Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Honking Box Preview: Masterchef

Ready the Embrace soundtrack! Get India Fisher a honey and lemon! Dangle the jam roly poly in front of Gregg’s enclosure to get him all gee’d up! It’s Masterchef – the final!

As far as Masterchef series go, it’s been a good ‘un, if not quite a classic. Aside from the inconsistent scheduling and the grievous fucknut of a chef in the Gilgamesh challenge, the show has ticked along rather happily, all pleasant contestants and ickle jelly crabs and relatively good behaviour from Gregg and John. It’s settled nicely into its own little niche, which for a show that previously raised the blood pressure of much of its viewing audience, is perhaps slightly unusual.

There was, however, one star, one shining beacon of batshit-mental brilliance that made the series truly entertaining – Wacky Aki. It’s a huge shame she didn’t make it to the final, her crazy expressions, mouth-watering food and peculiar naughty-sprite quality making for an overall genius contestant. Other than her, you’d be hard pushed to remember any of the other contenders of the series.

So either it’s been a largely unmemorable affair, or it was only ever destined to come down to an Andrew/Tom/Shelina final. For what it’s worth, we reckon it’s a little from Column A, a little from Column B, but there’s no denying the right three have reached the final hurdle.

So who’ll take the trophy? Andrew’s ardour and imagination are impossible to contest, but it’s been hard to warm to him solely based on him looking like The Anointed One from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A valid reason it may not be, but them’s the breaks. Tom, meanwhile, is a likeable chap with significant skill, and has also improved the most over the series, making him the ‘journey’ contestant. (Which is ironic, given that he was stuck in London for last night’s challenge while Andrew and Shelina got to visit Holland and Belgium. It’s what’s known in the reality TV glossary as ‘being in Louis Walsh’s category.’)

But, as the final gets underway, it’s looking like Shelina could pip the boys at the post, and it’s no bad thing. Masterchef could do with another female victor. Even in the earliest episodes of this series, when past champions were invited back to poke and sniff at the efforts of 2012’s hopefuls, Thomasina Miers was somewhere at the back, was struggling for screen space amongst her six male counterparts. This in spite of her own terrestrial TV series, several books, and a (rather fantastic) chain of restaurants.

But Shelina deserves the kudos for a hell of a lot more than just having ovaries. Her skill is apparent, her creativity is unparalleled, and her passion is uncontainable. Maybe we’ll steer away from her unashamed mango-lust just a tad – the last time anyone on an elimination food format was so blatant about their love of mango was when a contestant on The Restaurant thought Raymond Blanc would be satisfied with tinned mango pulp dolloped in a cup, and went home in Week One.

So let’s raise a glass of some sort of mango liqueur to Shelina, and only hope that it’s not too presumptuous, or that we’re jinxing her win in any way. And, beyond that, we can only hope that next series, there’s a bit more oomph, a bit less Gilga-cunt, and another Aki, if such a thing could ever exist.

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