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Athena

S12.W9 (E41-45)

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Even though I don't really see the point of the "twins" challenge in terms of what would happen in a commercial kitchen, it's quite fun seeing how much chaos it can generate!  

It occurred to me that there are certain contestants with whom I would not like to be working on a two-person team at this stage of the competition.  Tessa drew the shortest straw with Reynold, in my view, because he very much comes across as not much of a team player.  She was lucky she got through, actually.  And Poh would be the other one, though not quite for the same reasons.  I don't think she's selfish or arrogant at all but she can be so ditzy and unfocused that giving clear instructions for another person to duplicate as closely as possible wouldn't be in her vocabulary.  The people I'd have wanted to be with most are Callum, Emilia or Laura as all three are calm, unflappable types. 

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Melissa looked so hot today, my goodness.

I absolutely loved watching Emelia and Callum work together. Their approach was so nerdy and methodical but totally paid off! That bit where Callum is like "OK, give me the measurements" and Emelia shouts them from the other side made me chuckle. I also cracked up at Emelia's "Can you two shut up?" to Laura and Khanh, and her comment on how being short was not helping her trying to communicate with Callum (probably because I can relate to being vertically challenged). I adore her.

I agree that Tessa had probably the worst luck of the draw. At one point she did actually say something along the lines of just following Reynold's lead and hoping she could keep up, which made me sad because she's so good and she shouldn't have to play second fiddle to anyone. I was very happy to see her be safe (because with Reynold in the pressure test, the odds of her leaving would be higher), but now that means I gotta worry about Sarah tomorrow.

I'm hoping it's Reece or Brendan going home tomorrow, because I'm so tired of seeing all my fave ladies dropping like flies one after the other and it's about time some of the dudes I'm not attached to started leaving.

Khanh needs to take it down about ten thousand notches.

Edited by Niuxita
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21 hours ago, Niuxita said:

but now that means I gotta worry about Sarah tomorrow.

With good reason, as it turns out. 😞

Poor Sarah.  At least if she'd gone out on one of the usual stupidly difficult desserts they set in pressure tests, she could have had the comfort of knowing that's not in her wheelhouse.  This way, she got booted cooking a dish she really should have aced.  Full credit to Brendan and especially Reece for doing so well with it, but Sarah didn't have a hope even if she'd done a better job because Poh was in the bottom two with her and, well, she's Poh.  Nuff said.

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Well. That. Sucked.

Sarah got Poh'd. I actually thought Poh might go home because I thought maybe she had a "Must Make the Top 10" contract and could finally be cut loose. I guess TPTB want a "Poh"llercoaster final.

There's no one left that really excites me. Reese maybe. I didn't like him in his first season but he's grown a lot as a cook and he's more likable here. Callum seems like a great guy. Emelia is funny but I've paid little attention to her all season.

I dread the possibility of a Poh, Laura, Reynold final 3. I will probably only watch sporadically til the final.

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Really odd that they kept going out of their way to say "least like the original goes home" rather than "worst dish goes home". My guess is they were never planning on doing this challenge and really didn't like the original dish very much, but there was an interstate/international chef booked who suddenly couldn't get to Melbourne because of the pandemic so they had to find someone in a hurry.

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Sigh. Once again, I kinda knew it just from their faces in the talking heads (Sarah seemed the most like she'd been crying) but I just didn't want to believe it! It's like this show WANTS me to lose interest.

1 hour ago, zibnchy said:

There's no one left that really excites me.

Same tbh. You could say I'm rooting for Tessa, Emelia, and, yes, Poh, but I feel like it's only a matter of time before they go home with what their performances have been like recently.

1 hour ago, zibnchy said:

I dread the possibility of a Poh, Laura, Reynold final 3. I will probably only watch sporadically til the final.

My guess is a Reynold, Khanh, and Reece final 3 with how much the judges tongue-bathe the latter two and because Reynold is, well, Reynold. I used to think Laura was a shoo-in for the final but she's been getting an average edit so far, and Poh has been faltering lately. I feel like the only thing that will keep me watching until the end is my raging crush on Melissa.

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I didn't watch the shouting challenge, cuz I don't LIKE SHOUTING. But I knew whoever got Poh was gonna goh into elimination. Emelia remains delightful.   

Mr. My Dish Has 5000 Ingredients was a bit pompous for my liking. None of the chefs' gushed over his dish like they usually do. Everyone was in serious "if you have nothing nice to say.... " mode. 

I'm glad Reece is staying cuz he cracks me up, but I don't want him going top three and still acting bewildered whenever he gets praise. Sad for Sarah, but yeah, once it was between Sarah and Poh, she had noh chance. 

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9 hours ago, SnideAsides said:

My guess is they were never planning on doing this challenge and really didn't like the original dish very much, but there was an interstate/international chef booked who suddenly couldn't get to Melbourne because of the pandemic so they had to find someone in a hurry.

This is an interesting theory. Thanks.

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Sigh.  This Poh love affair the producers have going on is robbing the season of suspense.  Last night when there was a choice between Sarah and Poh as to who would go home, we all knew who would be safe.  Similarly, tonight, when it was between Tessa and Poh for the last spot in the elimination cook-off, I'm bloody sure Tessa knew with every fibre of her being that she wasn't going to be cooking.  I think I'm starting to understand those crazy conspiracy theories.

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I thought the same thing, and this is coming from someone who actually enjoys Poh. I was so mad today because I really wanted Tessa on the immunity cook, if nothing else for variety's sake, and also because Jock's criticisms just felt off, like he was digging deep to find something negative to say. Maybe I too am becoming a conspiracist wackadoodle, but the way it was only Melissa and Jock who didn't like Poh and Tessa's dishes, respectively, in disagreement with the other two judges in each case, felt kind of fishy, but maybe it's the isolation getting to me and I am desperate for some excitement.

I was very happy for Laura, though. I've started to actually enjoy her ever since they seemed to switch from favouritism all the way to the other end of the spectrum of always finding something wrong with her dishes (this week notwithstanding, obviously). Very curious as to that "confrontation" with Jock that is being shown in the promos, and I have no doubt I will be on her side because what little was shown of her talking back to him had me going "You tell 'em, girl!" My, how times change (but it's also probably because I don't like Jock very much).

I could watch an entire show just of Emelia's talking heads. Her "I am hoping inspiration will strike me and I will come up with a perfect dish!" or something, complete with dramatic hand gestures, killed me. I was afraid for her in the beginning but was SO happy to see her turn things around on the fly. Love her.

Still don't see what's so great about Reece.

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For me, the elimination challenge that determined the top ten was definitive proof that they are pushing Poh.  The first round was a meat pie, which just happened to be a specialty of Poh's, who admitted that she has been making them for the past 8 years.  Time will tell if they are going to fix the final again.

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This show needs to be a lot clearer to the viewers at home.  The contestants are given a brief.  Why?  It seems this year that Poh can fly thru without ever having to follow said brief.  Most recent cases in point:

 IMO, Sarah definitely got Poh'd.  Poh makes a Malaysian curry instead of a Thai one that the guest chef called "unpleasant" and the only thing they complimented was the rice.  Sarah was sent home for having too weak of a broth... but it was still a Thai curry and it was suppose to be a replicate without a recipe task.  I was fuming!!!

Then tonight's show, Melissa clearly says  "That's right, it's a smoking gun, because this challenge is all about smoke.  We would like you to use that gun to bring us a dish with a smoky element.  But more than that, we want you to bring us a dish with a depth of flavor and dimension that  only smoke can bring ".  After Andy's rambling about being able to smoke anything (I think he's experimented with a few too many weeds, but...), Jock then repeats the brief "we want you to use that smoking gun to bring us a truly amazing dish."

So what does Poh do?  She grabs a wok and foil to make a stove top smoker to make a duck dish... that failed to have enough smoke flavor... and she sails thru to the immunity challenge leaving rule-following Tessa in her wake as another of her victims.  BTW, Callum also didn't follow the brief as he used the hibachi to get smoke into his octopus, but his didn't have enough smoke to even be considered... seems odd when Poh's didn't either but she won.

The Poh bias is REAL and if Tessa or anyone else I like goes home standing next to her, again breaking the rules of the brief, I will be PI$$ED!!

Oh yeah, I'd also like to state that most of my fury comes from the fact that Poh can only cook dishes she's done before.  The only creativity I've seen from her is 'how can I shove this dish into this cook's brief'.  Prime example was the fairy tale cook when she made the tofu lotus flower in broth that she tried to make the cook before and failed at because she didn't turn on her pressure cooker.  Seriously?  Most of the contestants say 'I'm going to try to do such and such, I think it will pair well together', with her it's always 'I've done something similar (or before)'.

 

By the way, I mistakenly put this on the wrong week's.  *smh*

Quote

6 HOURS AGO, REALLYREALREALITY SAID:

Gonna just put this out there... I saw a tweet about Benjamin Cooper's Jungle Curry (40 chilies!) in tonight's episode.  Besides the fact that all curries have peppers, which I can't eat, that dish looks like the storm drains around here after a really heavy rainfall.  

NO!  THANK!  YOU!!!

 

 

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Poh noh! We're back to the Faux Poh drama of "It will be a miracle if I finish this dish!!!!" I also believe there is a bias. Every challenge she gets super long talking heads and fake dramatic cooks while everyone else gets much less screen time. She is doing mostly dishes she's done before, or super simple dishes that the judges reward her for, meanwhile they chastize others for not doing enough. I just cannot abide that she is being pushed along toward the finals when she was an employee of the show last year. Maybe next next year Shannon can compete!

The judging seems really fake sometimes, as does most of their "conversation". I much prefer the candid moments and don't see why it has to be so scripted. 

Poor Tessa, last week she looked really defeated, and being passed over again is not gonna help. 

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37 minutes ago, SnideAsides said:

Jock was right, Laura. Doing pasta again is boring at this point.

I couldn't agree more but man, was he hard on her! Frankly, tonight he showed more bias towards Poh than he did towards his former employee.  Apparently it was OK by him that Poh's first dish had half raw grey buckwheat pasta floating around in it so thank God Mel and Andy obviously outvoted him.

That aside, I really enjoyed tonight's episode for a few reasons.  Firstly, the two people I wanted gone first actually went first i.e. Poh and Laura, in that order.  Secondly, I am liking Reece more and more this season because he has made genuine and significant improvement from two years ago.  Then, he used to pretty much only make frozen desserts, but with truly ridiculous flavour combinations which sometimes worked but mostly didn't.  He virtually never cooked savoury.  For him to cook the best dish in a jungle curry pressure test the other night is astonishing and tonight, he was clever and strategic in starting his second round dish during the first around and his third round dish during the second.  He deserved that win.  But the third and main reason I loved the episode is that unlike Poh, who seems to be under the impression she's very humourous, Emilia is actually hilarious! The multiple whisks, the gumby running, the apologising to the judges for her third round dish being "a brick on a plate" - I loved it and I want to see more of it!  

The recap is where I found the "Where's Andy" pic - I'm glad I wasn't the only one who couldn't unsee it tonight! 

Wally.png

Edited by katisha
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Jock tried so hard to keep Poh in that immunity challenge.  Yeah, the pasta was crap but everything else was soooo good.  Nice try, Jock.

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I hate to say it because it sounds mean but Poh and the obvious judge bias are ruining this season for me.  Three out of four made desserts and, of course, Jock gets his way and Tessa loses out to...wait for it...Poh.  Of course.

It is indeed The Poh Show. 

Edited by limecoke
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I liked this new challenge. Lots of dishes and it sort of simulated a multiple course service cook. I wanted them to make a coherent meal though ~app, main, dessert!

Happy for Reece. Everyone seems to have their own little nickname for Emelia. She must be very well liked. 

Can't believe Jock was gonna put Poh through with that trash pasta. 

Is Andy afraid Jock is trying to trap him or something, he keeps using the "avoidance method" in situations like this:

Jock: What do you think of the pasta?

Andy: ...Well, you're the Italian, you tell me.

Jock: Andy, taste Reece's curry, how is it?

Andy: ...Um, here, see for yourself. (hands him a spoon of it)

 

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I used to be a huge fan of this show during seasons 1-4 or so, but I haven't watched a lot of the newer seasons, mostly because of the now-ex judges.

Having seen most of the current season and knowing no one else who's watching, I have a lot of thoughts, and I'll try to ramble as little as possible:

Jock and Andy need to stop screaming. And as loud as they repeatedly yell, "Social distancing!" I don't buy for a nanosecond that the show is following those rules with the cast and/or crew.

I like Poh. I completely understand the litany of reasons people object to her, her edit, and the fact that she'll probably make it to the end, but I'm still rooting for her.

I would happily eat at Brandon's restaurant, but either he is the least charismatic person in the history of this show or the editors hate him. (I didn't see his original season so I don't know if he came across better.)

The "Reece is now a contender to win" edit this week is so ridiculous. Did they need nine episodes to telegraph him getting immunity? Also, I don't think he's a contender at all.

I hope Reynold doesn't win and I would never go to his restaurant. 

The background music continues to bring my blood pressure to stroke level.

Last, on a totally bitchy note, I would have loved them bringing Emma Dean to this series as a non-competing participant just so she could make the worst dish in every challenge.

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Yeah, no, there were ways to tell Laura that making pasta yet again is boring without being an asshole about it, Jock.

Gutted for Emelia's choux pastry, lol. Also, that bit where she retells putting together the mille-feuille and just goes "And then I did it again... and again... and again... and again" cracked me up.

1 hour ago, Aerobicidal said:

The "Reece is now a contender to win" edit this week is so ridiculous. Did they need nine episodes to telegraph him getting immunity? Also, I don't think he's a contender at all.

Completely agree. Also, Reece, the judges keep telling you that you're the bestest evah episode after episode, maybe you could stop acting like you have noooo clue how that even happened every single time. It's starting to bug.

Is it me or is "which dish we'd want to eat again" a BS criterion to settle a tie between two dishes? Shouldn't it be which one more closely fit the brief; in this case, hero-ed the pumpkin (I guess)?

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Simon must be crying at home seeing the challenges for this week. All of these fruit/vegetable challenges and a smoking gun challenge in the same week!

I think the criteria for this immunity challenge should have been like last week's where they had scores for the 3 courses. Emelia should have won this by a landslide with 2 excellent dishes and 1 good dish vs. 2 good dishes and 1 mediocre dish for Reece. The judges are really pushing the contender Reece edit a bit too strongly. Every dish of his had faults and the Masterchef title won't be won by a knockout style elimination.

I don't understand Jock's criticism of Emelia's 2nd dish with the pine nuts. Obviously she used the pine nuts because it works well with her cake. To substitute that with pumpkin seeds for the sake of them being there is dumb.

Reece's 2nd dish with the cake had a major fault. Andy said that there was too much cardamom, therefore, the dish itself is out of balance. The other judges should have taken that into account when deciding between Laura's and Reece's. Is slightly undercooked pasta that much of a crime vs. an unbalanced dessert?

As we're coming down to the wire, I'm finding myself disagreeing more with the judges' decisions. Some of it comes down to the lack of knowledge/experience of the judges but I feel that some are based on the backstory or narrative of the contestant where they will use that to influence their decision.

Edited by ppl
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41 minutes ago, ppl said:

Reece's 2nd dish with the cake had a major fault. Andy said that there was too much cardamom, therefore, the dish itself is out of balance. The other judges should have taken that into account when deciding between Laura's and Reece's. Is slightly undercooked pasta that much of a crime vs. an unbalanced dessert?

I think Melissa and Jock simply disagreed with Andy - they liked the spice level in the cake. I wondered if there was an issue of the batter not being evenly mixed & him having gotten a particularly cardamom-forward bite of it, or whether it was just an example of Andy finally, actually, not liking cake. No "I don't like cake, but" from him on this one.

And I definitely think undercooked pasta is worse than a spice level in a cake that one of three judges didn't care for.  Obviously you disagree, but that was my take!

I wish the third round had been more successful. This would have been a very difficult challenge to plan out, though. 

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1 hour ago, akr said:

I think Melissa and Jock simply disagreed with Andy - they liked the spice level in the cake. I wondered if there was an issue of the batter not being evenly mixed & him having gotten a particularly cardamom-forward bite of it, or whether it was just an example of Andy finally, actually, not liking cake. No "I don't like cake, but" from him on this one.

And I definitely think undercooked pasta is worse than a spice level in a cake that one of three judges didn't care for.  Obviously you disagree, but that was my take!

I wish the third round had been more successful. This would have been a very difficult challenge to plan out, though. 

All possible reasons for sure but I also wonder if Andy hates cardamom. It reminded me of season 4, I think, when John Torode was the guest chef and he hated (Mindy's?) dish while the trio loved it. It's very rare to see a judge dislike a dish a lot while the other 2 rave about it.

The degree to which Laura undercooked her pasta is important. From what she saw, she said the pasta looked cooked. The judges' comments, meanwhile, weren't saying that her pasta was raw, just slightly underdone. If that pasta needed 15-30 seconds more to cook through, I don't think a balanced dish with slightly undercooked pasta should lose to a "spicier", unbalanced dish.

I re-watched the judging on Reece's second dish and Andy added that he wanted more pumpkin in the dish before being cut off by Jock. If that is the case, then it's a bit more concerning. Reece made a spiced pumpkin cake. It should have been the main element and yet Andy remarked that he wanted more pumpkin. Was the cardamom overpowering the pumpkin cake or did his cake not have enough pumpkin in it?

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If I didn't strongly suspect from certain spoilers that Khanh would be the one to go tonight, his sad demeanour in the interviews would have made it pretty obvious anyway.  But at least with Poh not being involved in the elimination, it felt like a fair decision. 

Did Emilia suddenly getting all emotional feel a bit like a story arc to anyone else?  I mean, don't get me wrong, I like her - it just felt a bit out of place. 

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EMELIA!!! My heart squeezed a bit when she broke down about how important the competition was to her. I am SO HAPPY she pulled it off exactly like she wanted to and now I desperately need her to make the top 3. Her power is such that I have now actively started liking Laura by association. Their friendship is so genuine and sweet.

Can't say I was sad to see Khanh go but I liked his self-awareness regarding there being people going through so much worse than being eliminated from a reality show.

Was hoping one of them would pick Peru (my country) in the second round, but given how hilariously lost Tessa and Brendan were when doing Mexican food, maybe it was for the best, haha.

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For impatient overseas viewers, here is the latest recap. She was in good form last night!

Poh and Callum are cooking Lebanese food – they say they are doing hummus but turns out it is a coriander and pistachio version, so I bid them good luck as they enrage the entire Lebanese community of Australia for butchering a traditional dish. They are also making flatbreads with slow-cooked lamb, because Poh would like to inflict her anxious style of time-bending cooking onto poor, innocent Callum.

Tessa and Brendan are really concerned because they have never been to Mexico. Tessa says she will have to rely on her "Western knowledge" of Mexican cuisine. I thought Mexico was part of the "Western world", but I guess she just means she will take inspiration from her late night Guzman y Gomez orders.

Callum is looking like the guy who got stuck with the most annoying person in class for the group assignment. He says that he and Poh have "reasonably different cooking styles", which is to say that Callum cooks like a normal, reliable person and Poh cooks like that friend who is always late, never replies to your messages, promises to shout you breakfast, but you end up paying the bill because she forgot her wallet. Callum suggests to Poh that they drop one element because he thinks there is not enough time. Poh says "no, no, no, no, no", which Callum takes as a firm "no".

 

Edited by katisha
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I cracked up when Khahn started speaking Vietnamese. I kind of think Brendan should have gone before Khahn; he seems to be kind of sneaking through the cracks. 

At least Callum benefitted from the Poh save this week. 

I would have liked to know what Reynold's "complex" sauce tasted like, but I guess I'll just have to make something up. There's 3 fucking elements on his dish and the judges can't even give me a hint. Argh! I'm glad he's staying in the competition though, cuz it gives us a break from all the crying. : D

Was pretty sure Emelia's dish would work out what with the breakdown and the Hallmark Channel music playing in the background. I believe in you, girl! I would have made that a two-biter, though. I still haven't decided if her red lipstick is too red. I mean, it is RED. Like, "the Joker" red. I'm still debating. 

Edited by TVbitch
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Oh...

First, I've been so behind all season, with the pandemic and quarantine bringing about all sorts of unforeseen circumstances, that I've watched this episode just yesterday and needed a bit of time to recollect.

Second, I was left very, very sad after watching. 🥺

I'd like to honour the great Khan, even though he doesn't seem to have gathered a big fan base. This guy is the real stuff. His core self is the real stuff. The stuff we don't encounter all that often in a whole lifespan. Do you remember that time in his season when he won a challenge over a chef upon choosing Vegemite over peanut butter? And how he went all out creating a stupendous multi-dish meal with half of Poh's drama and twice the delivery?  That's when he got me.  That's the episode of all of MasterChef's seasons that I can't get tired of watching.  This little amateur cook pitted against an experienced restaurateur shoveled down the drain through sheer clear logical thinking.  "He's not from Australia, he's not gonna know Vegemite that well.  He's gonna know peanut butter, though. Vegemite it is, then!"  And bang. Khan isn't from Australia either, mind you.  But he has a brain that's something else than a grayish serpent-like mass sitting under his skull.

I was all about my boy Callum when the lineup was first announced. But this person called Khan rightly distracted me, and rooting for him just happened as it should have.

Fake drama? Never.  Honesty? There on the plate with his food, no matter whether he was proud of it or not.  Hardworking? Positive? Dynamic? Enthusiastic? Knowledgeable? Humble?  Tick, tick, and tick.  And look carefully at the opening scene, he brightens the place with his sheer happiness, true laughter. Even if the season has been somewhat disappointing on my side, I would sometimes tune in just to take in Khan's happiness, to the point of wishing he would end up in the elimination challenge just to get some of his contagious joy of cooking.

I'm just a naturally happy gal.  Happy people make me happy.  Brilliant people give me joy.  I was very sad that he went, he deserved to go further much, but I'm glad I got to know him, twice, and will never forget that big huge smile and joy of living that have brightened many nights of a lonely quarantine. 🙂

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^ If I could like that A THOUSAND TIMES, I would. 😭❤️

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11 hours ago, Myriad said:

"He's not from Australia, he's not gonna know Vegemite that well.  He's gonna know peanut butter, though. Vegemite it is, then!"  And bang. Khan isn't from Australia either, mind you.  But he has a brain that's something else than a grayish serpent-like mass sitting under his skull.

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!)

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