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‘Celebrity Masterchef’ 2020 Heat Four Is Full of ‘Sweet Mess’

Matthew Pinsent and Riyadh Khalaf are the early front-runners

Pete Wicks, Crissy Rock, Matthew Pinsent, Judy Murray, and Riyadh Khalaf on Celebrity Masterchef 2020
Pete Wicks, Crissy Rock, Matthew Pinsent, Judy Murray, and Riyadh Khalaf on Celebrity Masterchef 2020

Celebrity Masterchef 2020 is here, with Jon Torode and Gregg Wallace welcoming another suite of 20 celebrities into their realm, where “cooking doesn’t get tougher than this,” except when it does, like in Masterchef and Masterchef: The Professionals, where the challenges are, well, tougher. Here’s what happened in the fourth heat.

Celebrity Masterchef 2020 Contestants: Heat Four

  • Judy Murray, Elite tennis coach, former British Fed Cup captain, and [something about Andy Murray]
  • Riyadh Khalaf, Queer Britain and Unexpected Fluids presenter, influencer, and YouTuber.
  • Matthew Pinsent, Olympic gold medal amasser, sports presenter, and member of the “I’m sure he’s already done this show” club.
  • Pete Wicks, longstanding The Only Way Is Essex cast member, yet to succumb to the other-reality-show circuit until now.
  • Crissy Rock, actor best known for Ladybird (1994), Benidorm, and autobiography This Heart Within Me Burns.

Five more celebrities into the room of food! The voiceover specifies that there are “flavoured liqueurs” this week. Presumably, they will soon be used.

They will not. There are three desserts to begin, ranging in intricacy from Matthew’s fruit and custard tart, through Judy’s honestly, quite bad crumble, to Pete’s “sweet mess,” which is not a TOWIE euphemism but is some pancakes with mascarpone. Riyadh and Crissy are on mains, with the former impressing Gregg with the best start he’s seen on Celebrity Masterchef and the latter putting pear in her rice.

For good reason!

It’s always interesting to see which London restaurants will debase themselves for entertainment. Sam’s Riverside, which arrived in Hammersmith last year, and Scully in St. James’s. But:

Going into the signature dish test, it’s between Judy and Crissy for the exit after fairly disastrous opening rounds. Matthew whips out a pigeon dish that would have Marcus Wareing cooing on Masterchef: The Professionals, while Pete serves up a sticky toffee pudding, knowing that Gregg will make guttural sounds of joy, and, thus, put him through. He’s also serving toffee vodka up there; a fun touch? Ymmv. Riyadh falls to the Masterchef curse of putting three echoes of dishes into one dissonant plate, but his outstanding first round was always going to see him safe. In the end, Judy’s “Brazilian” chicken loses out to Crissy’s lamb with blueberry sauce. You can’t serve a double fault in this kitchen.

Fresh absurdity greets the contestants on day two, with Riyadh and Pete tasked with making sushi while Matthew and Crissy make schnitzel and spätzle in the pairs challenge. Calling it now — belatedly — this is... the worst challenge on Masterchef. It’s only in this version, which makes it even more of a “ha, look at these bewildered famous people!” gotcha than it already is; it tells the audience little about skill, even though making something difficult from limited instructions is a skill, as proven by the technical challenge on Great British Bake Off which is much better than this and has Paul Hollywood in it, a lot! Anyway, Pete and Riyadh come off best, but Crissy is the most improved cook in the room. The other celebrity gotcha — the catering challenge — is as

Unfortunately, the critics’ round — the one which rewards invention and that strange Masterchef facsimile of what restaurant food should be — puts paid to Crissy and Pete’s lack of technical skill compared to Riyadh and Pete. They head through as two of the strongest cooks yet, with the final heat just around the corner.