TV

Crowning Every Winner From The Third Wholesome Week Of ‘MasterChef’

The award for Most Cucumber Granita goes to this episode.

MasterChef Australia recap

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Welcome back for week three of MasterChef Australia, which continues to be the most wholesome show on television, and our weekly recaps. This week was ‘How To Succeed In MasterChef’ week  — a very specifically-themed week where the contestants got to experience new and exciting things like cooking, learning to cook, and watching others cook.

Everyone is doing really well and no-one deserves to go home a loser, so let’s give out some awards.

Best Dressed – Mel

I’m just gonna get this out of the way. Believe me, I would love to award this to someone else. Nothing would make me happier. But Mel brings it every single episode and simply cannot be stopped. The dress with the deep green satiny skirt was a vision. There was that olive dress that was no doubt an ode to the t-shirt gang from week one. And then to seal the deal, the pink polka dots. Mel is an icon.

(Did somebody say “Oh, my God, Mel, you’re the most stylish person working in food today”? Because someone should constantly be saying that.)

Loneliest Man – Brent

Brent went near a hot spot and got sent to quarantine this week, which fully checks out. He seems like the contestant most likely to hit up a both butcher and a Bunnings on his weekend — the only two places that are allowed to be on COVID watch lists in this country.

TFW you find out the tradie went to Barbeques Galore

Most Accurate Group Project Vibes – The Green Team

Monday was a team challenge, and in the most group project way possible, some people had to do heaps more work than others. In teams of six, the contestants had set amounts of time to make increasingly complex dishes — from an eight-minute mayonnaise to a 75-minute baked dessert with ice-cream and sauce.

Okay, so I’ll do, like, the layout and you guys can do all the research and writing and the actual project stuff, ‘cause you’re so good at that

The green team had seven members, so Dan had to sit out, but he contributed by standing on the gantry and telling Tommy how to do his work. I can’t think of a more accurate representation of group projects.

Biggest Mountain Out Of A Molehill – The Editors of Monday’s Episode

At the start of the team challenge, we were all worried for Tommy. He’d been chosen to cook the baked dessert for the green team, and was up against two dessert experts. It was bleak. What if it all came down to Tommy? What if the points were even and Tommy needed to win the final round to keep his team out of elimination?!

Tommy receiving the news that he has fish sauce and not sweet sugary blood running through his veins

But then we got to the dessert round, and the green team was already ahead on points. There was no way for his team to come in last. There was very little chance he wouldn’t be safe. Enter the editors of MasterChef, who blasted the scary orchestral music and inserted every “omg what’s gonna happen” ad-break cliffhanger fireball visual they had to make us feel worried that Tommy might fail. And then he did fail. And it had zero effect on the competition. But it FELT like life and death, and that’s what counts.

Personally, I would eat the hell out of straight-up ice-cream in a tart shell, but I also regularly ate paper as a child and that is why I am not a judge on MasterChef Australia.

Least Trustworthy – Jock

In Tuesday’s pressure test, the contestants had a choice — they could cook a savoury curried yabby tart or a sweet salted caramel tart. After they’d made their choices, Jock committed an absolute dog act and switched the tarts on them, teaching them the valuable lesson that they need to be able to “work under pressure”. I reckon being on a competitive cooking show on national television’s probably got that one covered, but go off, Jock.

The game is two tart monte. Keep your eyes on the tarts.

Oh, my God, where did they go??

The Homebody Award for Not Wanting To Go Out – Chocolate Tart Shells

We’ve all been there. Sometimes you get all gussied up for a big event, put on an underwire, and then decide, “Nup, I’m gonna stay in, actually.”

We’ve tried slamming it on the table, burning it, threatening it with a knife and straight-up stabbing it, and the tart shell still doesn’t wanna come out and hang??

For Sabina, Kishwar and Maja, disaster struck when their tempered chocolate tart shells — arguably the most tart-like part of a tart – would not come out of the moulds. It was a very distressing situation, but at least they got to work out some of their negative feelings by wailing on those tins with every cooking implement they could find.

The Shattered Award for Being Rumbled By Chocolate – Maja

It was a rough cook for many, with a few incomplete sweet tart dishes, but unfortunately for Maja, it was her time to go. Her pile of tart shards was overly sweet, and that’s not what you want in a pile of tart shards, apparently. Huge kudos for making broken chocolate and loose goops look stunning on television, though.

You look like Linda Evangelista, you’re a model

Weirdest Wordplay – Jock

On Wednesday, it was mystery box time, and the surprise was that the contestants would be cooking with the pantry staples that they already get to cook with every day. It was a neat challenge to see what everyone would be able to do with some very basic ingredients, and it pushed the contestants to make some stunning dishes. Jock, however, struggled when it came to his job of yelling out witty things related to the challenge, calling out, “Here’s a basic staple for you — you’ve got 30 minutes to go!” What?

You know, 30 minutes. That basic staple. Everyone’s saying it.

(You know, 30 minutes. That basic staple. Everyone’s saying it.)

Most Delicious – Therese’s Roti

Reader, I squealed when this roti appeared on screen. It looks like the concept of crispiness brought to life and covered in caramel. I don’t think I have ever seen anything more delicious looking. The only way this roti disappointed me is that it wasn’t in my home. I actually went as far as to look up the recipe on the MasterChef website, so I could make it myself, but then I read that step one was “Prechill an ice cream machine” and I suddenly felt very tired and had to lie down on the floor for an hour.

Step six is “oil a clean work bench” and honestly, it’s generous of the MasterChef web-lords to think I have any sort of clean surface in my home, let alone a “work bench”

The “I Told You So” Award for Proving The Judges Wrong – Depinder

Along with the pantry staples in the mystery box, the contestants got to go out into the garden and choose two fresh ingredients to add to their dishes. Depinder chose rosemary and apples, and boy, oh, boy, did Jock and Andy give her grief over it. The boys sauntered over to Depinder’s bench and told her that the apples she’d chosen were too unripe to use. Also they were ugly and would never amount to anything and no-one was ever gonna ask them to year 10 formal.

How do you like them apples? Oh, a lot? Okay, cool.

But Depinder is a confident cook and stuck to her guns, and lo and behold, the tartness of those lil apples was exactly what her dish needed to offset the sweetness of everything else. She’s a genius, she gave the apples the glow up they needed, and Jock and Andy had to eat their words as well as the apples.

Harshest Lesson In A Reality TV Program – Thursday’s Immunity Challenge

In Thursday’s immunity challenge, the contestants got to pick an ingredient to cook with, before being shown a mystery ingredient they must also use. This was to teach them that “you can’t always get what you want”, which seems like a brutal lesson to teach on a program as nice as MasterChef, but the message was mellowed somewhat when it was revealed to be along the lines of “Sometimes you want to cook with champagne and you also get watermelon”. Those poor souls. What a nightmare.

You can’t always get what you want in this life. Sometimes you get what you want and then also get a second thing that you didn’t specifically ask for but is also quite nice and actually goes with the thing you wanted.

Best Frenemies – Dan and Liquorice

Dan wanted to make a dessert and chose figs from the line-up of ingredients. But waiting for him behind the cloche was liquorice.

“Hello, Dan.”

“Oh, God, tell liquorice I’m not here.”

It was upsetting for Dan, who hates liquorice, but a lot of fun for everyone at home who got to watch Dan viscerally hate liquorice. Maybe it’s mean-spirited, but I derive a lot of joy from seeing a grown man on a cooking show find an ingredient yucky.

Also, I understand that liquorice is divisive and I don’t hold it against anyone who hates it, but I’m baffled by Dan not liking liquorice but enjoying star anise and fennel and seemingly every other aniseed-flavoured product in existence? You’re so close, Dan! Just get on board the liquorice train, my dude!

Most Disappointed Daddy – Jock

As well as having a rough time with the ingredients, Dan struggled to keep his work space clean, which attracted the ire of Jock. In full Dad mode, Jock let Dan know that he wasn’t angry about the mess he was making, just disappointed. Dan then came back with, “I’ve disappointed many Scottish men in my life,” and the whole nation did the biggest, gayest cheer because that is an excellent comeback.

Tonight, Jock plays the role of Disappointed Scottish Man 109

The ‘Live, Laugh Love’ Award for Decorative Cursive – Floor Sayings

The inspiration for Sunday’s elimination challenge was a series of food-related sayings, which appeared as illuminated cursive handwriting on the floor for some reason. It was very weird, but also I expect there’ll be some kind of lamp that does this to your kitchen that’ll be available in Kmart within the month, and I WILL buy one.

As a cool as a c…chilli? Consommé?

Oh, yeah, that makes more sense

Most Popular – Cucumber Granita

When the phrase “As Cool As A Cucumber” appeared on the ground, I said to the girls in the group chat “I bet there’ll be a granita,” and then I went down to the local betting agency and I placed all my money on it and now I am a billionaire because JESUS CHRIST, DID THEY EVER MAKE SOME GRANITA.

Ooh! A delicious cucumber granita!

You know what, I love cucumber granita. I could go another.

They say third time’s a charm, and that definitely applies to eating a third cucumber granita in a day.

Ooh, what’s under these mysterious white shards? Surprise, bitch, it’s me – cucumber granita.

Cucumber granita and prawns? I simply couldn’t.

Please, I insist. I couldn’t have another bite.

No, come on. I’m serious now.

WILL NO-ONE SAVE ME FROM THIS ICY CUCUMBER HELL?!

We got eight cucumber granitas by my count, which is about seven more than should exist. Biggest points go to Wynona, who initially wasn’t going to make a cucumber granita, but realised partway through the cook that she didn’t have enough cucumber in her dish and decided to rectify that by making a goddamn cucumber granita.

Least Cucumber Granita – Elise

Elise was the only person who made something to go with the phrase “The proof is in the pudding” and not only did her sticky date pudding look delicious, it was also not a cucumber granita, so that wins the night for me.

Pictured: not a cucumber granita

Fanciest Boy – Pete

Pete made a very fancy cucumber dish. He called it cucumber dumplings, despite the fact that it was grated cucumber, wrapped in pickled choko, sitting in a pool of cucumber juice. To me, that’s just a wet salad that he’s folded up and touched with his hands a lot, but we heard the inspirational string music, so we know it was actually genius.

Some small salad bags take a bath

The Cucumber Granita Award for Someone Inevitably Going Home For Making A Cucumber Granita – Wynona

When eight people make a dish, it’s just a matter of odds that one of them has to be eliminated for it, and sadly, it was Wynona. Of all the cucumber granitas, hers was the least “cool” and “cucumber”. It’s a huge surprise to see her go — just last week she held one of the three immunity pins for the season — but as a talented and determined cook, surely Wynona will go on to do some cool food stuff that isn’t a cucumber granita.

Either the contestants were very shocked by Wynona’s elimination, or Wynona left them with a parting gift of a massive fart. I know which fantasy I choose to believe.

Next week…

It’s Masters Week! It’s very different to Superstar Week somehow! I can’t wait!

We will be recapping every week of MasterChef so stay tuned!


Elyce Phillips makes comics, comedy and general nonsense. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s and Funny Ha Ha, and you can see her make a fool of herself regularly at The Improv Conspiracy in Melbourne.