10 out of 10 therapists would not reccomend.
I did not get the memo about the change of schedule.
A Little Cloche For Comfort
FINALLY. I get to talk about what might be the most bonkers reality TV casting we’ve had in quite awhile as Apl.de.Ap (aka The Guy From The Black Eyed Peas Whose Name You Don’t Know. No Not Him, The Other One.)
there is literally no reason for him to be doing this? He could live more comfortably than most of us off the royalties of I Gotta Feeling alone. Everyone else I kind of understand – out of work soap actors, 1 contractually obligated Strictly Come Dancing Pro and of course after 2 years Nando’s stops sending the Love Islanders free gift cards
however, I would not wish Apl away because he is instantly cemented in my heart forever for serving John and Gregg half a baked potato each to eat with a spoon
and there is just something incredibly funny about quite how many beauty shots the production team had to do of this solitary little potato
no angle left unchecked, we are now intimately familiar with Apl’s Vitruvian Potato. He had planned to serve it with a side dish, the side dish being (and you’ll never guess this) Just More Mushrooms, Goat’s Cheese and Potatoes which he did nix upon realising that he was just serving Half a Baked Potato with a Deconstructed Half A Baked Potato
I literally love him.
In a more expected casting decision, this year’s Strictly Come Dancing Sacrifice was Dianne Buswell who is apparently the Candlestick Maker of the family
there’s the bones of a joke about Joe Sugg looking like Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast in here somewhere but I am the last person who should be saying anyone looks like a possessed candelabra.
Dianne wasn’t going to get the chance to show off any peripheral Butchery or Baking knowledge she’d gained through familial osmosis as she’d been given King Oyster Mushrooms, or to use their scientific name “Big Bad Boy Mushrooms”
Big Bad Boy Mushroom is also the name of my favourite member of Wu-Tang Clan.
I did laugh because amongst the extra ingredients that the celebs could choose from there was a bowl of mushrooms that included King Oyster Mushrooms
was there nothing else you could have put under Dianne’s cloche? It did at least mean there were plenty of them for Dianne to inflict fungal sacrilege against by turning them into a soup that texturally challenged the notions of what a soup is
what do this year’s celebs have against liquids? No soup nor sauce is safe.
Somehow there were still mushrooms to spare and so Dianne served up a Mushroom Bruschetta
which had enough garlic on it to completely clear out Transylvania and as much as I enjoyed John rasping away like Van Helsing
THIS was my favourite critique
Ma’am, you failed to make toast.
In a true first for Celebrity MasterChef we had someone actively wishing that they’d lift the cloche to reveal the lifeless stare of a whole seabass looking back at them because as it turns out this year’s Love Islander, Luca Bish, was once upon a time a fishmonger. Sadly for him he drew a bit of a short straw and ended up with a piece of pork that he cooked with nothing but unveiled contempt
the star of the dish was truly the waterpark slide of a carrot because the pork suffered from the forward marching Anti-sauce Agenda that has plagued the competition thus far.
Luca wasn’t going to go down without touching a fish though and he was going to get his hands on the fish that eluded him no matter what! The recipients of said elusive seafood being Michael Praed with scallops and Amy Walsh who held a sea bream aloft like some sort of Bat Signal to summon the vigilante fishmonger to her aid
luckily he was more than obliging and talked her through the filleting of her bream a bit like the pottery scene from Ghost
it’s a little less sexy, unless of course you’re into that sort of thing and have been banned from the local aquarium
sometimes we kink shame.
As for what Amy was doing with her bream, she #defaulted to using the Three Horsemen of a MasterChef Panic by lumping some chorizo, tomatoes and chickpeas into a saucepan and hoping it reminded John of Barcelona
they get the job done and while it’s not the most exciting dish she had at least cooked the fish pretty damn perfectly, but you would too if you had Luca Bish standing across the room threatening you with death if you harmed his little fish friends.
Michael didn’t fair quite so well, but he was a little up against it considering this was Gregg’s sage advice to everyone
you can’t say that and then dump a load of unprepared scallops in someone’s lap
luckily The Scalloped Avenger was on hand to talk him through the delicate process
which did lead Michael to developing a bit of a bad habit of just running up to people with an ingredient and asking them how to cook it
Amy’s internal monologue wondering if she could dare betray the man that once played her on-screen father, but instead she betrayed the parsnip and doomed it to becoming a puree that I’m not sure can legally be described as puree
in fact, I’m not really sure how you would describe that texture – it sort of defies the laws of culinary logic akin to school cafeteria mashed potato. The rest of his plate didn’t garner a great deal of praise, save for the scallops which were of course perfectly cooked under threat of death
but it is absolutely just a collection of things on a plate from the weirdest wedding buffet dinner you’ve ever seen.
An Under The Cloche Dish Ranking
1. Amy’s Bream with ~Spanish Flare~
2. Luca’s Pork Vendetta
3. The Most Photographed Baked Potato
4. Michael’s Buffet of Absurdity
5. Dianne’s Mushroom Regicide Two Ways
Dinner Party Madness
Control was now firmly in the hands of the celebs as they treated us to their potential Come Dine With Me offerings. This did of course mean that Luca could finally show off and cook some fish
his poisson of choice being cod which he was serving with Orange Zest Champ and Asparagus
God bless the fact that it is so palpably obvious that he went for cookery lessons with someone and his main takeaway from them was that you should always present your meat next to a pile of potato with some veggies ramping down the side of it
Hey, it went down well with John and Gregg, less successful though was the fact his cod was indeed overcooked, possibly because he was a little distracted by playing Formula 1
I do love the annual Adorable Himbo trope that Celebrity MasterChef heavily leans into.
As for his dessert, he was pretty forthcoming about the fact he’d been taught how to do it
although given the fact it was a poached pear, I’m not sure that’s the most riveting masterclass to watch
and while it is just a poached pear and I have made my feelings about that abundantly clear, given the power of hindsight and the knowledge of poached pears to come, I shall grant Luca praise for actually managing to cook one properly given Apl and Michael Praed made it look like a Herculean feat of endurance and cunning.
Luca wasn’t the only one doing fish and he also wasn’t the only one overcooking it as Dianne’s salmon was a little overdone, but she hadn’t gone quite so far as to cook the colour out of it (I am still baffled as to how Remi and Dave Benson Phillips managed to do that)
Dianne very quickly fell into the greatest pitfall of Celebrity MasterChef which is cooking absolutely joyless food because I can tell you right now, nobody is happy when you serve them salmon with noodles made out of vegetables with the lightest smear of Cheat’s Beurre Blanc Sauce, and the proof of this is that this was all the praise John could muster for her vegetable shoelaces
the very definition of damning with faint praise.
Dianne’s dessert didn’t get much better as she’d really skimped on the sugar
you realise you were serving this to Gregg Wallace, right babe? The man bleeds treacle. Two tablespoons is only a little more sugar than Amy was meant to put in her chicken curry. John however focused on the presentation of her Modestly Sweet Strawberry Shortcakes
sadly the smear of cream did not give her gnarled little Demi-scones that Michelin star flare.
Apl was extremely happy that he wasn’t being shoved into a goat’s cheese pigeonhole again, and was finally able to cook the Filipino food that he loves so much, opening his menu with a Chicken Adobo
sadly the anti-sauce agenda continued as Apl performed some sort of banishment ritual to exile his sauce to another dimension
but they did like the flavours of the whole thing and save for the larger chunks of potatoes, it was all perfectly cooked.
Apl’s dessert was more of a nod to his LA life as he was making churros served with a coffee and chocolate dipping sauce
and you immediately knew this wasn’t going to be good when both John and Gregg opened up their critiques by praising his skills at melting chocolate – it wasn’t a complete disaster but the churros were a little marred by the fact he’d oversalted them, which was a bit of a common problem in the kitchen
at least it wasn’t in her dessert, but it did mean there was at least 4 day’s worth of your daily salt intake in her Butter Chicken Curry
it was quite good though – the chicken was cooked perfectly and the sauce was a great texture, it was just a little unfortunate that her main didn’t quite reach the heights of praise that her Mango Lassi Posset earned her
I thought this was a really clever dessert and I enjoyed that her two dishes felt connected.
Lastly we have Michael, who did actually play Amy’s father on Emmerdale and they were kind enough to supply us with this glorious screenshot devoid of any context
the Renaissance masters could NEVER.
And like any good Fake Dad, he had plenty of chocolate buttons on hand for Amy to snaffle as she warded off a salt-induced panic attack
or at least I assume they were the leftover chocolate buttons and not pieces of his Calves’ Liver
not that there’d have been any liver to snaffle because John and Gregg were huge fans of the dish – possibly because Michael had deigned to give them a decent amount of sauce, but he had also perfectly cooked the livers.
Michael was closing out his menu with the always risky Chocolate Fondants
I do enjoy that their squatness makes them look like a flapjack octopus
however, despite them looking like they had the structural integrity of a boneless sea creature, they were not oozing in the middle
not a complete washout though because they were still moist and the judges both liked his balance of sweet and bitter.
A Dinner Party Dish Ranking
1. Amy’s Thankfully Unsalted Posset
2. Michael’s Liver la Vida Loca
3. Apl’s Interdimensional Sauce Banishment Ritual
4. Michael’s Chocolate Flapjack Octopi
5. You Don’t Win Friends With Poached Pears
6. Amy’s Buttered Chicken of the Sea
7. Chocolate Salty… Churros
8. -20 Fishmonger Points for Luca Bish
9. Dianne’s Gritty Reboot of Strawberry Shortcake
10. Dianne’s Bed of Vegetable Shoelaces
It didn’t feel like anyone from this week did outstandingly well and none of them are giving me Finalists vibes except maybe Amy? But given that Strictly and MasterChef have a turbulent relationship I wasn’t surprised that Dianne “Queen of Week 4 Eliminations” Buswell was the first eliminee of Masterchef’s 4th week of heats
tradition is tradition.
And so we head into our final pairs challenge!
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