The Disney Prince’s chef may be in the house, but it’s hardly a fairy tale ending for a fan favorite.

It’s a two-round elimination for seven contestants, while Keyma assumes the gloating position above. Each contestant is told to take a token from a bag and stand in the order of the numbers they draw: this order is the order that will determine how quickly they will be served at the deli.

Seventh heaven, but not to some unlucky loser going home tonight.

Seventh heaven, but not to some unlucky loser going home tonight. Photo: Supplied

Each cook token corresponds to an ingredient and a bell, in front of which they line up. The ingredients have been chosen by Hugh Allen, executive chef at Vue de Monde, who almost certainly likes to call himself “Hugh de Monde”. Hugh is a very handsome man and today’s challenge is to cook without getting lost in his eyes. For the purposes of today’s challenge, he is also known throughout the world for his ability to make random ingredient lists.

Each contestant must choose whether to cook with the ingredient in front of them or take a chance and choose the unknown ingredient under the bell. BUT, if they don’t escape to the balcony in round one, they will have to cook in round two with the ingredient they didn’t choose. Once again, MasterChef prepares contestants for life in the real food industry, where risking cooking with a surprise ingredient is an ever-present danger for restaurateurs.

Art installation or elimination challenge?  Who knows?

Art installation or elimination challenge? Who knows? Photo: Supplied

Also, as always, one ingredient is the ingredient of death, which kills anyone who touches it.

Most of the contestants stick with the visible ingredient, but Julie and Sarah opt for the bells and are punished with beets and lemon myrtle respectively: a warning against arrogance to all. The first four dishes will be safe, so the last three will go to the second round, which means that there is more than a fifty percent chance of going into the second round, which means that the last three will be really big losers .

Alvin begins the challenge in a positive mood, declaring that he knows what corn tastes like and commanding this power over everyone. He’s going to make creamy corn chowder, because he thinks elimination day is no time to do anything nice. On the contrary, Dan is cooking with acacia seeds, which is a great advantage because no one has eaten them before, so no one can tell him that he tastes bad. “I think I can get one out today,” Dan says, risking arrest under public indecency laws. He goes on to state that he is not here to put socks on centipedes and that he is sedated for his own protection.

Meanwhile, Billie has decided to play to her strengths, so she’ll just be hanging around being sweet and cool. It is the best dish, because its ingredient is the Jerusalem artichoke, an element that is rarely used in sweet dishes. Or savory dishes. Or by anyone for anything. On the other hand, Mindy has been given celeriac, which she wisely sets on fire.

Melissa stops by to let Alvin know that his dish is extremely simple. Panicking, she runs to the pantry and looks for a hole in the wall to escape. Desperate, he looks for the scoundrel’s last refuge: to make a sambal.

Disney Prince, aka Chef Hugh Allen of Melbourne's Vue de Monde.

Disney Prince, aka Chef Hugh Allen of Melbourne’s Vue de Monde. Photo: Supplied

“I don’t want to be in the second round, so I have to make sure the Jerusalem artichoke tastes like the panna cotta,” says Billie, which is frankly an odd statement. In fact, there are countries where making Jerusalem artichoke flavored panna cotta can get you prosecuted.

Sarah is in a dilemma, because its ingredient is lemon myrtle, also known as: leaves. How to combine leaves and fish in a nice way? The answer is that there is no way to do this, it is impossible. But Sarah has never been afraid to defy the laws of science. Meanwhile, Dan is baking a cake or something, I guess. A bit difficult to care for, to be honest.

With 15 minutes to go, Keyma informs everyone that they are doing great, but on the floor they know her words are hollow and meaningless. Mindy is desperate to impress Hugh with her celeriac, not realizing that Hugh will never be impressed no matter what he does. She despises everyone in this kitchen. She walks over to Julie’s bench to discuss with Jock how terrible her trial is. However, Julie believes that she will have a beautiful plate in her hands and, hopefully, once she is there, she will be able to transfer it from her hands to some kind of plate.

With three minutes to go, Billie’s panna cotta is too firm, Julie’s terrine feels good, and Sarah still isn’t sure how to pronounce lemon myrtle. But there’s no time to obsess: the clock is up and the judges are about to lose their minds.

The results of the first round in a nutshell are: Alvin’s disgusting soup is fantastic; Dan’s pie is fine; Mindy’s awful celeriac is lovely; Aldo’s mash is grainy and therefore immoral; Billie’s panna cotta is, in Melissa’s words, “Not Nasty”, meaning “disgusting”; Sarah’s fish is unexpectedly edible; and Julie’s terrine has insufficient beets, which is not the compliment it sounds like. And so Aldo, Billie and Julie must enter ENDGAME (Samuel Beckett, 1957).

Aldo must now cook with cucumber. Billie must cook with wasabi. Julie must cook with “lion’s mane mushroom”, a fictional ingredient from the Elder Scrolls video game series. The three of them are upset that they are cooking against each other, instead of one of the other five remaining contestants, whom they hate.

Julie examines her lion’s mane mushroom and discovers that it is a hairy mushroom, which is because it is the result of a sexual relationship between a mushroom and an African lion. Julie is cooking mushrooms with mushroom sauce, even though what she should be cooking is an immunity pin with sauce for the balcony.

From that balcony comes Sarah’s call: “Make the most of your time!” The three cooks on the ground hit their foreheads: if only they had thought of it! “Thank you Sara!” they shout in unison, grateful for the insightful advice.

There are 25 minutes left and Julie, while happy with her mushrooms, is also well aware that she has an immunity pin and a working brain, which should go together nicely. “I don’t want to be the reason one of my friends is leaving the competition today,” she says, but she shouldn’t worry about that: the reason one of her friends is leaving the competition is, as in all eliminations, the cruelty of a cold and indifferent God. Finally realizing this, she touches her pin, with widespread sighs of relief across the country.

As Julie retreats to a well-earned balcony, tragedy strikes Billie, who has forgotten about her eggs. Her nuts must now be roasted again and Billie is having a panic attack. With ten minutes to go, Jock and Hugh visit Aldo to make sure he doesn’t have enough time to finish his plate. Hugh tells Aldo that his plate is in danger of being boring, forcing Aldo to challenge him to a sunset duel.

Five minutes to go and Billie still has a lot to do, which is pretty lazy of her since she’s making beef tartare, a dish that doesn’t even require cooking. She is still better than Aldo, who has to cook cucumbers, one of the most useless activities in life.

Time is finally up, and the ultimate question, whether the total lack of flavor from the cucumber is enough to beat the terrible taste of wasabi, is about to be answered. Aldo’s cucumber crab appears first. “Wow, I want another one,” says Jock. “I thought the presentation was absolutely amazing,” says Melissa. “I’m very rich and I have no interest in any of this,” says Hugh.

MasterChef recap: Chef Disney Prince is in the house, but it’s not a fairy tale ending for a fan favorite

Billie must now put her wasabi beef tartare in front of the judges, itself an act of enormous courage. “It’s delicious,” says Jock. “Fragrant and subtle,” says Melissa. “I’m going to take a nap,” says Hugh. The judges agree that Billie’s dish didn’t make them cough or choke, and what more could you want from dinner?

It is time to announce the final judgment. Melissa asks Hugh if she was impressed by what she saw today. “Sure, if you want,” says Hugh, before leaving to play Angry Birds. But it also turns out that while both Aldo and Billie cooked dishes that the judges could somewhat convincingly state tasted good, Aldo’s dish, being loaded with cucumber, was a bit more offensive. And so he must go home, depriving the competition of one of his most charming accents. But Billie survives to put something inappropriate in the ice cream another day.

Tune in tomorrow, when it all feels so pointless without… him.

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