MKR 2014 finals recap: Victorian girls stay alive

It's the last of the instant restaurant elimination rounds, which means that bottom-ranking Tassie besties, Thalia and Bianca, are hoping that Helena and Vikki bomb out tonight in a big way.

"Just because the others teams had a meltdown doesn't mean that we're going to have a meltdown," says Vikki as Helena drives to the shops in stony silence.

"I need a little more energy from you please," says Vikki.

"I'm concentrating!" replies Helena.

What's great about the twins is that more than any other couple on the series, they are able to be brutally honest with each other in a way that only siblings can.

It surprises no one that their menu is a smorgasbord of Greek dishes, with one curious exception - the Portuguese Piri Piri quail for a main, which they say they chose to "take them out of them comfort zone."

Manu wishes they'd stayed comfy. "It seems like they're getting away from Greece," he says. "It would have been nice to stay on the islands."

The prep is going well, except for one small but important detail - the octopus in their entree isn't cooking as it should. Helena cranks up the heat, and we nervously twitch in our seats at home - turning up the heat rarely ends well on this show.

Lo and behold, the next time it's checked, the octopus is very tough. Negative Nancy aka Helena, is ready to throw in the towel. Competition's over, see you later, she says, before retreating to the laundry where she has a meltdown on a small scale. Nothing like the Tassie besties and the Adelaide Mums managed, mind - her twin will never let her get away with that.

"Don't you cry on me," warns Vikki, and Helena's tears evaporate in fear. Instead, she returns to the shops to buy some more octopus but unfortunately for Vikki does not come back with a new attitude. How on earth she has time to go to the shops, get changed, and cook the fresh batch of octopus without making the guests wait an eternity is one of this show's great mysteries (the other being who cast Pete Evans as judge).

Arriving, the guests are pleased with the Greek decor. Even Chloe and Kelly admit it looks good, via a travel story. "Didima is set up really well and takes us back to fonder memories of Greece," they say. "Fonder memories than this instant restaurant."

When the entrees are finally served, against all odds, they're a hit. The baby octopus is tender and the prawns wrapped in kataifi, a Greek pastry that resembles vermicelli noodles, are cooked perfectly.

"This to me is a celebration - a celebration of your heritage and a celebration of produce," says Pete.

"It doesn't look amazing, but it tastes fantastic," says Manu of the octopus.

Galvanised by the success of their entrees, Helena turns her frown upside down, but they hit a stumbling block when the fat on the lamb hasn't rendered properly. After much deliberation, she decides to throw it in the pan for a little longer, which doesn't quite do the trick.

Helena, staggeringly, decides that the quail doesn't need a sauce. Is she mental? Manu loves the sauce.

We're told as much when he declares the rice a little dry. The quail, though, was cooked to perfection, and those super-nice Tassie besties are ready to concede defeat.

Pete wonders why they've chosen the rack of lamb as opposed to the more traditional shoulder. "Why not take two steps back and cook what you'd cook at home?" he asks, but you just know if they'd done that it would have been deemed too simple. Pete's so hard to please.

Predictably, Chloe and Kelly moan about the fat not being rendered on the lamb, and despite the fact that the beans taste beautiful, "It's just a tomato sauce." Shut up.

On to dessert, and the Greek dessert queens are struggling with what is usually their strong suit. The galaktoboureko, which sounds like some sort of galactic faeces but is actually a traditional Greek baked custard, has not cooked properly, but they've run out of time, they have to get it out.

They're more confident about their hazelnut mousse cake, but this proves to be unfounded. It's Pete's least favourite dish of the evening. He's struggling to taste the hazelnut flavour, and he makes the valid point that the macadamia crumble chosen to decorate the hazelnut mousse seems an odd one. Oddly, no one makes a joke about the twins sharing the one brain.

Manu, too, was underwhelmed by his dessert. "What I got is a little far from what I expected," he says. "There's not enough filo [pastry] and it's not crispy enough."

In the end though, it's more than enough to get them over the line. Collectively, they get a 24 out of 40 from the other contestants, including a relatively generous 5 from the WA girls.

From Manu and Pete, they get an additional 41 points, including two 9s for their entree. In spite of their low-scoring desserts, they're through, and the Tassie besties, sweet little lambs that they are, go home in tears, but with their heads held high.

Next week, Paul and Blair face off Chloe and Kelly in the finals, while the Mums will challenge the twins. At least two meltdowns are almost guaranteed. Let the games begin.

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