With half the pack now officially sheared off, the tribes have merged and the game begins anew. Gone are the alliances that helped some people sail through the early stages of the game, replaced by gruelling individual immunity challenges as the focus on the all sifts down to the one. MasterChef: Back To Win suddenly has End Game on the horizon, and shit’s starting to get very, very real indeed mates.
Following the red hot conclusion of Week 6, here are your official MasterChef Power Rankings. This time next week, there’ll be just 10 remaining. What a ride. What a time to be alive.
ELIMINATED: Sarah Clare
If you’re gonna get punted from MasterChef you might as well get punted due to a fucked up dessert. Just a real piece of shit dessert. An absolute bullshit plate of food. A truly nasty bastard. A real chilly bitch. A feral sugar demon. A frigid turd of a thing. The cold kiss of the ice chest. The freezer’s lament. Getting churned up by the ice cream churner. Copping the ole’ rough scoop. A real Blue Ribbon ass kicking. A dry ice burn. Having your head frostbitten off. Getting out-sauced. Feeling the sting of a real salty caramel. Reading your last twill and testament. Better late than Viennetta.
ELIMINATED: Tracy Collins
If you’re gonna get punted from MasterChef you might as well get punted in a blaze of bloody glory by cooking fish until it turns to literal leather and pumping a sauce so full of salt that it closes at least one judge’s artery on the spot. Dead set, I’ve seen shoes that weren’t as overcooked as that fish. I’ve come home from the pub hammered pissed, shoved a tray of potato gems in the oven, promptly fallen asleep on the couch, and awoken several hours later to a room full of smoke, and the jet black molten rocks that produced still weren’t as overcooked as that kingfish. Seeya Tracy.
12) Laura Sharrad
Not since King John Carasig himself has someone ever so arrogantly decided that they knew better than a pre-set MasterChef dish than Laura did in last night’s elimination. I don’t care how good the end result wound up being. They brought in a bonafide Fish Knife Wizard – this man was a goth haircut and a Korn song short of being Criss Angel: Fish Freak – and made everyone watch as he turned a kingfish into porkchops or whatever. But Laura turns around and immediately – IMMEDIATELY – decides cleaves her fish bit in half because she thinks she knows better bloody David Cod-erfield over there. What the hell are you thinking, mate. Et tu, velouté.
11) Tessa Boersma
[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Once again I have completely forgotten to add comments beneath a contestant – this time, Tess. Once again it is a very appropriate oversight.]
10) Brendan Pang
The absolute dogged insistence of this man to dumpling everything is goddamned heroic. It is a true marvel, watching Brendan force that which should not be dumped into a dumpling wrapper. There are no lengths to which he will not go to put a different foodstuff into a dump-like environment. He could be given a YoGo Gorilla Mix and he would still shove that into a dumpling. Jock could offer him the shavings from his razor and it would be inside a dumpling before you could blink. An escaped ape could wander in from the zoo, climb the gantry scaffolding, leap onto a lighting rig and begin flinging its own poo across the room, and that poo would be inside a beautifully sealed and cooked dumpling with time to spare on the clock. A master at the height of his powers, where “powers” is “making dumplings” and “master” is “jesus christ please consider cooking literally anything else.”
9) Emelia Jackson
I have two short, but very key points to make about Mils. The first being that she high-key rules in non-cooking moments and, thanks to the below GIF, might be firming as my favourite competitor in the competition at the moment.
The second point being that somehow, despite a string of entirely middle-of-the-road cooks from her, something appears to be happening.
It’s a rumbling. I can’t explain it. There’s some sort of fix coming in. Over the past few days I’ve gotten word that the betting market on the overall winner for this year has shortened significantly and, would you believe, Emelia is somehow the almost-unbackable favourite to win this entire thing now?
Look at this. Look at this shit.
What the hell? What the FUCK? What is going on here. How is this happening. What logical reason is there for any of this right now. Someone knows something, they have to. There’s no other explanation for this. They know something everyone else doesn’t, and they’re using that inside knowledge to corner the betting market.
What do you know? TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW.
8) Sarah Tiong
Oh lord. That was a ‘mare of a week. Poor sweet Sarah Tiong had all the fun knocked out of her thanks to a particularly traumatic Death Star dessert cook, and I do not wish to see another episode that gutwrenching ever again. That was heartbreaking. You took the happiest, most positive, most enthusiastic person walking God’s green earth and beat her down so ruthlessly inside 2.5 hours that all she could do was sob and gasp for air. Are you happy, you reckless douchebags? Are you happy that you’ve done that to her?
7) Callum Hann
Me, looking at everything Callum’s done over the past two weeks:
6) Simon Toohey
I’m still not over “carrot-based circle” to be honest. I will go to my grave with that concept occupying prime real estate in my head. Sure, we had a Smith & Daughters mystery box challenge that was as close to a cakewalk as you could ever get without Simon slamming his feet into a pair of Woolies mud boys. But until I am able to excise the phrase “carrot-based circle” from my brain, which will be never, he’ll always be carrying a +2 handicap in these rankings. I just cannot get over it. A circle, based on carrots. I cannot.
5) Reynold Poernomo
It’s all well and good for King Muscles over here to faff about flinging god knows what wild flavours together, but then he turns around and mercilessly cocks up a bloody sponge cake? Reynold has been spending the entire competition making moss fountains with fucken chocolate and ouzo angel jizz flowing freely out of it, but then he whips around and ruins a SPONGE CAKE so furiously that he has to dab milk on it like the world’s biggest idiot.
You could’ve soaked that thing in a vat of A2 and it still would’ve come out dryer than a British comedy. The only sponge in known existence that doesn’t actually absorb anything. It’s remarkable. Even when he royally belts something up, Reynold’s still innovating.
4) Reece Hignell
Though I’m almost sure it’s not going to last much longer, my boy Reece is currently in the middle of one of the all-time great purple patches and I simply could not be more here for it. Really, the only foot he put wrong all week was misidentifying a fish. Which is a rort in and of itself, because we all know there’s only one type of fish and that’s the wet one. Reece is a goddamned national treasure. Reece must be protected at all costs. Any harm befalling him should be considered an act of war. He is a beautiful angel who we have absolutely no choice but to Stan. One of the all-time greats. Keep Reece on TV forever. I don’t care what he does. Have him sit in a nice chair and read every Harry Potter book out loud for all I care.
3) Khanh Ong
Not only Khanh – this kitchen adonis, this modern miracle, this straight-up King – thundering up the rankings by not only bringing back the dish that got him eliminated first time around but by finally rising up and kicking its ass, but also his undefeated hot streak of Most GIFable Moment of the Week remains in no danger of ending whatsoever.
That’s a moving image, just so you know. That’s not a static shot. That is several seconds of real footage broadcast on an episode of MasterChef. I love this man so much.
2) Poh Ling Yeow
Poh flicking the switch to Beast Mode should scare the living piss out of everyone remaining in that kitchen. Four weeks ago she was a nervy wreck falling to pieces over every challenge. Now she’s so confident you can actively see her brain thinking about other things while she cooks. Poh’s out there balancing her weekly budget while she tempers chocolate or whatever. What kind of Firing On All Cylinders psychopath puts mushrooms, tofu, and four different meats into a noodle dish that allegedly only takes 15 minutes to cook? Poh does. Poh does only what she wants, when she wants. Look bloody out.
1) Jess Liemantara
Who would’ve thought that wee Jess, the timid dessert phenom from season ten, would front back up for Back To Win with such a ferocious knack for savoury. Noodles, duck curry, celeriac sorbet. Seldom has there been a cleaner one-two-three march through to individual immunity than that. Forget Michael Jordan, give me a 10-part ESPN documentary series on that string of cooks from Jess. Have it constantly flash back to her struggles getting through season ten to frame up the episodes. Give me the behind-the-scenes footage that shows she’s secretly the greatest kitchen trash talker of all time. End the whole damn thing with her kicking Reynold’s ass and then hugging him while whispering “you bitch, fuck you” in his ear.