The softer judging style won points and a vastish audience, swerving MasterChef from the reality show delights of humiliation drama.

But you just know the director did well in his wizard classes – he kept flinging ‘Crucio!’ at the two contestants. That’s the “unforgivable” torture curse, as in, you know, excruciation, or crucifixion, or something.

In last night’s final showdown, at two climactic moments, Julie and Poh had to stand, nailed in the spotlight, like sweaty students at a final oral exam as they waited for the typically v-e-r-y  v-e-r-y slow reveal of their scores (and everyone at home went Argh, as the swooping, spiraling, zooming cameras cliff-hung away to … an ad break).


I assume all the contestants and judges have had coaching and/or scripting. So I hope someone else wrote this bit for the judges.

‘Julie,’ says George, as he and judge Gary come over.

‘G’day,’ says Julie, smiling for a split second – she, at that moment, is manically trying to recreate from scratch a five-part fine dining chocolate dessert in two and a half hours.

‘You look nervous,’ says George, clutching his hands together.

‘Of course I’m nervous,’ she says distractedly.

‘What are you nervous about?’ asks George.

‘Losing?!?’ blurts Julie, finally looking up.

Rare silence as the judges pause, before turning to each other –
Gary: ‘Oka-a-y…’ – George: ‘Yup.’

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