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It was positive versus practical as eternal optimists Carly & Tresne battled motivated mums Bree & Jessica in a sudden death round that was almost too close to call.

"We have given up a lot to be in this competition; we don't want those sacrifices to be in vain," Bree declared, while on the other side of the kitchen Carly scattered a circle of empowerment bigger than ever.

As Bree carved surgically into a chicken, judges noticed the ladies were back on form and "in the zone" after several weeks of chaos.

And while Carly reckoned her wagyu steak was derived from "diva cows", Tresne tried to treat it with reverence. But rendering the enormous cuts took time, crippling the girls’ schedule. "Whether you think you can or can't, you're right," Anna called from the sidelines as it became apparent they were melting down.

Guest judges Guy Grossi, Karen Martini, Liz Egan and Colin Fassnidge returned to judge the meals in blind tastings.

Colin called Bree & Jessica's seared prawn entree "a very inviting dish right off the bat" while other judges couldn't fault the flavours. "Has it blown me away?" wondered Pete. "Yeah!"
Carly & Tresne's scallops with champagne sabayon also drew praise all around, leaving the teams on par heading into main prep.

A spanner was lodged in Bree & Jessica’s well-oiled machine as Bree refused to check their chicken ballotines for rawness, panicking a frazzled Jessica. But with little time on the clock her fears were confirmed: the chicken was still raw. This seemed to be a trend, as Tresne's wagyu came out of the oven well undercooked and had to be hastily fried.

Judges immediately noticed both the raw patches in the chicken ballotines, and the thrown-together mess of the wagyu dish. Neither team impressed with their main.

With everything riding on dessert, it was the battle of the mousses and pralines! Judges loved the perfect meringue and subtle rosewater in Carly & Tresne’s raspberry Turkish mousse, but Bree & Jessica's dark chocolate mousse tart was a winner too. "It's everything I want in a chocolate tart," said Colin.

With very little to set their efforts apart, it came down to one single point – which sent Carly & Tresne packing.

"Who is going to make us laugh on a daily basis?" smiled Manu as the ladies said their final farewells.

JUDGES' SCORES

Bree & Jessica
Guy: 7
Karen: 5
Liz: 7
Colin: 6
Pete: 7
Manu: 7
Total: 39

Carly & Tresne
Guy: 7
Karen: 6
Liz: 6
Colin: 6
Pete: 7
Manu: 6
Total: 38

DISHES COOKED

Bree & Jessica
Entree: Seared prawns with fennel and leek puree and tomato salsa
Main: Roasted chicken ballotine with quinoa and lentil salad and garlic aioli
Dessert: Dark chocolate mousse tart with strawberries and pistachios

Carly & Tresne
Entree: Golden scallops with champagne sabayon, pancetta crumb and watercress
Main: Wagyu Scotch fillet with roasted beetroot salad, fizzled onions and beef glaze
Dessert: Raspberry and rosewater Turkish mousse

By Sommer Tothill @sommertothill

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