MasterChef 2012: The final three

MasterChef hosts Gregg Wallace and John Torode pass judgement (and the salt)

With the winner of MasterChef 2012 due to be announced this week, Stu Heritage looks at the final three budding chefs to see who's in the running.

Over the last few months, this series of MasterChef has systematically whittled down an entire fleet of contestants. Some outstayed their welcome (Jay, who basically made a bolognese sandwich every week) while others were chopped down in their prime (Aki, a woman who I could watch reacting to stuff 24 hours a day). And now just three remain.

Over the course of three days this week, MasterChef will go about selecting a champion. But who will it be - Tom, Andrew or Shelina? Let’s take a closer look.

Tom Rennolds - The Rank Outsider

Tom quickly rose to the forefront of MasterChef, largely because he sent the internet’s oestrogen levels through the roof whenever he appeared onscreen. Tom - at least in MasterChef terms, given that he looks like Patrick Dempsey auditioning for Christian Bale’s role in The Machinist - is totty. Sadly, though, this won’t be enough for Tom to win.

He’s got a mean streak, demonstrated when he sabotaged Aki’s brownies after she annoyed him – plus, he has quite extraordinary timing issues. Minutes, sometimes even entire days, have flown past while Tom has chopped vegetables or witlessly gazed at some misshapen pastry. If there’s one thing that John and Gregg hate, it’s not being fed on time. I mean, look at them.

Shelina Permaloo - The Safe Pair Of Hands

Shelina is by far the nicest of the three MasterChef finalists. She’s lovely. Deep down, everyone wants to live with Shelina. “What are you doing today, Shelina?” we’d ask. “Oh, just making you a mango millefeuille for your tea,” she’d answer. And then we’d both laugh.

Her likeability might be down to how unflappable she is - unlike the other two, she seems to cook because she enjoys it, not just because she wants to succeed. And this might also be her downfall. She’s undoubtedly an amazing chef, but perhaps Shelina is too lovely. She doesn’t have the macho killer instinct of the other two, and unnecessary bombast is something that the MasterChef judges love. But, hey, if Shelina doesn’t win, she can always be my BFF.

Andrew Kojima - The Winner, Surely

At first sight, Andrew doesn’t look like your traditional MasterChef winner. He’s too meek. He’s too nice. He’s a little bit too blinky. But Andrew knows exactly what works on MasterChef. He knows that you’ll never get anywhere by playing it safe. He knows that if you make dishes out of nice ingredients that people like to eat and go well together, you’re stuffed.

He’s bold! He’s experimental! Plus, judging by his surname he’s figured out that John and Gregg like it if you’re a little bit Japanese (last year’s winner Tim), but not fully Japanese (Aki). Surely - SURELY - Andrew’s got the title in the bag. Because, seriously, if it’s Tom I’m going to kick something over.

Is Stu right? Will Andrew win? Do you think someone else deserves it more? Let us know what you think by heading over to our Facebook page or Twitter feed (@TVOnVM)!

You can catch MasterChef this week at 9pm on BBC One.

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14-03-2012