Monday, May 25, 2009

A Picture Tells A Thousand Words

A picture tells a thousand words...sometimes. If only it wasn't slightly corked.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Masterchef - Top 17, Top 16, Top 15

Ok, after my last rant about Masterchef, you would probably think I stopped watching right, wrong. I'm still hooked to the show. There are some elements that are fantastic and keep drawing me back.

I forgot to mention the departure of Nic in the last post, so I've made up for it this post and I'll just call him the top 17 evictee. Nic's departure has to be one of the all time classics in reality TV. Has there been a weaker explanation of why someone has to leave. It's not like he's on a deserted island freezing to death and starving and hence wants off the island. Nic couldn't bear to be away from his wife after only one week.
The eviction shows where they have the "mystery box", the "invention challenge" and then a "pressure test" is great. That's how every week's eviction should work, a pressure test where each contestant does the same dish. Michelle's efforts were slightly worse and hence she had to leave.

One of the highlights of the week was the cook off between Julia and Peter Evans. I, along with the rest of the contestants got the biggest shock when Julia won. I never thought a contestant would ever win. I thought the only good bit about that segment was seeing a top chef in action. Who would ever have guessed that an amateur (with a time advantage, but still a dish they have never cooked) could beat the pro at his own dish. And Evans' humble acceptance of defeat and offering to mentor Julia was reality TV at it's most gracious.

The team challenge was another eye opener. It shows what you can really do when forced. Despite having bought some strange ingredients, Kate's team pulled it off since they had to think outside the box. The subsequent vote off saw the other team vote off Josh. Again, I hate this element of the show as I think most of the others voted off Josh since they saw him in an alliance with Kate and Sam.

Lastly, the week finished with a masterclass. This part of the show I just love. I learnt lots about cooking squid and making a souffle. I'm going to give the souffle a go, having never attempted one because it looked so damn hard. But with those expert tips, I'm hoping my souffle will rise high and proud.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Masterchef - Top 19 and Top 18, Pathetic

As Dave "Hughesy" Hughes would say, "I'm angryyyyyyyy!" Masterchef is really pissing me off. Just when I thought it had turned a corner after the Top 20 round and got back to basics, it's done another about turn and totally pissed me off.

So after the Top 20 round where the losing team voted one of their members out and got me really mad, the Top 19 round was back to the basics of cooking, with the contestant with the worse dish being kicked out. Linda was eliminated because her Tarte Tartin was the worse dish. Fair enough, this is a cooking show.

But what have they gone and done again, got the teams to vote each other out. The Top 18 elimination is so fucking ridiculous, I wanted to hurl something at the TV. Brent, who had just won the invention challenge and done a commendable job again Martin Boetz from Longrain, was voted out when his team lost.

Firstly, Brent didn't chose to be captain, he was elected by the show. At least on The Apprentice, the contestants nominate themselves to be captain knowing the risk and possible reward. If their team should win, they are free from elimination for the next round should they lose. However, in Masterchef, the winning captain gets nothing more than the rest of the team. But should they lose, the captain is obviously the biggest target and scapegoat.

The reasons given by Sam, Kate, Michelle and Trevor were pathetic. Being captain means making decisions, but it doesn't mean the captain can control every single aspect of everything. The team need to back him up too and execute the actions. If you have all agreed on a set of actions, when you then lose, you can't retrospectively say that it was the wrong fucking decision. What a bunch of wankers. Brent was clearly starting to do well in the competition and could cook, whereas someone like Aaron has not produced any good dishes yet.

This has really put me off Masterchef and as many other food bloggers have said, Channel Ten has once again dug into the bottom of the barrel and tried to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Masterchef - Top 20

As I wrote previously, despite the problems I thought existed with Masterchef, I would continue to watch. Thankfully, it's gotten a lot better after the audition phase and I'm really getting into it. I'm even learning a few things food wise, bonus.

However, the latest eviction of one of the top 20 has irked me greatly. Neil from At My Table has already written about it, but I have to weigh in as well. What the hell is the show doing by making the contestants vote each other out. It has descended into a Survivor style contest. The focus now won't be on the food, but on building alliances and sabotaging each other.

I thought Masterchef would be better than that and rely on the food aspect to draw an audience. But, they have descended into reality TV staple of people attacking each other to get on top. I agree with Neil that the judges should be the ones voting people out. Isn't that what they're there for. Otherwise I don't see them serving much purpose. There is already a host on the show, why do we need another three people standing around trying to look serious. The show needs to change this around so that the focus is back on the contestants trying to learn as much about food and cooking and become the "Masterchef", not the "Master Manipulator".