A MISTAKE in the last seconds cost Wade Drummond a spot in the MasterChef finals week.
The 28-year-old from WA found himself in tonight's elimination challenge with Alice Zaslavsky, who decided not to use her immunity pin,and Ben Milbourne after failing to impress in Sunday's magazine cover shot invention test.
The trio were asked to recreate two-hatted chef Grant King's progressive, highly technical dish of crispy-scaled snapper with smoked potato puree, calamari crackling and ink sauce.
"I got rattled with only a few seconds to go and put the calamari confit on top of the skin, which meant it wasn't crispy anymore," Drummond said.
"I think maybe I had a bit of over confidence. I felt like I'd done pretty well in Italy (last week).
"It was a bit of a bummer missing the finals, but going to Italy is not a bad consolation prize."
Drummond hopes to get experience working in a few restaurant kitchens before opening his own café.
"I need that technical experience to make that happen and learn the actual runnings of a business," he said.
"It's all well and good to be romantic about the food I'm going to make but I can't run a café if I can't run a business."
The reality cooking show kicks into high gear this week as the finals approach.
With five women in the Top 8, Drummond tips a few of the ladies to do well in the final week.
But he also wouldn't rule out the three remaining men.
"I think Kylie (Millar) looks really strong. She's got a great ability and can go a long way," he said.
"Mindi (Woods) is a bit of a favourite but Andy's (Allen) been working really hard. He's getting that final sort of buzz. I think he can really lift and improve."
Tomorrow night, the remaining contestants face the second elimination of the week and celebrity chef Kylie Kwong stops by the MasterChef kitchen.
MasterChef airs Sunday at 7.30pm and week days at 7pm on Ten.
The MasterChef grand final airs on Wednesday July 25.
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