‘I learnt to love myself a bit again. It was something positive in my life...’ Vicky Pattison felt like the real winner despite Greg Rutherford comparing the trophy to ‘an Olympic gold medal’ on Celebrity Masterchef, by Jim Shelley
Let’s face it, there was only ever going to be one winner in the final of Celebrity Masterchef.
Vicky Pattison and Neil Ruddock had more chance of beating Greg Rutherford at long jump than they did of defeating him in the kitchen tonight.
As a squeaky-clean athlete/role model, his face was just a better fit to be a BBC ‘champion’ than the other two, who both had ‘chequered’ pasts and still more ‘maverick’ tendencies.
Winner! Vicky Pattison and Neil Ruddock had more chance of beating Greg Rutherford at long jump than they did of defeating him in the kitchen tonight
Plus, of course, his culinary skills were obviously superior, even when the contest started.
Finally, arguably most importantly, there was Rutherford’s ‘competitive spirit’ (or sheer desire to win), which he had not so much learnt during his days competing for Great Britain as basically carried over in to Celebrity Masterchef.
If this seemed ridiculous or simplistic, Greg was at least good enough to connect the two himself.
‘I don’t have the Olympics anymore. I have a Masterchef final,’ he stated unequivocally, before taking it much further by claiming: ‘And I’m putting the same amount of effort that I put into winning an Olympic gold medal into trying to win the Masterchef trophy.’
Trying her best: Vicky Pattison also wanted to win but not in the same way. More in the opposite way: like someone who had never really won anything, at least based on talent
This clearly wasn’t true as he acknowledged later, after he’d won, sobbing: ‘I didn’t practice for 15 years to get to this point. I learnt it in 6 or 7 weeks.’
But the fact he even compared them confirmed Greg was never going to let anyone else stop him taking home the trophy.
‘Razor’ Ruddock was also a former sportsman (a footballer for West Ham, amongst others). But despite making an analogy with the FA Cup and the league title, didn’t quite have the same approach.
It in to win it! ‘Razor’ Ruddock sadly didn't do enough to beat out Rutherford
He wanted to win, he said, but was looking forward to ‘going home and having a cuddle with the wife’ just as much.
Greg Rutherford meanwhile was still comparing Celebrity Masterchef to the Olympics.
‘I’ve been in scenarios before where you can almost taste a medal and sometimes it doesn’t happen. And it really is gutting because you’ve put so much effort into it.’
Hosts: John Torode and Greg Wallace were of course on hand to judge their offerings
Greg’s menu was predictably spectacular: a starter of a Scotch egg wrapped in chorizo, ‘which I’m putting in a sort of rosti nest’ (made of curried potato), with asparagus tips and spicy mayonnaise.
Rack of lamb with a herb crust for the main course, served with savoy cabbage, baby carrots, potatoes, and two purees (onion & garlic and mushroom). Then for dessert a dark chocolate crema, layered with raspberry mousse and Chantilly cream.’
‘For crying out loud!’ cried Gregg Wallace (loudly). ‘I knew Greg would go for it today. But I didn’t realize just how ambitious.’
Greg Rutherford, predictably, agreed.
Yum! Greg’s menu was predictably spectacular: a starter of a Scotch egg wrapped in chorizo, ‘which I’m putting in a sort of rosti nest’ (made of curried potato), with asparagus tips and spicy mayonnaise
Tasty: Rack of lamb with a herb crust for the main course, served with savoy cabbage, baby carrots, potatoes, and two purees (onion & garlic and mushroom). Then for dessert a dark chocolate crema, layered with raspberry mousse and Chantilly cream'
‘I’ve given myself SO many things to do!’ he lamented, hoping that he managed to make everything in the allotted time.
It seemed to think it would somehow be unfair if he didn’t and it jeopardized his chances.
‘I’ve worked incredibly hard to get to this point,’ he stated flatly, even though he hadn’t really.
He justified it though, on the grounds: ‘I have a young family and I want to spent time with them. That does make something like this quite difficult.’
Hopeful: Vicky admitted she had come a long way and hoped to win the show
Poor Greg! But he bravely soldiered on.
‘But it’s been an incredible journey. I can’t complain in any way, shape or form,’ he said.
Even though he just had.
Vicky Pattison also wanted to win but not in the same way. More in the opposite way: like someone who had never really won anything, at least based on talent.
Overjoyed! Greg couldn't hide his delight as he celebrated his win
‘When you’re this close it’s just agony not to take the crown innit? Agony!’ she said before the final started, admitting openly: ‘so yeah I want to win!’
Otherwise though it’s safe to say Vicky Pattison’s outlook was slightly different to Greg’s.
‘I am taking major proactive steps to make sure I do my best today!’ she rambled at the beginning, adding: ‘I’ve worn two sports bras ! Two!’
She didn’t explain how this would help but still…
Later on, while she was making her dessert, there was further evidence that Vicky had perhaps had too much chocolate.
‘I don’t think I’ve allowed myself to imagine winning the trophy!’ she explained. ‘But I do believe in visualizing stuff so I’m kind of torn. I don’t want my sub-conscious to think I’m cocky and the universe to be like ‘ha-ha! Karma! You’re not going to win.’ But similarly I don’t want to not envisage it then (the universe) would be like ‘well we didn’t know you wanted it because you didn’t envisage it!’ Do you know what I mean?’
‘I’m torn – universally. So to speak…’ she concluded.
Gregg Wallace posed probably the dumbest question of the evening, asking the former Geordie Shore star if her cooking had ‘changed since you first came in here?’
From kebabs and toast, you mean?
To a starter of ‘Asian tuna tartare on a wasabi avocado puree’, a main course of pistachio-crust lamb with smoked baby potatoes and wild garlic salsa verde’, and for dessert ‘flourless chocolate tart, Chantilly cream, and raspberries.’
Again, you had to admire and enjoy Vicky’s attitude as she confessed: ‘I just think if it hasn’t got chocolate in it it’s not a dessert. So I’m doing a nice gooey cake. I put ‘tart’ but I don’t really know what it means. I’m just trying to sound fancy.’
Even more than this, she deserved to win for setting about her potatoes with a mini flame-thrower.
‘She is smoking!’ said John Torode, possibly talking about Vicky’s rather than her technique.
‘She has set fire to hay!’ he added, more matter-of-factly, as she attempted to give the potatoes inside the hay a barbequed flavor, and inadvertently setting off the smoke alarm.
Unfortunately the lamb itself had not quite been cooked long enough but, gushed Torode, ‘underneath the lamb is this amazing, vivacious, vibrant, salsa verde that is absolutely delicious!’
Even more unfortunately, Gregg Wallace was uncharacteristically picky, grumbling: ‘I don’t get any smokiness from those potatoes AT ALL!’
This prompted the wittiest quip of the night.
‘I’m fuming!’ laughed Vicky, not entirely joking. ‘I nearly blinded myself and lost an eyebrow and the potatoes didn’t even taste like smoke!’
At the end, the winner, Greg Rutherford, seemed only interested in feeding his ego and reiterating how ‘special’ his achievement was.
Vicky Pattison on the other hand seemed genuinely touched by the praise the judges gave her dessert in particular, and was sweet enough to tell Torode and Wallace: ‘thank you so much for being so lovely!’
She’s had a certain amount of flack for her somewhat eccentric, excitable, behaviour during the series.
But showed a different side to herself when it was over: more complicated and sensitive than people might assume.
‘It would have been fantastic to win but I feel like I’ve won really. This gave us a creative outlet, something positive in my life. Through learning to cook and learning to love something else, I sort of learnt to love myself a bit again. I consider that a win, trophy or not…’
‘I was doubting myself when I first got here. Now I have a real sense of self. I’ve really loved learning something new and finding myself again.’
This was surely more important and powerful than something akin to a gold medal.