The MasterChef final formguide, time to cut the fat
After three months, 7500 applications, a top 50, then a top 20, MasterChef Australia now has a Top Six to duke it out in the final week of this extremely popular TV show.
The eliminations start on Monday, and there will only be two left standing for the Grand Final on Sunday 19th July.
Who will win? I rate the finalists:
The beer merchant from Melbourne has barely put a foot wrong in the competition with strong innovative cooking. However he is starting to look like he could do a Greg Norman, and choke as he gets near the finish line.
His meal of rib eye and bone marrow he served in the legendary cooks challenge was given scathing reviews, and he has faced two elimination challenges in a week.
Rumours have been circulating that he and other finalist Julia Jenkins are exchanging more then just recipes, which may be the reason his focus has slipped.
Chris has the technical ability and determination to give the title a good nudge. However rumours of fraternising with a fellow contestant over 15 years his junior will not have endeared him to the producers,
who will not want negative publicity to impact potential cookbook sales.
More Donna Hay than Matt Moran, this home style cook has turned into a firm fan favourite. In the beginning it looked like she needed a Xanax to get through challenges due to her nerves and tears, however she has conquered these and has since served up consistent high quality food, even if it is a bit mumsy.
Julie has the ability to put together great flavours, however she willstruggle if she has to cook with the more exotic ingredients. She would not be a popular winner with the foodies, but who sells the most
cookbooks - Donna Hay or Matt Moran? Yes Donna Hay by the proverbial mile.
Poh Ling Yeow
Poh, the Adelaide artist, has been a firm favourite with the judges since the auditions where she was given the chance to cook a second dish which got her through to the top 50.
The snarkarati on blogs and forums believe judge George Calombaris has a crush on the attractive cheftestant because of his fawning behaviour towards her.
Poh is the only one of the final six who has not been involved in a beat the chef challenge. Her adventurous cooking style has seen her produce some amazing dishes, but also some duds. Her deep fried
meringues were first time around a disaster, however once refined were proclaimed the dish of the night.
Poh’s honesty about not seeing cooking as a fulltime career could potentially hinder her chances of winning. Even though at times she has cracked under pressure in the kitchen, since being put back in the competition she has barely put a foot wrong. She will be hanging in there for as long as possible.
Julia is an unknown quantity in this final week of competition. The viewer has barely seen her seen since she beat Pete Evans in the early weeks of the show and was fast tracked to the end of the competition.
She has since been working in his kitchen to hone her skills. We have only seen her cook twice since then. Once in a high tea challenge in Hong Kong which she won, and then in a MasterClass where she showcased her pizza making skills which is not exactly haute cuisine.
Having missed out in performing in the high pressure environment of the show with time limitations and weird locations, she may crack under the strain of the final week. Because of her limited screen time her fan base is small, which the producers would know would result in lower cookbook sales.
The former pro-golfer managed to luck his way into the final week by beating chef Ben O’Donoghue with a sous vide kangaroo. Prior to this he had not been one of the shining stars of the competition. He is currently being mentored by Feidel Manu which has certainly seen an increase in girth, but has it resulted in a improved cooking technique?
As a former professional sports person he definitely has nerves of steel in competitive situations. However I don’t see him as a contender because whereas other fast tracked cook Julia won her challenge in Hong Kong, Lucas did not.
Justine has polished cooking skills and is a favourite with both judges and viewers. My blog‘s [www.realityravings.com] recent poll on whose restaurant the viewer would most like to eat at showed Justine as easily the most popular choice.
She was a shock elimination in Hong Kong because of a below par noodle dish, however once reinstated in the competition she has won all three challenges convincingly.
Even though there has been chatter querying where contestant Chris picked up his technical skills from, no one has questioned whether she worked in the kitchen of her mother’s French restaurant.
Justine is indeed the triple threat, attractive, a talented and committed cook, as well as being popular with the audience. If the producers had their way she would win, and at this stage the only
danger to her not taking out the title is if she psyches herself out, or there is a focus on asian dishes in the final week.
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