Celebrity Masterchef: Ep. 5

“What was a person, if not the things they knew and the face they wore?”

Catherynne Valente

Actually, I think this is quite an old episode of Celebrity Masterchef. But, much as I would like to, I can’t write about Game of Thrones every day.

This episode was even more of a copout than usual. It began when the assorted “celebrities” (including, apparently, a Chelsea Socialite named Millie) were told to make pizza. With pre-made dough. I mean, really? Pizza? On Masterchef? Anyone with taste buds and basic common sense can make pizza. I made pizza on one of those children’s cookery workshops they have at Pizza Express at the age of five and it tasted fine.

Well, apparently these celebrities have neither taste buds nor common sense, because most of the pizzas (with the exception of Chelsea Socialite Millie’s and Alex Ferns’ of Eastenders) were complete and utter disasters. A woman called Leslie Ash, who appears to be famous purely for one sitcom, forgot that tomato is a key element of your basic pizza. Dancer Wayne Sleep made what Greg called “a relief map of Australia”. Tania Bryer served up what was essentially soggy dough. Clearly, they all need to be sent to Pizza Express to do the children’s workshop again.

Then it’s on to the fun and games which is the restaurant challenge, and happily this felt a little less contrived than usual, with the head chef announcing “I don’t expect you to be particularly competent.” Usually they treat the celebrities as if they are experts, so that was a breath of fresh air. It did seem, however, that some of the contestants had it a little easier than others: Eastenders Alex was essentially putting kebabs in an oven and taking them out again (he did get to do a sea bass at one point, which just proves that he had too much time on his hands), while Chelsea Socialite Millie, who was clearly a good cook, struggled along making delicate Indian pancakes and throwing most of them away. This seemed unfair to me.

Finally, though, was the test where the contestants got to make their own food, and everyone seemed to have improved vastly by this point. Dancer Wayne even attempted a foam, despite not having cooked for thirty years previously; it was a disaster, of course, but it was amusing  to watch, and he seemed to be having fun, too. And, for once, the contestant who got kicked out seemed to be the one who deserved it most.

Like most episodes of Masterchef, this was mildly entertaining brain-fluff. The celebrities were all good sports, the judges were kind and the restaurateurs generous with their compliments. Oh, and the food looked good, too.

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