PREVIOUSLY ON MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA: Gordon Ramsay arrived with his deeply weird haircut that leads me to believe he marched into a salon and said “Ever seen a verandah? That.” Also, we lost Michelle to elimination after she took a page out of Brendan‘s book and decided that sharp things plus hands equals a good-ass time. Blood for the blood god, etc.
AND NOW, LAST NIGHT.
Alright buckle the fuck up, buttholes, because last night’s episode was some hot buttered bullshit on a staggering number of levels.
Last night’s Immunity Challenge put Reece, Sashi, and Samira all within arm’s reach of a precious, and very valuable pin. A pin so valuable that the show, right up until this point, has treated them with great care and respect and not reduced them into a pointless gimmick by handing them out willy nilly.
Matt Preston greets them, replete in glorious, Baron von Big Boi long coats once again.
Counter-acting that sense of fashion completely, the gang introduces not one, not two, but three professional chefs to proceedings, all of whom are wearing fucking crocs. CROCS.
Mates I know it’s standard kitchen wear and you’re dressing for work, but you’re appearing on national television. This isn’t Sunday night on the wine coolers at Aunty Jude’s, this is MasterChef, for christ’s sake. Have some self-respect.
The three chefs represent an award-winning young chef of the year, a nationally-renowned pastry chef, and… Gavin.
This is Gavin.
This will become apparent exceedingly quickly.
Today’s challenge puts three pins on the line, with each contestant battling one-on-one with one of the chefs. It’s not three-on-three, it’s one-on-one, and one-on-one, and one-on-one. All happening at the same time. A challenge that cannot possibly end with someone getting a thoroughly undeserved pin and someone else getting the rorting of a lifetime.
Cannot possibly end that way AT ALL, right?
The judges announce that Ramsay will serve as the mentor for this challenge, with Shannon Bennett being given the day off. Presumably so he can toddle off to underpay more of his staff. I hear that shit takes a fair amount of time.
The pro-chefs are bundled off into the store room while the contestants have to make a group choice – for this ostensibly individual challenge – as to what the basis is: fruits, or vegetables?
Judging by the quality of the high fives the two groups give out, it should be a canter.
The two genders.
The three match-ups are set: Reece vs Pro-Chef John, Samira vs Pastry Chef Jo, and Sashi vs Gavin, a kitchen duffer.
I know the point of these challenges is to stack the deck as far in favour of the contestants as possible, so as to give them even the remotest sniff of hope. But two points-of-fucking-order about this alleged “vegetable” challenge.
Firstly, they make a big deal about no fruit being allowed, and yet here’s John hoeing into a metric fucktonne of tomatoes and we’re just supposed to accept it.
Pedantry? Perhaps. But if you don’t abide by your the dumbass rules you yourselves made up, then what hope does anyone actually have?
Secondly, and more puzzling, Jo takes advantage of the fact that “the pantry is in play,” which was stipulated at the top of the challenge, and pulls some prunes and fruit preserves off the shelves. To which Gordon Ramsay does his best Gob Bluth impression and casts them back from whence they came.
If it’s a vegetable challenge where all fruits are disallowed but the *whole* pantry is also in play then WHY IN MY VERY LARGE ASS’S NAME WERE THERE FRUITS IN THE FUCKING PANTRY.
It’s little things like this that make this show worthy of piffing the TV out the window sometimes, my god.
And it’s not even the worst thing that happens in the episode, hell no. Not by a long-shot.
In a purely vegetable-based challenge, somehow the best two dishes of the day are both desserts.
Pro-Chef Jo reaches deep into her own butt and improvises some sort layered potato pudding thing that proves the existence of God to the judges, and Reece’s cucumber cannelloni mousse creation should be encased in glass and toured around the country for all to see and marvel at.
Given that Reece is battling John and John alone, he receives a pin. Rightfully so.
Partly because his dessert is spectacular, and partly because John treats his mussel broth like a petulant 4-year-old dunking half a tin of food into Nan’s fish pond.
They’re going to get fat and die, and then Nan is going to be sad. Do not make Nan sad.
Jo’s potato dream scores a pair of perfect 10s from the judges, meaning poor Samira – who had to battle her – misses out on a pin, despite an admirable effort that drew uniform 8s from the three judges.
And then there’s the Sashi vs Gavin battle.
Sashi starts off like an out-of-control freight train, shoving the entire vegetable patch and some of the dirt into a blender. He goes mad.
He’s gone mad!
Ramsay, who throughout this whole process is enthusiastic and nice and genuinely helpful and I think I love him now?, attempts to reel in Sashi’s runaway mind with some sage and very detailed advice.
Ahh yep. Got it. Gotcha. Loud and clear there, Gordo.
Perhaps realising that Sashi is a Prison Officer (a fact that continues to overwhip my egg whites) Ramsay decides to tap into Sashi’s authoritarian core and instills in him a terrifying new creed.
Bloody hell Gordon go easy on him. The man has seen things.
The problem here being that Sashi’s version of “less” being “more” winds up being “duck” with “things,” leaving the judges to deliver weak, limp scores of 7, 7, and 6. A total of 20.
In every other Immunity Challenge, that score should be thoroughly walloped.
But every other Immunity Challenge doesn’t have Gavin in it.
It’s not that what Gavin cooks is bad, on a fundamental level. It’s just that he somehow looked at the brief of “vegetable dish” and came up with the cracking idea of cooking “roast beef and Yorkshire pud,” two things that are not, and never will be, a crispy veg.
Gavin’s dish is such a spectacular mess that he barely manages to get it all up on the plate.
He scores a five. A FIVE.
This is an Immunity Challenge. You’d practically have to a fart on a plate to score a five. A literal turd sandwich would at least garner a six if it were toasted properly.
And yet here’s Big Gav picking up a five from Matt Preston, and Gordon Ramsay pissing himself with glee over it.
Sashi practically falls ass-over-tit into an Immunity Pin off a score of just 20 overall.
And there’s poor Samira standing there after being robbed fucking blind.
Here’s this, if we total everyone’s scores – chef and contestant – the final table would read thusly:
Jo – 29
Reece – 25
Samira – 24
John – 21
Sashi – 20
Gavin – 17
Samira’s out here out-pacing two professional chefs, putting up a dish that’s a mere one single point behind Reece’s Pieces, and yet she goes home with nothing because she had to cook against a pastry genius, whereas Sashi gets everything because he had to face-off with one of the bloody Raggy Dolls.
NEXT TIME: Honestly who freakin’ cares, I’m too mad about this to focus on anything else. A Team Challenge or something probably, I don’t know. This whole season has gone to the bloody DOGS.