Masterchef Australia S12 E10 Recap – The Comforts of Failure

With Asian Sarah having confirmed that, as we had all suspected, she is the best Sarah, all the non-Sarahs, plus Ginger Sarah, are up for elimination, facing the dreadful punishment of being able to return to their normal lives and leverage the publicity boost the show has given them for their businesses.

“Everyone sacrificed so much to be here,” Poh lies to the camera. As always, mendacity is the beating black heart of Masterchef.

The contestants enter the kitchen and find a TV screen. On the TV screen, Andy is filming himself having breakfast. It is baffling, and nobody has the slightest idea what’s going on. Andy goes on to buy some tacos. Explanations remain absent. Andy goes home and barbecues a steak before zooming in and out drunkenly on a pot of anchovy sauce. Thus is Andy’s “day on a plate”. Next we have to sit through Melissa’s day on a plate. “If I could eat pasta every day, I probably would,” she says. You can, Melissa! You’re a celebrity, you can do whatever the fuck you want.

Lastly, obviously, we watch Jock’s day on a plate, which involves making pasta and a small child that may or may not be his. The whole exercise is a clever, yet extremely dull, way of padding out the episode’s running time.

Eventually, God be praised, the video is over, and the judges walk into the kitchen to explain why they’ve wasted everyone’s time with this interminable wank. But first, they must ask Dani if she’ll use her immunity pin. “You have to do something every day that scares you,” is her irrelevant response. She will not use her immunity pin, because even after all this time she still doesn’t quite understand what the point of having an immunity pin is.

Finally they get around to explaining the stupid video. The answer is, OBVIOUSLY, that each judge has put together a pantry featuring all the ingredients of their days on plates. Jock observes that the pantries show that the other two judges are healthier than him, but only physically.

Each contestant has 75 minutes to cook a dish using any of the ingredients from the three pantries, but no others. The worst dish will send its maker home. I mean, not literally. They’ll be sent home by the production company, in a car. But the dish will be the catalyst. You know what I mean.

Rose decides to make a dessert with peaches and cream, based on the fact that customers at her cafe are always bringing her stonefruits. This is a very odd revelation, and questions about what the hell is going on at Rose’s cafe will circulate for some time yet. Does she have supply problems?

Jock notices that someone has taken HP sauce from his pantry. He stalks the kitchen trying to find out who it is, as he only put it there as a joke. It turns out Amina took it. “What are you going to do with that?” Jock asks, as if she’d announced that she was baking mice in a pie. Amina is going to use the sauce to sweeten her meat, if you know what I mean. Which is just one of the ways in which HP sauce would be very useful for anyone looking to bake mice in a pie.

The judges convene to tell each other things they already know. “Nobody wants to go home,” says Melissa, convinced that if she says it often enough people will believe it. Meanwhile, Dani declares her intention to make a great dish to prove that she deserves the immunity pin. What the point of proving that you deserve an immunity pin that you refuse to use is, is something she does not elaborate on.

Jock and Andy ask Dani what she’s doing. She tells them she’s making tacos. “Tacos are very simple,” Jock says, clearly implying the follow-up, “and so are you”. Andy and Jock have obviously already made up their minds that Dani’s tacos will suck.

Dani, undeterred by the fact she’s been told explicitly not to do what she’s doing, decides to keep doing it. “I’ve got to back myself,” she says, echoing the cry of every Masterchef contestant ever to be eliminated. She questions whether the judges want street food-style tacos or something more “formal”, overlooking several key facts: 1. they don’t want tacos at all; 2. there is no such thing as a formal taco; 3. there is no confusion over this question whatsoever, she has been told and ignored it. Dani also makes a Usain Bolt reference, and there can no longer be any doubt: they’re doing this for a bet.

Andy and Jock, still refusing to let Melissa walk with them because they have girl germs, ask Brendan what he’s up to. Brendan talks about noodles and his grandmother, nothing important. On the balcony, the totally immune Sarah prowls and tells him he’s looking good – cruel sarcasm.

Andy’s friend Ben says he’s come back to the competition to stretch himself, which means that unlike Dani, he’s not making frigging tacos. Instead he cuts the head off a salmon and leaves it in the bed of a producer to ensure that Andy stays on the show for another season.

Amina is refusing to make a stereotypical kebab. “Interesting,” says Melissa, distorting language outrageously. Elsewhere, Reynold wishes to push himself: having proven he can master sweet, and master savoury, he’s going way out into left field, by making something sweet. Drunk with power, he believes he can disprove the theory that you can’t make a ganache in an hour. Everyone cowers in terror at his megalomania.

Hayden wants to make a bespoke hot sauce, but sadly we do not always get what we want. He’s combining jalapenos and peaches, which is disgusting. He is also using tortilla chips from a bag, which he got from the pantry that was put there for them to use. This is perfectly reasonable, but you can just tell it’s going to be a thing later on.

Jock and Andy grill Andy’s friend Ben. Jock thinks Ben is out of his gourd. Andy bursts into tears and runs out, refusing to return unless Jock says sorry to his friend Ben.

“We’ve got Mexican, we’ve got Italian, we’ve got everything in between,” shouts Andy, which depending on whether you’re moving east or west, could include Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Persian cuisine, or French, Spanish and the Canary Islands.

Ice-cream Ben is making ice-cream, because he’s a maverick: while everyone else seeks to “challenge themselves” and “try something new”, he goes his own way.

Meanwhile Poh’s pastry is looking a bit blonde, as is Hayden. Poh’s dreams of making something bad enough to get her off the show are looking closer and closer to fulfilment.

Reynold’s ganache has set in time, because he has sold his soul to Satan. Melissa is impressed by his ability to whip up stunning desserts in record time, but disappointed by how uninterested he is in her.

With fifteen minutes to go, Andy’s friend Ben has decided what his dish will be, which is half the battle. “Hopefully it all comes together well,” he says, and indeed in the end, in this sad world, hope is all we have. Hope and a best friend on the judging panel.

“I’ve got so much respect for Ben Milbourne,” says Asian Sarah, before explaining in detail why she thinks he’s a moron. She goes on to describe why Dani is also rubbish. All in all, Asian Sarah is making a compelling pitch for a new show where she politely tells other people everything she hates about them.

Rose’s panna cotta is still liquid, possibly because she’s bad at this. Jock tells her that a little bit of jiggle is good, and that he remembers sitting on his nonna’s floor stuffing his greedy little face. This triggers Rose into also reliving the past and saying that going home would be devastating, because there is nothing for her there.

Andy pops by Amina’s bench to tell her that she needs to get her beef on the grill. Amina knows she needs to get her beef on the grill: in fact getting her beef on the grill is exactly what she’d be doing if Andy hadn’t interrupted her. When she does get her beef on the grill, her beef sticks to the grill and starts to fall apart, which as it turns out is not what she was going for. She needs a Plan B, and doesn’t want to go home, which is a shame because going home would’ve been a pretty handy Plan B. She decides her beef had too much wetness in it, which is a problem I’ve experienced myself on many occasions.

Cut to Brendan, who says something not worth listening to.

There are five minutes left, but bear in mind that there were ten minutes left half an hour ago, so God only knows how long this will take. “Come on Tracy,” Sarah calls from the balcony, generously allowing Tracy to be seen on camera in this episode.

Reynold assembles his dessert, which looks so good you can almost taste Ice-Cream Ben’s tears. Rose continues to wait for her panna cotta to set. It’s suggested that she could put it in the blast chiller. Rose hadn’t thought of this, because of her brain problems. She does so. Meanwhile Poh has not finished and this could put her over the top in terms of getting to leave.

One minute to go, and Jess runs screaming from the kitchen. Rose pulls her panna cotta out, so to speak. Simon suddenly drops a bombshell: he’s been here the whole time. Poh’s pastry is cool. She puts on her cream with an air of disappointment at her continual competence.

Time is up. The judges demand to be fed. Dani will be gutted if she goes home with the immunity pin on her chest, and so asks if she’s allowed to put it in her pocket.

Poh steps up to serve her vanilla slice. The judges think it’s fantastic. Poh is crushed.

Brendan brings his noodles up. They are, like him, pleasant and well-mannered.

Dani brings up her tacos, which have already disappointed everyone. “My idea is elevating street food to fine dining,” she lies, having already said that her idea is to make street food and tell everyone to fuck themselves. “Was it a good decision to cook today?” asks Melissa. “I was excited,” replies Dani, dodging the question. Dani’s tortilla is too thick, and is subsequently not cooked, and is subsequently disgusting. Dani is feeling deflated as she walks back to her bench, and deservedly so.

Jess serves some weird ice-cream toadstool thing and this is the first time she’s spoken tonight so obviously she’s fine.

Simon serves, as always, a heap of random vegetables, which the judges pretend to enjoy.

Chris serves a carrot salad, which is gross, but the judges pretend again.

Ice-Cream Ben serves his ice-cream. Jock notes that it’s shaped like a cock and balls. Everyone laughs because genitals are funny. Having eaten his cock and balls, the judges agree that they’re horny as hell.

Reynold serves his perfect dessert and it is perfect what a fucking surprise. “I was really surprised I got it done in 75 minutes,” he smugly humblebrags. The judges are astonished and accuse Reynold of being a witch.

After a few hours of the judges jizzing themselves over Reynold, Rose steps up like Ian Turpie following Aretha Franklin, and presents her dreadful panna cotta. It is dreadful. The judges are appalled and nobody is surprised. Rose walks back to her bench and everyone applauds, presumably ironically.

Hayden serves his “Chilaquiles verde”, which comes with beer, as they can only be appreciated by the heavily drunk. The judges think very little of it. They criticise him for using tortilla chips from a packet, even though the chips were IN the pantry, and if you don’t WANT people to USE chips from a packet, why did you PUT packets of CHIPS in the PANTRY for people to USE? WHY WERE THEY IN THE FUCKING PANTRY IF YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO USE THEM YOU FUCKING GIMPS?

Anyway.

Ginger Sarah plates up something and it’s OK basically.

Khanh plates up something and apparently it’s fine.

Laura serves what are as far as I can tell fragments of a dismembered grinch, which meet great approval.

Andy’s friend Ben serves his hesitant salmon fillet. Jock cuts open the salmon, causing evil spirits to fly out of it. The salmon is a revolting pink colour, but then all salmon is. The judges are disappointed that Ben has tried to do new things, given his complete lack of ability. The salmon is overcooked and there’s too much acid and overall it tastes like the kind of dish Rose would cook. “It’s like a punch to the stomach,” says Ben, and he’s right, that is what eating his food is like.

Tessa serves a flathead tail, but nobody pays much attention. A similar process is undergone with Harry, and also with Callum.

Now it is time for Amina to bring up her kebabs, which were made with HP sauce from a bottle, which is apparently fine even though chips from a packet are not. You have to make your own chips but not your own sauce: that’s the rule in this utter travesty of a competition. Anyway Amina’s kebabs are soft and mushy inside, but then aren’t we all? They taste good though, and Rose’s hopes that Amina would fail are dashed.

With tastings finished and the most boring contestants edited out of the show, it’s time for judgment to be passed. With so many cooks stuffing up so horribly, it’s difficult to choose just one loser to be kicked out, but that’s what the judges are paid to do and in the end they decide that amongst all the pathetic failures, the most pathetic of all were Rose and Andy’s friend Ben. Rose’s underdone panna cotta and Ben’s overdone fish go head-to-head and Ben is declared to be the biggest pile of garbage. Yet again a professional cook humiliates himself by being worse than Rose, and Andy is left all alone without his one true friend.

Tune in tomorrow, when a baying crowd demands blood.

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