Predicting the winner of Celebrity MasterChef 2018 based solely on their promo photos
What do you get if you cross a photo shoot, an actress, a reality TV star, a sportsman, a bunch of aprons and an egg? Gold.
The lineup for this year's Celebrity MasterChef has been revealed and let me tell you, it is a cracker.
But forget about their clout or cooking ability, what we really want to see is the stunning set of promotional photographs that accompany this information.
An ever-reliable source of entertainment, this year's photos are filled with a satisfying amount of confidence, fear, confusion, excitement and protein.
So who's going to win? The answer, as always, lies in their poses.
20. Anita Harris
This actress, singer and entertainer is able to cook, there is no doubt about that. Her apron looks far too comfortable for this photo op be a one-off for Anita. She's no stranger to any kind of cooking activities. But her hands speak volumes. Look at Anita's nails, they're perfect. I worry that she won't be as heavy-handed with her ingredients as the other contestants because she's got a lot at stake. If my nails were as pristine as Anita's, I'd pull out of the competition. The glory isn't worth it. Not when your appearance is at risk.
19. AJ Pritchard
The Strictly Come Dancing pro is out of his depth here, you can smell it. He is, at a glance, 14 years old and interested in other things. This is all just promo for AJ. How do I know this? Well, he is wearing an Apple Watch. The only people that wear them are Dads clinging to their youth and extremely busy people. He's got a nightclub appearance every evening between now and Christmas. He hasn't got the time to practice cooking. The only thing AJ cooks up is sweet dance moves in his fully air conditioned studio at the back of his parents' house. He doesn't care about winning. In many ways, he's already won with that fantastic smile and gravity-defying hairstyle.
18. Stella Parton
Yes, it's Dolly's sister. She's also a country singer, but what she doesn't have is a 9-5 experience in working in a kitchen. Look at her outfit. She's got long sleeves and they're going to get in the way. You can't successfully cook without having zero sleeves, or at the very minimum, rolled-up sleeves. Stella knows that, she's not an idiot. Which reveals why I suspect she's come on the show. Stella is trying to usurp her sister's position in the nation's heart and trick us into preferring her. It's a bold strategy and I'm interested to see how it pans out.
17. Keith Allen
He's learned from Stella's mistakes by rolling his sleeves up, so mad respect for that. But Keith isn't quite convincing me that he's going to win. His body language is a bit too relaxed, he's overcompensating for something. Keith's facial expression is that of a school teacher that knows you're lying but is waiting for you too dig a sufficiently sized hole with your untrue words so that he can then bury you with the ironclad CCTV evidence of you pushing your mate into a toilet. What I am saying is that I am scared of Keith Allen.
16. Jay Blades
Jay Blades, I suspect that you're not taking the sanctity of Celebrity MasterChef seriously, mostly because you are in hysterics. You're laughing at the show, the judges, the fact that there is a legitimate dish called toad in the hole and you're also laughing at this barrel-scraping journalism that I'm engaged in. It's fine, I get it. But I just don't think there's any room for humour when you're cooking. Things go askew, soufflés fail to rise, it's a mess. You better knuckle down, sir. Or don't. I truly don't care. None of this matters anyway.
15. Chizzy Akudolu
Chizzy, I am sorry. It's the same problem as I've highlighted before, you're simply having too much of a good time in your official MasterChef photo. If this was promoting your jaunty new sitcom where you try to run a book shop without any bookkeeping knowledge whatsoever and therefore find yourself in a lot of amusing and disastrous situations, I'd sign up on the spot. But this is a cookery show. You need to look serious and maybe even hold a knife in an aggressive manner whilst eyeballing a tenderised piece of meat. Stop having such a good time!
14. Stef Reid
The Paralympian has taken a good promo photo, there is no doubt about that. However, her hair is going to prove hazardous in this competition. Something I learned during Home Economics classes was that you have to get your hair out of the way when you're cooking. Stef doesn't appear to have a hairnet or any means of tying back her hair, so I fear that a wayward strand of hair will find its way into her food. The judges will be outraged, a fellow contestant will vomit and then, in a shock twist, the hair will end up being Gregg Wallace's. (Yes, I know he is bald. I was being vulgar).
13. Carol Decker
The singer may have had China in her hand, but now she's got exposed shoulders. It's a health and safety nightmare and I can't see it winning the competition. The potential hazards are endless: What if the top snags on a shelf corner? What if some hot oil splashes up on her bare shoulders? What if the holes begin to tear larger, slowly throughout the cooking process unbeknownst to Carol and she ends up with no sleeves left at all? No. There's too much at stake. Carol needs to withdraw from the competition.
12. John Partridge
Christian from EastEnders, I hate to single you out like this, but I have to stay true to the mechanic of this piece of content. I'll start with a compliment to soften the blow. Sir, your arms are very buff. I imagine you bench weights like it's nobody's business and it certainly shows. You'll beat a batter in half the time it takes your competitors to even locate their bowls. But now, we need to talk about the glasses. They're going to fog up when you open the oven, losing precious seconds where your fellow cooks are going to overtake you. Your eyesight has betrayed you in this competition. I'm sorry.
11. Spencer Matthews
The bad boy of Made In Chelsea looks confident and a little bit mischievous in this promo photo, which can only mean one thing: He's going to absolutely bottle it. I hate to bring this uncontrollable factor into it, truly I do, but Spencer's abundant arm hair is going to cause him trouble. Those wispies will catch fire and singe, setting off the smoke alarms and triggering the water sprinklers in the studio. Everything will go soggy and they'll have to halt the whole episode recording. Spencer will be eliminated for carelessness. Then he will be (apologies) Dismayed In Chelsea.
10. Michelle Ackerley
If Michelle is going to wear that top on national television, she will not be winning Celebrity MasterChef 2018. Why? Because it looks like the black and white bars you see when there's an interruption in transmission. The networks will crash from confusion, leaving a total blackout across all BBC television channels. The world will descend into turmoil. No one will get to finish EastEnders and someone's nan is going to go on a killing spree as a result. Michelle is going to cause pandemonium. Unless she wears a different top, should be fine then.
9. Josh Cuthbert
The Union J heartthrob is simply too pretty to win MasterChef. His arms are perfectly sculpted, his hair expertly coiffed, even his eyebrows are playing ball. Josh won't be able to concentrate on his cooking skills as he tries to position himself in the most appeasing angle for the cameras. He's been on The X Factor, he knows how unforgiving the wrong angle can be. Josh will cook basic food like meat and potatoes because he's all about those #gains. But the only thing he's going to gain from the competition is my own personal lust, sadly.
8. Jean Johansson
Cheer up sleepy Jean, the winter is over. It is now summer time. Your heat-retaining attire is no longer needed. You're going to overheat in that kitchen with such a heavy jumper. And you know what they say, if you can't stand the heat, you should've come better dressed for a TV set that includes a kitchen and professional studio lighting. Fail to prepare, prepare to pass out from overheating on national television, Jean. Unless she's got a t-shirt to change into for the actual show, then she'll probably be fine.
7. Frankie Bridge
Frankie was in a little old band called The Saturdays, which could actually work against her in this competition. Due to strict contractual regulations, Frankie can only work on Saturdays. If MasterChef decides that filming needs to take place on a weekday or even a Sunday, Frankie will not be able to be in attendance. Obviously that's going to rule her out of the competition, but that's a risk she's been taking her entire career. Sure, she looks perfectly capable of cooking a decent meal in her promo photo, but it's corporate greed that may stand in her way.
6. Zoe Lyons
The comedian is simply too happy to be taking part in MasterChef, which comes with pros and cons. For instance, will her delight at simply being included distract Zoe from the real task at hand (cooking something that isn't shit)? Or will she end up taking the whole thing too seriously, putting on a determined facade that's a far cry from her usual hilarious self? She's torn. Obviously it's good to stay true to yourself, but having Gregg Wallace smile as he slips your sticky toffee pudding down his gob is surely a euphoric feeling that any one of us would crave?
5. Clara Amfo
It's hard to fault Clara's promo photo, except for one small thing. Her apron has faded. What does this mean? It means that Clara has been practicing her skills and therefore has had to wash her protective gear several times to achieve this level of fading. Surely a good chef would make very little mess, therefore not requiring a huge amount of aftercare to their apron? Clara is a messy cook and she hasn't got the right washing detergent to maintain the vibrance of her clothes. She's all over the place. I do not sense victory.
4. Martin Bayfield
What time is it? It's cooking time with the former rugby union footballer. His impressive 6ft 10in height means he'll be able to reach the high shelves, but it also means that Martin is going to have to bend down a lot further than the others when he needs to put something in the oven. Martin played the role of Hagrid's stunt double in all of the Harry Potter films, so he's got a fair bit of experience in dealing with magic. But can he win Celebrity MasterChef? No. His watch is too nice and he'll be distracted by trying not to ruin it as he's cooking.
3. Lisa Maxwell
Lisa was on The Bill, so for some reason I have it in my head that she is a policewoman in real life. I am giving her a high placement because I fear that I will be incarcerated if I don't. Lisa looks like a good cook here. She is confident and strong and probably has a delicious gravy and mash recipe stored in her brain at all times. Lisa can win Celebrity MasterChef if she wants to. I'm not saying anything bad about Lisa because she is a cop. Also, for the record, I did not steal that packet of chewing gum in 2009, it somehow fell off the shelf and into my carry bag and I didn't realise until I got home.
2. Gemma Collins
Queen Gemma Collins cannot cook. I am certain of that. She will be serving up a burnt plate of oven chips for the judges and they will laugh as she squirts some ketchup into a cereal bowl for an accompanying dip. However, regardless of her abilities, Gemma stands a genuine chance at winning this competition based on her promo photo alone. Look at that stance, it's confident, playful and entirely capable of cooking. Her face balances the right amount of excitement and know-how that's convinced me of her almost victory. That is a presidential pose and we are all merely pawns in her quest for world domination. She will finish in an honourable second place overall.
1. Monty Panesar
The cricketer looks more like a chef that any legitimate chef I've ever seen. Rather than tenderly cupping his hands or folding his arms like his fellow MasterChef contestants, Monty has taken the initiative to hold up an egg and incorporate it into his pose. He is assuring the viewers that he is familiar with food and will therefore be able to cook it. Look into his eyes, deep and intensely into his peepers. That is the face of a man that means business. His name means mountain, so don't be surprised if you see Monty peaking during this competition. Egg Man will triumph. Egg Man will emerge victorious. You are well within your rights to fear his power. Winning Celebrity MasterChef 2018 is just the beginning for Monty 'EggMan' Panesar. Stay woke.
All images via MasterChef