So another season of Masterchef has finished. Just like last year, I was totally addicted to the show, as was many millions of others around the nation. Masterchef has kept up the momentum this year and maintained it's strong viewership. I wanted to discuss some of my points of views on this season.
*Last season, I thought the show started a bit too slowly. This year, they bypassed that by not showing any of the auditions at all. Instead, they flashbacked to the auditions when doing exposition on the contestants. I thought this worked really well.
*The casting for this year was again a good mix of people. Some I was immediately drawn to (I loved Marion and Alvin by the end of the first week) and some I was really drawn to as the show progressed (Adam and Callum). Some I never liked (Jake and Claire) and some made good TV (Joanne and Jonathon).
*I loved the challenges. Every challenge was just bigger and better. I thought last year's Hong Kong challenge was amazing, but what can I say about Paris and London. Having recently gone to those two places (blog post to come still, I'm a bit behind) and loved them, the Paris and London challenge literally made me ache to go back. Besides the overseas challenge, massive challenges on a cruise ship, kids party and army barracks made for great viewing.
*I liked how they removed the vote each other out part in the elimination challenges. I also acutally liked the "fix this dish" challenge.
*The removal of Sarah Wilson was a must do move. She really didn't add anything to the show (besides being eye candy) and just slowed it down. The three judges do a great job already in hosting.
*The calibre of this year's celebrity chefs was astounding. Due to the success of last season, every chef with half a marketing sense wanted to get involved. The quality was through the roof, with not only Australia's top chefs, but even Michelin star chefs like Heston Blumenthal and the one and only Hiroyuki Sakai appeared on the show.
*The masterclasses were still fantastic, and I learnt so much from them. There was a mixture of some easy and complex dishes. I think I shall attempt some of them eventually.
*I still loved the judges. They're all still so cute. Matt's turn of phrase and expression still makes me laugh. Gary and George work so well together as a team and really brought so much enthusiasm, mentoring and when needed, a shoulder to cry on (Callum crying on George's shoulder was a season highlight).
So, there were many many positives. I probably could have gone on and on as I thought this season's show was even improved on last season. But there were still a few negatives.
*I still don't like the taste test eliminations. It's still too flukey a way to be eliminated. One slight wrong guess and you're out. Even the best can slip up easily.
*I still don't agree with bringing back eliminated contestants. They had their chance and failed, so why should some get a second chance whilsts others didn't. I was still a bit bitter that someone can sit out 5 weeks and come back whilst Marion got so close to the end to only be eliminated and not get another second chance.
*Difficult challenges are exciting to watch, but when it's so difficult that there is no way to finish, that's just silly and making it hard for the sake of drama rather than finding the best chef. The macaron tower and V8 cake, both from Adriano Zumbo, comes to mind. The contestants were never going to finish and it didn't really demonstrate who was the better chef, just who made less errors.
*The recap before episodes and after ad breaks are still annoying.
*The amount of crying was sometimes a bit too much. Emotions are all good, but it seemed like a criteria for getting on the show was the ability to turn on the waterworks whenever needed.
*The product placement was still extremely excessive and sometimes a bit out of context. How many times do I need to see the contestants use Campbell's real stock. Ok, I mentioned Campbell's real stock now, so can someone from Campbell's contact me to offer me advertising money for Campbell's real stock.
All in all, I thought this season of Masterchef was great, with the big winner being Channel 10 of course. In a few months time, no one will remember the contestants, but we will all still remember the show and watch it next season, helping Channel 10 reap heaps of advertising dollar. The show definitely caused a lot of water cooler talk, and even people who aren't really into food got into it. For food loving people like myself, it's always great to watch a show about food and learn a lot more about it. It's especially rewarding to hear from top end chefs and learn about their experiences, skills, views and imaginations in the wonderful dishes they come up with. All involved in the show will ride their short fame and maybe go on to a successful career. The judges will reap their rewards in the form of books, more diners to their restaurants, promotional deals and media appearances. The general audience, hopefully, has learnt more about food and will in turn expect more of restaurants and further build the food culture that currently exists in Melbourne. I can't wait to watch the next season of Masterchef. Bring it on!