My Kitchen Rules Recap: Barbecuing For Failures
Finally, after sixty-three weeks of instant restaurants, it is time for Group 1 — AKA “the worthless group” — and Group 2 — AKA “the other worthless group that can cook slightly better” — to come together and compete against each other. As the voiceover guy says, “The competition is turned on its head, and I have ruptured my spleen.”
At Elimination House, the sun is shining and God is dead. Emily claims she’s been waiting and waiting and waiting to cook again, but the question she can’t answer is, “Who is Emily?” Pete, dressed in white to represent the white tusks of a woolly mammoth, and Manu, dressed in blue to represent elemental sadness, welcome the two groups.
Roula and Rachael complain about the looks Group 2 are giving them, because apparently Group 2 are doing impersonations of Roula and Rachael. “Bring it on,” says Roula, and Group 2 finds that very cute.
Manu congratulates the teams on surviving the instant restaurants, I think, or something like that. “From here on, it’s Group One versus Group Two,” he announces.
“We are so ready to show these other teams who’s boss and who’s going to win,” says Rachael, which is a bit odd, because why is she so eager to show the other team that she is going to lose?
Manu says some increasingly incomprehensible things, and then the groups form huddles and pretend to be friends. It quickly becomes clear that Hadil and Alicia both consider themselves to be in charge of Group Two, and that they will be insufferable for a very long time.
Group Two puts up Georgie and Alicia to represent them. Group One puts up Kim and Suong, knowing that if they can’t cook, at least they’ll ensure the washing up is done properly. The losing group will go into an elimination cook-off and we’ll start thinning this much too thick herd.
“We’ve got a lot of pressure on our shoulders, but we’re used to pressure,” Alicia tells Georgie, referring to their viciously tyrannical parents’ ongoing psychological abuse.
The challenge is to make an Aussie barbecue, so Kim and Suong are making Asian chicken. As they point out, Australia is multicultural, so really the term “Aussie” is meaningless. Whether “Asian chicken” means the method of preparation is Asian, or the chicken itself has been captured in an Asian country, they do not say.
“We can’t lose,” says Alicia. Ever notice how Georgie doesn’t talk?
Pete explains to Manu how barbecuing works. Manu nods wisely, planning to use this information in his role in the new comedy film “The BBQ” with Shane Jacobson, out now.
Thirty minutes to go, and Manu wants everyone to keep up the pace. Or possibly to keep taking the piss. One or the other. Among the spectators, Marco explains to the Russians that in an Aussie barbecue you don’t need vegetables. You get the feeling he’s lucky not to have his neck snapped between two muscular thighs.
“We’re not intimidated,” says Rachael, which might be because she’s not actually involved in the challenge. Rachael believes that Georgie and Alicia aren’t using enough spices, and that Kim and Suong are extremely good at spices. Worth reminding ourselves that Rachael belongs to a team that got 63 out of 130 for their instant restaurant, and that her judgment of what’s good and what’s bad is in no way worth paying attention to.
Kim and Suong are panicking because the wind is too strong and the barbecue isn’t hot enough and there are so many stubborn stains that need lifting.
Group One begins yelling “KIM AND SUONG” because they don’t have anything useful to say. Georgie and Alicia roll their eyes, grateful they belong to a group devoid of emotion or camaraderie.
Meanwhile Jazzey is looking over at Henry and leaking from various places. “When it comes to boys I have two strategies,” says Jazzey. One strategy is to half-close her eyes and gape at him, and the other strategy is to go on a cooking show and hope a farmer agrees to fuck her.
Georgie, against all odds, starts talking. She explains that she and her sister are trying today to make a dish that is good and will win. Typical devious strategy.
Meanwhile Suong has noticed that there is no heat under her chicken. It’s possible that Georgie and Alicia don’t have all that much to worry about. As she tries to turn the burner on, Josh berates her from the balcony. “Worry about the chicken!” he yells, even though THAT IS LITERALLY WHAT SHE IS DOING, SHE IS TRYING TO TURN ON THE FIRE SO SHE CAN COOK THE CHICKEN BECAUSE SHE IS WORRYING ABOUT THE CHICKEN YOU DICKHEAD.
Jesus Christ, these people.
“Down Under” begins playing, funnelling more royalties to the good folks at the Larrikin Music Corporation. Bless them.
Finally time is up. And to think after this we have to go through another whole fricking challenge. Sheesh. Anyway, Kim and Suong serve their dodgy chicken and Pete and Manu take the plunge and risk salmonella. Georgie and Alicia bring over their big heap of meat and prawns and corn and shit, and tell the judges that it is perfect. Insultingly, Manu and Pete refuse to take their word for it, and insist on tasting it themselves. “Happy with how your prawns are cooked?” Pete asks passive-aggressively. Alicia says she is, but Pete doesn’t tell her if that’s the right answer or not. Manu asks if they could’ve done more. The sisters say they could’ve done more but why would they given they are perfect and never do anything wrong? “So this is perfect?” in an aggressive tone reminiscent of the villainous “Andre Mont Blanc”, his character in the new smash hit Aussie flick “The BBQ”, in cinemas.
Judging time, for the first part of the episode, before we get to the second part, which promises to be even less well-paced. Pete and Manu tell Georgie and Alicia their steak and prawns were beautifully cooked, but Pete wonders if they had enough seasoning on the steak. This means that they couldn’t find anything bad to say about the dish but they don’t want to make Kim and Suong feel too bad. They compliment Kim and Suong’s chicken and damn their filthy potatoes to hell. “It’s time to find out who’s safe,” says Pete, as if we don’t already know.
The winning team is — DUH! — Georgie and Alicia.
This means the talentless gimps of Group One will have to cook against each other and one team will go home. The great thing about Group One is that no matter who goes home, we’ll enjoy watching them leave.
Manu explains the challenge: to make a “cultural dish”. Or possibly a “kell trell dech”. They must cook in the style of a culture that is important to them, either because they like it or because they hate it. Stuss continues to laughably believe he is a master of Greek cuisine. Roula begins yelling ethnic food names at Rachael. Kim and Suong put on silly hats.
Pete asks Manu how he thinks Kim and Suong will handle the disappointment of losing the group challenge. Manu answers but you can tell he doesn’t really care.
While Kim and Suong are going Vietnamese, and Stuss and Steve are going Greek, Josh and Nic are hoping to wow the judges with their pronunciation of Italian words. They begin singing “Volare” in an attempt to force all their opponents into total organ failure. “I hope you cook better than you sing!” shouts Emma, which is funny, because she knows they can’t.
Jess and Emma are making Greek food too, because even though they have no connection to Greek culture at all, they “love Greek”, which is more than I needed to know. Meanwhile Roula and Rachael are making Lebanese food because Roula was born in Lebanon, and Stella and Jazzey are also making Lebanese food, because they ate Lebanese food once.
Actually all the women are wearing funny hats. What’s going on here? Stuss and Steve are too. Only Josh and Nic aren’t. It’s weird.
Stuss explains what a souvlaki is, sounding tired and defeated. He is already sick of this show, and this life.
Spectating, Hadil is incredibly smug about Roula and Rachael making fattoush salad, because she and Sonya made fattoush salad in their instant restaurants and there’s no way anyone else could ever make good fattoush salad, and Pete and Manu will be all like, “Ugh, this isn’t like Sonya and Hadil’s fattoush salad, get this shit out of my face”. Which is arrogant and bitchy of her, but also it’s Roula and Rachael so they will definitely fuck it up.
“This is such an important sudden death challenge, because at the end, one of the teams in Group One will go home,” says Pete: so basically it’s an important sudden death challenge because it is a sudden death challenge.
We are abruptly reminded that Alex and Emily are around. They’re making Mexican food or whatever.
Roula and Rachael work hard making their shitty kofta. Hadil looks down her nose at them and pronounces that it’s not how SHE would make kofta, and it’s not how SHE would over-enunciate numerous ethnic words.
Meanwhile Stella tells Jazzey that Henry is watching her, and they’ve forgotten to make any food at all.
Jess claims that Emma is famous for her potato bake, which I guess is industry jargon for botched collagen treatments.
Over at the Vietnamese pavilion, Kim urges Suong to avoid burning the food. Suong doesn’t seem convinced that this is necessary — she’s always quite liked burnt crap.
“There’s no such thing as Mexican’t,” Alex tells Emily, but he’s working hard to change that.
Cut to the judges, who are experienced chefs but still feel the need to explain basic culinary principles to each other out loud, while the other politely nods. Meanwhile Roula has suddenly remembered what the ingredients of fattoush are, something that many experts in Lebanese cuisine consider a significant part of the process.
“We’re going really well,” Jess tells Emma, and boy is she wrong on several counts. Jess and Emma are worried that they’ve never made a potato bake on a barbecue, which must be why they thought a potato bake would be such a great thing to make in a barbecue elimination challenge. They then drop their potato bake on the ground, in a classic Jess-and-Emma move.
Steve wants to know what Stuss thinks of the chicken skewers. Stuss just can’t find the energy to care anymore. Meanwhile Rachael is constantly flipping the koftas, but hasn’t noticed that at some point a saboteur has sneaked in and swapped the koftas for dog poo.
With only seconds to go, the teams are frantically trying to plate up without thinking about how nothing they do here will fill the void within.
Time is up!
Now these poor bastard judges have to eat all this shit. They do earn their money, credit where it’s due. Serving every dish takes an incredibly long time. Jess and Emma explain they couldn’t taste the potato because they dropped it on the ground. “We considered eating it off the ground,” says Emma. “I can’t imagine you eating anything off the ground,” Pete simpers, which shows a lack of imagination on his part: it’s easy to imagine Emma eating something off the ground, as long as that something is a beehive.
Finally every dish has been sampled, and the judges have discreetly purged behind a bush.
The judges confront the teams. “None of you are free from sin,” they declare, marking each contestant with the blood of a lamb.
“You’re all good cooks,” lies Pete, before getting down to the nitty-gritty.
Kim and Suong: good. Fine. OK.
Alex and Emily: Dish of the Day! A fine reward for Alex’s tireless hat-wearing throughout the competition.
Stella and Jazzey: stunned Manu by being reasonably digestible.
Josh and Nic: “there was flavour,” says Pete, and in this competition that is, frankly, enough.
Roula and Rachael: stumbled gasping over the line. Manu specifically says they weren’t as good as Sonya and Hadil, which is hilarious.
Stuss and Steve: hot garbage.
Jess and Emma: good? What? Seriously?
That means that Stuss and Steve are out, and must return home to reflect on the virtues of self-awareness and cut out of their lives everyone who has ever told them they can cook.
One team down. Like, about fifty or something to go.
Tune in tomorrow when possibly the thing the ads keep telling us is going to happen will happen but possibly it won’t because they’re such lying bastards.
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