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It's the girls' turn to duel-off and they really battled it out to the six-inch dessert/balancing act end.
Shirley kicked off extremely confidently here. As you saw in the episode, she was so sure of herself that she let Brooke take control of her challenge -- a choice of abalone, razor clams, or geoduck. Brooke's choice of geoduck was really interesting. If you've only worked with a challenging ingredient once before, would you really choose to work with it for the second time here of all places?!? Gotta love Brooke for living on the edge, right? I'm a bit like that myself -- give me some pressure and I'll probably perform better than when I have all the time in the world to prepare. I would say geoduck was the most difficult of all of the ingredients to use but she did a phenomenal job. I remember tasting these blind and thinking, "Oh my god, I have no idea who has done what." I tell you what; if I were so confident as to hand the challenge over to my opponent and their dish was on par with mine, I would be pretty pissed about it. So, maybe Shirley's confidence should be noted as overconfidence. Ah well, $10K in the bank for Brooke. I don't blame Shirley for feeling pretty upset about that!
Brooke decided on a vegan dessert for her challenge. I don't cook a lot of vegan desserts or seek them out on restaurant menus, but these ones were really special -- you could have fooled me into thinking they had animal products in them. Shirley's tapioca turned out to be very homey and lovely, whereas Brooke went to town with her choc-banana pudding. You know, it is no secret that I'm a chocoholic so when you put chocolate in front of me, it is pretty hard to lose (hear that Top Chef Duelers???) She did a good job with it. Brooke cooked her little heart out and won her challenge -- cha-ching, that's $20K now. It's never easy having that deciding vote. You really feel like you're holding someone's fate in your hands.
And then came the big one, the Duel. Unfortunately for Brooke, she just didn't perform as well as Shirley. I don't know if she had too many voices in her head or if she was rethinking and doubting herself, but Shirley did a really exceptional job and deservedly won the Duel. She met the circus brief head on and presented some truly creative and interactive dishes.
P!nk rocked it out as a judge, didn't she? Aussies have taken a massive liking to P!nk over the years. She's super, super popular back home so it was pretty insane to hang out with her in this intimate environment and eat crazy circus-inspired food. P!nk's hung from just about every concert stadium roof in the world while singing and she calls this experience "nerve-wracking"?! That’s mind-boggling to me but I guess if the tables were turned, I'd be pretty intimidated hanging out with a bunch of singers judging a singing competition. You know though, so much of the fun stuff happens outside of our comfort zone so I'm stoked she was such a good sport.
Shirley and Brooke were really well matched and both were great competitors. Shirley snuck away with the big win this time but will Brooke come fighting back via The Knockout? You'll see. . .