After taking a week off due largely to a freshly discovered malady some medical experts are calling “Hibachitis,” I am fully back on board this week to cast a critical eye over the pros and cons of the remaining MasterChef: Back To Win field, now decimated after four eliminations and one mysterious disappearance in the past two weeks.
Who has joined the ranks of the kitchen elite? Who is building towards a run at the finals? And who is stumbling like a culinary buffoon right when they need it the least?
Also, just why in the blue hell is Reynold allowed on this show. It’s not bloody fair. He’s too good at this shit. Unrealistic!
Fresh out of the oven, here’s some piping hot MasterChef Power Rankings for you to enjoy, valid as of the end of Week 5.
ELIMINATED: Chris Badenoch
Sometimes in MasterChef you head the hog, and sometimes in MasterChef the hog heads you. At the very least he went out with his hat on, which is an improvement on the rest of the week.
ELIMINATED: Rose Adam
We all knew that Rose’s stay on the show was temporary, what with the football field-sized panna cottas and whatnot. But lord help me if every second of her stint wasn’t a bloody delight. We didn’t deserve her.
ELIMINATED: Amina Elshafei
Speaking of people we didn’t deserve! Amina, an unquestionable ray of light and joy, is not on the show anymore! Because producers decided we needed an entire week of twists! Which happened to involve making people do one third of a full-scale Pressure Test without a recipe! And it was a complicated dessert! There are two professional dessert chefs in the cast this year! Seems like a normal thing to do to people!!!
ELIMINATED???: Ben Ungermann
[PREVIOUS COMMENT REDACTED AT THE BEHEST OF SOME VERY LOVELY LAWYERS]
ELIMINATED: Hayden Quinn
Let’s be real: The judges have 100% had it out for Hayden ever since he committed the ultimate kitchen crime of using the packet corn chips that the judges themselves put in a challenge pantry. You can’t just trot around the kitchen doing clearly outrageous shit like using the ingredients that have been made available to you and expect to win. Madness!
14) Tessa Boersma
It’s a bit. Everything Tessa’s doing right now? It’s a bit. She’s lulling everyone into a very, very false sense of security. That’s what’s happening here, I’m sure of it. In my bones I know it to be true. That’s the only possible explanation as to why she’s struggling as much as what she is right now. It’s a bit. She’s doing a bit. Even when she gets eliminated next week (probably) it’ll be part of the bit.
13) Tracy Collins
It truly boggles the mind as to how Tracy is a) still in the competition, and b) getting as little screen time as she is. There are kitchen appliances that have appeared on-screen more frequently than Tracy has. The big ass M on the front of the building is getting a bigger residual cheque than she is. You have to actively try to get as little face time on camera as Tracy has. You literally have to hide from the cameras. So to go to those extremes and cook food so dizzyingly mediocre that you never end up first or last, is a hell of an achievement.
12) Emelia Jackson
See above, but for purely desserts only.
11) Callum Hann
A new conspiracy theory that I’m working on – other than Tessa Is Only Pretending To Suck and Laura And Jock Have A Telepathic Connection – is that at some point over the past week and a bit Callum touched a cursed stick blender that sapped all his talents. And that, around the world, four other MasterChef contestants touched the same one and have suffered similar fates. And that somewhere deep underground the Looney Tunes are currently in a hellacious kitchen battle with their human ringer – let’s say it’s Gordon Ramsay or whatever – against a team of super-powered alien chefs from the moon, with the fate of the entire world on the line. It makes sense to me.
10) Simon Toohey
Sorry, a “carrot-based circle”? A carrot-based circle. A circle, based on carrots. Not a carrot circle. Or a circle of carrots. A carrot-based circle. I’m never going to be able to get over that. I’m going to spend every day for the rest of my life considering that as a concept. I will commission the world’s greatest food trigonometrists to reverse engineer the concept, and they will deliver me no conclusive results after an exhaustive process. Motherfucker served a CIRCLE BASED ON CARROTS to Katy Perry. Like he accidentally dropped a bunch of would-be compost in a frying pan and just leant in. I’ll never get over this.
9) Brendan Pang
Credit where it’s due: The commitment to making dumplings for every dish – no matter how outrageous the brief, no matter how ill-suited the hero ingredient is to being dumped, no matter how many times the judges look him straight in the eye and assert it is a “strictly no dumps” challenge – is borderline heroic. I know when I am asked to cast my mind to the culinary plains of Spain, the first thing that comes to my mind is the humble Asian-style dumpling. Remarkable stuff.
8) Sarah Clare
Honestly, it’s absolute rank bullshit that in an American cuisine challenge Sarah Clare plates up the kind of Buffalo Wings that you could build an entire Bills tailgate around, and she’s knocked down by some kissass goofball who shoved an Apple Pie through a Bunsen Burner or whatever. No sane American would be caught dead picking that hyper fancy shit over a plate of good honest artery-clenching chicken wings. She honestly should’ve saved herself the trouble and UberEats’d in a large Big Mac meal and plated that up. Who gives a shit at this point.
7) Laura Sharrad
The good news: Laura did not cook pasta at all in last night’s elimination challenge.
The bad news: She used a Hibachi Grill instead.
I am perilously trapped on this cursed nightmare carousel, and the carny in charge is hammered drunk and will not let me off.
6) Khanh Ong
There’s a strong lesson to be learned from Khanh this past week: You can spend an entire MasterChef week doing not much at all, and then you can laugh your ass off at Katy Perry calling herself a “basic b” and still wind up with the undisputed show highlight of the week, and possibly the season.
That’s maximising your minutes, folks. It’s something you simply cannot teach.
5) Reece Hignell
Now that’s what I’m goddamned talking about. My dude Reece finally wakes up and scores points all over the place in one fell swoop. Points for winning his way through to his first immunity challenge this season. Points for losing his ever-loving mind the instant Katy Perry strolled into the room. Points for the first word he said to her after she introduced herself being “shit.” Points for taking her light-hearted tormenting like a goddamned champ. Points for needing to take a moment in a back corner to compose himself which is entirely fair enough. Points for serving her a cake so tasty it made her literally twerk. And points for, in amongst all that, having the wherewithal to avoid disaster by not soaking her cake in pure rum like the others. This show has survived a lot – a lot – but I don’t know how it would’ve ever lived a MasterChef Contestant Feeds Pregnort Kato Perrish A Big Boozy Cak headline down.
4) Jess Liemantara
I mean, I mean, I MEAN…
Nothing is stronger than friendship in the #MasterChefAU kitchen! 💪 💖 pic.twitter.com/eF1tQ5rct7
— MasterChef Australia (@masterchefau) May 12, 2020
Mah heart. Mah soul. This is supposed to be a cooking contest. Not a bloody heartwrenching after school special on the Power of Friendship.
Also how’s Jess rattling off that ratio like she was born with it seared into her skin. Unbloodybelievable.
3) Sarah Tiong
It’s hard to hold onto top spot when you’re competing against the Harry Potter of Cakes and the human embodiment of Chaotic Good who just happened to stumble upon the exact precise bullseye on a pregnant megastar’s dartboard of cravings. But any week where you get an Extremely Good Looking famous person sex whispering time calls into your ear is a good one. Frankly, no one would’ve behooved Sarah for stuffing herself into the Blast Chiller to cool off after the challenge was over. Lord knows I would’ve.
2) Poh Ling Yeow
You’ve absolutely gotta hand it to her: No one else – not a single MasterChef soul throughout time – could burn Katy Perry’s tongue off with a metric tonne of spice and then plate up something that looks more like a mouldy Guzman Y Gomez burrito slowly rotting in a bongy sharehouse fridge, and still walk away with immunity. You simply have to hand that to Poh.
1) Reynold Poernomo
Fuck off. Just fuck right off mate. What the fuck. Who blows sugar in a SIXTY MINUTE challenge? A goddamned packet cake takes longer than that. Frozen chips can take longer than that to get done. You’ll bloody struggle to heat up a Sergeant’s pie properly inside an hour, and yet this high aiming beefcake is casually blowing sugar in that time. And it’s just one element of a larger dish! He’s showing off now. It’s not even remotely fair. Sarah Clare puts up Buffalo Wings that wouldn’t be be pride of place at a Michelin starred Hooters, and still has to face elimination in round two because Chest’n Blumenthal over here flexed his massive lats and plated up a sugar museum.
Come on, dude. What the hell are you even doing here still. You’ve made your point. This is like a baseball team batting out the ninth while still ahead. Get out of here, jackass. Go put KOI locations in airports or whatever. This isn’t fair anymore.