Steve: "I want this so much, it's giving me the horn"
Daniel: "That was a belter! Howay the lads!"
Marianne: "You're only as good as your last man - err, sorry, meal"
Mark you, this does lead on to some inevitable thoughts of what the presenters could be in the cartoon version: Gregg the Veg Wallace as Shrek, Michel Roux as The Mekon, Monica Galetti as Miss Whiplash, all let loose in a bizarre attempt to ensure culinary domination of the planet Earth. In order to achieve their ends the entice upcoming chefs into appearing on the show so that they can instill in them Mind Control using Endless Repetition. Poor Daniel would have to be Mr Potato out of Toy Story, Steve would be the Pilsbury Dough Boy and Marianne would, with that voice, have to be Miss Moneypenny.
Evidence of the Mind Control is manifest, as is the patronising dumbing down for what they perceive as the American market. But even Americans can't be that stupid, surely. And we certainly aren't (apart from the crepuscular, politically naive and mentally deficient idiots who vote for the BNP). I've been recording some of the programmes and editing out the inessentials at the start. 5 out of the 45 minutes at the start of each show. Add to that the vacuous way Shrek repeats what Michel says and you could cut a further 5 minutes out.
And speaking of vacuous, self-parody, did no-one else become fed up with Gelatto saying "Chef Michel would..." "I wouldn't serve that to Chef Michel...". It's as though she carried round MRJ's toque on a velvet cushion.
Finally, in this rant, I have to say that some of the early contestants were truly terrible; what really sticks in the mind is the very first heat where one of the tests was spatchcocking* a chicken. I've never done this, but I'd know better then to cut the inoffensive little bird into pieces - rather defeats the point. But tonight's showing of the final should be interesting - my money's on Steve, the others have improved a lot, but his culinary creativity is what's really inspiring.
* I can't stand the American spellchecker on this thing... and it doesn't know how to spatchcock a chicken either, it now wants me to 'supercharge' it!