MasterChef recap: Tutti-frutti? Some of these creations are just plain loopy

"Jock and Andy swap stories about the disgusting fruit salads they were forced to eat by sadistic authority figures in ...
"Jock and Andy swap stories about the disgusting fruit salads they were forced to eat by sadistic authority figures in their youth, and chuckle over the fact that now they themselves are the sadistic authority figures." Photo: Channel 10

As the Week Of Slightly Confusing Rules continues, it's time for an invention test, wherein the contestants are able to indulge their wildest and most perverted desires. With a chance at immunity…or a chance at a chance at immunity…or…uh…a chance at immunity plus another chance at a chance at another immunity? Anyway, with a chance at something good at stake, the cooks are faced with a terrifying challenge.

As the Wiggles sang, "Fruit salad, yummy yummy". But science has since proven the Wiggles wrong, and that's the test that faces the cooks tonight: they must present a pleasing spin on humanity's most despised dish, fruit salad.

That might seem easy, everyone knows how to make a fruit salad delicious: throw it in the bin and cook a chicken instead. But in this challenge they must do something more, they must do something that is not only fruit salad-inspired, but is also genuinely pretentious.

Montana immediately begins cutting into an enormous fish, because when faced with a horrible fruit dish, fight fire with fire: cook a horrible seafood dish. "Definitely taking a bit of an artistic interpretation with it," she says, as she pours a tin of paint into the fish's mouth. 

The judges meet to discuss how awful fruit salad is. Melissa is absent today, but Andy is compensating by wearing a stunning green satin gown and hoop earrings.

Jock and Andy swap stories about the disgusting fruit salads they were forced to eat by sadistic authority figures in their youth, and chuckle over the fact that now they themselves are the sadistic authority figures.


Alvin has decided to play to his strengths, and embarks on a career in stand-up comedy. He boasts to Jock and Andy about his glutinous rice balls and they fall about the place. Jock compliments Alvin's glasses, which are a very special pair that allows him to lock onto and destroy enemies.

Sarah is feeling emotional. She makes the shocking revelation that she has a restaurant in India, stunning the entire kitchen into silence as they process the news. Not only does she have a restaurant in India, she also has a mother who makes pavlova. This has inspired her to serve the judges a series of photos of her mother with a pavlova. 

Time is running out for Tommy, who is at a loss. He keeps running to the pantry and back, but no matter how many times he does it, when he comes back to his bench there's still not a fruit salad there. Then he has a brainwave: why not make something with durian? He's fairly sure that people enjoy eating things that taste dreadful, so it seems like the perfect solution. 

Julie tells the judges that she is making a Thai fruit salad curry. She had her honeymoon in Thailand, and while there she fell in love with weird things that don't go together, a love that comes to fruition (ha!) tonight. The judges find Julie's commitment to utter lunacy intriguing and compliment her on her mania.

They then move on to Keyma and remind her that if you're making a dish with jelly in it, making some jelly is not necessarily a bad idea. Keyma thanks them for this insight.

Meanwhile, Alvin is doing things with oyster sauce and shrimp paste that violate the laws of several major religions.

Everyone seems really interested in Sarah's sorbet all of a sudden. Aldo demands to know when she's going to make it. Mindy yells from the balcony to ask how it's going. A website mysteriously appears called A subpoena arrives, requiring Sarah to appear before a Senate inquiry into her sorbet. 

The judges have bigger things to worry about, eg. the enormous cucumber currently being interfered with by Montana. They are excited by her idea of ruining a fish, and she is excited to learn that her cucumber is right up Andy's alley. But as Jock says, "it all comes down to balance", and if there's one thing that a cucumber makes difficult, it's balance.

Meanwhile Tommy has a good durian, or at least as good a durian as is possible, ie. a very bad durian. All he has to do is make it taste good, by soaking it in rum or putting it inside a duck or something. The smell of durian fills the air as several calls to 000 are made.

"Is this the dressing?" Andy asks Montana. "It's not finished," Montana replies. Andy, rudely, tastes it anyway. "I can't tell you anything!" he cries as he staggers away. The Andy-Montana relationship is fraying at the edges due to his unwillingness to share his feelings and her unwillingness to finish dressing. 

Julie declares her wish to hit the brief of a reimagined fruit salad while also making a good dish. She knows this to be impossible, yet with the words "to reach the unreachable star" ringing in her head, she ploughs on, cooking a jackfruit and trying to ignore the elephant in the room: the fact that "jackfruit" does not in fact exist.

"The only way to win these challenges is to hit the brief and do it in a delicious way," she affirms, but she's wrong: as we all know, the only way to win is to not play. This fruit salad Kobayashi Maru will surely be her downfall.

Speaking of downfall, Sarah is stuck. "The kiwi's not working," she says, flashing back to when she worked at Centrelink. She tries standing around doing nothing for a while to see if that helps, but it has limited effect.

She asks around the kitchen to see if anyone else has any ideas. Mindy tells her she knows how to cook. Sarah agrees, because she has a restaurant in India.

She snaps out of it and wanders off with renewed purpose. She tells Jock she got rid of the sorbet. Jock frowns. "You're still frowning at me!" Sarah yelps. "I'm not frowning," says Jock, frowning. "You're not helping!" Sarah cries, melting into a puddle.

Finally, the cook is over and the contestants slump to the floor, staring glassily into the middle distance as they contemplate the agony that is existence.

Tommy serves up his fruit salad Che Ba Mau, which is a bunch of stuff in a milkshake glass. Andy loves the epic chestnut balls, but dislikes durian. Jock loves the durian, and the two judges brawl viciously for several minutes over it.

Next is Montana, who has made fruit salad aguachile, which is fish and pickles in gross water. Jock and Andy absolutely love it, especially the gross water, and also the hot cucumber.

Aldo serves his coconut panna cotta, which is too sweet, much like Aldo himself.

Then Keyma, who has made fruit punch which Jock explains is fantastic in every way, except that it's really bad.

Next up is Alvin, whose Reimagined Malaysian Rojak is a tasty-looking bunch of chunks of stuff on a plate. It's so good that Andy says many words and everyone claps, both for Alvin's food and for Andy's vocabulary.

Then comes Sarah, who claims she went through a lot of thoughts and emotions, a new experience for her. She has made a strawberry and kiwi salad with mum's pavlova, which she thinks would've made her mum proud. The judges sadly inform her that, actually, it wouldn't have.

And here's Julie, with her frankly terrifying Thai fruit salad curry. Andy adores it. "You have so much body," he says, before thankfully adding, "in that curry".

"This is where you excel," says Jock, showing Julie a map of the building with a big X marking where the kitchen is. 

It is a difficult choice for the judges, but they are well-paid to make up to three difficult choices a year. In the end they decide that, as we already knew, Julie is the best. She will therefore cook off against Mindy, Dan and Billie for her first ever immunity pin – she has never before felt the cold sting of steel against her chest. 

Tune in tomorrow, when you could hear a pin drop.