MasterChef Australia 2016 has finally come to an end, with a cracking finale that smashed the ratings charts and included yet another ‘come from behind’ victor.
The emotional rollercoaster that saw a rise in popularity of semi freddos, liquid nitrogen and the ever-favoured smoking machine came to a close after a massive two-and-a-half-hour episode.
Creative and performing arts teacher, Elena, was the dark horse in the competition, rising to cooking prowess in recent weeks and rivalling favourite Matt, who was tipped to win from early on.
Network Ten raked in a total of 1.71 million viewers according to OzTAM figures in the five metro city regions, with the actual announcement of the winner seeing 1.875 million tuning in.
Nonetheless, the Grand Finale made mincemeat of all shows on rival networks, including Nine’s Britain’s Got Talent (551,000) and Seven’s Make You Laugh Out Loud (474,000) and Winners & Losers (465,000), per OzTam stats.
The finale episode required the contestants to cook an entrée, main and dessert for the judges, with Matt smashing it in Round One with some sort of quail dish, taking the lead by three points.
Round Two was history-making for the show, with both receiving perfect 10/10 scores for their dishes, but it was Round Three that brought the show to its messy end.
Elena came back from a three-point disadvantage in the Heston Blumenthal science experiment of Round Three, which demanded the contestants slave away for over five hours to create a very complicated ‘egg in nest’.
Elena powered ahead while Matt made clumsy mistakes, and in the end, Matt’s egg cracked under the pressure, leaving Elena wearing the crown with a two-point lead.
Elena scored a mighty $250,000 in prize money, as well as a monthly column in Delicious, while Matt walked away with $40,000 and Harry Foster, who came third, was awarded $10,000.