Last night began with a mystery box challenge, with the contestants whipping open giant boxes to reveal metal machines that looked like something straight out of Jigsaw’s torture chamber. Turns out they were mincers, also turns out most of the contestants had never seen a mincer in the flesh and couldn’t bloody believe it. Stop mincing around the machines guys, it’s time for a mince challenge. Herman Minster aka Ben Bayly announced that they would have 45 minutes to make the perfect mince dish. They didn’t have to worry about making the mince, those machines were just there to fill 10 minutes of unnecessary mystery box suspense.
The Cuties went for a very cute and unbelievably weird lasagna cupcake. Jessie was already looking stressed and teary, so Ricki sweetly threatened her sweetheart “if you don’t cry I’ll take you out on a date tonight.” The Social Media Buddies went for a Baduzzi (Ben Bayly’s restaurant) knock-off lamb meatball. Risky move guys, don’t think Ben is going to ‘like’ or ‘fave’ copycats. The Corporate Dads went for a Corporate Shepherd’s Pie, The Polynesian Cooks went exotic with San Choy Bow, and Dai and Dal went for a classic Laoatian sausage. Looking straight down the barrel, Dal delivered a sage piece of advice to the viewers at home, “you don’t want a dry sausage.”
FASHION INTERJECTION: The couture of this episode was top notch. Fireman Ian was wearing a cautionary “Smoke alarms save lives” t-shirt and Steve was wearing a cheesecutter and checkered shirt combo that looked like something straight of a Fancy Cat live-action remake.
Back in the kitchen, everyone was working the jus. “The jus tastes delicious!” Dan bobbled confidently. It looked akin to an old dirty Puddle of Mudd, but I’m sure it tasted great. Cutie Jessie was too small/cute to reach the top oven, so Corporate Dad Aaron lifted her up to have a look at how their cupcakes were coming along. Classic corporate team-building. The Cuties realised they didn’t have any side veges so started flinging random corn everywhere. Dai and Dal were in sausage hell, their problem wasn’t the sausage being too dry, it was the sausage being less of a sausage and more of a wet raw mess. Aaron and Heather were steaming ahead, Heather tried to restrain Aaron’s lettuce antics to which he amazingly replied “don’t stop a Ferrari at a red light mate.”
At the judging, Dai and Dal’s sausage was truly, literally, metaphorically and spiritually a dogs breakfast. But they got by on their Laoatian flava flav. “What a great sausage,” Ben Bayly mused. The Social Media buddies were in hot water for recreating one of Ben’s famous meatball recipes. With a stern look across his wide brow, he challenged them to “let the meatballs do the talking.” The meatballs didn’t talk, but if they could have they would have said “I am over-seasoned and 89% dried rosemary.” The Cuties were worried that the chefs would think their lasagne cupcakes were weird. They did. The Corporate Shepherd’s pie was good, and The Polynesian Cooks San Chow Boy topped the competition. But lest we forget the real winner on the night – mince.
Sam and Dan lost and were sent back to the velour prison of instant death. To find out who would be joining them, the judges set another challenge. Oh, you thought the recap was over? You thought the episode was over? More mystery boxes were hauled out, the teams had to cook whatever was in it.
The Cuties got their arch nemesis salmon, The Dads got their arch nemesis duck, and Dai and Dal got a comfortable-ish lamb. “I’ve never cooked f****** duck before!” screamed Aaron, he lamented not reading How To Cook a Duck for Dummies before coming on the show. They also aspired to make an “Asian Reduction” (racist!). Jessie cooked the salmon to perfection during palpitations, and Dai and Dal’s lamb didn’t seem to be cooking. It was raw as all holy hell. “There’s blood on the purée!” Dal noted. Blood on the Purée is also, incidentally, the name of my first album.
Dai and Dal lost the challenge, and will join the other teams in next episode’s Sudden Death DOUBLE Elimination. Don’t die, Dai.
Moral of the story: As always, never stop a Ferrari at a red light
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.