PREVIOUSLY ON MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA: Matt and Trent reveal themselves to be actual robots sent back from the year 3148 to absorb all our cooking information word-for-word so that they may return to their masters armed with the knowledge of cooking techniques long thought lost to the dusts of time.

Brett, in trying to sear a whole heap of steaks only really succeeded in dutching out the entire MasterChef kitchen, and my own personal disappointment was deadset through the roof when the red team was asked to imitate a menu from Huxtable, and not Huxtaburger. BURGER LYF.

AND NOW, LAST NIGHT.

I’ve got a bad feeling about this episode. Right from the get go. The whole thing is just giving off bad juju and I do not like it. I do not like it ~one bit~, you guys.

And it’s not just because Jimmy‘s apparently been lovingly gazing at Miles while he sleeps.

MASTERCHEF DRAMA: Poor, Sweet Nidhi & The Soggiest Cauli You’ll Ever See

Whatcha dreamin’ ’bout, Milesy?

Half the remaining contestants don the black robes of death and march into the kitchen to confront their fate: Jimmy, Theresa, Tassie Con, Miles, Nidhi, Charlie, Heather, Karmen, Chloe, and Elise.

Because we’re literally just repeating the same three tasks over and over until all-but one person cracks it, the elimination challenge is split into two stages.

The first, where all the condemned cook, is a raw challenge, where no part of the cook can feature any heat whatsoever. None. Don’t even think about it. Don’t even bother to come in hot on this one. In fact, everyone fill up an ice bath and jump in it just in case. Because if there’s *any* heat involved in this cook SO HELP ME GOD

The kicker here is that they’ve gotta select one key ingredient and use that, but if they wind up in the bottom three and have to cook in round two, they’ll be using that same core ingredient again.

Luckily for Matt Preston, nobody selects lemons as their core ingredient, otherwise he would’ve had multiple sets of desperate hands diving for his throat thanks to this zesty little number he’s sporting.

MASTERCHEF DRAMA: Poor, Sweet Nidhi & The Soggiest Cauli You’ll Ever See

Ahhh, the plain beige suit and bright yellow combo. Because you might be a devious financial baron running a shady off-score tax evasion scheme, but you’ve still gotta be able to blend in with the tourist crowd on that non-extradition tropical island you’ve fled to.

The challenge begins in earnest, and we are immediately focused in on Nidhi and Miles and I repeat THIS IS NOT GOING TO END WELL OH GOD MY HEART.

Sweet, sunshiny Nidhi proudly declares she’s making a salad and nothing else, which is sort of like buying a bell and saying you’ve built a bicycle. It’s just the flashy end bit of a meal. There’s many more bits to it. You can try a little harder maybe.

Oddly enough the salad curse has permeated through the entire kitchen, and Theresa is also insisting on plating up a side dish as a full meal. In a desperate attempt to inject crunch into it, she stuffs a whole mess of walnuts into her salad, and cue Matt Preston recoiling in absolute horror.

MASTERCHEF DRAMA: Poor, Sweet Nidhi & The Soggiest Cauli You’ll Ever See

Which is bad enough in and of itself, but when you cop the ole’ 1-2-Kostya Tszyu of the exasperated yell followed by the trademark Matt Preston STARE OF NOPE…

MASTERCHEF DRAMA: Poor, Sweet Nidhi & The Soggiest Cauli You’ll Ever See

…you deadset know you’re in big trouble.

And lord, are they ever in trouble. Nidhi‘s kind of nothing cauliflower salad, Theresa‘s walnut pear disaster, and Miles‘ eggy mayo are enough to send all three into the dreaded round two.

But doesn’t Jimmy ever secretly love it?

Look at this face. This is the face of a bloke who knows he’s about to absolutely ROAST his sister.

MASTERCHEF DRAMA: Poor, Sweet Nidhi & The Soggiest Cauli You’ll Ever See

It’s the same face you make whenever you flip over an exam paper and realise that all the questions are exactly what you studied for. “I. GOT. DIS.”

So Round 2. Same as before, except now the heat is turned up, both literally and figuratively.

Because Miles is a smart person, his core ingredient is tuna, and so he’s absolutely fucking set. Theresa and Nidhi, with pear and cauliflower respectively, are dead-set up against it.

Nidhi, the beautiful ray of sunshine that she is, looks straight down the barrel of a camera and declares she’s making a “cauliflower platter.” A platter and a salad. You are KILLING ME here, Nidhi. Oh god.

Theresa continues to wilt under pressure, morphing from a mildly high-strung human being into an unstoppable ball of frantic fury that would make a St. Anger-era Metallica rather envious. TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TOCK.

‘Course it doesn’t bloody help one iota that our gr8 m8 Jimmy is up there on the gantry, peering over the edge and ratcheting the tension on poor Theresa’s head up to roughly one billion percent.

Listen up, Jimbo.

STOP.

MASTERCHEF DRAMA: Poor, Sweet Nidhi & The Soggiest Cauli You’ll Ever See

FREAKING OUT.

MASTERCHEF DRAMA: Poor, Sweet Nidhi & The Soggiest Cauli You’ll Ever See

ABOUT EVERY. LITTLE. THING.

MASTERCHEF DRAMA: Poor, Sweet Nidhi & The Soggiest Cauli You’ll Ever See

YOU ARE MAKING EVEN *ME* NERVOUS.

Christ alive.

But bless her heart, she keeps trying, and ends up coming up with the admittedly pretty clever idea of taking a melon baller to another red wine poached pear to create what she calls “my pear balls.”

MASTERCHEF DRAMA: Poor, Sweet Nidhi & The Soggiest Cauli You’ll Ever See

All the worry in the world, though, is focused squarely on poor Nidhi. And that growing sense of dread is suddenly back tenfold.

Her fried cauli is soggy, and the potatoes are undercooking to the point where they’re basically still just starchy frisbees.

It’s worrying. We’re all worried. LOOK HOW WORRIED GARY IS, FOR GOD’S SAKE.

MASTERCHEF DRAMA: Poor, Sweet Nidhi & The Soggiest Cauli You’ll Ever See

Miles, thankfully, has absolutely nailed his little tuna tataki dish. And when he plates it up to the judges, he mentions his adorable little family again and god damn it IT KILLS ME EVERY TIME.

LOOK HOW FUCKING ADORABLE THEY ARE TOGETHER, WOULD YOU.

MASTERCHEF DRAMA: Poor, Sweet Nidhi & The Soggiest Cauli You’ll Ever See

Every time – EVERY. DAMNED. TIME. – Miles talks about his kids my mighty heart cracks in two. He just loves them so much, you guys. I cannot handle you, Miles. I cannot deal with how nice and good you are.

BRB, starting a Kickstarter campaign so Miles never has to pay for a beer ever again. I will shout you ALL THE BEERS, you absolute ledge.

Unfortunately, because Miles is safe (thank CHRIST), it means one of the remaining two have to go.

And due to the soggy cauli, the undercooked potato, and the general no-thank-you look of the whole thing, that person facing the chop today is Nidhi.

On her way out, she touches the feet of the judges as part of a custom of respect, and that *somefreakinghow* is the most touching thing I think I’ve ever seen on this show.

IT’S A SMALL WOMAN TOUCHING MATT, GEORGE, AND GARY’S FEET. HOW IS IT SO SWEET AND WHY AM I CRYING, GOD DAMN IT.

MASTERCHEF DRAMA: Poor, Sweet Nidhi & The Soggiest Cauli You’ll Ever See

Oh, Nidhi. You were too bloody good for this show.

NEXT TIME: The kitchen is rocked by a record amount of cut fingers, after Nigella Lawson arrives and refuses to stop distracting everyone by suggestively licking spoons.

Photo: Channel Ten.