank you Matt for being in this competition. He brings us so much joy every time he cooks,” says George. Gaz admires the French techniques used. He would drive 100km to eat this duck.

Harry’s kingfish and lobster cannelloni: “I really don’t taste the lobsert,” says Gaz. George and Gaz are confused there seems to be no soz. George heads to Harry’s bench to taste the soz and reports back it’s delicious. They yell out to Shannon to bring the soz over and drown their plates in it, so they can see what they missed. So a lot of diners will be missing out on it altogether. The kingfish was the wrong choice of fish for the dish.

GE’s Oz Meets Nice (Aussie tuna nicoise): And just before she serves it we hear her say it should have more sauce but she’s worried about keeping the diners waiting any longer. Not again! The judges notice, too. But she’s cooked the tuna well and they like the bush tomato sauce and tempura samphire. So she’s ahead of Harry.

Dessert time
From the gantry, Nicolette (wow -she’s a distant memory) gets to yell out George’s lines: “Good job, Elena – push, push, push!”
IM’s doughnuts look fab and he’s doing his curd in the microwave, but it’s not behaving itself. He chucks butter in thinking that may help but Shannon gives him the bad news that he’s just stuffed it by doing so. It’s the first sign of trouble for IM but he’d have to drop dessert on the floor, scrape it off and still serve it to not be put through.
Harry is using some fancy techniques, spraying his dessert with a melted chocolate and coconut oil mix (aka Ice Magic) and Trent gets a talking head to say how coll this is.
Luckily IM’s second go at curd works.

The judges taste

IM’s doughnut with orange and coffee: They look even ore excited than they did for his duck. “I haven’t seen a doughnut look that good for as long as I can remember,” says Gaz. They taste and are in heaven. “Can’t get enough of that,” Gaz says. George says it’s a restaurant quailty dish. “Those doughnuts could be coming out of a food truck with people queuing round the block to get them,” says Matt. (Well, he is a former barista, so a coffee and doughnut truck could be a goer.”

GE’s Apple, Cheese and Bickies: “How modern and exciting does this dish look.” says George. They all love it. “I love the fact it’s real – nothing’s mucked around,” says Matt. He actually prefers this over IM’s doughnut.

Harry’s espresso bavarois with marsala ice cream: (It looks good on the dark plate – much more refined than the desserts Harry and Elise served last night. and, to his credit, he did a good job after no doubt being rattled by George coming to his bench to taste the lobster soz.) The judges like that it’s not what they expected – fooled by the sprayed chocolate coating. Matt says it’s sophisticated and fun. George says he’s pulled out all the stops.

The judges decide
They pretend it’s going to be a tough decision but it’s obvious IM is going through. And surely GE’s only transgression of not enough sauce on the main far outweighs Harry using the wrong fish and serving only a skerrick of soz on his.
First up Gaz raves about two flawless dishes, and of course they belong to IM. He’s through! And starts crying and laughing. Good on you, IM! Winner winner, duck dinner! Pity they weren’t finale dishes.
George gets the talking stick and raves about GE’s and Harry’s desserts but says both their mains were too dry. Harry’s choice of kingfish was wrong. So GE’s through. More tears and Harry, to his credit, is grinning and clapping away.
“How do you feel about being in the finale?” George asks GE. “Pretty bloody stoked,” she replies (channelling a bit of Elise, there). “Matt and I sat on the first table on the first day of auditions, so it’s especially cool to be there with him.”
Hooray – the result we here at Talking TV have wanted for weeks.
Good luck, Harry – go find a great mentor to channel that energy in the right direction.

Tomorrow night
Heston is back. Well, that’s a surprise. I hope it’s not just two hours of recreating a Heston dish, as usually the finale has three different challenges. But since they did the service challenge tonight maybe it will be all Heston. Will he be able to muster up more enthusiasm for this latest appearance?


MasterChef – Tues, July 19 – Alla Wolf-Tasker

The top five contestants must cook five dishes from the menu of the Lake House in Daylesford under the guidance of legendary chef and owner, Alla Wolf-Tasker.
Here’s the restaurant’s sample menu
Chef’s tasting menu is $155, including coffee and dessert.

Only two contestants will be safe, out of Intense Matt, Glowing Elena, Harry, Mimi and Elise. Plus they’ve decided to increase their risk of hypothermia by making them stand outside in short sleeves in a place that’s on the chilly side even in summer.
GE is looking even more glowing than usual in her talking heads – is she living on beetroot and fennel smoothies?

The contestannts each have to recreate a Lake House dish for 40 guests in only 2.5 hours, over a staggered start. They do a knife pull and it’s:
Smoked eel Harry
Chicken Mimi
Roo Elise
Plumns GE
Blackberries IM

IM must be hoping third time’s the charm with this dessert dish after his liquid nitrogen disaster and rocky start to Christy Tania’s chocolate cake.

Harry is off first and has to fillet a swag of eels. What do you call a group of eels? A school? Google says bed, fry or storm. He’s an eel fan and, being Harry, is not at all daunted.
Mimi’s chicken dish looks delicious while Elise’s roo looks simple, when no doubt it’s not. There’s a fair bit of airtime devoted to getting the kale puree right, so it will be problematic.
Harry is ready to crack on with his eel dish but – whoops – it’s full of bones. Alla says he didn’t fillet it correctly so he will need to pinbone them. All seven eels. Seven! Instead he chops out most of the bones and hopes he has enough meat for his roulade.
GE’s plum dessert looks delicate and spectacular. Matt’s blackberry dessert has the forest floor look about it. and Alla says it’s called a Country Ramble. There are aboout 20 different elements on the plate – it will be very hard to plate up 40 of these dishes, let alone cook all the bits. At least there are no chocolate domes involved.
Mimi is freaking out and is still rolling up her chook when service is ready to start. It looks like Mimi has copped the death dish here, plus she’s having one of her brain freezes – and she knows it. She’s forgotten to get her stock on. She’s come back to earth with a thud after the success of her Christy dessert. George comes over to “inspire” her and amid her tears he comforts her with a curt “get it together … you hear me”.

The judges taste

Harry is serving his eel and beetroot dish (beetroot’s back, baby!) and he’s had to make his roulade smaller because he had less protein due to his filleting error. The judges comment that it does look different but he’s cooked it well. Matt says it’s now a beetroot dish rather than an eel dish.

Mimi’s chicken She knows the soz isn’t right but has to serve it anyway. “Certainly the wheels have fallen off the wagon,” says Gaz. While it’s tasty, it’s different to Alla’s dish. The lack of jus gras is a problem.

Back in the kitchen: Elise is happy that her kale puree is vibrant green – and Alla is, too. She seems in control, until Alla asks her if she’s taste it. Err, no. C’mon, Elise! It’s a basic step. And now your puree is apparently horribly bitter and you don’t have time to do anything about it. She’s put too much native mint in. With only two of the five contestants safe after tonight, it looks like Mimi and Elise will be in the elimination challenge. It’s hard to imagine GE stuffing up and IM is on his redemptive “OMG – I can do desserts” arc.

The judges taste
Elise’s roo: They like the look of it. Everything is cooked well – except the horrible puree that is spread all over the plate.

Back in the kitchen:
GE is doing a talking head about how problematic the fruit strap-looking element ofher plum dessert could be. So it will be fine. Meanwhile, IM is losing kilos sprinting back and forth between two microwaves, nuking siphon sponges like a madman as only four at a time will fit on the tray.
Uh oh – GE is having jelly dramas and it looks a lot paler than Alla’s crimson hue. Instead of rolling the jelly logs – which keep breaking – she has to cut a slice to drape over the plate.

The judges taste

Elena’s plum and rosemary dessert: Gaz loves the rosemary sorbet. Everything is great except the plum gel was too thick.

Back in the kitchen it’s IM’s turn and he’s in a happy place. “You’re mis en place is fantastic,” Alla praises him. “You’re a champion, Matt.”

The judges taste

IM’s blackberry Country Ramble: They are impressed and we’re getting the swelling music. They love it. “Everything on there is spot on,” says George. It’s very close to Alla’s dish. Matt says it’s not out of place in the restaurant.

The judges decide

They are outside again and Alla is wearing a parka as the sun sets while the poor contestants are in their short sleeves. Gaz says the standout dish belonged to IM. He’s knackered but delighted. Good to see you back in form, IM. Mimi and Elise are bottom three. GE had gel problems but her flavour and other textures were great, so it’s Harry who’s bottom three.
Yay – our two favourites are through to the quarter finals.

Tomorrow night
They have to reinvent their audition dishes. Looks like Elise did something chocolate and Harry, of course, seafood. I’m guessing Mimi did dessert. They have to show how much they’ve grown – ahh, remember the heady days when we though pannacotta was the height of sophistication – so expect sous vide machines, smoking guns, parfait, liquid nitrogen and beetroot.


MasterChef – Sun, July 17 – mystery box

The top six contestants now face a mystery box challenge containing some of the hottest ingredients being used in the world right now. The winner will gain the advantage going into the invention test.

What do we think the hottest ingredients in the world are? Surely beetroot has to be there.

The mystery box contained camel’s milk, matcha, pisco (brandy), cobia (also known as black kingfish), kohlrabi, mushroom leaves, kaiserfleisch, gochujang (Korean fermented chilli and soybeans).
Surprise, surprise – none of them has cooked with camel’s milk before.
“I didn’t even know camel’s milk was fit for human consumption,” says Intense Matt. At least most of them would have tried kohlrabi and kaiserfleisch is a type of bacon. They have an hour to cook a dish, with the usual pantry staples, minus cow’s milk.
IM is heroing the cobia fish by dry curing it in salt, sugar and matcha powder.
Seafood lover Harry also goes the fish, with the gochujang for a spicy sauce and kohlrabi, smoking the cobia bones to add flavour. The judges seem impressed with his ideas.
Mimi is also using cobia with a kaiserfleisch oil. I hope not everyone is using the fish. Can’t someone do a matcha and camel’s milk dessert?
Trent is wet curing the fish in the brandy and chilli paste and says he wants to use the camel’s milk in a soz. Glowing Elena is curing hers in the brandy and is doing crispy fish skin and she is pickling the mushroom leaves and doing a chilli caramel.
Elise is doing a dessert – yay! Oh, no, it’s a matcha parfait – Another Bloody Parfait. And she has the red moulds of death out. I’m glad she’s at least doing something different.
IM is worried his massive chunk of fish won’t cure in time – can’t he just cut it up smaller so the dry cure penetrates the flesh more? Instead he vac seals it so the cure is forced into the flesh. He’s made a kohlrabi leaf fritter for texture.
Trent says the camel’s milk reminds him of fresh cow’s milk, as it’s “a bit funky”. Matt Preston warns him to taste his camel’s milk soz with the fish.
Elise is soaking thin kohlrabi slices in the pisco brandy and and is candying others. IM is making a savoury custard with the camel’s milk and chilli paste. Matt P tastes it and says it’s sweet, so IM adds vinegar from the pantry staples.
Does this mean Trent’s camel milk soz will also be too sweet?
GE is making a million veg elements to go with her fish … In MasterChef – we have kings of savoury and dessert queens – is she the vegie queen?
Harry is finishing his fish over the gas flame to give it char. IM is happy with his fish and his blobs of custard look like cool egg yolks on the plate, but GE has overdone her chilli caramel and it’s too globby. She plates it anyway. The challenge is almost over and Harry’s fish is not cooked enough – no wonder, it’s a chunky fish.
Mimi had hardly any air time – yet again. So she hasn’t won.
The judges taste

IM’s fish with savoury custard: The judges love the look of it. “There’s more than a few things I love about,” says Gaz. The kohlrabi leaf is crunchy, the custard and the cured fish delicious. Matt says IM is a “true original”.

GE’s fish and kohlrabi: Gaz loves all the textures but the caramel is too hard. “It’s a really good dish,” says Matt, apart from the caramel.

Trent’s fish with camel’s milk soz: Yum, says Gaz. He likes the crispy textures. They like it but aren’t raving about it.
Mimi’s fish with kaiserfleisch mayo: George likes the flavours but her ratios are off. It doesn’t warrant a photo on the MasterChef twitter feed.

Elise’s matcha parfait with kohlrabi: “You’re a master of the parfait, so why not exploit the fact in finals week,” says Gaz. Matt says she’s on trend using savoury items in a dessert: “Hot ingredients, hot dish.”

Harry’s fish: George tries to amp up the drama by questioning whether the fish will be cooked. Cue extremely loud dramatic music. But it’s cooked perfectly. Matt says his use of smoke was inspired and loves the “jellified fat”. Don’t we all love a bit of jellified fat? “This is a dirty streetfighter of a dish and I like it,” he says. George just has a “wow”.

And the winner is
Everyone did a great job, yadda yadda, but Harry won. He gets the choose the advantage aka kiss of death for the invention test.
He gets to choose from a using a smoking gun, sous vide machine and liquid nitrogen.

He picks liquid nitrogen (which he used to great effect to make frozen fruit burst in one of Heston challenges) and Elise looks stoked but IM freaks out. They have 60 minutes and an open pantry.

Invention test
A worried IM reckons everyone will do ice cream so instead he’s doing a coconut mousse with raspberries. Harry is making fennel sorbet, a strawberry granita, a black sesame dacquoise (aka cake).
GE wants to stand out by cooking a savoury dish called “Cool as a Cucumber”. Vegie Queen! She’ll use the nitro for a yoghurt snow over cucumber done several ways, with pops of mint, dill and apple. Uh oh – Talking TV regulars Julie and Carole will be gagging at the thought of eating cucumber.
Mimi is making a foraged mint slice. Does MasterChef have a forest nearby? No, she’s going to chuck a desserty soil on top of some mint ice cream and the diner has to dig for their dinner.
Uh oh – more voiceover of IM saying how nervous he is. And he’s split his cake mixture, according to the judges. But he keeps on going.
Trent is making coconut cake with Chinese five-spice ice cream and a “con-fit” pineapple.
Elise is, of course, doing a dessert: saffron mousse domes with a crumb and orange blossom ice cream. The judges are worried she’s been heavy handed with the saffron, but she forges ahead.
Meanwhile, GE hopes to win over the judges by soaking cucumbers in gin. Mimi is adding loads of mint to her ice cream but it’s not strong enough in flavour. Is there no peppermint oil in the pantry she could sneak past the judges?
Elise’s ice cream freezes well with the nitro. IM drops spoonfuls of his coconut mousse into the nitro but he’s not happy with the result. Quick – do an ice cream, IM!
Trent seems under control but I’m worried his dessert will be too sweet.
IM is plating up but he’s not happy, so cuts his cake in half. Then regrets it. He’s not been in the right headspace this whole challenge. Bottom three for sure.
GE’s dish looks so pretty and Harry is thrilled with his fennel sorbet. Again, no beetroot this episode!

The judges taste

Elena’s cucumber dish: George loves it – it’s refreshing and interesting. Matt says using one ingredient many ways is very modern.

Mimi’s mint dish: Will it be minty enough? (Do we really care at this stage? These Sunday night episodes do drag on. I’d rather they broke up the mystery box and invention test over two nights.) It needed more mint – it was a mistake to puree it as it changed the flavour. They love the idea; not the execution. There’s another one for bottom three.

Trent’s coconut cake with “con-fit” pineapple: The judges say it’s not quite right. The textures of sponge and ice creamar good but the five-spice flavour does not go with the coconut and pineapple [Should have done cardamom, Trent.]. “When it comes down to pressure into the bottom three, I’m not buying it,” says Gaz tersely.

Elises’s saffron mousse: It looks a bit bare on the plate. Gaz says it tastes like Christmas flavours and they like the ice cream. Matt says it needs some fresh orange to offset the other elements.
IM’s cake and coconut mousse: “I think you’re in a bit of trouble,” says Gaz. “It’s a cake you might buy in a shop and take home for tea. “It’s you on an off day,” says Other Matt. IM know it’s rubbish and there’s no pic of it on the MC twitter feed.

Harry’s black sesame cake with fennel sorbet: Harry certainly has a flair for the dramatic with his plating, using the charcoal plate to make the colours of his strawberry granita and fennel sorbet pop. Gaz says he’s taken the plating up a notch. You can tell they’re going to love it. “Beyond delicious … it’s sophisticated and well thought out, says Gaz, adding the techniques are very cheffy. This will be their fave dish of the challenge. So, having the advantage was not the kiss of death for once.

The judges decide
They loved Harry and Elena’s dishes and I’m guessing Elise will be third because they need to fill the spot.
That means bottom three for tomorrow’s pressure test are IM, Trent and Mimi. Let’s hope for the boys’ sake it’s not a dessert.

Tomorrow night
Oh no – it IS a dessert – and it looks super intricate. Mimi has to be the fave for this one.

Hopefully the footage of IM talking about how rubbish he will be is just a red herring.


House Rules – 2016 grand final

So, is it the twins or Claire and Hagan? The House Rules grand final is tonight.
Tomorrow night Channel 7 has programmed Guardians of the Galaxy to fill the House Rules timeslot, while the following night it’s Laugh Out Loud – one of those dreadful puppy YouTube clip shows that rates its socks off.

Joh Griggs is in the studio in a body con dress in House Rules red and her high hair has been styled by whoever normally does Manu’s do. She crosses to the homes of each grand finalist – Claire and Hagan’s kids look like they need to be in bed and it looks weird to see the Dalby brothers in suits.
Joh puts the boys on the spot by asking if they are still single, and Luke says “sorry Australia”, he’s got a girlfriend.
We’re reminded half of the scores come from the judges, the rest from viewer votes. So the boys will have to screw up big time to not win this.

Flashback to when each team started their final four-day challenge, at each others’ houses.

Rules for the Dalby house
1 Create the look of an Outback billabong [there’s no way the boys asked for a drowning hazard on their block – hopefully they’ll just use reed-like plants]
2 Incorporate a spa and pergola
3 Use stone to beef up the bush setting
4 Feature native plants and grasses

Rules for the Mornington Peninsula House
1 Create the look of a coastal cabana
2 Incorporate a spa and pergola [where is this stuff meant to fit on that teeny block?]
3 Get inspired by our local beach boxes
4 Use coastal plants and weathered timbers

The boys are disadvantaged by the small space – they’ll have to rip stuff out. They decide to move the outdoor shower to make way for a spa.
Claire wants an inground spa to look like a billabong but Hagan is not keen on digging a hole. Surely burying it in dirt would wreck the electricals?
Claire swears at Hagan that he doesn’t care and as he goes off in a huff she mutters “goo-goo-ga-ga”. Charming.
Eventually she agrees to an above-ground spa with plants and rocks around it, with a railway sleeper-inspired pergola above it. At least it has a glass safety fence around it. Shame the budget could not stretch to an actual pool, which surely would be more handy in a place like Dalby.
If I was Claire and Hagan I’d be ripping out any spa put in by the boys no matter how great – I’d be paranoid about the young kids around water, especially as the yard is the only play space.

The boys stock up on decorations for their pergola area and pity the poor artist who created the driftwood frame that they had to saw in half to fit in the boot of their car. Then we’re treating to yet another shot of the boys from behind, pretending to run in to the back yard.
Back in the studio Joh is chatting to Fil and Joe, so it’s the perfect time to heat up leftovers.

In Vic, the boys are stocking up on teak furniture for the already overcrowded back yard, while in Dalby there’s drama with the pool fence being too gappy and not meeting code.
The blue and white “bathing box” look the boys are going for looks good – until one of them spills a tray of paint all over the deck.
Fencing hassles sorted, C and H chuck plants in the ground while the boys reassemble the sawn-in-half artwork and a feature surfboard. They realise their furniture won’t fit so make plants the priority instead.

Time’s up! The brothers say beaut things about how much they love each other. H tears up when he talks about “doing it for the kids”.
In the studio, Joh tells Rob he was “fiercely competitive”. That’s an understatement.
Then we get footage of all the other couples showing friends and family around their renovated homes, talking about how awesome the show was. Nancy says the couples are all friends for life. Really? Even Rob.

Spa reveal
[Honestly, who even wants a spa at their house? I don’t get the appeal.]
The boys get to see their back yard and it looks fine, for a big plastic box of bubbling water. Luke and Cody, as upbeat and gracious as ever, say they love it.
C and H peer through the mountain of furniture to the massive spa and express their delight – it sounds a bit flat so perhaps it was a reshoot. Once they strip out half the clutter put there by other teams it will look much better.

In the studio, Joh checks in with Michelle about whether she knew her hubby would be such an emotional wreck. “Very dusty renos, they were,” Brooke counters.
Ooh, this is interesting: An ad for Selling Houses Australia coming to Seven. It’s my favourite reno show. I wonder how old the repeats will be?

The judges arrive
And for once Joe Snell is not wearing coloured pants. What a disappointment. He says the billabong feeling has been achieved. Wendy likes the planting but Joe wishes they’d screened out the back fence properly.
Thirty seconds later, they’re at the other spa and – phew – Joe is now wearing maroon pants. Joe says they’ve picked the perfect spot and he likes the driftwood art. They like the surfboard light but Wendy thinks they could have chosen another board.

The score are revealed
Luke and Cody get 8 from Joe; 9 from Wendy.
Claire and Hagan get 9 from Joe; and 10 from Wendy.

Time to pad everything out with a look back at highlights from the series. Yeah, the boys are from the country and they’re not used to traffic. They’re good at DIY. Luke tears up more easily than Cody. They worked hard. They played fair. And they’re the first all-male team to make it to the grand final.
Claire, Hagan, two kids and a big dog were crammed into a shoebox. During the comp they missed their kids and got the shits with each other – a lot. Yadda yadda. Their house looked awesome once it had the second storey on it. Hagan cries more than Claire.

Time for the winner to be announced
But first, it’s time to repeat questions like “What would it mean to you? How much do you want to win?”.
The votes have been combined with the judges’ scores and the 2016 House Rules winners, who gets the mortgage paid off are (after a pause by Joe): Luke and Cody (well, Luke because it’s his house).
No surprise. Well done, lads.


Married at First Sight premiere

It’s back! I only saw two minutes of last year’s series, and given the PG timelslot I imagine a lot of people will tune in for the first ep and then bail.
Do you think any couples are still together?

Chat away – guest recap coming later from WA correspondent Daisy as I’ll be watching the Chopses flail on MKR.

AND OVER TO DAISY – thank you!
The premiere tonight begins with last year’s success story; cute couple Zoe and Alex. They are being blissfully domestic, and hoping for babies. But please, Zoe, teach Alex it’s “Zoe and I….” Then we are introduced to the three supposed sexperts, who will use science, charts and body odour to match the couples.

Then we are introduced to pretty 39 year old, business owner Christie. She seems to have had it all, great life, loving family, but she is getting desperate to have kids, and her dad is ready for grandkids. He has offered to foot the bill for egg freezing. Christie values humour, positivity and requires chemistry. Her partner is FIFO and now farmer, Mark, and we all now straightaway know that there is a back-up plan for Mark, in Farmer Wants a Wife.
Then we meet retail manager, “on-line dating fiend” and self-confessed rude person, Erin, who has her own slave; her mother. Her mum makes her toast, then wipes her bum for her. Erin claims to sabotage her own dates. She is matched with mild-mannered Bryce. The experts gave him to Erin because he sniffed her dirty clothes and liked it.

Then we see the brides and grooms-to-be break the news to their families and friends who generally approve of the crazy decision to marry a stranger on TV. Erin tries on wedding gowns, and luckily with help from her friends Tig and Laura, because the bffs notice Erin’s first choice of gown has a falopian tube design on her crotch. Then we see Erin open up to camera and have a little cry. She “really wants this to work”.
The brides and grooms get dressed and groomed for the wedding. Everyone is getting nervous. Erin wants a truck load of make-up. Bryce won’t even be able to see her until she washes her face. Erin has already shown she is a potty-mouth. “Sh*t. Sh*t. Sh*t, sh*t”.
Christie and Mark meet and marry on a ferry on Sydney harbour on a perfect sunshine and lollipops day. Mark is so stunned by beautiful Christie that he tears up. Christie is so underwhelmed that she soon starts throwing up. Christie’s Dad thinks Mark is too short and starts thawing eggs.

Erin makes sure she gets plenty of attention by having a pre-wedding diva-like melt down. She keeps groom and guests waiting while she performs for the camera, but manages an entrance after another swig of champagne. She does the stupid face fan, but she has a great figure in that wedding doily. Luckily for Bryce, Erin takes to him like a duck to water. I just hope he can make toast. Then they have the photo shoot which forces some intimacy. Erin and Bryce are up for it, as is Mark, but Christie is handling it like a trip to the dentist to have four molars out without pain killers.
On the ferry, things go from bad to worse as Christie gets sicker….but then things turn a corner as Mark shows how great his nursing skills are, and Christie stops throwing up in her mouth. Then, back inside, Mark impresses everyone with his speech and daggy dancing, although Christie’s Dad was making snake eyes.
Question: did the producers know that Christie gets sea sick? An onboard wedding wasn’t a good idea.

Over at Erin and Bryce’s party, Erin is loving the attention. She is schmoozing with the guests and swearing like a sailor. She talks trash about the “fake t*tty table”, then smiles and waves. Later she greets them at their fake t*tty table and the girls ask, “Will you f*ck tonight”. Erin likes the polite way they asked, so replies, “Not on the table”, or was that “Not off the table”. And that just left the fake blonds, with their fake boobs, and their fake brains, confused.
Erin then makes a speech where she pretty much confesses that she is a bitch, while Bryce beams at her proudly. Bryce is undeterred by the red flags. Is this Erin already sabotaging their relationship?
Now to the honeymoon suite. This is where I really show how old-fashioned I am……eeew. You are on telly! Anyhow, as soon as Christie flops face down on the bed, she is putting out a clue; “no sex tonight”. Then she leaves no room for doubt by making a cushion wall down the middle of the bed. Initially hopeful Mark, gets the message.
Eager Erin, on the other hand, wasted no time. She handled that camera man like someone schooled at the Russel Crowe school of Papparazi camera smashing, and threw him out with her hand over the camera lens. And placid Bryce probably wasn’t so placid that night. 💘💘💘💘


Survivor BBB recap – Mar 24

kaoh rong start

It’s episode 6 already – boy, that went quickly. Back at camp after the ousting of Anna (the poker player with built-in flotation devices that would have made diving challenges tricky), Tai thanks his tribemates for keeping him and is relieved he didn’t show his idol.

He jokes that he should at least outlast the chicken. (Hmm, who do we think would be on chook-killing duty in this tribe? Joe?)

Dr Evil decides now is the time to change his status as bottom-rung Brain and chats to Tai about alliance. That’s Tai, who we know from last episode can’t stand Dr Evil – and Tai loves all living creatures.

Everyone wants a piece of Tai.
Everyone wants a piece of Tai.

Doc tells Tai he wants Joe gone, which is odd because Aubry is far more strategic and has a strong bond with Neal on the other team.

Over at blue team beach, we finally start to get some confessionals from Nick (always a dangerous sign). He is focused on getting in tight with his new tribe and reckons he has Debbie sussed out: she wants someone to listen to her and work hard. “Whatever person Debbie admires – which is herself – just be her,” he tells the confessional. (Please tell me Debbie isn’t falling for this and is playing him just as hard.) Debbie thinks Nick looks like a Greek god and has great features for modelling, and she should know – she’s been a model for years. Here the editors cackle with glee and up flashes another of the ever-changing Debbie occupation chyrons.

Lately she's been a chemist, waitress, civil air patrol capt and electronic expert.
Lately she’s been a chemist, waitress, civil air patrol capt and electronic expert – the editors are loving this.

She hopes he gets a modelling contract out of the show “but it’s going to have no effect on my strategy”. Phew.

Nick entertains the idea that she’s just stroking his ego but then, because he has a Dr Evil-sized ego, dismisses the notion.

They learn the reward challenge involves throwing balls through hoops, which Yellow team’s Scot, ex-professional basketballer, should smash. But Nick shot some hoops in school and is tall, so he’s the one who gets to practise back at camp with coconuts and what appear to be juggling beanbags. I’m surprised Debbie did not add basketballer to her list of careers.


So, come on in, guys, says Jeff, as always. I’m going to have to  rewatch Borneo and see if he used that phrase 31 seasons ago. The challenge has a loooong course.


Exile over, Julia appears, and black-and-green-capped Jeff ushers her to the yellow team. Everyone’s hungry and wants to win this:

Wonder if there's an idol clue baked into the bread?
Wonder if there’s an idol clue baked into the bread?

Aubry – who looks like a total nerd – is a challenge beast for the yellows and gives them a good lead, releasing the buoys way before Michelle – who looks like a pilates instructor or something. I know nothing about Beauty Michelle because we’ve barely seen her.

It get to the basketball stage and Scot takes a while to get the hang of out, allowing Nick to catch up and at one point to overtake him. Scot is worried.

Oh no - this is going to be like the time Wiglesworth the whitewater raft guide lost the rowing challenge to Gervais.
Oh no – this is going to be like the time Wiglesworth the whitewater raft guide lost the rowing challenge to Gervais.

But he gets it together and wins. Over at blue, Michelle knows she’s in trouble for not releasing the buoys sooner, but she really wasn’t that bad.

(That's Michelle talking while Neal and Jason have Who Has the Palest, Most Cochran-like Skin? contest)
(That’s Michelle talking while Neal and Jason have Who Has the Palest, Most Cochran-like Skin? contest)

Julia is stoked to be out of exile and on a team which has food, but not so stoked to see her alliance member Anna was voted off. Dr Evil is thrilled, though, to have someone young and seemingly naive to work with. He takes her for a dip and bitch session for more “I hate Joe” talk.

I just hope Dr Evil's not aqua dumping right now.
I just hope Dr Evil’s not aqua dumping right now.

And then he reveals he actually has some smarts: “Aubry is more important to get out because she’s the bigger player.” Julia plays the Sandra Diaz-Twine strategy of “as long as it’s not me”, which is really her only option at this point.

Watching from the sidelines, Joe and Aubry (who is wearing Joe’s jumper – nice one, Joe) can’t believe how obvious Dr Evil is being. Aubry in confessional: “Peter’s a little rogue and desperate right now. Which makes me feel like I need to seriously consider whether now is the time for Peter to go.”

Over at blue, Michelle is bummed they lost the challenge, knowing she will be held accountable. But she gets to work trying to build new alliances and goes to see the Oracle.

Teach me what to do, O Wise One.
Teach me what to do, O Wise One.

Debbie says it’s ok; she wants Jason gone because he does *&@! all around camp, and she wants a woman to win. Good one, Debbie. Michelle recounts the convo to Nick, who tells her bluntly Debbie is lying because she just wants her to be calm. “You are definitely the target,” he says.

(That's Nick talking about not voting for Jason. And you know it's true because we've seen very little of him this ep and lots of Nick and Michelle)
(That’s Nick talking about not voting for Jason. And you know it’s true because we’ve seen very little of him this ep and lots of Nick and Michelle)

All of which is true but the way he says it is all wrong, and gets her hackles up. But she’s smart enough to let it slide. We get a lot more of Nick saying how much better at this game he is than Michelle – total shades of Dr Evil and Liz’s boasting just before the Liz blindside.

Speaking of His Evilness, he’s over at the other beach telling Scot he wants Aubry gone, then Joe. And Joe is not happy to see yet another tete-a-tete with a non-Brain.

Joe seethes while Aubry talks.
Joe seethes while Aubry talks about Dr Evil.

Joe decides he’s going to confront Dr Evil, using his lie detecting FBI skills.

Who - me?
Who – me?

And Pete, looking guilty as hell, fails to shoot back with: “It’s a game, I’m making sure the other three don’t team up against us by pretending to want an alliance. Brains forever!”

It’s immunity challenge time and Jeff is in his orange cap. It’s one of the more straightforward land-based challenges, but I’m still hanging out for the merge and some endurance-based or balance challenges. And the merge can’t be far away, as we’re down to 12 players and they usually do it at around 11, and we’ve already lost Caleb. The challenge starts and Giant Scot helps Tiny Tai and his teammates over the rolling barrel.


The next part is even more challenging, with the most athletic guys having to leap for a handhold on this structure and pull themselves up, while their teammates give each other boosts so they can be hauled up. Luckily Debbie only ways about 45kg by now as she’s just skin, bones and hair.


Of course, Scot is the booster for his team and Jeff delights in yelling: “This is like a dad with his kids.” The blues are leading and it’s interesting to see the next bit has Nick and the strong but short Jason poking blocks with poles – a task surely more suited to taller members of the team.

Jason does his block.
Jason does his block.

Now, Neal is taller than Jason and yet he’s not on block duty. Is this a case of Jason’s ego winning out, or Neal being smart and “non-threatening”. For yellow, Peter is proving an asset – he knows he’d be in danger at tribal if they lose.

At the block-stacking station, the lead goes back and forth and it’s proving a tricky challenge.



Poor Joe cops a couple of wooden blocks on the noggin’ but seems ok. He can always consult the tribe’s resident ER doctor. Oh, that’s right, he pissed him off earlier so that could be a no go.

Tis but a scratch, Jeff - a mere flesh wound.
Tis but a scratch, Jeff – a mere flesh wound.

Yellow tries a new approach.


But Debbie goes one better …

Debbie #block stacker
Debbie #block stacker

… and blue wins by a hair.

Back at yellow camp Aubry tells Joe they still need Peter on side, so they still have a numbers advantage. Joe concedes she makes sense “even though he’s a big pain in the butt”. Aubry says Joe needs to talk to Peter about their earlier spat and “work it out as guys”. (Have I mentioned how much I like Aubry?) Joe swallows his pride.

Said while trying not to grit his teeth.
Said while trying not to grit his teeth.

Peter agrees with their plan to take out Julia and then tells Scot he’s shelved his mutiny and is voting Julia. Why would you tell Scot that? Just nod and say yes to whatever Scot tells you.

So Scot, Tai and Julia discuss who they want gone.

The tribe discusses how much they love Peter.
The tribe discusses how much they love Peter.

“We need to talk to Aubry,” says Julia, knowing she’s the Brain of the Brains.  They lay out Dr Evil’s deception for her and she plays it cool.

Aubry's wishing she could use the machete on Peter right now.
Aubry’s wishing she could use the machete on Peter right now.

I’m not sure why Aubry has not approached Scot about joining up with her and Joe – although maybe she has and we’ve just not see it. Tai is worried by her lack of reaction, which leads to this adorable scene:


Joe is not impressed that Aubry is thinking of switching her vote to Peter, after she just made him eat humble pie when he wanted to do the same. He’s sticking with the Julia vote, which means if Aubry flips she’ll lose Joe as a future ally. “I feel that no matter what I do, it’s going to blow back and bite me in the ass,” Aubry says. Since we’ve seen no other footage of Aubry talking with Brawn and Beauty, I reckon she’ll vote for Julia. Unless Peter says something really douchey at tribe, and that’s not likely, is it?

Who brought the marshmallows?
Who brought the marshmallows?

It’s tribal council time and Jeff leads the chat in the direction of making it obvious either Julia or Peter is going home. And while he’s talking to Aubry, this happens:

I love it when they whisper stuff at tribal.
I love it when they whisper stuff at tribal.

And then, while Jeff is talking to Joe, Aubry whispers:


And Scot replies “Peter”. Well, this is fun. Poor Aubry looks so stressed and we see her pause immediately before and after finally writing Julia’s name.  Darn it.

And then Jeff reads the votes and it looks like it will be a tie until this awesome thing happens:


And Dr Evil gets his comeuppance. Well, that made for great TV.

The preview for next week’s Survivor: Kaoh Rong shows what looks to be the merge. So, left in the game are Beauties Nick, Julia, Michelle and Tai; Brawn Scot, Jason and Cydney; and Brains Aubry, Joe, Debbie and Neal. And we get footage of Jason boasting about “shoving geeks in lockers”. Urgh.


In other news, check out this article on Fishy. Nothing much new but good to see Survivor on the home page of


Farmer Wants a Wife – Ep 3

Hooray for guest recapper, Daisy:

Tonight on Farmer Wants a Wife…..
We pick up where we left off last week, saying goodbye to the first round of home stay girls. Now we know, ttv readers, that our hearts have warmed to Farmer Matt, but (slaps own face) we have to remain objective, and no free pass for our toothy cattle rancher.
The show begins with Famer Julz, 36, who wants to prove that there is fun to be had in Tumby Bay, so he takes his girls to segway park. Hmmm, I hope Tumby Bay gets better than segway. Adam chooses something to test his girls’ cooking skills and dinner table conversation, and takes them to a cooking class. Still not a lot of fun. They get a class in tortellini making. Hayley is on edge and feeling insecure. Not a good look, Hayley.
Samantha is developing feelings for Oyster Farmer Jedd, but photographer Kerry gets the jump on her and, camera in hand, goes to the beach with Jedd and Gregory. Gregory gets to show off his canine modelling, and Jedd is probably going to ask Greg if he likes Kerry. Jedd is still being bashful.
Now the screen heats up as we see Farmer Matt drive in on his enormous machine. He is definitely the producers choice for sex and sizzle. The word dirty gets mentioned a lot now. The girls aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, and we saw Matt’s dirty hands last week. It’s very sexy work, cattle rustling. There sweat, singlets, skin and phemerones are going crazy. April is drooling. Amelia is gushing. But Gabi is feeling left out.
Now on Lachie’s farm, he wants to make sure he makes the right decision-he is running out of dating show options. His girls are dolling up for a day out at Camden races. Lachie has invited his mates to check out the girls, while the girls do their best to appear bright, witty and charming. But Lachlan is bombing out with Jess, who didn’t feel any sparks.

Over at the rodeo, Lance brings his mate Bob to help lasso a filly. There is some bull handling and Lisa doesn’t want anything too big or frisky between her legs. Not sure if she means Lance. In the meantime, Julz takes beautician Alex to feed parrots.

For a nice interlude, the parrots are pretty. Alex and Julz get on well enough for Alex to thank Julz for sharing his budgie.
Here we have some farmer related ads for those of us who might need a tractor and then it’s back to Farmer Matt, taking his cowgirls to a beautiful creek for a frollick. I think April and Amelia are OK with a threesome and we all get to see Matt’s bum, rewind, bum again, rewind, bum…..OK move on. The slap and tickle in the creek has left Gabi once again feeling a little behind, but not the same behind that April felt. Matt takes Gabi off into the bushes and asks to see every side of her.

Gabi obliges and they lock lips. Well played Gabi! Matt tells the camera he is lost for words.

At Adam’s sedate luncheon, talk turns to relationship goals. Christine’s heart is melting, but Hayley is floundering. She doesn’t cope well with competition and her inner bunny boiler is showing. Hayley’s eyes tear up. She wants Adam to herself. She is anxious about the other girls’ ability to engage Adam in witty banter. At the rodeo, hot and cold Karen is off the boil again. She doesn’t want to hurt Lance, but she writes him a dear John letter, even though he is only in the kitchen.

Lance was sad, but resilient. That little “rip snorter” was his favourite. Lance must be partial to a sad sack. Karen drives away as Lance turns his attention back to spoiling his two remaining “lovely ladies”.
Back at Camden race track (do dah, do dah….sorry), the girls are hitting the juice and have loosened up. They are enjoying Lachie’s mates and cousin Stu, all of whom look a bit like a bunch of codgers. Julz’s feelings for Megan are beginning to waver, so he takes her for a deep and meaningful walk on a jetty, while Jedd takes Samantha to sit in a vineyard. Jedd finally gets over his shyness and zooms in for the smooch. He does well, for a slow starter. Returning to Camden, Jess lets Lachie down gently with an ‘it’s not me it’s you’ and an offer to stay friends. She has no regrets, perhaps because she can now go on to do First Dates. Lachlnan is pragmatically still looking forward to his future.
Now be patient viewers because as the episode winds up, we are told that next week ….the claws will be out. Miaooow. Till next week ????


Catch-up TV – First Dates, episode 2

Time for Friday night vegie TV while we collapse on the couch, so let’s catch up on First Dates, the new show from Channel 7. This is the one reality show from the current crop I’ve been able to rope Mr Juz aka IT Sidekick into, so let’s see what he thinks of episode 2.

First up is flight attendant/Lebanese beauty queen Deedee, 24, looking smoking in a lacy playsuit. Last week we kicked off with the hot couple (Model and Island Girl), too, so let’s see what her date is like. It’s Sean, 26, sales exec, and he seem like a fairly normal, nice bloke. He’s a bit nervy but happy she’s “hot”.

Legs forever ... and her nice bloke date.
Legs forever … and her nice bloke date.


Date 2 is Stephanie, 24, in a not flattering white crop top and skirt. She loves makeup – lots of it – but at home in Melbourne is seen as “one of the boys”, so is stoked to on the show.

Steph rocks up.
Steph rocks up.

Date Jordan is a tradie/slash topless waiter and he loves the gym waaaay too much. He looks like a hitman for the Russian mafia.

Will Jordan fit through the First Dates door?
Will Jordan fit through the First Dates door, where he’ll be greeted by a maitre d’ who looks like Ben Linus from Lost?


Of his second job: “It’s a good laugh. I have received a black eye once, though, from being hit with a female sex toy.”

At date 1 Sean is still blinded by Deedee’s beauty and, really, nothing much happens of note on their date but they seem perfectly pleasant.

At date 2, when Stephanie learns of the topless waitering gig she spits out her champagne just a little. You can tell she’s going to be the highlight of this episode, because it’s possible she had a good, long look at the mini bar of the hotel Channel 7 put her up in. Just maybe.

Mr Juz: Is she stoned?

Date 3 arrives: It’s Donna, 52, from NSW, who is back on the scene after 13 years of marriage and rates herself as a kisser. “I like sex, I”m not gonna lie. I’d like to meet someone I want to meet in the bedroom every night.”

Donna is back on the market and Tony is looking good for 62.
Donna is back on the market and Tony is looking good for 62.


She notes her date is late, but methinks they’re holding him at bay in the hope she’ll down more champers. Her date, Tony, arrives. He’s 62 but looks a bit younger and wants a lady with a good libido. Donna does her piece to camera and says if the moment is right she’s a goer for first date bedroom gymnastics. Hmm, this could be a good match.

Mr Juz: I’m not really watching. She seems a bit randy.

At date 2 Stephanie is nonplussed at the fanciness of the menu. Surely Muscles will get the steak, as he looks like a meat-only washed-down-with-10-raw-egg-whites kinda guy.

Over at date 3, both Donna and Tony order oysters. Could they be any more obvious?

But back to the interesting table … Stephanie orders the risotto and lists all the ingredients she can pronounce, ending with “chives 18”. Muscles points out that 18  is in fact the price of the dish. Oh dear, Steph. And yes, he orders the steak. Then she has a go at him for having “tood” towards her in front of the waiter. Waiter Terry approaches again carrying bread and olive oil and Steph is obviously used to Tiptop and marg, because she languidly asks: “What is this you are presenting us with?”. Muscles explains how to eat bread.

This is bread.
This is bread. People eat it at restaurants.

Mr Juz: She’s more than drunk.

Date 4 carpenter Chris, 23, arrives. He’s just come out of a long relationship and is a handsome young fella. Tassie salesgirl Hayley arrives (she looks a bit like the doe-eyed Hayley character from Modern Family) and she’s in a lacy green halter and short shorts combo with a giant flower in her hair. I reckon they’ll get on.

Mr Juz: [Discussing the outfit as she sits on a stool] She looks like she’s about to show us her dinner, though.

Cute little Hayley and a nervous carpenter Chris.
Cute little Hayley and a nervous carpenter Chris.


Hayley is a big talker and Chris likes that she’s into the outdoors, as one day he wants to move home to the bush. She also wants to leave Tassie for the bright lights of Sydney, which is where he now lives. This bodes well.

Darn, I’ve forgotten the name of the older lady.

Mr Juz: “It’s Tits McGee.” The couple discuss healthy eating and being good, and he opines “A bad girl is even better.” It’s a bit smooth but nowhere near as bad as Fritzl Chris from last episode.

At Muscles and Star of Tonight’s Show’s date, he is antagonising her like an older brother. Uh oh – she has the same birthday as his ex, so she replies with a quick: “When’s your birthday? Oh yeah, my dog died on that day.” Maybe being really, really laidback and having a dry sense of humour makes it look as through you’ve downed the mini bar.

In the ad break they are flogging the next season, seeking lovelorn contestants  .. Anyone want to apply?

Lauren aka Crazy Eyes (the one who asked how much butter was in the herbed butter) from episode one is back for another go, and it’s date 5 for this episode. This time she doesn’t want to have to do “all the heavy lifting” in the conversation. Her date is entrepreneur Alan, 26, and he’s a little quirky in a slightly nerdy way. But it’s always a worry when you ask someone what they do and they can’t tell you.

Crazy Eyes, take a breath and meet Entrepreneur. No, we don't know what he does, either.
Crazy Eyes, take a breath and meet Entrepreneur. No, we don’t know what he does, either.

At date 4 the young couple are bonding over their love of pancakes and the carpenter tries to impress the naive Tassie chick by boasting there is a 24-hour pancake place in Sydney. “I don’t believe you,” says Hayley, and is then told it’s only five minutes from where they are. So, pancakes after filming stops?

OMG - you can get pancakes outside of Hobart!
OMG – you can get pancakes outside of Hobart!

In the confessional, mature lady Donna is feeling the effect of the espresso martini, doing her best Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally impression. Ummm, please tell me she does not have kids, otherwise they just died of embarrassment.

So, would she like a second date with Tony, who’s definitely keen? She does the “you’re a lovely guy, but …” Awww, poor Tone.

I secretly want a younger man - can Cougar from MKR hook me up?
I secretly want a younger man – can Cougar from MKR hook me up?

At Crazy Eyes’ date, she likes that she he has his own company and is speaking really fast to show just how much she likes that. But unlike her last date, she is letting him get in a few words i and seems to be listening.

Meanwhile, Steph is sharing her hobbies with Muscles, saying she is a great rollerblading and likes to sing. They discover a mutual passion for karaoke and she guesses what his go-to song would be: “Bon Jovi, Living on a Prayer.”

The carpenter and Hayley are feeding each other food and they are rather cute together.

Mr Juz: “There’s a spark there.”

At date 1 they are talking about past loves, so we get the serious piano music. He wants to see the hostie/beauty queen again (and he pays for dinner). “Definitely the best date I’ve been on in a while,” he says, out of earshot. Do they want a second date? The producer must have have asked “What are you doing after?”, because the normal guy replies: “I’m going to date her, I think. Is that too forward?” She thinks it’s funny and hands over her phone number.

Nice teeth, too.
Nice teeth, too.

Crazy Eyes’ date provocatively rubs his huge butter pat into his steak (for those of you who didn’t watch last week, she doesn’t do butter and gets up at 5am every day to work out).

Look upon my tasty butter.
Look upon my tasty butter.

“I’m not dealing; you’re giving me anxiety,” she says, not looking at the scotch fillet. However, she is calming down now and realising she can’t tick all the boxes on her list. Actually, the food here looks pretty good. Is this a real restaurant?

At date 4 they are both scared to speak but eventually confess both would like to go on a second date. They leave hand in hand, off to get the pancakes, and it looks like a move to Sydney is on the cards for the teeny Tassie girl.

Come on, Short Stack. Let's meet each other's parents.
Come on, Short Stack. Let’s meet each other’s parents.

Mr Juz: “She’s got that doe-eyed, Bambi thing about her.”

Steph is confessing to Muscles that she is addicted to wearing makeup, but he likes that she takes care in her appearance.

Crazy Eyes goes to the loo to phone a friend for help, because Entrepreneur is intriguing her (he certainly has a lot more confidence than nice-but-five-year planless Corbin from last week), but he’s not the hottie she wanted. She confesses: “I’m lost for words and I’ve never been lost for words my whole entire life.” She is much calmer than last week – getting used t0 the cameras, finally.

Mr Juz thinks she’ll get a second date.

Muscles and Steph are ordering dessert and she doesn’t know what a chocolate fondant is … Or a ramekin … Does she not watch MasterChef or MKR? He tells her to close her eyes while he explains how a fondant works. Ok, I like that they both don’t take themselves too seriously.

Steph: “He seems like the kind of guy that would definitely treat a girl quite well.” He grabs the bill.

So, would they like a second date? She makes him answer first, for fear of rejection. He says “probably not” and does not soften the blow until prompted. Guess he wants a girlfriend who’s into working out, too. Steph is sad. Prompted, he says they didn’t have a spark. But at the end they go off in search of a karaoke bar, determined to make they best of a night away in Sydney on Channel 7’s dime.

Do you know Blaze of Glory?
Do you know Blaze of Glory?

Mr Juz: They probably still hooked up.

Crazy Eyes’s date gets the bill and half-jokingly asks for a tax copy to claim it as a business expense, but she is quite relaxed and laughs. He wants to see her again but I’m worried she’s going to say no because he doesn’t meet her strict criteria

Do they want a second date? He assertively goes first: they had a lot of fun and should do it again.

The Crazy Whisperer.
The Crazy Whisperer.

She says they may turn out be great friends or something more: “I’d definitely  like to see you again.” Good on you, Lauren. Then, to reassert her dominance she rips the red pocket square from his pocket and throws it on the ground, to his amusement, and the expresses her fear he is a secret bow tie wearer. Relaxed Crazy Eyes has a sense of humour!

Time for the “where are they now?” Crazy Eyes has not gone on a second date with him yet. Steph will be back for another episode. Date no. 1 “shared a kiss … but not a second date”. The cute young couple “went for pancakes … and they’re still sharing desserts” – accompanied by pictures of them on other dates and pashing. Yay!!!

Mr Juz’s summary: “I’m pleased the Modern Family chick (that’s young Hayley) obviously found what she was looking for.”

And here’s a link to a story about their true love

And that’s a wrap. If you haven’t already, give First Dates a go. You can catch up at Yahoo 7 or it’s being repeated really late Saturday night (Feb 13).


MKR – Tues, Feb 9 – Can Zana cook?

Who’s watching Zana and Plus One tonight? Still 10 mins til it starts here in SA, darn it.

So we start with the editors reminding us Zana and Plus One are super smart, scuccessful and rich yadda yadda.
Zana: “Whoever said money can’t buy happiness, just doesn’t know where to shop.”
She’s Albanian, from Montenegro, and he’s Italian so I’m hoping to see some dishes that are new for me, with my boring Anglo Saxon heritage with its rubbish cuisine.

Some geography smarts coming at you.
Some geography smarts coming at you.

It’s off to the shops they go and Zana looks much nicer dressed “down” but they still have the make up slapped on her.
The self-confessed germaphobe teachers Plus One the correct onion selection technique.
“It’s extremely important that the onions need to be double layered, because if they’re exposed, babe, that’s germs.”
I can tell she’s never been on public transport, or she’d be dead from fear.
The pita entree sounds easy, but then we learn in Albania they make it from filo pastry, which I know from GBBO is not so easy to make and you need a tonne of bench space.
Mmmm … main is liver. I’d happily eat it but I can’t help thinking of that immortal Silence of the Lambs line: “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” I think most of the guests – especially those with Maltese heritage and the Curlies – will just dig in. Manu and Pete sound worried about the guests’ reaction. I’m more worried about them being overcooked.

Driving home they have to pull over because the horn on their car gets stuck blasting at full tilt (much like Z herself). Plus One, are you sure this is your car or did you borrow it to look good on the show?
Their restaurant looks stylish in black and white and they have photos of their grandparents looming over everyone – they look a bit like those portraits you see at some funerals. Did Zana choose white so any specks of dirt would be easy to spot? Definitely not termite-infested moss placements here.
They enter the kitchen on time and Zana gets on to the pita while Plus One does the dough for the dessert, krofne. Google says this is basically a jam doughnut.

Entree: Albanian pita with beetroot hummus
Main: Crumbed calves livers with Albanian peppers
Dessert: Krofne with hazelnut ganache

Zana mentions she is using a recipe of her Nonna’s, but Nonna doesn’t use measurements. Uh oh – we know what that means … It doesn’t feel right – is what we saw in the ad going in the bin? Looks like it. Take two us also stuffed so she gets out the Kenwood and is happy with take three, but she’s wasted over an hour and still has to roll, butter and stretch everything. The finished pastry is filled with feta, eggs, yoghurt.
They haven’t started mains yet but the livers should be a quick cook.
Zana is starting to crack under the pressure. The pita isn’t cooking underneath – can’t she just turn on the bottom element? She takes it out and leaves it one the stove with a tea towel draped over it – wouldn’t this send the steam back down to make the pastry soggier?
The guests arrive and it’s all diamantes and lace, with the blokes in black tie (except Jordan gets a cute spotty one). Poor Plus One – that’s going to be make for sweaty cooking.
Zana cuts and the pastry and … it’s perfect (and she’s an expert on perfection). Here come the judges and Pete didn’t get the memo about black tie. Zana is worried about kissing them because she smells like garlic. I’m surprised Manu doesn’t have his own cologne range, Eau de Garlique.
The guests have a squiz at the menu and Cop 2 is squeamish about the liver.
In the kitchen the couple are happy with the beetroot hummus and utter a key danger phrase: “It’s exactly how we always make it.”
At the table, kudos to Curly Sue, who knows what Albanian pita should look like. She must have been boning up on her culinary knowledge – what a crazy idea for a cooking show contestant.
The plated up entree looks simple but the pastry looks lovely and flaky and they’ve added some colour to the beetroot hummus with pistachios and herbs. Does it need a little rocket salad, too, for freshness?

Some of the guests are pleased to see Zana and Plus One looks rattled, and Cop 1 is relishing the prospect of Zana taking a fall.
The judges go in for the chew and … Manu says “I hate to say but I’m devastated.”
Cut to ad break. Oh, Channel 7, you can’t fool me. You’ve taken a leaf out of Channel 10’s book, when Matt Preston threw a dish on the floor of the MasterChef kitchen and proclaimed it “disgusting … {lengthy ad break] disgustingly delicious”.

And we’re back and Manu finishes “… that I don’t have any more to eat”. You didn’t fool me, Manu! Zana tears up with happiness and her crying face is even more fun to watch than her disgusted face. What mascara is she using? It’s sticking like glue.

You were right, Zana - you're a rock under pressure.
You were right, Zana – you’re a rock under pressure.


Manu: “I’ve got nothing negative to say.” Pete is also full of praise.
The guests enjoy it, even with the pow of garlic.
Cop 1 is in anti-Zana mode and doesn’t like the salty feta, nor the garlicky hummus. Realising this is her chance t justify a low score, Cougar backs her up.
In the kitchen it’s offal time. Zana drains the milk off in the sink and please tell me they are not reusing that washing cloth that’s sitting in the sink after they’ve drained bloody liver milk over it.
At the table some guests are feeling icky about the liver. Suck it up, people! You are meant to be foodies and this is when MKR fans start getting the shits with you.
Back to the kitchen and they’ve forgotten they have something in the oven. Oh, crumbs! Smoke pours out. It’s the breadcrumbs.

Quick, grab a glass cloche and trap it.
Quick, grab a glass cloche and trap it.

As it turns out, the crumbs are fine and it was just spilt beetroot jewses on the bottom of the oven burning.
Plus One does veg prep very slowly (and he’s annoying me by swiping it into a bowl with the sharp blade of his knife rather than reversing it to use the dull edge – quickest way to blunt a good knife) while Zana crumbs and fries the livers.
The guests are doing Geography 101 and Curly Sue, the youngest, is the smartest one in the room. The livers look yum but Zana rejects the suggestion for more seasoning – danger, danger!
The people scared about trying the liver need to pretend it’s a tasty schnitzel, which is what it looks like.

As she watches the judges chew, Zana does the “I need to do a wee dance” and looks super nervous.
Manu calms her down by saying this is the best possible way for someone to try liver as the unsuspecting won’t know it is. Turns out, that’s exactly what she did to Plus One, but he loves her for her tricksy ways.
Manu has one small criticism that it needs a touch more salt (as predicted). Pete is effusive with “wow”, “perfection”, next level” and “I’ll remember this dish for a long time”.
It looks smashing and is exactly the kind of dish I’d order when out, because I love figuring out what all the ingredients are in unfamiliar dishes. However, the editors are playing quirky, off-kilter music so, who’s going to spit the dummy?
No, it’s a classic MKR misdirect.
Paige: “I love liver. I also love yoghurt and onion and crumbs.” Rosie and the Curlies agree. Cop 2 is on board and Cougar Town know they are going down.
In the kitchen, it’s dessert time and Zana wants the filling to resemble Nutella so she is using Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. Urgh – it’s oily sweet stuff designed for the palate of five-year-olds. Grow up and embrace your dark side, Zana.
The melted chocolate is dangerously close to Plus One’s crisp white cuffs.
Manu pops into the kitchen to give them a pep talk: “We’ve had a brilliant night so far – don’t ruin eet.”
Cue obligatory jokes about cops and doughnuts.
Curly Bro is finally getting some airtime tonight – hope they try him with a man bun soon.
Zana is micromanaging the frying of the doughnuts and making Plus One nervous. They do a taste test and are pretty happy. Plus One is loving having some control for a change when he gets to wield the piping gun. Zana is in charge of espresso shots to go with the krofne.
It looks tasty.

I’m glad they’re doing doughnuts as it’s reminded me to whip out this beauty from the Italian bakery down the road to sustain me for the rest of this recap.

Hole lotta love.
Hole lotta love.

It’s Chew O’Clock … and Pete questions whether it’s enough for a dessert. Maybe it needs to be an affogato with hazelnut gelato. Sage advice. Manu slams their quality of chocolate, so he won’t be doing ads for Cadbury any time soon.
The guests mostly love the doughnuts (even Cop 1) but the boys wanted more and a swiftly sinking Cougar pulls out the ultimate insult: “It tasted like a doughnut you could buy at a store.” Ouch!
Time for the scores but, darn it, it’s off to kitchen HQ to find out who’s been eliminated. Usually we at least get to hear the guests’ scores, so they are obviously safe as they only have to smash 31.

Judges: Entree Pete 10, Manu 10; Main Pete 10, Manu 9; Dessert Pete 8, Manu 8.
The guests’ combined score – wish they would reveal the individual scores – is 42/50 for a grad total of 97. They are on top of the leaderboard, and deservedly so.
Since Cougar Town are now the dearly departed, we’ll call them Cheryl and Matt. They’re disappointed but take it well.
So tomorrow night it’s on to the new batch of victims: The Italianos, The Miners and Jessica – they’re the only ones we need to know, according to the ad.