Power Ranking ‘MasterChef’ Week Three Based On Who Will Make The First Hibachi Grill Pasta

We are now three clear weeks into MasterChef: Back to Win and the wheat is slowly separating itself from the chaff. So, as is tradition, we must now appraise and rank the remaining fleet of returning chefs based on no real culinary experience whatsoever beyond briefly thinking I could open a food truck after watching Chef (2014) six times in a week last October (I could not).

To that end, here’s your official MasterChef Power Ranking, valid as of the conclusion of Week Three/Episode Fifteen. Bone app the teeth.

ELIMINATED: Harry Foster

It makes total sense – in fact it’s incredibly sane – that in a “Wow Factor” challenge Harry is turfed for plating up something that looks like it was yoinked straight out of Heston Buttermenthol’s stiffy, while Hayden gets to glide through with an out-of-the-box Crunchie Ice Cream bar that he shoved a stick up and dusted with shredded Easter Egg wrapper. Perfectly normal and good show, this one. Absolutely above board.


With an Immunity Pin on her apron. With the ONLY IMMUNITY PIN THIS SEASON™ still on her goddamned apron. I swear, Dani. That is literally what it’s there for, and you burned it. Honestly, it’s time to have a real talk about whether the MasterChef Immunity Pin should be playable after a cook is complete, like a Survivor Immunity Idol can be played after votes have been cast. You know it makes sense.

19) Amina Elshafei (Down 6)

Featured so little this past week that if you told me I’d fallen asleep on the couch and napped through her being eliminated, I would’ve 100% believed you. In fact I would not be shocked if, in week three, Amina took to simply stowing herself away in a stainless steel cupboard like the kids hiding from the Raptors in Jurassic Park.

18) Ben Ungermann (Up 1)

Begrudgingly I am raising Ben Ungermann up one place on this week’s rankings because even though I know for absolute certain he is not winning this competition, he’s… really bloody fun to watch? Why is this kettle-headed beefcake mentioning his Indonesian heritage three times a minute so bloody charming? Hate it. Love it. But also refuses to stop making ice cream, so therefore: bottom of the table.

17) Rose Adam (Up 1)

Full credit to her: Managing to plate up a buffet tray-sized serving on panna cotta yet still outlasting more quote-unquote “fancied” challengers like Harry or Dani or Ben Milbourne is some sort of feat. Is she a secret flavour genius? Are we looking at a scenario where she’s playing more in-the-middle than any contestant in history? Do we have ourselves the ultimate MasterChef sleeper just waiting to explode in week eight or nine? Or is she gonna half incinerate a mince-stuffed fig on a Hibachi and bomb out in the next few days? Time will tell.

16) Emelia Jackson (Down 5)

It says a lot about how well you’re going in a season like this year’s one when you’re somehow winding up with less airtime than Tracy.

15) Tracy Collins (Up 2)

Tracy was on TV this week! She exists! I think! I may have not drunk enough water and had the heater on too high and eaten a spicy dinner and it might have been a delirious hallucination! Does that still count? Who the fuck knows!

14) Reece Hignell (Down 2)

It’s insane to me that there are 19 people still left in this year’s season and we’re managing to visit maybe 4 of them with any great regularity. Why even bother filming half the cast if they’re not gonna be on screen. Why are we wasting that amount of food on a 2-second montage shot where Jock wiggles a spoon and says “yeah not bad.” If you don’t want to put them in the episode, put them up on the gantry with a couch, a bong, and a box of Cheezels. Let them chill the fuck out.

13) Poh Ling Yeow (Down 7)

I love Poh. You love Poh. All of Australia loves Poh. But it’s not doing any of us any goddamned good at all spending these weeks watching her pace a ten-foot hole into the floor while an over bakes for 99% of her cook time. I already spend enough of my weekends anxiously gazing at the fucked up cakes I’ve been trying to make during iso because, other than jabbing a salad fork in my thigh, it’s the only thing that makes me feel alive at the moment. I do not need to see that shit on MasterChef as well.

12) Sarah Claire (Up 2)

[Author’s Note: When this story was originally published, I accidentally forgot to put Sarah’s ranking in the article. Which is ironic, because the producers apparently forgot to put her in the show for most of last week. So it all evens out.]

11) Callum Hann (Down 7)

Jesus christ what the hell happened last night. What kind of lunatic, sleep-deprived brain looks at three judges seductively eating potato chips and then approaches a crunch-based challenge by hooting “CRAB SHELL” out loud a bunch. It gets even funnier when Jock swans up and gives him this instantly incredible face…

…and Callum keeps whooping “CRAB SHELL” while scuttling around the kitchen on his claw feet. An absolute mare.

Don’t get me wrong here but: If he’d convinced the judges to actually eat the damned crab shell, he’d be #1 with a bullet.

10) Tessa Boersma (No Change)

Y’all ever watch a David Lynch movie or someshit and there’s main action happening but something passes by in the background in a such a way that you’re probably supposed to see it and you think “man, that’s probably going to be really important later on”? That’s Tessa in this year’s series. Watch this space.

9) Hayden Quinn (Down 1)

The absolute lad starts his week by plating up a cold Cadbury bar and ends it by slotting a trembling egg yolk into a single raviolo with more deft precision and care than Nic Cage handling balls of that green shit in The Rock. It’s nothing if not entertaining, I’ll say that much.

8) Chris Badenoch (Up 10)

Finally – F I N A L L Y – someone on this godforsaken show realises that you can plate up your cheese foams and your thrice cooked soufflés and your nuclear green pressure cooked broths all you want, but at the end of the day all anyone ever really wants to eat is really well done dirtbag shit. Chris’s beer battered flathead looked red hot. Nothing fancy about it, just corner shop fare zhuzhed up a little. If he follows that up with an upscaled Quarter Pounder they might well just put him straight into Finals Week right now.

7) Laura Sharrad (Down 4)

I’m losing my mind. I am losing my ever loving mind. In a challenge all about crunch, in what you’d THINK would be a pretty pasta-proof plan, Laura yeets some goddamned penne into a deep fryer and gets vaulted up onto the gantry. I cannot deal with any more Laura pasta. I am pasta my breaking point. I feel truly fusilli. I cannelloni take so much. If this keeps up I am going to put an al dente in my own forehead.

6) Simon Toohey (Up 9)

Serving a chip butty to a hungry Scotsman is straight-up the smartest bloody move in MasterChef history. That’s horses for courses at its absolute best. To get anywhere near that kind of kindred reaction from a judge in seasons past you would’ve had to plate up a steak and kidney pie to Gary or show a list of underpaid salaries to George. Jock’s not going anywhere. We all saw him practically burst into tears over a bottle of HP Sauce. Pander to the prick. Give him a square sausage and a can of Irn Bru. Och fkn aye.

5) Brendan Pang (Up 2)

Is he still making dumplings week in/week out? Yes. Do I want to stuff my cheeks with every single one of them and store them in a tree like a fucked up 6-foot squirrel? Also yes.

4) Khanh Ong (Up 1)

My absolute King might have had a somewhat less-than-stellar week on the kitchen tools, but he remains untouched for the spicy work he’s been putting in on Twitter while the series has been airing, highlighted this week by gloriously outing Reynold for having a secret creeper Twitter account that I will now not rest until I have found.

This year’s off-field MVP in a walk.

3) Jess Liemantara (Up 13)

YES JESS GET AROUND HER. In what’s easily the best story out of week three, Jess comes from the clouds to not only claim weekly individual immunity, but on a SAVOURY dish as well. We love her. We never once doubted her. Not for a single second did I think she’d spend the entire competition auditioning for a gig in Reynold’s dessert kitchen. Go you good thing.

2) Reynold Poernomo (Down 1)

Sometimes I find myself almost believing that Reynold might actually be struggling with certain parts of the MasterChef competition. And then he rocks up on the gantry and drops half-assed quips like “oh that’s ambitious” or “gee that looks hard” about other people’s dishes like a bored shitless Dennis Cometti.

1) Sarah Tiong (Up 1)

How on earth can you look at this magnificent person and not want them to have all their dreams come true?

How do you look at that energy and not find yourself so unbelievably keen to get in the kitchen and have a crack at something yourself?

Sarah Tiong is the truth, and she is – easily – the best thing on TV right now. More than worthy of this week’s #1 slot. An absolute Queen.