Spare a thought for this year’s Celebrity MasterChef finalists (BBC1, Thurs-Friday, July 23-24). As if cooking a Victorian feast, preparing a Mad Hatters Tea Party, for past champions, working in professional kitchens – never mind being judged by John Torode and Gregg Wallace – hasn’t been enough, there’s a humdinger of a challenge in this week’s final….



Desperate to go all the way are Rylan Clark and Kimberly Wyatt. When TVTimes spoke to the pair, both were hoping they’d done enough to get through to final week. We asked how the 10th series of Celebrity MasterChef has been for them…



KIMBERLY WYATT

33, former Pussycat Doll and TV presenter



How does it feel to get this far?

“I’m elated! But I also feel I’ve got the weight of the world on my shoulders to prove to myself I can go all the way. It means so much to me. It’s one of the biggest challenges of my life.”



What’s your biggest fear at this point in the competition?

“Not doing my best. I don’t mind leaving the contest if I’ve done that, but it’s hard as so many things in cooking are out of your control. I’m having a lot of sleepless nights!”



How are your nerves holding up?

“I’m doing lots of meditation and yoga. I’ve got an amazingly supportive husband providing me with the hugs and kisses I need to keep going and Rylan keeps me calm during filming. He’s such a sweetheart. We’ve developed such a good friendship that we forget we’re supposed to be competing against each other.”



How much practising are you doing right now?

“It’s taken over my life. I can spend 4-5 hours in the kitchen at night and use every pot and pan I own. The washing up is a nightmare!”



What’s the best and worst dish you’ve made so far?

“My best was the twill cups for my dessert in heat week. It’s such a hard craft to master and they’d gone wrong every time I’d practised them, but on the day I nailed it. John didn’t like my fruit and fish combination, but you can’t please everyone.”



What’s been the toughest challenge?

“Walking into the MasterChef kitchen for the first time. Honestly, I’ve performed on stage in front of thousands, but this was a whole different beast. I was shaking like a leaf.”



How much do you want to impress John and Gregg?

“So badly – I’m competitive! Knowing the judges haven’t been totally won over by me so far makes me feel I’ve a mountain to climb.”



The all-female Chef’s Table in the final sounds daunting.. Can you cope?

“I read these brilliant women’s cookbooks and look up to them – so I’d be petrified!”



What do you need to do to go all the way?

“Focus. I mustn’t over-plan or over-think things, else nerves will get the better of me. I’d like to think I could win, but it’s just a crazy privilege to have made it this far.”



How would you celebrate winning?

“With a glass of fizz with my hubby and new baby daughter.”



1

Former X Factor finalist, This Morning and Big Brother’s Bit on the Side presenter, 26



How does it feel to get this far?

“Amazing. I didn’t expect to get past the first round so what a treat.”



What’s your biggest fear at this point in the competition?

“Being given fish – it’ll be my downfall. I can’t bear fish; I don’t like the way it smells, feels and looks at you, judging you. I wouldn’t have a clue where to start cooking one.”



How are your nerves holding up?

“Fine. I’m holding it all together by laughing at Kimberly meditating! She does it all the time, on the grass outside the studio – I just take the mickey. Seriously, we’re keeping each other going. We were teamed up twice in the heats and had a ball and even when we had to cook on our own, against each other, we were asking the other if they needed help. I’d love to see Kimberly do well.”



How much practising are you doing right now?

“No word of a lie, I don’t cook, but this has taken over my life. I’m on YouTube all the time to see how things are cooked. Some challenges you can’t practise for though – it’s a nightmare.”



What’s the best and worst dish you’ve made so far?

“My spinach tagliatelle went down well with the judges, although they said I shouldn’t pair balsamic with pesto, which I disagree with. The worst was the relay challenge Kimberly and I did in heat week. I thought it was a chicken when it was a duck, and sloshed in some wine to make a sauce. Only later did I realise I hadn’t used wine, but white wine vinegar. Yuck.”



What’s been the toughest challenge?

“Working in the professional kitchen at London’s Massimo restaurant. It was so intense I nearly walked out. I’m glad I didn’t now.”



How much do you want to impress John and Gregg?

“It’s like being a kid again wanting to impress your teacher – ridiculous! They’re not God, but they do know what they’re talking about. John made me laugh on the first day. He said, ‘You smell exactly as I thought you would – clean!’”



The all-female Chef’s Table in the final sounds daunting… Can you cope?

“I’d be in my element as I get on with girls. Their Michelin stars might scare me a bit.”



What do you need to do to go all the way?

“I’ve just got to go for it. People think you’re taught how to cook going on MasterChef, but you’re not – it’s down to you to get your head down. I don’t expect to win; I’m just ecstatic to get this far. Whatever happens I’ll leave with a smile on my face.”



How would you celebrate winning?

“By collapsing.”