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akr

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  1. I just watched the final two episodes - it stays terrific! A great final three & a great winner. I don't know who you are finding yourself rooting for, but I've liked all three of these from the beginning. I'm already looking forward to seeing them together again judging in future seasons.
  2. I was wondering about early (first year?) sobriety - sometimes people get on an extreme exercise kick or temporarily get a bit control-freakish about diet for a while.
  3. There'd be no need for him to taste anything he wasn't planning on eating, so - I assume not.
  4. I thought they were actually trying to defuse responsibility a bit so nobody would pull a Ben de la Creme (& I loved Ben de la Creme & completely sympathized with her decision - it showed what a rotten format it was). Someone else suggested Cracker was influenced by producers not to boot out a strong competitor, but I think she was just trying to create a little false drama they could use by suggesting she might vote out Shea even though she was never going to do that (Alexis might have, & I think it was why she got booted a round early, but Cracker would be constrained both by a sense that it wasn't fair & that it would cause a backlash and make any resulting win sort of empty. When the strongest competitors get axed prematurely I basically don't feel like the winner was really a winner, just the last one standing, & I couldn't see her as more than that unless she somehow actually beats Jujube & Shea in the finale..) I mean, I'm sure it crossed her mind, as it would any of theirs, but I doubt she entertained the option for any length of time. It just doesn't feel in character to me.
  5. Agree with everything you said, except that I'd say Khanh is from Australia (as well as Indonesia) since his family immigrated when he was two. I wouldn't expect Vegemite figured prominently in an immigrant family's early fare in the country, but he grew up in Australia, so he's going to know it far better than an outsider. (I'd forgotten about that challenge - that was brilliant!)
  6. Is he strict about it? I assumed it was mostly for health reasons & general preference but that on occasion he would break with it. I assume Amina couldn't eat the pork, though.
  7. I don't think they were trying to prop Reynold up, just trying to give him the nicest possible edit for his send off. I actually felt bad for him, even though I was rooting for the other two to make it to the end before the episode started. Successful emotional manipulation by the producers, I suppose. I assumed he was in trouble from the get go because of the attention on him, although Laura's early troubles raised the possibility that they were just highlighting him for suspense, to throw the scent off someone who was going to be a distant third. If they were trying to give him a boost, I suppose it was by having someone set such a highly technical dessert dish - imagine if instead they'd had the most complicated possible pasta dish! - but really I think this is such a typical Masterchef pressure test that I don't think it was designed to keep him there. This sort of wanky, fiddly dessert, TM @SnideAsides, is part of the reason dessert specialists tend to overstay their welcome, & while I'm sure they expected that it would play to Reynold's strengths, there were challenges earlier that didn't, so I can't say it was unfair even though it sounded way too sweet & unnecessarily technical to me. I wouldn't enjoy watching them do unnecessarily complicated spherifications & foams & such either, but at this stage I know they're going to give them something highly technical with new tricks that the audience at home - the next Jess or such - will want to try out. (Watch for lathes & leaves in our future?) Kudos to Laura for listening & taking the caramel so dark (& having some sense about how unbalanced the dish could be if she didn't.) Reynold not only ended up with a caramel that was too sweet, but then probably made matters worse by trying to add volume to his apple by slathering on extra. I'm not mad they gave him a nice exit, though. I see it as a bit of a consolation prize for going out third.
  8. I'd say Cracker, Blair & India were memorably bad. I will forget them, but haven't yet. You're right, though, I have already forgotten what Alexis did. I remember that it was fine but I don't remember who she did, just that she had a good quip after Cracker answered a question that had been directed to her.
  9. The end of the season is always a little frustrating because some people have gone too early & others lasted a bit too long, but I'm not going to hold it against any of those remaining. I'd prefer Laura or Emelia over Reynold, because I prefer dinner to dessert and they seem to be better all-around cooks. Although Reynold has frequently been bested in the dessert category by people like Emelia who excel at flavors. I think it's reasonable that he's in the mix & I never buy into the conspiracy theories. It did not shock me that Callum was out, as it seemed another example of sort of overthinking what he was doing - cooking for competition rather than for taste. Nothing was bad but sometimes it was muddled because too many things were going on. I doubt he does this in the real world; it seems more a matter of, under pressure, thinking he had to add elements to be fancy enough for competition, but then not having the time to get it all quite right (edit) at the end. It seems obvious that more time in the industry is extremely valuable. I'd love to see Tessa, Khanh, & Sarah T, for example., face off in five years, & would have loved a final four with those three & Poh (final 6 to include Laura & Emelia, & no particular order amongst them for the finish; Callum & Reynold top 8 I guess, & realistically I would expect the newbies to falter before the old hands at the end). I find the Jess-Reece-Brendan group a little exhausting, even though they're clearly all nice people. It makes me feel like people will think I'm kicking a puppy if someone else is more to my taste. But they're all somewhat limited still (Jess the least, I think), & I'm not actually particularly interested in what they're going to do next (although I'd be happy to try Brendan's dumplings or other Mauritian-Chinese fare, or Reece's tarts, & really anything from Jess, but I expect her focus to remain desserts, & I prefer simpler desserts - taste over presentation - so I don't care how many fancy things she can do.) I'm glad Celebrity Masterchef UK is on to ease the transition to no cooking competitions. They've got nothing on these guys, of course, but it's good-spirited & some of them have some promise. I'm not British so the only person I've heard of is Judy Murray, (Andy Murray's mom) which probably helps. I don't come in already annoyed at any of them. I'm guessing will go far - that competitive spirit has held up well in this competition before & she comes in with good baseline skills & a good palate.
  10. akr

    S17.E14: Finito!

    Good to know! I haven't made it, but maybe now I will!
  11. I think I've been a little unfair to Reynold - today's dessert actually did look like something I'd really like to try. In this one the presentation seemed in service of the taste & overall pleasurable nature of the dessert, rather than just for the sake of effect. I wrote earlier before watching today's episode; I'd seen the twitter updates so I knew it was all desserts, & knew what each had cooked & who had come through, so I wasn't in a hurry to watch, & I was going on how I've felt about his desserts over the last few weeks. This one, for me, wasn't style over substance but style in service of substance.
  12. This is the first lemon tart - but he's been whining about not having lemons & therefore having to make other kinds of tarts for quite a while now. Last time he made a gin tart because there were no lemons; I don't remember what his other tart(s) were.
  13. Ok, fine, maybe I'll copy down Reese's basic pastry recipe to add to my repertoire. If I were in his neighborhood, I'd probably be happy to have a slice of his lemon tart. I like lemon tarts & I'm sure his is a good one, but that's the last I want to hear from him about tarts. How on earth he thought saffron would go well with it is beyond me. I don't watch dessert shows, so two in a row of 5 desserts & one savory dish is a slog. How about a challenge with no sugar or other sweeteners available? I'll allow fruits in their natural state, & maybe tamarind & pomegranate syrup because they're also very tart, but they can't be set up to do the same desserts over & over again. Or maybe I just want to be done with Reece & Reynold, as the others' desserts don't bother me so much.
  14. Absolutely agree. It's overwritten, but it's an attempt to understand the phenomenon, not defend it.
  15. Since I haven't tasted the dishes, I won't say the outcome was wrong - but I know I'd rather try Tessa's dish than Reynold's. I agree that you can have too many things going on in a dish for it to work, but I don't see why having the hot sauce & salsa being the lingering flavors made it not fit the brief, & the mousse that "wasn't a mousse" & was "not overly pleasant" (Jock) seemed worse to me no matter how clever the presentation may have been. Ok, great raspberry sorbet, I gather, but sorbet, chocolate pebbles, & isomalt, & dry ice or whatever it is that sends up the usual mist, doesn't seem like enough if the other major component doesn't taste good. I'm finding Reynold's tricks repetitive & therefore not at this point something I've never seen before, but rather more or less the same elements repackaged into a slightly different story each time. If he hadn't called it "Space," would it had have gotten him through? I'm a bit bummed for Tessa even more than the others that it's not a normal year - it would have been such a springboard into the next phase of her career, & now everything will be at least partially put on hold, or at least very different, for a while. Ah, well. I'm glad she got as far as she did, anyway.
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