TV We’re Unashamedly Watching: Masterchef

Greg and John are back


by Daisy Buchanan |
Published on

This series of Masterchef is extra special, because it is the 10th! That means we’re celebrating a whole decade of watching Greg Wallace rubbing his hands with glee as he eyes up various attractive women clutching pans of custard. Ten years of hearing John Torode enjoying YO-gurt’ and ‘parse-ta’. Oddly, John looks far younger and smoother than he did back in 2004. He must be using a really great moisturiser, right? Right.

Greg must have skipped his pre-show snack because he seems hungrier than usual. 'This bench smells really nice!' he slavers, as contestant Sumera smiles at her spices and tries to stop him from actually eating her workspace. John is suspicious of Robert, a Lindy Hop Champion who is making ravioli out of instant mash. 'I had pasta made with potato in a Michelin starred restaurant in Italy!' cries Robert. Yeah, but but I suspect they weren’t using Smash. Meanly, I take against bratty, beautiful Holly quite early on, because she simpers that during GCSE Home Ec she was, 'always slightly ahead of everyone else.' She too has been to a Michelin restaurant. I wonder if she and Robert used the same Groupon voucher. And Canadian Krystin wants her cooking to be, 'like a hug'. What a lovely thing to bring to the YOU-kay.

Superdad James, father of four, is worrying Greg with his coulis, which is, 'the colour of raspberry milkshake'. Presumably Greg’s issue is that he prefers chocolate milkshake. Sumera’s couscous with caramelised grapes wows everyone, but Rob’s 'deconstructed beef wellington' does not impress - John prods the slab of pastry in such a desultory fashion that you’d think Rob had presented him with a carrier bag full of week-old poo.

Holly the show off is bewildering Greg and John with her odd juxtaposition of ingredients. 'I’ve never had chocolate and carrot before,' muses Greg. As if we believe him. He likes Holly’s flavours, but tells her that from a technical standpoint, she has much to learn. Holly makes a face like a prefect who cannot believe the headmistress has had the audacity to confiscate her fags. And most miraculously, Robert’s instant mash ravioli and tinned apricot surprise is the hit of the round.

Now to the sweet and savoury invention test, which is a bit like getting an Abel and Cole box and being forbidden from throwing away any scary fennel. Boringly, nearly everyone picks the savoury box. Greg looks like he might cry. Everyone apart from Canadian Krystin, who is making figs with lavender mascarpone. The mascarpone clearly comes from the Waitrose Essentials range, even though this detail has been blurred out because of BBC sensibilities. Readers, other own brand basic mascarpone is available. Actually, I’m not sure that it is.

Robert has, like Jesus, used a moderate amount of food to make an absolutely enormous amount of food. Greg admires his, 'Big beautifully made fondant potatoes which are luxurious and buttery!' with such sexual enthusiasm that I fear he’s about to put his face between them and motorboat them. Rob disappoints with his meatballs and chutney, which, according to John, 'tastes more like a jam'. The chutney is Greg’s favourite bit. Holly pouts when she’s told her lamb burgers are underwhelming, but her salad is good. 'I thought I did better than I actually did.'

Poor old Krystin is going home, having made her figs too hard. 'I’d rather put my head on a pillow than a rock,' muses John. Yes. That’s why there is no rock section on the second floor of John Lewis. Rob joins her, which is a relief because I couldn’t handle having a Rob and a Robert on screen at the same time. Carb lover Greg is a fan of Robert, and Holly, who 'has a good palate'. If she’s not careful, she’s going to be the fourth Mrs Wallace before she reaches the Green Room.

For the final round the remaining contestants are cooking for some ex-finalists, including Thomasina 'Wahaca' Myer. As far as I’m concerned, all food that isn’t a burrito is pointless, so I don’t envy the Frytastic Four. Holly and Daddy James are doing seabass - and to be fair, Holly’s fig and fish construction looks magnificent, whereas James’ fennel and apple sauce looks like the discharge produced by a rare and fatal disease. 'It’s a delightful dish to eat!' says Thomasina, of Holly’s efforts. What else were you planning to do with it, Thomasina?! Holly looks simultaneously sulky and smug. Maybe it’s not her fault. Maybe it’s just her face.

Superstar Sumera ruins her chances by almost setting fire to everything, but Robert does a much better job, perhaps because he’s using his bodyweight in butter. And he is not a slender man. It’s obvious that Daddy James is going home, but heartbreakingly, so is Sumera. Robert tries to envelop Holly in a congratulatory hug, and Holly grimaces, presumably because she’s uncomfortable with anyone and anything that is warm to the touch. Robert is thrilled. Getting to the final is one of the greatest moments of his life, and he’s Lindy Hopped on Top Of The Pops!

I really hope Sumera is somehow brought back as a surprise contestant, because she’s awesome. And hopefully Holly will learn to take criticism like a grown up - or at least, to use eyebrow pencil like a grown up.

Follow Daisy on Twitter @NotRollerGirl

MasterChef continues tonight at 9pm and Friday at 8.30pm, on BBC One.

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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