PREVIOUSLY ON MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA: An extremely bland and boring “Australian” mystery box challenge yielded an episode that rivalled a lit candle in terms of action.
Somehow, three people were selected – presumably via dartboard – and now they’ve gotta battle it out to stay in the game. Fortunately, this one’s an all-time cracker of an episode. Iconic lines abound.
AND NOW, LAST NIGHT.
Pia, Pete, and Ray – who is both ruining the alliteration and exhibiting an absence of emotion great enough to have him declared legally dead – are all dressed in black tonight, waiting to see which of them will be ejected from the competition in 21st place and go on to have an illustrious culinary career making one live appearance at a small-town car boot sale, for which they will be paid predominantly in chocolate crackle.
The good news is that the gantry crew has finally been whipped into gear, at long sodding last. Tonight they’ve all decided to bring their A-game. Callan, in particular, is hyped up on fizzy drink and ready to do some sledging.
When the homie you always roast on is about to get kicked off the cooking show but you’re still packing more heat.
Matt Preston heralds the arrival of guest chef Andy Bowdy, who he describes as “Sydney’s King of Cakes,” which is an ungodly piece of Zumbo-directed banter. Hard to see the macaron-thumping desert head recovering from that.
Bowdy lifts the ginormous cloche off of his challenge dish for the day, “Rita.” Rather than taking the show into strange, cannibalistic places, we’re faced with what appears to be a cake so freakin’ huge it might as well have been plucked from an Epic Meal Time video.
Next time we’re gonna make ’em cook a 100lb baklava made from 7,000 mother-*bird noise*-ing McDonald’s apple pies.
George, who is probably going to jail, sums up the contestants chances with a very considered assessment of the situation.
“Yep, youse are fucked.”
And while the 4.5-hour cook has its fair share of ups and downs throughout – Ray insisting he has his “game face” on which is the exact same as his normal face and his joyous face and his sad face and every other face he has in his arsenal, or Pia making the cardinal sin of not following the recipe to the absolute tee – the best thing about the whole dang episode (hell, the best thing about the whole dang series thus far), is Pete and his goddamned nuts.
Part of the cook requires them to melt sugar onto a bunch of pecans, which sets Pete off on a flurry of narration in which he puts the weird-ass way he pronounces “pecans” on full display.
The Australian ocker accent has butchered many a word alive before, but this is something else entirely.
Pete’s pulls his first batch of peak’ns up far too short of the mark, leading him to start over. But on the second attempt he gets distracted by multi-tasking, and winds up nearly burning them alive.
Cue: This marvellous line shouted down from the gantry.
PETE. PETE MATE. PETE, YOUR NUTS. YOUR NUTS, PETE. WATCH YOU NUTS, PETE.
That is how you gantry, god damn it. That is glorious.
Despite the lengthy and complex nature of this outrageous cake, all three move through the cook at a reasonably controlled clip. Mostly because it’s a cake-based dish. And cake is, as we all know, the chicken of desserts, in that it’s staggeringly difficult to completely balls up.
As the assembly period begins, Ray‘s cake somehow doesn’t fit inside the mould even though he is certain he excised all portions of the dish with surgical precision, so in a fit of panic he begins jabbing at it like the abdomen of an appendicitis patient that wronged him by existing.
“Yes it bloody hurts but only because you’re wailing on me like a prizefighter, asshole.“
Our second magical gantry moment of the episode comes from dear, sweet, overenthusiastic Bryan, who apparently received the producer’s instruction to ramp up the tension and took that shit to the moon.
As Pia races to get her cake decorated, Bryan – leaning so far over the barricade his feet could not possibly have been touching the ground – gives us this.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH, BRYAN. Very helpful.
But by and large this episode is an utter triumph for Pete: a very humble crane operatin’ bloke who likes lookin’ at Instagram piccies of good food and tryin’ to recreate ’em.
Despite the delicateness of the dish and despite Pete being in possession of a pair of hands so large they’d give noted attorney Jack Kelly a raging stiffy, Pete’s effort is picture perfect.
How much he smashed it out of the park today isn’t lost on him, either. LOOK HOW PROUD HE IS!
The judges don’t even mind that the peak’ns are burnt, either. In fact the way they all react suggests that burnt peak’ns actually improved the original recipe, a fact that Andy Bowdy is not mad about at all.
Nope. Not mad, gang. Not even remotely fucking furious about it.
Even though Ray’s cake had a bulge in it the size of inappropriate pun, it’s Pia’s failure to follow the dang recipe to the letter that’s brought her undone. Her meringue was gritty, and her bavarois was too heavy. And as we all know, that’s the real world-equivalent of regicide.
Pia’s sent home in the inglorious 21st position, which leads George to dish out the first of his trademark “Ohhhhhh, *name*. We are gonna MISS YOU” exit platitudes for the season.
Boy, am I ever glad those puddle-deep forced sentiments are back. Absolutely stoked.
NEXT TIME: Immunity is on the line as three contestants dive head-first into a waffle iron to see who will face off against the grown-up version of Fuller from ‘Home Alone.’
I wonder if the little prick ever did learn to go easy on the dang Pepsi.
Photo: Channel Ten.