MasterChef contestants, judges shocked by first elimination
MasterChef's judges and contestants were shocked by the first elimination of the season, as a competition favourite was sent packing over his "beige" and "textureless" efforts.
During Sunday's episode, the contestants had 90 minutes on the clock to cook a dish to impress the judges - but the five with the least impressive dishes had to compete again in a second round, using only the time remaining on the clock.
Contestant Poh Ling Yeow took a big gamble, using the full 90 minutes to bake a cake that she'd usually spend double the amount of time on: "I am a massive risk taker, I used to do this in season one and I'm doing it again," she said.
And her gamble paid off - Poh finished the cake and scored glowing critiques with six minutes left on the clock.
With pressure mounting, contestants Lynton Tapp and Rose Adam were the bottom two - and Lynton was sent home.
The judges were not impressed with Lynton's blue swimmer crab with buckwheat and grilled asparagus, the result of a cooking process he admitted was "frantic and intense."
Judge Andy Allen said the dish looked "beige," and the disappointment grew when he had a bite: "Wow. I didn't expect that, and it hurts me, because he's a very talented cook."
Fellow judge Jock Zonfrillo didn't hold back: "Lynton, Lynton, Lynton. It's quite a dull, textureless dish. There's nothing going on there."
As the judges delivered the news that Lynton was first to leave, his fellow contestants reacted with utter shock. It was a surprisingly swift elimination for one of the season's most well-liked contestants - particularly given in his original 2013 season, Tapp made it all the way to runner-up.
"Guys, there's a lot of shocked faces there, and to be honest, we were shocked too," said Andy Allen. "Lynton, I've said this before: You're right up there with the best cooks in the competition, but today just wasn't your day. You've had the highest of highs … but unfortunately the lowest of lows."
How can Lynton go from 2nd in his year to first eliminated? #MasterchefAU— Drew Pearson (@Drew_1981) April 19, 2020
While the early defeat stung, Lynton said he was excited to be returning home to his wife and their seven-month-old son Atticus.
"It's unfortunate I didn't get to continue through the competition. Of course I enjoyed it. There's no downside to me - I go home to my beautiful l little boy and my gorgeous wife."
All eyes have been on this season of MasterChef with the debut of three new judges after George Calombaris, Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan abruptly exited the show over a pay dispute at the end of last season.
So far, so good: This season was an instant ratings hit, drawing more than 1.2 million viewers for its debut episode - a huge improvement on the 715,000 who'd tuned in to last year's season premiere.
This week news.com.au dug up some little-known facts about the show everyone's watching - here are a few that may surprise you:
JUDGES EAT COLD FOOD
By the time it takes to move cameras around for each segment, most of the meals are cold when the judges finally get to have a taste.
"Some things do get reheated if it's like a sauce," ex-judge George Calombaris admitted to Nova radio in 2015, "but when we say, 'Stop cooking' we do a quick wander of the room and taste stuff out of their pot."
Calombaris said the judges then have to fake it for when the cameras start recording.
"It has always been cold and it always will be cold, but we taste everything hot off camera," Calombaris said.
IT'S TENSE IN THE HOUSE
This year's contestants are sleeping over a few apartments, but in past seasons, the contestants have piled in together in one mansion. It could make for a tense environment.
The 2017 runner-up Ben Ungermann told news.com.au there were some "nasty arguments" in the house during his season.
"When you're put into a house with 24 strangers not everyone is going to get along - that's just the way it is," he said.
"Sometimes cookbooks went missing, and there were some pretty nasty arguments.
"But as time went on, we became a family. When you see contestants on the show hugging each other, it's all real, there's no acting involved.
"Think about it: You're living together for months, and you have no contact with the outside world, so even if you fight, it's like fighting with your brother or sister because you care for them and understand what they're going through."
BALCONY SPECTATORS ANNOY THE CHEFS
Do you ever watch MasterChef and get annoyed at the "safe" people sitting up there on the balcony putting their two cents in?
Turns out the chefs do too.
2012 contestant Alice Zaslavsky said there were moments that often don't make it to air where the cooks would get angry at those on the balcony.
"A couple of times, and it usually doesn't make it to TV, the contestants specifically looked up (at the balcony) and said: "Can you guys just shut up?"
MasterChef Australia continues 7:30pm Monday on Ten.
Originally published as MasterChef elimination nobody predicted
And that’s the problem with the format of everyone being in elimination. Lynton was in the best three chefs this week, gets no benefit from that and then he’s gone #MasterChefAU— Alex Mitchell (@alexmitchy_) April 19, 2020