Last night was Sudden Death: Cuties vs Hippies. As always, the two teams went head to head cooking a three-course meal for the ever-glamorous panel of celebrity judges. The entrées were up first, because this is MKRNZ not Crazy Land NZ. The Cuties were making cheese tortellini, flexing their strong pasta muscles in the face of pasta warlock Benjamin Bayly. The Hippies were making chili kelp lamb with a whole bunch of other stuff, no doubt riddled with healing properties for diseases you don’t even know you have yet. Dai was leaning over the barrier chomping at the bit for that thyroid-healing lamb. Which leads me to a–
FASHION INTERJECTION: Dai looked bloody spectacular and amazingly beautiful last night I thought. Just wanted to point it out. Girl went all out. Got some kinda luxury hair curl going. Forest-green floor length dress. Necklace. The whole damn deal. Dai, your efforts did not go unnoticed. You are now officially the Beyoncé of the MKRNZ world. And Dal, you can choose between being Blue Ivy, Jay-Z or Solange.
After the Cuties had finished their small spat about parmesan placement, and the Hippies had garnished with enough healing kelp to bring a large rat back to life – it was time to serve the judges. The Hippies’ lamb was off the chain, Grace Ramirez did a weird happy dance when she ate it, excited to finally have her secret excruciating thyroid problem cured in an instant. The Cuties’ pasta was good, but a little simple. “There’s nowhere to hide when you go simple,” Sean Connolly mused. It got slammed further, being called the “ugly sister dish” to the Hippies’ lamb. Yikes, I mean at least it wasn’t “ugly brother” level ugly right? Joking, that’s not a thing. Only sisters are ugly.
The main courses were Cutie eye fillet and Hippie Hapuka. Neena was having a very hard time with the Hapuka, it was a big boney bastard for sure. Over at Camp Cutie, Jessie was busy anthropomorphising all the meat – naming the eye fillet Rodney and the anchovies (for the salsa verde, dummy) Jonathon and Albert. Ricki was slicing Rodney a little thin, Rodney needed a few more inches for sure (that’s what she said). The Corporate Dads were anxious for the Cuties, knowing they could well be overcooking Rodney.
FASHION INTERJECTION II: All this Sudden Death drama simply could not distract from Corporate Aaron’s enormous comedy tie. It was basically a tea-towel.
In a shock move, Jessie checked her pannacotta, and found they had set too hard. She biffed them in the bin and started again. Oh, did I mention the Hippies were making pannacotta too? It was a madhouse. The judges loved the Hippy Hapuka, what is it with everyone wanting to marry Hapuka all of a sudden? The Cutie beef was fine, but played it a little safe for their liking. Tell you who wasn’t playing it safe – Nadia Lim and her novelty-sized chain necklace (make that FASHION INTERJECTION III).
The pannacotta mayhem began with some slick MKRNZ gunshot sfx in the background. If we’ve learnt anything from this journey together, it’s that pannacotta is a major pain in the butt to de-mold. The Hippies had oozy chaos sludging all over the place – they said it looked rustic (aka crappy). The Cuties’ pannacotta looked perfect, but was not to be trusted. Sure enough, Jessie tasted it and realised she had forgotten to put the essential ingredient of sugar in.
At the judging table, Sean Connolly said the Hippies’ pannacotta looked like it had “fallen out of the ugly tree and hit every branch.” A lot of ugly-shaming was thrown around the celeb table in this episode. The Cuties’ pannacotta, on the other hand, was beautiful – but was missing the sweetness. Grace Ramirez said it was disappointing, “like seeing a beautiful girl, but when you talk to her there’s nothing there.” At this point I could honestly write a damn thesis on “Food Commentary and The Female Form: A Comparative Study of Sexist Appearance Standards and Pannacotta/Pasta Feedback” (available on JSTOR 2017).
The Cuties were sent home in an incredibly emotional farewell. They have all become very good friends with one another and I genuinely believe the Corporate Dads have adopted them and are now their real Dads. Everyone was crying buckets again, I managed to squeeze out one very small tear. I hope the Cuties can “hold their heads high” like Ben told them to – they certainly fought to the bitter end.
Please accept this barrel of chili kelp to heal your painful wounds of defeat.
Watch My Kitchen Rules NZ on TVNZ Ondemand here