Melting moments: Tears and fears for ‘Little Miss Cupcake’ Jenna, left, and sister-in-arms Joanna. Pink-faced: Jenna, left, doesn’t think she can pull through. Will this spell the end for Joanna as well?
It is the end for the second group of travelling diners on My Kitchen Rules and this episode promises the re-introduction of couples long since forgotten, such as Lisa and Stefano, Josh and Andi (the hipsters who aren’t really hipsters) and those others from Victoria who are a great deal older than everybody else. Their participation is inexcusable because apparently it’s only young and unwrinkled people who like to cook.
For this instalment, the teams travel to “Adelaide” and the travellers wonder why people choose to live in “Adelaide” which is unimportant to the rest of the country.
Jenna and Joanna, self-proclaimed domestic goddesses, are the hosts for the evening and for the 783rd time in just a few episodes, Jenna reminds us that she works in a “high-class patisserie”. For reference, an “Adelaide” “high-class patisserie” is the equivalent in Sydney or Melbourne of Donut King.
Jenna also declares that she is a self-taught cupcake artist, as though this is something to brag about. Jenna says her goal is to create an empire of sweetness. Joanna sees that her way out of this craziness is to open a dental surgery for all of Jenna’s customers.
Joanna says that to cook is to love, except if you are Jessie and Biswa, in which case to cook is to kill/maim/poison.
Jenna declares that she and Joanna are the most glamorous domestic goddesses you’ll ever meet. There are two problems here: one, the title is already taken and that is by Nigella, so just back off. The second is that they live in Adelaide. Glamour? Really?
As the shopping starts, Joanna hopes that Jenna will get through the day without crying. Has she not watched this show before? Crying is mandatory, with non-compliance resulting in elimination.
Joanna thinks using smaller fish for an entree means that the bones will disintegrate during cooking. Can anyone smell TROUBLE ahead?
She also predicts that Lisa and Candice will score strategically because this is their lost opportunity, being at the bottom of the leader board. Wow. She is so wise. Joanna and Jenna try to boost their chances and spirits by signing Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead. By sing, I mean sing badly. However, their alleged singing is infinitely preferable to Lisa and Candice’s “dancing”.
Speaking of those “dancers”, they live in hope that the stars align and send Jenna and Joanna to Pluto. This acerbic yet predictable slight from Candice has Lisa guffawing.
Jenna hopes the other teams like her pink restaurant as much as she and Joanna do. I think this is unlikely unless they’ve had a lobotomy in the past 24 hours.
Joanna starts by making the home-made bangers. Jenna is crystallising rose petals. Apparently this is a thing. The notification to the world that dead roses can’t rest in peace has clearly passed me by.
Jenna is feeling the pressure because of her passion for dessert. Maybe if she had shared less of her passion with the rest of the group, she wouldn’t have this rod for her back.
In a stereotypically blonde moment, Jenna leaves strawberry paste for her mousse on the stove top. Her resolve not to cry is severely tested. Then, by putting the crystallised rose petals in the oven, Jenna has stuffed that up too. Oh noes. Joanna has a heart-to-heart talk to her by the sink. “Don’t do it,” warns Jo, “or I’ll rip your head off and serve it with clotted cream for dessert.”
Remember earlier, when Joanna said the bones of the fish would disintegrate during cooking? Well, for part 861 of Famous Wrong Calls of History, here is Joanna. The fish are full of bones. The two gasp as though fish having bones is something they’ve not encountered before. They decide to hope for the best and that the bones will disintegrate.
The other teams arrive and are unsurprised to see pink everywhere. Unsurprisingly, Lisa looks far from impressed at the amount of sugar in the restaurant’s lolly bar. Hey, Lisa, sugar has carbohydrates. You know, that thing you demanded a couple of restaurants ago?
Dan thinks his masculinity is being challenged by all the pink. I think the button earrings will do that by themselves, Dan. Luke’s masculinity, though, is not such a problem and with a look, tells Jenna to “go hard”. Ooh, err.
Lightning strikes thrice for Jenna back in the kitchen when she realises she’s not made enough dessert and has to start again. Jenna’s third batch of mousse is not inspirated and she starts to cry. Again.
Manu and Pete arrive and agree that Jenna is obsessed with pink. Manu subtly mentions that he likes blue. This could mean something but the idea of Manu and Jenna finding a common/romantic bond through colours could make the world explode.
The menu is revealed. Candice was wanting cupcakes for dessert so that Jenna could display her talents “that she talks about, every single instant restaurant.” Well now, Candice, forget the mote in Jenna’s eye and behold the beam in thine.
Manu asks Lisa what she is hoping for at dinner, and with unflinching honesty, she replies “That you’ll all give them zeros”. Everyone laughs but they all know that there’s no chance of that, even if they die choking on fish bones.
Jenna and Joanna cook for some time but all seems to be going to plan. Nothing to see here except a really awkward impersonation of Manu’s catchcry: “Where is ze sauce?”
Entree is served. In the ultimate act of hypocrisy, Joanna dissolves into tears when Pete says her dish epitomises what My Kitchen Rules is all about – real people and real food. “This is the best dish I’ve had in the competition,” he says.
Candice, never far from the action, says hearing Pete’s praise is a stab in the heart. No, she does not mean that literally. But she is almost stabbed in the mouth when she finds a line of little bones and starts to faux choke.
The action returns to the kitchen and the main is started. Joanna is forensic about her salt – 18 grams per one kilo of meat. Evidently the same exacting weights do not apply to the sugar that lines the dining room.
Lisa is putting the pressure on in the dining room and slams the main as being a “Sunday night dinner … it’s not my idea of a gourmet meal”.
Joanna’s regrets? She’s had a few. And one of them now is cooking the sausages in a coil because every one of the 12 sausages looks like a dog doo-doo. In the end, she decides to keep the skewers in the sausage, choosing a potential eye-gouging over poor aesthetics.
Dan the Queensland sausage king thinks the dish doesn’t look particularly flash. Candice says it looks like a dog turd, which makes Lisa give her most animated expression of the show, with eyebrows going every which way.
Manu, though, puts dog-turd fears into the pooper-scooper. “I thought your sausage was to die for.” Lisa and Candice look as though their faces have been rubbed in dog doo-doo.
But the judging sausage splits over the issue of sauce: Manu is again about to jump down the contestants’ throat for no sauce with a main. Pete says no sauce was needed but the mash needed work. Candice gloats and the venom coming from her aura could make a poisonous sauce.
Scott and Luke declare undying allegiance to Team Manu and lobby for sauce. Scott is considering a Manu tattoo to sit with his squid tattoo.
Back in the kitchen, Jenna is on the verge of tears again when the dacqouise base for her mousse looks a lot like an elderly person – grey and cracked and wrinkly. Manu enters and, holding her hand, tries to help. Everyone say “awww”. Manu tells her there is nothing wrong and gives her a hug.
But the mousse? After some conveniently timed dramatic music, it’s largely OK. some are melting. Given the wicked witch nicknames for Lisa and Candice, maybe those mousse servings should be theirs. Candied rose petals go the way of the wicked witch and disappear.
Jenna, with some excellent skills in passing the buck (perhaps politics is a career if this dessert thing doesn’t work out), says that everyone has called her the dessert queen and she guesses that they have high expectations. I can’t imagine where they would have got those ideas from.
Jenna is crying. Again. Candice, with her usual diplomacy and tact, wants to tell her that she and Lisa aren’t crying and they’re on the bottom. I want to tell Candice to shut up, but I think the judges are about to do that, once and for all.
In the meantime, the judges deliver Jenna a cup of harden-up by telling her to stop complaining – the dessert is excellent. Sam thinks Jenna has lived up to her dessert queen billing.
Candice and Lisa show delusions again – with other teams scoring 7s, 8s and 9s, they score Jenna and Joanna a four and think that if the scores are fair, there is a chance they could squeeze through. The self-assuredness of these two is incredibly wearing.
Pete announces that there will be an announcement at the final judging. Lisa seems to think that there is now an air of belief around the table that she and Candice may not be going home. If the table has suddenly changed to just be one for those two, then I’d say that is a fair and accurate statement.
Jenna and Joanna score 87 from 110, putting them into second position. Sadly [maybe], it’s the end for Lisa and Candice. Pete activates a fake smile and tells them that it’s sad to see them go but he’s secretly relieved he won’t have to sit next to them at dinner again.
The five successful teams from group one return to the only building Adelaide has with a staircase for the shock announcement: not all of the 10 remaining teams will be going to kitchen headquarters, which is a relief to Matt and Mick and Ali and Samuel, whose Tasmanian passports have been exhausted from the constant travel to that far away fantasy land called “the mainland”.
Lisa and Stefano, Ali and Samuel and Dan and Steph are in immediate danger, not of having to remain in Adelaide forever, but of having to travel around the country once more for elimination with the gatecrashers.
Lisa, ever the rule-abider, says that normally with gatecrashers, “ya chuck ’em out”.
Joanna relishes the prospect of three new teams to hate as much as Lisa and Candice. The gauntlet is laid.
In the words of Jake: “Game on, moll.”
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