There was another episode where the contestants had to make burger, fries and a milkshake. Except the challenge was set by the mind blowing Heston Blumenthal, which meant that the contestants had to prepare their own bun, cheese, tomato ketchup, fries and an incredibly complex burger patty. The other two episodes I really enjoyed took place in NYC. In one of them, each contestant was sent to a different part of NYC - such as Harlem which is predominantly African-American and Bronx which is a tough Italian neighbourhood - to spend a day there and create a dish that was inspired by that neighbourhood. The person who created the worst dish would spend the rest of the week in lock down (inside their NYC hotel) and would emerge only at the end of the week for an elimination challenge. This episode gave me my first favourite of the season - Billy. He was sent to the Bronx, which is supposed to be a hot bed of Italian mafia in the US, and he represented that in the way he plated up his dish - he spattered red sauce very artistically all over his plate to represent blood!
The other NYC episode I really enjoyed was when the judges appeared to the contestants on the electronic displays at Times Square and told them that they would be cooking for a dinner party for chefs. The contestants were broken off into pairs. Each team had to find a clue directing them to a restaurant where the head chef would show them how to cook the recipe, and then cook it themselves. This challenge involved running across NYC and had to be completed in a very short time frame.
This season of MC has had its share of controversies as well. One of the contestants was thrown out of the competition b/c he sneaked in a smartphone into the house while the others had no means of communicating with the outside world and/or looking up recipes. Then there were allegations that the contestants are allowed to plate up their dishes even after their time is up, so the dishes can look good on camera. And then there's this online hate wave going on against one of the contestants, Dani, who has made it to the top 4 but I would have to agree with people who say she doesn't belong there.
Most people don't like her b/c they find her very annoying - she's loud and in-your-face and doesn't have the talent to make up for it. She makes the stupidest of mistakes, is the most inconsistent of all contestants - she is brilliant on some days but such days are few and far between, and mostly she has bad days when she cries to gain sympathy from the judges. Unfortunately, she's the only contestant in MC Aus to have won 2 immunity pins. One of them was won genuinely cooking off against a professional chef while the other was a joke - she beat the winner of 'Celebrity Masterchef'. She used that immunity pin to get to the top 4, and that turned people off her even more b/c other more talented people had to go home.
I can't wait to get my friends' reactions once MC Aus starts in India. It's a good season...you'll enjoy it. And don't forget to tell me who your favourite contestant is. Only, I'll know their fate before you do! :D