Tensions high at pointy end of MKR's round two
When a softly-spoken ex-vegan pacifist says "I think people that score strategically need a kick in the shins", you know the gloves are off and the MKR honeymoon period is over.
Group two is at the pointy end, with not much wiggle room score-wise between the three middle teams, and tensions are high. The bitching has begun, with Della and Tully not the only ones serving up sour grapes.
Because, like - they served pickled grapes.
With everyone rattled, things are not going to plan, and the definitely otherwise totally normal world of MKR is turned upside-down. Black is white. Cats are dogs. Hobo is boho. A number of things happen in this episode that are completely unexpected, like in an episode of Black Mirror or the American presidency. Things like:
Good Cooks Become Bad Cooks
Before tonight only three things were certain: death, taxes, and Della and Tully being excellent cooks and probably my new best friends. They had that rare obnoxiousness-free confidence, a cracker menu, and a stunning-looking table in their twenty-five bedroom Queensland hilltop mansion. We were all sure they'd serve incredible food. But then: raw quail, gluey sauce, clashing aioli, and dry cake. Our first inkling that one of the wheels had fallen off occurred when it took both of them ten minutes to read the instructions on a packet of couscous. When Tully, the Asher Keddie of the kitchen, joked in Coles that maybe they should just make tuna and cheese toasties for everyone, there's a chance she was onto something.
Josh Calls Someone Else Opinionated
"Della's talked a lot about food, constantly" says Josh, a stunning observation on this show that has talking about food as its main premise. "She's probably one of the most opinionated people at this table" he continues, almost drowned out by the sound of every pot in the kitchen calling the kettle black. Well sure, but there are opinions and then there are opinions.
Della has opinions like "beer battered fish should have batter on it", while Josh has opinions like "Tully's just Della's assistant", "If Amy says five and I say four, then it's gonna be a four", and "I was hoping for a disaster, and here it is!".
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He goes on to imply that Alyse is a snake who lies about his fish making her vomit, smiling with glee when the judges criticise Della and Tully's entree, and hoping hard and aloud that they stuff up their dessert.
Sure, a level of strategic nitpicking is to be expected by someone stuck in the dark, squelchy nether regions of the scoreboard, but if we're talking desserts, Josh thinks he's a soufflé while most of us just think he's a spotted dick.
Seafood Makes Everyone Except Alyse Want To Vomit
Look, I'd never really considered whether or not Alyse was sexually assertive or not before, because this is a show about food, table settings, and shattering people's hopes and dreams. It's fair to say Matt's erotic potency was on shaky ground as soon as he said "couscous just tends to sit funny in my mouth", but when Alyse tells the story of how she and Matt met, very little is left to the imagination, and very little is left of anyone's appetite.
Alyse, whose spirit animal is a regurgitating tuna, met Matt at a seafood festival. Struck by their instant chemistry and ignoring the fillets of potential upchuck surrounding her, she says "I shoved him up against a wall and pashed him, and said 'when you leave, you're taking me with you'".
If only she'd told the story earlier in the competition, perhaps nobody would have served fish for fear they'd either inflame Alyse's desire or inspire her to tell that story again.
We Want Kelsey And Amanda To Talk More
Despite their voices being the auditory equivalent of a car alarm stuck in a vacuum cleaner, the fact that Kelsey and Amanda have only two conversational settings: praise and mispronouncing things, makes them a true delight to listen to. The contrast between two sisters gleefully regarding their surroundings and four other bitchy pools of negativity relentlessly poo-pooing every detail is vast, and given the choice between tinnitus and sneering, we'll probably choose tinnitus.