MasterChef recap: Which team handles the heat of the notorious relay (and will it be veloute redemption for John)?

Tonight, each team must "hero" chilli, and cause serious burns to the judges' alimentary canals.
Tonight, each team must "hero" chilli, and cause serious burns to the judges' alimentary canals. Photo: Channel 10

Four teams enter…one team leaves. Then the other three teams leave, and then they all come back the next day. That's MasterChef for you: really nothing like Thunderdome at all.

Tonight it is the notorious relay challenge, where teams of five cook in 15-minute stints, handing over to the next teammate at the end of their time to do the next stage of the dish.

John, of white chocolate veloute infamy.
John, of white chocolate veloute infamy. Photo: Channel 10

It's a great opportunity for contestants to make legends of themselves by doing something incredibly stupid, like John back in his season, when he was tasked with making a broth but instead decided to set fire to the building.

The team that cooks the best dish in the relay will join Aldo and Melanie in tomorrow's immunity challenge, and their chances will be good because let's be honest, it's only Aldo and Melanie.

The teams pick their captains. John is made captain of the red team due to his fantastic communication skills, like how if you say something to him, no matter what it is, he understands instinctively that you mean, "make a white chocolate veloute".

John thinks he was chosen for his communication skills: in fact his teammates made him captain because that means he has to cook first, which means he can't bugger up anyone else's work.

The judges unveil today's key ingredient: chillies, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album By The Way. The clock starts ticking and all four teams immediately begin panicking.

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The judges gather to discuss how the challenge is quite difficult because it requires putting various things into a dish. But they are all agreed: when cooking chillies, the important thing is to cook chillies. Their insights are dazzling in their wisdom.

John is already having veloute flashbacks, remembering how lucky he was that day that Marco Pierre White didn't stab him. He's playing it safe today and cooking a Sri Lankan chicken curry, with only a few grams of Milky Bar in it.

On the green team, Harry is cooking chicken wings, which is a huge risk given that chicken, as a protein, provides her with no opportunity to talk about how poor she is. But wisely, she recognises that this is a team challenge, and that if she made her teammates cook a vegetarian dish they'd lynch her.

"I'm hoping we don't start off with a cake and end up with a pizza," says Harry, already confused about what to do with chicken wings.

Meanwhile Matt, starting on tortillas, admits that he knows there is some "rusk" involved. No idea what he's on about.

Andy calls in the second leg of the relay. The first cooks explain the dishes. On the purple team, Daniel already looks completely baffled by Matt's instructions. Julie leaves the room and suddenly realises she never told Minoli that chillies were the key ingredient.

Minoli decides to hero the chicken, but after looking at everyone else's benches she realises that "hero" is not a verb, and becomes distressed. Then, like a blinding flash, she sees the huge freaking table covered with chillies at the front of the room and begins to suspect this might be a clue.

Daniel, having completely failed to understand Matt's instructions, is putting roasted chillies in the blender and running away.

Meanwhile, Christina admits she's not made a lot of curries in her life, but she's following John's instructions, basting her chicken in white chocolate as he told her to. Andy and Melissa begin taunting her for not using enough chilli. "Keep focusing," says Melissa, actively preventing Christina from doing so.

It's only the second leg and already the word "chilli" is starting to sound weird.

Andy brings in the third leg. The next cooks run in. The previous cooks scream "chilli" at them over and over for 45 seconds and then leave.

Jenn is struggling to understand Dan's instructions, as they involve no dental metaphors. She asks him what the sauce is. He tells her he just doesn't care anymore and goes home.

Melanie, from the balcony, tells Jenn to check the oven. Jenn opens the oven and discovers a magical doorway to a winter wonderland. She throws the vegetables in the sauce and heads for Narnia.

In the locker room, the cooks who've finished their legs watch Sashi at work. "He's focused," says Dan. All the cooks agree they wish they'd thought of being focused.

Meanwhile, Michael is making a chilli pickle like some kind of madman, causing Julie and Minoli to break into a confusing comedy double act about cucumbers.

"Time to spice things up!" yells Melissa, and still the authorities are powerless to act.

Andy calls in the fourth leg. Jenn explains to Keyma that she has screwed everything up and has no idea what's going on. Keyma nods, understanding. On the red team, Sashi gives calm, clear instructions to Sarah despite not knowing who she is.

Keyma is panicking because nothing is ready and she is desperately short of time. Andy and Jock help out by walking up to her bench and pestering her with stupid questions. "Where's the chilli element?" asks Andy, causing Keyma to immediately begin emitting sad piano notes. She decides to make a salad element so that in the final leg Max has something extra to not finish.

On the green bench, Ali looks at her sauce. Then looks at her sauce some more. It's a bold tactic.

Andy brings in the final cooks to attempt to salvage something from the awful balls-ups their predecessors have made. Keyma lets Max know how everything is terrible and they have no chance.

"I have to make some really quick decisions," says Max; chief among them whether he should go back to accountancy school and give up on this dumb cooking thing.

He decides to give up on the tacos. Andy tells him his team has spent an hour on the tacos, which is a lie: they've actually spent an hour telling each other to make the tacos. "Tacos are now gone!" Andy yells, enjoying, as always, the humiliation of a fellow human being.

On the red team Tommy is panicking: his chilli jam has gone thick and hard, which is wildly inappropriate for this timeslot.

Meanwhile, Billie has the Herculean task of picking things up and putting them on a plate, which in many ways is the hardest thing to do in the kitchen, although in other ways, the hardest thing to do in the kitchen is be Max, who is currently running laps of the room.

Time is up, and each team must now step forward and attempt to cause serious burns to the judges' alimentary canals. The grey team, led by Julie, serves first as they are the most physically attractive team. Julie confesses that she wanted to make something she knew how to cook, which is cheating really.

Andy tells everyone on the grey team that they are fantastic and beautiful. "Billie, you put it in a bowl," he declares, coining a new catchphrase.

The purple team, who by now loathe each other, serve next. Max expresses a hope the judges forget there was supposed to be a taco in the dish – which will be difficult given Max just told them the dish is called "a naked taco".

Jock confesses that he is disappointed, although blaming the purple team for his life choices seems harsh. He believes the team should've made tacos. "It's just a jumble sale of flavours," he says, not realising that sounds brilliant. "It doesn't feel like a dish that screams I AM HEROING CHILLI," says Andy, not realising THAT sounds terrifying.

Up comes the green team. Their chicken wings are good, in a quite uninteresting way.

And finally the red team, minions of Sashi. John hopes he has done enough to redeem himself after the white chocolate veloute debacle.

Sadly, he doesn't understand that nobody will ever forget the white chocolate veloute, and we will be making fun of him for it for the rest of his life. Certainly this dish won't do it, because it's rubbish. Jock expresses his distaste, telling the team they should have put more white chocolate in it.

To no one's surprise, the grey team wins thanks to Michael's pickled chilli – which, again, is totally inappropriate for this timeslot.

This means they will cook for immunity tomorrow night while the other three teams must slink away to reflect on their inherent inferiority.