Tough night over the stoves … My Kitchen Rules contestants Harry and Christo. Tough night over the stoves … My Kitchen Rules contestants Harry and Christo.
MKR … The low-scoring Evil Jack Nicholson (David) and Mean Barbie (Corinne) snapped at the boys heels.
Judgement time …. the knives are out and it could mean the chopping block.
Poor Harry. You had to feel sorry for him. For all three meals so far, both he and “best mate” Christo had been nothing but dorky, polite dinner guests. So with the low-scoring Evil Jack Nicholson (David) and Mean Barbie (Corinne) snapping at their heels from the get go, we had ourselves an underdog.
The episode opens with a montage pitching Harry and Christo as potential champions. Melbourne’s food reputation and their alleged creativity are standard enough reasons but then Harry adds “what more do you need in a recipe for greatness?” showing both average punning skills and cruelly ironic hubris.
First, it’s off to the supermarket. This is a chance to show off Harry’s marking ability (we get it, they’re men) and reveal the menu. Entrée will be a caramelised onion tart, for mains they’re planning smoked mozzarella and prosciutto rolled veal and a sweet finish starring blueberry frangipane tart with blueberry ripple ice cream.
On the way back to the car, it’s time for Hapless Harry to make his first appearance with an upturned trolley in the parking lot. “Classic Harry” says Christo laughingly, a statement that proves sadly true as the show unfolds.
After painstakingly setting up the instant restaurant (“It’s not my decoration rules!”), the boys are already behind time.
In a rush, Harry botches the shortcut pastry finding he has over-kneaded it in the food processor. He then tries to “get the butter out of the pastry” with an action that looks suspiciously like kneading, knocks over a carton of eggs and discovers his finger is bleeding.
Anxious and unhygienic, Harry realises it’s time for Plan B and he runs back to the shops to buy what looks like a trolley full of “safety pastries”.
In the car, Haz, “the dropsy king” gets emotional. This is not the game face of a hard-bitten real estate agent but a best mate with a sinking guilty feeling. Things are not looking good.
By the time Harry returns, Christo has made excellent progress without him, making us wonder if Harry should just scoot on over to sick bay for the rest of the show. Despite this, the boys are still well and truly behind schedule.
The timer hits zero and the boys suit up to welcome their guests. David’s polite dinner banter starts early: “we’re going to need a disaster” he says.
With everyone already seated, the onions start caramelising, a process which can take hours. Panic is starting to set in when in strides man of action Manu with a “bonsoir” and a word of advice: to take a moment to calm down.
This pep talk gives the pair a second wind, eventually getting the tarts on the plate with roast tomatoes and rocket. By the time they walk in to serve, however, it has been a long wait and both Harry and Christo are nervous wrecks. “The boys look pretty bombed out” says empathetic newlywed Shanelle.
As if by fluke, the tart does anything but bomb out. A particular highlight was Manu talking about tomatoes “bursting in his mouth”. Not quite as good as when he proclaims something to be “cooked to perfection” but still pretty good. Pete is equally pleased, cautioning the undercooked grey onions let it down.
Back in the kitchen for main meal and yet again the boys prove slow and clumsy. Christo overcrowds the pan with veal, Harry makes too few potato croquettes. There is no crueller sight than watching tiny portion of veal overcook as croquettes are frantically subtracted from plates.
Decades later, mains are served and the conclusion foregone.
Manu, the broken record, is livid. “Why would you not put a sauce!” he says. It’s a bloody good question. The boys have lost their minds, using half a grilled lemon to dress an entire main course. Adding insult to injury, David couldn’t be happier. “That was terrible,” he beams.
The boys slump into the kitchen to prepare dessert, the final nail in the coffin. Two and a half hours later, they emerge with slightly undercooked pastries, a non-intentionally “funky” tasting ice cream and toasted almonds that took so long they had to have been activating.
By the end of the show, it was carnage to be sure, but carnage worse than David and Corinne? The judges thought so, scoring the mains a devastating two points each. This brought Christo and Harry in at the bottom of the scoreboard with 44 out of 110 points. Don’t you just hate when the underdog loses?
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