It was a tearful day for Masterchef Karlie Verkerk in the finals week of Masterchef. Something about a service challenge that always gets Karlie running like a headless chook. Her parting words were,

I had a feeling it was my day.

Pretty shocking how things turned out in this service challenge. It was really hard for the judges to make their decision.


The Service Challenge

Right off the bat the episode start with everyone keen and energetic to get cooking. They are given 4 hours to prep before they start serving their dishes. Everyone was cooking well until Karlie burnt her prawn oil, starts to get flustered and loses the plot.

masterchef karlie verkerk


While Karlie is having a mental breakdown, Ben struggles with his dessert. He seemed to have fell in love with the idea of his dishes which is a tribute to his Oma. He never really thought out how tricky and time consuming the dishes demanded. The dish required more time than what he originally thought. He had to cut some corners and sacrificed the baby beets in his main.


Meanwhile, in Diana’s bench, everything is in perfect harmony. She have not put a foot wrong in this challenge. Eliminated contestants up in the gantry called her the machine. 



Diana put out the first 4 plates out to the guests and judges. Diana’s plate of Wagyu beef was beautiful and certainly wowed all three judges. It was delicious and very pretty to look at. The judges described it as a very excellent, well thought out dish.

masterchef karlie verkerk


Just after Diana put out her first 4 plates, Ben ask for service and puts out his first 4 plates. The judges really loved the burning of the dehydrated onion, which made it very exciting. Ben’s dish included a tulip bulb but all three judges have never eaten a tulip bulb before. They were quite excited to try it and they loved it. Overall, the judges thought it was a very good dish.


Both Ben and Diana have already put out their first 4 plates but Karlie struggles on her bench. With Shannon at the helm, shouting and asking how long, how long, while willing her on. 

-Karlie burst out in tears.

With the amount of pressure she was on, it was very understandable. Not putting up a dish will automatically send her packing. Diana givers her a long consoling hug and told her, it’s all about the taste, you know that…..

masterchef karlie verkerk


Whatever else Diana whispered in Karlie’s ear must’ve help because she composed herself and pushed on. After a long wait, she puts out her first 4 plates. Karlie made Crayfish with Ginger broth.


The key to Karlie’s dish is the broth which packs a lot of umami goodness and that Crayfish was cooked to perfection. The judges said it was amazing and it was worth all that wait.


At this stage the judges favorite dish are Diana’s Wagyu beef. Karlie’s cray Crayfish is a distant runner up. Ben is obviously the least favorite with the judges saying it was only very good. I was sitting on the couch thinking, wow that’s it for Ben. Ben was struggling with his dessert all night, he won’t be able to put up a great dessert. The grand finale is going to be between Karlie and Diana.



With Diana pushing out the first 4 plates of her desserts and the judges again labeling it amazing, at this point, Diana is through to the Grand Finale.

masterchef diana chan


Kylie has now caught up and she put up a beautiful black sesame ice cream with mandarin and ginger. The judges liked it, soft, light and has a beautiful texture. But when mixed with the mandarin syrup, it was somewhat bitter.

masterchef karlie verkerk


All through the prep, Ben was wrestling with his dessert and he was coming off second best. His hero of the dish, the pumpkin galettes, was giving him a whopping. When he tried taking it out of the baking tray, they break apart into mush.


He left it for a bit to cool, then proceeded to take them out of the baking tray. My golly, it succeeded. The galettes came out inform and not mushy. The judges loved Ben’s dessert more than Karlie, noting how tasty and the spice balance was so clever.

He needed a ripper dessert and he gave us one didn’t he?

-By George Calombaris

masterchef ben ungermann


After struggling from the start and almost defeating him, all that hard work and persistence have certainly paid of. It gave him a great chance of joining Diana in the Grand Final.



It was a good night for Diana, putting out a great main and dessert. Impressing the judges, announcing it the best dishes out of the service challenge. Her main course was ambitious, contained many elements, apparently so delicious and it’s the most complete dish this year. While her dessert was full of texture, inventive and flavorsome.


Masterchef Karlie Verkerk bows out

Ben served a very good dessert but karlie’s mandarin sauce was bitter, hence, she is going home.

masterchef karlie verkerk


Oh my golly gosh, Ben is freaking safe! Ben scraped through and it’s Ben Vs Diana in the Final. Get ready for the Grand Finale which involves the longest pressure test of all time. It’s going to be a doozy. DING DING!


But before the battle, a little bit of celebration in the garden. This will make some people jelly!