Gah, it seems like so long ago that this journey began – millions of hopefuls became thousands, then hundreds, then tens, then nine, eight, seven etc.. and now there’s just three. But pause for a moment to lament those that didn’t make it. Old freaky-deaky who put a black forest gateau in a pint glass, Iranian mum who could cook meat with dried fruit like you wouldn’t believe, the Mitchell brothers, the Scottish lesbian looking one who couldn’t do anything but pudding. That maniac Aki. It’s been real. Almost too real. And lo, here we were. John, Gregg, an embossed cutlery set, and three finalists – Andrew, Tom and Shelina. This was it. Please, please, just don’t be Tom. Be anyone but Tom. Preferably be Shelina. Just don’t be Tom.
And so it began. Cooking. Doesn’t. Get. Tougher. Than. This.
Part One: Getting to know the real them
First stop, let’s all find out more about Tom. This was going to be great. So it goes that he moved house a few times, then ended up living somewhere or other in Yorkshire. He’s got a bunch of family members, and his brother wears pink shoelace bandanas. Great to meet you. Nice one Tom.
Next Andrew, who used to spend his summers chasing all manner of insects around the South of France. He went to Oxford University, then came out as a heterosexual by marrying some chick called Gemma and putting a baby inside her vagina using his cock. His smile has always been really lovely.
Finally Shelina, who is from a place called Southampton. She used to be a little Indian boy, before she grew up to be the buxom world of woman. She met her husband in a wine bar, and in one shot near the end of the segment, Shelina looked poignantly out to sea. We all looked out with her. Figuratively. And in some cases, really. Bloody moving.
Part Two: The bit where they cook
Dramatic synthesiser music. Gregg wandered in wearing a suit with a waistcoat on. “Prove that you’re the best!” shrieked John, as they all began slowly slicing vegetables and looking out of the window. Three hours, three courses. The intense-o-meter moving steadily up from around 6 to at least 9 (10 being the highest level on intensity). It was intense.
Shelina’s plan was to blow minds with a starter of Octopus and jelly, followed by mutton curry, and mango surprise for afters. “It’s basically beach food,” she said to Gregg who smiled like a happy potato because check this – Gregg fucking LOVES beach food! It’s what he eats. Cue break beats!
Tom – famous for sounding like a Yorkshire farmer doing a piss poor Joe Pasquale impersonation – opted to do big prawns in soup, a stuffed quail, then the rhubarb Spaghetti Bolognese thing that he messed up during yesterday’s amuse bouche round. “This is the kind of thing I cook in my imaginary restaurant,” he sighed, with a knife in one hand, and a worried quail in the other. Tribal beats!
To Andrew – “I’m here to win,” he giggled, popping lovely bits of cheese onto some beautifully cut leeks. His plan was to start with lobster, pork belly and strawberries, then move on to lamb in soya… hang on… STRAWBERRIES? That is fucking ridiculous. “I don’t want them to think I overcomplicate anything,” continued Andrew, whilst overcomplicating everything with strawberries. Strawberries.
Fucking strawberries. Yacht racing music, kung fu sound effects added to things like stirring a sauce or chopping a carrot, John wandering around freaking everyone out by making clock-ticking noises with his tongue. “Stop cooking!” yelled Gregg, pointing at each of the chefs, then at their ovens. Then back at the chefs. His point being that everyone should stop cooking.
Part 3: When they try the stuff then choose a winner
Tom was up first, and they loved the starter – Gregg even made a hilarious joke about a prawn going on holiday to Thailand. A prawn! John was so taken by the main that he wanted to swear, but instead chose to simply suggest that it was “cunting fantastic”. And then both had issues with the pudding. Minor stuff, but enough to suggest that Tom may have mugged himself off. Time would tell.
Next, Shelina. The goddess with the mostest. Her octopus salad made John want to weep actual Australian tears of bewilderment, her mutton was melt-in-the-mouth wonderment, and then her pudding of mango with mango and mango tented the Wallace trousers in the usual fashion. Great job.
Then Andrew arrived with a wonderful array of food, plus STRAWBERRIES. They didn’t like the strawberries. It was a telegraphed error. All was lost. It didn’t matter that they loved everything else, Andrew had fucked himself with a big old punnet of stupid.
It was over – “That was one amazing lunch!” declared Gregg, holding his arms to the sky like he was trying to hug Jesus. “We will now talk at length.”
Which they did. Violin music became harp music, which in turn morphed into plinky plonky guitar bullshit.
“Our Masterchef champion is… Shelina!”
And everyone cheered and laughed, and then coughed champagne everywhere.